Guest stumped me - I wasn't ready - what would you say?

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

Guest came to the door.  Walk in.

Gave me a card.   I asked for name, address - she said, "To what end?" 

The fact was, she was there, do I really need to know where she lived?   Why would I need to get in touch with her?

So I let it go.

Later I wondered if I should have said, "I need to know who is staying in my home."   Or some equally snotty response.

What would you have done?

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Tom
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10/11/2009

We rarely get walk-ins, as we are out in the country by 6 miles.  A booked in advance guest pays on check out, a walk-in pays on arrival. A few people have resisted giving address and email which I need to put the booking into our reservation system, and I tell them our insurance coverage requires us to know the basics about who is staying and who is being covered -- if a claim is made we need to be able to confirm that the person was actually a guest.  We have had two phony addresses that I know about, and if a person walks in and pays cash, I photograph the car and license so I have some recourse if things go wrong.

But, in 9 years, we haven't had trouble to worry about.  Little things, and a little diligence keeps us on top.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

For the most part, I won't take a walk-up anyway. But I am required to have name, address on file for the government. And I need the card on my files for security purposes.

I don't need to have their car registration and I'm not required to check their information, nor who they have with them. I hold the card information for damages, but if they want, they can pay cash and have a receipt issued to cash. I actually process it on my debit card, since it's just 7c to deposit that way, since otherwise I have to physically go to the bank and just the gas and time are worth more than 7c.... to be realistic. Yes, it's just 7c to process by debit card here!

I have had guests who have paid me cash and know that I keep the information entirely private, so that they can have a tryst... and I don't care. Not my job to judge people.

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Highlands John's picture
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The other issue is safety. People go out for the day from here heading to very isolated and wild areas, they also go hill and mountain walking.

If they crashed the car on some isolated road or got stuck up a mountain, all their stuff is still in the room so I know they haven't done a runner, so I'm going to look pretty silly if I have to inform the police and don't have even basic information about who they are and where they're from.

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notAgrandma's picture
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07/07/2017

Sometimes I've skipped getting an address from a walk-up, but I agree with everyone who mentioned that many B&Bs are required by law to keep full records of each of their guests. I've also made the mistake of just swiping their card with square instead of recording the full cc #. I got burned by this once when a guest clearly smoked in the room (hid the cigarette butts in the window sash, and also put one out on the white wood windowsill) and I was powerless to charge a cleaning fee. 

If you'd prefer a "softer" answer than the legal requirement, I've used the phrase "in case anything gets left behind". I've mailed several phone chargers to guests; it's the most frequently forgotten item nowadays. 

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seashanty's picture
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 EEEk! Now THAT would probably get you an interesting review.

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

In case you die I need to know where to mail the body!...no don’t say that...Hahaha!

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Hillbilly

 

JimBoone's picture
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I love your suggestion

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Jim & Maxine

 

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02/15/2017

How about for Insurance purposes as well??? For everyone's safety...if anything happened, I want to make sure I have that person's info!

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10/04/2015

In the UK its required by law - I have to ask for it but have no way of proving what you put is real - Ie we get a lot of people from the spy base I tell them just to put USA as I know they are going back there eventually 

Highlands John's picture
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I have check in cards which I ask guests to fill in, at the bottom it says "We are required by law to record and retain this information".

Along the top I pre-print the booking details (rooms and no. nights) plus guest name. It requires address, car registration and signature.

Often guests say they don't know the car registration, if they're nice about it I'll say they can leave that and I'll go outside and fill it in once they've gone upstairs, if they're snooty or awkward about it I'll make them fill it in quoting the legal requirement. blush

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

To what end?

Where does this person stay that this is not asked? 

Seems I am always asked for my license as well as my credit card except for some mom and pop places I’ve stayed at. I assume to prove the card is mine.

I guess my answer would be two fold ... to verify the card holders identity and it’s a legal requirement.

If she had registered online, it would have been required.

The walk-in can walk right out again if she declines to provide the info I ask for. Who’s to say she’s not using a stolen card? 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Same in Europe. Every time I check into a hotel, they require my passport, and many times they keep it for hours, or even overnight. Interpol knows more about me than the US government. I don't like the passport leaving my sight, but it's either comply or sleep on a park bench.

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Required by law. And, at this point, I want to see her id, too, even tho I never ask for it.

I had a caller like this once. Refused to give me any info. I told her she needed to call a hotel.

And, yes, required since the Patriot act. Can someone give completely fake info? Sure. Most people don't.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

"I am required by Law to have name and address of every guest registered in my accommodation."

I believe this is the law since 9-11. Watch an old movie - the cops always go check the hotel register to check on people - so I think it has always been a requirement. Try to stay at a hotel without giving name and address (even if it is ficticious) although every hotel I have stayed at has required to see a photo ID, not to copy it, but to verify I am who I say I am.

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