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double booked room!!!

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seashanty

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Quel nightmare!
Guests arrived to check in and other guests were in their room. I double booked the room!
They were stunned, upset, disbelieving ... the girl started crying, the guy ran out to their car to get their confirmation from me. They had driven FOR HOURS to get here.
I made a generous offer and was able to put them on the third floor (shared bath) tonite and private bath on the second floor tomorrow but NOT the room with queen bed, private bath and view they picked for two nights' stay.
My fault completely.
I know I am too busy to handle this alone. It is good to be busy but I can only be SO busy and then I hit overload. I am so glad they decided to stay because they 'love it here' but I just cried and cried after barricading myself in the back here ... upset with myself and too tired. I am worried that I may have done this more than once and will get hit over the head with it because I have been doing too much alone.
Question: What do YOU do?
Have you ever over booked or double booked? Was there anything you could do that made it okay with the guests?
This is my third year running this place but the first time I've done this. Well, actually, I had a near miss not long ago with the INN to INN. yikers! I thought I had double booked it but hadn't because the original guests had cancelled. All my rooms are so different, I can't just cover by taking folks to a different room. Thank goodness I had a third floor room to put them in! The only other place in the village is completely booked.
 

Morticia

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What you do right now is figure out, if you can, how that happened and is there a possibility it will happen again. How do you take reservations, how do you keep track of them?
We never take a reservation unless we are sitting at the computer (even on vacation) and then write it immediately in the book so we have 2 records in case the power goes out and the computer doesn't work. On vacation, we make notes in a book and then write everything in our backup book when we get home. We have written in the names in the wrong room in the book so the computer is the final word.
I took a reservation ONCE when the computer was off for the night and, sure enough, someone booked that room online over night. Now I ask the caller to wait a minute while I start the computer up again or to book online themselves if they have access to the internet at that time.
Sure you are tired and worn out. That's why it's best to have a process and to stick with it no matter how frazzled you may be.
Now stop beating yourself up! You made an honest mistake. If we couldn't honor a double booking because we had no rooms, I would call around to find another room for the guests and pay the difference if that's what it took. Then I would die of mortification.
 

GeorgiaGirl

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Maybe you could leave a bottle of wine & some cheese in their room for tomorrow night? I know it is so dissapointing when you don't get the room you had wanted, but as apologetic as I'm sure you were how can they be mad? Don't beat yourself up!!!!!
 

Morticia

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What you do right now is figure out, if you can, how that happened and is there a possibility it will happen again. How do you take reservations, how do you keep track of them?
We never take a reservation unless we are sitting at the computer (even on vacation) and then write it immediately in the book so we have 2 records in case the power goes out and the computer doesn't work. On vacation, we make notes in a book and then write everything in our backup book when we get home. We have written in the names in the wrong room in the book so the computer is the final word.
I took a reservation ONCE when the computer was off for the night and, sure enough, someone booked that room online over night. Now I ask the caller to wait a minute while I start the computer up again or to book online themselves if they have access to the internet at that time.
Sure you are tired and worn out. That's why it's best to have a process and to stick with it no matter how frazzled you may be.
Now stop beating yourself up! You made an honest mistake. If we couldn't honor a double booking because we had no rooms, I would call around to find another room for the guests and pay the difference if that's what it took. Then I would die of mortification..
I like GG's response. Do something extra for them.
 

gillumhouse

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SS, stop beating yourself up. Hotels do it all the time! I once was saved by the grace of the guaranteed guest arriving just as I was reaching for his room to sell it to a walk-in (desk clerks are expected to sell those rooms - and trust me, management sells the rooms to a walk-in and bills the no-show). Hotels just lie about the confirmation better than we do because we do not lie. They also have "Susie" to blame (even though no one namedSusie works there). I penciled a State worker in the wrong week while my son was here and then sold the last room to some people with a horse (cannot just send them down the road). The last night here we had the portacrib and a cot in with son & d-i-l and last grandkid on a cot in the Library. Cram them in!!
 

Copperhead

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I like GG's response as well, provide something extra for them. I would also give them a discount off the rate of the rooms they are in, not the rate qouted (if different).
Believe me there in nothing to beat yourself up with. It was an honest mistake and seems like you were honest with them about it. They will get over it.
 

adabweeks

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Dear SeaShanty:
How could anyone be angry at a face like yours, so sweet and cheery! Stop beating yourself up, we are still only human. Give them a discount, money always makes people happy! What kind of reservation system do you use? I don't have any on-line reservation system. Too much for my feeble brain to handle. Cooking, cleaning and decorating are my specialties. Cheer up, tommorrow is another day!
Adabweeks
 

Samster

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Don't worry...I would be like you & be very upset and have to keep reminding myself, stuff happens!! When I was working at a large inn, the first week I had every possible booking problem. Double booking for the same room, an entire party of several rooms had been cancelled out when only one room was to have been cancelled, no reservation in the book. You name it! I just did my best, just like you did
Keep your chin up! Like Gillum House said, this happens all the time in hotels!!
I would put something nice in their room when they move to the other room. Obviously, they're getting a discounted rate from what they booked since they went to a lower priced room for the first night. Too bad you can't give them a discount on another stay. I wouldn't necessarily discount this stay but do something special for them instead.
 

seashanty

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Don't worry...I would be like you & be very upset and have to keep reminding myself, stuff happens!! When I was working at a large inn, the first week I had every possible booking problem. Double booking for the same room, an entire party of several rooms had been cancelled out when only one room was to have been cancelled, no reservation in the book. You name it! I just did my best, just like you did
Keep your chin up! Like Gillum House said, this happens all the time in hotels!!
I would put something nice in their room when they move to the other room. Obviously, they're getting a discounted rate from what they booked since they went to a lower priced room for the first night. Too bad you can't give them a discount on another stay. I wouldn't necessarily discount this stay but do something special for them instead..
yes, i know what i did wrong.
i took a phone reservation - we have webervations
and i went into webervations and saw it blocked off and thought i had just blocked it myself. that's what not enough sleep will do to you ... went right ahead and processed the online res for the same date and didn't blink an eye. so the online folks had already booked the room when i gave it to someone else.
anyway, i have smoothed things over with the guests that didn't get the room they booked. gave them a ginormous discount and apologized all over myself. they know my apology was sincere. the crying was my reaction to her upset and just tiredness.
i am worried that i have done it more than once, you are familiar with that nagging feeling in the back of your mind?
i have five rooms to flip alone and have been up since 3 because i'm stressed. a chambermaid just hired pulled a noshow so i guess i'm back searching for the relief person for my main girl who cannot be here today.
you know how it goes!
when it rains it pours - there are days i can't GIVE rooms away.
 

Samster

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Don't worry...I would be like you & be very upset and have to keep reminding myself, stuff happens!! When I was working at a large inn, the first week I had every possible booking problem. Double booking for the same room, an entire party of several rooms had been cancelled out when only one room was to have been cancelled, no reservation in the book. You name it! I just did my best, just like you did
Keep your chin up! Like Gillum House said, this happens all the time in hotels!!
I would put something nice in their room when they move to the other room. Obviously, they're getting a discounted rate from what they booked since they went to a lower priced room for the first night. Too bad you can't give them a discount on another stay. I wouldn't necessarily discount this stay but do something special for them instead..
yes, i know what i did wrong.
i took a phone reservation - we have webervations
and i went into webervations and saw it blocked off and thought i had just blocked it myself. that's what not enough sleep will do to you ... went right ahead and processed the online res for the same date and didn't blink an eye. so the online folks had already booked the room when i gave it to someone else.
anyway, i have smoothed things over with the guests that didn't get the room they booked. gave them a ginormous discount and apologized all over myself. they know my apology was sincere. the crying was my reaction to her upset and just tiredness.
i am worried that i have done it more than once, you are familiar with that nagging feeling in the back of your mind?
i have five rooms to flip alone and have been up since 3 because i'm stressed. a chambermaid just hired pulled a noshow so i guess i'm back searching for the relief person for my main girl who cannot be here today.
you know how it goes!
when it rains it pours - there are days i can't GIVE rooms away.
.
You went above & beyond for these guests! They will remember that & not your error.
I have the feeling that I've forgotten something....a lot!

I hope your day goes OK...that's a lot of rooms to flip by yourself! Maybe you can sit down at the end of the day & put your feet up for maybe 2 minutes

We can't give our rooms away lately......I know the feeling. It's like your January around here.

 

MTLLodge

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Don't worry...I would be like you & be very upset and have to keep reminding myself, stuff happens!! When I was working at a large inn, the first week I had every possible booking problem. Double booking for the same room, an entire party of several rooms had been cancelled out when only one room was to have been cancelled, no reservation in the book. You name it! I just did my best, just like you did
Keep your chin up! Like Gillum House said, this happens all the time in hotels!!
I would put something nice in their room when they move to the other room. Obviously, they're getting a discounted rate from what they booked since they went to a lower priced room for the first night. Too bad you can't give them a discount on another stay. I wouldn't necessarily discount this stay but do something special for them instead..
yes, i know what i did wrong.
i took a phone reservation - we have webervations
and i went into webervations and saw it blocked off and thought i had just blocked it myself. that's what not enough sleep will do to you ... went right ahead and processed the online res for the same date and didn't blink an eye. so the online folks had already booked the room when i gave it to someone else.
anyway, i have smoothed things over with the guests that didn't get the room they booked. gave them a ginormous discount and apologized all over myself. they know my apology was sincere. the crying was my reaction to her upset and just tiredness.
i am worried that i have done it more than once, you are familiar with that nagging feeling in the back of your mind?
i have five rooms to flip alone and have been up since 3 because i'm stressed. a chambermaid just hired pulled a noshow so i guess i'm back searching for the relief person for my main girl who cannot be here today.
you know how it goes!
when it rains it pours - there are days i can't GIVE rooms away.
.
You went above & beyond for these guests! They will remember that & not your error.
I have the feeling that I've forgotten something....a lot!

I hope your day goes OK...that's a lot of rooms to flip by yourself! Maybe you can sit down at the end of the day & put your feet up for maybe 2 minutes

We can't give our rooms away lately......I know the feeling. It's like your January around here.

.
When you are not sure how to make it up to them... ASK. That way you know! :eek:) Now quit beating yourself up and put a smile on your face you have guest to take care of! (when I open my B&B remind me of this) Have a good day!

 

egoodell

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Just take a breath - in my opinion it was not such a biggie since you had another room for them! I would have been so upset if there was not another room!
We all make mistakes, and this one is my personal nighmare. I'm sure if you as suggested put some cheese and wine in their room they'll be fine.
Riki
 

cbenson21210

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seashanty said:
Question: What do YOU do?
When I practiced law full time and things were crazy (which they were all of the time), I kept a two calendars a paper calendar and an electronic calendar. Because in law, when you miss a dead line, they call it malpractice and I never wanted that to happen nor did it ever happen. As someone else already suggested, I would have an "heir and a spare" calendar system set up and keep everything on both. It does take time but it's well worth the effort for the peace of mind it brings. It's also a nice back up should your computer crash, etc.
For our current business, I keep two calendars as well. Since we don't take online reservations, it's not quite as complex as your system but I like the peace of mind it brings.
 

egoodell

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seashanty said:
Question: What do YOU do?
When I practiced law full time and things were crazy (which they were all of the time), I kept a two calendars a paper calendar and an electronic calendar. Because in law, when you miss a dead line, they call it malpractice and I never wanted that to happen nor did it ever happen. As someone else already suggested, I would have an "heir and a spare" calendar system set up and keep everything on both. It does take time but it's well worth the effort for the peace of mind it brings. It's also a nice back up should your computer crash, etc.
For our current business, I keep two calendars as well. Since we don't take online reservations, it's not quite as complex as your system but I like the peace of mind it brings..
I assumed I was the only one paranoid enough to do that! I have a binder where I have the confirmation from Webervations in stapled to a daily page that shows the two suites and our wine tours. I am in fear of getting them confused. On top of the form is the suite activity and the bottom the wine tours for that day.
Riki
 

muirford

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seashanty said:
Question: What do YOU do?
When I practiced law full time and things were crazy (which they were all of the time), I kept a two calendars a paper calendar and an electronic calendar. Because in law, when you miss a dead line, they call it malpractice and I never wanted that to happen nor did it ever happen. As someone else already suggested, I would have an "heir and a spare" calendar system set up and keep everything on both. It does take time but it's well worth the effort for the peace of mind it brings. It's also a nice back up should your computer crash, etc.
For our current business, I keep two calendars as well. Since we don't take online reservations, it's not quite as complex as your system but I like the peace of mind it brings..
I assumed I was the only one paranoid enough to do that! I have a binder where I have the confirmation from Webervations in stapled to a daily page that shows the two suites and our wine tours. I am in fear of getting them confused. On top of the form is the suite activity and the bottom the wine tours for that day.
Riki
.
No, I have a paper calendar in a binder (week at a time, with a space for menus on the bottom), plus the paper reservation forms (in folders which go in the front desk for check-in) and then online in Webervations.
 

Samster

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seashanty said:
Question: What do YOU do?
When I practiced law full time and things were crazy (which they were all of the time), I kept a two calendars a paper calendar and an electronic calendar. Because in law, when you miss a dead line, they call it malpractice and I never wanted that to happen nor did it ever happen. As someone else already suggested, I would have an "heir and a spare" calendar system set up and keep everything on both. It does take time but it's well worth the effort for the peace of mind it brings. It's also a nice back up should your computer crash, etc.
For our current business, I keep two calendars as well. Since we don't take online reservations, it's not quite as complex as your system but I like the peace of mind it brings..
I assumed I was the only one paranoid enough to do that! I have a binder where I have the confirmation from Webervations in stapled to a daily page that shows the two suites and our wine tours. I am in fear of getting them confused. On top of the form is the suite activity and the bottom the wine tours for that day.
Riki
.
I have a 3-ring binder by month. I print out the reservations & put them in the binder. When the guest checks in, their signed guest reservation form goes with it with the merchant copy of their cc receipt. When they check out, a copy of the guest statement goes with it. All stapled together.
I also note the booked rooms in my paper planner which is a backup of my online calendar program.
My mind is going as I get older....hahahahahaha :)
 

reYOOPERed

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My wife and I are brand new at this and our "system" leaves a lot to be desired. We have a black notebook that we write all the bookings in and we check it as often as possible.
One afternoon we were sitting in the dining room with the table covered in plates and cloth napkins straightening up when my wife happened to be looking over our book and looked at me with a look of alarm. "Did you know we have guests that will be here in an hour?" .....
I'm sure you can all guess what happened next but needless to say we both want to improve our system we just haven't gotten that far yet.
 

Copperhead

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My wife and I are brand new at this and our "system" leaves a lot to be desired. We have a black notebook that we write all the bookings in and we check it as often as possible.
One afternoon we were sitting in the dining room with the table covered in plates and cloth napkins straightening up when my wife happened to be looking over our book and looked at me with a look of alarm. "Did you know we have guests that will be here in an hour?" .....
I'm sure you can all guess what happened next but needless to say we both want to improve our system we just haven't gotten that far yet.
.
Welcome. Just to put your mind at ease your story most likely has been repeated by most innkeepers at one point or another. No matter how good your system is, you must check the date. I have been guilty of neglecting to review my calendar. But I do say, don't wait too long to get a good system in place. I speak from experience and procrastinated for 6 years. After the purchase and setup I could have kicked myself for not doing so sooner. It took a load off.
 

swirt

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My wife and I are brand new at this and our "system" leaves a lot to be desired. We have a black notebook that we write all the bookings in and we check it as often as possible.
One afternoon we were sitting in the dining room with the table covered in plates and cloth napkins straightening up when my wife happened to be looking over our book and looked at me with a look of alarm. "Did you know we have guests that will be here in an hour?" .....
I'm sure you can all guess what happened next but needless to say we both want to improve our system we just haven't gotten that far yet.
.
Welcome. Just to put your mind at ease your story most likely has been repeated by most innkeepers at one point or another. No matter how good your system is, you must check the date. I have been guilty of neglecting to review my calendar. But I do say, don't wait too long to get a good system in place. I speak from experience and procrastinated for 6 years. After the purchase and setup I could have kicked myself for not doing so sooner. It took a load off.
.
But I do say, don't wait too long to get a good system in place. I speak from experience and procrastinated for 6 years. After the purchase and setup I could have kicked myself for not doing so sooner. It took a load off.
Copperhead, that is a great bit of experience you have there. I encourage you to write that up as an article in our article section. The comparison from before and after as well as the hindsight you have now. All good stuff to share.
 

Copperhead

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Swirt - will work on it! If my August bookings stay as slim as they are now, I will have plenty of time.
 
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