Goodbye, Non-Refundable Rates

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Arks

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Good article HERE by Vikram Singh, a hospitality industry advisor I heard speak at the PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) conference in Nashville several years ago. He knows the industry very well. Here's a section of the article...

Goodbye, Non-Refundable Rates

You read that right. I think it is time to say goodbye to this incredibly tempting rate type, which the industry embraced during the good times. As a guest, nothing is more annoying than realizing after a change of plans (for a variety of valid reasons) that you booked a great deal at a hotel you are not going to visit anymore. Airlines are the kings of non-refundable fares; like everything else in revenue management that trickles down from airlines to hotels, we embraced it and made it a part of our industry. (Check out the horrible press that Airbnb received for their complicated and confusing refund policies.)

It is time for both independent and brand hotels to step away from this rate type and let people book with confidence. Taking people hostage with terms and conditions seems out of place in the world we are about to inherit.
 

gillumhouse

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I never needed them. I rarely have cancels and my policy has always been 48 hours. I am in Podunk! I have to be flexible.
 

Morticia

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I’m planning a vacation in the fall. I have to wait until Gomez gets his act together because the cottages I’m looking at are all non-refundable and I don’t want to go without him just so I don’t lose the money. 🤣
 

Generic

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I have non-refundable rates on OTAs and 7 day cancellation policies when booked direct.... policies don't have to part of parity. But BK actually offers some people their own 4 day cancellation policy on reservations... and if the person cancels, they find someone else or pay.

I think X may also offer it, but not on my property. I was looking for my vacation and I saw a property that is fully booked offered to me on Hotwire, even though everywhere else, including directly, it's fully booked. Of course, I'm not going to take it, it's hundreds of dollars above what I'm paying for my stay and I'm in the top 20 places to stay.... I booked really early.
 

Jay Curci

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Good article HERE by Vikram Singh, a hospitality industry advisor I heard speak at the PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) conference in Nashville several years ago. He knows the industry very well. Here's a section of the article...
Good article - I don't think he is experienced with small Mom & Pop Bed & Breakfasts. People may look to take advantage and cancel if it rains, or they have a last minute change of heart. We the small business should absorb this?? I don't think so! To each his/her own! We will stick to our tried and true Policy for now! Always with an eye out for industry changes....
 

Arks

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Good article - I don't think he is experienced with small Mom & Pop Bed & Breakfasts. People may look to take advantage and cancel if it rains, or they have a last minute change of heart. We the small business should absorb this?? I don't think so! To each his/her own! We will stick to our tried and true Policy for now! Always with an eye out for industry changes....
Correct. He's a big hotel guy, not a mom & pop level guy, but some of what he writes about can help us, too. As as generic mentions above, several of the OTAs offer a non-refundable option, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but maybe their days are numbered.
 

JimBoone

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A hundred room hotel can absorb a few that cancel, for mom and pop it more like canceling a block of 20 or 30 room at the large hotel and I tend to bet that they have a stronger policy for large groups. For me I have a shorter cancelation period, work okay most times, but I often wonder how guests would feel if owners cancelled on them with short notice, looks different in that light.
 

Arks

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...I often wonder how guests would feel if owners cancelled on them with short notice, looks different in that light.
Good point! It's a contract. They agree to pay for the room they booked, and we agree to forsake all others and hold the room only for them.
 

gillumhouse

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I just had my second reservation from the road (Monday - a 1 night & last night at 9:30 PM a call for a 2-night) this week. On arrival - had call about 85-year old sister they are on way to visit, she is failing. We need to leave in the morning. No sweat, I will change it to 1 night. They go to dinner, come back saying they were just called, she has taken a turn for the worse. leaving now. She offered me $100 to cover costs of food I had purchased for their visit. I said the rate is ___ + tax. I will get my reader. He gets credit card and as I am charging the card, he says is that the best you can do. My mental conversation is - I only charged you 1 night, not the 2 you reserved so it is the best I can do.

Fortunately they came back from dinner just as I was getting ready to make the sausage (got that e-mail this morning so had to thaw the ground venison) - it is now in the oven as a venison meatloaf.
 

TheBeachHouse

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When we started, my empathy was easily extended. After nine years, my first thought is, “how is this my problem?”
in truth, my real personality is very empathetic and helpful, but my business self has learned not to be taken advantage of.
 

TheBeachHouse

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Shall we talk empathy? Family here for a wedding. They all go off leaving dad here. He’s confused. Keeps forgetting where he is. I’ve had to tell him where his room is and that his wife went for a walk. He’s very polite and not at all afraid or combative. But, wtf? Why did they leave him? And now I’m in tears because I’m watching out for a delightful, fine, dignified man who can’t remember two minutes ago. when i tell him something, like, this is your room, he say, “I think you’re right!”
no check ins today, so we were thinking we had the day off, but now, we are caretaker to a wonderful gentleman who should not be left alone in unfamiliar surroundings.
 

TheBeachHouse

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When they came back, I couldn’t be angry. They are dealing with a horrible disease and doing well. I simply told her that he was confused and that we left the oh out for her. ( he had come into the office twice for orange juice.). Then I blew her a kiss with a loving look. Life can be cruel.
 
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