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mooseberry

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All right, I have been open since February 2008, but have yet to post policies/ house rules.
Where do you post them? In the hallway? In every room? In the bathroom...just kidding....
I also have a hard time setting rules or describing what I mean in a non-offensive way.
And how about cancellation policies? If guests call an reservation in, do you read them their rights? What if they say they never knew about the cancellation policies?
Anybody know about a cheat sheet?
Greately appreciate your help.
Maggie
 

swirt

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According to the credit card companies you do have to spell out your cancellation policy over the phone in order for them to support you in a chargeback complaint. Though if you send a confirmation by email after the call, that is usually a safe backup that you can actually prove. (It's impossible to prove what you said over the phone)
Any of our serious policies are in writing on the registration form they sign upon check-in. Definitely anything you might charge them for after the fact ought to be on this sheet. (smoking damages, physical damage...) Some people put theft on there but I'm not certain that is required, since theft is illegal anyway. We also put any disclaimer about anything being at their own risk (in our case swimming in the lake).
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I like you. You cut to the chase.
Policies for me are:
On the confirmation they receive and also on the check-in sheet I have in each room. If they book online, they must tick the box saying they agree to our policies.
Some here have a policies sheet that guests sign when they check in agreeing to the policies. This is good in case of a charge back.
Now RULES or POLICIES? You said policies, so that is the basic stuff like no smoking inside and all that? Rules we can post everywhere and have them ignored! I have found that most of the time those who break teh rules will anyway, regardless of a sign, note or policies sheet. So for the rest of the guests shall they be treated like children?
Before I moved here a man who was well traveled said that was the only thing that bothered he and his wife were the little post it type notes all over certain B&B's and please don't do that, he said.
Sometimes WE HAVE TO. But we have to limit them or drive guests away.
 

Willowpondgj

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We have the policies on out Policies page on the website, on the confirmation, in print when they check-in if we didn't book them, on the wall in a frame in the room and in the orientation books in each room.
 

EmptyNest

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We have a noteboook in every guest room with all kinds of information in it. On top of it is our Policies laminated. I usually have that on top of the bed so guests see it when they come in. Lots of places do something similar.
We also are required by our state association to post fire exit diagrams in every room.
 

Morticia

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Do you send an official email or snail mail with the cancellation info included along with the reservation info? That's a perfect place to do it. You keep a copy for yourself as well. You also throw in the stuff about smoking in the house or trying to check-out early or bringing pets, whatever applies. Mine is way too wordy and goes on for 2 pages (including the reservation info and directions and a description of the room).
No need to sound like Nanny...just simply state the time limit to make a cancellation (altho I like that European guy who didn't think there WAS a time he could cancel). 7 days, 14 days, whatever. And what will happen. No refund of deposit, $25 fee, whatever it is.
Cancellation Policy • No charge for room cancellations with at least 7 days' notice. No shows are charged for the entire stay. For cancellations made with less than 7 days' notice, a charge equal to the first night's room charge will be incurred if the room is not rebooked by another guest. Group bookings subject to charges as detailed in booking contract. Full payment due on arrival, no refunds given for late arrival or early departures.
Check-in: Check-in is between 3 PM and 7 PM.
Check-out: Check-out is at or before 11 AM.
Food Allergies: Please advise us of any dietary restrictions at the time of your reservation so we may plan accordingly. We make every effort to plan a meal for all of our guests to enjoy. Use the 'Additional Information' box.
Children: If you are bringing a child under the age of 16, he/she must be with you at all times. The Inn does not have child care facilities or 'baby gear'. Children may not be left alone.
Smoking: Smoking is not allowed inside the inn buildings. Smoking is permitted on the grounds.
Dogs: We have one room available for dogs traveling with their pet people. We reserve the right to decline any dogs who do not have up-to-date vaccinations against rabies and bordatella. Dog owners are responsible for any damage done by their dog(s). Dogs may not be left alone in the room except while you are at breakfast in the inn. If you are traveling with a dog you may only book the Bowdoin. Please be aware that ticks are prevalent in coastal areas of Maine and plan accordingly. There will be an additional $25 charge upon check-in for the dog.
 

mooseberry

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Thanks all for the great information.
I do have my policies posted online and they have to check the bo that they've read and agree to them.
It's the callers...I never did give them the info over the phone but will start doing so.
I also never even thought about the vaccines of dogs....I will ask for them too. thanks Bree.
So, tomorrow, I will get my behind in gear and write and post policies. Also re-print new registration forms.....
Have a great day everyone :)
Maggie
 

Morticia

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Thanks all for the great information.
I do have my policies posted online and they have to check the bo that they've read and agree to them.
It's the callers...I never did give them the info over the phone but will start doing so.
I also never even thought about the vaccines of dogs....I will ask for them too. thanks Bree.
So, tomorrow, I will get my behind in gear and write and post policies. Also re-print new registration forms.....
Have a great day everyone :)
Maggie.
The most important thing I tell them on the phone is the cancellation policy. After that it is the pet policy if they're bringing a dog. (Actually, if they are bringing a dog, I rattle that one off right away so no probs later on with 'don't leave dog alone in room'.)
Smoking is not allowed in any indoor public places in this state so I don't tend to talk about that one. If they are smokers, most guests ask in advance about our policy.
 

EmptyNest

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Thanks all for the great information.
I do have my policies posted online and they have to check the bo that they've read and agree to them.
It's the callers...I never did give them the info over the phone but will start doing so.
I also never even thought about the vaccines of dogs....I will ask for them too. thanks Bree.
So, tomorrow, I will get my behind in gear and write and post policies. Also re-print new registration forms.....
Have a great day everyone :)
Maggie.
I had a "form" that had all the necessary information, what to ask, what to say, what to fill in....that I had beside the phone...so that IF I wasn't there and my husband took the call, he had it and he just read it from the form. Here is what it said, you can adapt for your own specific situation.
ALWAYS ASK…..ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO DOGS or CATS?We have xxx dogs or xxx cats which we try to keep out of the guest area. But if you are really allergic to them, let us know and we can suggest another place you may want to stay.
XXX INN Reservation Form

Guest Name:________________________ Other Guest Name:_______________________ Day & Date/s of Stay: __________________________
Address__________________________________________________________________________________
City__________________________________________ State_________________ Zip Code_____________
Phone: __________________________ E-Mail Address: __________________________________________
Special Requirements or Dietary Restrictions?________________________________________________
Which Room/s Would You Like to Reserve?
The XXX Room
______$000 per night Sunday – Thursday
______$000 per night Friday – Saturday and holidays

The XXX Room
_____$000 per night Sunday – Thursday
_____$000 per night Friday – Saturday and holidays

The XXX Room
_____$000 per night Sunday – Thursday
_____$000 per night Friday – Saturday and holidays

Our room rate is for single/double occupancy. All our rooms have a queen bed, full private bath, we provide complimentary full breakfast, snacks and beverages.

To hold and confirm reservation, we need a one night deposit guarantee with credit card
TYPE_______________ Number____________________________ Exp Date_______ Security Code _______
Total Due for your stay is: $_________________ Taxes are additional
1. We will email you a confirmation right away. Please reply back so we know you received it.
2. Check in time is 3-6 pm. And check out is 12 noon the day of departure
3. What is the approximate what time we can expect you?__________
4. Do you have any special dietary needs?________________________
5 Is there anything else we can do for your stay?____________________________________
6. OUR POLICIES ( Be sure to tell these to the guest)
Deposit: A deposit equivalent to the first night’s charges for each room booked is required to hold the reservation. There is a two-night minimum stay on weekends.
Payment: The balance is due upon check-in. Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.
Cancellations: Cancellations made within seven (7) days of the date of arrival will forfeit the deposit. Cancellations made more than seven (7) days before the date of arrival will have the deposit refunded, less a $25.00 administrative fee. This fee will be applied to a future stay made within one (1) year.
Check In: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Check Out: 12:00 noon
Children and Pets: Unfortunately, our inn is not suitable for children or pets. We have dogs or cats on the premises, We try our best to see that they stay out of guest areas, but that may not always be possible.
Smoking: Smoking is permitted outdoors only.
Parking: Off street parking is available (one parking place per room).
Thank you!
We will see you soon, please call or email us if you have any questions.
 

Sanctuary

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Before confirming any reservation, I must receive back my Reservation/Confirmation form, executed by the guest, which sets forth our policies. It is clear what the cancellation terms are and gives us the right to cancel in the event of a Named Storm (for which I think is fair to return a full refund if we opt to leave and run from the storm). Because we don't take children under 14, that is also specified - if they show up with toddlers, well, I've got their signature on a document that says they knew we cannot take small children. I also warn that there is a cat in the Crew's quarters and that folks with allergies may be affected, even though they will never see him. Check-in, check-out times are stated, etc. If I don't get this back, there is no reservation or confirmation. It also has the guest acknowledge the hazards onboard, such as "the boat moves from time to time - use the handrails when going up and down stairs, etc.". That's the cut to the chase stuff that I do not want any challenges on...you signed it, you're responsible for knowing what you signed, period.
I, too, an not a fan of a lot of "don’t" messages posted around the place, except for the DON’T message in the bathrooms of what NOT to flush (we have grinding pumps that when some forbidden items gets flushed, it has to be taken apart and pulled out). I like to keep reminding folks of that particular "DON’T" message - because I've had to take one apart before and pick out the forbidden object. The only other "don’t" sign I have is on the main switch for the air conditioning which is located in the master stateroom. Turn that off and you kill everyone else’s air conditioning. So, instead of a lot of "don’t" signs, we send a pdf file in advance of their arrival that is a Welcome Aboard booklet which is very upbeat and has some humor to it while going through the do's and don'ts. It also provides a lot of other useful information for their upcoming stay, too, so it’s not just another rule book. We also place one in each stateroom - the TV channel guide is in there too. To keep the reader from feeling like it’s a rule book, and to keep them reading through it, we add a little humor here and there. For example, I have a picture in the booklet of an EPIRB which is a curious looking device to non-boaters with a "don't" message that gets the point across, but isn't harsh. Goes like this: "What is an EPIRB? An EPRIB is an Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon. It is designed to help save your life if you get into trouble at sea by alerting rescue authorities and indicating our location. Deployment of the EPIRB is usually associated with fire and/or sinking. Sanctuary is equipped with an EPRIB. DO NOT PLAY WITH THE EPIRB. If you do, there is a $10,000 fine for turning it on if there is no emergency and, by the way, when the authorities arrive to write that ticket, and they will, I’ll be pointing at YOU." There are some things you just don’t fool around with.
And the Captain’s Laws:

Rule #1 - Crew Quarters

are located all the way forward. This is the only area of the boat that is off limits to passengers.
Rule #2 - What Happens on the Boat
stays on the boat. You are here to enjoy paradise... Have a good time!
Rule #3 - Respect Others
… We are living in close proximity, all I ask is you respect the rights and privacy of others.
Rule #4 - If it is legal ...
You may enjoy your stay anyway you wish! You may not, however, do anything that is illegal. The only thing that is illegal is DRUGS… No illegal drug use is tolerated. Violate this rule and you will be put ashore promptly.
Rule #5 - Smoking…
No smoking inside the yacht, nor on the aft deck. You may smoke on the bow, on the flybridge, or on the dock. When outside, please use an ashtray, and follow Rule #3.
Rule #6 - Pictures…
Please take as many pictures as you wish, but you are asked not to take photos of any person in an awkward or embarrassing situation. Another Rule #3 thing.
Rule #7 - If you do not Understand….
Please ask if you do not understand how to operate any of the equipment, marine toilets, etc. Things do break and that is OK, but if it breaks because of your negligence or abuse, you will be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.
Those are just examples. So, you see, our point gets made, and hopefully it wasn’t in an offensive manner.
 

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