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Guest makes "best offer" regarding rates

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Mountain Inn

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Altho I read here almost daily, it is usually at bedtime when I am too tired to send lucid posts. I am wondering if anyone else received this "offer" from a guest wishing to visit the NC mountains this week. It came in near midnight last evening. I am deleting the guest name and the name of the two guest rooms (which, by the way, are in an inn in a nearby town). Other than this two edits, the message is just as received. It sounds a bit like a scam we recently read about in the newspaper. If you did not get this, how would you recommend handling it?
My name is ____ and My Wife and I are in Georgia at the moment doing some business. We are done early and have a few days to enjoy a few nights of relaxation.
We are looking to stay with a bed and breakfast and would like to offer you a special rate for 2-3 nights starting on this coming Tuesday (7/20/2010), if 3 nights and this Wednesday if only 2 nights in either the __________ or the ___________. The nightly rate we are willing to offer you is $100 per night for a total stay price of $200 or $300 depending on 2 or 3 nights.
If you have interest, please contact me as soon as possible via email. I will check emails on Monday morning and make a decision with a phone call to you Early on Monday to make the arrangements.
 

Morticia

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I have not gotten this exact email but I have gotten emails quoting me their 'best rate', which is usually substantially below our quoted rate.
I generally respond back with a list of places for whom that amount of money is an INCREASE and tell the guest to contact those places. Heck, why not give someone local an extra $25/night!
 

egoodell

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I don't respond to anyone wanting to deal, but then again with only two rooms I don't have the pressure to fill rooms. I just don't like the sound of that email.
Riki
 

muirford

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What kind of scam have you heard about that would make you alert to this? I would like to hear about that for my own reference.
Otherwise, I would think this is just a bargain hunter, although not a very organized one (if he mis-identified your rooms) and would do it or not do it based on how you feel about the offer.
 

Banana

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I don't respond to anyone wanting to deal, but then again with only two rooms I don't have the pressure to fill rooms. I just don't like the sound of that email.
Riki.
"We would like to offer you the special rate of..." That takes balls. I wouldn't respond at all, and yes, I do think it's some kind of scam.
 

seashanty

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bargain hunter maybe
my scam radar is up because of the person saying 'my name is' and 'my wife and i' ... this is the standard beginning of the scam emails ... giving odd details. and then the, 'email me if you have interest' and 'i will check emails' it sounds soo very familiar and is always in the scam emails. usually the scams are long range plans ... not in a few days.
now, this could be a case of a little broken english but i would not answer such an email.
if this person wanted to get your best rate, why wouldn't he just call you instead of emailing you (and others i guess is the inference)?
 

gillumhouse

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Was the TO: yourinn or was the TO: undisclosedrecipients - if the latter a definite scam. I also still think it has an aroma of a guest not desired.....
 

EmptyNest

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I wouldn't bother to give this fellow the time of day. I don't want guests looking for special offers. If he really wants one....let him give you a call to ask. I don't know that this is a scam...but certainly nothing I would respond to.
 

Mini

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And today I had a call from someone phoning for one of those cross country walkers, walking across Canada for a need.
Believe me I have given free nights to several of these in the past but this lady said the guy would like a free night on this Saturday night and would prefer one of the jacuzzi suites and for free. So, suddenly we don't have any rooms available.
 

gillumhouse

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And today I had a call from someone phoning for one of those cross country walkers, walking across Canada for a need.
Believe me I have given free nights to several of these in the past but this lady said the guy would like a free night on this Saturday night and would prefer one of the jacuzzi suites and for free. So, suddenly we don't have any rooms available..
I have had 2 who were bicycling across America - NEITHER asked for a free room. One did ask if I could offer a discount. He had 2 fellows following him in a camper which parked across the street. He did ask if they could shower here and since is was mid-week I said yes. I also invited the other gentlemen for breakfast. They were so grateful. They brought me some cheese as a thank you. You could tell they were doing this on the proverbial "shoestring".
The other was a lady whose Mom called for routing info as it was blazing hot and she was looking for the route with the least hills. I invited her to stop in so I could show her a routing with maps. She did and decided to stay the night - no discount requested.
Both were pleasant experiences. Free? Ask a motel...
 

wendydk

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I wouldn't bother to give this fellow the time of day. I don't want guests looking for special offers. If he really wants one....let him give you a call to ask. I don't know that this is a scam...but certainly nothing I would respond to..
catlady said:
I wouldn't bother to give this fellow the time of day. I don't want guests looking for special offers. If he really wants one....let him give you a call to ask. I don't know that this is a scam...but certainly nothing I would respond to.
I would respond, and if I had a room, I would ask him to call me to discuss the terms of his offer, that we may be able to come to an agreement. If it's a scam, he won't call. If he does call, you may be able to book a room at a higher rate. Ignoring emails or voice messages is never a good idea unless you are 100% sure it's a scam. There is nothing that
me off more than calling or emailing a business and never hearing anything back. Very unprofessional.
 

Copperhead

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Does not seem like a scam as usually scams are for a time in the future not in the next day or two and usually for several days (5-10) not just a couple. They also only ask you for the rate, not 'offer you a price'.
Even if they are sending to quite a few places as a usual scam email is, in this case I think they used the email to send out to a number of places rather than calling each indiviually and quite possibly a foriegn traveler. But - give them the time of day - no. Read and delete, unless you are interested in that 'deal'.
 

JBloggs

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Offer YOU a special rate? I wouldn't let them book a room from rudeness alone. Like mentioned on the "Negotiator" thread, this is what people think is the norm now. And they will say "The room will sit empty otherwise."
 

JBloggs

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You know it was sent BULK to all the inn emails they could get their hands on. Absurd.
 

Banana

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Offer YOU a special rate? I wouldn't let them book a room from rudeness alone. Like mentioned on the "Negotiator" thread, this is what people think is the norm now. And they will say "The room will sit empty otherwise.".
That was my exact thought. I will discount my rooms if I need to, but I won't even consider it, if approached in this manner.
 

EmptyNest

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I wouldn't bother to give this fellow the time of day. I don't want guests looking for special offers. If he really wants one....let him give you a call to ask. I don't know that this is a scam...but certainly nothing I would respond to..
catlady said:
I wouldn't bother to give this fellow the time of day. I don't want guests looking for special offers. If he really wants one....let him give you a call to ask. I don't know that this is a scam...but certainly nothing I would respond to.
I would respond, and if I had a room, I would ask him to call me to discuss the terms of his offer, that we may be able to come to an agreement. If it's a scam, he won't call. If he does call, you may be able to book a room at a higher rate. Ignoring emails or voice messages is never a good idea unless you are 100% sure it's a scam. There is nothing that
me off more than calling or emailing a business and never hearing anything back. Very unprofessional.
.
Sorry anyone emailing me right off the bat looking for a discount....I don't want.
 

Mountain Inn

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What kind of scam have you heard about that would make you alert to this? I would like to hear about that for my own reference.
Otherwise, I would think this is just a bargain hunter, although not a very organized one (if he mis-identified your rooms) and would do it or not do it based on how you feel about the offer..
Bargain hunter, yes, but lacking the skill and grace with which some of our guests and potential guests have. For instance, a previous guest left us a message that she and her sister wanted to come for two nights next week. Along with comments regarding the glowing compliments she had told her sister since her stay here last fall. She certainly knows about the online booking...she used it last time. Since she said in her phone message she would not be available for a couple of days, I sent her an email regarding availability along with a list of events and activities happening locally which she might be interested in. Today, I followed that up with a call since she said she would be available today. She had already received my email, but wanted to discuss options. She said she told her sister what a lovely time she and husband had here...again, lots of great compliments with mentions of what made her stay here so special. Then she pointed out she could stay in a bed and breakfast in nearby Asheville where her son lives. And, she had considered cashing in her hotel rewards points for a free stay. All this segued into her asking just how deep a discount we would be able to give to have them come here. I do understand all this, I even appreciate the frugality of the guests, but it sometimes makes all the extra things a great b and b add to a guest's stay get lost in the bargaining mix, don't you think? Oh, I forgot to tell you that last year, we gave them a complimentary upgrade at the last minute when a room unexpectedly became available.
 

Mountain Inn

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I have not gotten this exact email but I have gotten emails quoting me their 'best rate', which is usually substantially below our quoted rate.
I generally respond back with a list of places for whom that amount of money is an INCREASE and tell the guest to contact those places. Heck, why not give someone local an extra $25/night!.
Morticia said:
I have not gotten this exact email but I have gotten emails quoting me their 'best rate', which is usually substantially below our quoted rate.
I generally respond back with a list of places for whom that amount of money is an INCREASE and tell the guest to contact those places. Heck, why not give someone local an extra $25/night!
I considered that, because our area has many many lodging opportunities. But I didn't quickly figure out how to say it without sounding tacky, or as if it was a put down.
I have now answered it and will post the update shortly.
 

JBloggs

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For return guests, we are much more gracious in giving deeper discounts.
Having said that...I was at the dentist a half hour ago as saw the Director of the hospital to which I gave a BOGO to their best friends to come and visit. This same man called and demanded I give him the same discount on a one night as he was passing through and wanted to stop and visit his friend, so he wanted a one night stay on a weekend for half price. I told him no.
I orig gave this BOGO as I wanted to get my foot in the door at the hospital as it is part of a larger system with visiting dr's and nurses. I wanted to be their recommendation for lodging to put these contracted staff here. Never got anything else from it, not even a thank you.
As the saying goes Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. and all that fun stuff!
 

Mountain Inn

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For return guests, we are much more gracious in giving deeper discounts.
Having said that...I was at the dentist a half hour ago as saw the Director of the hospital to which I gave a BOGO to their best friends to come and visit. This same man called and demanded I give him the same discount on a one night as he was passing through and wanted to stop and visit his friend, so he wanted a one night stay on a weekend for half price. I told him no.
I orig gave this BOGO as I wanted to get my foot in the door at the hospital as it is part of a larger system with visiting dr's and nurses. I wanted to be their recommendation for lodging to put these contracted staff here. Never got anything else from it, not even a thank you.
As the saying goes Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. and all that fun stuff!.
Update: Perhaps my deeply ingrained Southern Hospitality sometimes keeps my gut responses in check, and I never wish to offend. But I was interrupted just as I was responding and got distracted...I confess, the first sentence doesn't sound southern. Better if I had used someone's recommendation to gently decline his "offer." So both the writer and I have left this email conversation with a bad taste in our mouths. He thinks I called him cheap and I think he thought we were. Who was it who said, "Cheap ain't nice, and nice ain't cheap?" I will try to do better next time. Nuff said. But here it is; I have answered the gentleman's email and received a response. Here they are:
My short message:
If you have interest, please contact me as soon as possible via email. I will check emails on Monday morning and make a decision with a phone call to you Early on Monday to make the arrangements.

Thanks for your inquiry. Seems our accommodations do not match your needs. In reading your note a second time, we see it appears you were actually intending to contact _______________ Bed and Breakfast in Asheville? Confident you will find the perfect spot!


His response:
Hello, Thank you for your reply. Yes, I have contacted several B&B places. I think we have found a VERY nice place to stay that would be willing to take our offer instead of not having someone at all. We certainly did not need to stay in the area, but thought that a 2 or 3 night stay would be nice and would also help out a local business. Seems you dont need the help, will make sure to let others know that you are not being hit by the Economy and dont need people to come stay with your B&B. Have a nice day, ______ (his first name I am omitting)
 
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