Would a cancellation fee keep you from booking a room?

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Well-known member
Oct 7, 2008
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Just wondering if you were looking at booking a room and you did not see any policies on the webervations page you were filling out. Just in case, you thought to yourself, I better go find the policies before I click enter. After some searching you find them and they charge a fee if you cancel - at any time, within their stated cancellation period or without. Would you book at this B&B? Do you think it is too restrictive?
Would the length of stay make a difference? Ie you booked 5 days and the fee is only $10 so you take the risk. What about 2 nights and the fee is $45?
Should guests not be able to make changed to their plans if they needed to without being penalized? Not talking about 48 hours out, but it could be a month out and you are charged the $45.
(I am not referring to any prepaid discounted rooms like you find on expedia or travelocity, but from a B&B's individual website itself.)
I think I would think twice about booking if the fee was very high and I was booking way out. But, like I say, a lot of the policies out there are specifically for that reason...don't book if this is too much for you. For me, it tends to keep the lookie-bookies away.
For me, as a guest, it would depend on where I was going and for what purpose. If it was small town USA and I was going to visit family...not a festival etc, I would not book until closer to my date of arrival - leaving less likelyhood anything would hamper my plans.
If it was the ONLY place to stay or a very active lively area and I was hell bent on being there, I would go ahead and book... most likely all the other places have policies nearly the same and the one(s) that don't, I wouldn't want to stay there!
In either case, $10 is not much of a deterrent, $45, even for 2 nights, IS....
We charge a $25 cancellation fee regardless of when you cancel. We are busy enough that this keeps the lookie-lou, hedge-betting people away. It's competitive to stay here, especially on a weekend, so we encourage people to finalize their plans before booking.
When we were planning to stay in Yellowstone National Park you had to put 50% down and it was all non-refundable. It was worth it to us because we knew exactly when we would be traveling and where we wanted to stay.
For a more low-key, last-minute weekend away, $25 or less wouldn't faze me, higher than that I would think twice before booking.
I wouldn't book at a place where there was a cancellation fee to cancel any time. I expect there will be some kind of fee but if it's too high I will look elsewhere.
A fellow Select Registry inn to the north of us has a $100 cancellation fee. It kept me from booking a room there for our regional meeting a few months ago, because we were not really sure if we would both go. As it turns out, I am going to go but I am going to stay with an innmate instead. Worked out better for me all around
CH you bring up a good point, would you be willing to pay this fee at a Mom and Pop place vs a larger inn or vice versa? Would you understand the fee from a smaller estab vs a larger inn that is staffed?
I think dollar amount is a big diff, a $10 fee might not faze many people, but $100! Why have cancellation period at all. This is actually really scaring me. For guests to book a week long stay and have all these diff policies. As long as they are on the online booking page or mailed/emailed with their confirmation so they have them in hand.
WE charge $ 25.00 "administrative fee" and explain it as time spent putting the room back into the inventory, etc.
We are in such a busy area and really only need the serious about their reservation kind of people. Of course if someone that we know needs to cancel, I don't charge that. It is mainly to tell the new guests that we are serious about our business and not to mess with us
I would book if the cancellation fee was $25 or less. It does not cost $45 in credit card fees to refund in my mind.

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