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JeannineIrish

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This was a first after being in business almost 10 years.
Couple checks in in early evening. They are going to be here for 4 days. Show them to room and explain the workings of the B & B. They go out for dinner. I was having trouble sleepying so I come downstairs to "our" sitting room to read, endounter guest on the way down the stairs and exchanges hellos. Hear the Sun Room door open and shut, look out the window and guest is sitting in car with door open. Go back to reading. My husband calls down on the phone and says that he thinks the guests are leaving. Sure enough I look out the window and they are driving out the driveway. I find a note in the living room.
"Jeannine,
Room is too NOISY! NEITHER OF US COULD sleep from the traffic from THE ROAD!"
I got the feeling from the beginning that they were not B & B people. He was going to play golf while they were here and God only knows what she was going to do without a car. I hope they ended up in a noisy hotel room with lots of ugly smells.:)
We lost income but we are not going to charge their card for the one night cancellation policy. Don't want a bad review in Trip Advisor as retaliation. However if they do post a bad review we may rethink the charge. Hubby and I are of the feeling that we do not want anyone here that really doesn't want to be here.
Just a note: We had 6 people for 5 days staying with us that left this morning that had only praise for us and the B & B. They were immediate family of both a bride and groom in for the wedding. If we get a bad review I may ask them to post a review. They left us with beautiful entries in our journal.
 

Morticia

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Hi there! How are you?
That stinks about the guests. You must do the payment on checkout so they knew they could leave without paying. Better they are gone than spending 4 days with you griping.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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First question, is there road noise at your place and could they hear it in the room they chose?
Second, did they express any concerns while being checked in about road noise either real or imagined by them?
What time did this exit occur?
Has any other guest ever been disturbed by road noise to your knowledge?
A couple of big red flags pop up for me. Unless you are located in a fly-in only location miles from the closest road, no reasonable person can expect total silence and no vehicle traffic passing your place.
Are you next to a truck stop, major highway or something?
Is it mostly residential where you are?
We as innkeepers have to get over this fear of bad reviews. It is blackmail that we are doing to ourselves and some of the public has caught on and extorting refunds, discounts, no fee cancellations, etc. from us because of it. I curse those damn hotels.com commercials that went down that road!
I hope you'll answer some of these questions as its a good topic worthy of more discussion.
 

JeannineIrish

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Hi there! How are you?
That stinks about the guests. You must do the payment on checkout so they knew they could leave without paying. Better they are gone than spending 4 days with you griping..
Hi Bree,
I know I have been away for awhile but that is another story I will tell on another post. I think you meant to say payment on "check-in". You are probably right. If they had been staying for one night I probably would have or asked for payment when I got that funny feeling about them. Amen to them being gone.
 

JeannineIrish

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First question, is there road noise at your place and could they hear it in the room they chose?
Second, did they express any concerns while being checked in about road noise either real or imagined by them?
What time did this exit occur?
Has any other guest ever been disturbed by road noise to your knowledge?
A couple of big red flags pop up for me. Unless you are located in a fly-in only location miles from the closest road, no reasonable person can expect total silence and no vehicle traffic passing your place.
Are you next to a truck stop, major highway or something?
Is it mostly residential where you are?
We as innkeepers have to get over this fear of bad reviews. It is blackmail that we are doing to ourselves and some of the public has caught on and extorting refunds, discounts, no fee cancellations, etc. from us because of it. I curse those damn hotels.com commercials that went down that road!
I hope you'll answer some of these questions as its a good topic worthy of more discussion..
We are located on a 4 lane road that is one of the main arteries into the city, even though we are in the city. The speed limit is 25 but everyone goes 40-45. At night there is some traffic but it is more like a whoos-whoos. This was a Sunday night. There are no stop sign near us so it is just traffic going by not stop and go traffic. Muirford has stayed with us so she may be able to give an honest opinion about street sounds.
They expressed no concern out street noise when they checked in and if they had I would have advised them to shut the window and turn on the air conditioner. We had guests for 5 days staying right across the hall from them in the front of the house and they slept with the window open every night and said nothing about the traffic sounds.
The exit occured at 11:30 PM.
If the street sounds bothered them that much it is a good thing they weren't here this morning when the workman and machines showed up for the school that is being built diagonally across the street!!!!!!!!!! And guests have never even mentioned anything about that.
Also it is totally residential where we are.
 

Copperhead

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Good to see you back but unfortunate you post such a problem.
I presume you A) do not take a deposit B) do not take payment at check-in C) do not have a policy of no refunds for early departure
I would think that if you had these, those guests would not have left especially in the middle of the night. And where on earth could they have gone IN the middle of the night to stay that would not have road noise? (more of a statement than for you to answer!!!)
Some people are just strange - no rhyme or reason to them...Good Riddance I say, but I would charge them for the 1 night...they used your room and they waited for you to be in bed before they left...If they had a problem with 'road noise' I am sure they noticed it before they went to bed.
 

GeorgiaGirl

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They probably decided there was nothing to keep them busy for 4 days and figured they would leave and get on their way to their next destination. If they use something bad against the Inn than you won't charge them.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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First question, is there road noise at your place and could they hear it in the room they chose?
Second, did they express any concerns while being checked in about road noise either real or imagined by them?
What time did this exit occur?
Has any other guest ever been disturbed by road noise to your knowledge?
A couple of big red flags pop up for me. Unless you are located in a fly-in only location miles from the closest road, no reasonable person can expect total silence and no vehicle traffic passing your place.
Are you next to a truck stop, major highway or something?
Is it mostly residential where you are?
We as innkeepers have to get over this fear of bad reviews. It is blackmail that we are doing to ourselves and some of the public has caught on and extorting refunds, discounts, no fee cancellations, etc. from us because of it. I curse those damn hotels.com commercials that went down that road!
I hope you'll answer some of these questions as its a good topic worthy of more discussion..
We are located on a 4 lane road that is one of the main arteries into the city, even though we are in the city. The speed limit is 25 but everyone goes 40-45. At night there is some traffic but it is more like a whoos-whoos. This was a Sunday night. There are no stop sign near us so it is just traffic going by not stop and go traffic. Muirford has stayed with us so she may be able to give an honest opinion about street sounds.
They expressed no concern out street noise when they checked in and if they had I would have advised them to shut the window and turn on the air conditioner. We had guests for 5 days staying right across the hall from them in the front of the house and they slept with the window open every night and said nothing about the traffic sounds.
The exit occured at 11:30 PM.
If the street sounds bothered them that much it is a good thing they weren't here this morning when the workman and machines showed up for the school that is being built diagonally across the street!!!!!!!!!! And guests have never even mentioned anything about that.
Also it is totally residential where we are.
.
First, let me empathically state that I sympathize with you on the discomfort stuff like this causes when it occurs, but...... There is always a but isn't there?
None of us want any guests leaving unhappy or us feeling like we didn't deliver even if its all in the guest's heads.
You've acknowledged yourself that its a busy road, people speed regularly and the only remedy you could have offered was something they may not have wanted to do even if they had brought the issue to your attention. Not everybody likes AC and not all cars, motorcycles, ( especially Harleys! ) or trucks have good mufflers.
And you have an active construction site nearby that the wife would have to cope with all day if she didn't leave the B&B. They could have seen that while checking in and put two and two together along with possibly not being able to sleep.
They could be very light sleepers and honestly tried to get to sleep.
Does your advertising or website accurately and honestly portray your location? I mean, are you presenting this bucolic, quiet, country experience when in reality you're next to a four lane, major arterial with a steady flow of traffic?
I'm not suggesting anything nefarious or deceptive on your part, but could they have misconstrued anything about what they could expect?
The primary issues that make me think something else could be going on is their lack of bringing it up to you even as the guest was departing. The note thing but no verbal complaint or explanation while passing you on the stairs seems weird.
Copperhead brought up all the other financial stuff in the next post, so not much point rehashing them.
Good, solid policies, given to the guest in advance and enforced help all of us, even when all we want is a bad guest to get out of our house and go soemwhere else.
We send a full confirmation packet with each reservation and it is clearly stated that by requesting a reservation here, the guest automatically agrees to abide by all stated policies, especially those relating to cancellations, no-shows, early departures and late arrivals. In the ultra rare cases, its cemented our position with a credit card processor when some crank has tried to get their charges reversed.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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They probably decided there was nothing to keep them busy for 4 days and figured they would leave and get on their way to their next destination. If they use something bad against the Inn than you won't charge them.
.
Thanks for reminding me GeorgiaGirl,
To retroactively charge them if they go write you a bad review is a real risky move. The guest would then undoubtedly challenge the charge and the CC processor would likely back them up and reverse it.
You're either enforcing your policy at the moment something happens or you're not. It would look like punishment for the review and open a whole new can of worms for you.
If you're satisfied just to have them gone and can do without the dough, then I'd get in some licks and venting here and put this baby to bed in a once you feel better.
 

GeorgiaGirl

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I also wanted to mention that since they saw you and didn't say anything to you, you know they knew what they were doing was wrong!
 

JeannineIrish

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First question, is there road noise at your place and could they hear it in the room they chose?
Second, did they express any concerns while being checked in about road noise either real or imagined by them?
What time did this exit occur?
Has any other guest ever been disturbed by road noise to your knowledge?
A couple of big red flags pop up for me. Unless you are located in a fly-in only location miles from the closest road, no reasonable person can expect total silence and no vehicle traffic passing your place.
Are you next to a truck stop, major highway or something?
Is it mostly residential where you are?
We as innkeepers have to get over this fear of bad reviews. It is blackmail that we are doing to ourselves and some of the public has caught on and extorting refunds, discounts, no fee cancellations, etc. from us because of it. I curse those damn hotels.com commercials that went down that road!
I hope you'll answer some of these questions as its a good topic worthy of more discussion..
We are located on a 4 lane road that is one of the main arteries into the city, even though we are in the city. The speed limit is 25 but everyone goes 40-45. At night there is some traffic but it is more like a whoos-whoos. This was a Sunday night. There are no stop sign near us so it is just traffic going by not stop and go traffic. Muirford has stayed with us so she may be able to give an honest opinion about street sounds.
They expressed no concern out street noise when they checked in and if they had I would have advised them to shut the window and turn on the air conditioner. We had guests for 5 days staying right across the hall from them in the front of the house and they slept with the window open every night and said nothing about the traffic sounds.
The exit occured at 11:30 PM.
If the street sounds bothered them that much it is a good thing they weren't here this morning when the workman and machines showed up for the school that is being built diagonally across the street!!!!!!!!!! And guests have never even mentioned anything about that.
Also it is totally residential where we are.
.
First, let me empathically state that I sympathize with you on the discomfort stuff like this causes when it occurs, but...... There is always a but isn't there?
None of us want any guests leaving unhappy or us feeling like we didn't deliver even if its all in the guest's heads.
You've acknowledged yourself that its a busy road, people speed regularly and the only remedy you could have offered was something they may not have wanted to do even if they had brought the issue to your attention. Not everybody likes AC and not all cars, motorcycles, ( especially Harleys! ) or trucks have good mufflers.
And you have an active construction site nearby that the wife would have to cope with all day if she didn't leave the B&B. They could have seen that while checking in and put two and two together along with possibly not being able to sleep.
They could be very light sleepers and honestly tried to get to sleep.
Does your advertising or website accurately and honestly portray your location? I mean, are you presenting this bucolic, quiet, country experience when in reality you're next to a four lane, major arterial with a steady flow of traffic?
I'm not suggesting anything nefarious or deceptive on your part, but could they have misconstrued anything about what they could expect?
The primary issues that make me think something else could be going on is their lack of bringing it up to you even as the guest was departing. The note thing but no verbal complaint or explanation while passing you on the stairs seems weird.
Copperhead brought up all the other financial stuff in the next post, so not much point rehashing them.
Good, solid policies, given to the guest in advance and enforced help all of us, even when all we want is a bad guest to get out of our house and go soemwhere else.
We send a full confirmation packet with each reservation and it is clearly stated that by requesting a reservation here, the guest automatically agrees to abide by all stated policies, especially those relating to cancellations, no-shows, early departures and late arrivals. In the ultra rare cases, its cemented our position with a credit card processor when some crank has tried to get their charges reversed.
.
We say that we are in New Haven (hello city), one and a half miles from the center of campus. Yale is not a rural campus. New Haven has 120,000 people living in it. We are not even the burbs much less the country. We are not misrepresenting anything.
This guy is a golfer. Most golfers I know like to stay in hotels when they travel. Maybe he was trying to appease the wife by staying in a B & B. Anyway in 10 years of operation we are not worried about losing one customer.
 

JeannineIrish

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They probably decided there was nothing to keep them busy for 4 days and figured they would leave and get on their way to their next destination. If they use something bad against the Inn than you won't charge them.
.
Thanks for reminding me GeorgiaGirl,
To retroactively charge them if they go write you a bad review is a real risky move. The guest would then undoubtedly challenge the charge and the CC processor would likely back them up and reverse it.
You're either enforcing your policy at the moment something happens or you're not. It would look like punishment for the review and open a whole new can of worms for you.
If you're satisfied just to have them gone and can do without the dough, then I'd get in some licks and venting here and put this baby to bed in a once you feel better.
.
In a way I am glad that they left. I wouldn't have wanted to try and make them happy for four days if they really didn't want to be here. There's a lot of other people that do want to be here and they are our reward. OK I've vented.
 

mooseberry

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They should have told you that hey were leaving and were unhappy.
However, don't worry about the review. I would definately charge them. You have to clean the room or pay someone to do it....besides that, if you would have been asleep when they left you might thought that they just left early in the AM.
Charge them.
 

muirford

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Hi Jeannine - good to hear your voice again! Although sorry to hear about your problem. I feel your pain about the street noise. We are on a busy corner for a small town. For most of our guests it is no problem, but we do provide white noise options through the clock/radio and extra sound insulating panes in some of the windows. We also note on our website which rooms are not on the street, so guests can make appropriate choices. If someone calls and is concerned, I try to help them make the best decision for them and sometimes I suggest they try one of the B&Bs more in the country.
We have had a negative review concerning the noise from a guest who made no mention of the noise while here, who was in an inside room and who slept with the windows open. We used the management response to address the issue.
I don't see your decision about charging for the stay as one of enforcing your policies but more of an issue of how you deal with a customer complaint. Every hotelier has the ability to comp or discount for a customer who's unhappy - sometimes even for guests who don't deserve it because they're unhappy, whining ingrates. I have done that - it doesn't guarantee a positive review but honestly, I sleep better at night for it knowing that I dealt with it the best way I could.
For what it's worth, I don't think your place is particularly noisy and I'm pretty sure our room faced the street. But I'm kinda used to it!
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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They probably decided there was nothing to keep them busy for 4 days and figured they would leave and get on their way to their next destination. If they use something bad against the Inn than you won't charge them.
.
Thanks for reminding me GeorgiaGirl,
To retroactively charge them if they go write you a bad review is a real risky move. The guest would then undoubtedly challenge the charge and the CC processor would likely back them up and reverse it.
You're either enforcing your policy at the moment something happens or you're not. It would look like punishment for the review and open a whole new can of worms for you.
If you're satisfied just to have them gone and can do without the dough, then I'd get in some licks and venting here and put this baby to bed in a once you feel better.
.
In a way I am glad that they left. I wouldn't have wanted to try and make them happy for four days if they really didn't want to be here. There's a lot of other people that do want to be here and they are our reward. OK I've vented.
.
"OK I've vented."
There you go, now doesn't that feel better?
The main reason I asked so many probing questions is because we had a similar situation arise and it really hurt at the time to have our pride and joy rejected so summarily by this guest.
A few years back, we get a nice reservation from what appeared to be a nice guy and his partner for during the height of our busiest month of the year.
I must have traded a dozen emails with this guy and they all were very friendly and revealed a lot of excitement from him about coming and staying here. Spent hours answering all his questions. And I mean his only, because he never signed the emails with both he and his partner's name just his. Never had a second thought about it.
In hindsight, and when we look at some of our problem child guests its usually the one of the two that really wanted to stay elsewhere and got bullied into the other's choice or whatever that gives us problems because they just can't hide or drop their displeasure.
So they show up to check in and before they even enter the house, the other guy first starts moaning about the warm weather and then asks about the TV in the room. "I'm sorry, but we don't offer TVs in all of our rooms and so and so didn't choose one of the rooms with a TV in it, but there is a nice big TV in our living room for you to enjoy" Then he starts in one me about the A/C in the room and none of it in a good tone in the slightest. "I'm sorry, but the room so and so chose is one of our rooms that doesn't have A/C in it." ( It sure as hell does now! ) "Our home is a true adobe hacienda with 18" thick walls and once we go inside, you'll be amazed at how much cooler it is"
Still hasn't even stepped into the house yet.
We go inside and before he even takes two steps in, I get the "Well, this just isn't going to work" and the foot stomp. The gentlemen I had all the dealings with is trying to be diplomatic and convince his partner that it will be fine. But even my explanation that once the sun goes down here, the temperature driops about 30 degrees within a few hours wasn't going over at all. I take them to the room and its fine in there, but this guy just isn't budging.
I offer to make a few calls to some colleagues and he starts hammering me how I misrepresented the place to his darling little mouse of a boyfriend. As I'm calling around, I ask for their confirmation packet and show him both the room description, its amenities and our other policies.
"Well, how much is this going to cost us if we leave?" You are responsible for the entire stay even in the event of an early departure. "Well, we never really checked in"
Oh, the semantics argument.
Here, if you come through those gates and park, you're checked in.
So, I can only get them a room at our most closely allied colleague's place who has A/C and TVs in all the rooms and warn the colleague to be very careful with these two. I later found out they were one of the biggest headaches they ever had.
After they left, I took a thermometer into the room and it read 74 degrees and it was 92 outside at 5:30pm the hottest hour of the day here. Hardly, intolerable.
Even though we normally don't run guest's CC until check out, that day I had several check outs to do and ran their deposit that morning. About an hour after they left, I reversed the charges, wnet in the yard and did my primal scream therapy "Good riddance!"
Before their four day was even over at the colleague's place, I get a phone call from our local BBB office with a complaint filed against us and a nasty email from them that we were trying to rip them off by keeping their deposit. They wasted an entire afternoon of a four day "vacation" bending someone's ear at the BBB and writing this tirade to us. I gently informed them that the deposit charge had been reversed and their next check of their CC account should reflect that.
So we're out $650.00, have a bogus complaint with the local BBB on our record and the room stood empty for the entire time.
Looking back, we're as glad as you are to not have had them here and we got over the lost revenue.
The really creepy part is that our website counter shows IP adresses, city, ISP, etc. of visitors and these two must have come back to our website 50 times over the next two months. In fact, two years later, they still drop in to our website.
As far as the fear of bad reviews goes, I dare anybody like that to go write one, because they stick out like a sore thumb against all great ones and it sends a message to other nutjobs like that to pick somewhere else to make everybody miserable at.
I've always been convinced there is some value in an occassional bad review. With all the gilding of the lily by owners on sites like TA, an occassional nutcase does us honest operators a favor by making all our good reviews look even more credible.
 

seashanty

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i am so sorry this happened!
and since they saw you while leaving, at least one of the two knew you were up and should have spoken to you. i am surprised they didn't come to you and tell you they were bothered by noise to ask for suggestions or if there was perhaps another room to move to ~ instead of leaving.
to leave at that hour - i do wonder where they were going to stay?
 

SweetiePie

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Just a reminder, the reason they give for leaving isn't always the real reason they are doing so. Sometimes it is just an excuse.
I only had this happen to me one time on a multiple day stay. It was a corporate exec who was planning a romantic getaway for his wife. They stayed one night and snuck out in the morning. As I recall, they didn't even give an excuse but my guess is the wife just didn't like it for some reason. Perhaps she was just used to fancier digs, I don't know.
Payment was not an issue since they had pre-paid and they did not make an issue of it later.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Just a reminder, the reason they give for leaving isn't always the real reason they are doing so. Sometimes it is just an excuse.
I only had this happen to me one time on a multiple day stay. It was a corporate exec who was planning a romantic getaway for his wife. They stayed one night and snuck out in the morning. As I recall, they didn't even give an excuse but my guess is the wife just didn't like it for some reason. Perhaps she was just used to fancier digs, I don't know.
Payment was not an issue since they had pre-paid and they did not make an issue of it later..
SP,
I'm leaning more to your explanation than anything. They could have had issues even before leaving home and realized they just weren't gonna make it four days together. The "noise" issue could have just been a convenient excuse that saved them some face in their own heads.
It doesn't happen very often at all, but we can kind of tell when a couple is
"working" on their marraige on a vacation and it isn't going that well.
The fact that they never confronted their innkeeper with their complaint or stated even in the note, "We're not paying" leads me to believe that they probably would not have challenged being charged for the entire stay.
We once had a second party reservation who didn't bother to notice our location on the Google map on the reservation page and when he called, we figured he was lost.
Nope, he was just telling us that he didn't want to stay outside of downtown and go right ahead and collect the full amount.
 

wendydk

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I agree with SweetiePie.
Sometimes guests visit a B&B in order to repair a damaged relationship. Chances are pretty good that they had been arguing and just used the noise excuse in order to a) not have to explain themselves and b) not have to pay for the remainder of the stay.
If noise was really the issue, I think they would have stayed until morning and complained about it, seriously. If noise complaints are not common for you, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it.
 

JeannineIrish

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Hi Jeannine - good to hear your voice again! Although sorry to hear about your problem. I feel your pain about the street noise. We are on a busy corner for a small town. For most of our guests it is no problem, but we do provide white noise options through the clock/radio and extra sound insulating panes in some of the windows. We also note on our website which rooms are not on the street, so guests can make appropriate choices. If someone calls and is concerned, I try to help them make the best decision for them and sometimes I suggest they try one of the B&Bs more in the country.
We have had a negative review concerning the noise from a guest who made no mention of the noise while here, who was in an inside room and who slept with the windows open. We used the management response to address the issue.
I don't see your decision about charging for the stay as one of enforcing your policies but more of an issue of how you deal with a customer complaint. Every hotelier has the ability to comp or discount for a customer who's unhappy - sometimes even for guests who don't deserve it because they're unhappy, whining ingrates. I have done that - it doesn't guarantee a positive review but honestly, I sleep better at night for it knowing that I dealt with it the best way I could.
For what it's worth, I don't think your place is particularly noisy and I'm pretty sure our room faced the street. But I'm kinda used to it!.
Thanks Jeanne,
Good to hear from you. Later today I will put out a post as to why I've been away so long. But most of it is that we have been very busy and when I have a little time I try and not do B & B type stuff like being on the forum. But all you guys are great.
Our website does explain where each of the rooms is located. Being in the city I feel that I don't have to emphasize city or street sounds on our website.
 
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