Guest showing up with more people than booked, than leaving a bad review

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44 comments

  • Avatar
    Asad Chaudary

    Hi Friederike,

    In the Extranet, under Property > Policies, you can specify your preferences under Children and Extra Beds.

    Normally, when you receive a new booking, you should  be able to determine if a child is coming by looking at the "Total Number of Guests". You can then message them to let them know your policy about bringing a child and determine if they want to go ahead with the booking.

    That being said, there is nothing stopping the guest from just ignoring you and forcing you to accommodate the child when they arrive. Whether you decide to charge them or not, is entirely up to you, but personally I allow one child under the age of 6 yrs to stay for free as long as they are in the same bed and most parents seem to appreciate the gesture.

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi there Friederike,

    Unfortunately Asad has a good point in stating that some guests will blatantly ignore meassures put in place to avoid situations like that. 

    What I have found works quite well, is in our terms and conditions we state very clearly that only the amount of people booked for will be allowed to occupy. Should they bring extra people, we reserve the right to refuse them entry. The way we state is so final that we don't really have guests who are willing to take a chance like that considering our properties are all quite far to get to and it would be a horrible situation getting there and being denied entry. 

    Perhaps make use of the Fine Print (Property-view your descriptions-fine print) to indicate that you don't allow extra people (any and all ages) as the room is not suitable. Keep in mind though, not many people take the time to read the fine print and as Asad said, it can be easily ignored also. 

    Best of luck!

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    Assuming that you are willing to lose the booking - we just tell people that each room is only insured for a maximum of two people and that a third person can only be accommodated in a separate room (which we will charge for accordingly).  They then have the choice of paying for the extra room or going elsewhere - if they choose the latter we just mark them as a "No Show", then they cannot leave a review....

    If they choose to take the extra room and then write a bad review - there is nothing you can do, but at least you have made some more money from them;>))

  • Avatar
    Friederike

    Thanks to everyone for the comments. 

    We will definitely try arguing using 'insurance' next time and will not accept 2 adults + child sharing a bed.

    Graham, when you send them elsewhere and mark them as 'no-show' you basically are not charging them at all? It certainly solves the bad review issue, but then we loose the money.

     

     

     

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    As I said in the first line Friederike "Assuming that you are willing to lose the booking" - I would rather lose the money than have three adults trying to share a double bed!  Which we have had... with Bdc customers.

    With children we may allow this, but it is quite clear the following morning that neither adult enjoyed a good night sleep - they assume our rooms are set up like Premier Inns with a double bed and a fold out single which they can use for free, they are mistaken.

  • Avatar
    Joey

    As Asad said set your policy so that for example (as I have done) a child under 6 stays free if in the same bed as the parents. I also set it so that a child over 6 but under 12 is charged a nominal fee but anyone over 12 has to pay an extra charge if the room is described as twin or double + sofa bed or folding bed. I've just had a couple who said they are coming with two children and they said they would all sleep in one bed. The double bed is 160cm wide. When I agreed that there would be no extra charge,  they suddenly changed their minds and want an extra bed in the room. I sent them a message saying there is a charge of Euro 10 but they did not reply. I charge for the extra bed (even if it is just a folding bed) as it needs more work to set up and an extra set of sheets and pillowcases to launder etc.

  • Avatar
    Joey

    Incidentally be careful about what they say about the ages of ' children'. When I first started with BDC.(earlier this year) my second ever guests said that they were coming with a child and I naively assumed it would be a small child who would share their bed. They turned up with a 6 foot tall (180cm) young man and I had to quickly set up an extra bed while they were in the room (now I know that for such things the guest must wait outside the room in the seating area, garden, etc). I must admit that I just rummaged for extra sheets and a quilt and they were mismatched. They left me the worst review I've ever received - score of 4.

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    One drawback Joey - children miraculously "lose" a couple of years age if parents think it will save money... and then you have to argue that the 6 or 12 year old looks remarkably large for his/her age... another source of dispute.

    It never ceased to amaze me, the number of parents who thought children should be supplied bedding and food "free of charge" in a family room - in the end we did away with family rooms after one youngster decided it would be a good idea to draw a mural on one of the bedroom walls... and the parents seemed quite proud of the creative genius involved.

  • Avatar
    Joey

    Graham Fisher  You're right, I'm still on a steep learning curve in these matters. Gosh, they let him draw on the wall and were not even apologetic? What did you do in this case? I've just remembered that somewhere in the PROPERTY tab there are things like whether the room/property is safe for children and it mentions things like electricity sockets. I'm not 100% sure but I seem to remember questions regarding other safety features for children and I had put in that there may be some sources of danger for young unattended children (balcony etc). As regards ages - I've had couples with babies and they are not a problem at all. 

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    Well Joey, without our decorator present to price the job, all I could do is ask for a "contribution" which - with some delay - they paid but it did not cover the cost of re-decorating.  They did apologise, but were clearly under the impression they had a budding "artist" in their little precious!

    Frankly - if you have balconies, I would discourage families, what happens if "precious" climbs the rails... we found a 10 year old hanging out of a bedroom window trying to escape "play torture" by his older brother who was sharing the room - mum and dad had left them to go out for dinner.

    Re babies - yes, they can be no problem.... but do other guests appreciate them if they are woken by the baby crying in the night and the parents cannot silence the baby....... it happens....

  • Avatar
    Nicbritton

    I think it would depend on a few things as to whether I would charge the guest for extra persons turning up on arrival.  If the extra person was a small child about six years old - I would let them stay in the parents room for free.  if they are still a child but older than six i would charge for the breakfast only for the extra child.  Adults and children over the age of 12 i would charge the same as all the other adult places and if they didnt like it - they would have to go somewhere else as we have in the past had these same guests smuggle more adults into the room the same night as check in.  If guests are going to be deceitful from the start then it usually carries on throughout the reservation and you should think if this could be noticed by other guests staying - noise crowds etc.

  • Avatar
    monet208

    Whatever you put in your terms and conditions will not stop guests turning up with a child even if you state an extra charge and specify age limits

    Make sure you put in every email confirmation you send your child policy including the fact that unexpected children may be charged full adult price on arrival if they can be accommodated without notice- that has virtually eliminated unexpected children turning up for us

    If they still turn up that leaves you the choice of letting them in or not

    We are fortunate that we can always refuse any child bookings except for those with babies

  • Avatar
    John

    I do not charge for children under the age of 6 and if the children turn up to be above 6 years old, I will only charge extra if they need additional rollaway bed and breakfast. It is hard to argue with guests as they will claim it was not stated in the booking or they didnt read. So, sometimes I have to give in so as not to receive a bad rating. 

  • Avatar
    Wightgal

    When you confirm the reservation with the guest always state under what basis the room has been booked.  eg.  Double room booked for single occupancy.   Double room booked for 2 adults only.    etc

    We don't accept children ( under 18). But still had a couple turn up with a 3 year old. I phoned BDc  explained the situation and that they would not be staying with us, handed the phone to the mother and let BDc sort it out.

    As for any other requests for extra beds etc. I take Grahams route, none of our rooms are suitable and our Insurers do not allow it.

  • Avatar
    Denise

    We have a no child policy because of stairs and balconies, but still have groups turn up with children. A lot of the times the guest has booked thru a third party and are not aware of the no child policy. If the child is over 3 years old we charge for an extra person covering breakfast etc. We also have the parents sign on their booking form after I have written “as our child was not booked on the booking form we take all responsibility if anything happens to them and agree to pay any damages caused by our child. All guests are happy to sign. I hope this has been of some help. Cheers, Denise

     

     

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Hello everybody.Im new so everything you read is very helpful for me. My experience is not with extra guests but with seven 7 dogs. It wa a last minute booking they came late in the night with seven dogs in a van. At first I got shocked. The guests reassured me that they wouldn’t be any problem.They were going to a dog show the next day. I accepted them telling them to be careful. They did. We also went to the dog show it was fantastic. They left us an excellent review and we have become friends. It was a great experience for us and they respect the house leaving it as it was before they came.

  • Avatar
    Enquiries

    We get this regularly so we have added to our booking policies to say that " we reserve the right to refuse admission if the customer exceeds the maximum occupancy of the room booked". We also state that for insurance and fire regulations we are unable to exceed the maximum occupancy. Most people will try it on but when we explain they have been very reasonable and booked another room with us (when we have had availability) or booked another room in another B&B.

  • Avatar
    Wightgal

    Denise,  as you have a no child policy, how do you cover yourself against misrepresentation complaints etc from your other guests?  Our guests book us because we don't accept children. Any child here could leave us open to Trading Standards probs.

      We've had problems with the general content/context of third party sites, but have complained to BDc  and Ev to either get them altered or have our accommodation removed from them.  However whatever these sites say they can't trump your published policies.

  • Avatar
    Joey

    I am getting the feeling that most of you guys are overdoing it with the ' conditions' you include in the email/message. Please don't take me wrong - I agree with most of them but most things should be obvious (e.g. when I booked into hotels I was never told that I was booking for one person (If I was alone) or 2 persons (If we were two). I entered this information with the booking. BDC have asked me to include a message to guests through extranet about the security deposit. I already send them another message when they book - thanking them, asking them for arrival time and offering a shuttle service. I think there is a limit to how much a guest will read and for legal purposes, these conditions are stipulated in the booking. 

  • Avatar
    Bayview Gardens Apartments

    Yes this has happened to me also.

    The guest booked my Studio for 2 and 1 child 4 yrs. They enjoyed their stay and loved the accomodation, very complimentary.

    It is stated in the fine print that the studio is only for couples & a fold out is available for 5 and under or portable cot for a baby. Additional charges apply

    The fold out bed was provided for a 2 night stay as per the booking 

    The guest contacted me on departure to advise I had overcharged them. They advised that the fold out bed had not been used as they all sleep together at home and they all slept together in my  Studio. The guest demanded a refund and was insistent that the bed had not been slept in.

    I stood my ground kindly & nicely stating Health & Safety Regulations about sleeping arrangements in my property. Every guest booked is supplied a bed & linen

    I stated that I need to provide bedding for all guests including children under insurance requirements.

    The guest gave me a nasty revenge review, even though I provided everything required.

     

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    Adamopoulou  - as long as the dogs are left in the van - fine.  The problem is with the ones people try to sneak into the house.... the dog may be well behaved, but the next guest into the room may have fur or feather allergies - and hence another problem starts.

    Joey - it may appear as though some are being "over the top" but everyone lives with their worst experiences and tries to avoid them in future.... and if that means adding "conditions" then that is what you do.  When you have done your first ten years you will know a little more about what I mean. 

    Re: shuttle service - I presume you mean picking them up in your car?  Since I do not know where you are located - be very careful with this. 

    In the UK you need to get your car insured as a taxi if you want to run guests around and comply with taxi regulations (two MOT's per year etc).  If you run guests around on normal "domestic" insurance (social/domestic and leisure) then you are likely to find the insurers may not pay out in the event of a claim.  You need to have it in writing from the insurers that you are covered for driving guests around.  

    You also need to ensure your car is covered for "Use in association with your business" - since this is not social/domestic and leisure use either - but this car use insurance may be different if you are outside the UK - still best to check.

  • Avatar
    Denise

    Wightgal, every situation is different.  I make the decision on who is in the house, what time it is etc.  I have had to find alternative accommodation for some guests on occasion.

  • Avatar
    Joey

    Thanks, Graham for your comments. I may have worded my comment incorrectly. What I mean is that aren't our conditions all stipulated in the booking agreement? I have already written elsewhere that I find that some of my guests do not even read the extranet messages I send so I try to keep them as brief and simple as possible. Also, because I tend to attract guests from all over the world I often have to use Google translate (I even had guests who listed their preferred languages which are not even listed in Google translate). So with shorter messages, I think I have more chances of being understood.

    What you said about the car is very pertinent.

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    You obviously have more patience than I Denise, if they roll up with more than the booked numbers - I simply say sorry only the number booked, no more unless they take an extra room..... if they want to look elsewhere or I haven't got another room - then searching for other accommodation for the "extra's" is up to them!

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    Conditions are listed Joey... but you try finding someone that has read them.  At least if you have emailed them via the Extranet you have an email you can wave at them laying out the "conditions".... it may not help the argument, but at least they cannot claim they were not told.

  • Avatar
    Pentire2016

    Booking.com need to allow us to comment on the guest... a guest review. The amount of time that a guest can review a property should be set. I have heard of guests writing reviews on a stay of 2 years ago, received after the premises has changed hands and the review being allowed. Not on, try taking a garment back to a shop after 2 months, let alone 2 years and trying to make a complaint!!!

    I think the very fact that they... the guests could receive a bad review, and therefore make booking future accommodation difficult, could just hopefully make them think a little more carefully about their behaviour. Certainly, allowing a child to 'decorate' a wall should become a thing of the past!

     

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    This has been tried before Pentire, but I think the sites involved found the legal complications too much.... and now the new legislation has arrived anything that "identifies" people would be even more difficult.  That is not to say it is not something Bdc should not be exploring.

    The other problem was people then booking under different names/friends/parents booking etc there is no perfect system - and the buggers know this!

  • Avatar
    Admin

    We used to accept children, until we had our first family stay. They slammed doors, jumped off beds, ran up and down the hall and wanted to play the piano at 7am to "wake up the other guests". The parents also sent them down at 7am for me to babysit and serve breakfast, and they were very rude and disrespectful 7 and 11 year old boys. I changed our property to "no children" while they were here. We will not be accepting any more children and any family turning up with them can find somewhere else to stay. It's just not worth the potential problems for other guests. And our adult guests prefer the peace and quiet.

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    Tropical Oasis Condos

        I have found that many guests look at the maximum # of people allowed to occupy a property and try to book it the cheapest way. I always assume the max number of guests by law. I have stopped offering a discounted rate to a number less then the maximum. I will only stock my apartments accordingly. All my guest must pay in full a minimum of 30 days prior to arrival.  I inform guests in advance that I must by law turn away guests showing up with more then the (Fire Marshal) allows. 

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    Hear, hear!  Totally agree - we only take holidays when the kids are supposedly in school and only use places that do NOT supply entertainment for children.... a weak and less than totally reliable Wifi is an added attraction since it discourages online gaming!

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