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toddburme

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We are not signed up to take them but we had a booking come in for Friday. Who then liked us so much they booked for Sat and when they checked out they dropped a $75.00 GC. My partner took it and said he will figure out what to do with it. I also read the threads on here and it seems that most of us do not take them. I noticed that most of our competition do take them. Going to give it a shot as we are nervous about our first summer. I know discounting your peak months is not an ideal.
Any new thoughts on this?
 

egoodell

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The main problem that I have heard with the Bedandbreakfast.com gift cards is that they allow guests to use up to three for one stay. The problem with this is that they can arrive with three $200 valued gift cards and then they want to use them for the room, massages, and other priced packages. I would not touch them with a ten foot pole. They can go buy them discounted at Costco and other places and then bundle them for use.
If this practice is no longer allowed, then I guess if you need the business it's worth losing 20%. But I would contact B&B and ask them if you can specify ONE gift cert per room per stay and see what they say.
Riki
 

Don Draper

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This is why we do not allow online booking with any kind of gift certificate...then I can nip this in the bud before they book.
 

muirford

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My DH recently got halfway through a reservation when they dropped the GC card, so we declined to take the reservation. I am convinced that more and more people are not informing you about them, as they are having trouble finding inns that take them. We have in our signed policies for online booking that we do not accept the bandb.com or lanier cards, and in our email confirmation. We haven't had one dropped on us since then.
 

toddburme

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We have an odd thing in that we have to take them for a day to use the one we got. I think that is what my partner came up with to ge rid of the one we got hahaha. We could use it as a FB promo to our facebook fans.
 

Generic

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I accept them, but they still must book online with a credit card to back it up (but I don't charge a deposit.)
There are two kinds, those that they buy directly and those that they buy at Costco. The ones from Costco you never take! Those can only be used on B&B's website and have to be booked through them, unless they were purchased earlier than June 2009. (I have yet to see one of these) and they are limited to 2 cards per stay.
The other ones, you reed through the B&B website after you log in. From Home Base you go to Cards/Certificates at the top and choose Accept Cards/Certificates. On the left hand side you click on Redeem Cards/Certs.
To be honest, I get so few of them that it isn't worth worrying about. And for the most part, it only covers part of the costs. And my summers are so tight that I usually get them only in the slow season.
I have, on occassion had someone come up to the door with no reservation and ask me if we accept them. When I say that I do they ask if I have availability immediately... which I never have had. (As I said, summers... I'm full, you have to reserve well in advance.)
 

Don Draper

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I accept them, but they still must book online with a credit card to back it up (but I don't charge a deposit.)
There are two kinds, those that they buy directly and those that they buy at Costco. The ones from Costco you never take! Those can only be used on B&B's website and have to be booked through them, unless they were purchased earlier than June 2009. (I have yet to see one of these) and they are limited to 2 cards per stay.
The other ones, you reed through the B&B website after you log in. From Home Base you go to Cards/Certificates at the top and choose Accept Cards/Certificates. On the left hand side you click on Redeem Cards/Certs.
To be honest, I get so few of them that it isn't worth worrying about. And for the most part, it only covers part of the costs. And my summers are so tight that I usually get them only in the slow season.
I have, on occassion had someone come up to the door with no reservation and ask me if we accept them. When I say that I do they ask if I have availability immediately... which I never have had. (As I said, summers... I'm full, you have to reserve well in advance.).
When we accepted them we would get the exact opposite...people wanting popular times/rooms when we'd be full anyway so not worth the steep commission. I wonder why the difference?
 

Generic

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I accept them, but they still must book online with a credit card to back it up (but I don't charge a deposit.)
There are two kinds, those that they buy directly and those that they buy at Costco. The ones from Costco you never take! Those can only be used on B&B's website and have to be booked through them, unless they were purchased earlier than June 2009. (I have yet to see one of these) and they are limited to 2 cards per stay.
The other ones, you reed through the B&B website after you log in. From Home Base you go to Cards/Certificates at the top and choose Accept Cards/Certificates. On the left hand side you click on Redeem Cards/Certs.
To be honest, I get so few of them that it isn't worth worrying about. And for the most part, it only covers part of the costs. And my summers are so tight that I usually get them only in the slow season.
I have, on occassion had someone come up to the door with no reservation and ask me if we accept them. When I say that I do they ask if I have availability immediately... which I never have had. (As I said, summers... I'm full, you have to reserve well in advance.).
When we accepted them we would get the exact opposite...people wanting popular times/rooms when we'd be full anyway so not worth the steep commission. I wonder why the difference?
.
We have very high occupancy in the summer and the smartest people book well in advance. To give you an idea, 2/3rds of June and July are sold and 1/3rd of August. They just don't book far enough in advance to be able to use the GC. And almost always, their GC doesn't cover their whole stay. I have only had once gentleman who left here with a balance on his card, after a two night stay.
In the winter, I have lower occupancy, so I get more GC. I find that people with gift cards don't plan that far in advance.
 

Alibi Ike

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Because you have the GC, use it yourself or regift it. Other than that, I have nothing to add to the discussion that's already taken place!
 

Breakfast Diva

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It's my understanding that if you join the program, you're in it for a year. You can not block out any dates either. I used to get a lot of people trying to use the GC (busy season), so I did like Muirford...put on my website & confirmation letter that we only take GC issued by us. It stopped most of the problem.
 

toddburme

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hmmm... Web traffic keeps building and so are bookings. Maybe we just skip it.
I think I have mentioned that we have 2 B&B's a town over that do literally everything. they are gold or higher everywhere and in every directory. I literally cannot find a place that they are not there already. And they both take GC's.
 

Aussie Innkeeper

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We do take them. Most of the B&B's in our area do not...which is exactly why we do. They'll come to us because we take them, enjoy their stay and then COME BACK!! Would I rather fill a room at full price? Of course I would! But ask me if I'd rather fill it for a 20% commission or not at all...I'll bet you can guess what I'd say.
 

Breakfast Diva

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hmmm... Web traffic keeps building and so are bookings. Maybe we just skip it.
I think I have mentioned that we have 2 B&B's a town over that do literally everything. they are gold or higher everywhere and in every directory. I literally cannot find a place that they are not there already. And they both take GC's..
Even though I don't take them, I think there is a value to them for a lot of properties. Since you are still pretty new and developing your client base, you might consider taking them for 1 year and then re-evaluate.
 

muirford

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hmmm... Web traffic keeps building and so are bookings. Maybe we just skip it.
I think I have mentioned that we have 2 B&B's a town over that do literally everything. they are gold or higher everywhere and in every directory. I literally cannot find a place that they are not there already. And they both take GC's..
Even though I don't take them, I think there is a value to them for a lot of properties. Since you are still pretty new and developing your client base, you might consider taking them for 1 year and then re-evaluate.
.
Breakfast Diva said:
Even though I don't take them, I think there is a value to them for a lot of properties. Since you are still pretty new and developing your client base, you might consider taking them for 1 year and then re-evaluate.
That's a smart move. We took them in the beginning also. We found the same as Don Draper, that they were used on full weekends anyway. When we ran the comparison of weekday traffic we gained (maybe) from the GCs versus what we paid in commission for the weekends we would have been full anyway, they cost us money. So we stopped. If you're in a competitive area, taking them might drive more business to you.
We have two diamond collections inns within 20 miles that take them, so I tell callers about them. They are also more expensive than we are.
 

sandynn

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I was not taking them either but had a lady very upset that we didn't. She couldn't understand why not all inns took them and that it would only make sense that they should all take the gift cards. She could not understand how if you bought them from b&b.com you wouldn't be able to choose any inn. I explained that we have the choice not to. She said they had booked and was coming even if we wouldn't take them but she was very upset. I talked to her and they had booked two rooms for two nights so I was willing to call b&b.com to see if I could accept them this one time for her. They said yes.
I went on to my listing at b&b.com as if I were a guest and I think I would have assumed the same. I told my guest that I could see her point very clearly and when we renew we would start taking them ( not excited about giving them 20%). We renewed yesterday. I feel this is the right thing to do for the guests. Yesterday I saw where she had written a review and it was the kindest review I think I have ever received. She is put it on TA and b&b.com but the b&b.com one is not there just yet. I am so glad I saw it through a guests eyes. She e-mailed me and said the review was very sincere and they loved it here.
I told b&b.com that it doesn't seem very clear that not all inns take them. Their answer was it is made very clear to who buys them. Well if the one that buys them doesn't bother to tell the one who they give them to, then it is not clear to the guest.
To your question just call and tell them what happened and they might let you use it one time shot.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I was not taking them either but had a lady very upset that we didn't. She couldn't understand why not all inns took them and that it would only make sense that they should all take the gift cards. She could not understand how if you bought them from b&b.com you wouldn't be able to choose any inn. I explained that we have the choice not to. She said they had booked and was coming even if we wouldn't take them but she was very upset. I talked to her and they had booked two rooms for two nights so I was willing to call b&b.com to see if I could accept them this one time for her. They said yes.
I went on to my listing at b&b.com as if I were a guest and I think I would have assumed the same. I told my guest that I could see her point very clearly and when we renew we would start taking them ( not excited about giving them 20%). We renewed yesterday. I feel this is the right thing to do for the guests. Yesterday I saw where she had written a review and it was the kindest review I think I have ever received. She is put it on TA and b&b.com but the b&b.com one is not there just yet. I am so glad I saw it through a guests eyes. She e-mailed me and said the review was very sincere and they loved it here.
I told b&b.com that it doesn't seem very clear that not all inns take them. Their answer was it is made very clear to who buys them. Well if the one that buys them doesn't bother to tell the one who they give them to, then it is not clear to the guest.
To your question just call and tell them what happened and they might let you use it one time shot..
I explain to the guest how to find the inns that accept the cards and then suggest that they contact bb.com and tell them how unhappy they are. Let their anger vent where it belongs...bb.com not me.
It's because bb.com is not clear with how to book and make it obvious on their website.
 

Don Draper

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I was not taking them either but had a lady very upset that we didn't. She couldn't understand why not all inns took them and that it would only make sense that they should all take the gift cards. She could not understand how if you bought them from b&b.com you wouldn't be able to choose any inn. I explained that we have the choice not to. She said they had booked and was coming even if we wouldn't take them but she was very upset. I talked to her and they had booked two rooms for two nights so I was willing to call b&b.com to see if I could accept them this one time for her. They said yes.
I went on to my listing at b&b.com as if I were a guest and I think I would have assumed the same. I told my guest that I could see her point very clearly and when we renew we would start taking them ( not excited about giving them 20%). We renewed yesterday. I feel this is the right thing to do for the guests. Yesterday I saw where she had written a review and it was the kindest review I think I have ever received. She is put it on TA and b&b.com but the b&b.com one is not there just yet. I am so glad I saw it through a guests eyes. She e-mailed me and said the review was very sincere and they loved it here.
I told b&b.com that it doesn't seem very clear that not all inns take them. Their answer was it is made very clear to who buys them. Well if the one that buys them doesn't bother to tell the one who they give them to, then it is not clear to the guest.
To your question just call and tell them what happened and they might let you use it one time shot..
We've had this conversation with several guests and once we explain how unfair the company's practices are (compared to other directories with GC programs) they totally get it. I've never had someone whom I've actually spoken to not stay here because we didn't take the card, they always end up booking. This company is breaking the backs of the "little guys" in our industry and the more people learn about it the better.
 

sandynn

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I was not taking them either but had a lady very upset that we didn't. She couldn't understand why not all inns took them and that it would only make sense that they should all take the gift cards. She could not understand how if you bought them from b&b.com you wouldn't be able to choose any inn. I explained that we have the choice not to. She said they had booked and was coming even if we wouldn't take them but she was very upset. I talked to her and they had booked two rooms for two nights so I was willing to call b&b.com to see if I could accept them this one time for her. They said yes.
I went on to my listing at b&b.com as if I were a guest and I think I would have assumed the same. I told my guest that I could see her point very clearly and when we renew we would start taking them ( not excited about giving them 20%). We renewed yesterday. I feel this is the right thing to do for the guests. Yesterday I saw where she had written a review and it was the kindest review I think I have ever received. She is put it on TA and b&b.com but the b&b.com one is not there just yet. I am so glad I saw it through a guests eyes. She e-mailed me and said the review was very sincere and they loved it here.
I told b&b.com that it doesn't seem very clear that not all inns take them. Their answer was it is made very clear to who buys them. Well if the one that buys them doesn't bother to tell the one who they give them to, then it is not clear to the guest.
To your question just call and tell them what happened and they might let you use it one time shot..
We've had this conversation with several guests and once we explain how unfair the company's practices are (compared to other directories with GC programs) they totally get it. I've never had someone whom I've actually spoken to not stay here because we didn't take the card, they always end up booking. This company is breaking the backs of the "little guys" in our industry and the more people learn about it the better.
.
My guest was going to stay anyway but would have been very unhappy as it was they were delightful guests. I felt good about doing this for them.
Yes you are very right that this company is out for themselves and I don't like that but I guess they are really not looking out for the small inns like they used to be. I just did what I felt was right for my guests.
 

Don Draper

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I was not taking them either but had a lady very upset that we didn't. She couldn't understand why not all inns took them and that it would only make sense that they should all take the gift cards. She could not understand how if you bought them from b&b.com you wouldn't be able to choose any inn. I explained that we have the choice not to. She said they had booked and was coming even if we wouldn't take them but she was very upset. I talked to her and they had booked two rooms for two nights so I was willing to call b&b.com to see if I could accept them this one time for her. They said yes.
I went on to my listing at b&b.com as if I were a guest and I think I would have assumed the same. I told my guest that I could see her point very clearly and when we renew we would start taking them ( not excited about giving them 20%). We renewed yesterday. I feel this is the right thing to do for the guests. Yesterday I saw where she had written a review and it was the kindest review I think I have ever received. She is put it on TA and b&b.com but the b&b.com one is not there just yet. I am so glad I saw it through a guests eyes. She e-mailed me and said the review was very sincere and they loved it here.
I told b&b.com that it doesn't seem very clear that not all inns take them. Their answer was it is made very clear to who buys them. Well if the one that buys them doesn't bother to tell the one who they give them to, then it is not clear to the guest.
To your question just call and tell them what happened and they might let you use it one time shot..
We've had this conversation with several guests and once we explain how unfair the company's practices are (compared to other directories with GC programs) they totally get it. I've never had someone whom I've actually spoken to not stay here because we didn't take the card, they always end up booking. This company is breaking the backs of the "little guys" in our industry and the more people learn about it the better.
.
My guest was going to stay anyway but would have been very unhappy as it was they were delightful guests. I felt good about doing this for them.
Yes you are very right that this company is out for themselves and I don't like that but I guess they are really not looking out for the small inns like they used to be. I just did what I felt was right for my guests.
.
I applaud you making your guests happy for sure, but the problem is on the B&B directory's side, not yours. Is it any more clear on their site now (to people like these guests) how they pick an appropriate Inn next time? Or will the next innkeeper have to make the concession too? It just gets my goat that WE pay for their greed (the directory's, not the guests').
 

toddburme

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I do think it is very odd that they have ads for other stuff on the main page. It shows a huge lack of understanding as to how the web works. Yes, it opens in a new window but we are not just competing now for their attention with livingsocial.com or whatever ad is up but as web advertisers we compete with the phone, dog, kids, dinner, etc. If they make their money by bringing people to their site and selling them to us then that is what they should do. The other stuff is foolish and disrespectful.
 
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