To Fight, or Respond

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I've just received a negative review due to the fact that I declined to accept a reservation in December, when I am thinking of shutting down.  I received the rez on Tuesday night and spoke to the man on Wednesday, not even 24 hours later.  I had NOT blocked out the dates on the reservation program because I had not made the final decision, thinking I had plenty of time to decide.  That's my doing - I own up to that.  But this man was beyond irate, called me a "f*#(ng bi##h" and told me I don't know how to run a business.  I've worked all that out in my head, I have no thoughts about this jacka$$ one way or the other.  I'm now very glad I didn't take his rez. 

But now, I'm not sure if T--A will remove the review since he did not stay here?  Or if I should even try that route, and instead just respond in a matter that will focus on his irrational behavior.  I have no doubts that anyone reading the review and my response will understand that everyone needs a freaking vacation and the fact that this man was inconvenienced for 24 hours is a ridiculous reason to be so upset.  He did not even receive a confirmation.  He sent the request and I emailed him to call me.

Just wondering if any of you have had a similar situation, where you received a bad review by someone that didn't stay with you?  It hasn't changed my five star and hopefully will be buried soon enough.

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Well, the universe appears to be smiling upon me.  I received this crappy review last Friday and have since received three five star, glowing reviews!  I normally might get three in a couple months, so this is a shock and a surprise.  Two of them just stayed last weekend!  I am so happy that the putz is almost on page 2 Smiling Smiling Smiling

And no, I really did not try to encourage anyone to review.  I do send a standard "thank you" and "if you enjoyed your stay, please take a moment to review us...."....but I always wait one week before I send that.  So these are totally unsolicited reviews.  I think what makes me most happy?  I'm betting the putz probably has seen them too Smiling

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BananaE29 wrote:

I think what makes me most happy?  I'm betting the putz probably has seen them too Smiling

yesyesyes So happy for you!!!

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gillumhouse's picture
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Swirt fixed it.  Name no longer shows.

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I'm still a little lost as to where it was.  Thank you for taking care of it.  You too Swirt!

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BananaE29 wrote:

I'm still a little lost as to where it was.  Thank you for taking care of it.  You too Swirt!

http://www.innspiring.com/node/15030?page=1#comment-161029 

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gillumhouse's picture
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On page 2 When you posted your initial response you did a copy/paste and your name was in it. No longer. It is now blah blah (fixed by swirt)

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Thank you so much!

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I just showed DH your place and he is ready to move. Smiling 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I just showed DH your place and he is ready to move. Smiling 

SOLD! smiley

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BananaE29 wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

I just showed DH your place and he is ready to move. Smiling 

SOLD! smiley

Beach home & Mountain home, the best combo!

seashanty's picture
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ps  i want some cinnamon rolls with some extra gooey stuff for the top!  yumm

seashanty's picture
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 did you mean to post the review and your place name here in the forum?  i'd remove it just to give it less play online, however that works. up to you, of course.

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Where is the inn name?  Are you referring to the other post in the "For Sale" ?

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BananaE29 wrote:

Where is the inn name?  Are you referring to the other post in the "For Sale" ?

In the original post you did with what you were putting online for the review. I mentioned it, too, as it's searchable.

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Ah...ok.  Thank you both.  I will delete that portion of the post.

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And...I forgot that I can't do that.  Oh well.  Nothing here was said that wasn't true and accurate.

gillumhouse's picture
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I sent a note to Swirt last night giving him the location of the post and asking him to delete your inn name. Once someone does a reply it cannot be edited by the poster - or anyone other than Swirt.

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TA posted my response, and I've received another review (good one, thank goodness) to drop his from the top.  Just a couple more, and he'll be on the second page!  Yahoo! 

I'm actually quite pleased that my mind has not been obsessed with this ordeal.  Usually, I dwell on any personal negative situations that occur with guests, so thankfully, it doesn't happen often.  I love 95% of my guests.  I'm happy that I was able to deal with it, do the right thing in response, and now I'm moooooooving on Smiling 

Thanks again for all your input.  So appreciated!

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On a happier note... I gave your info to a guest here whose kid is in school in your town. Nice people.

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Excellent!  Thank you Smiling

 

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BananaE29 wrote:

Excellent!  Thank you Smiling

 

Pretend you know me when she tells you who referred her! Eye-wink

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Nice job on the reply.  Two years ago we had this same thing happen - a reservation was made 9 months before the time of the PAII Conf - we didn't think we could go so we hadn't blocked it out.  However, family offered to take the kids so a couple months out I called the guest and explained that we now had an event out of town and that we were hoping he was able to come a different weekend.  I offered him his second night free if he could change the date -- he was happy to, I got to go to the conference and everything worked out fine.  I do believe offering him the discount showed him I was sorry for the change I WAS MAKING and it avoided any problems.  Maybe something to think -- free upgrade, discount, dinner on you … save the trouble.

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Situation different on several accounts.  His date was set (special event here),  He made a reservation request - never confirmed - and was advised within 24 hours of non-availability.  I am happy to do extra things for guests for situations that I've screwed up - they are always surprised and pleased, and that makes me happy Smiling  But this one...nope...a complete ass.  So, so, SO glad I didn't take the booking.

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Agree with the way you handled it.   I was suggesting alternatives for future times when any of us has to change a reservation for a guest if something comes up and the reservation is made way ahead of time (I know most allow bookings 6-12 months out and stuff does come up).  Most people are understanding but of course there are the jerks out there.  And if my guest had been the least bit rude, I wouldn't have had a problem canceling his reservation - he wouldn't have gotten a thing from me.  

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If I'm hearing this right, you would ask a guest to change their plans because something better came up for you to do. And if the guest was put out or got rude about having to change their confirmed plans you would cancel their reservation.

I get asking someone to change for an emergency, but not because I decided I wanted to go away and that was the time I wanted to go. Not with a confirmed reservation.

But, I might have read that wrong.

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When I contacted that one guest, I asked him if it was possible to change his date, I did not just cancel on him.  And even after he said he was fine doing so, I offered him the second night free to make up for even asking him at all (which I didn't have to do because he was fine with it.)  If he had a special anniversary, etc. that he was booking for, I wouldn't have gone to the conference.

However, if he had started swearing at me and being rude like happened in this situation, then I would have told him that I was canceling his reservation with a full refund.  I would not have allowed an ass who felt it was fine to swear at me and be rude keep a reservation that I had to worry about for several months and then be on edge the whole time he was here.  Remember, stuff comes up for guests all the time and they try to get out of their reservations for something as stupid as a little rain ruining their hiking plans - so just asking if it was possible to change a date so I could attend a professional conference and getting a ranting, swearing tirade would not endear me to have this guy as a guest.  Yes, at that point he would have been cancelled.

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Madeleine wrote:

If I'm hearing this right, you would ask a guest to change their plans because something better came up for you to do. And if the guest was put out or got rude about having to change their confirmed plans you would cancel their reservation.

I get asking someone to change for an emergency, but not because I decided I wanted to go away and that was the time I wanted to go. Not with a confirmed reservation.

But, I might have read that wrong.

We had a 40 year reunion of DH's HS class come up with a full house - I contacted EACH of my 3 reservations to apologize for not being here to welcome them BUT we had a sub, so their rooms WERE here. It was a big football game and EVERYTHING was booked- even me! The rooms were the most important on their minds - not us. Years ago before all the hotels were built. It was the beginning of the hotel boom.

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BananaE29 wrote:

Situation different on several accounts.  His date was set (special event here),  He made a reservation request - never confirmed - and was advised within 24 hours of non-availability.  I am happy to do extra things for guests for situations that I've screwed up - they are always surprised and pleased, and that makes me happy Smiling  But this one...nope...a complete ass.  So, so, SO glad I didn't take the booking.

There was no reservation. He has not confirmation. it is your right to confirm or deny a booking at any time, your prerogative.  

I certainly would not upgrade or give a free dinner to someone because I could not accommodate them.  There was NO deal.

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Her situation was entirely different than yours. So I don't think your solution would work. The guy was a total ass!

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EmptyNest wrote:

Her situation was entirely different than yours. So I don't think your solution would work. The guy was a total ass!

Yes, MtnKeeper's happy situation may have been completely different if the guest had NOT been amenable to moving the date, or if the guest had been the guy who attacked Banana!

Banana has discussed in the past how it's harder for her, as a single woman innkeeper. It's so unfair, but if she'd had a man there to handle this guy, the guy might have been less abusive.

Hate to imagine what that guy must be like behind the closed doors of his home angry

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Well done Banana! Anyone reading it will know that he's the jerk. I just don't understand how people choose to go through life so ugly.

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B'nana, SORRY!  Glad you are not wound up with emotion over it, it makes it easier to state your response clearly. 

I personally like the way SS described the reason for not accepting the reservation request.  And I like the words VERBAL ABUSE to describe his actions during your conversation.  

Edited: Guess I am too late!

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Here's the final cut and submitted:

This guest never had a confirmed reservation at our inn.  He was contacted within 24 hours of receiving his reservation request and advised we were unable to accept it.  Due to the verbal abuse and strong language inflicted upon us, we have no regrets about not accepting the reservation. 

Please take the time to look at a few of our other reviews and know that we pride ourselves on providing WONDERFUL customer service.  We look forward to ensuring that you enjoy your time at our inn and on our beautiful island.

 

Thank you all so much for your input and support.  heart  Now back to more positivity!

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Firm, clear about the abuse, and followed by a confident statement about your business.

JUST GREAT! best of all- you'll feel better having called a spade a spade.. and some of your future guests will go out of their way to confirm to you what wonderful customer service you provide.

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Great response Banana...it wraps it up and puts the entire episode in perspective.  There should be no doubt in anyones mind that this jerk was just shooting off his mouth.

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BananaE29 wrote:

Here's the final cut and submitted:

This guest never had a confirmed reservation at our inn.  He was contacted within 24 hours of receiving his reservation request and advised we were unable to accept it.  Due to the verbal abuse and strong language inflicted upon us, we have no regrets about not accepting the reservation. 

Please take the time to look at a few of our other reviews and know that we pride ourselves on providing WONDERFUL customer service.  We look forward to ensuring that you enjoy your time at our inn and on our beautiful island.

 

Thank you all so much for your input and support.  heart  Now back to more positivity!

Agreed. This says it best!

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BananaE29 wrote:

Here's the final cut and submitted:

This guest never had a confirmed reservation at our inn.  He was contacted within 24 hours of receiving his reservation request and advised we were unable to accept it.  Due to the verbal abuse and strong language inflicted upon us, we have no regrets about not accepting the reservation. 

Please take the time to look at a few of our other reviews and know that we pride ourselves on providing WONDERFUL customer service.  We look forward to ensuring that you enjoy your time at our inn and on our beautiful island.

 

Thank you all so much for your input and support.  heart  Now back to more positivity!

Well done!

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BananaE29 wrote:

Here's the final cut and submitted:

This guest never had a confirmed reservation at our inn.  He was contacted within 24 hours of receiving his reservation request and advised we were unable to accept it.  Due to the verbal abuse and strong language inflicted upon us, we have no regrets about not accepting the reservation. 

Please take the time to look at a few of our other reviews and know that we pride ourselves on providing WONDERFUL customer service.  We look forward to ensuring that you enjoy your time at our inn and on our beautiful island.

 

Thank you all so much for your input and support.  heart  Now back to more positivity!

 

Perfect.

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This would be my response, but I wasn't chewed out, so it would be diff if it were me possibly:

          "This guest never had a confirmed reservation at our inn. Due to his verbal abuse we do not regret not accepting his booking."

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Oh my gosh...I like that!  I don't need to specify our policies, they're very clear to any idjit that takes the time to read them.  I really like it, but I'm afraid it might be too harsh? 

 

Somehow I'm going to combine yours, mine, and Jon's! 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

This would be my response, but I wasn't chewed out, so it would be diff if it were me possibly:

          "This guest never had a confirmed reservation at our inn. Due to his verbal abuse we do not regret not accepting his booking."

 

I like this.

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and for the record, what a chit-head.

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my version:

The person writing the review did not receive a confirmation of booking.  He did, however, receive a sincere apology for the misunderstanding and inconvenience.   The request was for dates 6 months in advance for which we had planned to close the inn, but had not yet blocked the rooms in our on line reservation system.  

I do not believe we deserve a negative review for an administrative error which never harmed the reviewer.   He did not confirm, or pay for a reservation.   He was not inconvenienced.  

We take pride in our inn and our customer service.    Please read our glowing service reviews before taking this one seriously.

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Since I don't know your inn, I can't see the review. Did he rate ANYTHING? 

Yes, he has a right to review but he can't rate the location, sleep quality, rooms, or cleanliness and if he has, you have a right to have it removed from T/A. 

As to responding, I think you should take to it as a rational person would think:

Unfortunately the dates (six months in advance), which should have been marked out, were not. We contacted the guest promptly and apologized only to be met with some extremely strong feelings. We are sorry that this person felt so wronged.

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Jon, I sent you a message with my inn info.  I like your response.

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I read the review and I think that the reply I posted should do the job. You can play with a little, but I think that most people will read into also how he treated you.

You may want to consider changing "strong feelings" with "harsh feelings" because more people will read in the word "words" instead of "feelings" and understand how nasty he was to you.

But don't sweat it. You will get to tell your side of it for a long while to your guests who will laugh it off.

BTW, is his quote accurate? If not, you may want to ask T/A to remove for misquoting you.

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No.  I was pleasant to the end, when I discontinued the call.  I was a 911 operator for many years before this, and am able to shelf my personal feelings when dealing with emotional people on the phone.  My quote was "Good luck with your search for lodging for your family.  Have a good day."  And as I took the phone away from my ear to hang up, I heard the lovely response from him.  I wasn't sarcastic, but at the end, I wasn't putting a lot of heart into it either.  I sincerely tried to help him with other lodging, looking up availability for other B&Bs and even directing him to condos that could accommodate 8 adults in one condo, therefore saving him A LOT of money. 

I don't want to fight TA. I'm too tired and too burned out and too busy right now to let them get to me.  I'll post the response later today - a shortened version of mine, but I'll put a little of yours in there too.

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I would certainly mention that you did research for him and found him alternate accommodations that benefited his family situation!

(And, if you can, edit the review response you posted here as it's searchable.)

I'd leave out the last part of your response because it's irrelevant to the situation and makes it sound like reservations in the future are subject to change.

Replace that with how you helped not that you're sure they won't have problems... That sounds like you did say what he says you said. Just saying...

Generic's picture
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Then go with something like this:

Unfortunately the dates (six months in advance), which should have been marked out, were not. We contacted the guest promptly, apologized and spent some time verifying availability at alternative accommodations with the guest, only to be met with some extremely harsh feelings. We are sorry that this person felt so wronged, but we did our best to help in a tough situation.

Madeleine's picture
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Harsh words was a better option. Like you said, "words" will tell people much more about how the guest acted than "feelings" does.

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