"I like them to book on line because they have to read the rules and check they read them."
I agree, that way, if they check that little box, they can't say "we didn't know" or "noone told us" we have a 14 day cancellation policy. when someone calls to reserve & they are within the window we point out to them that they are in the window so once the reservation is made the deposit is non refundable.
i had a lady call, a few weeks ago,on a Friday, to make a reservation of 2 nights. she would be checking in the next afternoon.she was just from a few towns away and was quite pleasant on the phone. she talked about how her son was going to be opening a small breakfast only restaurant in this area this spring.
about 5 hours later she calls to say that she will need to be canceling because she just remembered that she has an appointment in Boston on Monday for brain surgery, because she has cancer. I told her we would be happy to issue her a gift certificate in the amount of her deposit, that she could use toward a future stay. She freaked out & started yelling "But don't you understand that i am going to die on Monday!? How am i supposed to use a gift certificate in the future since i'm going to die on Monday!?"
I thought, my gosh this can't be the same lady i spoke with a few hours ago! she was so upset, i just said don't worry about it, we'll refund your deposit & best of luck to you. then i hung up.i don't know if she really was due to have surgery or not but...either way, how could you forget you had brain surgery scheduled??.