Bizarreness

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I've been lurking for a while and had an experience this past weekend I'm not quite sure how to handle. We are planning on opening a B&B in Central Florida in a couple years. We're still majorly in the planning stage but there's a lot to plan. 

As part of our learning experience we've decided to go to as many b&bs as we humanly possibly can over the next year figuring that will be the best way to see what WE want to do in the long run.

This past weekend we went to a b&b in a neighbouring town. The pics on their site were really nice and the room we chose looked very comfortable and inviting. They promised rose gardens, a relaxing time that would leave us smiling, gourmet breakfast etc. We got there within the timeframe agreed up on and there was no one to be seen, a woman came out of the kitchen and handed us a card to fill out then gave us our key. Honestly she looked like she was getting ready for bed, barefoot, sloppy tee and capris. She showed us across the hall to our room and disappeared. After a 10 minute struggle we finally got the door open. The latch wouldn't release. The room was a BIG disappointment as they had "updated" from Laura Ashley type white floral to sonme bizarre wannabe elegant. The half canopy bed had been repolaced with a seriously tragic bad fake fruit wood headboad from the 70s. EW. Oh well, we decided to enjoy the weekend and blow off the decor since they have the right to change it tho I wish they'd also updated the website as well as the room.

Basically, the lock stuck until, with permission, we just took the knob off and used the deadbolt. The sheets were 100% polyester!!!! the toiletries were half full, NO COFFEE til breakfast, the transom didn't have a curtain so light from the hallway let enough light in to read by, not one single person introduced themselves to us all weekend, the woman from Friday evening had her dog following her every time we saw her-even in the kitchen! I like dogs but small ones are not on my favorites list due to an attack as a child-not going into the dog in the kitchen bit, the room was broiling til we asked and she realised the heat was on, 4 seriously flat polyfil pillows, the rose garden was 11 scruffy bushes, no flowers in the room (well a lily and some wildflowers stuck in a dollartree vase), no fruit basket as pictured on site, I could go on for hours, sorry. 

I asked, when the bill came, what they planned to do about all the issues and was met with flatfooted denial. After a half an hour on the phone she finally deigned to give me $30 off for the weekend.  I've been in almost daily email contact with the woman from the first night and she just keeps saying nothing was wrong and the Innkeeper will be in contact. It's been a week and no response but that. What should I have done and what CAN I do at this point. Frankly-I'm appalled. Any help/suggestions would be greatfully appreciated.

Gryphon

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Gryphon,

Your complaints just keep coming which you warned us there were more in the beginning! 

I just can not get past this one question:  WHY WOULD YOU STAY the entire weekend when you were not happy from the moment you arrived? 

 

Generic's picture
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Polyester sheets - These aren't the same polyester of the 70s, this is microfiber and some of the smoothest and most comfortable sheets today. They are also laundry friendly (they dry much quicker and don't wrinkle very much.) The Comphy sheets that so many rave about our polyester. I think in this case this is a matter of older perceptions clouding the matter.

When a B&B has a few bad reviews the question is always this... are the bad reviews because of the visitor or because of the innkeeper? So often the reviews are really not about the inn or innkeeper but about the reviewer. I know this from first hand experience, one of my recent reviews was a giant personal attack at me. But when it isn't, that's when you need to be careful. 

Going to see B&Bs also lets you see what NOT to do. This is a good example. Pets, even the B&Bs personal pets should be mentioned for those with allergies. I won't stay anywhere there is a dog or cat because of my allergies. I have odd reactions to antihistimines, even the non-drowsy ones, so it will ruin a vacation for me.

Also remember that each B&B is unique. Around where I live, B&Bs are less expensive that hotels and offer a much more personal experience without the frills you find at others. Our guests would never expect flowers or fruit in the room. We have no coffee makers in the rooms, no coffee service available outside of breakfast (we do offer tea, but not coffee). And we don't serve a snack.

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The sheets, as mentioned before, were stiff and VERY wrinkled. Just nasty. Maybe they were left in the basket in a wad to dry? Looked and felt it. As to the coffee thing-I would have been happy with a cuppa before breakfast, would have been fine. I also didn't mind not having a coffee maker in the room but nothing was ever offered and I kept having to hunt her up The only pet mentioned was a garden cat (ie outdoor cat), frankly she looked a bit mangy so we managed to avoid contct so as to not take anything back to our cat.

Gryphon

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Okay. Instead of complaining to us, why don't you tell us what you have learnt from this experience that will help with your future business.

For example:

  • Sheets should be immediately folded when removed from dryer.
  • Sheets need fabric softener.
  • Brand X polyester sheets aren't good for a B&B.
  • Pictures with fruit basket should only be used if fruit basket is included.
  • Locks should be checked periodically.
  • etc...
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Sorry didn't mean to come across as complaining, simply looking for options as to hoow to handle the issue.

As to what I learned-major case of what NOT to do. I get that. I have a 5 inch loose leaf started that about half full of notes in order of rooms, the bathrooms, dining area, kitchen, menus, grounds, what to have in the rooms, how to clean the rooms and what schedule to completely turn them over, amenities to be offered, various packages on offer and a baseline figure of what each will cost (adjustments to be made to final figures due to inflation), I also have lists of people to do things like website, laundry, cleaning, fireplace maintance, music, bookkeeping and etc. The only thing we are really waiting for insofar as the move goes is my daughter graduating high school. 

Gryphon

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You've done all you can to handle the issue.

Probably the most straightforward thing to do should something like this happen again is to state your problems to the innkeeper, listen to the response, and go from there.

Let the innkeeper know what you are experiencing is unacceptable, you want a different room, you want what is shown in the photos or you want your money back so you can go elsewhere.

We had a whole house here for a reunion. I explained to the organizer that we would put out a buffet for breakfast so they could help themselves and allow the teens to sleep in a bit.

They came, ate everything on the buffet and asked when we would start breakfast. We stuttered. I went over the buffet and said this was what was arranged.

Oh no! They exclaimed! You have all of this on your website and that's what we want! They actually pulled out a laptop, got our breakfast page and pointed to the photos. All of them. All of the different breakfast items I had photos of. THAT was the buffet they wanted.

Quiche, French toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, everything on the page they wanted us to cook for them every morning.

We had nothing in the house but what we planned for the buffet. We had to tell them we couldn't do that but would bring in provisions to make ONE item in the morning.

They were very unhappy.

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Oh brother...so better rethink some of those breakfast photos. Preface saying breakfast is one main course only not a buffet!!!

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I think it's pretty clear and even pointed it out to them that it's only one item per morning. There was a lot of personal stuff going on in the family and everyone was trying to outdo the other on being assertive.

One of them ended up in the hospital with heart problems and another was sent home crying. (Not by us!)

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Gryphon wrote:

Sorry didn't mean to come across as complaining, simply looking for options as to hoow to handle the issue.

As to what I learned-major case of what NOT to do. I get that. 

I think most of us have enough bad experiences to realize those are not the ways we want to run the inn, but we all have our weaknesses and forest-thru-the-trees moments. One of the things we can ALL AGREE UPON is that innkeepers really do need to go and visit other B&B's, for research if for no other reason.

Maybe being a guest they will see that bringing overnight stuff with they are not providing enough space for guests stuff at their own inn. Or if they may not themselves be coffee drinkers, so are not concerned with coffee being a priority. We have this discussion here.

For most of us the tone of everything being wrong and not getting satisfaction was what was getting clearer and clearer vs what was wrong.

All the best in your research and future experiences!

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Building new spaces... you need lots of plugs next to beds because everyone seems to have a CPAP machine today along with a smart phone. And even if you have USB plugs, most people can't figure out how to use them because their kids haven't taught them Smiling

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Jon Sable wrote:

Building new spaces... you need lots of plugs next to beds because everyone seems to have a CPAP machine today along with a smart phone. And even if you have USB plugs, most people can't figure out how to use them because their kids haven't taught them Smiling

Have you ever seen the comedian Sinbad talking about C-Pap machines?

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Jon Sable wrote:

Building new spaces... you need lots of plugs next to beds because everyone seems to have a CPAP machine today along with a smart phone. And even if you have USB plugs, most people can't figure out how to use them because their kids haven't taught them Smiling

Have you ever seen the comedian Sinbad talking about C-Pap machines?

Nope.

There is a scene in a movie where this guy overloads the circuit at a B&B and the fuse pops and all of a sudden the place sounds like a war zone from all the snoring.

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I think it depends on the description - If it says Flowers and Fruit basket in every room, which from what Gryphon said seems to be the case - then there should be its that simple.

It is why im wary of putting things like that in photo's so people don't think they are included. I will however put in personal items so it looks a bit more "real" ie don't think a guest would think binoculars are included.

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I agree, if it is in the photo then it should be there.  People DON'T read as we all know.  They ASSUME.

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Sorry you had such a bad experience.  Did I read that you're planning to open a B&B but have never stayed at a B&B before?  Seems funny as we were B&B people long before we decided to open a B&B and I can't imagine planning to open one without ever having experienced them.  You mentioned TripAdvisor - did you research this B&B on TA before you booked?  What are their reviews like from others?

Our photos are all done professionally and they stage everything.  They bring in flowers, champagne bottles and glasses (actually pour some in) so that guests can "envision what a weekend will be like."  In our photos, all of those things are staged in the rooms.  I sell guests that same champagne & chocolate truffles and they can order bouquets in various dollar amounts - they are not free.  In some room photos, there are open books, slippers by the bed, binoculars on the nightstand.   So if these innkeepers were trying to stage their rooms to be like the pros, that would account for them being in the photos.  I think most people know that this stuff isn't included (unless it specifically lists it out).

If the doorknob wasn't working they should have gotten someone in to repair it unless they can't get a repair man on the weekend.  It's also not appropriate that they served you tomatoes when your husband is allergic.  HOWEVER, I cannot honestly say that we've never made a mistake and brought out a plate with meat on it and gave it to a vegetarian or put granola on a parfait for a guest who is allergic (but immediately saw it when putting it down).  We immediately take it back but I don't give them anything for free or take off money for such offense.  It sounds like the tomatoes were on the side and not in the dish so it didn't affect his health.  That's probably her reasoning although she needs to pay more attention to allergies as we all do!  You'll want to plan to have a whiteboard on your refrigerator like mine - sometimes it has half a dozen allergies listed and it's hard to even make something that everyone can eat.  It's getting even worse with lactose and gluten intolerances every day.  But the only real way to stay on top of it is to have those allergies listed right in your face when making breakfast.

The acting innkeeper did agree to give you $30 off of your stay.  Once she made this offer, if it wasn't acceptable to you, you should have said something right then.  And I believe that since she did offer you something and you accepted it, then keep asking for more, she can report you to TripAdvisor for trying to blackmail her (their wording - not mine) into giving you the stay for free.  It doesn't seem fair, but you'll find that with innkeeping the guest is always right and if not their TA review will make sure others know that they were right unless you can prove they broke TA's rules in the review.

As for not seeing the owner, there are many weekends that I don't see the guests and they only see my husband.  I'm busy making breakfast and my husband is serving.  They head out while I'm still cooking for others and they are gone for the day.  I have two kids that are very busy teenagers and I'm not here lots in the afternoon as I'm taking them places and shopping for the Lodge.  I've had guests mention it in TA reviews that they didn't meet me but at least they did meet my husband.  And as someone said above, we've gotten reviews in the same week where people rave about how much my husband was around to help them while at the same time getting another review that they felt he was spying on them because he opened the door for them when they got back from dinner and then went into the great room to check if they needed anything about an hour later.  You'll find that you can't win and it sounds like maybe this innkeeper is at the end of her ropes and has given up.  It's not right, but I'm sure we've all had those days but actually did get out of our bathrobe before answering the door even though we didn't want to!!!!  Good luck but at this point I'd probably just let it go and move onto other more deserving B&Bs (checking their reviews first).

Carol

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@MtnKeeper-why a b&b? About 5 years ago I wasn't happy where I was nor with what I was doing. I sat down and reassessed my skills, strengths and weaknesses, what I loved and hated insofar as jobs go, what resources/skills I had and could garner and started making lists of options. It was the most logical step for us. Things are falling ionto place very well and a bit quicker than we'd hoped. It's great.

Gryphon

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I actually "get" staging but it's the whole padded bra thing-IF it's in the photos (for me/us at least) then that's what you get. If there are flower arrangements in the room then you 
GET flowers. Ditto fruit. Hopefully it won't be the exact same fruit-it does rot ya know >grins<, but there WILL be fruit. Yes I researched it on Trip Advisor and the good out weighed the bad for the most part, far from everything and, in retrospect, mostly for eople who had outside plans. Everything I've listed as issues WERE listed on site as being there. The White board thing is (or should be) a given. Major D'uh there. The $30 was from the OWNER and she was VERY put out and condescending about it despite our having made our feelings known thruout. I made it known at that time that it really wasn't acceptable however was far too tired and headachy after having been woken at 5.20 by the BLAZING light from the hall to deal with it right then-honestly it seemed like I was bothering her with legitimate concerns, so I dropped it for then. As to "meeting" the owner, no one the entire weekend EVER introduced themselves. If I hadn't stuck my hand out and voiced up I wouldn't know who was who. Coffee should be a 24/7 and an urn of hot water for tea. My take on it is leave as many French presses as set ups as you have rooms full and a Fresh-o-lator of grounds available and a 30 cup urn of hot water going all the time. I was promised, and this is a direct quote from their website-"sleep til noon and have breakfast in bed", not listed as an "extra" just as itself. There were issues with the door latch on TA dated 2004 so it's not like they had no clue about it. The bed, which they claimed was replaced in Feb. was lumpy as all hell. Gods, honestly-it just nbever stopped and out "relaxing" time ther was just one stressor after another.

Gryphon

 

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I suppose the real question is this-if one of your guests unfavourably compared your establishment to a Motel 6 (or similar) what would be your reaction? How would you make it better for your guest? Given that nothing mentioned was incorrect and everything was brought up to you at the time.

Gryphon

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Gryphon wrote:

I suppose the real question is this-if one of your guests unfavourably compared your establishment to a Motel 6 (or similar) what would be your reaction? How would you make it better for your guest? Given that nothing mentioned was incorrect and everything was brought up to you at the time.

Gryphon

If a guest said that I may show them to the door. That is how I would react. You have a laundry list that is way way too long to please. You found fault in absolutely everything. You would make a great innkeeper, you would be obsessive over every little detail and probably run yourself into the ground in no time, as it is impossible to be perfect in every guest's eyes.

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@JoeyBloggs-you sweet talker you!!!! Thank you! kiss As to the burnout issue, yeah probably but considering I've been running on about 5 hours sleep a night for 30+ years and never stop during my day it may actually take longer than you think. Between the chickens, the garden, being the only driver and living WAAAAYYYY out in the country so there's work and school and etc, doing the grocery shopping and all the housewife stuff, volunteer work at the local food bank and I work 30-40 hours a week at a local catering/restaurant and and all while raising an adult child with autism. LOL relax? what's that?

Gryphon

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Gryphon wrote:

@JoeyBloggs-you sweet talker you!!!! Thank you! kiss As to the burnout issue, yeah probably but considering I've been running on about 5 hours sleep a night for 30+ years and never stop during my day it may actually take longer than you think. Between the chickens, the garden, being the only driver and living WAAAAYYYY out in the country so there's work and school and etc, doing the grocery shopping and all the housewife stuff, volunteer work at the local food bank and I work 30-40 hours a week at a local catering/restaurant and and all while raising an adult child with autism. LOL relax? what's that?

Gryphon

And? Most of the people on this site would be able to say to that list - and? In my pre-inn days I had full-time (40), part-time (16 - 24),  and kids while being a room mother, PTA officer, chaperoning field trips, and picking/canning many bushels of fruits and vegetables every year for our large family.... Big Whoop. Since opening I have gone thru Himself having an aortic aneurysm, 6-way bypass, fem-pop, radium seeds.... again Big whoop. Everyone has their hands full with life. Not many innkeepers were the ones pre-inn sitting on their tush eating bon-bons. 

Not meaning to be snarky, just want you to know life dishes things up and we suck it up or fold. I learned a long time ago that if I thought I had it tough, all I had to do was look around and someone else was having it tougher. (Yes, some were "skating" but all I could do about that was be green with envy.)

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LOL! Agree totally on the Life Happens thang. Living in a town chockablock full of ex Pageant Queens who are more worried about their mani/pedis and trying to get an even tan than their kids-I'm out of practice with talking with people who actually work for a living.

Gryphon 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Gryphon wrote:

I suppose the real question is this-if one of your guests unfavourably compared your establishment to a Motel 6 (or similar) what would be your reaction? How would you make it better for your guest? Given that nothing mentioned was incorrect and everything was brought up to you at the time.

Gryphon

If a guest said that I may show them to the door. That is how I would react. You have a laundry list that is way way too long to please. You found fault in absolutely everything. You would make a great innkeeper, you would be obsessive over every little detail and probably run yourself into the ground in no time, as it is impossible to be perfect in every guest's eyes.

I'm with JB on this one. This has all gone on longer than it's worth talking about. You found one of the bad ones. Shame on them. Obviously their place isn't as nice as their website suggests. Point made. Repeatedly. Time to stop dwelling on it and move on.

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I think most of us are here because we really, really care so if a guest compared one of us to motel 6 it would be sour grapes on the guest's part.

They didn't get their way over something. We didn't have something they get 'everywhere' else. But something we don't say we have!

If a guest is not happy here and they tell us early enough on we invite them to leave. Not being snarky. We've just found over 10 years that if a guest is unhappy we are not able to make that change. And it's better for all that the guest go where they have exactly what the guest wants.

So, we refund. And if they have a specific gripe - no pool, no TV, no in room coffee machine - we send them where we know they have those things. Will even call for them.

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Having spent an unwelcome 5 months at a Motel 6-finding a 3br in the Texas Hill Country at ANY price is amazingly difficult. We had fresh cotton sheets which passed the black light test, fresh coffee in a carafe (not burnt and of a really decent quality) at 6am with surprisingly fresh pastries-thank you HEB, clean room and fresh towels at will (ie we need another half dozen for showers n hair n etc NOW), never had to ask-were always asked what we needed to be comfortable. The front desk clerks always introduced themselves. Every shift. Never had anyone walk into our room EVER. Privacy yet hospitable. All that at $35 a night. Why should I pay 4x that plus a night and get LESS service, a less comfortable room and not be upset?
Gryphon

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Not saying you shouldn't be upset at the treatment you received.

Explaining why most of us here try to be way beyond helpful so the guest really doesn't need anything.

Yet, like jb said earlier, in the course of one day she had a guest completely pan a room that the next person checking in loved.

When we get that there is something else at work besides us, the Inn, the room, etc. Or maybe it is us and there's no fix for that. We are who we are. We can't change that for the guest who wanted someone else.

Glad the service was excellent at the motel. It's hard living in a motel for any length of time so having well trained staff makes a world of difference.

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Thank you for being NICE.l Not that people haven't been in toto but you've gone out of your way and I really appreciate that! You would NOT believe the email I just got-after a WEEK from the owner. OMG. Basically laid the whole thing-including the lock, in my lap. Oh well. Like I keep saying-major lesson in "What NOT to do". 

Gryphon

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Gryphon, welcome to the forum.  You will find that your travels will help you immensely as you complete your business plan. 
You will know what you LIKE and what you don't, you will find that some things are just not your cup of tea and others you wish you had a full pot.  In some ways that is what its all about, we are all unique. 

As a guest, I am still wondering WHY you even stayed? 

1) Room not as pictured - Did you verify they gave you the right room?  You said you decided to 'blow off decor'  But you did not say if you verified that was the XYZ room.  (if it has been updated, I agree they should also update the website)  *Did you mention the transom light, we are all not perfect & maybe they just were not aware.   Then of course there will be others that will love the fact they had a little light to see by at night. 

2) You did get permission to remove the door knob, so you DID speak with someone about that issue, did you speak with them about your other concerns at that time? (i.e. fruit basket, flowers, issues with the room)

3) Flowers (yes there were some) & Fruit basket.  Does the site SAY there will be flowers (and I am assuming you expected more than what was in the room) and a fruit basket?  Did your confirmation state that was included?  SORRY, if all you have is that it was in the picture so it should be included you are wrong!  If it isn't listed in the amenities on the site, assume they are not, be surprised if they are and then you will not be disappointed. 

4) Pets - If you were not happy with this it was your time to speak up and leave. 

It sounds like this place is run by a staff, with no regard to hospitality.  Take this all in and add it to the 'what we DON'T want to do' column!  This is why you are traveling about in the 1st place.

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The rooms were named and yup that was the room we wanted. She told us they had just updated the room, however, if that had been the room pictured we would have given it a pass. As to the other concerns-yes we mentioned everything and were blown off. Direct quote-Old houses have their issues. Told her I wasn't a dog person due to an attack at an early age, made no difference to her, the dog was everywhere. Yes, she was there when we took the knob off, 15 minutes of attention isn't sufficient for an entire weekend. Do you not introduce yourself to people when they check in? Everything that I have mentioned as missing was in the text of the site. The transom, a bit of light in the dark in an unfamiliar room is welcome, light enough to read by at night isn't. Yes I mentioned it and her resonse was that they HAD to leave it on for late returners.

My husband asked for tea at breakfast and said he was allergic to tomatos (he's Italian so that seriously sux), no tea all weekend despite asking, aparantly they were out and Sunday breakfast included grilled tomatos. We, going by the site, expected to have breakfast orders to be taken. There was a set breakfast, which if I'd known that would have been okay, honestly the quiche on Sunday was an inch thick and flavourless, the grilled tomato was bizarre-underdone to the nth degree.

SIGH. Yes the whole experience is an episode of "What NOT to do"

Gryphon

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Lessee will start at the top and work my way down.

@gillumhouse-yes, I've heard of staging photos, but if the room shows fruit and flowers and live plants in the photos I kinda expected some effort to be made to provide them. If it's in the photo it will be in the room. There was literally nothing in there. Staging is one thing-that was a padded bra on a flat chick. Sorry imho. Not expecting a free weekend-just expecting to pay for what I was promised, nothing involved my any issue I have with them wasn't promised on their site.l

@EmptyNest-agreed, we ARE chalking it up to experience. Already have the notebook, I am writing what drew me to a particular place and then how it compares. Liked things and disliked things. When I become an Innkeeper if someone has as many voiced complaints as we made at the time I will do whats necessary to fix it. If the lock is broken I'm calling a locksmith, not saying "well maybe I should get someone in Monday to look at it". TA is going to be my next stop if I don't get a response from the Innkeeper.

@gillumhouse-not saying the roses weren't pretty, they were. What I am saying is that the site said "stroll thru the rose garden" the rose garden is 15 foot across. We're in Central Texas and the roses are quite lovely this year.

@Joey Bloggs-the sheets were not Hochow sheets as stated on the site. They were 1980s jogging suit type fabric and a totally wrinkled mess. Looked like they had been dried by wadding them up and tossing them in someones trunk. Stiff and wrinkly. I really didn't mean to frighten you!!! I don't bite Promise! I spent 5 years as a manager at $tree, thus more than intimate knowledge of their product :-{ Mason jars ROCK especially when there's supposed to be a down home feel to a room. As to the daily contact-literally all I get is-she will get in contact with you and well you take your own sweet time responding to my emails (I answer almost immediately while she takes hours to do so-yes I know she has other things to do than deal with emails from me). Basically I've not heard from the owner in a week. That seems a bit long to me.

@Madeleine-THANK YOU!!! Dogs do NOT belong in a commercial kitchen-period end of sentence. As to the cc company I contacted them and their response was-take them to small claims court. We stayed in the room more than 30 minutes so that's that so far as WF is concerned. NICE! 

Perhaps my expectations were too high however in my defence I really expected better service at a b&b than I get at a Motel 6. They didn't clean the room/make the bed, people kept either knocking or walking into our room on Saturday,  "sleep until noon and enjoy breakfast in bed" and I couldn't even get coffee before breakfast, was promised a lot of amenities and none were visible other than there being a bed for us to sleep in. No introductions from staff, not even a hello when we got there. Was told there would be brandy or a glass of wine in the library in the afternoon NOT! It is called the Hospitality Industry for a reason they seem to have totally missed.

Gryphon

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I'm surprised the cc company didn't take your side. You're the one paying the bill. Maybe it's because you stayed rather than just leaving.

As for the photos leading you astray... did the text say all the things you saw in the photos were going to be provided? If not it was staging only. (I just got done with the photos as I mentioned earlier. I had to 'fill in the empty spaces' that guests will fill with their own crap but which look naked in a photo. So there is stuff in the photos that is not normally in the rooms.)

I don't think I would expect a fruit basket or anything else other than maybe the bottled water we were just going on about.

My gardens look like crap right now. I mention the view over them, the lawn chairs which are also not out yet, the smell of lilacs, blah blah blah. You're not going to get that every day of the year. (And I get that you know that but some people don't get that our seasons don't line up with theirs.)

It was a bad experience. No doubt. You should read some of mine sometime... No heat in the winter, multiple dogs everywhere, burned or cold breakfast, I could go on! One place was so proud they took us on a tour. Let's just say i was glad I didn't go thru the kitchen before we ate! We would have gone out for breakfast. (Altho, the only edible thing was a bagel. The same half piece of English muffin was in the bread bin the whole time we were there.)

This place had 15w lightbulbs. There was a fireplace but we weren't allowed to turn it on ourselves, the owner had removed the starter. We had an electric space heater that the owner came into the room and turned off even tho it was snowing and the windows were frosting over.

C'est la vie.

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"As for the photos leading you astray... did the text say all the things you saw in the photos were going to be provided?" all that and more in the txt on the site. Not to mention reviews both good and bad pointing amenities out. As to the cc co, gotta love WF-aka the "jam tomorrow, jam today but never jam today" bank. Sigh. Yes it's because we stayed. Ya know-I REALLY wanted to enjoy the weekend.

A bit about me-my mother was an antiques dealer, I grew up in and amongst antiques of pretty much all eras, I've spent the past (omg) 35 years? 14+ years of which was in Manhattan as a costumer so I know fabrics-if you read Harlequins you've probably seen some of my work, am a professional cook-which will turn into chef in another year, have taken Innkeeping courses and am starting the next batch next week, I've stayed in Inns, hotels, motels and cottages all over the US, this WAS my first b&b experience, I collect antiques myself, I spent 6 years living in a house in Maine which was built in the early 1700s-talk about potential probs and that one had been taken care of, know upholstery due to having done it for years way too young ie ages 10-19 (ever refinished a piano that started off with 35 layers of paint?-I have please NEVER paint anything white out of consideration of whoever hads to return it to wood?).  

Gryphon

 

Madeleine's picture
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Unfortunately it's always the bad stuff we remember. That place in VA? The cook took us around to show us the building and all the rooms. Gorgeous horse country property. Pricey. What do I remember? 

The oj in the plastic jug, no room to put anything on the nightstand, the shower doors were all streaky, every one, in every room.

No attention to details.

We're not glam here but we try to focus on the details, especially the cleaning.

Madeleine's picture
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Well if it was in the text as well as the photo I'd be peeved.

We stayed at a place in VA. The innkeeper took us around and showed us where to find everything as no one was there at night. There were 2 cookies and about a swig of wine in the bottle she left. It was odd.

The owner came into the dining room in the morning to say hi. She asked if we needed anything and I asked for oj. She came back with a plastic, one gallon jug from the grocery store to fill my glass.

When the cook came in with breakfast she asked if she could get us anything. Again with the juice. She came back with a cut glass pitcher full of oj. 

Some people get service and some don't.

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AM very peeved. The total lack of interaction and having to seek out the "night auditor" I think that's the term, was just bizarre. Leaving us alone to enjoy our time is one thing, her being unavailable for most of the time is just odd. I would think, being a Southernern n all, that a simple introduction would have been standard. The only time I didn't have to go hunting her was when I was sitting in the back yard-I refuse to call it a garden, reading to have some down time and just not think about this whole fiasco. Up she pops in her nightgown and robe. EXCUSE me? I'm just not worth getting dressed for I guess. 
The laxness and lackadasical attitude I think it what got to me the most.

Gryphon

Madeleine's picture
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I do make it a habit to dress before going into the Inn. I have been caught a couple of times late at night or early in the morning.

I do know a couple of innkeepers who get the mail, newspaper, walk the dog in their jammies but I think it's odd.

You just had a real Fawlty Towers kind of weekend didn't you?

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I think Basil and Sybil Fawlty and even Manuel would have been more welcome on our weekend.

Gryphon

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05/22/2008

I also am going to point out, IF you plan to be an innkeeper, you will discover guests who will have just this view of an inn and innkeeper that is really nice. A fruit basket that was in the photos was not in the room - hast thee never heard of staging for photos. I show cider and goblets in some of my photos AND fruit baskets. Fruit baskets are always present, but I guarantee you the cider and goblets only appear for special events and packages.

How to handle this situation is this - chalk it up as a place you will not return to and move on. You got $30 off - you wanted a free weekend. I read on another forum of a guest who left after one night of a 3-night reservation complaining that the bed caved in in the middle. The innkeeper thought that was an interesting excuse for wanting to leave early (and not pay for the reserved 3-nights of course) considering THAT particular bed had a mattress that was brand new! I said I was not going to comment, but the devil made me do it!

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05/22/2008

I say chalk this up to "one big lesson learned."  You are wise to stay at as many B & B's as you can. Keep a notebook and write everything down that happens, what you saw you liked, what you saw you didn't like, attitudes of innkeeper, breakfast served or not served...well...you get the idea. This is a good way to learn and learn quickly. 

Given what you have done, ....would you want to be emailed and pestered daily? She gave you $30 off. If you didn't like it then you should have said so. So..will you be one of those PITA's who will file a CHARGEBACk....grrrrrr....think how you would feel if you were the innkeeper and got one.

If you were dissatisfied, write everything down and send only 1 email. If that doesn't work, then file chargeback and then go to TripAdvisor and write a Professional sounding review. Then leave it alone and move on to the next one which hopefully will be better.

NOTE: Since I retired we never stay in  B & B's. We are planning a trip so I have spent the last week looking at B & B sites in a particular town. The only one that I would stay in is booked. So now am even considering Air B N B..yikes....maybe not. But anyway, it takes alot to satisify me and the ones in that city were not and I was not even willing to take a chance based on what I see on their websites and read on TA.   LEARN FROM THIS!

gillumhouse's picture
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My only comment is going to be re the gardens. Even in Florida, assuming that is where you were as opposed to where you are located now as you plan to open in Florida, with the winter we had would gardens be in "full bloom" this time of year? Even Florida got hit with frosts.

I am commenting on nothing else because I am totally aware of perceptions. Someone once described this magnificent personage as "rotund". Now I have been called a lot of things but rotund was not one of them.

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10/07/2008

PS Comphy sheets that everyone raves about are "The sheets were 100% polyester!!!!" btw. Spa sheets.

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10/07/2008

You scare me. Period.

I had a guest here today who had a total dislike of a room, and the guests this afternoon totally adore it. 

From her perspective everything was wrong. Where one guest feels we hover, another says we don't give them the time of day. Same day. Same Innkeeper.

I am saying this because I don't know you from adam and I had a bad experience today. You said: "no flowers in the room (well a lily and some wildflowers stuck in a dollartree vase)" 

Were there supposed to be flowers in the room? How did you know it was a dollartree vase and is that an issue? Why? I use mason jars at times for flowers here.

and you said "I asked, when the bill came, what they planned to do about all the issues and was met with flatfooted denial. After a half an hour on the phone she finally deigned to give me $30 off for the weekend.  I've been in almost daily email contact with the woman from the first night and she just keeps saying nothing was wrong and the Innkeeper will be in contact. It's been a week and no response but that. What should I have done and what CAN I do at this point. Frankly-I'm appalled. Any help/suggestions would be greatfully appreciated."

I ask "Almost daily email contact? Why?"

I am not willing to provide advice or suggestions as I was not there. I am here, and do know the gal from today saw things totally different than the majority of our guests. 

Why don't you cut your losses and leave them alone? 

Madeleine's picture
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Ouch. It's tough when the online experience is better than the reality.

But, you've lit a fire under me to go take the updated room photos since I've redone everything!

You're not dealing with the owner so you're not going to get any relief from the person who answered the door. Let that part go. Stop emailing. If you are really dissatisfied and want more than $30 off, go thru your credit card company.

Explain what happened and say you want your money back. All of it.

The dog in the kitchen is alone worth a refund.

Then. Make note of everything they did wrong and vow not to let things get so far out of hand that guests are asking for full refunds!

Not sure what you were expecting in re the rose garden tho. Full bloom? Hundreds of plants? Gardens come and go.

It does sound like things have fallen on hard times there so you know what a lack of working capital can do.

Hope your other experiences show you how TO do it!

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