Our Seasons Of Discontent... or Why I Wanted To Quit Today

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

For some reason, things always go off the rails from Labour Day until Thanksgiving (this coming weekend) and for the most part this year we have avoided it... by changing the rate the room that we say has a curse (spinsters in that room always seem to be part of it.)

Well, yesterday was the day. At 3PM the arrivals complained about their room... but they chose it, everything was disclosed... no, they wanted me to magically create a bigger room for them.... didn't understand that I couldn't just give them someone else's room. I wasn't in the best shape (hadn't slept well) and had I been in top form, I might have instantly just offered them a refund and told them to go elsewhere... right on the spot. (Specific told them later on, for the next day... difference being, I would have sent them on their way immediately!)

Next arrival.... toddler in tow! We don't accommodate toddlers... but what am I going to do, throw them out on the spot? Well, no good deed goes unpunished... go up to the room today and they have wet the bed... mother said NOTHING. Wash mattress protector, wash sheets, put down garbage bag under the clean (cheap) sheets. Kicker... they tossed out the tip envelope. Room a mess, etc. I think I will tell them that it's an extra charge in cash to the housekeeper for cleaning the bed... or if they want it on their card, it's 50% more plus taxes. Because this one isn't going to leave a tip otherwise. And what's the down side of the review? It clearly says that we do not accept children and yet you decided to break the rules and didn't want to pay for the consequences of your not properly supervising your child and ensuring that they don't urinate on our bed?

Any suggestions? 

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ChrisandShelley's picture
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It is imperative that people inform you of bed wetting as it presents a health hazard to housekeeping staff (whether it's you or an employee). It's unacceptable and well worth a confrontation to me, even if it comes with a bad review. I wouldn't be shy in my review response about stating that leaving a bed wet with urine is a health hazard, posing risks to housekeepers and future guests.

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Christopher and Shelley Smith, Innkeepers
The Wildflower Bed & Breakfast, Mountain View, AR

 

ChrisandShelley's picture
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We've been fortunate to have only a couple of arrivals with infants. We helped them find other accommodations, citing "insurance restrictions".

The bed wetters we had were adults. We did have an 8 year old who shared the bed with mom, but she was upfront and honest, offering to pay for the sheets if we needed her to. Of course we didn't require that, but thanked her for letting us know so our housekeepers could handle the sheets appropriately and safely.

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For the couple not happy with there room, I told them the size of the room was well indicated on bdc,  that they simply didn't pay attention,  and offered to let them off no fees for the last 3 days if they found other accommodations.  I figured that if they were miserable for 4 days, they would make us miserable.

For the baby, the mother was a young irresponsible mother, often leaving the toddler alone (not for long, but still... the kid actually walked outside by herself on the last day when mom was gathering her bags !!!).  Baby cried a lot, but most other guests didn't seem to mind, as they all said "Oh we had babies... we know what it's like". 

But the room was such a mess,  big yellow stains (not pee... but according to housekeeper, some sort of medications) on the sheet, pillows and  on the comforter cover,  stains on the chair covers

Next time we get a reservation that mentions 1 child, we will ask before arrival for the age of the kid,  and if not over our 7 y/o criteria, we will tell them to find other accommodation.  As for OTA,  it will now be adults only.   Of course, that won't prevent people from trying to cheat, but we will see.  

Morticia's picture
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Specific wrote:

Next time we get a reservation that mentions 1 child, we will ask before arrival for the age of the kid,  and if not over our 7 y/o criteria, we will tell them to find other accommodation.  As for OTA,  it will now be adults only.   Of course, that won't prevent people from trying to cheat, but we will see.  

Since we added 'no children' or 'adults only' to BDC we have not had a BDC reservation show up with a kid they never mentioned. We also don't allow 3 adults in a room on BDC, so it cuts down on those, too.

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So I am wondering how did it go upon check out  handling the guest with the kid?

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09/21/2019

For other guest staying, who left their kids at home for a getaway, they are not going to be happy listening to someone elses kid whining and running thru the house.

I let a family with preteens rent the whole Inn last year. Figuring the parents had stayed before and they seemed responsible. I think it was a 4 night stay which was going to be great income. Question was it worth it  since I stayed aggravated for the entire time they were there til days later. When booking oh yeah she told me about the kids at the end and I hesitated but $$ were in front of my eyes. Figuring kids these days are always on devices so maybe it wont be bad.

The disrespect of the bedrooms from both kids and parents blew me away. I saw the kids room before the parents did and thought maybe they would tell the kids to clean it up, nope. Just makes me wonder what does their own homes look like, do you treat your stuff like that.

As Innkeepers we take pride in our home so for them to not even notice this is not how they found it.

Tom
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That sucks.  We've had a few like that, very few.  Someone complains about room and I immediately give them a phone number of a local motel.  I don't mention that they keep a roll of yellow police "crime scene" tape in the maintenance closet because it is used so often.  I just don't want to negotiate someone's expectations; if they think it's a way to get a discount, big mistake. 

We have had a few surprise children.  Sometimes it's "he doesn't need a bed so I didn't think I needed to put it in the reservation".  I offer the pack-n-play or the doggie soft crate.  They usually pick the former.  We had a bed wetter, a 6 yo but under immense family stress, dad was a Los Angeles surgeon, possibly one of the worst arrogant SOB I've met.  No apology, no tip, but his tail lights were priceless.

You're City, we're Country.  You get a lot more tourists than we do, hence a lot more people trying to pull something, like the kid

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I take 2-legged animals.So far it is rare that I get them but they have been housebroken when I do get them. Toddlers and under get the pack n play.

PhineasSwann's picture
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We allow small children in all but our main house rooms, so each of our mattresses have waterproof liners under the mattress pads. 

We occasionally get guests who "forget" to tell us they have small children. We have very little tolerance for it. They know what they're doing. 

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Highlands John's picture
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PhineasSwann wrote:

We occasionally get guests who "forget" to tell us they have small children. We have very little tolerance for it. They know what they're doing. 

Yep, they do. We've had several occasions where people book weeks in advance and then a day or two before arrival they'll email or phone and ask for a cot for their x month old baby.

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Arks's picture
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Morticia knows a thing or two about bed wetters. Indeed, no good deed goes unpunished. That's why you have posted policies. Try to stick to them.

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Morticia's picture
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I guess if they were staying another night I would have left the bed unmade 'to dry out' and left them the sheets to put on themselves. With a note explaining why there was now a charge on their card for 'additional cleaning' and possibly for a new mattress as our state does not allow you to resell the room with a urine-soaked mattress.

BTDT, got the new mattress to show for it.

Generic's picture
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Garbage bag under the sheets, clearly there and noisy.

Morticia's picture
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Generic wrote:

Garbage bag under the sheets, clearly there and noisy.

That's what we had to do.

 

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We all can feel for you. Like you say, its after the fact when you realize what we should have done. Lesson learned so just chalk it up to that.

Years ago I had the same issue with a couple showing up with a toddler, I am sure the look on my face told them more than I could say. As well it was 8 pm so what could I do.  I wonder if that was to happen again how I would handle it.   When guest have ask about having 3 in a room I tell them due to Fire Marshal codes I cannot allow more than 2 persons per room.

Have to remember that bad days like that make us appreciate the great days better.

How many nights are they there for? For sure feel it is fair for you to charge what ever you feel for having to clean what is not normal house keeping and extra for the additional person.

Generic's picture
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One more night. One more long night.

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

I only had one person with chid (14 year-old) once.  When they made the reservation I clearly asked "This is for one adult only?"  and all of our literature, including our confirmation states that we do not accommodate families with children under 18.  So when the mom called on her way here and mentioned that her 14 year-old daugher would be coming with her..here's the kicker... and that the daughter would be remaining in the room unattendted for the mornings while "Mom" was in class, I simply told her that she would have to find another arrangement or lose her 50% deposit.  We do not take responsibility for other people's children.  Period.

I found her another accommodation and kept the deposit since it was high season and we had turned away several inquiries for the time of her reservation.  She wasn't happy but at least she didn't have to sleep on the beach!  

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