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Anyone have a sample letter they can share?

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The Farmers Daughter

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Hey all,
I was wondering if anyone has a sample letter they would share for use when guests cancel within the managements cancellation time frame. Something stating they are responsible for 50% of their stay, yada...yada...yada.
Thanks and fingers crossed for an early Spring!
 

Alibi Ike

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When I reply back to a guest who cancels too late, I state that this is to confirm you have canceled your reservation for such and such date. Here is the cancellation policy as was in your original confirmation (insert cancellation policy here). We will make every effort to rebook your room, if we do we will refund your deposit, if we don't we will let you know.
If your cancellation policy states 50%, pop the cancellation policy into the email, stating this shouldn't be a surprise to you (ok, not quite so abrupt), sorry we didn't get to see you this time, please keep us in mind for future visits to the area. (Take that out if you don't ever want to see them!)
The cancellation fee shouldn't be a surprise, but we know how that goes.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Short, sweet, to the point!
Dear XYZ,
We're sorry you won't be able to stay with us. We have charged your credit card $0.00 as per our cancellation policy which you agreed to at the time you made your reservation.
(insert cancellation policy)

Kind Regards,
 

Don Draper

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Dear Mrs. Smith,
Thank you for your email. We have cancelled your reservation for the X Room this weekend. Because we are within our 7 day cancellation period (as outlined in your confirmation email, attached below), you will be responsible for full room charges unless we are able to rebook the room for all nights of your reservation. We do have a waiting list and have begun contacting those folks so are hopeful that we will be able to rebook the room. Should we be able to do so, your refund will be deposited less a $25 cancellation fee.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I don't get the concept "unless we can rebook your room". I will only tell them that if we have a full house. If you have rooms available, they cancel, then you get a new person who booked that room, you're still losing out on revenue. You could have had the rooms that were already booked PLUS another room.
Why should we lose out on $ because they didn't follow the policy?
 

Don Draper

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I don't get the concept "unless we can rebook your room". I will only tell them that if we have a full house. If you have rooms available, they cancel, then you get a new person who booked that room, you're still losing out on revenue. You could have had the rooms that were already booked PLUS another room.
Why should we lose out on $ because they didn't follow the policy?.
We typically have a full house when we're dealing with a cancellation, which is why we make the offer to try to rebook and if we are able to do so we refund them.
Last year, early in season we had a last minute cancellation. The woman was adamant that she could see from our availability calendar that we were not full, so she should get a refund. I tried to explain advance costs, etc. but she was having none of it. How would you respond?
 

gillumhouse

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I don't get the concept "unless we can rebook your room". I will only tell them that if we have a full house. If you have rooms available, they cancel, then you get a new person who booked that room, you're still losing out on revenue. You could have had the rooms that were already booked PLUS another room.
Why should we lose out on $ because they didn't follow the policy?.
We typically have a full house when we're dealing with a cancellation, which is why we make the offer to try to rebook and if we are able to do so we refund them.
Last year, early in season we had a last minute cancellation. The woman was adamant that she could see from our availability calendar that we were not full, so she should get a refund. I tried to explain advance costs, etc. but she was having none of it. How would you respond?
.
I would not mention rebook or full-house. The policy states cancel after this time period and you pay. Period. Here is your receipt. Sorry you could not come.
 

Alibi Ike

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I don't get the concept "unless we can rebook your room". I will only tell them that if we have a full house. If you have rooms available, they cancel, then you get a new person who booked that room, you're still losing out on revenue. You could have had the rooms that were already booked PLUS another room.
Why should we lose out on $ because they didn't follow the policy?.
Breakfast Diva said:
I don't get the concept "unless we can rebook your room". I will only tell them that if we have a full house. If you have rooms available, they cancel, then you get a new person who booked that room, you're still losing out on revenue. You could have had the rooms that were already booked PLUS another room.
Why should we lose out on $ because they didn't follow the policy?
I follow Catlady's premise of 'least amount of aggro'. I have had guests screaming at me that I am not full so they are not going to pay for a room they didn't use. They monitor the calendar and call when they see ANY room fill up. 'You got another room, give me money back.' So, yes, I am out one night if someone books that room who would have taken a different room. But, I am hoping to cut down on the screaming and insults and general abuse. I've actually eased up on the cancel policy. I used to say the guest would pay for ALL nights not rebooked.
The chances of someone booking that exact room if many are open? Can be pretty slim.
I guess this is a good place to ask- do any of your late cancels ever call to make another reservation? I'm trying to find a balance here. Essentially the balance is between me getting nothing and me getting something. I was advised to not offer vouchers for another night.
 

Alibi Ike

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I don't get the concept "unless we can rebook your room". I will only tell them that if we have a full house. If you have rooms available, they cancel, then you get a new person who booked that room, you're still losing out on revenue. You could have had the rooms that were already booked PLUS another room.
Why should we lose out on $ because they didn't follow the policy?.
We typically have a full house when we're dealing with a cancellation, which is why we make the offer to try to rebook and if we are able to do so we refund them.
Last year, early in season we had a last minute cancellation. The woman was adamant that she could see from our availability calendar that we were not full, so she should get a refund. I tried to explain advance costs, etc. but she was having none of it. How would you respond?
.
Don Draper said:
Last year, early in season we had a last minute cancellation. The woman was adamant that she could see from our availability calendar that we were not full, so she should get a refund. I tried to explain advance costs, etc. but she was having none of it. How would you respond?
Yes, this is exactly why I hate the online calendar. However, here is what I say, 'You booked this particular room and took it out of circulation so anyone else who wanted that room, as you did, could not make the reservation for the room they wanted. Guests, such as yourself, want particular rooms so the cancellation policy applies to the room you reserved whether we are full or empty.'
 

Copperhead

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Full or Not, your cancellation policy is your cancellation policy for that reservation. Hotels do not say 'since we aren't full we will not charge you', so why should we be different?
They didn't have a problem when they booked, but now that they want to cancel, it is a problem.
When you send your letter, just state the facts - Sorry you were unable to join us this weekend, due to our cancellation policy (see below) which you agreed to, your card has been charged $X. We hope you will be able to visit with us at another time.....
 

egoodell

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I don't get the concept "unless we can rebook your room". I will only tell them that if we have a full house. If you have rooms available, they cancel, then you get a new person who booked that room, you're still losing out on revenue. You could have had the rooms that were already booked PLUS another room.
Why should we lose out on $ because they didn't follow the policy?.
We typically have a full house when we're dealing with a cancellation, which is why we make the offer to try to rebook and if we are able to do so we refund them.
Last year, early in season we had a last minute cancellation. The woman was adamant that she could see from our availability calendar that we were not full, so she should get a refund. I tried to explain advance costs, etc. but she was having none of it. How would you respond?
.
Don Draper said:
We typically have a full house when we're dealing with a cancellation, which is why we make the offer to try to rebook and if we are able to do so we refund them.
Last year, early in season we had a last minute cancellation. The woman was adamant that she could see from our availability calendar that we were not full, so she should get a refund. I tried to explain advance costs, etc. but she was having none of it. How would you respond?
It's easier for me since I have only two rooms, and one has the whirlpool tub and fireplace. I could just play her game and tell her that I turned away guests who only wanted that particlular room. Yes there were other rooms but they did not want that one. So if she booked the room with the tub I can say I had to turn away bookings that asked for a tub. If she booked the other room I can say I turned away bookings that wanted a room with a sitting room nook.
RIki
 

Breakfast Diva

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Full or Not, your cancellation policy is your cancellation policy for that reservation. Hotels do not say 'since we aren't full we will not charge you', so why should we be different?
They didn't have a problem when they booked, but now that they want to cancel, it is a problem.
When you send your letter, just state the facts - Sorry you were unable to join us this weekend, due to our cancellation policy (see below) which you agreed to, your card has been charged $X. We hope you will be able to visit with us at another time......
copperhead said:
Full or Not, your cancellation policy is your cancellation policy for that reservation. Hotels do not say 'since we aren't full we will not charge you', so why should we be different?
They didn't have a problem when they booked, but now that they want to cancel, it is a problem.
When you send your letter, just state the facts - Sorry you were unable to join us this weekend, due to our cancellation policy (see below) which you agreed to, your card has been charged $X. We hope you will be able to visit with us at another time.....
Your business, your rules, you don't need to justify. More than likely if they cancel last minute, you wouldn't want them back anyway.
 

Samster

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Full or Not, your cancellation policy is your cancellation policy for that reservation. Hotels do not say 'since we aren't full we will not charge you', so why should we be different?
They didn't have a problem when they booked, but now that they want to cancel, it is a problem.
When you send your letter, just state the facts - Sorry you were unable to join us this weekend, due to our cancellation policy (see below) which you agreed to, your card has been charged $X. We hope you will be able to visit with us at another time......
I agree... the K.I.S.S. method of innkeeping seems to always work better in this case.
You (the guest) agreed to the cancellation policy when you booked, you canceled, you are subject to the cancellation policy. It seems like when innkeepers get engaged with guests in a protracted discussion around why the guests think that they should not be charged when they are clearly in the wrong, it always ends badly. Or, they get into a sob story about why they canceled.
It's not personal, it's business. Just the facts...you held the room for them, they cancelled.
 
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