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Paradise

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This morning we went in to clean a guest room. The guests are with us for 7 nights & there are 2 parents & a 4yo. Yesterday the father asked me if we had bed bugs?!? Of course, I we DO NOT & I reassured him as such. We went on the have a lengthy conversation about how we are in the tropics & have mosquitos year round & sometimes folks get heat rash or other allergic reactions which cause "bumps." He said that his child had 3 bites on him, but that neither he nor his wife had any bites (they are all sleeping in the same king sized bed). He also told me that he "checked all round & the mattress" & didn't find any bugs.We discussed how they did not choose another property to stay at based upon an online review which stated that the other property had bed bugs. I talked about how difficult the internet can be as people could post something like that without any proof & how it can then be very damaging to the small business owner.
Today when we entered their room to clean it the box spring was in shreds underneath the bed on one side. Pieces of the fabric were torn away & what remained was literally shredded & hanging down. Moreover, the quilt had a large (one foot wide x one foot long) pink stain. AND, there was pen writing (again in a large area) on TWO walls, which could not be cleaned off, but required PAINTING!
We have not yet seen these guests since we were in their room as they have gone off for the day. They are supposed to be with us for 3 more days.
Let me also note that we DO live in fear of things written on TA as so many guests DO base their bookings on this website & unfortunately we have a very large mortgage & thus can't afford (literally) to be cavalier about what can be written there.
My current plan is to let them know that there is wet paint on the walls when they return & to let them know that we had to paint the walls as we found pen writing on them while cleaning & to see if they own up... Husband does NOT want to get into it with them for fear that they will run straight to their computer & blast all sorts of lies (i.e. perhaps about "bedbugs?!?") on TA, etc. & feels that we would (likely true) lose more revenue by confronting the guests.
I also am considering letting them know that we took off the quilt to try to remove the big pink stain before it set in & to ask if they might know that the stain consisted of as I am having difficulty removing it & perhaps if I could identify the source it would help (again, leaving it hanging...).
Thoughts?
 

Country Girl

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Yikes! IMVHO you need to address all the issues with them regardless of what you think they might write about you on TA. Take a deep breath first and then calmly discuss each issue. Perhaps you could offer their child some crayons and paper and put a less expensive bedspread on during their stay. However, the box spring is a whole other issue. They must certainly pay for the damage they caused. That is totally inexcusable. If they do give you a negative review you have a chance to counter it with the facts. If you have plenty of positive reviews most people will see right through a negative one. Good luck.
 

gillumhouse

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I think I would have taken photos of EVERYTHING!!! I would NOT have painted over the pen marks until AFTER they left. The photos of all the damage would be your eveidence to back you up on the damages you should charge. The walls although aggrevating is small stuff, but the damage to the box spring is inexcusable. The quilt should also go under the crap happens - but the box spring, no. That was deliberate. They were "looking" for the bed bugs - I would bet that is why they did it.
Too late to close the barn door on this one, but I would suggest to never, ever have a conversation with a guest about the damage a TA review can do to a small B & B. They have been given the tools for blackmail now. I would go back and take the photos of the box spring if you have not "fixed" that also. Good luck. The kid still has 3 more days to "decorate" your walls for you......
 

Paradise

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Thank you for the input. I did take photos of the quilt/walls/box spring (tho dark under the bed). However, the issue with even bringing up the damage is that they can surely deny it all.
Good reminder never to discuss TA w/guests as you just never know.. I think he is smart enough to have figured out the power of the internet on his own, but appreciate the feedback. Thanks for your replies.
 

gillumhouse

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Thank you for the input. I did take photos of the quilt/walls/box spring (tho dark under the bed). However, the issue with even bringing up the damage is that they can surely deny it all.
Good reminder never to discuss TA w/guests as you just never know.. I think he is smart enough to have figured out the power of the internet on his own, but appreciate the feedback. Thanks for your replies..
I do not believe an innkeeper is going to rent a room with a shredded box spring, stained quilt, and "the writing on the wall" - (sorry, could not help myself). I hope the photos have a time/date stamp. And has been stated, let them post - you give a management response in a calm and dignfied tone stating facts. And that is if they even DID post a nasty....
 

Morticia

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Publish and be damned.
You cannot live in fear of bad reviews. Someone who you think had a marvelous time could just as easily hit you with a bad review. If you are going to cower in your owners' qtrs everytime something goes wrong, you may as well sell up now. As someone said to me the other day about cancellations...the sooner you stand up for yourself the better you'll feel and the easier it will become. (BTW, HUGE mortgage here, too. LOTS of competition.)
The guests need to know about the wet paint or YOU may be paying for THEIR stained CLOTHING. If you have a backup coverlet for the bed, put that on and mention the other one needs to be cleaned and do they know what was spilled on it to help the 'dry cleaner' get the stain out? (Implying charges may be in the offing.) Yes they can deny it all. 'It was like that when we checked in.'
As for the shredded bottom of the boxspring, all I can say is you'll need to buy some cheesecloth and staple it back on the bottom.
These folks are bedbug phobic.
I've seen kids walk in here absolutely covered in welts from bug bites and I hope that their parents don't show up in the morning and say, 'Look, she got those HERE.' Especially as I saw the kid come in like that. Some kids are more susceptible to mosquitoes and other bug bites.
 

Joey Camb

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Charge them for the damage definately TA be dammed if they did post then you can calmly reply exactly what condition the room was in and that you are happy to supply photographs. Cos non of that dammage is cheap to repair and you shouldn't have to take it out of your pocket. Also if I or anyone I knew had a child did something like that I would be right down offering to pay and they just left it? accidents happen ie pen left on bedspread when you were in the shower and you came back to find you kid had done it but to just leave it drives me mad as if it is dealt with right away there is a chance to fix it left to dry there is much less chance.
 

EmptyNest

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Fear of TripAdvisor....NO WAY...you CANNOT be controlled by the threat of a bad review!!!!
As Mort said, if you are, you may as well put your business up for sale now. These people have destroyed your property and must be confronted on it lest they think they can get away with it again somewhere else.
Tearing up the mattress and not charging them is NOT an option. Even if they deny it, they will still know that you really know they did it!!! I would be tempted to tell them to find somewhere else for the last 3 days.
Do you have a damage policy in place? If not, now is definitely the time to post one! Good luck. I don't envy you but you must deal with it.
 

birdwatcher

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You should most definantely not let yourselves be blackmailed with TA-thats giving TA and the horrible destroying guest way to much power.
I would not have painted that wall and would have brought it up the guest as in "i see you have an artist in the family!" and see where that leads then confont them with the whole mess. I would charge them accordingly even if you had the paint-your time is precious and to boot it may eliminate these guests going someplace else and doing the same thing.
 

Banana

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Thank you for the input. I did take photos of the quilt/walls/box spring (tho dark under the bed). However, the issue with even bringing up the damage is that they can surely deny it all.
Good reminder never to discuss TA w/guests as you just never know.. I think he is smart enough to have figured out the power of the internet on his own, but appreciate the feedback. Thanks for your replies..
I agree with everyone else - you can not let an inconsiderate, disrespectful guest rule how you do your business. A normal person would have told you of the damage and offered to pay. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this...
 

Paradise

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Thank you for your replies. Re: TA we are listed as #1 with many good review & have on the rare occasion posted a manger's reply in response to "critiques."
The family returned just now. I went down to let them know that while cleaning their room we found pen writing on two of the walls & painted it. I told them that the pen is still bleeding through & thus we'll need to do a second coat but wanted them to be aware of the wet paint.
They carried on & made a joke, that it must have been the mom because she likes drawing on walls.
I then said that there was a large pink stain on the quilt that we were having trouble getting out. I explained that there was now a different quilt on the bed because I couldn't remove the pink splotch & that perhaps they might know the source so that I could attempt to remove the stain with something else in my arsenal.
They again acted perplexed & then said that it must be mom's b-suit (which I never would have considered) although, they said they hadn't noticed anything & she wasn't really on the bed with it on. I calmly explained as I took out my phone that I could show them the photo so that maybe they might know what it was. Then, while showing them the picture of the big, pink stain I looked down at mom's sarong which had identical stains. I said, "oh, the pink stain looks just like that." The dad then replied, "oh, well, I'm sure that it will come out." I said that I was having difficulty & that I couldn't use bleach as it was a colored/patterned quilt. They half heartedly apologized & then went right into asking about their ride on Weds. to the airport for their 7am flight.
By that point I wasn't sure how to bring up the box spring as I was trying to smile while steam was shooting out of my ears..
 

Banana

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Thank you for your replies. Re: TA we are listed as #1 with many good review & have on the rare occasion posted a manger's reply in response to "critiques."
The family returned just now. I went down to let them know that while cleaning their room we found pen writing on two of the walls & painted it. I told them that the pen is still bleeding through & thus we'll need to do a second coat but wanted them to be aware of the wet paint.
They carried on & made a joke, that it must have been the mom because she likes drawing on walls.
I then said that there was a large pink stain on the quilt that we were having trouble getting out. I explained that there was now a different quilt on the bed because I couldn't remove the pink splotch & that perhaps they might know the source so that I could attempt to remove the stain with something else in my arsenal.
They again acted perplexed & then said that it must be mom's b-suit (which I never would have considered) although, they said they hadn't noticed anything & she wasn't really on the bed with it on. I calmly explained as I took out my phone that I could show them the photo so that maybe they might know what it was. Then, while showing them the picture of the big, pink stain I looked down at mom's sarong which had identical stains. I said, "oh, the pink stain looks just like that." The dad then replied, "oh, well, I'm sure that it will come out." I said that I was having difficulty & that I couldn't use bleach as it was a colored/patterned quilt. They half heartedly apologized & then went right into asking about their ride on Weds. to the airport for their 7am flight.
By that point I wasn't sure how to bring up the box spring as I was trying to smile while steam was shooting out of my ears...
I agree with everyone else - you can not let an inconsiderate, disrespectful guest rule how you do your business. A normal person would have told you of the damage and offered to pay. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this...
 

Banana

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Thank you for your replies. Re: TA we are listed as #1 with many good review & have on the rare occasion posted a manger's reply in response to "critiques."
The family returned just now. I went down to let them know that while cleaning their room we found pen writing on two of the walls & painted it. I told them that the pen is still bleeding through & thus we'll need to do a second coat but wanted them to be aware of the wet paint.
They carried on & made a joke, that it must have been the mom because she likes drawing on walls.
I then said that there was a large pink stain on the quilt that we were having trouble getting out. I explained that there was now a different quilt on the bed because I couldn't remove the pink splotch & that perhaps they might know the source so that I could attempt to remove the stain with something else in my arsenal.
They again acted perplexed & then said that it must be mom's b-suit (which I never would have considered) although, they said they hadn't noticed anything & she wasn't really on the bed with it on. I calmly explained as I took out my phone that I could show them the photo so that maybe they might know what it was. Then, while showing them the picture of the big, pink stain I looked down at mom's sarong which had identical stains. I said, "oh, the pink stain looks just like that." The dad then replied, "oh, well, I'm sure that it will come out." I said that I was having difficulty & that I couldn't use bleach as it was a colored/patterned quilt. They half heartedly apologized & then went right into asking about their ride on Weds. to the airport for their 7am flight.
By that point I wasn't sure how to bring up the box spring as I was trying to smile while steam was shooting out of my ears...
Oh my gosh...your update makes it even worse. For them to not take that opportunity to admit to the damage, apologize, and offer reimbursement makes them even bigger jerks. As they check out and sign the charge that includes the cost of damage, take that time to tell them what the additional amount is, and offer no apology. They certainly didn't.
 

Samster

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Am I the only one that thinks these guests should be asked to leave after causing this much damage?
I would definitely have taken all kinds of photos of the damages when it was discovered. Then, I would have confronted the guests when they returned.
And, living in the Deep South of the U.S. where I am usually the one who finds the skeeters when no one else gets bitten....come on!! Not to mention how fire ants will find my ankles and no one else's in the same place at the same time.
Sounds like they knew what they had done or were going to do and were laying some groundwork to intimidate you.
You can't live in fear of a bad review when someone has so obviously caused you monetary damages. I would give them the boot.
 

Paradise

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Thank you for your replies. Re: TA we are listed as #1 with many good review & have on the rare occasion posted a manger's reply in response to "critiques."
The family returned just now. I went down to let them know that while cleaning their room we found pen writing on two of the walls & painted it. I told them that the pen is still bleeding through & thus we'll need to do a second coat but wanted them to be aware of the wet paint.
They carried on & made a joke, that it must have been the mom because she likes drawing on walls.
I then said that there was a large pink stain on the quilt that we were having trouble getting out. I explained that there was now a different quilt on the bed because I couldn't remove the pink splotch & that perhaps they might know the source so that I could attempt to remove the stain with something else in my arsenal.
They again acted perplexed & then said that it must be mom's b-suit (which I never would have considered) although, they said they hadn't noticed anything & she wasn't really on the bed with it on. I calmly explained as I took out my phone that I could show them the photo so that maybe they might know what it was. Then, while showing them the picture of the big, pink stain I looked down at mom's sarong which had identical stains. I said, "oh, the pink stain looks just like that." The dad then replied, "oh, well, I'm sure that it will come out." I said that I was having difficulty & that I couldn't use bleach as it was a colored/patterned quilt. They half heartedly apologized & then went right into asking about their ride on Weds. to the airport for their 7am flight.
By that point I wasn't sure how to bring up the box spring as I was trying to smile while steam was shooting out of my ears...
Oh my gosh...your update makes it even worse. For them to not take that opportunity to admit to the damage, apologize, and offer reimbursement makes them even bigger jerks. As they check out and sign the charge that includes the cost of damage, take that time to tell them what the additional amount is, and offer no apology. They certainly didn't.
.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
We actually take a 50% deposit at the time of booking & payment in full for the balance is due at checkin. Thus, they have already paid for their stay.
Husband doesn't want conflict as they are here 3 more days & it makes it so uncomfortable for us in our own house...
Makes it really difficult to be nice to them now.
Thanks again for the responses.
 

Morticia

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Thank you for your replies. Re: TA we are listed as #1 with many good review & have on the rare occasion posted a manger's reply in response to "critiques."
The family returned just now. I went down to let them know that while cleaning their room we found pen writing on two of the walls & painted it. I told them that the pen is still bleeding through & thus we'll need to do a second coat but wanted them to be aware of the wet paint.
They carried on & made a joke, that it must have been the mom because she likes drawing on walls.
I then said that there was a large pink stain on the quilt that we were having trouble getting out. I explained that there was now a different quilt on the bed because I couldn't remove the pink splotch & that perhaps they might know the source so that I could attempt to remove the stain with something else in my arsenal.
They again acted perplexed & then said that it must be mom's b-suit (which I never would have considered) although, they said they hadn't noticed anything & she wasn't really on the bed with it on. I calmly explained as I took out my phone that I could show them the photo so that maybe they might know what it was. Then, while showing them the picture of the big, pink stain I looked down at mom's sarong which had identical stains. I said, "oh, the pink stain looks just like that." The dad then replied, "oh, well, I'm sure that it will come out." I said that I was having difficulty & that I couldn't use bleach as it was a colored/patterned quilt. They half heartedly apologized & then went right into asking about their ride on Weds. to the airport for their 7am flight.
By that point I wasn't sure how to bring up the box spring as I was trying to smile while steam was shooting out of my ears...
Oh my gosh...your update makes it even worse. For them to not take that opportunity to admit to the damage, apologize, and offer reimbursement makes them even bigger jerks. As they check out and sign the charge that includes the cost of damage, take that time to tell them what the additional amount is, and offer no apology. They certainly didn't.
.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
We actually take a 50% deposit at the time of booking & payment in full for the balance is due at checkin. Thus, they have already paid for their stay.
Husband doesn't want conflict as they are here 3 more days & it makes it so uncomfortable for us in our own house...
Makes it really difficult to be nice to them now.
Thanks again for the responses.
.
Given they have blown you off for the damages you did bring up, you may wish to have a 'bill' ready for them tomorrow. Cost of replacing the quilt, cost of repairs to the boxspring (I am assuming you meant they tore off the bottom of the boxspring, the fabric that hides the innards and NOT the sides of the boxspring).
If they act surprised by this, keep your cool and explain you cannot rerent the room until the repairs are made. If they continue, offer the quilt to them and directions to the nearest laundromat. Offer them a big sheet of fabric and a staple gun and tell them you won't charge if they make it 'good as new'. Otherwise, these things are not 'normal wear and tear' and they must be made right.
You can do this the day before they check out so there is one day left to deal with them. Sounds like they are pros at manipulation.
We fretted confronting a guest whose kid wet the bed. The parent blew us off but the guy footing the bill paid for a brand new mattress & boxspring.
 

EmptyNest

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Thank you for your replies. Re: TA we are listed as #1 with many good review & have on the rare occasion posted a manger's reply in response to "critiques."
The family returned just now. I went down to let them know that while cleaning their room we found pen writing on two of the walls & painted it. I told them that the pen is still bleeding through & thus we'll need to do a second coat but wanted them to be aware of the wet paint.
They carried on & made a joke, that it must have been the mom because she likes drawing on walls.
I then said that there was a large pink stain on the quilt that we were having trouble getting out. I explained that there was now a different quilt on the bed because I couldn't remove the pink splotch & that perhaps they might know the source so that I could attempt to remove the stain with something else in my arsenal.
They again acted perplexed & then said that it must be mom's b-suit (which I never would have considered) although, they said they hadn't noticed anything & she wasn't really on the bed with it on. I calmly explained as I took out my phone that I could show them the photo so that maybe they might know what it was. Then, while showing them the picture of the big, pink stain I looked down at mom's sarong which had identical stains. I said, "oh, the pink stain looks just like that." The dad then replied, "oh, well, I'm sure that it will come out." I said that I was having difficulty & that I couldn't use bleach as it was a colored/patterned quilt. They half heartedly apologized & then went right into asking about their ride on Weds. to the airport for their 7am flight.
By that point I wasn't sure how to bring up the box spring as I was trying to smile while steam was shooting out of my ears...
Oh my gosh...your update makes it even worse. For them to not take that opportunity to admit to the damage, apologize, and offer reimbursement makes them even bigger jerks. As they check out and sign the charge that includes the cost of damage, take that time to tell them what the additional amount is, and offer no apology. They certainly didn't.
.
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
We actually take a 50% deposit at the time of booking & payment in full for the balance is due at checkin. Thus, they have already paid for their stay.
Husband doesn't want conflict as they are here 3 more days & it makes it so uncomfortable for us in our own house...
Makes it really difficult to be nice to them now.
Thanks again for the responses.
.
DO NOT let them get away with this. If you don't want to say anything else, as Mort said...make a bill with the specific charges and present to them the night before they check out. You have the evidence. Just tell them you will be charging it to their card. If they want to fight it so be it...you have photos.
 

JBloggs

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Take photos in perspective, put a ruler in the photo or your hand to show the width and breadth of the marks or stains, as well. !!
 

Basil Fawlty

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Thank you for the input. I did take photos of the quilt/walls/box spring (tho dark under the bed). However, the issue with even bringing up the damage is that they can surely deny it all.
Good reminder never to discuss TA w/guests as you just never know.. I think he is smart enough to have figured out the power of the internet on his own, but appreciate the feedback. Thanks for your replies..
I agree with everyone else - you can not let an inconsiderate, disrespectful guest rule how you do your business. A normal person would have told you of the damage and offered to pay. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this...
.
Here here!!
Green Cat
 
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