Your mileage may vary

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Madeleine's picture
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I'm not by nature a generous person. I've learned doing this job that being generous is not necessarily a bad or hard or difficult thing to do.

So, my problem...

A guest called earlier in the year to cancel her stay. It was ok at that point because we had no one in the house but her.

I extended her deposit to another stay made at that point. She canceled again. And again. She just called and wanted to use her deposit tonight because, 'it expires next year sometime.'

It's people like this who make the policies so long and involved.

OTOH, another guest had to cancel this weekend. She called yesterday and said she was sorry, she knew she had to pay for the whole weekend, etc.

It's people like this who make the policies short and sweet.

Being generous with guest B was easy. Guest A not so much and never again. I think bring generous to repeat guests is the way to go. Everyone else has no skin in it and doesn't really deserve the generosity.

YMMV.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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We had two reservations for this weekend and both cancelled because there is a snow storm coming.  We suggested they apply the deposit to another weekend.  

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Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

We had two reservations for this weekend and both cancelled because there is a snow storm coming.  We suggested they apply the deposit to another weekend.  

We do this, too. Do not want someone here in event of a great snowfall and subsequent power outages. If they're already here and want to stay, fine. If they want to leave, that's fine, too. Don't want them driving either. However, the difference is WHERE the weather is. If you're stuck in FL due to weather that is not my problem.

We already have guests in house right now planning to be snowed in on Sunday. Eye-wink They are like little kids. Do you think it'll be bad enough???

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Suggested..ha ha.. They either forfeit it or else Smiling

TheBeachHouse's picture
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we don't agree.   during the winter, the place is nearly always empty.  we are a seasonal business.  If someone wants to spend a winter weekend here, and is scared off by snow, why would I want to piss him off by making him spend a weekend housebound with us when he doesn't want to or worse, home but with less money? 

This way, he still gets his getaway, but on his terms.  We have lost nothing and may gain a loyal, local customer.

Momma Smurf's picture
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BeachHouse,

We would do the same thing, but the time period that they can apply the deposit to is RESTRICTED to days during our off season (Nov 15-May 15) and can not be used on holidays such as VDay, NYE, etc.  That way we do not lose any potential income because we'd likely not be full and the guest gets just compensation.  WIN-WIN.  We do this with all cancellations even in the summer, which means either an upgraded room (off-season lower prices) or perhaps they add an additional day due to the better value.   No one ever forfeits their deposits (unless extreme PITAs), just can only use at Innkeeper's discretion. 

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I didn't mean make him come for the winter...keep the deposit for another time during the year. But if he would not do that, then he should pay the forfeit.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Yes, some people develop a feeling of entitlement. Unreasonable expectations. And generally I don't think it's about the money so much as they just want to think they are special.

You're right to be kinda glad they won't be coming back. You don't need their "needs"!

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Kay Nein's picture
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One couple feel like they are our buddies and best customers - they've stayed with us twice in the last two years.  Throwing the "repeat customer" line around like confetti.  Made a reservation, was shocked that I asked for her credit card to run the deposit.  But, why, we are repeat customers.  Then cancelled the next day because her friend got sick.  I refunded the deposit minus the $25 cancel fee (per our Policies) and of course got a phone call.  Explained that this was our policy set forth by the owner and that I was in charge of upholding those rules.  She said she felt penalized because her friend got sick.  I was so mad, I know she could hear it in my voice.  Per the other innkeeper, I went ahead and gave her a refund.  Kinda glad they won't be coming back again. 

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Ah, the Guestbuds! Guests that feel that since they have blossomed to become your friend and not just a mere guest, they are not subject to your policies! 

That is one of the complicated issues we as innkeepers have.  We do over time become friends with our repeat guests, we must work hard to keep enough distance so that business is business. 
 

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

Had 2 couples this weekend = couple number 1 arrivied - said couple number 2 is very ill and can't come (this at 2pm) I had, had 2 guests the previous night who would have liked an extra night could have resold it immediately for them! Told them it was a shame they hadn't called right away as now I would probably have to charge them for the late cancellation - they were totally surprised that there would be a charge! said I wish you had told me right away as had 2 people this morning who would have taken that room! - luckily one of them still wanted the room and was able to resell it right away, but want to scare them a bit

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Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

You were more than generous.  I suspect you ARE generous by nature but, like most of us, you just do  not like to be taken advantage of.

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Madeleine's picture
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Doing the generous thing again I offered a young couple with a child a 'better' room. Better in that they were away from the other guests. Worked out well for all as the kid was not comfortable here and cried and screamed fairly incessantly numerous times during the stay.

 

Silverspoon's picture
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Good move....making lemonade from the lemon!  It's always great when you can give a guest a nice "gift" and do yourself a favor at the same time!

 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

And...they didn't show for breakfast. Everyone else showed at 8 so we waited an hour for them. They left as the church bell chimed 11. Went into the room and they had the heat pegged as far as it will go. That's about 85-90. Every towel is on the floor and the bed looks like, well, never mind what the bed looks like.

When they arrived they didn't want to pay the balance and walked away as DH was explaining everything. He herded them back and said we take the balance at check in. She didn't budge. Just stood there with her hands in her pockets until the person she was with offered to pay the balance.

People like this really annoy me. But I never have to see her again.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

GR2BR...

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Generic's picture
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I charge a cancellation fee. Then I will give the guest a gift card with a different (smaller) amount, so they are unrelated transactions. That can be used against a stay, but specifically has a one year expiration and states that it cannot be used to pay fees or taxes, like cancellation fees. So the next cancellation would cost another fee that has to be paid.

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

Totally agree.

I've had this done to me, cancelled once so I let them carry over their deposit, booked, then cancelled again. After the third time asked if they could have their deposit back.

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gillumhouse's picture
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I agree

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