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A Thief at the Inn!!!

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Beach girl.

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Hi
I am fairly new to the site but already addicted to all the info and great feedback.
Anyway, I need thoughts on this:
We sell some crafty stuff and postcards in the main area of our Inn, last week I watched a guest take several postacards from our stand and pocket them, it clearly says the postcards are priced, not expensive or anything but they are painted by a artist of the local area.I watched this from a distance and did nothing.
Why did I do nothing? I am still not sure, the whole having guest in your home thing, makes everything so much more personal, I had had a lengthy conversation with the man only the night before, he seemed nice enough. They are only postcards, let it go, all these things went through my mind, but inside I was miffed by it.
Am I overreacting, is stealing well.... stealing no matter what?? How should I have handled it?? Do you have any similar stories to share?
Cheers
Kerry
www.beach-rooms.com
 

EmptyNest

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If they are clearly marked for sale then people should pay for them. It is the principle of the thing. Maybe you could say something like..did you want to put the postcards on your invoice?
 

Beach girl.

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If they are clearly marked for sale then people should pay for them. It is the principle of the thing. Maybe you could say something like..did you want to put the postcards on your invoice?.
OOh very cool and collected, wish I had it in me....... Hindsight is twenty twenty so they say......
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I would give them the benefit of the doubt that, despite the sign clearly saying they're for sale, the guest thought they were free. Since you were right there within sight, it's hard to imagine otherwise.
How would I have handled it? Add them to the bill.
Before that, though, I'd engage the guest about how lovely the postcards are and mention what a bargain they are at X price. That way the guest has the opportunity to discretely correct her mistake.
If she doesn't she'll pay at checkout.
 

JBloggs

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Leaving stuffmart last night as a police car rolled in I said to DH (as we were rolling out a big lidded rubbermaid trashcan) the law states that you can put whatever you like in your pockets under your shirt, etc but if you WALK OUT OF THE STORE they can arrest you. I mentioned it as we surely could have filled it to the brim while in the store to carry groceries around.
Just wondering if the guest left with the cards in question or put them in their room?
 

GeorgiaGirl

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OR, she might have thought she paid for the room and is entitled to a few things...? Some people are just cleptomaniacs, have you checked her room to be sure everything's there? Her husband probably doesn't even have a clue that she did that.
 

birdwatcher

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I would non-chalantly tell them about when you started your "gift section" and where the postcards came from and that you really appreciate them purchasing the (whatever number) of postcards that they bought because you would like to get more out there to get the artist recognized and should you add that to your final room bill? Plus it gives you some "egg money" ( you know what that is right?) and you spend that right back into the gift shop so that guests can take a little "reminder" of their wonderful stay at our Inn....
Don't let it go, I am sure that they know what they where doing and this is something that may be uncomfortable, but you did purchase those postcards right? And you do want to make some profit from the gifts in your gift shop right? You can bring it up in a way that gives the artist some umph and that they are "unique" blah blah blah.
What they did is stealing and it would be the same if they would take a towel, pillow or anything elese out of your establishment, you are running a business sometime you have to remind people of that. In a nice way of course.
 

Mini

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We used to supply bottled water for our guests in the guest fridge, crazy us. No more.
Just before a couple left one morning, I saw them pocket all the remaining bottled water into their luggage. I Did nothing.
Also we have dvd's in a cabinet for guests to borrow while they are staying with us.
I should never have put my $19 Mama Mia dvd up there as it is now missing. Lessons learned.
Most guests are very trustworthy. It is those few bad ones which ruin it for the others.
 

EmptyNest

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We used to supply bottled water for our guests in the guest fridge, crazy us. No more.
Just before a couple left one morning, I saw them pocket all the remaining bottled water into their luggage. I Did nothing.
Also we have dvd's in a cabinet for guests to borrow while they are staying with us.
I should never have put my $19 Mama Mia dvd up there as it is now missing. Lessons learned.
Most guests are very trustworthy. It is those few bad ones which ruin it for the others..
We had tons of videos etc...none were ever stolen and I have never heard of anyone else locally who has had any taken. Must not have been a true B & B person. Yep..one apple spoils the bunch:-(
 

Beach girl.

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I wish they had been left in the room but alas no!
OOh well, not much I can do now, I think it worried me more for the future, it made me look at ways I should handle little incidents like this, as I am sure it will not be the last time. I find it incredibly difficult to be a friendly warm host, one minute then have to turn around and make everyones stay tense, but I guess it is either that or get walked over.
All your advice has helped me stand up a bit taller next time, after all I am not the one in the wrong....
Cheers
Kerry
www.beach-rooms.com
 

Morticia

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We've had guests ask if our coffee mugs are for sale. We tell them they are (and they're not expensive) and then they go walking. I think from now on I tell the guests the mugs are a lot more as that might discourage them from taking them. It's like they think, 'Oh, that's not much, they won't miss that money after what we paid to stay here.'
 

Tom

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We've had guests ask if our coffee mugs are for sale. We tell them they are (and they're not expensive) and then they go walking. I think from now on I tell the guests the mugs are a lot more as that might discourage them from taking them. It's like they think, 'Oh, that's not much, they won't miss that money after what we paid to stay here.'.
Interesting posts. We too are new to Inn keeping but we remember our own guest experiences and have a chief rule: If a bad guest causes trouble, don't take it out on the good guests yet to come.
We used to stay at a very high end B&B (cheapest room $200 in winter). When we first visited, shortly after they opened, they offered a complimentary bottle of decent local wine with their own house label and they had nice logo glasses (like the ones we have at our Inn, cost us about $5+ each). On our last visit, they served cheap box wine in the common area and didn't want you to take the glasses to your own room, saying, "you don't know how many of those glasses have disappeared on us!"
Well, … maybe. But what we heard was “you are going to steal our glasses just like the other crummy guests” and it took the fun out of staying there. Never went back.
So when annoying things happen and my wife wants to get official, I reminder her of that B&B and the need to treat every guest as a good guest from the start.
 

Morticia

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We've had guests ask if our coffee mugs are for sale. We tell them they are (and they're not expensive) and then they go walking. I think from now on I tell the guests the mugs are a lot more as that might discourage them from taking them. It's like they think, 'Oh, that's not much, they won't miss that money after what we paid to stay here.'.
Interesting posts. We too are new to Inn keeping but we remember our own guest experiences and have a chief rule: If a bad guest causes trouble, don't take it out on the good guests yet to come.
We used to stay at a very high end B&B (cheapest room $200 in winter). When we first visited, shortly after they opened, they offered a complimentary bottle of decent local wine with their own house label and they had nice logo glasses (like the ones we have at our Inn, cost us about $5+ each). On our last visit, they served cheap box wine in the common area and didn't want you to take the glasses to your own room, saying, "you don't know how many of those glasses have disappeared on us!"
Well, … maybe. But what we heard was “you are going to steal our glasses just like the other crummy guests” and it took the fun out of staying there. Never went back.
So when annoying things happen and my wife wants to get official, I reminder her of that B&B and the need to treat every guest as a good guest from the start.
.
Odd how much that sounds like marriage advice as well...just because your first husband was not the best, doesn't mean you should take it out on the next.
Hmmm...good thinking.
 

JBloggs

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Remember tho, we blow off steam on the forum, most if not all never say any of these things or act inn-appropriately with their guests. I was blowing off steam waiting for a 4pm check in who got here at 7pm, now I am bringing them coffee at 630am. See what I mean? "Talk is cheap"
The forum was supposed to be a place "where innkeepers belong" it was not designed for non innkeepers to read about ...well things we don't discuss with non innkeepers.
 

Copperhead

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We've had guests ask if our coffee mugs are for sale. We tell them they are (and they're not expensive) and then they go walking. I think from now on I tell the guests the mugs are a lot more as that might discourage them from taking them. It's like they think, 'Oh, that's not much, they won't miss that money after what we paid to stay here.'.
Interesting posts. We too are new to Inn keeping but we remember our own guest experiences and have a chief rule: If a bad guest causes trouble, don't take it out on the good guests yet to come.
We used to stay at a very high end B&B (cheapest room $200 in winter). When we first visited, shortly after they opened, they offered a complimentary bottle of decent local wine with their own house label and they had nice logo glasses (like the ones we have at our Inn, cost us about $5+ each). On our last visit, they served cheap box wine in the common area and didn't want you to take the glasses to your own room, saying, "you don't know how many of those glasses have disappeared on us!"
Well, … maybe. But what we heard was “you are going to steal our glasses just like the other crummy guests” and it took the fun out of staying there. Never went back.
So when annoying things happen and my wife wants to get official, I reminder her of that B&B and the need to treat every guest as a good guest from the start.
.
Tom, good advise.
And while we do come here to blow off steam we then carry on as nothing has happened. This forum is open and so while it was set up for innkeepers, it was not designed for only innkeepers to read - or take part in. (If it were, it would be a closed forum)

 

The Tipsy Butler

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That's one of the "rules I live by". Our guests come back and recommend us to others partly because of the relaxed open atmosphere. I've had a few 'bad eggs' and a couple of those were really bad eggs. I certainly take my lessons from these incidents but refuse to change the overall feel of the place because, taken as a whole, the positive (both emotionally AND financially) drastically overwhelms the negative and I really love my core group of guests, both the repeats and the repeats I have yet to meet.
 

JBloggs

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We've had guests ask if our coffee mugs are for sale. We tell them they are (and they're not expensive) and then they go walking. I think from now on I tell the guests the mugs are a lot more as that might discourage them from taking them. It's like they think, 'Oh, that's not much, they won't miss that money after what we paid to stay here.'.
Interesting posts. We too are new to Inn keeping but we remember our own guest experiences and have a chief rule: If a bad guest causes trouble, don't take it out on the good guests yet to come.
We used to stay at a very high end B&B (cheapest room $200 in winter). When we first visited, shortly after they opened, they offered a complimentary bottle of decent local wine with their own house label and they had nice logo glasses (like the ones we have at our Inn, cost us about $5+ each). On our last visit, they served cheap box wine in the common area and didn't want you to take the glasses to your own room, saying, "you don't know how many of those glasses have disappeared on us!"
Well, … maybe. But what we heard was “you are going to steal our glasses just like the other crummy guests” and it took the fun out of staying there. Never went back.
So when annoying things happen and my wife wants to get official, I reminder her of that B&B and the need to treat every guest as a good guest from the start.
.
Tom, good advise.
And while we do come here to blow off steam we then carry on as nothing has happened. This forum is open and so while it was set up for innkeepers, it was not designed for only innkeepers to read - or take part in. (If it were, it would be a closed forum)

.
copperhead said:
Tom, good advise.
And while we do come here to blow off steam we then carry on as nothing has happened. This forum is open and so while it was set up for innkeepers, it was not designed for only innkeepers to read - or take part in. (If it were, it would be a closed forum)
I am reading the header of the forum that says "Where innkeepers belong" I didn't make that up. It is primarily for innkeepers, it is an innkeeping forum!
Obv it is open to anyone as it is public but that is not saying we should encourage non innkeepers to be on this forum, that defeats the purpose of this "where innkeepers belong" idea. Which is why many including yourself have an inncognito user id. There are plenty of non innkeeping forums in this world filled with people.
 

EmptyNest

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Remember tho, we blow off steam on the forum, most if not all never say any of these things or act inn-appropriately with their guests. I was blowing off steam waiting for a 4pm check in who got here at 7pm, now I am bringing them coffee at 630am. See what I mean? "Talk is cheap"
The forum was supposed to be a place "where innkeepers belong" it was not designed for non innkeepers to read about ...well things we don't discuss with non innkeepers.
.
I guess it was me who came up with that slogan oh so long ago when I created the header graphic

This is an open forum...but chose to say that as this is primarily for innkeepers by innkeepers so in essence....a place "where you belong" and are comfortable sharing innkeeping issues with one another.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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We've had guests ask if our coffee mugs are for sale. We tell them they are (and they're not expensive) and then they go walking. I think from now on I tell the guests the mugs are a lot more as that might discourage them from taking them. It's like they think, 'Oh, that's not much, they won't miss that money after what we paid to stay here.'.
Interesting posts. We too are new to Inn keeping but we remember our own guest experiences and have a chief rule: If a bad guest causes trouble, don't take it out on the good guests yet to come.
We used to stay at a very high end B&B (cheapest room $200 in winter). When we first visited, shortly after they opened, they offered a complimentary bottle of decent local wine with their own house label and they had nice logo glasses (like the ones we have at our Inn, cost us about $5+ each). On our last visit, they served cheap box wine in the common area and didn't want you to take the glasses to your own room, saying, "you don't know how many of those glasses have disappeared on us!"
Well, … maybe. But what we heard was “you are going to steal our glasses just like the other crummy guests” and it took the fun out of staying there. Never went back.
So when annoying things happen and my wife wants to get official, I reminder her of that B&B and the need to treat every guest as a good guest from the start.
.
Tom, good advise.
And while we do come here to blow off steam we then carry on as nothing has happened. This forum is open and so while it was set up for innkeepers, it was not designed for only innkeepers to read - or take part in. (If it were, it would be a closed forum)

.
copperhead said:
Tom, good advise.
And while we do come here to blow off steam we then carry on as nothing has happened. This forum is open and so while it was set up for innkeepers, it was not designed for only innkeepers to read - or take part in. (If it were, it would be a closed forum)
I am reading the header of the forum that says "Where innkeepers belong" I didn't make that up. It is primarily for innkeepers, it is an innkeeping forum!
Obv it is open to anyone as it is public but that is not saying we should encourage non innkeepers to be on this forum, that defeats the purpose of this "where innkeepers belong" idea. Which is why many including yourself have an inncognito user id. There are plenty of non innkeeping forums in this world filled with people.
.
I agree.
 
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