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What if a guest takes inn property, what to do??

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Tom

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We have the sticky situation where a guest drove home with our umbrella. It was not expensive but was a nice one that we valued. We know they borrowed it because they had been invited to do so when they requested it, but it was missing after they checked out and nowhere to be found. It is not really a guest umbrella but is kept by the front door for the innkeeper to use when it's pouring rain, and we have to go outside to help guests park or get oriented. It was clearly marked with the name of the inn. The guest lives 100 miles away from us.
So what should we do (choose one): (1) forget about it and buy another one. (2) send them a polite email asking if they did indeed take it home by mistake, and asking them to either return it by mail or the next time they visit OR. (3) phone them about it. What would YOU do?
This issue is complicated by the fact that the guests already have posted very favorable reviews for us in several places. We don't want to upset them in any way.
Thanks for your advice.
 

greyswan

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I'd buy another one... it will be a great marketing tool that they will use over and over again1
 

scrambled_eggs

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I would ask them for it back. It is not their property. I've had guests walk off with room keys, books, silverwear. Most will call when they get home and let me know they accidently took something and mail it back. I'm sure if you called or emailed them a nice note they would be happy to mail it back to you.
 

seashanty

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is it just marked on the handle or when opened does it advertise your place? if it does, that would be awesome each time they use it!
i'd send them an email asking if they took home the umbrella by mistake and, if so, reminding them to return the 'inn umbrella' as soon as they can ... or to bring it back when they stay with you again.
assume it was an oversight (and i am betting that it was) and they'll send it back.
i had a crocheted throw in a guest room that went missing and came back in the mail. odd thing to pack, but ...
let us know what happens.
 

Alibi Ike

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You have to weigh how important that umbrella is to you. Most likely they know they have it and it isn't theirs. It'll cost a fortune to mail back unless it is small. We garnered most of our older umbrellas from guests leaving the behind.
If I really wanted the umbrella back I would let them know it's ok to bring it back when they're in the area. And I'd buy some umbrellas for guests to use that I didn't care about. (I did just that over the summer. It saves a lot of grief.)
 

Copperhead

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Buy another and forget about it. I have done just that many times. It would cost more than the umbrella is worth to ship it (since you said it was not expensive).
If you are in an area that rains quite often like I am, purchase some guest umbrellas at the Cheap O store for a few bucks. Tell guests they may borrow them but please return them so they will be there when they return.
I keep OUR golf style umbrellas out of site.
 

gillumhouse

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It was clearly marked with the name of the inn.
I would buy another. If your name is just on the handle even, they will be reminded of your inn every time they use it. I have a couple umbrellas - golf size - on the proch for guests to use. That reminds me, they need to be replaced this year. If I did not have to buy a dozen at a time, I would be getting them with my logo and contact info. One of the down-sides of being small is the lackadollars. Maybe when I get back from the trip....
 

Samster

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I have several golf size umbrellas in both houses that were for guests for just that reason. If they walked, it wouldn't bother me. I actually inherited an umbrella and called the guest & they said to add it to "the collection". :)
Unless this is an umbrella with a silver or carved handle or something like that, I'd just email the guests and say something about how they could return it the next time they stayed with you.
Then, I'd put any other innkeeper special umbrellas in my space & buy a few nondescript ones on sale for the guests to use.
Umbrellas are just one of those things that seem to go to live other places....
 

birdwatcher

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I would buy another unless of course its that important to you. I bet they have it in their car and forgot they had it, it happens all the time plus like everyone said, if your Inns name is on it it will be a reminder of were they had a great time at. If you must have it back tell them its sentimental and pay for it to be returned or have them bring it back when they come for another stay.
Thats a reminder that we will buy some umbrellas when we go to the $ store tomorrow I remember last year...
 

Joey Camb

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We have a box of $2 ones for this reason and if they walk im not heart broken plus we sometimes get them free from conferences (ie the delegates get given one and they don't want to take it home) But if you do ask the to post it or drop it in next time I would sell it as gosh you silly things you packed our brolly or accidentally etc not youve stolen it as if they seem nice it may be they genuinly thought it was for taking ie like when people take branded mugs.
 

Proud Texan

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I'd buy another one... it will be a great marketing tool that they will use over and over again1.
greyswan said:
I'd buy another one... it will be a great marketing tool that they will use over and over again1
Unless they get home and ask themselves, "Where the hell did this come from?"

 

gillumhouse

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I'd buy another one... it will be a great marketing tool that they will use over and over again1.
greyswan said:
I'd buy another one... it will be a great marketing tool that they will use over and over again1
Unless they get home and ask themselves, "Where the hell did this come from?"

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The question will be answered easily - the inn name is on it.
 

egoodell

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You could ask them to bring it back when they return next year....
Riki
 

JBloggs

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Care to share an update Tom? What did you decide to do?
 

Tom

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Care to share an update Tom? What did you decide to do?.
Well ...
As usual, responses on innspiring are diverse. The original post was DW, who used the umbrella on her walks and missed it - it was pouring. I (the worse half, I suppose) purchased it originally (cheap) and was surprised it lasted as long as it did. I said forget it: umbrellas walk, wine glasses break, food is wasted, life goes on. We already replaced it.
But it is an example of how the B&B business intersects with the personal side of sharing your home, and it shows the value of this forum: you can get support for just about any position you could take - very empowering.
 

Alibi Ike

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Care to share an update Tom? What did you decide to do?.
Well ...
As usual, responses on innspiring are diverse. The original post was DW, who used the umbrella on her walks and missed it - it was pouring. I (the worse half, I suppose) purchased it originally (cheap) and was surprised it lasted as long as it did. I said forget it: umbrellas walk, wine glasses break, food is wasted, life goes on. We already replaced it.
But it is an example of how the B&B business intersects with the personal side of sharing your home, and it shows the value of this forum: you can get support for just about any position you could take - very empowering.
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Tom said:
and it shows the value of this forum: you can get support for just about any position you could take - very empowering.
Which is why only I am on here from my place- no sense in both of us gathering ammunition for our own POV!

 

Don Draper

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A guest checked out with DH this morning (paid the invoice but wasn't physically leaving yet), DH asked for his key, guest stated it was in the room, okay.
Two hours later, waiting for new guest to check into that room and realize room key is missing. Check room thoroughly, no key. Call guest who is still in town and they insist they left key in room. Well we don't have it. Well we don't either.
So I lose a key. How can they INSIST they don't have it? If I had it, it would be hanging on the wall where it belongs. But no, no of course I'M always wrong...grr.
 

Alibi Ike

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A guest checked out with DH this morning (paid the invoice but wasn't physically leaving yet), DH asked for his key, guest stated it was in the room, okay.
Two hours later, waiting for new guest to check into that room and realize room key is missing. Check room thoroughly, no key. Call guest who is still in town and they insist they left key in room. Well we don't have it. Well we don't either.
So I lose a key. How can they INSIST they don't have it? If I had it, it would be hanging on the wall where it belongs. But no, no of course I'M always wrong...grr..
When we get arguers, I let them know we DID look, it's not there so if they do find it later on, just mail it to us. But, yes, it IS annoying when they keep insisting they did something they didn't do or vice versa.
I have had guests standing in front of me with the keys in their hands saying they left them in the room. I'll say, 'Well, let me take THOSE and you'll probably find your car keys are still in the room!'
 

Don Draper

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A guest checked out with DH this morning (paid the invoice but wasn't physically leaving yet), DH asked for his key, guest stated it was in the room, okay.
Two hours later, waiting for new guest to check into that room and realize room key is missing. Check room thoroughly, no key. Call guest who is still in town and they insist they left key in room. Well we don't have it. Well we don't either.
So I lose a key. How can they INSIST they don't have it? If I had it, it would be hanging on the wall where it belongs. But no, no of course I'M always wrong...grr..
When we get arguers, I let them know we DID look, it's not there so if they do find it later on, just mail it to us. But, yes, it IS annoying when they keep insisting they did something they didn't do or vice versa.
I have had guests standing in front of me with the keys in their hands saying they left them in the room. I'll say, 'Well, let me take THOSE and you'll probably find your car keys are still in the room!'
.
SHOCKER! Guest got home and found the key in their luggage. Yeah, that's what I thought...
 
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