Last minute cancel

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Madeleine's picture
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On a 2 night min. Guest only wants one night now. Tomorrow. They just called to cancel tonight.

Would you cancel both nights?

We've been turning away guests all stinkin' day for a room tonight. I even called the last person back to see if they'd found a room!

Of course, if they come tomorrow and have to pay for both nights I'm gonna have to listen to the whining.

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Madeleine's picture
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Why we shouldn't even care...

Why did they cancel at the last minute? Traffic. They didn't want to drive in the traffic.

After all these years you would think I could give up caring about other people's problems.

It's situations like this that make it so hard to care about the next guest who has an issue. Like the one who is at the airport wanting to check in now.

Momma Smurf's picture
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Another angle to soothe one's conscience:  Would a deep-pockets airline, cruise, resort, hotel, etc allow you to change your reservation at the last minute?  Airlines these days, instead of even considering a refund, charge a hefty penalty for switches.  Just happened to my son who wanted to cancel one-leg of his flight.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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It's the day and age we're in. People don't want to take personal responsibility for their actions.

I recently got an e-mail to cancel a 3 night reservation. Some of you are going to think I'm heartless, but he canceled within my 10 day cancellation period. His 94 year old mother-in-law was hospitalized. Now, most of us do have a heart so we might just let him get his money back. I probably would have too, if he hadn't given me more information in his e-mail.

Now, here's the rest of the story. He originally booked us approx. 1 month before his arrival date. He lives in another state and would be flying here and renting a car. He tells me in his e-mail that 2 days after making his reservation, his MIL is diagnosed with an end of life situation. Why didn't he cancel his reservation then!!! No problem to cancel, but nooooo, he chose to shoot the dice and still wanted to take his vacation.

Any time I had a close relative that was that old and I was traveling anywhere, I took out travel insurance. Where is this guy's personal responsibility? He stated in his e-mail that he was aware of our cancellation policy. What he was doing was trying to do was to tug on my heart strings, but by giving me so much information, all he did was anger me that I should be the one out $600. I'm sure the airlines he booked didn't refund him!

I was not able to re-rent his room. I feel bad that he and his family are going through this situation, but I can't take the responsibility when this situation shouldn't have happened in the first place.

 

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Would keeping his money and issue a gift cert. for a stay some other time work. That way you have the money and he either has to come..with say 6 months or loses it??

Momma Smurf's picture
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We do this all the time, BUT it needs to be during one's off season, such as ours:  November-May or Innkeeper's Discretion.  That way you are not recycling the loss of the sale during a time you would have rented the room anyway and losing said income.  In 9 years, we have never given folks their money back, unless we re-rent; they are usually quite satisfied to get the off-season full-dollar value credit (which usually means a longer stay or room upgrade during the lower priced season).  I'd say we've done this at least 200 times for all circumstances.  A few pouty people, but since our policies are clearly stated, it works.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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EmptyNest wrote:

Would keeping his money and issue a gift cert. for a stay some other time work. That way you have the money and he either has to come..with say 6 months or loses it??

But then I would be out money. The probability is great that they would choose to come during a time when that room, which is our most popular would have been rented anyway. I would be out the additional money. Still just doesn't seem fair to me. Our rooms are a perishable commodity. Once they are gone, we can never get them back.

Momma Smurf's picture
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DH and I spent years and years managing literally 1000s of employees and were also once upon a time landlords and have heard endless tales of woe.   We simply have no sympathy left for excusing others' problems and do not inflict ours upon others.  This is not to say we are heartless, we just  realize that %^&$ happens to us all. 

Momma Smurf's picture
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Seriously, traffic?  You only need to care about yourselves and your business, which is to provide the income you are entitled to once a contract has been made to provide folks a lovely stay.  Maddie comes first from now on, cause as illustrated, many others only care about themselves.  Anyone, who thinks they can even dare to ask to do a last minute cancellation falls into the SELFISH unworthy category!  Reward yourself, not enable them.  Beautiful weather, huh?

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Unbelievable!

You're right, we shouldn't care. But that's so hard to do. But it's also why we should stick to our rules. Because of idiots like these.

Silverspoon's picture
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Well, we are winding down a bit so our point of view is different from most of you.  For us, the deposit on a 2-night stay would be 2 nights....that is the minimum deposit we take.  That allows us to keep both nights if they try to pull something like this.  But no one does because we are happy to cancel them if they decide they can't come.  In your situation, I would tell them that the deposit holds the reservation.  They can not cancel one night without canceling the reservation.  You might be surprised how quickly they will rearrange their plans so they can arrive as scheduled!

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Madeleine's picture
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I thought that. It was to late at that point. All this stuff happens when I'm out of the house.

I'll probably send them their cancellation confirmation for tonight staying the room was not rebooked.

Unless that's just asking for them to grouse all the way here.

Madeleine's picture
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The other pain in the patoot is that instead of shutting down at 7 I now feel obligated to wait until 9 before I call it a day so I can say I really tried. 

gillumhouse's picture
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The Brits were talking about just this thing on a Forum. They make the rez with boo king for the 2-night min then cancel the second night so they have the rez but have cancelled the night they do not want.  The discussion has been the contract was for 2 nights so you pay for 2 nights or the whole rez is cancelled. There was also a lot of the last minute cancel with this.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I've had people try it... we tell them that we can't modify reservations, so it's AON (All of Nothing). 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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You have two choices

  1. Tell them they are responsible for both nights, no matter what. Afterall, you have a 2 night minimum to help you by not having to turn over so many rooms.
  2. Tell them if they are willing to take a chance by you trying to re-rent it, let them out. But if it doesn't rent, they pay for it.

Frankly, I would opt for #1, but it's a tougher one to stand by. But I totally understand if you want #2.

By the way, I would charge them right now for the whole amount. Make sure you get some money and they don't stiff you. The few dollars you have to pay for a credit is minimal.

Madeleine's picture
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We have the deposit if nothing else.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

By the way, I would charge them right now for the whole amount. Make sure you get some money and they don't stiff you. The few dollars you have to pay for a credit is minimal.

 

Yes.  Before they get a chance to cancel the card. 

seashanty's picture
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does the room show as open now?  i bet you'll fill it via phone call or walk in.  the weather is gorgeous (here, anyway). 

Madeleine's picture
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seashanty wrote:

does the room show as open now?  i bet you'll fill it via phone call or walk in.  the weather is gorgeous (here, anyway). 

Room shows open, town is packed, sign is out, I've called or emailed everyone to let them know.

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You WILL BOOK IT...Don't CAVE!  IF you don't you still have their $$.

Generic's picture
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Honestly, I hate when they do that, but our policy is that we can't modify reservations, so we can cancel it and it's subject to the cancellation policy or you can leave it as is.

We have told guests that they are responsible for the full amount, unless we can sell the other part of it, and then they are responsible only for the difference.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I know I'm the wimp of the group, but I agree with Banana.  They booked two nights.  It is the middle of summer, you need the two nights.   Tell them, as per policy, if you can rent it, you won't charge them, but if you can't, oh well.

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Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I know I'm the wimp of the group, but I agree with Banana.  They booked two nights.  It is the middle of summer, you need the two nights.   Tell them, as per policy, if you can rent it, you won't charge them, but if you can't, oh well.

That's what we said. But now I am tense about the while thing tomorrow because no one has booked the room yet. Even with calls coming in.

Momma Smurf's picture
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Absolutely positively without doubt or guilt, charge them for the second night if you do not rent it.  Or if, you want do the courtesy credit for a stay Nov-May, holidays excluded at innkeeper's discretion. 

Madeleine's picture
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Momma Smurf wrote:

Absolutely positively without doubt or guilt, charge them for the second night if you do not rent it.  Or if, you want do the courtesy credit for a stay Nov-May, holidays excluded at innkeeper's discretion. 

Can you come up here tomorrow? Eye-wink

Momma Smurf's picture
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oops full house, 'cept two late arrivals and Both their cards on file were declined!  OY!

Madeleine's picture
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Momma Smurf wrote:

oops full house, 'cept two late arrivals and Both their cards on file were declined!  OY!

I hate that. It means I have to wait up.

Momma Smurf's picture
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Phew.  Both now here after fighting Beantown traffic. You should call it a night by 8 and put on your jammies. 

Madeleine's picture
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Momma Smurf wrote:

Phew.  Both now here after fighting Beantown traffic. You should call it a night by 8 and put on your jammies. 

All I've heard tonight is Beantown traffic!

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Oh no!

 

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My first thought on this was "She has a two night minimum - they knew when they booked that she wouldn't take one night, so they booked two with the full intention of trying to get out of one night without penalty".  Is this thought correct?

No way would I let them out of it. No way. NO WAY!  Argh!

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