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Do you strictly enforce your cancellation policy?

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trishany

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We've had two cancellations out of alot of guests in the time frames that we could charge. These couples had very good reasons to cancel. Just couldn't enforce. I sent both back their deposits. We did fill their rooms, though.
 

Morticia

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If I took deposits and I did not rebook the rooms, I would not send the deposits back. Because you rebooked, you are probably doing the right thing.
I had a cancellation this week for Saturday. He feigned, 'I didn't know,' about the cancellation policy. He called today to see if we had rebooked the room. We had, and I had sent him an email telling him that. He didn't read his email. Sounds like a pattern...
 

IronGate

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As an aspiring, I've not yet faced this situation in real life. It is probably the one thing I am most afraid of, because I know I'm a sucker for a sob story. I'm hoping that with clearly stated policies -- online, in the confirmation letter/email, and in marketing materials -- it won't come up too often. We'll see. Just have to keep focused on the fact that this person, who promised to pay you, is taking food off your table, and possibly preventing anyone else from replacing it.
 

trishany

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This happens very, very seldom. You shoudn't be afraid of this. I think you would know if it's a sob story or not, anyway.
 

Morticia

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As an aspiring, I've not yet faced this situation in real life. It is probably the one thing I am most afraid of, because I know I'm a sucker for a sob story. I'm hoping that with clearly stated policies -- online, in the confirmation letter/email, and in marketing materials -- it won't come up too often. We'll see. Just have to keep focused on the fact that this person, who promised to pay you, is taking food off your table, and possibly preventing anyone else from replacing it..
IronGate said:
As an aspiring, I've not yet faced this situation in real life. It is probably the one thing I am most afraid of, because I know I'm a sucker for a sob story. I'm hoping that with clearly stated policies -- online, in the confirmation letter/email, and in marketing materials -- it won't come up too often. We'll see. Just have to keep focused on the fact that this person, who promised to pay you, is taking food off your table, and possibly preventing anyone else from replacing it.
You'll get them all...you'll be surprised how many grandmas die on Thursday before a big weekend. We have become sticklers this year because we average 100 cancellations/year. One woman, with no excuse at all, canceled something like 12-13 room nights on a peak weekend this year. Because she canceled in good time, there was no charge, but we never rebooked those rooms. Now I take a deposit for peak weekends to make sure guests are serious and not just 'holding' rooms.
Maybe Trish can tell a liar from someone else on the phone or in an email, but I can't. They're all guilty of scheming in my eyes.

 

noodle-inn

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I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year)
 

Morticia

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I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year).
noodle-inn said:
I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year)
How does that generally work out? I've mentioned that I get the screamers when I try to enforce the policy. Just curious if they end up showing up later on or what? Do you issue a GC or just keep the info on file? Is the GC, if you do that, transferable? Cancellations are a big problem in the winter. Curious if this would help out or if I'd be inundated with guests showing up in peak season with GC's for substantially less money than the rooms cost at that time. How would you handle that?
 

YellowSocks

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I had a cancellation (well within the timeframe) for our peak week in September... have yet to rebook and am kicking myself for not insisting on a deposit (it was a returning guest), or increasing the period of time for cancelling. She did cancel early, but apparently not quickly enough as we've had no calls on the room. OTOH, the last time we had this seminar (June) we had a "walk in" who stayed several nights, so all hope is not yet lost.
I've caved on cancellations within the no-refund time period, but fortunately haven't had many since I always kick myself afterward.
=)
Kk.
 

Mini

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Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?
 

happyjacks

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I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year).
noodle-inn said:
I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year)
How does that generally work out? I've mentioned that I get the screamers when I try to enforce the policy. Just curious if they end up showing up later on or what? Do you issue a GC or just keep the info on file? Is the GC, if you do that, transferable? Cancellations are a big problem in the winter. Curious if this would help out or if I'd be inundated with guests showing up in peak season with GC's for substantially less money than the rooms cost at that time. How would you handle that?
.
Bree said:
noodle-inn said:
I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year)
How does that generally work out? I've mentioned that I get the screamers when I try to enforce the policy. Just curious if they end up showing up later on or what? Do you issue a GC or just keep the info on file? Is the GC, if you do that, transferable? Cancellations are a big problem in the winter. Curious if this would help out or if I'd be inundated with guests showing up in peak season with GC's for substantially less money than the rooms cost at that time. How would you handle that?
Bree, you weren't asking me but this is how I do it. I don't issue a GC. I email them a PDF of the paid invoice for the cancellation fee and--if I'm so inclined--I tell them in the email that they may apply the fee to a future stay within my parameters. I don't have to do this often. I've had four cancels so far this year. Here's the verbiage I used for one of them:
"As per our cancellation policy, I have charged 50% of your booking amount to the credit card number you provided at the time of the reservation. The cancellation fee is $XXX + GST for a total of $XXX. I am attaching a pdf of the invoice for your records.
I would be very happy to apply the full amount of your cancellation fee toward a future stay within the next four months. This offer is eligible with a stay of two consecutive nights or more (excluding long weekends and holidays) before [date].
 

IronGate

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I had a cancellation (well within the timeframe) for our peak week in September... have yet to rebook and am kicking myself for not insisting on a deposit (it was a returning guest), or increasing the period of time for cancelling. She did cancel early, but apparently not quickly enough as we've had no calls on the room. OTOH, the last time we had this seminar (June) we had a "walk in" who stayed several nights, so all hope is not yet lost.
I've caved on cancellations within the no-refund time period, but fortunately haven't had many since I always kick myself afterward.
=)
Kk..
Socks, I'm feeling too lazy to look at your website and find this out for myself, so I'll just ask: how long is your cancellation period? How far in advance do you find that people generally book?
 

IronGate

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Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?.
Refunding cash on a GC almost sounds like a scam to me. I think I would be inclined to replace the GC with the same expiration as the original, minus a cancellation fee. You have to reclean the room, but at least you could sell it again.
 

YellowSocks

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I had a cancellation (well within the timeframe) for our peak week in September... have yet to rebook and am kicking myself for not insisting on a deposit (it was a returning guest), or increasing the period of time for cancelling. She did cancel early, but apparently not quickly enough as we've had no calls on the room. OTOH, the last time we had this seminar (June) we had a "walk in" who stayed several nights, so all hope is not yet lost.
I've caved on cancellations within the no-refund time period, but fortunately haven't had many since I always kick myself afterward.
=)
Kk..
Socks, I'm feeling too lazy to look at your website and find this out for myself, so I'll just ask: how long is your cancellation period? How far in advance do you find that people generally book?
.
I double checked... 7 days, 30 if it's a full house (3 or 4 rooms). But this cancellation was more than 30 days out, so even if I'd changed the policy for this week, it wouldn't have helped.
We rarely get same day bookings (although it happens). Generally reservations seem to be 2-6 weeks out, or about the time that most people say, "hmmmm... that's wedding's next month, better make a reservation someplace." The exception is for the peak weekends when we book several months in advance. Our guests in July said they want to return, I told them they'd better book early because I expect to be booked by March or April.
The cancellation for next month is for a seminar that's held a block or two away. It's held three times a year, and results in a full-house for four week nights (which is fabulous!) in June, September, and January. It's still a couple of weeks off, but I feel like the attendees have all gotten their lodging in order already and I won't be able to fill this room. Hopefully I'm wrong and some last minute guy will come, like last time. I've already book a room for the one in January...
=)
Kk.
 

YellowSocks

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Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?.
Refunding cash on a GC almost sounds like a scam to me. I think I would be inclined to replace the GC with the same expiration as the original, minus a cancellation fee. You have to reclean the room, but at least you could sell it again.
.
IronGate said:
Refunding cash on a GC almost sounds like a scam to me.
I agree...
=)
Kk.
 

swirt

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Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?.
Part may depend on the language of your gift certificate. If it says non-refundable, then that helps with the decision and may encourage people to not try this in the future.
Re-issuing the gift certificate has its own risks, as it means you will likely see them again and they may or may not have the same response. Sometimes if they are a true PITA it is worth it just to be rid of them.
In the end, the best suggestion I have is to handle it in the way that allows you to not fester over it in the future. Go with what you are comfortable with and can live with. Just make sure your written policies end up matching what you can live with. ;)
 

IronGate

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Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?.
Part may depend on the language of your gift certificate. If it says non-refundable, then that helps with the decision and may encourage people to not try this in the future.
Re-issuing the gift certificate has its own risks, as it means you will likely see them again and they may or may not have the same response. Sometimes if they are a true PITA it is worth it just to be rid of them.
In the end, the best suggestion I have is to handle it in the way that allows you to not fester over it in the future. Go with what you are comfortable with and can live with. Just make sure your written policies end up matching what you can live with. ;)
.
swirt said:
In the end, the best suggestion I have is to handle it in the way that allows you to not fester over it in the future. Go with what you are comfortable with and can live with. Just make sure your written policies end up matching what you can live with. ;)
Smartest thing I've read all day. :)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year).
noodle-inn said:
I occasionally make exceptions ... I go with my instincts. A couple of times I have offered to apply the discount to a future stay (within the same year)
Welcome Noodle-Inn have we met?

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?.
knowlesl said:
Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?
Lois, what gc? BandB.com?
We have had THAT same couple here who traveled and found every B&B unacceptable due to her allergies to carpet, to wood, to people...
I told them to go ahead and leave and good luck on a hotel that doesn't reek of bleach and cleaning prodicts! I WANTED THEM GONE.
They should have told you this BEFORE BOOKING THE ROOM. I would not let them off the hook for that. But like me, you are better off getting their miserable butts out of your life.
Remember innkeepers if YOU PRINT YOUR OWN GC's - NO CASH VALUE, NO REFUNDABLE, NON TRANFERABLE and SAME CANCELLATION POLICIES APPLY.
 

Samster

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Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?.
knowlesl said:
Okay
this happened just yesterday. A guest arrived with a gift certificate for their 2 night stay. They stayed one hour, used the wine glasses, garbage, toilet, sink, air conditioner, bed, television, etc. Then, there was a knock on the door of our private quarters. The man said "We cannot stay, my wife has airborne allergies. She must be allergic to something in the air, this being such an old house and all. I told him that noone has ever been allergic to anything in our house before.
Then they asked for the money to replace the gift certificate. I told him I would get back to him on that question.
Now please tell me what to do? Does he get a refund considering we have a three day cancellation policy? I was able to rent the rooms, but do I just pay him the money for the gift cert. which was bought over a year ago?
Lois, what gc? BandB.com?
We have had THAT same couple here who traveled and found every B&B unacceptable due to her allergies to carpet, to wood, to people...
I told them to go ahead and leave and good luck on a hotel that doesn't reek of bleach and cleaning prodicts! I WANTED THEM GONE.
They should have told you this BEFORE BOOKING THE ROOM. I would not let them off the hook for that. But like me, you are better off getting their miserable butts out of your life.
Remember innkeepers if YOU PRINT YOUR OWN GC's - NO CASH VALUE, NO REFUNDABLE, NON TRANFERABLE and SAME CANCELLATION POLICIES APPLY.
.
I think I have most of that on my gift certificate template, but I am going to double-check! Thank YOU!!

 

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