Well....THAT was askward

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Met a couple having tea in the living room.  Chatted. 

Her, I have a question, I saw on your website that you don't take children under 12.   I have a granddaughter who is 10 and loves to travel with us.  She was so disappointed that she couldn't come with us this time.   Now I see a two year old on the front porch.    Did I read it wrong?"

Me, How wonderful your granddaughter loves to travel with you!  You are raising a wonderful child!

Him, But, how come they can have a kid and we can't?

Me, The truth is, our place is not suitable for children.   We have the pond, nothing for them to do.  But people sometimes bring them anyway, and what can we do?  Throw them out?

Her, Oh, no!   We just have our granddaughter and she was so disappointed.......

Me,  I have muffins in the oven!  Must go! Enjoy your tea!!! I will see you at breakfast!

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Anon Inn's picture
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We have two rooms.  One was booked weeks ago for Friday and Saturday, the other was booked by a one nighter - also several weeks ago. 

I get a phone call Friday from a woman who said she made a two day reservation for the Friday and Saturday.  When I get to the reservation system, the two-day is there, but the name does not match.

"I booked online with my credit card number" she says.  This happens periodically, but this is the first instance of the guest not phoning to say a confirmation email was not received.  There was no room for her Friday, but she said she would come by and book for Saturday.  I phoned around for a solution for her Friday.

When she gets to the inn to book for Saturday, she has a 4 year old in tow.  I ask "for how many?"  She said "for me and my guy".  I said that may have been what happened to your effort to reserve online as we don't take children in the inn rooms.  She insisted there was a box to tick for children, she ticked it, and assumed I'd phone her if there was a problem.

At this point I'm a bit flummoxed, but I told her she could go ahead and book for Saturday as the other room was occupied by her aunt, who would not be put out by the related child in residence.

She did end up finding a place for Friday night, and I thought to myself "It's only one day, I'll cope"

Turns out she was correct - there WAS a box to tick for number of children for that room, an artifact from when we started and sometimes took kids with advance notice.  Now kids are welcome in the vacation rental apartment - but not in inn rooms.  The check box has now been fixed.   The disturbing problem of people thinking they've made a reservation that hasn't actually gone through is still a worrisome mystery.  I have contacted John.  I have tried a test rez myself.  I have asked people on this forum to make tests.  No one has a problem, except the guests who do, so I reluctantly will be looking for a new system. 

But back to the kid story.  Turned out although he was a handful, the fam was scrupulous about looking out after him, their friends staying at the nearby park gave him his breakfast there, the mom got a rest, and the aunt booked another night's stay plus an extra breakfast yesterday morning.  

They turned out to be most enjoyable guests.

notAgrandma's picture
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I use reservation key, too. At one point, there was a malfunction in my reservation system and a guest showed up with a kid, too. My solution to avoid any future malfunctions: under "Rate Plans" --> "Adjustments" --> "Price per additional CHILD" I made the rate adjustment $1000.

I had someone call me because somehow the "number of children" checkbox reappeared even though I'd deleted it. Their rate was exorbitant because the additional $1000 fee was added. I told them it was a system malfunction, that the checkbox shouldn't be visible because we can't accommodate children, and I referred them to a different B&B that does accept kids.

I've been using Res Key for years and have only had 1 problem. It was a guest booking from Australia who didn't receive a confirmation email. John & I couldn't figure out what went wrong. Sometimes international credit cards are rejected by my cc processor, but that's not a malfunction of ResKey. I had a guest who insisted she filled out everything and never received a confirmation. Her res wasn't in our system. Turns out she attempted to use an Amex and my online system isn't set up to process Amex. What sort of problems have your guests experienced? 

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Anon Inn's picture
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Always the same.  Phone call (except from the mom) stating the guest filled out all information including cc info, but didn't get a confirmation email.  I take their information by phone and enter it myself then send them the confirmation through Reskey.  It doesn't happen often, but often enough. Sigh.

Morticia's picture
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Anon Inn wrote:

Always the same.  Phone call (except from the mom) stating the guest filled out all information including cc info, but didn't get a confirmation email.  I take their information by phone and enter it myself then send them the confirmation through Reskey.  It doesn't happen often, but often enough. Sigh.

I've had this a few times - guest calls because they didn't get a confirmation, no charges on their card for deposit, and there is no record of the reservation coming thru. I ask if they got their confirmation number. 'Well, no, I didn't get a confirmation!' The system sends out an automatic email with the guest details in it. If they don't get that, they didn't finish the process.

 

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Anon Inn's picture
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The problem is:  they think they  h a v e  finished the process, and then could turn up at your door for their stay, but their room is already booked.  This is what happened with the mom.  Could easily have turned to trash us on reviews, but luckily - did not. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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This can and does happen with all systems. Pilot error. If they don't get a confirmation from either the system or us, they don't have a reservation. If they can't show any kind of confirmation or their credit card being charged,  how can we or RK take responsibility? 

Anon Inn's picture
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Maybe I am just losing at the odds game.  When I used N*x*s it never happened.  

The best solution for now is the notation that if they do not get a confirmation - then the reservation did not go through.  Now if we could make sure our instructions get read Smiling

 

(edited to add:  I just got one of those calls)  

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Anon Inn wrote:

Maybe I am just losing at the odds game.  When I used N*x*s it never happened.  

The best solution for now is the notation that if they do not get a confirmation - then the reservation did not go through.  Now if we could make sure our instructions get read Smiling

 

(edited to add:  I just got one of those calls)  

It could be the sheer volume of online reservations now. And the vast array of devices guests are using could be an issue as well. They swear they hit that button on their phone, but I've been butt dialed enough times to know not everyone uses their phone properly.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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LOL - Awkward!!!!   Not askward.    Typo in the title.   Kind of kills the mood I meant to convey!

happykeeper's picture
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12/11/2008

 I thought it was a play on words. Smiling

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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I may have invented a new word.  

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

 That's awful!

'We are sorry about that. They broke our policy and were charged $$$$$ for bringing the child and we will not be able to have them stay with us in future.' 

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

It will save you headaches in the future if you stick to your policies (I know it is hard when they are in front of you) and refuse to take them if it is NOT what you accept. Yes, you refuse them the room - whether you charge or not is up to you. THEY broke the contract.

You have now told these guests how to do it - just bring the kid and they will allow it. I wonder how many B & Bs will now get this couple doing trying just that.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Checked with DH - they had reserved a room for 2 people and didn't count the kid.   Toddler.  Worst kind!    They are ambulatory and not yet trained.

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I stuck to policies and you would prevent issues like this is you would as well. If they show up with kid, show them the policy page they CHECKED. Tell them you can't make exceptions...because you know someone is going to say so on TA!!!. My friends do this often. They will suggest other places and even call for them..but they will not back down on taking them in. NO WAY!

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

Stick to your policies when faced with a couple showing up with kid(s).  From experience I can tell you that you will save yourself a lot of headaches and aggravation.  No hemming and hawing or second guessing your decisions.  Make policies that work for you, advertise them, discuss them with guests if you can and then stick to them.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Good advice, but not easy to follow.

How do you turn away a family knowing there are no other rooms in town?   There is no Motel 6 or easy alternative.   The rooms are finite.

We know they aren't the only one that consider the kid portable and easy to fit.   It happens a lot. 

gillumhouse's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Good advice, but not easy to follow.

How do you turn away a family knowing there are no other rooms in town?   There is no Motel 6 or easy alternative.   The rooms are finite.

We know they aren't the only one that consider the kid portable and easy to fit.   It happens a lot. 

With these words -

We are terribly sorry but our web site and all our communications state no children under age 12. We have other guests who adhere to our policies and come here BECAUSE there will be no children under 12  We cannot make an exception for your 2-year old and upset all our other guests. We are not a suitable facility for a 2-year old.

Yes, they will probably do a bad TA review if you stand by your policies. THAT is where you reaffirm for all to see that you do not accept children under 12. To me, that is infinitely better than the 3 or 4 other reviews you may be in for stating, we did not bring our 10-year old granddaughter due to policies stated but there was a 2-year old child.

Highlands John's picture
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My  T&Cs state that if more people arrive at check-in than were stated on the booking then admission will be refused, but the account will still need to be settled. 

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Silverspoon's picture
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And, HJ, I bet you rarely have people try to feign ignorance about that policy.  People with kids try to take advantage of a soft heart so if you would feel worse about turning them away than you would about upsetting other guests go ahead and continue to allow them to take advantage.  Your choice, Beachy.

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