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What's Your Hurricane Policy?

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happykeeper

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With all the hubbub about the approaching hurricane, I thought I would ask how folks handle nervous guests and altered plans that are the result of real and imagined or potential weather threats.
Last year we had Flossie whip by and this year we have Felica (?) coming in. Historically, we have never had a hurricane hit our area. Felica looks to be on the same track to hit the northeast part of our island as the only other storm known to hit Hawaii Island, in 1871. It will likely be a depression or less. The greatest threat will be storm surge in low lying areas like Waipio Valley.
 

Samster

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To stay out of areas with hurricanes during hurricane season :)
We have more issues with tornadoes here.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay.
 

Morticia

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
 

EmptyNest

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
 

EmptyNest

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
 

Morticia

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
It's a tough situation all around. My fist experience with being charged for an early departure was for a hurricane. The governor of the state declared it an emergency situation and I decided to take my kids and leave. My friend who decided to stay was handed sheets of plywood, nails & a hammer to board up the windows on the cottage she was in.
As it turned out, it blew out to sea. But who wants to take a chance with their kids like that?
Anyway, I was charged for the full stay and I never went back to that place again. My thinking on that one was if the governor declared an emergency, I should leave. The hotel's take was that I booked the room so I was paying for it.
So, what that means to us is we lose when it the weather is bad in the winter. We don't charge guests who cancel due to not being able to drive here. We're not a ski resort where they should be expecting snowy conditions.
I like the phrasing, I'll probably use it, but we also won't charge.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
It's a tough situation all around. My fist experience with being charged for an early departure was for a hurricane. The governor of the state declared it an emergency situation and I decided to take my kids and leave. My friend who decided to stay was handed sheets of plywood, nails & a hammer to board up the windows on the cottage she was in.
As it turned out, it blew out to sea. But who wants to take a chance with their kids like that?
Anyway, I was charged for the full stay and I never went back to that place again. My thinking on that one was if the governor declared an emergency, I should leave. The hotel's take was that I booked the room so I was paying for it.
So, what that means to us is we lose when it the weather is bad in the winter. We don't charge guests who cancel due to not being able to drive here. We're not a ski resort where they should be expecting snowy conditions.
I like the phrasing, I'll probably use it, but we also won't charge.
.
I agree with you that if the governor declares an emergency situation, then get out of there and you should not be charged for your room!
 

Breakfast Diva

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
.
catlady said:
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
Since we have a lot of aspirings on this forum, I think this information is very valuable. An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies. I certainly have no problem with each individual making their own policies. The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy. Also, the initial scenario was that the road were open and not risking life and limb by getting there.
Since we have no other outside income, our policies may seem stricter, but we have it very clearly spelled out on our cancellation policy that since we are a small B&B, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. Have I varied from it? Absolutely, but then it's my choice.
 

JBloggs

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I have been in one hurricane. Could not fly out as planned back across the country - did the hotel offer free rooms? Nope. We were stranded, we paid to be stuck there. Had we cancelled they would have let us off, in light of the situation. But there was no prewarning in that situation, it was in NJ and they even shut down the subways in NYC (Where I was).
 

Country Girl

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When guests can't make it here due to weather conditions we do not charge them. 100% of the time that has happened they've rebooked.
 

EmptyNest

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
.
catlady said:
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
Since we have a lot of aspirings on this forum, I think this information is very valuable. An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies. I certainly have no problem with each individual making their own policies. The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy. Also, the initial scenario was that the road were open and not risking life and limb by getting there.
Since we have no other outside income, our policies may seem stricter, but we have it very clearly spelled out on our cancellation policy that since we are a small B&B, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. Have I varied from it? Absolutely, but then it's my choice.
.
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
 

JBloggs

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
.
catlady said:
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
Since we have a lot of aspirings on this forum, I think this information is very valuable. An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies. I certainly have no problem with each individual making their own policies. The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy. Also, the initial scenario was that the road were open and not risking life and limb by getting there.
Since we have no other outside income, our policies may seem stricter, but we have it very clearly spelled out on our cancellation policy that since we are a small B&B, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. Have I varied from it? Absolutely, but then it's my choice.
.
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
.
catlady said:
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
As you know I was recently looking for a BnB stay and was overwhelmed by the very aggressive policies pages. We all know WHY (one bad apple and all that) but how many bookings does it send away versus generate by being so anti-guest? I say anti as they certainly were not pro-guest. They treated the guest like the enemy. You could feel it from their reservation and policies page. I did NOT want to stay at any of them, at all.
I ended up booking a place with a casual innkeeper. I appreciated her attitude, I was thrilled by it. She said if those rooms aren't available we'll just give you the others. It was not a life or death situation for HER nor for us as the guest. I would like to share with you all who this inn is, as a matter of props.
I didn't have some form to sign with a 2 page agreement/contract. K.I.S.S. was found here. I find K.I.S.S. to be a very attractive quality and very rare in this business of overstressed innkeepers.
I will give the name not the link - so you can google it yourselves...many know this innkeeper already. :) Bi g M ill in Willia mston NC
 

Morticia

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
.
catlady said:
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
Since we have a lot of aspirings on this forum, I think this information is very valuable. An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies. I certainly have no problem with each individual making their own policies. The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy. Also, the initial scenario was that the road were open and not risking life and limb by getting there.
Since we have no other outside income, our policies may seem stricter, but we have it very clearly spelled out on our cancellation policy that since we are a small B&B, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. Have I varied from it? Absolutely, but then it's my choice.
.
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
.
catlady said:
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
As you know I was recently looking for a BnB stay and was overwhelmed by the very aggressive policies pages. We all know WHY (one bad apple and all that) but how many bookings does it send away versus generate by being so anti-guest? I say anti as they certainly were not pro-guest. They treated the guest like the enemy. You could feel it from their reservation and policies page. I did NOT want to stay at any of them, at all.
I ended up booking a place with a casual innkeeper. I appreciated her attitude, I was thrilled by it. She said if those rooms aren't available we'll just give you the others. It was not a life or death situation for HER nor for us as the guest. I would like to share with you all who this inn is, as a matter of props.
I didn't have some form to sign with a 2 page agreement/contract. K.I.S.S. was found here. I find K.I.S.S. to be a very attractive quality and very rare in this business of overstressed innkeepers.
I will give the name not the link - so you can google it yourselves...many know this innkeeper already. :) Bi g M ill in Willia mston NC
.
Very simple policies. You're so right that the policies page takes on a defensive attitude when it goes on and on to cover every eventuality (which it never can).
You can always tell what's been a problem by an inn's policy page! (Just like an ad for an employee...you can always tell what kind of person just got fired!)
 

JBloggs

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
.
catlady said:
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
Since we have a lot of aspirings on this forum, I think this information is very valuable. An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies. I certainly have no problem with each individual making their own policies. The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy. Also, the initial scenario was that the road were open and not risking life and limb by getting there.
Since we have no other outside income, our policies may seem stricter, but we have it very clearly spelled out on our cancellation policy that since we are a small B&B, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. Have I varied from it? Absolutely, but then it's my choice.
.
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
.
catlady said:
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
As you know I was recently looking for a BnB stay and was overwhelmed by the very aggressive policies pages. We all know WHY (one bad apple and all that) but how many bookings does it send away versus generate by being so anti-guest? I say anti as they certainly were not pro-guest. They treated the guest like the enemy. You could feel it from their reservation and policies page. I did NOT want to stay at any of them, at all.
I ended up booking a place with a casual innkeeper. I appreciated her attitude, I was thrilled by it. She said if those rooms aren't available we'll just give you the others. It was not a life or death situation for HER nor for us as the guest. I would like to share with you all who this inn is, as a matter of props.
I didn't have some form to sign with a 2 page agreement/contract. K.I.S.S. was found here. I find K.I.S.S. to be a very attractive quality and very rare in this business of overstressed innkeepers.
I will give the name not the link - so you can google it yourselves...many know this innkeeper already. :) Bi g M ill in Willia mston NC
.
Very simple policies. You're so right that the policies page takes on a defensive attitude when it goes on and on to cover every eventuality (which it never can).
You can always tell what's been a problem by an inn's policy page! (Just like an ad for an employee...you can always tell what kind of person just got fired!)
.
Bree said:
Very simple policies. You're so right that the policies page takes on a defensive attitude when it goes on and on to cover every eventuality (which it never can).
You can always tell what's been a problem by an inn's policy page! (Just like an ad for an employee...you can always tell what kind of person just got fired!)
I write this as we have a no show tonight, credit card decline, ph# doesn't work.
We say, should run all the cards in advance...me "yeah remember the debit card fiasco this week?" There was MUCHO stress involved.
I rarely run cards in advance and this was a mess, I didn't know it was a debit card, I ran the amount and realized an added tax went onto it, so immediately VOIDED it and reran the right amount. Well the debit card HELD the funds and will hold them for 7 to 10 days - the owner of the card called upset that they would starve this week and not pay their bills as I have held $455 and $458 (This was a special anniv package they ordered, so they have to pay for it in full in advance so I can buy their tickets etc).
Solution was for me to get the 800# off her cc from her, call that bank and tell them I am the merchant and to clear that HELD amount. B of A recording said a 4 minute wait and it was 22 minutes later that I spoke to a CS rep. With a full house at the time, hoping no one needed anything or called!
The guest was gracious and appreciative, and I was apologetic and was actually trying to save them a few dollars by doing what I did and it bit me! Live and learn.
 

YellowSocks

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If we get a hurricane here we're in trouble!
Actually, last year we got the tail end of Ike, just a big wind storm but lots of branches down and they closed the county fair on the first day. We had guests from Galveston and we gave them a BIG discount when they extended their stay.
We are trying to make money at this, but we're not trying to make enemies. Technically, a no show or a cancellation with less than 7 days notice would get charged their entire stay. In reality, I'm generous and would have a very hard time charging it. Bad weather here would hit at our slowest season anyway, so while I'd really like the money, it's not the part of the year where we're really earning the bulk of our income.
I like the "if the roads are closed we're closed" policy. Although so far the times the roads were closed (well, or at least you weren't allowed to park on them) we were open and had guests.
Didn't help much, did I?
=)
Kk.
 

YellowSocks

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I think for a trip to Hawaii (esp. during hurricane season) I'd seriously consider trip insurance...
 

Morticia

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
.
catlady said:
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
Since we have a lot of aspirings on this forum, I think this information is very valuable. An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies. I certainly have no problem with each individual making their own policies. The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy. Also, the initial scenario was that the road were open and not risking life and limb by getting there.
Since we have no other outside income, our policies may seem stricter, but we have it very clearly spelled out on our cancellation policy that since we are a small B&B, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. Have I varied from it? Absolutely, but then it's my choice.
.
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
.
catlady said:
An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies.
Yes..this is true. Not SS...but a darn good pension I worked hard for 30 years to get:)
Ours was a "lifestyle" choice B & B. There are others out there I am sure who want the same thing.
Don't get me wrong...we worked our tails off when we did it...but we did it on our own terms. Thankfully we never had to depend on B & B income..or else we never would have done it. Having said that though...if someone wanted to buy our place and really run a full time business...it certainly would be possible. It was just not what I wanted to do.
As you know I was recently looking for a BnB stay and was overwhelmed by the very aggressive policies pages. We all know WHY (one bad apple and all that) but how many bookings does it send away versus generate by being so anti-guest? I say anti as they certainly were not pro-guest. They treated the guest like the enemy. You could feel it from their reservation and policies page. I did NOT want to stay at any of them, at all.
I ended up booking a place with a casual innkeeper. I appreciated her attitude, I was thrilled by it. She said if those rooms aren't available we'll just give you the others. It was not a life or death situation for HER nor for us as the guest. I would like to share with you all who this inn is, as a matter of props.
I didn't have some form to sign with a 2 page agreement/contract. K.I.S.S. was found here. I find K.I.S.S. to be a very attractive quality and very rare in this business of overstressed innkeepers.
I will give the name not the link - so you can google it yourselves...many know this innkeeper already. :) Bi g M ill in Willia mston NC
.
Very simple policies. You're so right that the policies page takes on a defensive attitude when it goes on and on to cover every eventuality (which it never can).
You can always tell what's been a problem by an inn's policy page! (Just like an ad for an employee...you can always tell what kind of person just got fired!)
.
Bree said:
Very simple policies. You're so right that the policies page takes on a defensive attitude when it goes on and on to cover every eventuality (which it never can).
You can always tell what's been a problem by an inn's policy page! (Just like an ad for an employee...you can always tell what kind of person just got fired!)
I write this as we have a no show tonight, credit card decline, ph# doesn't work.
We say, should run all the cards in advance...me "yeah remember the debit card fiasco this week?" There was MUCHO stress involved.
I rarely run cards in advance and this was a mess, I didn't know it was a debit card, I ran the amount and realized an added tax went onto it, so immediately VOIDED it and reran the right amount. Well the debit card HELD the funds and will hold them for 7 to 10 days - the owner of the card called upset that they would starve this week and not pay their bills as I have held $455 and $458 (This was a special anniv package they ordered, so they have to pay for it in full in advance so I can buy their tickets etc).
Solution was for me to get the 800# off her cc from her, call that bank and tell them I am the merchant and to clear that HELD amount. B of A recording said a 4 minute wait and it was 22 minutes later that I spoke to a CS rep. With a full house at the time, hoping no one needed anything or called!
The guest was gracious and appreciative, and I was apologetic and was actually trying to save them a few dollars by doing what I did and it bit me! Live and learn.
.
That would SO tick me off if a no show card didn't work. And the phone number was bad. I think if I had that situation a lot, that would bring in the policy that all cards are charged at reservation and if it failed then one call or email for them to fix it and then cancel the rez, because they don't really have a rez at that point. Stinko.
As for the debit card, we all learned a lesson from that one! Thanks. If it happens here, I'll refund the difference in cash rather than go thru that nonsense. (As long as it's not too much of a $$ difference.)
 

swirt

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I don't know if this will be of any help because we don't get hurricanes, but we do have to deal with snow conditions sometimes. People around here are not used to driving much in snow, so they panic when there's some on the ground. Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
Your situation is a bit unusual since you're on an island. Most people will already be on the island or have cancelled their trip. If they've cancelled their entire trip, you might consider offering a voucher for another stay..
Our policy is "if the roads are open, so are we and our cancellation policy still applies".
I like that phrasing. We get a LOT of snow here and rarely would I say we'd be 'closed' due to it but guests from away won't drive here in it.
.
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
.
catlady said:
yes this is one of those tricky things. I certainly would not expect a guest to risk their life driving to the B & B. Yes our roads may be open..but what about the ones where they will be coming from or driving through.
Following my husband's policy of "don't make more grief for yourself"...
We just thanked them for calling, charged their credit card and sent them a gift certificate to use later on. That way we were not out the money and they could come some other time. IT worked well for us.
I don't get this thinking. You are out the money if they reschedule when you would have been full anyway. Our weekends are always full, so if someone didn't show up because the road conditions were still fine but they were a little nervous about driving and we gave them a voucher, they would then rebook on another weekend which would have been full anyway. I'm still the one out 2 nights rent since we have a 2 night minimum on all weekends. I would consider giving them a voucher for a slow season mid week reschedule, but noooooooo....most of them would be unhappy since then that's an inconvenience to them.
.
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
.
catlady said:
I am not talking roads fine....We are in the mts. and if it has snowed enough to shut things down...I don't want people taking chances to get here.
And.... my thing is ..I really didn't care. We just had 3 rooms. We had a 2 night minimum as well. So we would be out the money for that weekend...no big deal. It wasn't like I was counting on their $$ to feed us for that week. We just have always done what we felt was comfortable and right for us and for the guest.
Since we have a lot of aspirings on this forum, I think this information is very valuable. An innkeeper who is generating other income from either Social Security, pension, retirement fund or whatever, can be more relaxed on their policies. I certainly have no problem with each individual making their own policies. The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy. Also, the initial scenario was that the road were open and not risking life and limb by getting there.
Since we have no other outside income, our policies may seem stricter, but we have it very clearly spelled out on our cancellation policy that since we are a small B&B, our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. Have I varied from it? Absolutely, but then it's my choice.
.
The reason I commented on your initial post was the statement that you weren't losing any money and I wanted to make it a bit more clear to those aspiring innkeepers that indeed one could be losing money with that policy.
You are good to point that out. Deferring a loss, is still a loss iff the person uses the gift certificate before it expires. Also if the gift certificate is written for a "stay" instead of an amount there there is likelihood that it will lead to 2 losses. :(
The other side of business...since we work where we sleep is to make the decisions that allow us to sleep without being perturbed by erruptions from the conscience.. If sending off a gift certificate rather than simply keeping their money / or refunding the money allows the innkeeper to let their conscience be at ease, then it may be entirely worth it. It is important to choose policies that allow you to be content with the outcome.
 
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