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Something has come up - we have to leave a day early

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JunieBJones (JBJ)

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This is a what if scenario...
What do you do if a guest walks up to you after breakfast and says "Sorry but something has come up and we need to leave a day early."
It was a two night stay
(I am asking this as we have been discussing the two night min stay - could a guest be curbing this by leaving a day early)
 

Morticia

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I hate this. We refund.
 

happyjacks

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I hate this. We refund..
I've had it happen twice. My regular cancel policy applies: 50% charge for cancellations within 7 days. So they paid full price for the night(s) they stayed and 50% for the night(s) they didn't. I told them if I could rebook the room I would refund the amount, but since it was the same day, it would be unlikely. They understood. No problem.
 

seashanty

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this year, i had already charged the room ... and let it stand.
they did not ask for a refund.
if i could have got the room ready in time, actually two rooms, and had been able to rebook, i could have given a refund. this did not happen.
 

swirt

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I've only had it happen twice in 5 years. Once the girl was already here and got a call during breakfast the next day that her boyfriend who was supposed to meet her here was in a car accident. She was so visibly shaken, we only charged her for the one night and thought nothing about it.
The other was one that asked to add a Monday on to a weekend at a time of the year when we only do weekends, so letting them out of that Monday was no real loss for us.
In a more normal situation I would like to think I would stick to policy, but it ultimately comes down to the people...if they were nice enough or told a good enough sob story, they might get out of their obligation ;)
 
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I've only had it happen twice in 5 years. Once the girl was already here and got a call during breakfast the next day that her boyfriend who was supposed to meet her here was in a car accident. She was so visibly shaken, we only charged her for the one night and thought nothing about it.
The other was one that asked to add a Monday on to a weekend at a time of the year when we only do weekends, so letting them out of that Monday was no real loss for us.
In a more normal situation I would like to think I would stick to policy, but it ultimately comes down to the people...if they were nice enough or told a good enough sob story, they might get out of their obligation ;).
I think this scenario depends on the situation. If you can read people well, you can usually determine if they are being sincere about the reasons for why they are leaving. I have expereinced this situation in both instances - those who truly have a family emergency or sickness and those who just aren't having as good a time as they had hoped. I also think that how it is handled by us innkeepers depends greatly on how big your inn is and the time of year. We have had people do this in the peak of fall foliage - our busiest season - and if they are sincere, fine - let 'em go, we'll definitely fill the room with only a couple of phone calls to other properties. If it is mid-April when we don't have much room revenue, AND the person is wimping out of their room, no way, buddy! If it doesn't resell, you pay! Our policies are firmly stated, and we have the discretion to stick to it or be nice.
 

swirt

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I've only had it happen twice in 5 years. Once the girl was already here and got a call during breakfast the next day that her boyfriend who was supposed to meet her here was in a car accident. She was so visibly shaken, we only charged her for the one night and thought nothing about it.
The other was one that asked to add a Monday on to a weekend at a time of the year when we only do weekends, so letting them out of that Monday was no real loss for us.
In a more normal situation I would like to think I would stick to policy, but it ultimately comes down to the people...if they were nice enough or told a good enough sob story, they might get out of their obligation ;).
I think this scenario depends on the situation. If you can read people well, you can usually determine if they are being sincere about the reasons for why they are leaving. I have expereinced this situation in both instances - those who truly have a family emergency or sickness and those who just aren't having as good a time as they had hoped. I also think that how it is handled by us innkeepers depends greatly on how big your inn is and the time of year. We have had people do this in the peak of fall foliage - our busiest season - and if they are sincere, fine - let 'em go, we'll definitely fill the room with only a couple of phone calls to other properties. If it is mid-April when we don't have much room revenue, AND the person is wimping out of their room, no way, buddy! If it doesn't resell, you pay! Our policies are firmly stated, and we have the discretion to stick to it or be nice.
.
Thanks MissInnKeeping and welcome to INNspiring.com

 

seashanty

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I've only had it happen twice in 5 years. Once the girl was already here and got a call during breakfast the next day that her boyfriend who was supposed to meet her here was in a car accident. She was so visibly shaken, we only charged her for the one night and thought nothing about it.
The other was one that asked to add a Monday on to a weekend at a time of the year when we only do weekends, so letting them out of that Monday was no real loss for us.
In a more normal situation I would like to think I would stick to policy, but it ultimately comes down to the people...if they were nice enough or told a good enough sob story, they might get out of their obligation ;).
I think this scenario depends on the situation. If you can read people well, you can usually determine if they are being sincere about the reasons for why they are leaving. I have expereinced this situation in both instances - those who truly have a family emergency or sickness and those who just aren't having as good a time as they had hoped. I also think that how it is handled by us innkeepers depends greatly on how big your inn is and the time of year. We have had people do this in the peak of fall foliage - our busiest season - and if they are sincere, fine - let 'em go, we'll definitely fill the room with only a couple of phone calls to other properties. If it is mid-April when we don't have much room revenue, AND the person is wimping out of their room, no way, buddy! If it doesn't resell, you pay! Our policies are firmly stated, and we have the discretion to stick to it or be nice.
.
hardest to take is when a guest comes to an innkeeper and says 'we won't be needing our room .... friends renting a cottage near here (who have a house in the area, etc.) are going to put us up for the rest of our stay. "
and ....??!
this happened across the road and to another innkeeper i know in the next village.
 

swirt

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Ooh see that would awaken the sarcastic codger in me.
Them: Friends renting a cottage near here will be putting us up.
Me: That's great! Will they be paying your bill too?
 

Morticia

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I've only had it happen twice in 5 years. Once the girl was already here and got a call during breakfast the next day that her boyfriend who was supposed to meet her here was in a car accident. She was so visibly shaken, we only charged her for the one night and thought nothing about it.
The other was one that asked to add a Monday on to a weekend at a time of the year when we only do weekends, so letting them out of that Monday was no real loss for us.
In a more normal situation I would like to think I would stick to policy, but it ultimately comes down to the people...if they were nice enough or told a good enough sob story, they might get out of their obligation ;).
I think this scenario depends on the situation. If you can read people well, you can usually determine if they are being sincere about the reasons for why they are leaving. I have expereinced this situation in both instances - those who truly have a family emergency or sickness and those who just aren't having as good a time as they had hoped. I also think that how it is handled by us innkeepers depends greatly on how big your inn is and the time of year. We have had people do this in the peak of fall foliage - our busiest season - and if they are sincere, fine - let 'em go, we'll definitely fill the room with only a couple of phone calls to other properties. If it is mid-April when we don't have much room revenue, AND the person is wimping out of their room, no way, buddy! If it doesn't resell, you pay! Our policies are firmly stated, and we have the discretion to stick to it or be nice.
.
hardest to take is when a guest comes to an innkeeper and says 'we won't be needing our room .... friends renting a cottage near here (who have a house in the area, etc.) are going to put us up for the rest of our stay. "
and ....??!
this happened across the road and to another innkeeper i know in the next village.
.
Oh, see, that's a whole different ball of wax. We've had that happen a couple of times. Once we let her go because she was so weird we figured she'd damage the room. The other time we said, 'Sorry, you've booked this room.' They decided to stay with us and said it was better that they did.
 

EmptyNest

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If it is a true emergency, I issue a gift certificate for them to use within one year. But otherwise, in my poliicies that they had to check they agreed with...Payment for full stay due upon arrival and no refunds for early departures.
 

Morticia

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If it is a true emergency, I issue a gift certificate for them to use within one year. But otherwise, in my poliicies that they had to check they agreed with...Payment for full stay due upon arrival and no refunds for early departures..
catlady said:
If it is a true emergency, I issue a gift certificate for them to use within one year. But otherwise, in my poliicies that they had to check they agreed with...Payment for full stay due upon arrival and no refunds for early departures.
I like that one. It might work especially well when guests leave because of weather. (And I mean feet of snow, not because it's raining and they want to go to the beach.)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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If it is a true emergency, I issue a gift certificate for them to use within one year. But otherwise, in my poliicies that they had to check they agreed with...Payment for full stay due upon arrival and no refunds for early departures..
catlady said:
If it is a true emergency, I issue a gift certificate for them to use within one year. But otherwise, in my poliicies that they had to check they agreed with...Payment for full stay due upon arrival and no refunds for early departures.
I think that is the BEST solution.
 

Copperhead

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If it is a true emergency, I issue a gift certificate for them to use within one year. But otherwise, in my poliicies that they had to check they agreed with...Payment for full stay due upon arrival and no refunds for early departures..
catlady said:
If it is a true emergency, I issue a gift certificate for them to use within one year. But otherwise, in my poliicies that they had to check they agreed with...Payment for full stay due upon arrival and no refunds for early departures.
That has been my policy for many years and has held up even in a chargeback attempt. Guest left 1 day early 'said work called'. He did not ask for a refund prior to leaving so though all was well. I take payment in full at check-in and it is noted on all written material no refunds for early departure. This guy requested a charge back for the 'over charge' of his stay. I sent the signed reciept, confirmation letter, registration form, and a printout of our policies page on our website. AMEX backed me with no chargeback. - I think he left due to a breakup - girlfriend lived local.
Now if I had rebooked the room, I would have sent him a refund without his asking. I am not out to double dip, but I do not wish to be without revenue due to anyone elses poor planning. There again, I have been known to bend if there is an emergency. I have the policy in place and can bend if I wish - I am the boss, by golly!
 

gillumhouse

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Had that happen last weekend. It was the Alumni Homecoming. The couple who booked the best room said she did not feel good when they came back from the Friday get-together. They left early for their Class Breakfast at Jimmy's. I came home from the concert to find a note on my keyboard that they were going home because she was not feeleing well. I did see them just before they left and he asked how much because they wanted to pay with a check. I gave them a 10% discount but that is all. I could not rerent the room and my web site and confirmation letter state a full reservation charge for a cancellation less than 48 hours - they were here so that is less than 48 hours.
 
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