What was the worst that a guest did to your property/room? Let's talk about damages

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  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    What comes to mind and I would like to warn others about are electricity socket adapters. Since guests come from all over the world I supply adapters for use with their own equipment such as laptops. Because of the nature of the universal adapters I have - you can plug anything in them. One elderly couple, for some reason unplugged the fridge which was plugged directly into a wall socket and used one of the adapters. I did not think it was possible but they managed to plug in a two pin plug with one prong in the live outlet and the other prong in the earth. I have never seen it done and did not think it possible. The property has circuit breakers which detect an earth leakage and immediately cut the power. But for some reason, the circuit breaker did not detect this. Result: dead fridge. The thing is that these universal adapters are a compromise at best so I will not be using them anymore. The solution is to have a few individual adapters at hand for the 3 or 4 main types of plugs.

  • Avatar
    Asad Chaudary

    Interesting point about the universal adapters there, Joey. I hadn't considered they could problematic in the way you had described and will certainly bear it in mind. 

    The worst guests we had in terms of damage caused was an Aussie/Polish couple who on their second night got into a blazing row in their room in the middle of the night. Our night shift manager did interrupt them to diffuse the situation, until they started off again. After a short while, the guy then came out of the room and spoke to my staff in quite an aggressive manner.  I was also overseas at the time these guests stayed with us, so it was difficult for me to deal with the problem first hand. Anyway, when the maids checked their room as part of our daily housekeeping service the next day, they reported the bed frame had been broken and a number of cans of alcohol scattered around the room - there were suspicions as to whether or not they were drug users too, although no concrete evidence was found in the room.  When the guests were later confronted about the issue, they denied the damage and even denied having an argument and being disruptive. The guy later used threatening behavior towards my staff, at which point I spoke to them on the phone, and determined I no longer needed their custom and had no hesitation to eject them from the property and report them to booking for misconduct. 

  • Wow, the power adapter thing was surprising. We have different circuit breakers for each room/power source, therefore it will cut off those areas only, however we never had issues with this yet.

    Asad Chaudary - Yeah, drunk people are always an issue. I hope you've charged them for the bed frame, because I would charge them for a new bed if they'd do this at my place.

    Here is my little story.

    Some youngsters booked my best room, the Deluxe King Room, the guy was around 23 years old and the girl maybe 21-22. 

    So everything was quiet and they stayed in the room all day and night. 

    When morning comes and they check out, I ask them if everything was fine and if they have consumed something from the minibar. I charge them the stay and they are on their way, now when I go and check the room to prepare it for other guests, I got pretty shocked to discover what they've been doing.

    The parquet floor had paint on it, the bathroom however was another story.

    In the bathroom I've found the following thing at first observation:

    After which I found more of these on the tile walls in the bathroom.

    Then I've discovered that the whole bathroom was painted or at least had paint on the walls.

    So, my forensic senses have concluded that they were doing this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_and_messy_fetishism

    After trying to clean all of it off, some of the paint has gotten into the white grout which couldn't be removed.

    No worries, I've charged them a professional cleaning fee after I've sent them a message about my findings. They still left a 10 score review. 

     

    Let's hear more stories!

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    monet208

    Going back to the original question

    We had our first and only really  bad experience 2 years ago with damaged caused for a four figure sum- it was a direct booking

    The guest never left his room for 24 hours after arrival and it was only when he went out to a restaurant were we able to service his room - he had said he wanted to rest when we tried the first time ,We found both twin beds ,the carpet underneath both,other areas of carpets and all bedding and towels soaked in urine

    I took his belongings down to the local restaurant,that had an adjoining hotel and collected his keys

    We contacted our Visit England Inspector who advised working out replacement costs,labour and loss of bookings in that room and charge the guests card which we did

    We then advised our local tourism office who advised everyone in the area of this guest and two came back with problems experienced by taking the same guest ,albeit with less damage.The hotel next to the resurant had not taken him in as he had wet the bed staying there a week earlier !

    You can never avoid bad experiences but we have taken the advice of our Inspector and placed extra damage and charges text in each rooms information folder and made sure we do not take any booking without a pre authorised credit card

    The guest in question was we suspect incontinent and possibly suffering from dementia and so we advised our local health care professionals of this so he could be helped if they managed to make contact with him

     

  • Avatar
    Hoodytwoshoes

    Awful experience Monet.

    Would you mind sharing the 'damage & charges' text you put in your information folders?

  • Avatar
    monet208

    This is what we were advised by the VE Inspector but its up to you


    Damages & hot food in the building


     


    We regret having to inform guests that from September 2016 all damages will be charged in full, this includes labour and all other charges necessary to restore the room to the preoccupied condition. A further charge will be made to cover loss of earning until the room is restored and available for further letting to guests.


    We have a “no outside hot food in the building policy” due to previous staining and odour issues- The are two walkable  local inns and we do a Lite-Bite menu


    If you have smoked or eaten hot food in the building a minimum charge of £20 to £200 will be made for cleaning/replacement of all the soft furnishings, towels, bedding, carpet, furniture and the labour involved.It is with deep regret we now include this section

     

  • Avatar
    Hoodytwoshoes

    Appreciate your prompt reply. Many thanks - I'll adapt this for my own use. 

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi everyone, 

    Wow Zsolt, of all the strange things guests do when on holiday... what concerns me is that ages of the two. I would be worried about getting a call from a Parent and then being shunned/sued/badmouthed because we let "kids" do that. Sure enough I know none of it was your fault/responsibility but we get angry parents in S.A. Great solution to a sticky situation though!

    Joey, I'm very suprised that people are able to manage such acts. Honestly I am. We don't supply adapters at the resorts as most of our guests are local, but I foresee the same issues in the future should this Booking.com venture of mine work and provide us with more internaitonal guests. Thanks for sharing I will keep that in mind!

    Asad, we have so many signs up warning people about drunken behaviour, it'll make you dizzy just looking at it. You get the odd one of two groups who don't care. 

    My situation has no photos as the content is quite gruesome. I'd like to know how to avoid this situation where a single person books for an entire group but does not stay for the whole peroid. So basically he/she organises a massive party at the resort but is only there for the official check in. The group has a ball and disrupts/breaks/disturbs because none of them paid for the holiday. It's starting to become a reacurring thing. I have to stop this before our property gets advertised as such a place.

    Best of luck!

  • Avatar
    Torrdarach

    Hahahaha! We too have loads of stories to tell.

    Underpants & long-johns have been left filled with human faeces.

    We have an average of twice a year that someone leaves a pile of faeces in the shower. Possibly a fetish thing or just a bad joke.

    Wet clothes ruining brand new white radiators because of the colours running when wet.

    Wet magazines on newly painted white shelves that have left the print in the paint.

    The list is endless!

  • Torrdarach

    What a ******* situation. I hope that never happens here.

    We did have the usual girl on period sex in bed, which looked like a sacrifice pit. Of course full linen charged.

    I have an amazing little bottle of liquid, called Hraniclean 01, which cleans all those stains of radiators, furniture and so on. It's all that I use for cleaning such things.

    Show us more or tell us more.

    Cheers,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Leandri - your comment re Zsolt's experience with the youngsters - where you wrote that you'd be afraid of the parents would not really worry me. As long as they're over 18 the host cannot be held responsible, can s/he? But this has set me thinking that I did not set a minimum age for people who book because I assumed that if they have a credit card they'd have to be over 18. I've had younger people who were perfect guests and others who weren't. I don't think I noticed any difference between guests in their early 20s and those who are much older. Only once I had two young guests from the Philippines (but I find it hard to be sure about their ages) who returned late at night with a third guest but they asked for my permission for him to share the room and I said OK and charged them for it. The thing is that they yelled throughout the night and started again at 5 am. By then I had had enough and I knocked loudly on their door and told them to keep it down. They went dead quiet and even though they were booked for several days they left after the first night. They asked for no refund.  I was expecting a terrible review but nothing happened. 

  • Joey wow,

    Seems like they had a feeling of shame. Not so much for guests around this part of the world.

    I had loud youngsters who were doing BDSM roleplay in the room. You can imagine how that sounded when the 19 year old girl was playing the dominatrix. =)) I have already forgotten about them.

    If they are 18 and above, they are surely responsible for their own actions, however, rest assured that if they dodge payment, I'm going to personally visit them at home and have a chat with the parents and ask for the payment (if needed). 

     

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    There is damage and just plain weird... damage - when we allowed families to stay, one child started drawing a mural on the bedroom wall - I charged a "start" sum to the parents since I had no idea what the decorating costs would be, they apologised but oddly seemed to think the child was a budding artistic genius...

    The there was the lady who decided to die her hair using the sink in her bedroom (all sinks now removed from bedrooms!) some fell on the carpet - when the carpet cleaners arrived the actual "tuft" of the carpet came away wherever the die had fallen, just leaving the plastic foundation webbing!  That was an insurance job - we let her off because she was a regular customer - then never saw her again!

    Weird - one couple slept in all day and left the following morning - we found every business card holder in the house empty and each card neatly blu-tacked to the walls in the bedroom.... when we opened the draws in the room - each draw had a little face drawn on the base of it in cake cream with little half sucked sweets left as mouths....

    Give me another day or two and I'll probably remember some more.....

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Graham Fisher  The weird incident you described seems like something out of a horror film. I'd question the mental state of anyone who did that sort of thing.

    And while reading all of your stories I remembered something else which happened during my first month with b.com ( a few months ago). One of the 'oddities' of the booking system is that it tells me in which country the guest lives (or says he lives) but I don't always get to know the real nationality. I found out that two of my guests were Colombians - men in their 30s. The booking was for 2 pax for one night but they arrived with a woman who just dropped them off and left. She also came to pick them up. One day after they left the police knocked on my door and asked me to speak to a woman whose name I had never heard. They gave me an official looking document demanding that this woman report at a police station immediately.  Again I told them that I had no idea who she was. They were not very forthcoming with information but eventually, I managed to get through on the phone to a police official who explained to me what had happened. A woman with a Colombian passport had been involved in a hit and run. But somebody had managed to take note of the number before she fled the crime scene and it turned out that it was a rental car registered ON MY ADDRESS. She must have been the woman who came to pick up the Colombian men and they had just used their one night stay at my property as a means to show that they were living somewhere ' legitimate'. What infuriated me was that that they did not even use the address themselves but had passed it on to a third party. I reported the incident to b.com who wanted to put me in touch with their legal department but when I heard nothing else from the police, I decided to forget about the whole thing. Just a word of caution: some guests might be using your address in ways which you do not even suspect. 

  • Dear Joey,

    Here is one story (not from my experience), which happens quite often.

    You know how sometimes you get bookings from abroad, from countries that usually don't come and visit. Then all of a sudden they are no shows, even paid bookings that come as no shows and with false information in them (like contact details).

    These bookings are usually used for people to get Visa access to certain countries, thus giving them the chance to come here and never go back.

    Someone who owns a hotel had this happen to him, about a month later, the immigration police was asking questions because the person who gave them that reservation as proof, they haven't left the country. 

    This thing can lead to some nasty situations, but until governments have this as a requirement for Visa applications, it will not disappear.

    Cheers,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Tropical Oasis Condos

    To avoid theft and damages MEET all incoming guests, And verify Identity with them providing a government photo ID (take a cell phone picture of it). Never allow reservations made less then 24 hours before check-in. In my experience last minute reservations are Prostitutes and drug dealers and will steel and damage your property.

  • Tropical Oasis Condos,

    Depends on where you are in the world.

    Here, Last minute reservations are usually transit bookers, families or business people. I never had issues with last minute bookers, they tend to care more about getting a good night's sleep and an early breakfast. Most reviews come from them too.

    Also, the price of your accommodation will determine what type of people will come. I'm in the top because of the 5 star standard that we offer, therefore 90% of the guests are serious people.

    Best regards,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Anthurium Apartment

    I have not had any bad experiences,thank God,except for a couple who tried boiling rice in the coffee-maker,i had not checked before i left,so i had only myself to blame.

    Most of my guests,has remained peronal life-long friends,i think,they do not have a choice,we meet and greet our guest and general we get 10/10,for staff.

    We lay great emphasis on the personal needs of our guests and try to work very closely with them.

    i come to them with a background in Youth and Development Work and Training in Tourism and Travel Agency Management ,among other training.

    At Anthurium Apartment,we love people,

  • Avatar
    Zoinks

    Hi Zsolt, I think you are in the EU like me and as you say some people may book just to get a visa, but in my case, most stays are for just one night. I don't know if that will convince the people at customs. 

    Tropical Oasis condos - I've had quite a few last minute bookings and I did not see an difference from the rest. The only problem with last minute bookings is that a couple of times I did not even realise that someone had booked because I can't be attached to the computer all the time. Now I've set a minimum pre booking time of 4 hours and as with everything it is an experiment and I will see how it will affect me. 

  • Avatar
    Knaum

    very recently I had a guests from arabian peninsula ,for a period of ten days .As our policy is NOT to interfere with our guest we let them live their way .After ten days when we were going to get the key back we noticed that they had many many little boxes ,I would say couple hundred of them ,also very fine dust and spray cans of polish.`After they left we noticed that our washing machine wasn't performing good ,despite from the start we told them that for every washing we will charge them $10and we will show them how the machine works .Personally I would not recommend this type of guests who can easily ruin the apartment and cost us a substantial of monies (more than the rental) to repair the accommodation .Do you have any type of black list for these type of guests ,I would like to know .

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    HI Knaum .

    I'm now very curious. I have to know, what little boxes were they? What was in them? Did they leave it there or take it with?

    Got to know.

    Thanks

  • Avatar
    Boss of the Hotel ;-)

    Regular guest (businessman) comes down as normally to have breakfast.  After he enjoyed his morning food and coffee, he goes back up to brush his teeth and packs luggage.  Comes down to pay the bill and checks out, having a little chat like we always do.  Ends his chat with the message : "i think you better check on the toilet in the room, it seems to be leaking water"  Well, that happens more, toilets are nasty water users, so after he left, i decide to go up and see if i can fix the problem before the housekeeping cleans the room.

    Open the door to the room and step inside, to feel my feet standing on carpet that is completely flooded with at least a few centimeters of water, troughout the entire room.  I go to the bathroom to find in the bathroom the toilet broken and fallen to its side, the waterpipe broken off and water running freely onto the bathroom floor.  I suppose what happened was, this man had quiet a wild party with lots of drinks in the bar, fell in bathroom against the loo that "capsized"

    When i run down to close off the water, another guest (having a room on the groundfloor) stops me to tell that they found their bathroom and part of the room soaking wet, water dripping from the ceiling.

    We send the guest who caused this an email, as well as one to his company : no one ever answered the mails, we never saw this guest again and no one of the company he worked for.  After a few weeks, i was so angry that i tried to charge his creditcard and did so for the max amount i could.  So he at least had to get in contact with us.  Which he never did, i kept the money, that was never contestated, but it was by far not enough for the damage done.

    End of story.

     But after running a hotel for 35y, i can tell you a blog full of stories.

  • Avatar
    Graham Fisher

    Every sympathy Boss, there "but for the grace of God" go all of us...

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