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Morticia

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This occured to me in reading the topic on KeepMeBooked-
I guess I would be curious about how many guests want to pay for their entire vacation in advance? I ask that given the number of times someone will book now for a date 6 months ahead and want to be very certain I am NOT going to charge anything on that card today. They need that 6 months to pay down the card!
Do you find any guests who want to pay in full ahead of time? Maybe so they know it's done with? There are guests who want to pay only in cash and make sure I'm not going to charge their card in advance.
I know they're paying in advance for the plane tix, etc, but usually only for the lodging portion if they go thru GDS.
Is it that common now that guests will fork over the money now for a stay in 6 months?
 

Innkeeper To Go

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It seems kind of crazy to me.
Lots of places are trying out discounts for full payment in advance these days.
But paying in full 6 months in advance? Doesn't seem like a whole lot of folks would go for that.
 

Country Girl

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No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees.
 

Morticia

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No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees..
Country Girl said:
No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees.
Sort of defeats the whole idea of a 'deposit' doesn't it? Do you ask for a check if they don't want you to 'use' their cc number? (We don't take deposits unless it's a 'whole house' or 'multiple room' situation.)
 

Breakfast Diva

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We always charge a deposit of 1 night or 50% if 4 or more nights, at the time they make the reservation. I used to not charge the deposit for repeats, but after being burned a couple of time by repeats during the first part of the recession, I now charge everyone a 1 night deposit. I do it even if they booked 6 months or more in advance. I don't get any flack about it either. Maybe I'm losing some from online reservations because they don't want to pay a deposit, but it's ok, I'm willing to risk it.
We do get quite a few people who want to pay their stay in full. Just yesterday, a husband called to pay the 2nd night of their 3 night stay because he's trying to keep the getaway a surprise for his wife. It's their 1st anniversary. Next month he will call again and have me charge the 3rd night. They will not be here until October! I have about 3 other current reservations that have asked to pay in full so they don't have to worry about the expenses once they get here.
Our experience with prepayment is probably different than a lot of other B&Bs because we're the romantic getaway where people generally plan in advance to go. We don't get a lot of last minute bookings and no walk ups.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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We always charge a deposit of 1 night or 50% if 4 or more nights, at the time they make the reservation. I used to not charge the deposit for repeats, but after being burned a couple of time by repeats during the first part of the recession, I now charge everyone a 1 night deposit. I do it even if they booked 6 months or more in advance. I don't get any flack about it either. Maybe I'm losing some from online reservations because they don't want to pay a deposit, but it's ok, I'm willing to risk it.
We do get quite a few people who want to pay their stay in full. Just yesterday, a husband called to pay the 2nd night of their 3 night stay because he's trying to keep the getaway a surprise for his wife. It's their 1st anniversary. Next month he will call again and have me charge the 3rd night. They will not be here until October! I have about 3 other current reservations that have asked to pay in full so they don't have to worry about the expenses once they get here.
Our experience with prepayment is probably different than a lot of other B&Bs because we're the romantic getaway where people generally plan in advance to go. We don't get a lot of last minute bookings and no walk ups..
Breakfast Diva said:
We always charge a deposit of 1 night or 50% if 4 or more nights, at the time they make the reservation. I used to not charge the deposit for repeats, but after being burned a couple of time by repeats during the first part of the recession, I now charge everyone a 1 night deposit. I do it even if they booked 6 months or more in advance. I don't get any flack about it either. Maybe I'm losing some from online reservations because they don't want to pay a deposit, but it's ok, I'm willing to risk it.
Deposits, to me, are an altogether different creature from payment in full in advance.
Sure, you're likely losing some bookings by requiring a deposit. But if it works for you, it works. Since you're a romantic getaway, many folks are willing to pay an upfront deposit to secure their weekend.
 

Don Draper

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The majority of our reservations are made more than 3 months in advance, but only a handful have ever wanted to pay in full. Oftentimes if they are asking for that it turns out to actually be a gift for someone.
 

egoodell

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No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees..
Country Girl said:
No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees.
Sort of defeats the whole idea of a 'deposit' doesn't it? Do you ask for a check if they don't want you to 'use' their cc number? (We don't take deposits unless it's a 'whole house' or 'multiple room' situation.)
.
Morticia said:
Country Girl said:
No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees.
Sort of defeats the whole idea of a 'deposit' doesn't it? Do you ask for a check if they don't want you to 'use' their cc number? (We don't take deposits unless it's a 'whole house' or 'multiple room' situation.)
If someone told me that I would assume they are not a serious booking. They could not show and you would be burnt. If they don't use a credit card and have the cash then they can send me a check and upon receipt I email their confirmation. That's what I do with the tours.
Riki
 

Country Girl

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No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees..
Country Girl said:
No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees.
Sort of defeats the whole idea of a 'deposit' doesn't it? Do you ask for a check if they don't want you to 'use' their cc number? (We don't take deposits unless it's a 'whole house' or 'multiple room' situation.)
.
Morticia said:
Country Girl said:
No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees.
Sort of defeats the whole idea of a 'deposit' doesn't it? Do you ask for a check if they don't want you to 'use' their cc number? (We don't take deposits unless it's a 'whole house' or 'multiple room' situation.)
If someone told me that I would assume they are not a serious booking. They could not show and you would be burnt. If they don't use a credit card and have the cash then they can send me a check and upon receipt I email their confirmation. That's what I do with the tours.
Riki
.
egoodell said:
Morticia said:
Country Girl said:
No one has ever wanted to pay that far in advance and more often than not lately we have guests asking us not to put the deposit on their credit card but wait for cash when they arrive. I think more and more people are getting fed up with all the credit card fees.
Sort of defeats the whole idea of a 'deposit' doesn't it? Do you ask for a check if they don't want you to 'use' their cc number? (We don't take deposits unless it's a 'whole house' or 'multiple room' situation.)
If someone told me that I would assume they are not a serious booking. They could not show and you would be burnt. If they don't use a credit card and have the cash then they can send me a check and upon receipt I email their confirmation. That's what I do with the tours.
Riki
I take their credit card information but usually don't put the charge through until the day they arrive. I've only been burned once but it could happen again.
 

Copperhead

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I believe we have touched on this topic before, but always good to bring others perspective here.
I think that this 'pre-pay' plan could work in the right enviroment whether it be the type of place (a truely unique place) or if it was for the right time of year - a special event etc. In general, I do not really think it will catch on to be the norm, and especially much in advance.
I have made only one pre-paid stay and that was due to the fact I would have to have been dead not to go on that trip and it was a special time frame and rooms were hard to find. Normally, I would not even think of it for a casual trip.
I have mentioned before about my deposit policies and in a way this topic goes hand in hand with the pre-payment topic here. During normal times, I take a deposit of 1 night's stay the day after the last day to cancel. (I do it this way because I do not want to have a big slush fund for deposits that may need to be returned nor do I enjoy the refund fee by my merchant service.) If the card does not go through, they get a call before I open the room.
For event periods I do have a 30 day cancellation policy and at that time I do require payment in full and charge their card the entire amount - so in essence pre-paid. This is due to my events being very busy. Starting this weekend for 5 day period is a good expample... I have only 5 rooms, if someone cancels it could be a chunk if I do not do it this way since this event does draw the young or young at heart we would be wondering about them until arrival if we did not have this policy for it. This year, has been one of the busiest as in last minute (within 1 week) calls for stays, due to the out come of last weeks major event, but I have been full for awhile. Still placed them on the wait list, just incase someone had to cancel, but I think even the weather won't stop this crowd this year.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I believe we have touched on this topic before, but always good to bring others perspective here.
I think that this 'pre-pay' plan could work in the right enviroment whether it be the type of place (a truely unique place) or if it was for the right time of year - a special event etc. In general, I do not really think it will catch on to be the norm, and especially much in advance.
I have made only one pre-paid stay and that was due to the fact I would have to have been dead not to go on that trip and it was a special time frame and rooms were hard to find. Normally, I would not even think of it for a casual trip.
I have mentioned before about my deposit policies and in a way this topic goes hand in hand with the pre-payment topic here. During normal times, I take a deposit of 1 night's stay the day after the last day to cancel. (I do it this way because I do not want to have a big slush fund for deposits that may need to be returned nor do I enjoy the refund fee by my merchant service.) If the card does not go through, they get a call before I open the room.
For event periods I do have a 30 day cancellation policy and at that time I do require payment in full and charge their card the entire amount - so in essence pre-paid. This is due to my events being very busy. Starting this weekend for 5 day period is a good expample... I have only 5 rooms, if someone cancels it could be a chunk if I do not do it this way since this event does draw the young or young at heart we would be wondering about them until arrival if we did not have this policy for it. This year, has been one of the busiest as in last minute (within 1 week) calls for stays, due to the out come of last weeks major event, but I have been full for awhile. Still placed them on the wait list, just incase someone had to cancel, but I think even the weather won't stop this crowd this year..
This was in today's Frommer's newsletter. Even the big chains have trouble with their prepay for a discount rooms. Of course we're very different than a big chain, and it hurts us more, but even if a B&B went to a prepay, no cancellation policy there would still be people wanting their money back.
http://www.frommers.com/articles/6624.html
I found the individual comments to the article interesting. Some people really get it and other's don't.
 

Morticia

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I believe we have touched on this topic before, but always good to bring others perspective here.
I think that this 'pre-pay' plan could work in the right enviroment whether it be the type of place (a truely unique place) or if it was for the right time of year - a special event etc. In general, I do not really think it will catch on to be the norm, and especially much in advance.
I have made only one pre-paid stay and that was due to the fact I would have to have been dead not to go on that trip and it was a special time frame and rooms were hard to find. Normally, I would not even think of it for a casual trip.
I have mentioned before about my deposit policies and in a way this topic goes hand in hand with the pre-payment topic here. During normal times, I take a deposit of 1 night's stay the day after the last day to cancel. (I do it this way because I do not want to have a big slush fund for deposits that may need to be returned nor do I enjoy the refund fee by my merchant service.) If the card does not go through, they get a call before I open the room.
For event periods I do have a 30 day cancellation policy and at that time I do require payment in full and charge their card the entire amount - so in essence pre-paid. This is due to my events being very busy. Starting this weekend for 5 day period is a good expample... I have only 5 rooms, if someone cancels it could be a chunk if I do not do it this way since this event does draw the young or young at heart we would be wondering about them until arrival if we did not have this policy for it. This year, has been one of the busiest as in last minute (within 1 week) calls for stays, due to the out come of last weeks major event, but I have been full for awhile. Still placed them on the wait list, just incase someone had to cancel, but I think even the weather won't stop this crowd this year..
This was in today's Frommer's newsletter. Even the big chains have trouble with their prepay for a discount rooms. Of course we're very different than a big chain, and it hurts us more, but even if a B&B went to a prepay, no cancellation policy there would still be people wanting their money back.
http://www.frommers.com/articles/6624.html
I found the individual comments to the article interesting. Some people really get it and other's don't.
.
Well, I tired to logon and respond but it kept bouncing my login id.
I'm in agreement with the folks who said that you book the cheap rate at your own discretion. It's a crapshoot and this guy should not have gone to bat for the writer, Days Inn should have stuck to their policies and the whole thing makes it hard for an honest person to make an honest living.
And, really, "$415 is a drop in the bucket"? What the hell is that supposed to mean? If it were a couple of thousand Days Inn would have been entitled to keep it? But it's a measly $415 so give it back to the guy? 6 nights, $415??? That's less than $65/night if the cost included the tax. Give me strength, is no one responsible for anything anymore?
And this is what online reviews are bringing things to. Don't like being treated fairly? Complain online and try to ruin a company's reputation. It's BS the lot of it.
 

Innkeep

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I believe we have touched on this topic before, but always good to bring others perspective here.
I think that this 'pre-pay' plan could work in the right enviroment whether it be the type of place (a truely unique place) or if it was for the right time of year - a special event etc. In general, I do not really think it will catch on to be the norm, and especially much in advance.
I have made only one pre-paid stay and that was due to the fact I would have to have been dead not to go on that trip and it was a special time frame and rooms were hard to find. Normally, I would not even think of it for a casual trip.
I have mentioned before about my deposit policies and in a way this topic goes hand in hand with the pre-payment topic here. During normal times, I take a deposit of 1 night's stay the day after the last day to cancel. (I do it this way because I do not want to have a big slush fund for deposits that may need to be returned nor do I enjoy the refund fee by my merchant service.) If the card does not go through, they get a call before I open the room.
For event periods I do have a 30 day cancellation policy and at that time I do require payment in full and charge their card the entire amount - so in essence pre-paid. This is due to my events being very busy. Starting this weekend for 5 day period is a good expample... I have only 5 rooms, if someone cancels it could be a chunk if I do not do it this way since this event does draw the young or young at heart we would be wondering about them until arrival if we did not have this policy for it. This year, has been one of the busiest as in last minute (within 1 week) calls for stays, due to the out come of last weeks major event, but I have been full for awhile. Still placed them on the wait list, just incase someone had to cancel, but I think even the weather won't stop this crowd this year..
This was in today's Frommer's newsletter. Even the big chains have trouble with their prepay for a discount rooms. Of course we're very different than a big chain, and it hurts us more, but even if a B&B went to a prepay, no cancellation policy there would still be people wanting their money back.
http://www.frommers.com/articles/6624.html
I found the individual comments to the article interesting. Some people really get it and other's don't.
.
There was a recent thread on the other forum about asking guests to purchase travel insurance if they were worried about not being able to keep their reservation for weather related problems or other reasons. I have never used travel insurance, and wouldn't have any idea about how to recommend a company. I find it interesting that there was a link on the Frommer's site to a travel insurance place, which does have a good BBB rating. Here it is. Sorry for the hijack, But I don't know enough about this sort of thing to start a new thread. I noticed on the company's webpage that they are discounting trip insurance including emergency medical evacuation for relief workers going to Haiti.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I believe we have touched on this topic before, but always good to bring others perspective here.
I think that this 'pre-pay' plan could work in the right enviroment whether it be the type of place (a truely unique place) or if it was for the right time of year - a special event etc. In general, I do not really think it will catch on to be the norm, and especially much in advance.
I have made only one pre-paid stay and that was due to the fact I would have to have been dead not to go on that trip and it was a special time frame and rooms were hard to find. Normally, I would not even think of it for a casual trip.
I have mentioned before about my deposit policies and in a way this topic goes hand in hand with the pre-payment topic here. During normal times, I take a deposit of 1 night's stay the day after the last day to cancel. (I do it this way because I do not want to have a big slush fund for deposits that may need to be returned nor do I enjoy the refund fee by my merchant service.) If the card does not go through, they get a call before I open the room.
For event periods I do have a 30 day cancellation policy and at that time I do require payment in full and charge their card the entire amount - so in essence pre-paid. This is due to my events being very busy. Starting this weekend for 5 day period is a good expample... I have only 5 rooms, if someone cancels it could be a chunk if I do not do it this way since this event does draw the young or young at heart we would be wondering about them until arrival if we did not have this policy for it. This year, has been one of the busiest as in last minute (within 1 week) calls for stays, due to the out come of last weeks major event, but I have been full for awhile. Still placed them on the wait list, just incase someone had to cancel, but I think even the weather won't stop this crowd this year..
This was in today's Frommer's newsletter. Even the big chains have trouble with their prepay for a discount rooms. Of course we're very different than a big chain, and it hurts us more, but even if a B&B went to a prepay, no cancellation policy there would still be people wanting their money back.
http://www.frommers.com/articles/6624.html
I found the individual comments to the article interesting. Some people really get it and other's don't.
.
There was a recent thread on the other forum about asking guests to purchase travel insurance if they were worried about not being able to keep their reservation for weather related problems or other reasons. I have never used travel insurance, and wouldn't have any idea about how to recommend a company. I find it interesting that there was a link on the Frommer's site to a travel insurance place, which does have a good BBB rating. Here it is. Sorry for the hijack, But I don't know enough about this sort of thing to start a new thread. I noticed on the company's webpage that they are discounting trip insurance including emergency medical evacuation for relief workers going to Haiti.
.
Now that my Mother's health is very poor, I always purchase trip insurance if I'm doing a major trip. Here is a site where you can compare rates, policy coverage, etc and find the one that works for you. You have to be diligent to read all the small print in the policies to see what works best for you.
http://www.insuremytrip.com/
I'll be taking a trip the beginning of March and if something happened to my Mother, the policy would cover any fees or cancelation charges if I had to return. Most of the time though, you must pay the costs upfront, then get reimbursed by the insurance company. If I'm traveling out of the country in a remote area or cruise, I get a policy that includes being air lifted to a U.S. hospital. It's not very expensive and it gives me a peace of mind.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I believe we have touched on this topic before, but always good to bring others perspective here.
I think that this 'pre-pay' plan could work in the right enviroment whether it be the type of place (a truely unique place) or if it was for the right time of year - a special event etc. In general, I do not really think it will catch on to be the norm, and especially much in advance.
I have made only one pre-paid stay and that was due to the fact I would have to have been dead not to go on that trip and it was a special time frame and rooms were hard to find. Normally, I would not even think of it for a casual trip.
I have mentioned before about my deposit policies and in a way this topic goes hand in hand with the pre-payment topic here. During normal times, I take a deposit of 1 night's stay the day after the last day to cancel. (I do it this way because I do not want to have a big slush fund for deposits that may need to be returned nor do I enjoy the refund fee by my merchant service.) If the card does not go through, they get a call before I open the room.
For event periods I do have a 30 day cancellation policy and at that time I do require payment in full and charge their card the entire amount - so in essence pre-paid. This is due to my events being very busy. Starting this weekend for 5 day period is a good expample... I have only 5 rooms, if someone cancels it could be a chunk if I do not do it this way since this event does draw the young or young at heart we would be wondering about them until arrival if we did not have this policy for it. This year, has been one of the busiest as in last minute (within 1 week) calls for stays, due to the out come of last weeks major event, but I have been full for awhile. Still placed them on the wait list, just incase someone had to cancel, but I think even the weather won't stop this crowd this year..
This was in today's Frommer's newsletter. Even the big chains have trouble with their prepay for a discount rooms. Of course we're very different than a big chain, and it hurts us more, but even if a B&B went to a prepay, no cancellation policy there would still be people wanting their money back.
http://www.frommers.com/articles/6624.html
I found the individual comments to the article interesting. Some people really get it and other's don't.
.
Well, I tired to logon and respond but it kept bouncing my login id.
I'm in agreement with the folks who said that you book the cheap rate at your own discretion. It's a crapshoot and this guy should not have gone to bat for the writer, Days Inn should have stuck to their policies and the whole thing makes it hard for an honest person to make an honest living.
And, really, "$415 is a drop in the bucket"? What the hell is that supposed to mean? If it were a couple of thousand Days Inn would have been entitled to keep it? But it's a measly $415 so give it back to the guy? 6 nights, $415??? That's less than $65/night if the cost included the tax. Give me strength, is no one responsible for anything anymore?
And this is what online reviews are bringing things to. Don't like being treated fairly? Complain online and try to ruin a company's reputation. It's BS the lot of it.
.
I totally agree with you.
 

seashanty

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in my opinion, if you have a death in the family that causes you to cancel a trip, this is the exception to the rule. better pr for days inn to request a copy of the d.c.or a communication from the funeral home and give the refund. (sorry to have to request that copy, but there are people who will claim tragedy - a despicable thing to do). but it must be emphasized this is an exception to their policy.
in my experience, regardless of a policy, sometimes if you keep up the dialog, progressing up the ladder to higher management, you can often get a non-refundable payment refunded. little mom and pop places seem to be more gracious and understanding even though cancelled reservations and requests for refunds impact them so much more than the big guys.
i had a non refundable policy if cancellation came less than two weeks before the scheduled reservation. would i make an exception ... as for a death in the family? at my discretion - yes. did i advertise that? no. and mostly i was able to convert the emergency cancellation into a future reservation. sometimes i ended up with an empty room on the night of the original reservation ... so i would offer free upgrades if the room was nicer and last minute deals to walk-ins. (guests love free upgrades) other times, i'd just lock the unoccupied room, hang out the 'do not disturb' sign on the knob as though the occupants wanted privacy, and lightened my workload. my choice.
 

Morticia

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in my opinion, if you have a death in the family that causes you to cancel a trip, this is the exception to the rule. better pr for days inn to request a copy of the d.c.or a communication from the funeral home and give the refund. (sorry to have to request that copy, but there are people who will claim tragedy - a despicable thing to do). but it must be emphasized this is an exception to their policy.
in my experience, regardless of a policy, sometimes if you keep up the dialog, progressing up the ladder to higher management, you can often get a non-refundable payment refunded. little mom and pop places seem to be more gracious and understanding even though cancelled reservations and requests for refunds impact them so much more than the big guys.
i had a non refundable policy if cancellation came less than two weeks before the scheduled reservation. would i make an exception ... as for a death in the family? at my discretion - yes. did i advertise that? no. and mostly i was able to convert the emergency cancellation into a future reservation. sometimes i ended up with an empty room on the night of the original reservation ... so i would offer free upgrades if the room was nicer and last minute deals to walk-ins. (guests love free upgrades) other times, i'd just lock the unoccupied room, hang out the 'do not disturb' sign on the knob as though the occupants wanted privacy, and lightened my workload. my choice..
OK, you know me, I'm a sucker for every sob story out there. My gripe is with 'going online' and threatening the company with bad PR if you don't get your way. Stamp foot here.
We let someone off the hook because they lost their license and couldn't drive. But do not threaten me. That will get your card charged faster than anything.
And everybody knows that Grandmas die on Thursday. Do we really want to ask for a death cert? I don't. But that's what it comes to.
 

seashanty

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agreed.
i hate the online negative review threat.
as for providing proof, i did ask that a funeral home send something along to a specific address at an airline so i could try to get a refund. i can imagine that folks will complain about how horrible that is ~ if they could see the other side (the business side) they might understand why. for big businesses, i imagine that lots of people have poor grannies that pass away multiple times.
 

Morticia

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agreed.
i hate the online negative review threat.
as for providing proof, i did ask that a funeral home send something along to a specific address at an airline so i could try to get a refund. i can imagine that folks will complain about how horrible that is ~ if they could see the other side (the business side) they might understand why. for big businesses, i imagine that lots of people have poor grannies that pass away multiple times.
.
My dad comes from a large family of aunts and uncles. He had one year where 3 of them died. When it came to the third one, his boss didn't believe him and told him he'd be fired if anymore of his family died that year.
 

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