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Early checkin request

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LzBorden

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Our advertised checkin time is 4:00.
The phone call goes something like this:
"We would like to checkin early at 1:30."
"Well, we really need the time to clean the rooms and go to the grocery store as we have a pretty full house that evening."
"You could clean that room first so we can change our clothes and go site seeing."
"We'll do the best we can....."
We were ready, they are an hour late. When do you suppose they will actually arrive?
 

Morticia

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This is why explanations are useless. As soon as you give any indication of a reason why not, you haven't a leg to stand on.
'Check in is at 4 PM, we'll see you then.' Period. Unless you want to allow early check-in. In that case, 'We would be happy to accommodate your request for an early check-in. We will charge the credit card we have on file for our usual $35 early check-in fee. We'll see you at 1:30!'
As for your guests today, they will arrive when they damn well feel like it. You've pretty much just learned what we all have over the years- early check-ins do not arrive early.
We had one where they booked 4 rooms that they wanted available at 11 AM! We told them they could have ONE room at 11 AM, the others would not be ready until 3 PM. They arrived at 4 PM, dropped the baby and babysitter at the door and left. The guests didn't even come in to introduce us to the babysitter. No one with a credit card showed their face until well after 7PM and we listened to that baby cry the whole time. This is why I say charge an early arrival fee. We hustled to get that room open for them by 11 and then they didn't really show until after 7 (in other words, late).
Apology from them? Not a chance.
 

Morticia

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I've got a million of these stories, btw!
One person called us 4 times to check on whether or not she could check-in early. The last phone call came 10 minutes before she pulled into the parking lot at noon. We were outside in the parking lot trying to replace a lightbulb in a fixture 15' off the ground. She jumps out of the car, assumes we are the 'groundskeepers' and heads for the door. I stop her, calling out, 'Can we help you?'
'I'm here to check-in, I'll just go inside, thanks.'
Again, I stop her, 'We're right here, can we help you?'
'I really have to use the restroom, can I just go in?'
'Sorry, the rooms aren't clean yet, you'll have to come back at 3 PM when check-in starts.'
Boy, was she peeved. She really thought she was just going to ride roughshod over us, get what she wanted, and 'policies' be damned. I don't need that aggro.
Now, if I had a FT housekeeper, I could check-ins at any time.
 

Morticia

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Had another one show up at the door at 9 AM. I think that's the earliest one. They actually got to check-in as their room was ready. No, wait, the earliest check-in was at 6 AM. That was our big name producer in on the redeye from LA.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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2 hours and ticking......
LzBorden said:
2 hours and ticking.....
Time bomb ticking...
They will show and tell you they didn't want to bother you. I BET! Shall we bet?
I am with Bree, the early check ins do not work, ever ever ever. What is worse is you feel like a hostage. You suddenly have the urge to go to the store and bank. Suddenly you do not want to be pinned down!
Do you have a note on the door yet? You know, one that reads "Check in time begins at 4pm. We are unable to accomodate early check ins...blah blah blah"
this is from the confirmation and it is the FIRST LINE:
INFO: Check in: Our inn opens at 4:00 PM and you may check-in between 4-7 PM. Later arrivals please telephone early to let us know. Check out time is 11:00am.
 

gillumhouse

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My guaranteed way to be sure guests show up is to go to the grocery store. They will show up 5 minutes AFTER I leave!! Works like a charm.
 

SweetiePie

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How about a Be Right Back sign on the gate. That's what I do when I have to leave.
 

LzBorden

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4:30 and they're here! 3 sisters. The oldest is the grump. The youngest is quite pleasant. Even asked for extra make up remover so as not to wreck our towels. Thank you!!!
Then sudden walk-ins, totally in - DH has to oil that latch on the back door again.....
 

Samster

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I don't do them. We had someone who wanted to check-in before noon and supposedly had to leave early the next morning to get someone to the airport. They saw this as less than 24 hours. I would only charge them for one night, right?? Uh, no... The room can't be available for anyone from the previous night & has to be cleaned the next day for that day's check-in between 3pm & 7pm. So, they ended up agreeing to the 2 night stay and I let them check in before noon.
The rest of the story... It was a hook-up. Got here around noon and left that evening - something about a change in the flight. Yeah, whatever...
I don't do early check-ins.
Now, recently I had someone show up a couple of hours early. What happened was they ended up getting a flight into our local airport which saved them 2 hours of driving time. They forgot to call me and let me know. Luckily for them, I was here and their room was ready. Otherwise, they would have had to drop the luggage if they wanted to, pick up the key and go on their merry way for a few hours while the room was ready. I don't think that I'd be able to do early check-ins even with a FT housekeeper. These folks rarely check out before 11 am.
Oh, why do people think that they only need to let you know if they are late? Maybe I need to look at the wording in my confirmation. Hmmm....
When did they finally get in??
 

Morticia

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I don't do them. We had someone who wanted to check-in before noon and supposedly had to leave early the next morning to get someone to the airport. They saw this as less than 24 hours. I would only charge them for one night, right?? Uh, no... The room can't be available for anyone from the previous night & has to be cleaned the next day for that day's check-in between 3pm & 7pm. So, they ended up agreeing to the 2 night stay and I let them check in before noon.
The rest of the story... It was a hook-up. Got here around noon and left that evening - something about a change in the flight. Yeah, whatever...
I don't do early check-ins.
Now, recently I had someone show up a couple of hours early. What happened was they ended up getting a flight into our local airport which saved them 2 hours of driving time. They forgot to call me and let me know. Luckily for them, I was here and their room was ready. Otherwise, they would have had to drop the luggage if they wanted to, pick up the key and go on their merry way for a few hours while the room was ready. I don't think that I'd be able to do early check-ins even with a FT housekeeper. These folks rarely check out before 11 am.
Oh, why do people think that they only need to let you know if they are late? Maybe I need to look at the wording in my confirmation. Hmmm....
When did they finally get in??.
Check-outs...something we should talk about...check out around here runs from 8 AM right to 11, but rarely 11. It's why I really could use a housekeeper- to start the cleaning while I'm waiting for the last check-out. Altho, if we can get started and the guests who are not gone yet are in their room, we'll start the other rooms and just listen for them.
 

DaisyMae

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My guaranteed way to be sure guests show up is to go to the grocery store. They will show up 5 minutes AFTER I leave!! Works like a charm..
my guaranteed way for early guests is to go take a shower. it never fails, when i'm getting out of the shower, the doorbell will ring. of course i do not answer it as i am on another floor. then my phone rings & they leave a voicemail stating that they are at my door & there is noone here. hmmmm, i can't imagine why? maybe, possibly because it is 2pm & check in is at 4pm? i don't answer the phone either, reason being is because there is a sign on the door that says "we have stepped away from the inn for a short time & will return at 4pm for check in". guess the large black font on the full size piece of paper at eye level is just not noticeable enough. i have the door locked also, which is a good thing because i have had guests say that they tried the door & it was locked. i assume they would have just come in if it was unocked
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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My guaranteed way to be sure guests show up is to go to the grocery store. They will show up 5 minutes AFTER I leave!! Works like a charm..
my guaranteed way for early guests is to go take a shower. it never fails, when i'm getting out of the shower, the doorbell will ring. of course i do not answer it as i am on another floor. then my phone rings & they leave a voicemail stating that they are at my door & there is noone here. hmmmm, i can't imagine why? maybe, possibly because it is 2pm & check in is at 4pm? i don't answer the phone either, reason being is because there is a sign on the door that says "we have stepped away from the inn for a short time & will return at 4pm for check in". guess the large black font on the full size piece of paper at eye level is just not noticeable enough. i have the door locked also, which is a good thing because i have had guests say that they tried the door & it was locked. i assume they would have just come in if it was unocked
.
mollysmom said:
my guaranteed way for early guests is to go take a shower. it never fails, when i'm getting out of the shower, the doorbell will ring. of course i do not answer it as i am on another floor. then my phone rings & they leave a voicemail stating that they are at my door & there is noone here. hmmmm, i can't imagine why? maybe, possibly because it is 2pm & check in is at 4pm? i don't answer the phone either, reason being is because there is a sign on the door that says "we have stepped away from the inn for a short time & will return at 4pm for check in". guess the large black font on the full size piece of paper at eye level is just not noticeable enough. i have the door locked also, which is a good thing because i have had guests say that they tried the door & it was locked. i assume they would have just come in if it was unocked
Which is why we put the keypad on, it is always locked, even if there are guests checked in. They get really irritated when they try to get in early and there is a keypad! ha ha
 

Morticia

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My guaranteed way to be sure guests show up is to go to the grocery store. They will show up 5 minutes AFTER I leave!! Works like a charm..
my guaranteed way for early guests is to go take a shower. it never fails, when i'm getting out of the shower, the doorbell will ring. of course i do not answer it as i am on another floor. then my phone rings & they leave a voicemail stating that they are at my door & there is noone here. hmmmm, i can't imagine why? maybe, possibly because it is 2pm & check in is at 4pm? i don't answer the phone either, reason being is because there is a sign on the door that says "we have stepped away from the inn for a short time & will return at 4pm for check in". guess the large black font on the full size piece of paper at eye level is just not noticeable enough. i have the door locked also, which is a good thing because i have had guests say that they tried the door & it was locked. i assume they would have just come in if it was unocked
.
During the summer, I try to adhere to the 3 PM check-in just so I have a chance to sit down. Hubs always goes to the grocery store right before check-in. As soon as he drives away, they cars roll in and the doorbell starts up. Same here- big sign saying we are away until 3 PM, please return then.
I sit by my open window and listen to them ringing the bell and wondering aloud, 'Where can they be, we need to check-in now.' No one ever mentions the sign while they are standing there complaining. No one ever says, 'Look, the sign says they'll be back at 3, and to take a map and go explore the town. Hey, I have an idea, let's go get lunch at one of the places on this list!'
Nope, not a single one. I have watched 3 cars pull in and each one get out and come to the door and ring the bell. Other arrivals sitting on the stoop don't say a thing. They just let them ring the bell. And, you're right, the phone starts ringing.
God help you if you answer the door. Then you get this sarcastic, 'I KNEW you were in there and would come if I kept ringing. Where else could you be at this time?'
 

Morticia

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My guaranteed way to be sure guests show up is to go to the grocery store. They will show up 5 minutes AFTER I leave!! Works like a charm..
my guaranteed way for early guests is to go take a shower. it never fails, when i'm getting out of the shower, the doorbell will ring. of course i do not answer it as i am on another floor. then my phone rings & they leave a voicemail stating that they are at my door & there is noone here. hmmmm, i can't imagine why? maybe, possibly because it is 2pm & check in is at 4pm? i don't answer the phone either, reason being is because there is a sign on the door that says "we have stepped away from the inn for a short time & will return at 4pm for check in". guess the large black font on the full size piece of paper at eye level is just not noticeable enough. i have the door locked also, which is a good thing because i have had guests say that they tried the door & it was locked. i assume they would have just come in if it was unocked
.
mollysmom said:
my guaranteed way for early guests is to go take a shower. it never fails, when i'm getting out of the shower, the doorbell will ring. of course i do not answer it as i am on another floor. then my phone rings & they leave a voicemail stating that they are at my door & there is noone here. hmmmm, i can't imagine why? maybe, possibly because it is 2pm & check in is at 4pm? i don't answer the phone either, reason being is because there is a sign on the door that says "we have stepped away from the inn for a short time & will return at 4pm for check in". guess the large black font on the full size piece of paper at eye level is just not noticeable enough. i have the door locked also, which is a good thing because i have had guests say that they tried the door & it was locked. i assume they would have just come in if it was unocked
Which is why we put the keypad on, it is always locked, even if there are guests checked in. They get really irritated when they try to get in early and there is a keypad! ha ha
.
Right. And when they DO finally get in, they look at the keypad and say, 'Is this door locked ALL of the time?' as if they are incredulous that you lock your doors. I know a lot of B&B's don't do that, but I've had enough early arrivals to know I have to do that to keep my sanity. Because they also do not ring the bell if the door is unlocked and they wander around 'hallooing' trying to track you down. And there are times the inn and myself are NOT ready for prime time!
And if they are in, they will use whatever bathroom they come to first.
Not to mention the ones we used to get before the keypad who knew where their room was and would just check themselves in and we would then be waiting for them while they were already here and gone back out to dinner!
 

Copperhead

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It is amazing just how many B&B goers never seem to get the fact this is generally a mom & pop type of business. No we are not 24/7. It is easer to understand those that say this is their 1st b&b experience.
I have changed my check in time to say '3-7PM, by appointment' and ask for a hour or so time frame, then I add a 1/2 on each end. I also indicate that if they need to revise their arrival, please call in advance as sometimes we need to get to the grocery or handle personal business. It works most of the time and we leave a note on the door saying the time we will be back along with our #.
I agree with others about early arrivals, they seem to be the ones that do not consider YOU have a life too. They are the ones that will work you to bend your early check in pollicy and then be inconsiderate to not call when they are running late (sometimes hours late). An early check in fee MAY keep them more punctual but it may then keep you bound to the house even longer because they 'paid' for the convenience.
I recall one of my last 'between hours stay' request. The guy says he wanted a room for one night as will be traveling all night and will arrive at 6AM. He said he would be up and out by 4-5pm. When I tried to explain that it was 2 nights, he just could not conceive the reason. So I recall just saying well your total will be (2 nights total) what card will you be using...click. Good, he turned into being someone else's PITA or slept in his car!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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It is amazing just how many B&B goers never seem to get the fact this is generally a mom & pop type of business. No we are not 24/7. It is easer to understand those that say this is their 1st b&b experience.
I have changed my check in time to say '3-7PM, by appointment' and ask for a hour or so time frame, then I add a 1/2 on each end. I also indicate that if they need to revise their arrival, please call in advance as sometimes we need to get to the grocery or handle personal business. It works most of the time and we leave a note on the door saying the time we will be back along with our #.
I agree with others about early arrivals, they seem to be the ones that do not consider YOU have a life too. They are the ones that will work you to bend your early check in pollicy and then be inconsiderate to not call when they are running late (sometimes hours late). An early check in fee MAY keep them more punctual but it may then keep you bound to the house even longer because they 'paid' for the convenience.
I recall one of my last 'between hours stay' request. The guy says he wanted a room for one night as will be traveling all night and will arrive at 6AM. He said he would be up and out by 4-5pm. When I tried to explain that it was 2 nights, he just could not conceive the reason. So I recall just saying well your total will be (2 nights total) what card will you be using...click. Good, he turned into being someone else's PITA or slept in his car!.
Copperhead said:
I recall one of my last 'between hours stay' request. The guy says he wanted a room for one night as will be traveling all night and will arrive at 6AM. He said he would be up and out by 4-5pm. When I tried to explain that it was 2 nights, he just could not conceive the reason. So I recall just saying well your total will be (2 nights total) what card will you be using...click. Good, he turned into being someone else's PITA or slept in his car!
You could tell him, "Oh you are after the hourly rate! That is $50 an hour"
 

ginocat

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If the room is ready and I'm ready I will allow an early check-in. Otherwise I probably won't answer the door bell or open the door. I often encourage early check-ins if they are already staying somewhere in town - this happens here quite often. I have them bring their bags, fill out the registration, etc. give them their key and tell them what time they can come back. I don't have problems with it.
If someone phones you don't give them an explanation - they don't care. If necessary tell them you are on your cell and out getting groceries or something and that you won't be back until so and so time. That works and cuts off all arguments.
 

Copperhead

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It is amazing just how many B&B goers never seem to get the fact this is generally a mom & pop type of business. No we are not 24/7. It is easer to understand those that say this is their 1st b&b experience.
I have changed my check in time to say '3-7PM, by appointment' and ask for a hour or so time frame, then I add a 1/2 on each end. I also indicate that if they need to revise their arrival, please call in advance as sometimes we need to get to the grocery or handle personal business. It works most of the time and we leave a note on the door saying the time we will be back along with our #.
I agree with others about early arrivals, they seem to be the ones that do not consider YOU have a life too. They are the ones that will work you to bend your early check in pollicy and then be inconsiderate to not call when they are running late (sometimes hours late). An early check in fee MAY keep them more punctual but it may then keep you bound to the house even longer because they 'paid' for the convenience.
I recall one of my last 'between hours stay' request. The guy says he wanted a room for one night as will be traveling all night and will arrive at 6AM. He said he would be up and out by 4-5pm. When I tried to explain that it was 2 nights, he just could not conceive the reason. So I recall just saying well your total will be (2 nights total) what card will you be using...click. Good, he turned into being someone else's PITA or slept in his car!.
Copperhead said:
I recall one of my last 'between hours stay' request. The guy says he wanted a room for one night as will be traveling all night and will arrive at 6AM. He said he would be up and out by 4-5pm. When I tried to explain that it was 2 nights, he just could not conceive the reason. So I recall just saying well your total will be (2 nights total) what card will you be using...click. Good, he turned into being someone else's PITA or slept in his car!
You could tell him, "Oh you are after the hourly rate! That is $50 an hour"
.
Good one JBJ. Wish I was quick on the reply but usually I think of good replies long after the conversation has ended.
 

Samster

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If the room is ready and I'm ready I will allow an early check-in. Otherwise I probably won't answer the door bell or open the door. I often encourage early check-ins if they are already staying somewhere in town - this happens here quite often. I have them bring their bags, fill out the registration, etc. give them their key and tell them what time they can come back. I don't have problems with it.
If someone phones you don't give them an explanation - they don't care. If necessary tell them you are on your cell and out getting groceries or something and that you won't be back until so and so time. That works and cuts off all arguments..
I think your flexibility changes with the number of rooms that you have. Once you get above a few rooms, it becomes increasing difficult to be super accommodating when it comes to check-in/check-out.
Another factor is if you are on your own or have another full-time innkeeper working with you. I can be spread pretty thin with 5 rooms (which can actually add up to 14 people if our double rooms are booked). I can only imagine what it's like for larger operations without staff and/or with a family.
You can only do so much in the course of a day which is why we have to set some of these policies. :)
 

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