Guest scam about how to get larger refund Sept 21, 2015 0:07:17 GMT
Post by deborah on Sept 21, 2015 0:07:17 GMT
Watch out for this.....
A host posted about a situation like this a while back, on another forum, I think Hosting 911. I am posting about it again just as a reminder to be aware of the consequences to any changes you agree to make to reservations, and because this just happened recently to a host whom I know.
Here is your situation: Your normal cancellation policy for stays less than 28 days is strict. You have a guest who booked a reservation of 28 days ( or more), say 2 months in advance. Now that guest wants to cancel the whole reservation, saying that they will not be in the area after all for that month. But for long term reservations like this, of over 28 days, a guest gets NO refund of the first months' stay if they cancel either before the reservation starts, or after they arrive. So the guest is upset, and hopes to get some type of refund. You decide to give them a partial refund, say a 50% refund, but only if you can rebook the dates, and the refund you give would be proportional to what you can rebook.
The guest thinks about that, and then, instead of cancelling the reservation, asks you if they can change the reservation to be just 2 weeks, instead of 28 days. HEre is where you need to be careful and thoughtful and make sure you understand what is happening. Here is a summary of the facts:
(1) Guest wants to cancel ENTIRE reservation, saying they will not be in the area at all that month.
(2) You offer a partial refund, but ONLY if you can rebook the dates.
(3) Guest then says they would like to change the reservation to 2 weeks only -- but wait, red flag, red flag -- guest previously said they would not be in the area at all that month.
(4) If you were to approve the change in the reservation from 28 days to 2 weeks, then the guest would:
(a) Automatically get a 50% refund (from the total original reservation cost for the original 28 day reservation), without you knowing if you can rebook the remaining dates.
(b) then be on a different cancellation policy (strict instead of long term) and now, if the guest now cancels the altered reservation that you just approved, the guest will get an additional 50% refund of those 2 weeks, with the result that the guest will automatically get a 75% refund of the original 28 day reservation, and thus entirely circumvent your intention of only refunding them up to 50%, and that only if you can rebook all the dates.
(5) Chances are high that if the guest originally stated that they would not be in your area that month because plans had changed, and now they say that they want to keep part of the reservation, that in fact they do not intend to come at all, and will simply take advantage of your acceptance of shortening the reservation, to not so honestly circumvent the refund process you outlined, and obtain a much larger refund.
This in fact did happen to a forum host who posted about it, but in a slightly different way. She had a guest book a stay, I think one of 9 days. She was on strict cancellation policy. The guest contacted her 5 days before the reservation was to start, and said he wished to change the reservation to different dates -- which were now say 15 days away. She had those dates open so she agreed to the reservation alteration. What she didn't think about, was that by making this change, the guest went from a situation where he would get ZERO refund (because he was cancelling on a strict policy less than 7 days from start date) to a situation where he would automatically get a 50% refund (new reservation start date is now 15 days off, so he is cancelling over 7 days in advance). ANd that is exactly the game the dishonest guest played. As soon as she accepted the reservation alteration, he cancelled the whole reservation and got a 50% refund, instead of the 0% refund he'd have gotten if she hadn't accepted the reservation alteration.
Moral of the story: BEWARE Of reservation alterations that change the amount automatically refunded (increasing it) or which change the cancellation policy so that guest could get more of a refund if they cancel. Think about whether the guest really wants to alter the reservation, or just cancel it.