Charge a cleaning fee?

36 replies [Last post]
Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Guest showed up early, then left after 2 hours citing an emergency in her family. She called today to demand her money back.

Because we just don't want to deal with this we're refunding. But. I want to charge a cleaning fee because they did use the room.

In full  rights, yes, I can keep the whole thing and not refund a dime. But that's not the way my summer is going so I think charging the cleaning fee is fair.

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

To balance the negative vibe this silliness caused I was out picking up some stuff for a package and I came across something a really sweet guest mentioned to me earlier in the day. I bought it for her. It was a little nothing really but it made the ranter fade that much more from memory.

Someone else is celebrating a birthday tomorrow so there will be singing and candles at breakfast. (Staying HERE was her gift from her husband!)

Innkeep's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/04/2008

Madeleine wrote:

Staying HERE was her gift from her husband!

yes

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Who guessed the cleaning fee would be challenged? Bingo.

Should just have charged the whole thing and called it a day. 

I'm getting as much push back as if it was the whole thing.

jmj
Offline
Joined:
03/24/2014

At this point, I would say, "you're right, there should be no cleaning fee, there should be the whole fee, as you agreed to in the first place. I tried to be understanding, but you have made me realize, I need to stick to the policies. Thank you. "

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

jmj wrote:

At this point, I would say, "you're right, there should be no cleaning fee, there should be the whole fee, as you agreed to in the first place. I tried to be understanding, but you have made me realize, I need to stick to the policies. Thank you. "

If the guest explains their problem, and leaves it at that, and the innkeeper feels that giving them a break from the usual policy, or a voucher for a future stay, is appropriate in that case, then sure, give them a break.

But if it's the guest demanding all their money back, that would and should create a situation much less conducive to giving them a break.

People should learn that "demanding" is counterproductive for them, especially when they've already agreed to the terms and don't have a leg to stand on.

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

Arks wrote:

jmj wrote:

At this point, I would say, "you're right, there should be no cleaning fee, there should be the whole fee, as you agreed to in the first place. I tried to be understanding, but you have made me realize, I need to stick to the policies. Thank you. "

If the guest explains their problem, and leaves it at that, and the innkeeper feels that giving them a break from the usual policy, or a voucher for a future stay, is appropriate in that case, then sure, give them a break.

But if it's the guest demanding all their money back, that would and should create a situation much less conducive to giving them a break.

People should learn that "demanding" is counterproductive for them, especially when they've already agreed to the terms and don't have a leg to stand on.

 

PLUS - she actually used the room.   She may not have slept there the whole night, but she took possession and messed the place up!

__________________

TBH

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

This had been going back and forth for 2 days now. Them insisting they never  "used" the room, us being the ones who had to clean the mess they left.

It's times like these I wish I worked for someone else and I got to go home at night and forget this nonsense. (Then I remember the corporate nonsense and the 2 am phone calls and the unhappy clients and I'm ok again.)

It's the 10 year slump I think. You're all gung ho the first few years, then you get a bunch of nasty guests and you get discouraged; then you get your second wind and cruise along for a few more years; then the ugly rears its head again and you have to regroup.

We're regrouping this year. Next few years should be great! Like giving birth (or having a kidney stone) you forget the pain and laugh at the silliness after awhile.

Flower's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/19/2011

Your right your all gung ho at first. But then you wise up.

Then you say oh well , then you say to h  e l  l no bloody way!!!!

. You use you pay simple as that . You may scream all you want  and throw a temper tamper, But I have proof you used the room that simple.  Next time you try and pull this off on another innkeeper you know we don't stand for this. Iam sorry you are unhappy... that is the reality of using the room and leaving for what ever you felt you had to leave for. But we could not rent it out in that short notice. Man after a number of years now I just will not stand for stone walling. Life is sweet if you are not bullied.

__________________

Flower

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

I'm actually finding it a lot more relaxing now that I know the email harassment is over. Some people just have more time to waste than I do.

Maybe I need to grow a spine but maybe it's not worth fighting.

Each case is different.

They were never coming back. I'm not building bridges nor burning them. I'm just doing what's best for my family in not dealing with this day in and day out. And then dealing with the CC processor. Forever.

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Sometimes writing it off is the best choice. Some people are so wrapped in their own misery that they feel compelled to pull you down with them.

In our first year, here, we had a lady exuded this misery as she arrived. To make a long story short, she sent in her partner and I allowed them to cancel at no charge but noted that they were persona non grata for the future. I did it so that she wouldn't ruin the weekend of all my other guests. She had managed to ruin her partner's weekend for the equivalent of about $15. 

I have never had a moment of regret. And I don't think you will have one either. It could have been worse... she could have stayed!

__________________

Permission to quote in whole or in part, other than usage on this forum, is entirely forbidden.

 

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Ya know...I started thinking back to what my husband used to say when I wanted to "enforce" the rule. he would say, why cause yourself the grief. Just let it go and move on. not worth it. of course he was right. 

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Another thing...right after we decided this was not worth going back and forth over we got 6 reservations, one right after the other. And a walk-in.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

EmptyNest wrote:

Ya know...I started thinking back to what my husband used to say when I wanted to "enforce" the rule. he would say, why cause yourself the grief. Just let it go and move on. not worth it. of course he was right. 

Depends on one's mood, I guess. Some times you just want to stand up to the "takers" of the world and make your point, and sometimes it's not worth it to you. Case by case basis. Unless you're my sister. She NEVER lets ANYTHING go!!!

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Arks wrote:

She NEVER lets ANYTHING go!!!

Did she 'stay' here last weekend?

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Madeleine wrote:

Did she 'stay' here last weekend?

No, you'd be in therapy if she had.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

EmptyNest wrote:

Ya know...I started thinking back to what my husband used to say when I wanted to "enforce" the rule. he would say, why cause yourself the grief. Just let it go and move on. not worth it. of course he was right. 

 

I was thinking of you and your DH's comments.

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

this may change, but for now, DH and I have the attitude that the money is coming in, so if someone is a jerk, we can live without that person's money.   We are 100% full every weekend and 40 - 60% full during the week.   So arguing with jerks is just a waste of time. 

We enjoy the nice people.  And thre have been sooo many!  

You're right to shake it off and forget the pain!

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

and speaking of nice people and cleaning fees, we had a return guest who specifies a certain room and only wants to stay there.   they even mentioned that they looked at the house when it was for sale and want to move to the area. 

so we kind of made friends.   I was feeling pretty good about new friends and return guests when they left.

until DH cleaned the room.  Pizza box and papers all over.  Pizza sauce on the bedspread, on the floor, all over the microwave.   Bottles, junk....he said he'd never seen a messier, dirtier room.  

some friends!   LOL

Innkeep's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/04/2008

TheBeachHouse wrote:

so we kind of made friends.   I was feeling pretty good about new friends and return guests when they left.

  Pizza sauce on the bedspread, on the floor, all over the microwave.   Bottles, junk....he said he'd never seen a messier, dirtier room.  

some friends!   LOL

You will find some friends in the mix.  I have a pair of business guests who have been coming 4 times a year for 7 years.  Roger is really funny.  He loves to read the local paper and has a running commentary about our local miscreants (the paper devotes an entire page to the police blotter).  I tell him when they come it's just like the circus coming to town.  His partner is such a good guest that when I go in to fluff her room it looks like no one had been in there.  They let me know how much breakfast they want before I cook too much, and at times they too are entertained by other B&B guests, just like I am.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

TheBeachHouse wrote:

and speaking of nice people and cleaning fees, we had a return guest who specifies a certain room and only wants to stay there.   they even mentioned that they looked at the house when it was for sale and want to move to the area. 

so we kind of made friends.   I was feeling pretty good about new friends and return guests when they left.

until DH cleaned the room.  Pizza box and papers all over.  Pizza sauce on the bedspread, on the floor, all over the microwave.   Bottles, junk....he said he'd never seen a messier, dirtier room.  

some friends!   LOL

Doesn't it hurt more? I know the Po's here finally threw in the towel after realizing that the inmates were running the asylum. The repeats we got from them who had run roughshod over them haven't been back since we gave them the new policies.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

Madeleine wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

and speaking of nice people and cleaning fees, we had a return guest who specifies a certain room and only wants to stay there.   they even mentioned that they looked at the house when it was for sale and want to move to the area. 

so we kind of made friends.   I was feeling pretty good about new friends and return guests when they left.

until DH cleaned the room.  Pizza box and papers all over.  Pizza sauce on the bedspread, on the floor, all over the microwave.   Bottles, junk....he said he'd never seen a messier, dirtier room.  

some friends!   LOL

Doesn't it hurt more? I know the Po's here finally threw in the towel after realizing that the inmates were running the asylum. The repeats we got from them who had run roughshod over them haven't been back since we gave them the new policies.

 

Another repeat guest is quibbling because DH said he'd give them the same discounted rate that PO gave them.   But after he added in the room tax, it was more than she'd expected.  He explained the room tax and she kept saying, but you said you'd give us the same rate.....

Yeah.....PLUS room tax.   And next time, you get the advertised rate.

 

As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished!  

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Is it really worth the argument?

You might want to consider accepting it, graciously. And make a note to never offer them another discount (at all) in the future... they win for the moment, but they don't in the end and you can sell to someone who will pay you full rate next year.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

Jon Sable wrote:

Is it really worth the argument?

You might want to consider accepting it, graciously. And make a note to never offer them another discount (at all) in the future... they win for the moment, but they don't in the end and you can sell to someone who will pay you full rate next year.

 

That's exactly what DH did.  We're not into bad feelings over a few bucks. 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

TheBeachHouse wrote:

Jon Sable wrote:

Is it really worth the argument?

You might want to consider accepting it, graciously. And make a note to never offer them another discount (at all) in the future... they win for the moment, but they don't in the end and you can sell to someone who will pay you full rate next year.

 

That's exactly what DH did.  We're not into bad feelings over a few bucks. 

One of the guests we inherited had negotiated a $100 discount with the PO for one of the busiest weekends we have in the summer.

They had no proof of this. We had no proof of this except a penciled note in the guest book.

When we sent out the reconfirmation notices with the standard rate I think they called us from their mailbox, we heard back so quickly!

It was quite the conversation dh had with him. We honored the discount but the following year we held the line. He said our prices were outrageous, hotels were charging much less (they were charging twice the amount and with a 3 night min) so we told him to call around if he was unhappy.

Why were we so hard-line the second year? His daughter. She said, in front of me, "Daddy, I want to stay here next year. It's much nicer than the other place."

They ended up staying with us for 5 years, even after daddy died. We really liked him. It was very sad when died. People like him, people who push for what's best for them, but who also understand business, helped us grow as business owners.

jmj
Offline
Joined:
03/24/2014

 grr...duplicate

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Do not feel badly - you tried.  I just had a 15 night leave.  They were military discount and I gave them the every third night @ $20.14. The money was nice, but I am ready for a night or two  of no one - but tonight will still have someone. So fat, nothing after that until Sunday. I learned a long time ago to (mostly) roll with the punches. DH is mostly what gets on my last nerve. Guests go away. It is not worth getting ill over. BUT it is a personality trait and one must deal with their own stress level.

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

See...it was me!!! I knew it would happen. Give them an inch and they take a mile. When will you learn devil

Next time, show them where they agreed to your cancellation policy, charge them and be done with it. You have it in writing. Submit it to the credit card company. 

Gheez..no wonder you are stressed!!!kiss

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

What was the emergency? Is she covered by insurance? 

Pre-emptively, since she has already threatened you and made demands, go enter her name and email address on TA. See the info at http://goo.gl/zuEyMe (I used a redirector because I don't want a direct TA link on here for them!)

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

What is an emergency for one person is a hangnail to another. I would NOT give back one penny. She is smart - she called demanding her money back. You have the back-up you need with the credit card company - SHE SIGNED the registration card. You have proof she was there. The rest is her problem. She left so she is not infecting your B & B with bad vibes. I hope you stick to your guns and tell her to blow smoke.

Ice
Offline
Joined:
02/22/2010

I had a honeymoon couple that were to stay 3 days.  They stayed the first night and around 4 pm he came back to the house and said someone in her family was sick and they were leaving.  I told him I still had to charge him,  he said no problem and even GAVE me a TIP!  Why should I be out, I had a contract with them for those nights, I kept my end of the deal! 

__________________

"Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well." Mark Twain

 

Momma Smurf's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/06/2010



She needs to be charged the entire stay.  What is there to deal with?  Just be firm and stick to your policies.  What can she possibly do?  Nor can she request a charge back either.  It won't be upheld.  We innkeepers have to stick to our guns.  Especially since your website clearly states (which I copied and added to mine):  We have no control over weather, family situations, guest illnesses, etc.  .....

__________________

The Truth and an Open Mind Shall Set You Free

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Since you've already made your decision to refund, I would charge at least a $50 cleaning fee.

I'm with DN on this....I think she'll balk at even that. A person that would "demand her money back" in this circumstance is not going to be silent when offered a cleaning fee. Just be prepared.

This is another entitled person that doesn't take responsibility. I'm so sorry you got her.

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

What does your written policy on website and confirmation say? I just looked:

"There are no refunds for cancellations with less than 7 days’ notice. This includes arriving late or leaving early."

She booked the room,came and used the room. she should pay.

But if you don't want to be bothered with her whining and a possible chargeback. Go ahead an call it a cleaning fee maybe it will go down easier. 

Though I still suspect she will balk! Sad

Hillbilly's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/22/2011

I would charge half if you are wanting to refund the card. That is more than fair. After all, it was not your fault and you should not be punished for it.

__________________

Hillbilly

 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Hillbilly wrote:
After all, it was not your fault and you should not be punished for it.

Amen. Day-of cancellation pays full amount at my place. They shut me out of renting to anybody else.

We had a deal. I take the room off the market and hold it for them. They pay me for it. Period. This is what trip insurance is for, and in the reservation acknowledgement e-mail I always recommend they get it.

Flower's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/19/2011

Right on.!!!

I tell all on  my website. You cancel on the day you pay that simple.I also say you should get travel insurance for just incase. In our confirmation we repeat our policy. So for me there is no excuse.

Side line.... if  and depending how luck we are at renting it out then I give them the money back. Some times I tell them that and some times I do not and it is a surprise.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.