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need advice on gentle letdown

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MooseTrax

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received an online rez from a guest who has cancelled 5 of 8 reservations in 3 years. she has blocked other guests from booking their 'favorite' room only to cancel at the last minute. made my mind up next time she booked to tell her she had to wait until at least the week before to book as we cannot hold rooms not knowing if she will show up.
help me phrase this so it doesn't sound like i feel right now.
 

DaisyMae

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simply tell her you do not have any availability for those dates, personally i do not feel that you owe her any sort of explanation or sympathy. What are her reasons each time she cancels? i don't think i would have given her as many opppurtunities as you have.
i can totally understand why you are angry, you have every right to be annoyed. i just consulted with DH & he says to heck with her. granted each time she books you don't know that she is going to cancel but her track record not the best. you are saving your own sanity!
 

gillumhouse

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How about:
We do enjoy your visits but it does seem that life gets in the way of your plans so often, why don't you wait until _____ to make the reservation to give you a better chance of being able to come.
 

happykeeper

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warm greetings miss constant cancel,
We're grateful you've considered us for your stays in the past. I am sorry to say that the room you have requested requires some planned maintenance and may not be available for the time you have requested. With your permission, we can hold your reservation for the best available room upon arrival. Please let us know if this works for you and we will continue to hold your reservation. ETC ETC
 

EmptyNest

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I am with mollysmom. You don't owe her any explanation. Has she ever showed up???? If not...then say you have nothing available right now for the dates she has selected. Tell her to call back closer to the date and see if you have had a cancellation. You don't need to put up with so called guests like this.
 

MooseTrax

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she booked online so she knows the room is open. her usual reason for cancelling is no money. holding the room for 6 months is not what i want to do but i also do not want to be rude to her. we're talking it over here to see what to say. something along the lines of 'thanks for your reservation but due to...we'd appreciate you checking again closer to your date...'
 

muirford

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she booked online so she knows the room is open. her usual reason for cancelling is no money. holding the room for 6 months is not what i want to do but i also do not want to be rude to her. we're talking it over here to see what to say. something along the lines of 'thanks for your reservation but due to...we'd appreciate you checking again closer to your date...'.
Tell her that her history of cancellations has put you in a position where you must charge her a non-refundable deposit of one night's stay to hold a room for her. I did that once - someone who cancelled three reservations three times over the course of a year, once within the seven-day notice period and the last time 'because the stock market dropped'. I'm pretty sure I won't hear from them again but why would I want to?
 

SecondAct

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If someone repeatedly stiffed you on room charges - check bounced, credit card no good, I don't know - which is really what is going on here (taking a room out of inventory for an extended period of time for a person whose track record is to cancel - read: doesn't respect you or your property at all), would you be looking for a "gentle" way to let them down? I agree with mollysmom and her DH that you owe this person nothing. IF there is a room available the week of her booking, maybe, but otherwise, that kind of "business" nobody needs.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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This is one instance where I would put a cancellation policy FEE - $25 second time, $50 third time, etc!!
 

egoodell

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MooseTrax said:
received an online rez from a guest who has cancelled 5 of 8 reservations in 3 years. she has blocked other guests from booking their 'favorite' room only to cancel at the last minute. made my mind up next time she booked to tell her she had to wait until at least the week before to book as we cannot hold rooms not knowing if she will show up.
help me phrase this so it doesn't sound like i feel right now.
Or, you could tell her all reservations require payment in advance by check, with no refunds after 14 days prior to check in date. If she would prefer not to pay up front, you will put her on your list to contact a week prior to the booking date should the room still be available.
We have a B&B here in Charlottesville that does all their booking this way.
Riki
 

gillumhouse

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warm greetings miss constant cancel,
We're grateful you've considered us for your stays in the past. I am sorry to say that the room you have requested requires some planned maintenance and may not be available for the time you have requested. With your permission, we can hold your reservation for the best available room upon arrival. Please let us know if this works for you and we will continue to hold your reservation. ETC ETC.
You are a genius! That is wonderful.
To the otherposters - my opinion is that the woman DOES show up sometimes and why cut off revenue and generate bad feelings that will blab nasty things about the inn. KNK has an answer that cannot offend - everyone should understand maintenance issues.
 

egoodell

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warm greetings miss constant cancel,
We're grateful you've considered us for your stays in the past. I am sorry to say that the room you have requested requires some planned maintenance and may not be available for the time you have requested. With your permission, we can hold your reservation for the best available room upon arrival. Please let us know if this works for you and we will continue to hold your reservation. ETC ETC.
You are a genius! That is wonderful.
To the otherposters - my opinion is that the woman DOES show up sometimes and why cut off revenue and generate bad feelings that will blab nasty things about the inn. KNK has an answer that cannot offend - everyone should understand maintenance issues.
.
gillumhouse said:
You are a genius! That is wonderful.
To the otherposters - my opinion is that the woman DOES show up sometimes and why cut off revenue and generate bad feelings that will blab nasty things about the inn. KNK has an answer that cannot offend - everyone should understand maintenance issues.
Problem is I thought the reservation was for 6 months out. I would think the maintenance would be done within six months...
RIki
 

YellowSocks

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As I was doing dishes it came to me....
For certain weekends (including the one in question) you have a 30 day cancellation period... you take a deposit (at least one night's stay, or maybe 50%) which is NON-refundable within 30 days of those weekends.
Applies to all (more or less :wink: ).
=)
Kk.
 

gillumhouse

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warm greetings miss constant cancel,
We're grateful you've considered us for your stays in the past. I am sorry to say that the room you have requested requires some planned maintenance and may not be available for the time you have requested. With your permission, we can hold your reservation for the best available room upon arrival. Please let us know if this works for you and we will continue to hold your reservation. ETC ETC.
You are a genius! That is wonderful.
To the otherposters - my opinion is that the woman DOES show up sometimes and why cut off revenue and generate bad feelings that will blab nasty things about the inn. KNK has an answer that cannot offend - everyone should understand maintenance issues.
.
gillumhouse said:
You are a genius! That is wonderful.
To the otherposters - my opinion is that the woman DOES show up sometimes and why cut off revenue and generate bad feelings that will blab nasty things about the inn. KNK has an answer that cannot offend - everyone should understand maintenance issues.
Problem is I thought the reservation was for 6 months out. I would think the maintenance would be done within six months...
RIki
.
Not always. With contractors you get "on the list". There could be many issues that would make a certain room be "scheduled".
 

muirford

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warm greetings miss constant cancel,
We're grateful you've considered us for your stays in the past. I am sorry to say that the room you have requested requires some planned maintenance and may not be available for the time you have requested. With your permission, we can hold your reservation for the best available room upon arrival. Please let us know if this works for you and we will continue to hold your reservation. ETC ETC.
You are a genius! That is wonderful.
To the otherposters - my opinion is that the woman DOES show up sometimes and why cut off revenue and generate bad feelings that will blab nasty things about the inn. KNK has an answer that cannot offend - everyone should understand maintenance issues.
.
gillumhouse said:
You are a genius! That is wonderful.
To the otherposters - my opinion is that the woman DOES show up sometimes and why cut off revenue and generate bad feelings that will blab nasty things about the inn. KNK has an answer that cannot offend - everyone should understand maintenance issues.
Problem is I thought the reservation was for 6 months out. I would think the maintenance would be done within six months...
RIki
.
Not always. With contractors you get "on the list". There could be many issues that would make a certain room be "scheduled".
.
The online booking system shows it available. If you are going to continue to show it available for other potential guests, and this guest already books online - how are you going to explain that it looks available to everyone else?
Sorry, if this person has a track record of last-minute cancellations - has she been charged for any of those? - then I would take tougher measures.
 

Copperhead

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Question - when she HAS kept her reservation is she a GOOD guest? Is she a keeper? That should help you decide which avenue to take.
I had a 'for ever future guest' as well. She would book 6-8 months in advance but always cancel about 2 months prior and ask to transfer her reservation to again 6-8 months out. (Always April & November) She HAD booked and paid for her son's honeymoon and said he raved so much about their stay that she wanted to come. Seems something always happened, mostly medical with her husband. Finally the opportunity hit - she wanted to postpone over a year and webervations did not show that timeframe...I asked her to call back closer to the date she wants. So far no call.
When I had determined the routene I placed a notation on her reservation. If I had not heard from her by the time I was getting other bookings, I was going to call and confirm. My plan was if she sounded iffy, I as going to readdress my deposit policy with her. Some people just need something to look forward to, which I can understand until it affects my pocket!
 

MooseTrax

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to answer multiple questions- this started off as a family reunion style getaway. then there was a divorce and half the family stopped coming. that is also when money got tight. she has never been charged for any cancellation because she always cancels outside the limit. as for whether she is a good guest when here, i think she's fussy about food. but i don't remember exactly. i do know that last year she completely disrupted one guest who always books the room for that weekend by booking it ahead of time and then cancelling after the other guest made other arrangements. this year the second guest booked way in advance- when she left last year! so she is all set.
so no maintnenace or extra fees or anything, just a simple "please check back later in the year" and an explanation why. should she decide to move on to other accommodations, so be it. she won't be the first guest who feels she's been "fired."
 

swirt

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to answer multiple questions- this started off as a family reunion style getaway. then there was a divorce and half the family stopped coming. that is also when money got tight. she has never been charged for any cancellation because she always cancels outside the limit. as for whether she is a good guest when here, i think she's fussy about food. but i don't remember exactly. i do know that last year she completely disrupted one guest who always books the room for that weekend by booking it ahead of time and then cancelling after the other guest made other arrangements. this year the second guest booked way in advance- when she left last year! so she is all set.
so no maintnenace or extra fees or anything, just a simple "please check back later in the year" and an explanation why. should she decide to move on to other accommodations, so be it. she won't be the first guest who feels she's been "fired.".
so no maintnenace or extra fees or anything, just a simple "please check back later in the year"
I would charge a deposit. If money is so tight, then she won't reserve the room. If she has the money for the deposit then it will make it more likely that she has the balance when time comes to stay with you .... if not she will at least be less cavelier about canceling her reservation.
I feel you pain though....had three couples book all our cabins and then call us 10 days ahead of time (we hae a 14 day cancellation period) and ask if they could move their reservation to another weekend without losing their deposit. GRRRrrrrrr. It is unlikely we would fill all three slots on ten days notice...1 room no problem...but all 3...not likely ...then they want to occupy another weekend where it is also possible they will want to cancel. Grrrr Guests seem to think it odd that we don't offer a discount for booking all rooms ... and I want to tell them its because we find it safer to book all three to people that don't know each other because we find that more often than not, one of the group of 3 will cancel ... it seems to happen every time.
And then I remind myself that explaining why is of no use. :(
 

Samster

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to answer multiple questions- this started off as a family reunion style getaway. then there was a divorce and half the family stopped coming. that is also when money got tight. she has never been charged for any cancellation because she always cancels outside the limit. as for whether she is a good guest when here, i think she's fussy about food. but i don't remember exactly. i do know that last year she completely disrupted one guest who always books the room for that weekend by booking it ahead of time and then cancelling after the other guest made other arrangements. this year the second guest booked way in advance- when she left last year! so she is all set.
so no maintnenace or extra fees or anything, just a simple "please check back later in the year" and an explanation why. should she decide to move on to other accommodations, so be it. she won't be the first guest who feels she's been "fired.".
I like the idea of replying to Ms. Constant Cancel along the lines of : "While we appreciate your patronage, we'd like to request that you consider your travel plans carefully and check back with us closer to your requested dates. Since the dates you want are during our busiest time of the year, it's difficult to hold rooms that may most certainly be canceled. We are a small lodging property and last minute cancellations affect us greatly. Thanks for helping us out!"
The truth is sometimes the best way to go.........
 

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