Old Gift Certs

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nkeeprs

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I sold my Inn about 2 years ago and bought another one. I just had a guest leave a message on my voice mail saying that he had a gift cert from my old place ( keep in mind I sold that 2 yrs ago) and he found out I own a new one and wants to redeem is gift cert now at my new Inn. I am a big one on customer service but I think I am going a little overboard if I take that gift cert now. What are your thoughts or what would you do?
 

JBloggs

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Did you not close out all GC's with the new owners of the OLD inn? The GC's belong to that inn, and if redeemable, then the new owners need to be reimbursed for those GC's. Why would you take a gc at a new place? I am confused. That is like walking up to Olive Garden with a Denny's GC.
Asking, as we did this when we bought, of course the GC's were not maintained in any database so there were no copies or record of them, and at closing any outstanding gc's whether ever redeemed of not had to be paid out to us.
 

EmptyNest

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Tell him the GC was for the inn you sold and that the new owners bought out all your GC's...he should contact them to honor it....if it didn't have an expiration date on it. It is not your problem now. Let the new owners deal with him. How'd he find you??
 

nkeeprs

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Tell him the GC was for the inn you sold and that the new owners bought out all your GC's...he should contact them to honor it....if it didn't have an expiration date on it. It is not your problem now. Let the new owners deal with him. How'd he find you??.
That was my first thought. How did he know I bought a new Inn. Now a days you can just google a name and it all comes up.
 

nkeeprs

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Did you not close out all GC's with the new owners of the OLD inn? The GC's belong to that inn, and if redeemable, then the new owners need to be reimbursed for those GC's. Why would you take a gc at a new place? I am confused. That is like walking up to Olive Garden with a Denny's GC.
Asking, as we did this when we bought, of course the GC's were not maintained in any database so there were no copies or record of them, and at closing any outstanding gc's whether ever redeemed of not had to be paid out to us.
.
I agree. I sold that inn over 2 yrs ago and yes all GC were taken care of at closing, but of course now that he knows the name of my new Inn I am affraid that could be a great TA comment .

 

IronGate

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Other businesses honor competitors' offers and deals all the time to snag a customer and create a loyal customer base. Sounds like you have a loyal customer already, who understands that the innkeeper makes the inn. Do you really want to tell him to go elsewhere?
 

Breakfast Diva

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I agree with the others. In no way is this your responsibility and you should feel no guilt in denying this person. The customer service part of you wants all people happy, but good customer service doesn't mean you can be taken advantage of. It was an outrageous request. If indeed the GC is still valid, it must be redeem at the issuing business.
It never ceases to amaze me at what the public will ask for!
 

swirt

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I wouldn't be surprised if the person contacted your old inn and the new owner declined/could not accept the gift certificate and then told the person where to find you.
If that's possible, you may be able to talk the new owner of your old inn into giving you the money you handed them for the outstanding gift certificate and then honor it at your new place..... otherwise inform the person that you had to pay the new owners for that gift certificate and they are the only ones who can honor it.
 

Morticia

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Did you forfeit the money for the GC to the new owners of the old inn? If so, you are out of the loop. If not, take the GC at your new place. Even if you DID fork over the money, if it's not exhorbitant and the guest wants to stay 'off season' it's obvious they are coming because of YOU. Just do it. Unless you didn't like the guests! Then tell them the GC is non-transferable!
 

Morticia

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Did you not close out all GC's with the new owners of the OLD inn? The GC's belong to that inn, and if redeemable, then the new owners need to be reimbursed for those GC's. Why would you take a gc at a new place? I am confused. That is like walking up to Olive Garden with a Denny's GC.
Asking, as we did this when we bought, of course the GC's were not maintained in any database so there were no copies or record of them, and at closing any outstanding gc's whether ever redeemed of not had to be paid out to us.
.
I agree. I sold that inn over 2 yrs ago and yes all GC were taken care of at closing, but of course now that he knows the name of my new Inn I am affraid that could be a great TA comment .

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nkeeprs said:
I agree. I sold that inn over 2 yrs ago and yes all GC were taken care of at closing, but of course now that he knows the name of my new Inn I am affraid that could be a great TA comment .
I would not worry about TA at this point. If the guest does something like that, go right to TA and explain they are trying to use a GC at the WRONG business.
We ended up honoring GC's we weren't reimbursed for and those guests never returned. But this sounds like someone who really likes you, not the inn they stayed at before. (Remind me to not open another inn when we sell this one! Who knew the guests would want to follow us!)
 

Morticia

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I wouldn't be surprised if the person contacted your old inn and the new owner declined/could not accept the gift certificate and then told the person where to find you.
If that's possible, you may be able to talk the new owner of your old inn into giving you the money you handed them for the outstanding gift certificate and then honor it at your new place..... otherwise inform the person that you had to pay the new owners for that gift certificate and they are the only ones who can honor it..
swirt said:
I wouldn't be surprised if the person contacted your old inn and the new owner declined/could not accept the gift certificate and then told the person where to find you.
If that's possible, you may be able to talk the new owner of your old inn into giving you the money you handed them for the outstanding gift certificate and then honor it at your new place..... otherwise inform the person that you had to pay the new owners for that gift certificate and they are the only ones who can honor it.
That's a good way to put it. Hard, tho, to call the new owners and explain the guest doesn't want to stay with them!
 

swirt

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Other businesses honor competitors' offers and deals all the time to snag a customer and create a loyal customer base. Sounds like you have a loyal customer already, who understands that the innkeeper makes the inn. Do you really want to tell him to go elsewhere?.
IronGate said:
Other businesses honor competitors' offers and deals all the time to snag a customer and create a loyal customer base. Sounds like you have a loyal customer already, who understands that the innkeeper makes the inn. Do you really want to tell him to go elsewhere?
That's an interesting approach. But there wasn't anything in the story that leads me to think this customer is loyal. They may not have even been the purchaser of the gift certificate and like many gift certificate recipients, are not repeat/return visitors.
Honoring a gift cert whose funds were already paid out to the new owner at sale would in a sense be paying out twice. This person would have to come stay three times (once with the gc and twice as a paying guest) before any money was recovered. (assumes the gift certificate was for the full value of a stay)
 

swirt

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Did you forfeit the money for the GC to the new owners of the old inn? If so, you are out of the loop. If not, take the GC at your new place. Even if you DID fork over the money, if it's not exhorbitant and the guest wants to stay 'off season' it's obvious they are coming because of YOU. Just do it. Unless you didn't like the guests! Then tell them the GC is non-transferable!.
it's obvious they are coming because of YOU.
See that's not an assumption I would make. (not meaning any slight to nkeeper) This person may just as likely gone to the trouble of tracking down nkeeper's new place for some reason unrelated to nkeeper's talents as an innkeeper. Her new place may be a lot nicer than her old place, or in a different or better location, bigger rooms, may allow pets and her old place doesn't, old place said no..... WHO Knows?
 

JBloggs

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I agree, GC's are not regular guests.
BTW I worked at a very popular restaurant/music venue on Shelter Island in SD where the GM was about to be fired and he wrote out GC's to everyone he knew. They came to collect - dinner, show etc and were all extremely ticked off. (This is part of the reason he was fired in the first place, he was a crook).
 

Morticia

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Did you forfeit the money for the GC to the new owners of the old inn? If so, you are out of the loop. If not, take the GC at your new place. Even if you DID fork over the money, if it's not exhorbitant and the guest wants to stay 'off season' it's obvious they are coming because of YOU. Just do it. Unless you didn't like the guests! Then tell them the GC is non-transferable!.
it's obvious they are coming because of YOU.
See that's not an assumption I would make. (not meaning any slight to nkeeper) This person may just as likely gone to the trouble of tracking down nkeeper's new place for some reason unrelated to nkeeper's talents as an innkeeper. Her new place may be a lot nicer than her old place, or in a different or better location, bigger rooms, may allow pets and her old place doesn't, old place said no..... WHO Knows?
.
Never thought of it that way, just figured the guest knew nkeeper and wanted to stay there. Also figured the inn was in fairly the same location or why bother contacting for a stay now if not in the general location of before.
Did a lot of 'figuring' there. Also known as 'assuming' and we all know where that leaves me!
If the guest is brand new as a guest then forget it. Funny how we had a similar situation with a car. Gomez sold car to dealership. Woman bought car and a month later it needed big work done to it. She contacted dealership, dealership gave out Gomez's phone number and said she should try to get him to foot the bill. WHAT?! He asked her who she bought the car from? She said the dealership. He said, 'Then why are you calling me? It wasn't my car when you bought it, it was theirs. How do I know what they did to it while they had it?' Click.
 

Morticia

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I agree, GC's are not regular guests.
BTW I worked at a very popular restaurant/music venue on Shelter Island in SD where the GM was about to be fired and he wrote out GC's to everyone he knew. They came to collect - dinner, show etc and were all extremely ticked off. (This is part of the reason he was fired in the first place, he was a crook)..
Joey Bloggs said:
I agree, GC's are not regular guests.
I'll dissent. We have repeats who ask for GC's for presents. Great gift for the parents who have everything and easy for the kids to accomplish. (But that's just here. May not happen elsewhere.)
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Did you forfeit the money for the GC to the new owners of the old inn? If so, you are out of the loop. If not, take the GC at your new place. Even if you DID fork over the money, if it's not exhorbitant and the guest wants to stay 'off season' it's obvious they are coming because of YOU. Just do it. Unless you didn't like the guests! Then tell them the GC is non-transferable!.
it's obvious they are coming because of YOU.
See that's not an assumption I would make. (not meaning any slight to nkeeper) This person may just as likely gone to the trouble of tracking down nkeeper's new place for some reason unrelated to nkeeper's talents as an innkeeper. Her new place may be a lot nicer than her old place, or in a different or better location, bigger rooms, may allow pets and her old place doesn't, old place said no..... WHO Knows?
.
I don't know, swirt. I think if the guest tracked the innkeeper down then they probably really like the innkeeper. As someone who actually gets tracked down by guests quite a bit, I can tell you it does happen.
If it were me, I'd see that as a definite sign of loyalty and I'd try to give him a good deal to get them to try out my new place. Don't know that I'd go so far as to honor the full value of the gift certificate but I'd try to work something out.
 

JBloggs

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By the way, since we are for sale I am no longer selling any gc's. I haven't sold many of late anyway, they seemed to be one thing that decreased quite a bit with the economy. I always think that those who tell us how they loved staying here would buy GC's, like you say.
At this point, I am not accepting ANY (other than a few we have outstanding) here. I will sell a room(s) and send out a certificate with the nights on it, if someone wanted to do that.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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By the way, since we are for sale I am no longer selling any gc's. I haven't sold many of late anyway, they seemed to be one thing that decreased quite a bit with the economy. I always think that those who tell us how they loved staying here would buy GC's, like you say.
At this point, I am not accepting ANY (other than a few we have outstanding) here. I will sell a room(s) and send out a certificate with the nights on it, if someone wanted to do that..
Very smart move.
 

Morticia

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By the way, since we are for sale I am no longer selling any gc's. I haven't sold many of late anyway, they seemed to be one thing that decreased quite a bit with the economy. I always think that those who tell us how they loved staying here would buy GC's, like you say.
At this point, I am not accepting ANY (other than a few we have outstanding) here. I will sell a room(s) and send out a certificate with the nights on it, if someone wanted to do that..
When we get close, I will stop, too. Makes no sense at that point to sell something the next owner may not want to be bothered with. And, yes, sales fell this past year on GC's.
 
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