Mailing Fee

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

After years of sending back left items and rarely getting paid for it, we have now instituted a $20 postage and handling fee. At first, we thought $10 would do it, but just a few days ago it cost us more than that just to send back a light pair of sandals. So I upped it to $20.

This morning guests left 2 chargers (1 large one for a lap top and heavy). I called them as soon as they left, but the phone they made the reservation with was not a cell phone so they didn't get my message until they returned home. They wanted me to mail them back and I told them about our $20 fee and it was no problem.

They get their stuff back, I make a couple bucks for time and effort and I'm not feeling resentful this afternoon!

Does anyone else do this?

happykeeper's picture
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12/11/2008

We are mulling it over. The big issue is when things have to go overseas. We do domestic USPS only. Anything else, they would have to cover it. We call then. Sometimes we catch them before they get to far a way. Had a guy come back about ten minutes away for a really nice coat. Glad we caught him. A lot of our guests leave stuff they don't want. Someone just left a down pillow, unopened, that they bought in case we didn't have soft pillows. Someone left a standing fan they bought just in case we did not have a fan.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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We had a guy call saying he left his wedding ring on the dresser.  We looked on, under, in, around and were about to open the vacuum cleaner.  He called again.  False alarm.  He found it!

 

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05/30/2008

Small items I just mailed.  One guy left a bunch of clothes and I had him send me a pre-paid flat rate box.  I must have had a bad week.... Eye-wink

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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HA! Got a check today from an older woman who's hearing aid was left here and I mailed it back ASAP. I'm shocked!

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Silverspoon's picture
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Only once has anyone reimbursed us for postage when we mail things back.  I don't even bother to contact people any more since it always costs us money when they leave things behind.  9 times out of 10 we never hear from them again.

 

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01/12/2013

First off, I let the guest contact me, unless I have discovered it within 30 minutes of their leaving, and think they may still be in the area. 

Then, if contacted, I advise the guest that I can fit their item in one of the three "flat_rate_shipping" boxes.  They're supplied by the post office at no charge, and regardless of the weight, it is one price.  I know before I go to the po how much the shipping will be, and I charge their card first.  So if a charger was left behind, I know it will fit in the smallest box, and it will cost the guest $5.60.  If they left some clothing, it may have to go into a large box and the cost is $17.45.  I don't have to come up with a box or tape.  Label it and drop it off - that's it.  For this reason, I don't charge a "handling fee" or charge extra.  The PO is on my way to most anything I do daily, so it's a quick trip for me.

Madeleine's picture
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Flat rate is only good up to 4 lbs.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Not in a priority flat-rate box. When I used to sell online we used them all the time. Pack it as much as you want, same rate.

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Madeleine's picture
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Sorry, my mistake it's the envelope that's 4lbs. Box is 20.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Website says 70lb. Though... I don't know how you would get 70lbs of stuff in there.

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That's what I think to myself every time I carry a suitcase up the stairs!

Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

If a guest contacts us first. Then we tell them the cost to send it back and they know it has to be done through their credit card.

But first and foremost they must contact us first. To many guest that are not married and have two different last names . Two different credit card numbers.!

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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01/16/2010

Today I made my 3rd trip to the PO in less than two weeks. I have never charged for this - except once a very expensive camera was left, so I sent it with insurance COD. Not once has anyone ever repaid me, all saying they would do so. I think it's the right thing to do, but it's getting old, you know?

I'm thinking of instituting the $20 fee. That sounds like a really good idea.

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04/02/2014

Don't wait for them to repay you -- have them authorize that they'll pay the $15 or $20 and then charge their card.  They will never send you any money, you have to be sure to collect it yourself.  I run the card before I go to the post office.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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MtnKeeper wrote:

Don't wait for them to repay you -- have them authorize that they'll pay the $15 or $20 and then charge their card.  They will never send you any money, you have to be sure to collect it yourself.  I run the card before I go to the post office.

If you don't pad some extra in there for yourself, you'll end up often just charging $5.00 or some other measly amount. After charge card processing, trip to the p.o. and supplies to box/bag it up, you're at a negative cash flow

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

The box I just shipped was $12.00. That left  $8.00 for me & the time it took and supplies. Sure doesn't seem like overcharging.

Anon Inn's picture
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09/26/2011

Yes.  we charge the postage and a bit.  Parcel post.  We never contact guests about left-behinds.  They have to contact us.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We charge a few bucks over the actual postage, but we don't do "RUSH". If they want rush and not to pay us for packing it, etc. They are welcome to send courrier collect with a bag and prefilled paperwork. And if it doesn't come prefilled paperwork, it's not going out without a charge. I'll do the courrier at no upcharge because they have done all the work and they picks up at the door. If I have to take pen to paper, if I have to wrap it, if I have to go there... there's a charge for that.

And yes, we invoice and request payment ahead of time before anything leaves the house!

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

we do a minimum charge of $10 as its a lot of time for me to walk to the post office, queue, package the thing up etc - havn't sent anything back in a while mind

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08/13/2014

We contact the guest, if they want it sent back then we mail it COD (collect on delivery). We pay for it to be delivered, and they have to reimburse the postman who forwards the amount back to us. Works pretty well. Just annoying having to go wait in line at the post office to do it. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I don't usually call, but I knew this couple was legit. He was here for a family reunion in the area.

Another reason for us charging is that the post office is 20-25 minutes away. Sometimes we don't go into town for a week or more. Everyone wants their stuff yesterday. City folks just don't get what it's like to live rurally. It's a BIG pain to send this stuff back.

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06/24/2008

I have been amazed at the number of people who think $10 is too much.  Really? 

 

Ice
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02/22/2010

Have you ever contacted guest about leaving some thing at the B&B and the person who answered the phone didn't know anything about it?  This is why I don't.  Just sayin. . .   at the hotel we always got the guest credit card number to charge the charges.  (but this wasn't till after they called us.)

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02/19/2014

I wait till they contact me.  If they don't and it fits I wear it.  If not it gets tossed!

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Always depends on how far the item has to go, how heavy, how long the guest stayed, how they ask to have it back and how pleasant they were while here.

Short stay, heavy item, long distance? I charge.

Short stay, light item, short distance, demanding attitude? I charge.

$20 shipping and handling should cover most items. 

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04/02/2014

Sometimes I charge, sometimes not.  I charge the actual shipping sometimes when it's heavy and I'm going by the post office, other times I just tell them it's $10 and I'll send it back.  Once had a guest wanted me to ship their Temp Ped pillow for free, of course I said no.  I just had an older gentleman leave his shoe horn here and called to see if I'd send it back and he said of course he'd reimburse me, he just needed his beloved shoe horn.  I did not charge him, told him it was my pleasure to send it back.  He sent me a lovely note with a $5 scratch ticket saying I was lovely and he hoped I won a million … and he and his wife could come back for a week for free if we did.   We didn't, but it was so nice of him to be appreciative.

Use your judgement and I don't think $20 is high because of your time and gas to go to the post office.

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05/22/2008

if it was small, no charge. if required more, most reimbursed me but did not have a set fee. i think it is a good idea. of course you have to be careful contacting folks...you never know what can of worms you may open.

I always wait till they contacted me. if they do not within a reasonable amount of time, it got thrown away.

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