What is your Spiel?

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The Farmers Daughter

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2009
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When you are speaking with a customer who has called to cancel a reservation, and they are no longer within the cancellation timeframe.
How do you break the news that they will be owing you money. Are you straightforward? Do you sugarcoat it?
Do you have a process or a Spiel?

(Spiel is basically a speech made to convince someone of something....if you're not up on your Yiddish)
I'm just kinda curious what everbody else does.
I offer to open up the room immediately and "will do everything I can to fill the room for you".
Exactly the same thing here. Just had a one time repeat who cancelled the last minute in August. I kept her deposit, and she never argued. She just called today and reserved for October, so she must have been OK with it!
It hardly happens anymore because most of my reservations come through on webervations and so even when they cancel it's usually by e-mail and they state that they understand the consequences. It rarely happens anymore because I state on my website, webervations and confirmation letter "Because last minute cancellations greatly affect us, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced."

When it does happen like it did last week with returning guests, I usually am very sensitive sounding and so sorry there are problems they are dealing with. I offer to open up the room immediately and "will do everything I can to fill the room for you". That makes them feel better and usually the conversation ends there.
Edited to add:
Wow, what timing. I just now got a call from a guest to inform me that they have a reservation with us tomorrow night and they won't be able to come. She didn't whine, didn't complain, and didn't ask for her deposit back! I told her I was sorry she won't be able to stay with us and that I would immediately go online to open up her room to see if we could rebook it. I thanked her for calling to let us know so that we didn't stay up waiting for her.
She was appreciative and so was I. I think the fact that we've already taken the deposit helps the situation and because of that I don't now have to have an emotional conversation saying "I'm going to charge you".
Last year I had a call from the road from horse people who were to stay here on their return trip. "I know you will have to charge me for the room but with this rain I think it best to just go on." Lovely guest!!