What would you do? Who right?

Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum

Help Support Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum:

TheBeachHouse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
4,398
Reaction score
304
Couple checks in and immediately shows me a screen print of my website on which the room rates are quote. They are last years rates. $20 a night less.
I say, those rates are incorrect. Didn’t you receive a confirmation? Yes, they have a print of that as well. I note that the confirmation was dated last September. The screen print of incor rates was made today.
they then say, but this is your website. Shouldn’t you honor these rates? I note that in order to make the reservation, they had to click on the room rate. But, this page!
fine. We refund them $40. Now I can’t talk to them. I said good morning but that’s all I could manage. I sent them an email of the refund but didn’t mention it.
what would you have done?
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,963
Reaction score
627
Did you check your website rate today BEFORE giving the refund? Could they have done a screenshot of a screenshot? It sounds as if they went to a lot of trouble to dick you out of $40.

I think I would have said, prices change in every industry. Gas & grocery prices change almost daily. This is the rate in 2022, that was the rate in 2021. It is done and I totally understand being civil and that is it. they cheated you and it was a planned cheat from the timing described. Sorry you took the hit.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,768
Reaction score
679
It’s your website. If it’s not up to date, that is your problem. If you were running a sale today, then explain that, but still expect grumpy guests. There are people, Gomez included, who check prices for weeks after buying something to annoy himself that he could have gotten it cheaper.
 

Tom

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
912
Reaction score
52
Hmm ... just checked our website. We just bumped two rooms by $10 and I hadn't made the change. Yikes!
[I just did]
If that happened to me, I would have been embarrassed, but would have pointed out that the invoice and taxes, etc. on the reservation form where the entered their cc was the bill. If they were bitchy about it, I'd probably give them the money, but, way tacky.
 

CSMaine

Active member
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
38
Reaction score
9
Prices are available in the reservation process, so they have to select a dates to find out what the price is for those dates. With variable pricing and yield management, we don't post prices on a webpage. Almost all hotels do it the same way, so people are used to it.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,692
Reaction score
225
Our rates have a + next to them, so that's the LOWEST price it goes, it can always be higher.

Followed by the following disclaimers.... "Rates may vary (including holidays and special events) and discounted rates are based on a minimum two night stay"

I have had people email me for rates. Our policy is we do not provide rates in email, because they are subject to change at any moment. You can look up our rates on our reservation form at any time. Policy #2... if the room is not available, it's priceless. If you call me up and ask me for the rate for this room on the 16th and 17th of July and it's sold out, the answer is "Sorry, but the room is priceless, because we can't sell what we don't have." And we will NOT deviate from that policy.

I've had a few try the last minute cancellation and try to rebook only to find out... that the price has gone up or the conditions have changed. For example, this week we had a 3 night cancellation, but we had an empty night next to it. Well, the new reservations were either for 2 days or 4 days, with no 3 day reservation available.

And two weeks ago, I had a guest request for an extra night on either end of their reservation. When I got the cancellation, I gave them the night and sent them a confirmation and put the rest of the reservation up as 3 nights only. No one to rebook it... it no longer existed.
 

JimBoone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
204
I may not be understanding correctly.

For me:
1] I don't list a static price or price range on the website, in the past when I did, there were always those guests who expected the cheaper price to be available every day, they didn't follow the difference between the tiny room on Tuesday and the large room on Saturday. Some still look at RK or TA without entering a date and think that rate will apply at a different time, that's on them.
2] If a guest makes an actual reservation, they pay a small fee, and we agree on terms and prices. If I later feel the need to change prices, I feel I need to honor the terms and prices that were given when the reservation was made, and the fee charged, that's on me if the price has gone up.
 

TheBeachHouse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
4,398
Reaction score
304
Thanks. We all pretty much agree. We added “prices subject to change.” We already have it on our printed materials. they Check out today so that will be that. We have five rooms. We are paying nearly double for groceries and who knows how much more for your 24 hour air conditioner, so I hope the $40 you got back helps pay for your $36 lobster roll. Whatever. We learned, we got pissed and we had a martini. Life goes on.
 

Momma Smurf

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Messages
1,087
Reaction score
78
Stop listing prices on your website period. Not many folks do anymore. Many of us use dynamic pricing depending upon demand. We can have multiple different rates for the same room in the same week, depending upon when the room is booked. Prices fluctuate all the time. Folks see your rates once they do an availability search.
 

Arks

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
6,373
Reaction score
451
Stop listing prices on your website period.
Amen! Prices should only be shown in one place, on the booking page after they've entered arrival/departure dates. For one thing, that eliminates the possibility that you'll forget to update the rates on some other page on your website, and it eliminates the headache of keeping multiple locations updated.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,768
Reaction score
679
Recommendation: if you only list prices on the booking page make sure your guests don’t have to ‘go back to change dates’ if you’re full on the original dates they entered. Nothing winds me up faster than not being able to find rates unless I enter a date and then having to start all over again if there’s no availability on that date. Show me a calendar I can scroll thru.

We did list a range of rates, top rate so high I was not going to reach it, ever. A note after the range with a link to click for ‘exact rate for your dates’ that took them to the calendar. It’s how my brain works.
 

TheBeachHouse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2013
Messages
4,398
Reaction score
304
Each calendar day has a rate on it. If it’s not available, it says ‘sold.’ Very clear to a shopper. We simply did not talk to these people at all. They left. Website is fixed. husband is over it. I’m still chewing on it and shaking my head. 🤪
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,963
Reaction score
627
I am weird. I show my prices - I set them and that is it for the year. I get phone calls and I cannot remember up/down/up again for one thing. I also like to know without having to book, whether I can afford to stay here. Yes, I understand yield management, I just do not want to raise rates because I can (NOT knocking those who do the yield management prices thing - it just is not me). According to a travel writer/consumer advocate I follow, hotels are getting slammed in surveys of satisfaction for rates, fees, lack of amenities, and cleanliness with the rates & fees being the biggest complaints.
 

dumitru

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
354
Reaction score
53
Location
Dortmund, Germany
Stop listing prices on your website period. Not many folks do anymore.
Wow, I never thought of it this way!
As a consumer, I always appreciate seeing at least the "rack rate", which is often a lot higher than the ones on OTAs.
This tells me if a property is inside or outside my range.
But I also see the issue with displaying a rate... plenty of nasty people looking to take advantage... Good food for thought.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,768
Reaction score
679
Wow, I never thought of it this way!
As a consumer, I always appreciate seeing at least the "rack rate", which is often a lot higher than the ones on OTAs.
This tells me if a property is inside or outside my range.
But I also see the issue with displaying a rate... plenty of nasty people looking to take advantage... Good food for thought.
Yes. I like to know if I can afford something before I spend a lot of time looking.
 

Arks

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
6,373
Reaction score
451
Yes. I like to know if I can afford something before I spend a lot of time looking
If I'm doing it right, the online photos do the the talking: expensive. Then when they enter their dates I think they're pleasantly surprised that the rates are less than expected!
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,768
Reaction score
679
If I'm doing it right, the online photos do the the talking: expensive. Then when they enter their dates I think they're pleasantly surprised that the rates are less than expected!
If I thought ‘expensive’ from the photos, I wouldn’t get to the prices to be surprised. Unless I had to be in that location.

Funny thing, I just went to look at the website of the castle we stayed at. The room photos screamed ‘cheap.’ The room I stayed in looked nothing like the photo. I guess even castle owners can’t afford a professional photographer when they make updates to the rooms.
 

dumitru

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
354
Reaction score
53
Location
Dortmund, Germany
Funny thing, I just went to look at the website of the castle we stayed at. The room photos screamed ‘cheap.’ The room I stayed in looked nothing like the photo. I guess even castle owners can’t afford a professional photographer when they make updates to the rooms.

In the last 2 years I sent about 500 emails to properties with really bad photos (circa 2000) in a 2-hour driving range from my house. I offered them free photos (I already had a portfolio to show), in exchange for experience.
I received about 10 interested replies, which lead to 4 photo sessions. In the end only one hotel is using my free photos.

I think that many times it's not about being able to afford something... Maybe it's about not having priorities straight?
 

JimBoone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
1,157
Reaction score
204
I think that many times it's not about being able to afford something... Maybe it's about not having priorities straight?
For a different view. I follow some photographers on Facebook that do beautiful work, no doubt that they could improve on my iPhone photos, on the other hand, I painted the walls, I build the furniture on site, the wife made the curtains, everything here is DIY. I tend to wonder if I would be deceiving our guests if professional photos made my rooms look too classy.
 

Arks

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
6,373
Reaction score
451
Maybe it's about not having priorities straight?
Exactly. And not wanting to go to the trouble to update the website, or in some cases the expense to pay someone to do it. They don't realize good photos can pay for themselves many times over.
 
Top