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Proud Texan

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I just had a guest call and cancel a reservation for the second time. Each time she has been within the grace period AND, according to our written policy should not have to pay any penalty or forfeit a deposit. She was booking both our rooms for a two-day weekend.
This is the second time I've yanked those rooms off the market only for the "lady" to call and cancel. Should I just chalk it up to the cost of doing business? What would you do?
 

wendydk

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What choice do you have...considering she is following the rules?
 

Breakfast Diva

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Since you don't have any policy in place to charge her a cancellation fee, I don't see anything you can do. We've had many discussions here in the past about cancellation fees. I am a proponant of the cancellation fee and I feel that it weeds out those that are just lookie-loos and/or anyone that just wants to make a reservation until/if they find something "better".
Unfortunately, you're going to have to just eat this one. If she ever calls back again and wants to reserve, I would tell her that of course she can reserve those rooms, but this time she'll have to pay in full and there are no cancellations.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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That's a tough one to answer unless you suspect that they just don't take their vacation planning very seriously and you can expect to keep having them do the same thing again.
It hasn't happened very often to us, but we'll usally give somebody the ol' "three strikes and your out" routine but in a very friendly way.
If she were to ever call again, you could give her one more shot at it but also simply explain the realities of how her lack of ability to follow through on a reservation deprives other great guests from a stay at your place.
During one of those type conversations, I'll usually tell the person how x number of people had been turned away for the particular dates involved. Or how many inquiries we received for those dates. They need to know that there is demand for your rooms and that by jerking you around, its costing you potential guests.
You could also offer the reservation but explain that in cases of multiple cancellations your cancellation policy gets longer with the number of times someone has cancelled. So if its 14 days for a never cancelled before, you could do 28 for a one time canceller, etc.
56-60 days for a person like this should be more than enough to get the message across that while you want the business you aren't going to potentially deprive someone else three times just because she can't get her act together.
One drawback of our desire to have online availability is that guests like this can go monitor our calendar and see just how busy we are and then try to perceive how lenient we'll be on things if it doesn't look like we're that busy when they were supposed to be coming.
 

gillumhouse

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She is in the cancel period so you are stuck praying for a booking however IF it were me, I would be unable to take her next reservation. Once is a possible something came up - twice, you are too unreliable for me to take your booking without a deposit. And I think the deposit would be the full reservation charge with a snail mail copy of a confirmation stating due to a previous history of cancellations which adversely affect a business as small as ours, we have accepted your reservation as a non-refundable/paid in advance reservation should you cancel there will be no refund.
 

seashanty

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consider an 'administrative fee' for cancellations. this is the fee charged regardless of when the reservation is cancelled. i had this in policy ~ you can waive it if you choose. but for a person who repeatedly cancels, i'd not waive it. maybe it would discourage this behavior.
 

JBloggs

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You can implement a cancel fee/svc chg for any cancellation like a few do here on the forum. The good: People are sure when they book so they don't incur the fee, the bad; People don't want to book in case their plans change.
I had a similar situation and I left her name in my pgrm as a do not book to person for NEXT time.
 

MooseTrax

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If she calls or tries to rebook in the future you may wish to tell her that due to her prior cancellations you will not be able to hold any rooms for her and that she may call at the last minute to see if anything is open.
This may tee her off completely but she has not shown herself to be a reliable guest anyway.
We had this with a long time guest who kept canceling at the last minute, but always in her favor. Hold the room for 11 months & 20 days and then say she isn't coming. She got mad as could be when I told her she would need to book at the last minute because I could not hold the rooms for so long for her. She "will not return." I should find out where she did book.
 

MooseTrax

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Our latest cancelation story involves not being able to exchange a faulty rental car for a new one because the guest's license was lost somewhere along the way and the new one must be overnighted from a foreign country.
They canceled one night and then the next when the license did not arrive. If it is a true story I feel sorry for them. They are stuck wherever they are until the paperwork finds them. Each day they miss out on another part of their trip.
 

Kailin

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$25 cancellation fee outside the grace period. No one even asks about it. You need to cover your costs if you run a deposit for the person who cancels, plus cover the cc fee for the next person who re-books the room. It doesn't help you this time but helps you for future reservations.
 

Somewhere in Paradise

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
Wow! That is easily the most prohibitive cancellation policy I have ever seen in any lodging sector.
Do you mean if its a multi-cancellation type guest like the one PT is dealing with or is that your general everyday policy?
 

JBloggs

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
You must be in Hawaii or something to have such a long time out cancellation policy, that would never fly with a regular BnB, we would never get any bookings. Heck I rarely get any that far out as it is!
 

egoodell

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Proud Texan said:
I just had a guest call and cancel a reservation for the second time. Each time she has been within the grace period AND, according to our written policy should not have to pay any penalty or forfeit a deposit. She was booking both our rooms for a two-day weekend.
This is the second time I've yanked those rooms off the market only for the "lady" to call and cancel. Should I just chalk it up to the cost of doing business? What would you do?
I think my policy for these kinds of people (I get this more often with the wine tours than the B&B) I will put them not on my PITA list but my PREPAY list. If they book again they must prepay in full or wait until they are sure they are coming and take a chance there will be an opening. Prepay with no refund. Or leave the refund window far enough out that I'm sure I can rebook the space.
RIki
Riki
 

Somewhere in Paradise

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
Wow! That is easily the most prohibitive cancellation policy I have ever seen in any lodging sector.
Do you mean if its a multi-cancellation type guest like the one PT is dealing with or is that your general everyday policy?
.
This is our everyday policy. We only have 2 rooms and cannot afford a last minute cancellation.
We have not had any issue with our cancel policy. I have never lost a booking as far as I know due to our policy either.
We also require payment in full 60 days out.
I can not tell you how many times I was glad we had that policy because people seemed "wishy washy" and it felt like they wanted to book up a bunch of places then decide once they get here.
Our rooms are quite full, usually we run 70% occupancy.
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Why is it up to us to take the loss for a guests change of plans?
Joe - you are right we are in Hawaii
 

JBloggs

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
Wow! That is easily the most prohibitive cancellation policy I have ever seen in any lodging sector.
Do you mean if its a multi-cancellation type guest like the one PT is dealing with or is that your general everyday policy?
.
This is our everyday policy. We only have 2 rooms and cannot afford a last minute cancellation.
We have not had any issue with our cancel policy. I have never lost a booking as far as I know due to our policy either.
We also require payment in full 60 days out.
I can not tell you how many times I was glad we had that policy because people seemed "wishy washy" and it felt like they wanted to book up a bunch of places then decide once they get here.
Our rooms are quite full, usually we run 70% occupancy.
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Why is it up to us to take the loss for a guests change of plans?
Joe - you are right we are in Hawaii
.
They buy their plane tickets in advance and plan their holidays. We would never have a 60 day canc policy here and in fact 14 days would cause us a loss of bookings. We have a 7 day policy and prev owners had a 48 hours!
Majority of our bookings currently are out a week or two max. This year being the worst for that, some days there is nothing at all and then all of a sudden everyone wants to go away/get away. I am glad to see them roll in when they do of course.
Glad to hear it works for you. That is what we all say - we can share the way we do things, but have to do what works in our places specifically. That is not to say we don't test the waters and shift around certain things. :)
 

Proud Texan

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
Wow! That is easily the most prohibitive cancellation policy I have ever seen in any lodging sector.
Do you mean if its a multi-cancellation type guest like the one PT is dealing with or is that your general everyday policy?
.
This is our everyday policy. We only have 2 rooms and cannot afford a last minute cancellation.
We have not had any issue with our cancel policy. I have never lost a booking as far as I know due to our policy either.
We also require payment in full 60 days out.
I can not tell you how many times I was glad we had that policy because people seemed "wishy washy" and it felt like they wanted to book up a bunch of places then decide once they get here.
Our rooms are quite full, usually we run 70% occupancy.
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Why is it up to us to take the loss for a guests change of plans?
Joe - you are right we are in Hawaii
.
Crystal B said:
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Most of our policies charge full price for "last minute" cancellations. What we are talking about here is when they cancel far in advance of the scheduled date.
It may not be intended, but quite frankly, I find your responses a little condescending to the rest of us. Hawaii is a little different from Podunk, Texas. There is a bit more demand for your accommodations that in other locales. Some of us have to adapt to survive.
 

wendydk

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
Wow! That is easily the most prohibitive cancellation policy I have ever seen in any lodging sector.
Do you mean if its a multi-cancellation type guest like the one PT is dealing with or is that your general everyday policy?
.
This is our everyday policy. We only have 2 rooms and cannot afford a last minute cancellation.
We have not had any issue with our cancel policy. I have never lost a booking as far as I know due to our policy either.
We also require payment in full 60 days out.
I can not tell you how many times I was glad we had that policy because people seemed "wishy washy" and it felt like they wanted to book up a bunch of places then decide once they get here.
Our rooms are quite full, usually we run 70% occupancy.
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Why is it up to us to take the loss for a guests change of plans?
Joe - you are right we are in Hawaii
.
Crystal B said:
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Most of our policies charge full price for "last minute" cancellations. What we are talking about here is when they cancel far in advance of the scheduled date.
It may not be intended, but quite frankly, I find your responses a little condescending to the rest of us. Hawaii is a little different from Podunk, Texas. There is a bit more demand for your accommodations that in other locales. Some of us have to adapt to survive.
.
I have to agree with PT. The overwhelming majority of B&B's in the US have cancellation policies that range from 7-14 days in length. Crystal, your policy is in the overwhelming minority...in fact I have never heard of any other Inn having a 60 day policy. Perhaps being in HI and only having two rooms allows you to get away with it.
 

muirford

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
Wow! That is easily the most prohibitive cancellation policy I have ever seen in any lodging sector.
Do you mean if its a multi-cancellation type guest like the one PT is dealing with or is that your general everyday policy?
.
This is our everyday policy. We only have 2 rooms and cannot afford a last minute cancellation.
We have not had any issue with our cancel policy. I have never lost a booking as far as I know due to our policy either.
We also require payment in full 60 days out.
I can not tell you how many times I was glad we had that policy because people seemed "wishy washy" and it felt like they wanted to book up a bunch of places then decide once they get here.
Our rooms are quite full, usually we run 70% occupancy.
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Why is it up to us to take the loss for a guests change of plans?
Joe - you are right we are in Hawaii
.
Crystal B said:
We have not had any issue with our cancel policy. I have never lost a booking as far as I know due to our policy either.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence. You will never know how many bookings you have lost as a result of that policy, or anything else about your B&B. Those people never call you.
 

gillumhouse

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Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space..
Crystal B said:
Our cancel policy says that if you cancel your payment is non-refundable less than 60 days prior to arrival unless we are able to rerent the space.
Wow! That is easily the most prohibitive cancellation policy I have ever seen in any lodging sector.
Do you mean if its a multi-cancellation type guest like the one PT is dealing with or is that your general everyday policy?
.
This is our everyday policy. We only have 2 rooms and cannot afford a last minute cancellation.
We have not had any issue with our cancel policy. I have never lost a booking as far as I know due to our policy either.
We also require payment in full 60 days out.
I can not tell you how many times I was glad we had that policy because people seemed "wishy washy" and it felt like they wanted to book up a bunch of places then decide once they get here.
Our rooms are quite full, usually we run 70% occupancy.
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Why is it up to us to take the loss for a guests change of plans?
Joe - you are right we are in Hawaii
.
Crystal B said:
I still can't understand how someone can have a policy that allows guests to cancel at the last minute and leave you with a room you can't resell and a mortgage that is due.
Most of our policies charge full price for "last minute" cancellations. What we are talking about here is when they cancel far in advance of the scheduled date.
It may not be intended, but quite frankly, I find your responses a little condescending to the rest of us. Hawaii is a little different from Podunk, Texas. There is a bit more demand for your accommodations that in other locales. Some of us have to adapt to survive.
.
Hawaii is a little different from Podunk, Texas. There is a bit more demand for your accommodations that in other locales.
But PT, you do not just hop in the car to go to Hawaii. And you certainly cannot get on the cell phone and say, "uh. I have to cancel my reservation for tonight because my car broke down halfway there."
It is like my cousin's 4 sons. 3 are Chicago cops and cannot understand why the 4th one does not want to be one and the 4th one cannot understand why they want to be cops (they are 4th generation cops).
If you have a place where just getting there requires hefty planning and outlay well in advance it is hard to understand how a world where someone can decide today to go away for a weekend - or not - would balk at being locked in 60 days in advance.
 
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