We have had excessive damage here as well. Finding it BEFORE the guest had checked out allowed us to present them with a bill, charge them, get them to sign the cc receipt and that was that.
However, also have friends who had damage done to their place, got the guest to sign the cc receipt and then got threatening phone calls from the guest's brother saying bad things would happen if the innkeeper didn't refund the money..
I often wished it be appropriate to do a mid stay walk through of the room. We use the door hangers to freshen a room and respect the rights to privacy when the guest lock the door. A few years back another guest tilted the ac unit towards the room and you guessed it the water came in and instead of notifying us, they would through towels on the floor to contain the water. I've learnt in seven years of doing this if they insist on paying in cash they usually are more of liability. I was successful once last year in collecting for damages but our location on a three State line means most of our guest are from other States. Its near impossible to litigate over State lines without a great expense to yourself.If a guest insist on cash I do make them sign a separate sheet that lets me collect in court if there are damages. I do think a book about Inn keeping that really spells out the good and the bad should be written. I think its great that this website exist so those that are kicking the idea around can read what actual people in the business say.I am also lucky that between my partner and there is almost nothing we can't fix ourselves. I think I'm going to glue the weft in place where they cut through it and needle punch wool of the same color into the void to fill it. Luckily they did not cut through the canvas backing of the rug. The glue will go down in the weft after the felting takes place. For now I moved the 12x10 rug two feet under the couch. I have a skilled rug hooker coming to stay at the end of the month and I'm so going to have her look at it. She may actually do a traditional repair and dyes her own wool. At this point I'm grateful anger has passed and using my God given noggin to now fix the situation. A friend of ours who runs a B&B for the city of Dubuque has has changed the policy page on there website and I am working on changing mine to be more in line to her site.
We tried the "Do Not Disturb" hangers and we gave up. They leave it on when they don't want to, they use it to keep you out because they damaged something or are doing something illegal or immoral.... Nope, done! We go in each day. You can ask us not to, but we always need to clear the trash, sorry. We don't do DND.
I like your thinking Eric and its where I'm leaning on going to.....I said recently to my partner while we make money like a business this is clearly and still our home. Some B&B's are strictly profit making or as someone said Newhart Inns. For me this is my home and my memories and I really should have no guilt taking control of my home. I find it unusual how the average guest does not respect our homes and I often wonder if its a generational thing because if I were visiting my mothers home there are strict guidelines of conduct. My biggest pet peeve are the furniture decorators or those who rearrange. I would never go into my mothers home to stay and think I have the right to move her beds and then leave them for her to move back. I had one wacko this last Winter who removed all the wall art and placed it in the closet. Can you believe it!!! I came across another demented person like this and they stated they did not like things with eyes. Luckily she left the next morning and two days later she called asking if she could come back and my reply of course was NEVER! She evidently was not liking her motel/hotel accommodations! LOL. The expensive art I keep alarmed and more than once have been awakened by alarms going off. I love asking them what the need was to remove a painting from its wall. As of yet not one has given me a clear answer. Its even more fun to alarm the glass cases and ask them what is it they wanted to see when those alarms squeal off. I love seeing humans turn bright red and still find it fascinating how they think they have the right to go into sealed cases, cabinets, and curios. I've learnt if you add signage and state the piece is alarmed it makes them want to gain access even more LOL. It is alarming not to pun, how the American public think because they pay to stay at a place be it hotel , motel, B&B that they have the right to invade every aspect and can do whatever they want with no consequences for there actions. Clearly something has changed in my lifetime.
It's not generational. For me I always worry when a guest calls my B&B a "Hotel". A hotel is a place where no one respects property. It is the Car Rental with the CDW. And you know how many people want to buy a rental car after they are finished with it. There is NO ONE who takes better care of your home than you.
Schadenfreude is the word you are looking for. And I've been contemplating putting a dummy camera with a blinking red light inside of my laundry area. It's a door marked private and I just let myself imagine that they respect me enough to not go in. But how embarrassing would it be to open it up and see the flashing red light of a camera staring at you.
I've had minor furniture movement. I keep furniture in the rooms to a minimum and not much in the way of movement. But you can never tell what will throw people. My mother used to cover the mirrors at my grandparent's place in Florida because she hated waking up at night and seeing someone staring back at her in the moonlight.
PS: Can I contribute $10 to your paragraph fund? You know, that thing that tells us a different idea is coming....
LOL I'll try harder! with the paragraphs.
I totally put a camera out onto the street and then this last year because of towel, pillow, and yes even some blankets I put a camera in the front hall that monitors all the homes cross roads. I felt bad at first about doing it and would even turn it off for those whole house rental guest that come regularly. However it has dropped the MIA items mentioned above to nearly none.
I overstock the shampoo, hand lotion basket to give the sticky fingers something to grab and feel like they are getting away with something. On my profile photo you see a large Jack o lantern he is filled with Sams club candy we go through anywhere from 3-6 pounds a week or 10-20 dollars. Cheaper than cookies or cheese and wine but amazes me because the camera looks down on it how some will fill every pocket they have.
Cameras in common areas I am beginning to learn is a good thing! The one at the door going outside is a blessing in disguise to see who is coming and going has become a invaluable friend. It also is so nice to see a car pull up and beat them to the door before they ring the doorbell fifteen times thinking someone is on staff to receive them. Can you tell my other pet peeve? I think it should be illegal to ring a doorbell more than twice. I wish someone would invent one that only rang twice and then had a ten minute zone before it would be heard again. Unfortunately my partner will not allow me to to run 120 Volt charge to the doorbell. He said it be cruel and unusual punishment to animals! For those occasional ones that are buzzer happy I've been known to show them Miss manners book on etiquette and usually the wife thanks me on the side.
I use Unidens camera and Sams club actually has some of the best deals on two and three camera/monitor sets. I call it my baby monitor for adults.
In the past I could easily be missing 1-2 hundred towels, and up to a dozen pillows....usually we get the pillow swapper they leave the tear stained pillow from home and swap my pillow case onto it like we may not notice. I also write my B&B name in permanent maker on the pillow with the room its in and the count ( Thornton House Peach room 1 of 6 ) Making sure all down feather pillows are from the same maker in each room. Believe it or not some stolen pillows have been mailed back or left on the porch with a sorry note.
The cameras and the pillow trick have stopped almost all the trickery. I also use the P-touch labels and document the closets and back up stuff http://pinterest.com/pin/57069120248121768/
(a photo as a example) I also number the wooden hangers which also use to disappear in flocks. The P touch I also use if anything for "The peoples comfort" are stored in drawers, cabinets..... As Martha would say, "Its a good thing"
On Pinterest I go into some detail on running a home such as ours and many of my tricks are documented on it.
Can you tell my Father was military?