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"Hope it's not a problem if I change my reservation...again."

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Morticia

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OK, who has a policy about changing reservations? This may also include cancelling room nights, but I am more interested in how many times, if you have a limit, you allow guests to change their rez?
One guest has changed her rez, hold on, let me look, 4+ times. It started off that she wanted 4 rooms nights and then 1 more night another week. Before I could even accept the rez, I had an email that the dates were wrong. Then she cancelled one night and changed the dates again.
Now, today I get another email saying they are cancelling all but 2 nights, a week apart. And there were multiple changes in between.
I don't have a policy on changing your mind over and over again, but I'm considering it. They gave us grief last year because they changed their rez so many times that when they checked in, we had to have 2 sheets to cover the multiple nights and room changes. They were mad we were charging them for the additional nights they booked because they said we never told them how much it would all cost and they thought they had the confirmation. (Waved it around. Hubs looked and said, 'Yes, that is the confirm for tomorrow, if you don't want to pay for tonight, come back tomorrow.' First time I've seen him grumpy with a guest.)
Anyway, charges for changing a rez anyone?
 

Sanctuary

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My B&B Agreement, which is the confirmation, states:
"DEPOSIT/CANCELLATION/EARLY DEPARTURE: A one night deposit, including sales tax, is required to secure your reservation. Visa, MasterCard, money order, cash or personal checks are accepted. You may cancel your reservation 14 or more days in advance of your arrival and receive a full refund of the deposit amount. If cancelling with less notice, the deposit is forfeited, except as provided below in the event of SEVERE WEATHER. If you choose to leave before your planned stay is complete, there is no refund for unused nights, except as provided below in the event of SEVERE WEATHER. Special Events and Holidays may require higher deposit amounts and specific cancellation policies. If this is the case for your stay, you will be informed in advance.
SEVERE WEATHER: In consideration of your safety, and that of the crew, if a Named or Numbered Storm (defined as a windstorm given a name or number as a tropical event by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL) is forecast to threaten the location of the vessel within 72 hours before, or during your planned stay, Sanctuary Holdings, L.L.C. reserves the right to deny check in, or terminate your stay early. Upon such termination, Sanctuary Holdings, L.L.C. shall provide a full refund for any unused nights."
Guests must sign this Agreement along with making their deposit, or they have no reservation. A lot of people in my business don't refund in the event of a cancellation for a Storm and say "that's why you buy travel insurance." I don't think that's fair. If I choose to vacate in the face of an approaching storm, then I feel I have no right to keep the guests' money. I've also been accused of giving away too much and setting my rates too low. I guess I'm just an old softie. I don't charge for making changes in reservations, provided I have availability to accommodate the changes. So far, that hasn't been a problem, but I'm sure my day is coming.
 

Morticia

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My B&B Agreement, which is the confirmation, states:
"DEPOSIT/CANCELLATION/EARLY DEPARTURE: A one night deposit, including sales tax, is required to secure your reservation. Visa, MasterCard, money order, cash or personal checks are accepted. You may cancel your reservation 14 or more days in advance of your arrival and receive a full refund of the deposit amount. If cancelling with less notice, the deposit is forfeited, except as provided below in the event of SEVERE WEATHER. If you choose to leave before your planned stay is complete, there is no refund for unused nights, except as provided below in the event of SEVERE WEATHER. Special Events and Holidays may require higher deposit amounts and specific cancellation policies. If this is the case for your stay, you will be informed in advance.
SEVERE WEATHER: In consideration of your safety, and that of the crew, if a Named or Numbered Storm (defined as a windstorm given a name or number as a tropical event by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL) is forecast to threaten the location of the vessel within 72 hours before, or during your planned stay, Sanctuary Holdings, L.L.C. reserves the right to deny check in, or terminate your stay early. Upon such termination, Sanctuary Holdings, L.L.C. shall provide a full refund for any unused nights."
Guests must sign this Agreement along with making their deposit, or they have no reservation. A lot of people in my business don't refund in the event of a cancellation for a Storm and say "that's why you buy travel insurance." I don't think that's fair. If I choose to vacate in the face of an approaching storm, then I feel I have no right to keep the guests' money. I've also been accused of giving away too much and setting my rates too low. I guess I'm just an old softie. I don't charge for making changes in reservations, provided I have availability to accommodate the changes. So far, that hasn't been a problem, but I'm sure my day is coming..
This is not so much a cancellation in the sense that they are even close to their arrival date (they're not). It's more how would you handle the guest who has booked and then wants to change the week they booked? Or the start date/end date? (Unless you are set up to do full week, Sat-Sat only kinds of vacations.)
Yes, my guests have effectively cancelled 3 nights of their stay, but they're so far out I'll rebook that.
 

Copperhead

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Bree - 10 years in the business and have never experienced what you discribe. Do you use a reservation system like Webervations to track your reservations? This makes changing reservations really easy. And as you stated, this reservation is "so far out" it should not be too much of a headache (to change in the system). I would just flag this one with a note and not 'bank' on it until their cancellation date passes.
Now I do not have a clause stating the # of times they can change. My Deposit/Cancellation Policy generally states that: cancellations or changes must be made no later than 14 days prior to arrival. Cancellations with less notice forfeit their deposit. Changes, except for the addtion of days, with notice less than 14 days may be charged for the entire reserved nights - unless we are able to re-rent the room for the same period. Note: any nights re-rented would be deducted from your charges.
What I am wondering is IF they were such a PITA the first go round, why bother this time? Or do you not have a PITA list which you only bend when you are "VERY HUNGRY".
 

Samster

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Hmmm...I suppose you could add a "service fee" to cover the scenario when someone were to modify their reservation more than x number of times, but that seems petty to me. jmvvho. We are in the hospitality business. I've not had to do anything major but I've had to change a reservation a couple of times for whatever reason. Once I figured out the easiest way to do it in SuperInn, it wasn't that big a deal. If this is a pattern, add these guests to your "list". Sorry....
 

Morticia

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Bree - 10 years in the business and have never experienced what you discribe. Do you use a reservation system like Webervations to track your reservations? This makes changing reservations really easy. And as you stated, this reservation is "so far out" it should not be too much of a headache (to change in the system). I would just flag this one with a note and not 'bank' on it until their cancellation date passes.
Now I do not have a clause stating the # of times they can change. My Deposit/Cancellation Policy generally states that: cancellations or changes must be made no later than 14 days prior to arrival. Cancellations with less notice forfeit their deposit. Changes, except for the addtion of days, with notice less than 14 days may be charged for the entire reserved nights - unless we are able to re-rent the room for the same period. Note: any nights re-rented would be deducted from your charges.
What I am wondering is IF they were such a PITA the first go round, why bother this time? Or do you not have a PITA list which you only bend when you are "VERY HUNGRY"..
Yes, I have a rez system. It's not the ease of change, it's the sheer number of times!
This is a 'local' situation where the guests are visiting a local family.
 

EmptyNest

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My B&B Agreement, which is the confirmation, states:
"DEPOSIT/CANCELLATION/EARLY DEPARTURE: A one night deposit, including sales tax, is required to secure your reservation. Visa, MasterCard, money order, cash or personal checks are accepted. You may cancel your reservation 14 or more days in advance of your arrival and receive a full refund of the deposit amount. If cancelling with less notice, the deposit is forfeited, except as provided below in the event of SEVERE WEATHER. If you choose to leave before your planned stay is complete, there is no refund for unused nights, except as provided below in the event of SEVERE WEATHER. Special Events and Holidays may require higher deposit amounts and specific cancellation policies. If this is the case for your stay, you will be informed in advance.
SEVERE WEATHER: In consideration of your safety, and that of the crew, if a Named or Numbered Storm (defined as a windstorm given a name or number as a tropical event by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL) is forecast to threaten the location of the vessel within 72 hours before, or during your planned stay, Sanctuary Holdings, L.L.C. reserves the right to deny check in, or terminate your stay early. Upon such termination, Sanctuary Holdings, L.L.C. shall provide a full refund for any unused nights."
Guests must sign this Agreement along with making their deposit, or they have no reservation. A lot of people in my business don't refund in the event of a cancellation for a Storm and say "that's why you buy travel insurance." I don't think that's fair. If I choose to vacate in the face of an approaching storm, then I feel I have no right to keep the guests' money. I've also been accused of giving away too much and setting my rates too low. I guess I'm just an old softie. I don't charge for making changes in reservations, provided I have availability to accommodate the changes. So far, that hasn't been a problem, but I'm sure my day is coming..
This is not so much a cancellation in the sense that they are even close to their arrival date (they're not). It's more how would you handle the guest who has booked and then wants to change the week they booked? Or the start date/end date? (Unless you are set up to do full week, Sat-Sat only kinds of vacations.)
Yes, my guests have effectively cancelled 3 nights of their stay, but they're so far out I'll rebook that.
.
I don't think some others are getting what you are saying...you do have written cancellation policies..but this is not the case....
This guest keeps changing on you..... GRRRRRR.
You said she was with you last year. Do you want her back???? If she keeps this up honestly, I would just say "you are making this very difficult for me. I have to have firm dates because we are a business and others want to book these dates. Let me k now by such and such date..your firm dates otherwise I suggest you book somewhere else.
To me, this is just not worth the grief she is putting you through. I can see one or two..but four times...get out of here!!!!!
 

seashanty

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i haven't had anyone make that many changes to their reservation. it is a mess on so many levels!!
i don't know what i'd do ... i use webervations and do not find it easy to cancel and/or change things since i have to manually go in and block out and free up dates and rooms even if i say 'cancel this reservation' ....
and there is no way that i'm aware of that you can keep someone from booking online ... once you saw the name on a pending reservation the system takes, you'd then have to contact them and say 'no we are unable to accept the reservation you wanted to make' how awkward is that?
i think i'd have to add in something to my policies about a 'service charge' for changed reservations to make it very unattractive for the guest to keep changing ....
the argument at check-in last time indicates to me that they are not even sure what they eventually decide so i might be inclined to tell them i am sorry but i cannot accommodate them. things can get so hectic and confused, i would be concerned that i would goof it up.
 

Morticia

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i haven't had anyone make that many changes to their reservation. it is a mess on so many levels!!
i don't know what i'd do ... i use webervations and do not find it easy to cancel and/or change things since i have to manually go in and block out and free up dates and rooms even if i say 'cancel this reservation' ....
and there is no way that i'm aware of that you can keep someone from booking online ... once you saw the name on a pending reservation the system takes, you'd then have to contact them and say 'no we are unable to accept the reservation you wanted to make' how awkward is that?
i think i'd have to add in something to my policies about a 'service charge' for changed reservations to make it very unattractive for the guest to keep changing ....
the argument at check-in last time indicates to me that they are not even sure what they eventually decide so i might be inclined to tell them i am sorry but i cannot accommodate them. things can get so hectic and confused, i would be concerned that i would goof it up..
After last time and the attitude we got, I'm glad it's just the 2 nights this time. As with many couples, one is a peach and the other is a lemon. I think we take the lemon just so the peach doesn't get grief.
 

Samster

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i haven't had anyone make that many changes to their reservation. it is a mess on so many levels!!
i don't know what i'd do ... i use webervations and do not find it easy to cancel and/or change things since i have to manually go in and block out and free up dates and rooms even if i say 'cancel this reservation' ....
and there is no way that i'm aware of that you can keep someone from booking online ... once you saw the name on a pending reservation the system takes, you'd then have to contact them and say 'no we are unable to accept the reservation you wanted to make' how awkward is that?
i think i'd have to add in something to my policies about a 'service charge' for changed reservations to make it very unattractive for the guest to keep changing ....
the argument at check-in last time indicates to me that they are not even sure what they eventually decide so i might be inclined to tell them i am sorry but i cannot accommodate them. things can get so hectic and confused, i would be concerned that i would goof it up..
After last time and the attitude we got, I'm glad it's just the 2 nights this time. As with many couples, one is a peach and the other is a lemon. I think we take the lemon just so the peach doesn't get grief.
.
If you have their "final" change, I think that you might need to use a little more assertive approach in an email reply or phone conversation as Catlady suggested. This is your busy season and like Seashanty said it can cause havoc with someone else trying to book online. I would definitely be sure to note in the last email confirmation the number of times the reservation has been modified and this is their FINAL confirmation!!
 

Copperhead

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Another thought - remind them of the many changes last time and the confusion at check in due to the changes. Place it the fact that YOU may goof up if changes keep being made and state "Maybe it would be best to wait until closer to your trip to reserve and finalize your reservation with me."
I have had callers that start to book for certain dates then state well I am really not sure, the date may change. Now that raises my flag. What I say at that point is 'I will be very happy to complete your reservation once your dates have been finalized.' Usually this is enough but if they continue, I get into the 'Unlike a large hotel, my B&B has 5 rooms, yada, yada... They call back and say I spoke with you ? long ago, and have firmed my plans and would like to book now. If not, they most likely would either have been a PITA or would have canceled.
 

Morticia

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Another thought - remind them of the many changes last time and the confusion at check in due to the changes. Place it the fact that YOU may goof up if changes keep being made and state "Maybe it would be best to wait until closer to your trip to reserve and finalize your reservation with me."
I have had callers that start to book for certain dates then state well I am really not sure, the date may change. Now that raises my flag. What I say at that point is 'I will be very happy to complete your reservation once your dates have been finalized.' Usually this is enough but if they continue, I get into the 'Unlike a large hotel, my B&B has 5 rooms, yada, yada... They call back and say I spoke with you ? long ago, and have firmed my plans and would like to book now. If not, they most likely would either have been a PITA or would have canceled..
Copperhead said:
Another thought - remind them of the many changes last time and the confusion at check in due to the changes. Place it the fact that YOU may goof up if changes keep being made and state "Maybe it would be best to wait until closer to your trip to reserve and finalize your reservation with me."
Good point about having them call back when they are finalized. Part of it IS that she is booking other accommodations and she's changing here to suit the other lodging she's got. (She said that in the last email.) Probably because we're so nice about it.
OK, next email gets a reply back saying I can no longer hold the rooms until she is absolutely sure of her dates.
Had the guy who called last night and did NOT want a room with 2 beds ask what the cancellation policy is. I told him because it is a holiday weekend it is 30 days, non-refundable deposit. He won't be calling back.
 
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