No, you may not.

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Red Handed Jill

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[BRRRRING]
"Hello! [name of our BnB]
"Hi! May I speak with the owner?"
[cheerfully] "No, if you're a solicitor, you may not!"
[taken aback] "Excuse me?"
[still cheerful] "If you're a solicitor, no, you may not speak with the owner!"
"Have a nice afternoon."
"You, too."
We're out of town, but have the BnB phone forwarded to my cell. Since Sunday morning, we have been inundated with solicitation calls - sometimes 3 per hour. The caller ids are all generated, all different. Since I hit on this new strategy, I feel MUCH better. I'm going to add a bit about how the owner accepts solicitations through postal service only, but I am not authorized, as an employee, to pass along solicitation calls. BTW - because of the pattern of calls and what they're asking for, I'm QUITE convinced one of my service providers sold our information. I think I will be in the market for a new [fill in the blank] once I can determine for certain exactly who it was.
 

Aussie Innkeeper

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Oh, that's priceless!! I'll have to try that next time. I'm sure I won't have to wait long.
 

agoodman

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Sorry but before the (even cheerfully) "No, if you're a solicitor, you may not!" I ask "is this a reservations or a sales call" - I have often called Inns and asked to speak to the owner and have had guests call my Inn and ask for same
If someone said that to me (again, I don't care how cheerful you are) I would stay somewhere else
 

gillumhouse

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I have NEVER in 15 years had a person wishing to make a reservation ask to speak to the owner. If speaking to the owner is a requirement, I do not want them anyway. Please go stay somewhere else.
 

JBloggs

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Yeah speak to the owner is never a reservation, only marketing or solicitations. Or in other words, as they say "Or the person who makes the decisions for the business"
 

Red Handed Jill

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Sorry but before the (even cheerfully) "No, if you're a solicitor, you may not!" I ask "is this a reservations or a sales call" - I have often called Inns and asked to speak to the owner and have had guests call my Inn and ask for same
If someone said that to me (again, I don't care how cheerful you are) I would stay somewhere else.
agoodman said:
Sorry but before the (even cheerfully) "No, if you're a solicitor, you may not!" I ask "is this a reservations or a sales call" - I have often called Inns and asked to speak to the owner and have had guests call my Inn and ask for same
If someone said that to me (again, I don't care how cheerful you are) I would stay somewhere else
Well, at 3 per hour, I've been pretty certain they've been sales calls. Normally, that would not be my M.O. However, I figure if someone really wanted to speak with the owner (me!), for whatever reason, they might be surprised but wouldn't be put off.
And, frankly...if we lose a booking because of this, that's okay. DH & I went into this eyes wide open. Are we doing as much business as we'd like? No, not yet -- the key being not yet. We've set our personal terms for success, and finances are only one component. We've done a lot of things that go against the standard wisdom/advice, with much forethought and intent. This phone response is small potatoes compared with some of those other choices. If the day comes when we have to take every dollar without regard for things like peace of mind and protecting ourselves from phone bullies, we'll close the door.
I hope this doesn't sound rude so much as it clarifies that we employ plenty of due consideration. If you would be so put off by us for this, you (or they) wouldn't like it here anyway.
 

Alibi Ike

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I have a variation on that. But the same upshot. One caller asked, 'So it wouldn't do any good to leave my name and number would it?' No it wouldn't.
The biggest thing is we just cannot afford the thousands of dollars these SEO people want. Yeah, yeah, I'll make it up in rooms. When? I'd need to make it up next week, before the mortgage is due.
If callers would just say, 'Hi this is so and so from such and such, may I speak with...' I'd be more likely to listen to them. But, 'Is the ownere there?' is getting the standard, 'Sorry, this is the reservations number, may I make a reservaation for you?'
SOmeone told me the other day that they called the number on the website. To which I replied, 'Yes, that's the reservation number.' 'Well, what's the office number then?' 'Sorry, this is an answering service, we don't have the office number, they call us.'
 

muirford

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I have a variation on that. But the same upshot. One caller asked, 'So it wouldn't do any good to leave my name and number would it?' No it wouldn't.
The biggest thing is we just cannot afford the thousands of dollars these SEO people want. Yeah, yeah, I'll make it up in rooms. When? I'd need to make it up next week, before the mortgage is due.
If callers would just say, 'Hi this is so and so from such and such, may I speak with...' I'd be more likely to listen to them. But, 'Is the ownere there?' is getting the standard, 'Sorry, this is the reservations number, may I make a reservaation for you?'
SOmeone told me the other day that they called the number on the website. To which I replied, 'Yes, that's the reservation number.' 'Well, what's the office number then?' 'Sorry, this is an answering service, we don't have the office number, they call us.'.
Alibi Ike said:
If callers would just say, 'Hi this is so and so from such and such, may I speak with...' I'd be more likely to listen to them.
And when I call an inn for a question or for a reservation, and I want to speak to the innkeeper, I clearly identify myself to the person who answers the phone. If it's a legitimate call, that's what you do.
 

Alibi Ike

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I have a variation on that. But the same upshot. One caller asked, 'So it wouldn't do any good to leave my name and number would it?' No it wouldn't.
The biggest thing is we just cannot afford the thousands of dollars these SEO people want. Yeah, yeah, I'll make it up in rooms. When? I'd need to make it up next week, before the mortgage is due.
If callers would just say, 'Hi this is so and so from such and such, may I speak with...' I'd be more likely to listen to them. But, 'Is the ownere there?' is getting the standard, 'Sorry, this is the reservations number, may I make a reservaation for you?'
SOmeone told me the other day that they called the number on the website. To which I replied, 'Yes, that's the reservation number.' 'Well, what's the office number then?' 'Sorry, this is an answering service, we don't have the office number, they call us.'.
Alibi Ike said:
If callers would just say, 'Hi this is so and so from such and such, may I speak with...' I'd be more likely to listen to them.
And when I call an inn for a question or for a reservation, and I want to speak to the innkeeper, I clearly identify myself to the person who answers the phone. If it's a legitimate call, that's what you do.
.
muirford said:
Alibi Ike said:
If callers would just say, 'Hi this is so and so from such and such, may I speak with...' I'd be more likely to listen to them.
And when I call an inn for a question or for a reservation, and I want to speak to the innkeeper, I clearly identify myself to the person who answers the phone. If it's a legitimate call, that's what you do.
Because I'm so sensitive to this, I also do this when I am calling a guest, returning a guest call, etc. 'Hi Jane, this is Alibi from Ike's Inn returning your call.' I never ask to speak to the person without id'ing myself first. If someone doesn't want someone else to know, don't give me that phone number!
 

agoodman

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Yeah speak to the owner is never a reservation, only marketing or solicitations. Or in other words, as they say "Or the person who makes the decisions for the business".
WRONG I have had a NUMBER of guests that tell me they only want to stay in Inns that are owner operated and they ALWAYS ask to speak to the owner .... and saying "my name is Jane Doe may I speak to the owner" does not determine whether or not I am a guest
Treat EVERY call as a potential reservation, it only takes one minute to ask "is this a reservation call" if you are in doubt
 

Generic

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When I get telephone solicitation calls, I simply tell them that time is money and that we have all the time in the world for them at $1 a minute with a $5 minimum. Can I have your Visa, MasterCard or American Express number along with the name on the card as well as the telephone number listed on the back of the card for verification purposes. Once I have that information, I will be glad to forward your call to the boss.
No one has yet given me their credit card number. If they aren't willing to risk any money on it, then why should I? A few have argued. I just repeat that I'm under instructions to process the card first, if they don't like it, they can take it up with him.... at $1 a minute with a $5 minimum.
 

Red Handed Jill

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Yeah speak to the owner is never a reservation, only marketing or solicitations. Or in other words, as they say "Or the person who makes the decisions for the business".
WRONG I have had a NUMBER of guests that tell me they only want to stay in Inns that are owner operated and they ALWAYS ask to speak to the owner .... and saying "my name is Jane Doe may I speak to the owner" does not determine whether or not I am a guest
Treat EVERY call as a potential reservation, it only takes one minute to ask "is this a reservation call" if you are in doubt
.
agoodman said:
...it only takes one minute to ask "is this a reservation call" if you are in doubt
One minute? I'm guessing you haven't gotten these particular calls. Maybe I'm special.
And I have to wonder...if I (or anyone) say, "No, if you're a solicitor, you may not speak with the owner,"...why a potential guest wouldn't say, "Well, I'm NOT a solicitor." I mean, really - the reason the little speech is working is because they're being up front about soliciting.
I know I haven't been in this game as long as some of you, but I have difficulty imaging the guest who is scoping out our place by posing as a sales agent.
 

sandynn

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I like to you have reached our reservation line. Would you like to make a reservation? The catches them off guard.
 
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