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Cancellations: What does it mean when someone books (e.g. 4 nights) then cancels 12 hours later?

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vacpacker1

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It has happened to us at least several times (in the almost 2 years we've been open). Someone books (either online, or after a lengthy phone conversation), and then cancels less than 24 hours later, claiming "they had a change of plans, and could no longer come to our area at that time". In the latest instance, someone booked for a big sports event here at the end of May for 4 nights (our last remaining room open), and then called 12 hours later to cancel. They claimed they had a change of plans but I find it hard to believe that between Saturday pm and Sunday am there could be such. I suspect it meant they were still looking for another place (e.g. less expensive, closer to "town" etc.) and wouldn't tell me the truth. Have you had experiences like this, and what is your take on it? Thanks much for the input.
 

JBloggs

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Not wanting to sound doubtful, but would you care to say hello first? We don't know you yet and would like to meet you.

In answer, plans change, that is what they are "plans" and people OFTEN cancel 12 hours later, in fact, most of our cancellations occur shortly after booking. Could be they found some other really neat place to see or do and changed their route.
 

vacpacker1

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Not wanting to sound doubtful, but would you care to say hello first? We don't know you yet and would like to meet you.

In answer, plans change, that is what they are "plans" and people OFTEN cancel 12 hours later, in fact, most of our cancellations occur shortly after booking. Could be they found some other really neat place to see or do and changed their route..
Hello, Joey:
I am the wife (and fellow innkeeper) of "Tom". We own the McKenzie Orchards Bed and Breakfast in the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area. He's been posting since the summer of '09, and asked me to get my own account, since our views often differ.
As to the question of "changing their route", I doubt that these people did so, as they were undoubtedly coming for the USAA West track and field championship event at the end of May, not just touring Oregon. So I do suspect they were looking for another venue, and did not just cancel a stop in Eugene. I just wish people would either (not book till they know what they want to do) or (tell me the truth). I know that I am not the kind of person who would ever do this. I wouldn't make a reservation until I was 99.9% sure that was what I was going to do (barring some disaster, of course).
 

Generic

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way.
 

vacpacker1

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way..
All good points you made. In this case, I'm sure it wasn't having vacation days approved, since the guy owns a large insurance agency. Could have been some of the other reasons, however. Maybe his wife reminded him of some conflict he'd forgotten. I just wish they'd figure it out BEFORE they made the reservation. I'd rather have no reservation at all than a cancellation of a 4-day booking.
 

Joey Camb

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We had this the other day lady booked though online booking agency a twin room and special request was that one of the beds be made up with blankets. I sent an email back saying we were happy to comply did they want it made up in the triple sheeting style? ie bottom sheet, top sheet blanket and then a sheet on the top. (put it in the email a bit better but you get the idea) and then next day they cancelled as the place "was not appropriate for us" whatever? Surely you should be glad we actually noticed your request as if we were a big hotel I can guarantee they wouldn't as there is little communication between housekeeping and reservations. I think they book to place hold and then keep looking, its that there is always something better/cheaper/nearer waiting to be found. Where I am if it is cheaper than me then there is a reason for it so you get what you deserve.
 

vacpacker1

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We had this the other day lady booked though online booking agency a twin room and special request was that one of the beds be made up with blankets. I sent an email back saying we were happy to comply did they want it made up in the triple sheeting style? ie bottom sheet, top sheet blanket and then a sheet on the top. (put it in the email a bit better but you get the idea) and then next day they cancelled as the place "was not appropriate for us" whatever? Surely you should be glad we actually noticed your request as if we were a big hotel I can guarantee they wouldn't as there is little communication between housekeeping and reservations. I think they book to place hold and then keep looking, its that there is always something better/cheaper/nearer waiting to be found. Where I am if it is cheaper than me then there is a reason for it so you get what you deserve..
Hello, and thank you so much for your answer. I totally empathize with your situation. It is so frustrating when you try to do your very best for people but someone you can't please them. I guess it goes with the territory, and you have to be thankful for the guests that you remember with gratitude.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Do you charge a deposit when the reservation is made? For a 4 night stay, we would charge 50%, otherwise it's a 1 night deposit. I find that this really elimates the ones that make a reservation "until" something else comes along.
 

vacpacker1

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Do you charge a deposit when the reservation is made? For a 4 night stay, we would charge 50%, otherwise it's a 1 night deposit. I find that this really elimates the ones that make a reservation "until" something else comes along..
Hi. We usually don't charge a deposit unless it's a block booking of several rooms. We do have a 3-week cancellation policy for special event dates (like the one this person cancelled), and will charge a $50 cancellation fee if they cancel closer than 3 weeks for this (10 days for a regular booking). We will charge them for 1 night within the window, unless we re-book the room.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Do you charge a deposit when the reservation is made? For a 4 night stay, we would charge 50%, otherwise it's a 1 night deposit. I find that this really elimates the ones that make a reservation "until" something else comes along..
Hi. We usually don't charge a deposit unless it's a block booking of several rooms. We do have a 3-week cancellation policy for special event dates (like the one this person cancelled), and will charge a $50 cancellation fee if they cancel closer than 3 weeks for this (10 days for a regular booking). We will charge them for 1 night within the window, unless we re-book the room.
.
If you find it's been a problem, you might want to re-evaluate. We also charge a $25 cancellation fee for ANY cancellation. That also eliminates looky-loos who just book with you "until".
Do a search on this website for this topic and you will find lots of threads where you will find many different opinions. What I have found is that for those of us who do charge deposits upfront, we seem to be very happy with it, but I totally understand it's not for everybody.
 

IronGate

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My suspicion is that they are planning their vacation route with a shotgun, rather than a laser beam. They are booking everything remotely feasible, and then connecting the dots later. Once the route has been set, they can go back and cancel everything they won't be needing after all. If they set the route first, they might not be able to make it work if something along the way is not available. If that happens, they have to keep adjusting plans, and maybe they are not comfortable doing that.
I agree with Eric: just be glad they got the rooms back into your inventory in a timely manner, and don't worry about why. If it happens often enough to really be a hindrance to doing business, implement a stiff cancellation fee as a deterrent.
 

EmptyNest

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Not wanting to sound doubtful, but would you care to say hello first? We don't know you yet and would like to meet you.

In answer, plans change, that is what they are "plans" and people OFTEN cancel 12 hours later, in fact, most of our cancellations occur shortly after booking. Could be they found some other really neat place to see or do and changed their route..
Hello, Joey:
I am the wife (and fellow innkeeper) of "Tom". We own the McKenzie Orchards Bed and Breakfast in the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area. He's been posting since the summer of '09, and asked me to get my own account, since our views often differ.
As to the question of "changing their route", I doubt that these people did so, as they were undoubtedly coming for the USAA West track and field championship event at the end of May, not just touring Oregon. So I do suspect they were looking for another venue, and did not just cancel a stop in Eugene. I just wish people would either (not book till they know what they want to do) or (tell me the truth). I know that I am not the kind of person who would ever do this. I wouldn't make a reservation until I was 99.9% sure that was what I was going to do (barring some disaster, of course).
.
Welcome!
You know...alot of people just are like that..and they don't care. But be grateful they did call you until it was too late to rebook the room. Charge them the deposit fee and be done with it. You cannot read people's minds. Maybe they found a place they liked better, or closer, or cheaper, or whatever. It really doesn't matter. As long as you stick to your policies and CHARGE THEM!!!!!
 

IronGate

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
. . . Why is pi = 3.15149....? . . .
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!
Ahem, because the relationship between a circle's circumference and it's diameter is a constant, regardless of the size of either.
You're welcome. ;)
 

Bommelhoeve

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way..
Why is pi = 3.15149....?
Sorry, I can't let it go, pi = 3.14159......
 

Proud Texan

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
. . . Why is pi = 3.15149....? . . .
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!
Ahem, because the relationship between a circle's circumference and it's diameter is a constant, regardless of the size of either.
You're welcome. ;)
.
IronGate said:
Eric Arthur Blair said:
. . . Why is pi = 3.15149....? . . .
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!
Ahem, because the relationship between a circle's circumference and it's diameter is a constant, regardless of the size of either.
You're welcome. ;)
All I know is that pi are round and cornbread are square.

 

EmptyNest

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
. . . Why is pi = 3.15149....? . . .
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!
Ahem, because the relationship between a circle's circumference and it's diameter is a constant, regardless of the size of either.
You're welcome. ;)
.
IronGate said:
Eric Arthur Blair said:
. . . Why is pi = 3.15149....? . . .
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!
Ahem, because the relationship between a circle's circumference and it's diameter is a constant, regardless of the size of either.
You're welcome. ;)
SMARTY!

 

Generic

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
. . . Why is pi = 3.15149....? . . .
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!
Ahem, because the relationship between a circle's circumference and it's diameter is a constant, regardless of the size of either.
You're welcome. ;)
.
So what is ε in statistics? I know it's a very small number, but do you know the exact number? (Smarty pants!)
 

Proud Texan

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You are gong to HATE my answer... but why does there have to be a reason. I know that our minds wants an answer to each question but sometimes there just isn't an answer. Why is the GOlden Gate bridge painted orange? Why is pi = 3.15149....? What is a question with no answer called? Why are TV sets called sets when there isn't really a set, just one?
Just be happy they called so quickly so that you could get it back in inventory for someone else.
If they booked somewhere else cheaper, then that's out of inventory and less of a competition to you. If they booked somewhere else because it suited them better, then be happy that they are happy and you get to meet people who want to stay with you. Maybe they couldn't get tickets to the event they wanted. Maybe their planned vacation days weren't approved. Maybe airfare changed. Maybe they realized that they had a wedding that weekend. It doesn't really matter in the end. But good that they called and it's open and waiting for someone wonderful to come your way..
Eric Arthur Blair said:
. . . Why is pi = 3.15149....? . . .
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!
Ahem, because the relationship between a circle's circumference and it's diameter is a constant, regardless of the size of either.
You're welcome. ;)
.
So what is ε in statistics? I know it's a very small number, but do you know the exact number? (Smarty pants!)
.
Eric Arthur Blair said:
So what is ε in statistics? I know it's a very small number, but do you know the exact number? (Smarty pants!)
I thought ε was an emoticon for boobs.
 

Penelope

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My suspicion is that they are planning their vacation route with a shotgun, rather than a laser beam. They are booking everything remotely feasible, and then connecting the dots later. Once the route has been set, they can go back and cancel everything they won't be needing after all. If they set the route first, they might not be able to make it work if something along the way is not available. If that happens, they have to keep adjusting plans, and maybe they are not comfortable doing that.
I agree with Eric: just be glad they got the rooms back into your inventory in a timely manner, and don't worry about why. If it happens often enough to really be a hindrance to doing business, implement a stiff cancellation fee as a deterrent..
IronGate said:
planning their vacation route with a shotgun, rather than a laser beam.
LOVE this!!! :)
 

Alibi Ike

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Yes, you nailed it. They found your place, booked and kept looking until they found something else. We call them 'place holders' and they make me nuts. I don't really care what the excuse is so they could save their breath and just say 'we're cancelling' and go about their day.
 
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