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lrosan

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How should I handle a guest that threatened to write a horrible review on TripAdvisor if we didn't return his money.
The guest reserved a single room for 2 nights and showed up with a companion, he did have to pay an additional $20 per night for the companion and was given the chance of renting a more expensive room upstairs (he had reserved the least expensive one).
Next morning at breakfast, he told our innkeeper that he enjoyed his stay and the breakfast but he had received a business related call from his school and had to leave and wanted to know if we could credit him for the last night. Our innkeeper reminded him about the 72 hours cancellation notice and told him to send management an email requesting it.
Boy, I have never read such a horrible email, he accused us of many things, and just invented a bunch of lies and I felt cheated and defenseless againt his accusations. We did return a credit of $50 to his card (I had told our innkeeper to do that right away after he left because I felt bad for him) but unfortunately it was not done until after we received the threatining email which it made it look like we only did it because of his threat but it wasn't. We haven't heard from him since and I don't know if he will go through with his threat, but if he does, what should I do?
 

Joey Camb

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That is a pile of Pants! We had a chap very similar situation booked a really cheap deal then complained it was a small room (what a shocker) booked for 2 nights and left after 1 so was within my rights to charge for both but only charged for 1 as was a bit soft. Acused me of lying to my face when he said he had been left alone in the place all evening (we had never gone out and were always calling distanse of him) and all sorts. He didn't leave a' review at the time so was quite pleased but just this week (he came in March) he did one! what a cheek!only said it was not good value for money (at $120 for two people!) and wouldn't stay again! I deceided to run on the principle publish and be dammed. i would however sit and write a really cleaver management response. make sure you do it when you are calm and don't accuse him of anything make it look like you were as reasonable as you could be and he wasn't.
 

EmptyNest

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YOU CANNOT let people blackmail you with a bad TA review. Don't go there. Stick to your policies. If they write a bad review..so be it. People can see right through some of this crap! Write a professional management response and move on. You cannot please everyone all of the time so stop trying. My friend had guest show up...eat all her snacks, use the bathroom, use the hot tub, start a campfire and make s'mores. Then at midnight...knocked on the innkeepers door and said "we are leaving...we can't sleep in a room that MAYBE a spider has been on my pillow"!!!!!!! The room was immaculate. She checked everything....found a dead "stink bug" behind the drapery. Hey this is the country...there are bugs everywhere.
WHAT???? They wanted a full refund!!!! YEAH RIGHT...not on your life. She got them a room at another place in town and they left!!!! They never refuted the charges and that was six months ago!!!
SOME PEOPLE!!! WHAT NERVE!!! So...don't be bullied!!!
 

domsmom

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I had a similar incident in the summer. The guest filed a dispute with their credit card and got the money back. Their letter to the credit card company was all lies! The room was in dissarray, etc, however when she arrived she complimented on how soothing the home was and how lovely the room was.
If they sent you that letter, expect a chargeback.
 

gillumhouse

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In light of the response from Domsmom, IF anyone has this situation, take photos of the room when that guest leaves to have just in case.
 

JBloggs

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HE WILL WRITE IT ANYWAY. DON'T BEND!
He will probably sound like a nut job on the TA review, so you may end up with the upper hand in the end...breathe...poor thing, that sucks!
 

Breakfast Diva

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Don't be blackmailed by these idiots! It's happened to me twice this summer. After 10 years in this business, we finally had our first 2 charge backs. We won the first one and now are waiting for the results of the second one. Both threatened to write bad reviews. They lie through their teeth to the credit card company and then again if they do a bad review.
Believe me, they will write a bad review whether you give them their money back or not. Maybe not right away, but they'll wait a few months like Cam's did.
Just last night, we had a no show who called the evening before to get their deposit refunded when they realized that our location was 1 1/4 hours from where they wanted to be. They had reserved that room in early August and the night before they want out? Nope...not going to happen. After the phone call last night, we thought they would probably show up, but no....we waited and waited...no show. I'm now anticipating ANOTHER chargeback situation even though they clicked on the "read and agreed to" policy making an online reservation.
Don't be bullied. They will only continue to do it again to the next b&b/hotel. Do a management response if they do a bad TA.
 

agoodman

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Make sure your cancel and no show policies are clear on your website (have a print screen) and your confirmations. In the case of a cancel or a no show I always do everything in writing, and have that as back up for the cc company
The backup always states "as per the website and the confirmatione email you received on reservation, our policy is ............"
In most cases I will not charge IF I can resell the room however I also state that it is "rare" to resell the room at the last minute. In some cases where I have charged I have sent a voucher for x percent on a future stay or an I love Inns free night cert.
You can't make everyone happy and it won't always work but it helps, the 3 chargebacks I have had in 5 years, the cc co has always "ruled" in my favor.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Make sure your cancel and no show policies are clear on your website (have a print screen) and your confirmations. In the case of a cancel or a no show I always do everything in writing, and have that as back up for the cc company
The backup always states "as per the website and the confirmatione email you received on reservation, our policy is ............"
In most cases I will not charge IF I can resell the room however I also state that it is "rare" to resell the room at the last minute. In some cases where I have charged I have sent a voucher for x percent on a future stay or an I love Inns free night cert.
You can't make everyone happy and it won't always work but it helps, the 3 chargebacks I have had in 5 years, the cc co has always "ruled" in my favor..
You're right agoodman...you must be crystal clear with your policies on your website, on your online reservation system and in your confirmation letter. I have even added "since cancellations greatly affect us, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced".
 

agoodman

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Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway.
 

Don Draper

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Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway..
agoodman said:
Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway.
I'm exactly the opposite, our policy sticks no matter the reason for cancellation. I don't doubt anyone's sob story, but if they are honestly having a death in the family or a car accident or whatever, a possible refund for something they have to cancel at the last minute should be the very last thing on their minds. If we resell, they get their money back, if we don't they lose it, period.
 

Emily Spiers

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Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway..
agoodman said:
Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway.
I'm exactly the opposite, our policy sticks no matter the reason for cancellation. I don't doubt anyone's sob story, but if they are honestly having a death in the family or a car accident or whatever, a possible refund for something they have to cancel at the last minute should be the very last thing on their minds. If we resell, they get their money back, if we don't they lose it, period.
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Don Draper said:
I'm exactly the opposite, our policy sticks no matter the reason for cancellation. I don't doubt anyone's sob story, but if they are honestly having a death in the family or a car accident or whatever, a possible refund for something they have to cancel at the last minute should be the very last thing on their minds.
I agree with this. You can't pay for other people's emergencies or life issues. They don't pay for yours.
 

lrosan

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Thank you everyone for sharing and for the advices.
 

Joey Camb

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It is all a pile of crap really as these sites don't check properly at all one of my neighbours had a review saying the guest was kept up by the constant noise comming from a night club when there arn't any night clubs there! so it just isn't possible.
 

JBloggs

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Irosan, please keep us updated on this subject.
 

Aussie Innkeeper

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I've discovered that majority of BAD TA reviews for B&B's (at least the better properties around here) are due to guests ignoring policies.
 

JBloggs

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I've discovered that majority of BAD TA reviews for B&B's (at least the better properties around here) are due to guests ignoring policies..
Aussie Innkeeper said:
I've discovered that majority of BAD TA reviews for B&B's (at least the better properties around here) are due to guests ignoring policies.
I concur, it is never actually the inn, isn't that funny now that you point it out. Is it always the lawbreakers? Majority of the time it is!
 

Copperhead

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Irosan, you have some great advise given you here:
1) don't be bullied by a threat
2) have clear policies & stick to them
3) take pictures and document what took place, others involed? get their statements NOW
4) be calm and post a factual accounting of your policies and issues about this stay in response, no name calling - make yourself/B&B look like the better person
5) this is my addition here - if they booked on line and they had to agree to reading & accepting your policies, keep this copy with your doucments.
IF your online booking does not require accepting the policies OR if they booked via phone... you should require them to reply to your confirmation email accepting the terms of their reservation. Making sure all your policies are listed in this confirmation. This is one area that sometimes falls through the cracks with reservations. Having their commitment goes a long, long way.
If they file a charge back, provide a clear statement of your policies and any other documentation. Use the K.I.S.S. rule in your response - provide the facts Jack! Have had a couple of charge backs myself and have won both. Having good documentation is the key factor.
Let this roll off your back and carry on. If he posts a review just know that most people can read through lies and if he is just crying about his money - your policies handle it and most good people - those you want in your B&B can understand the need for policies.
 

Alibi Ike

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Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway..
agoodman said:
Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway.
Just had the 'dead relative' this weekend. Guest called 4 days out to say they had to be back on Sunday for a memorial service so they couldn't stay Sat night but would be there for Fri night to see their son at college. We rebooked the room in about 2 minutes, but when the gues checked in on Fri, I carefully went over the registration form and said, 'You are here only for one night, correct?' Guest responded, 'Yes, just the one night. We realized our son probably wouldn't want to see us 2 days in a row.'
What happened to the memorial service? Out the window apparently.
 

egoodell

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Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway..
agoodman said:
Of course one always has to weigh up the goodwill vs bad review issue so there is no clear cut line. If someone called and said someone had died, or had an accident, I probably would not even question it. Asking for proof is tacky and the quality of most B&B guests is that they don't use that kind of line. And many others will expect to be asked for proof if they do use it anyway.
Just had the 'dead relative' this weekend. Guest called 4 days out to say they had to be back on Sunday for a memorial service so they couldn't stay Sat night but would be there for Fri night to see their son at college. We rebooked the room in about 2 minutes, but when the gues checked in on Fri, I carefully went over the registration form and said, 'You are here only for one night, correct?' Guest responded, 'Yes, just the one night. We realized our son probably wouldn't want to see us 2 days in a row.'
What happened to the memorial service? Out the window apparently.
.
[/quote]
Just had the 'dead relative' this weekend. Guest called 4 days out to say they had to be back on Sunday for a memorial service so they couldn't stay Sat night but would be there for Fri night to see their son at college. We rebooked the room in about 2 minutes, but when the gues checked in on Fri, I carefully went over the registration form and said, 'You are here only for one night, correct?' Guest responded, 'Yes, just the one night. We realized our son probably wouldn't want to see us 2 days in a row.'
What happened to the memorial service? Out the window apparently.
[/quote]
We have started receiving the excuses to change a two night weekend stay to a one night. I put up with one, but when I received another one today told them no. This kind of think appears to be the latest way to get around a required two night stay.
The one today was for December and they said that a family emergency has come up and they can only stay Saturday night, if it was okay with us. Nope. I gave them links to B&Bs that allow one night stays in December. But if they are not booking a wine tour with us that really is not worth it to us. We can always book a one night with a wine tour so I'm not taking a $250 hit.
Riki
 
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