Check In Document, Signed For Charges (room damage, ruined towels ...etc)

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BTW
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Thinking of creating a document that guests will sign when they check in.  We are small (wife and I, 11 rooms, two part-time employees).  Basically, I envision 10 bullets .... the BIG NO NO's and an actual dollar amount listed by the ones that require dollar amounts.  I know for charges against their card they have to agree to the EXACT charge in the EXACT amount.

They sign when they check in, we can toss them if no problems .... or keep them forever if their was a problem and we needed to charge

Examples

  • Anyone doing business here has to be cleared / approved by us (hair, nails, massage ...etc.)
  • EACH linen that cannot be stained removed to be put back into service will cause a charge
  • Linens (missing or stained beyond serviceability (cannot be used again)
    • Towels, Full ($1)
    • Towels, Hand ($1)
    • Sheet ($1)
    • ETC
  • Grout, Stained or Broken ($1)  (have had several red wine stains in grout that won't come out)
  • Plates, Missing or Broken ($1)
  • Any Physical Object Inside a BTW Room (tables, chairs, blinds, lamps, cabinets ..etc.)
    • $250 charge and then, if needed we'll reasonably negotiate up or down from there
  • Any Physical Object on the Property of BTW
    • $250 charge and then, if needed we'll reasonably negotiate up or down from there

 

There's more .... but hopefully you all get the gist.  We're not "party poopers" (actually the exact opposite) but we do want the ability to collect.  In the past, wife has charged their card and they disputed ...so thinking this will ensure we are compensated ???

Thoughts?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Tom
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Chiming in after all the others, but ... I too say keep it simple and light at the start and see what changes you need to make as you gain experience.  From a military background, you are trained to run scenarios, but B&B is very people oriented, and everybody is different, so engage your guests, look them in the eye, ask how things are going, are they comfortable.  This helps with behavior and clues you to where there may be problems. Lets you learn as you go.

For example, I do most check ins.  If I smell (tobacco or cannabis) smoke on a person's clothes (very sensitive sniffer here), I'll mention the no-smoking policy and tell them where they can smoke comfortably. 

That said, you will add signs and some rules.  Old B&B truism: there is a guest behind every sign.  I put a sign in the elevator reminding people to wait for it to come to a full stop before opening the inner accordion door.  Why? Well a very type A lady attorney guest was not accustomed to being patient so she opened the door a little too soon and got trapped.  I had to get the tool to open the safety locked outer door.  She pissed? You bet. Blame who? Well, that's why they make mirrors.

Be mellow and enjoy the show.

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BTW wrote:

Thinking of creating a document that guests will sign when they check in. 

As I expect most do, I do have a check in sheet that guests sign, name, address, number of people, etc. 

That sheet includes the reminder that all rooms are non-smoking and no pets which is followed by a single line that says "I accept that $$ fee may be charged to my credit card if the above are violated". Have I ever charged the fee, no, but it is a stern warning to responsible folks.

I see three categories in your above list

1] Guest using your room to conduct business (I think some say only registered guests are allowed, if there is an issue perhaps a statement like that would fill your needs as I think folks conducting business on your property would be an insurance issue)

2] Stained towels & sheets, minor items broken (Those things happen even with nice folks, accident or inconsiderate, about all you can do is attempt to raise your prices both to cover some loss and while you want to be competitive you don't want to be the cheapest place that attracts the wrong element.

3] Major damage (I would guess that's a call the law issue and go to court, but hopefully you are just trying to plan ahead and are not having that sort of issue.

At this point we are 25 years into an 8 room motel, to a degree it takes time to learn the business and people, to set the stage for the sort of people you enjoy as guests. 

 

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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I realize I'm late to the party, but wanted to chime in.   As a guest, I'd be put off by the specifics and the specific $ amounts.    I am not in a hotel to buy sheets.  

But I do like the idea of a line saying something along the lines of, "We reserve the right to charge your card for damages."

The big hotels do it.

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BTW
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Excellent JimBoone, thanks so much ..... GREAT info

Your "That sheet includes ............. " is exactly what I was talking about.  Cheers, Rock

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I think you posted last year about some pretty rough guests. Your policies need to reflect who your clientele are. 

We stayed one time at a place that required we allow them to photocopy our license and our credit card before they would allow us to check in.

On the front desk was a list of what was not allowed and it included removing food from the dining room.

It was immediately clear to me their usual clientele were a tough crowd. I refuse to stay there ever again. I felt like a criminal. But, their policies reflected the type of guest they usually get - tough, rough, uncouth louts.

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Morticia wrote:

It was immediately clear to me their usual clientele were a tough crowd. I refuse to stay there ever again. I felt like a criminal. But, their policies reflected the type of guest they usually get - tough, rough, uncouth louts.

That's exactly what I thought when I read the potential list of rules and $1 and up charges. Suggests, whether it's a fact or not, that you have a usual clientele that's pretty rough, or the owner is like the Soup Nazi, and I wouldn't stay at a place like that.

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BTW
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We aren't the ones that posted about rough guests.  We've had a few idiots in last 7 months and have absolutely noticed that sale prices bring a "different" crowd but we're in great town, great neighborhood and we're a very clean, nice property.  Thanks for input  Smiling

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to me and this may be a uk think "doing business" sounds like prostitutes - I would just say registered guests only - you can then make exceptions as you see fit when asked.

BTW
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My original post was 100% just a GENERAL "placeholder" type of thing.  Absolutely would not have posted in anywhere near the way I presented here.  Was only looking for a general idea on dealing with damage.  We've had two incidents (extreme/blatant/INSANE) where we were helpless to charge anything.  It's one of those deals where a signature takes a few seconds, skimming the document takes 20 seconds and really, both us and the guest are more protected.

From my research, without the guest agreeing to an EXACT CHARGE for an EXACT ISSUE, we are not allow to charge their card for anything.  So, the whole purpose of this entire post was throw my ideas out (get feedback) and as well .... hear other ideas.

I believe I'm currently hearing "Get Over It" and to not worry about a single thing or damage?  "The cost of business" ...... "spend money to make money" and that I'll go out of business if I let guests know that we expect them not to destroy our property?  If this is true, then I'm absolutely fine with it.  I respect the heck out of everything I've read on this OUTSTANDING forum in the last year.

 

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This is a revenue driven business. You protect yourself, but understand that some things are simply cost of business and not worth the bad review or the trouble. 

On the other hand, what some guests don't know about it that there are a number of DNR lists. Including GuestChek that collect warnings about guest behaviour. And then there is the one thing that guests really don't want you to do and that is press a legal claim with the police. There is small claims as well, which is a royal hassle, you have to come back to town to go to court and stand up for yourself and then if found guilty, you have no just the amount to pay, but all the other costs including a bailiff.

But honestly, the bottom line is... small amounts are part of business. I say this as many of the people on here know that I'm still fuming over some stolen tissue boxes a few Christmases ago. And I'm currently fuming over one stolen bottle and two stolen specialty glasses. And I've had a few of my pillows leave with guest leaving cheap pillows... on purpose.

But I can tell you that I have put some of those people on DNR lists. Sorry, but leaving with my property means that you aren't trustworthy for other people's property... and others need to know and decide how to protect themselves.

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BTW
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EXCELLENT stuff ............ it's adding up, you experienced folks are "learning me" LOL   If it's the "cost of doing business" then I'll adjust.  Look ..... I'll be honest here, the again, I'm a Marine and wife is retire USAF LtCol and she's the one that flips over towels.  I'll start calming her down a bit with your advice.  Thanks so much

 

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You are newbies I take it.  I am sorry for your stress. As has been said, you will get over it.

With that, you will probably have no problems for very long at all as you will probably not have much business to worry about for very long after that goes into effect.

If your furniture is not sturdy already, replace it with furniture that is. Antiques may be pretty but they are expensive and may be "delicate". I have a beautiful duvet cover that looks elegant - it is on a shelf because it is dry clean only and not going anywhere else at $25 a pop (yes, purchased when I was new in 1996)!

Your first line itself would put me off as the only one who has to approve me other than me is GOD. Anyone doing business here has to be cleared / approved by us (hair, nails, massage ...etc.)

BTW
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We live here, on site, our residence and the "GOD" thing I find interesting.  You are telling me that you have no problem with folks that are not guests just walking in and "setting up shop" conducting business at your place?

Wife and I both former military, and I'm former law enforcement as well .. we're doing great business here and one of our jobs is to also "protect" other guests.  Just can't see allowing anyone and everyone to come here.  What if these nail/hair/massage folks were found on Craigslist?  I do want to know who's extra car that is in our small parking lot.  Anyway ....?

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I am sorry, but the fact that we opened our doors means that we are open for guests who book with us, not just people we pre-approve. I have been open for over 21 years and have yet to  "look up" a guest. I have been fortunate to have very few that I never wish to have the privilege of seeing again. And very little damage.

(Edit note) I just re-read your first line - initially took it to mean guests approval and now realize you mean vendors. I require the few vendors I affiliate with to provide insurance riders to cover me, just as I do for the Historical Association for  their log house that I use for elopements.

We never put anything in a room that has so much meaning that we ould be devastated if it were broken or "grew legs". My husband's original art hangs in every room.

Thank you and your wife for your Service. I think you eill find those of us here honor Military and Law enforcement. My #1 grandson has 10 years of active dury (Navy) plus almost that many years in the Reservesho is now a grad student at George Washington University in security (yes, I am bragging). I also have many family members retired Military who are now Police as well as my youngest daughter. a Chicago policeman of almost 20 years. 

I am not dissing you with my previous comment, just pointing out how officious and hard it sounded that you must approve of your guests. I leave it to someone else to inform you about my credentials. I just live in a city so small that it does not show up on most maps. google me.

BTW
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More good stuff.  Everyone, I appreciate this incredible feedback and truly do value this place for it's experience/knowledge.

So, if you see someone pull in ......... carry a massage table (legit stuff, sign on car, not prostitute) or hair dressers, physical therapists ..... do I approach and ask for credentials?  They are not coordinated/invited by me, the guest invited them.   This was one of my big questions and the reason I wanted it on the check in document, so guests would know.  

????

Morticia's picture
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BTW wrote:

More good stuff.  Everyone, I appreciate this incredible feedback and truly do value this place for it's experience/knowledge.

So, if you see someone pull in ......... carry a massage table (legit stuff, sign on car, not prostitute) or hair dressers, physical therapists ..... do I approach and ask for credentials?  They are not coordinated/invited by me, the guest invited them.   This was one of my big questions and the reason I wanted it on the check in document, so guests would know.  

????

Yes, you should verify credentials because you will get sued if the guest is hurt. However, guests should not schedule these services on your property without your knowledge.

I will say we've never had anyone hire a masseuse without asking first! 

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On that score, hauling in a massage table, I agree - no entry. IF there is a masseuse in your area that you like their massage who is willing to come to your facility AND give you a rider on their insurance (you get a copy) make that an add-on. I did that early on. (I took no commission as I wanted to help her get established - even told her she was not charging enough so raised her price for here) I offered to arrange in-room massage as a service therefore controlling who came in.

The liability issue is one I would not want to have if the guest made arrangements and something went wrong. I know that me having made the appointment put me in the soup which is why I needed the rider, but it would be a nightmare if it happened on your property even without you having anything to do with it.

gaelstorm's picture
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You'll get over it.  That kind of thing sets such a negative tone.  I'm sorry you have such rude customers.

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