Not asking you “What should I do?” What was done is done. My guest was supposed to check in tomorrow. There is zero chance it can re-book.
I know his story is legit because the “working with us through all this” refers to extraordinary circumstances this guest encountered in booking. Without rehashing the whole ordeal: He wanted to stay there, in that perfect house for them and the poor thing … it’s like the universe was trying to tell him “NOOOOOO!” in retrospect! They were ecstatic when they were finally confirmed. So was I.
I brought this here for you to ponder because this is probably not going to be a one-off thing. People who thought their jobs were secure, who had enough extra “walking around” money to take a vacation, are going to get laid off.
It’s all up to you: Per the cancellation policy, this guest is entitled to nothing refunded. And that is what he is asking for: Nothing.
What do you do? What do you think the “right” thing is to do?
Does losing your job trigger extenuating circumstances?
I would refund. I think the world needs a whole lot more kindness.
Still looks like this isn’t the case. You can do as you see fit. If it’s a case of “your loss or their loss” well you are running a business and times have been very hard on hosts.
No, it does not fall under EC policy.
their loss or yours … you are running a business
What value do you place on good will?
I would probably give him a 50% refund. We’ve given 100% refunds in the past but that was with more time in advance with a chance to rebook.
Depends on circumstances. There is no “right answer”. There is only the decision that you feel is “right for you” to make.
Under what circumstances does good will have less or no value to your business?
If there is no chance the guest will ever come back the goodwill would have little or no value to your business. I would likely not refund them, I am not their dad. What would the Hilton do? Follow the policy. The guest is not asking for a refund anyway.
The EC policy is overbroad and unfair to hosts as it is.
If the guest isn’t asking, don’t offer. They knew the risks.
If you’ve been reading my posts since March you know that I’ve given this element (effects of the recession on us) some thought. This hasn’t been hard to see coming. What I would do is based on when he made the reservation.
If he made the reservation before covid (March or earlier) I’d give a credit for a future stay but no refund. If he made the reservation in April I’d send my sincere condolences and promise of a future discount. If he made the reservation in May I’d say “thanks.” There might be other factors impacting my decision but I don’t have that information. Edit to add: If the reservation was made in Jan or before I’d probably give a refund.
I don’t know for sure. I have yet to actually been given a choice of what to do when someone cancelled, lol. But I would consider a 50% refund or maybe a credit. Maybe not, depending on the feel I had with the guest. Loss of job is more meaningful to me than the guests I’ve had that cancelled because their conference was cancelled (which is apparently an extenuating circumstance now )
Also you say it’s too late to rebook but the articles I’m reading say folks are doing more last minute close to home getaways. So I’d make it available and if by chance I got a booking I’d refund the guest whichever part was rebooked.
What if there is a 99% chance?
No compassion outside of pandemics?
@KenH I knew you’d say that.
@KKC because of the time I have spent on this forum, ‘no same-day bookings’ is a non-negotiable rule.
Under the circumstances, I would refund the guest.
Before I respond I’d like to know what that means.
Just that your reasoning was based on the pandemic/timing related to.
Over the 5 years I’ve posted here I have consistently been one of the most forgiving towards guest cancellations. I have a flexible policy and have refunded multiple bookings that were not entitled to refunds and for which I did not get replacement bookings. So I have plenty of compassion for guest situations that are not related to the pandemic.
My reasoning in this case (given extremely limited information) is based on the principle of “lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.” So my feeling is that if a guest went ahead and made vacation plans during a global recession/pandemic they knew the risks. Taking money making opportunities from me during a pandemic could be potentially ruinous to my well being.
If I decided I had more money/didn’t need the money and felt compassion for the guest for some reason you haven’t stated then I might refund and take the loss. I suspect if the guest was demanding a refund I’d be even more hardened in my stance.