Sunday, August 17, 2008

US Americans Win the Award

Before you get too excited, this is not a fashionable award any US American should be proud of. If read the posts, you may remember the American husband and wife couple who booked both rooms, came here for a cup of tea the day before to 'find us', spent two hours talking, and then the next morning called to cancel both rooms since we did not have air conditioning. No accommodation under 5 stars has a/c with one exception that I know of and the 4 star hotel that does, rents the air conditioner for an additional 15 Euros a day. Well, something similar happened again. We had a very lovely couple, husband and wife stay here for two nights while they were getting their college aged son situated into his exchange program apartment. They had a friend meeting them here and she booked a room with us. Unfortunately, when she wanted to arrive, we did not have an opening, so I suggested another place for her first two nights and then if she chose, she could move over here. She pelted me with questions and I informed her more than once that her friends would be moving to a self-catering apartment for the rest of their stay on the same day she was to come over to our place. She said she understood, but we still exchanged 12 e-mails back and forth. She came over both mornings her friends were here to have coffee with them and meet up for the day. They raved about how much they liked it here, how comfortable we made it for them and how much they enjoyed their stay. This happened both when we were around as well as when they assumed we were out of ear shot. The morning the friend was to come over, we expected her to have luggage in hand, but she was walking light. She had her coffee, conversation with all of us, and then announced she decided to stay where she is at. In the same breath, she also told us she had her room changed twice in as many number of days. The first room the bed was uncomfortable, the second was too noisy. She was thinking of a third move, but not out of the hotel she was at. She acted surprised to find her friends were moving to an apartment, which was part of our e-mail discussions. As she was listing her complaints about her current living quarters, she said it was closer to the apartment where her friends were staying. She did ask what our policy was for such situations. Up until recently, we did not have a policy, but with US Americans, our fellow country people, being the greatest disappointments of all of our guests, we may have to come up with one. She offered to pay for the first night and we gracefully accepted. After all, she had booked for four nights and we had refused more than one request for those dates. The couple who stayed here, left their baggage until it was time to check into their apartment, so they could tour the city. When they returned, sans the friend, they shared how flabbergasted and appalled they were at their friends' behavior. Last year, there was another husband and wife couple from the US who canceled at the very last minute. Just before they were ready to leave, the wife decided to have elective surgery. Now if you are going on vacation, it is planned out, why would you ELECT to have surgery at the same time? What boggled my mind was that they admitted the fact when canceling. If it were me, I would have omitted the elective part out of the equation. To add insult to injury, they e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago, reminding me of the cancellation and asked if we had a room available in November. When I wrote and said we did, asking if they wanted a booking, they wrote back and said they were just checking. They would get back to me. Insert a Primal scream here! Is this some game? Let's annoy the innkeeper. To be fair, in the years we have been running our B and B, we had one Italian couple who had a motor vehicle accident on the way to the airport causing a no show. They did write to apologize when they were released from the hospital. There was a Dutch couple who went to check in at the airport and found their passports missing from their luggage after taking the train to Amsterdam and called from the airport after being denied boarding. We had one Bulgarian man who booked us through an agency and never showed. He never responded to our e-mails or those of the agency. Though these are just some examples, US Americans win the award for the most last minute cancellations throughout our years of business.

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1 comments:

Paulroberts said...

I've heard similar stories, a Hungarian friend used to work as a Hostess at a downtown BP resturant, the US customers were always the ones who would eat everything off their plate, then complain and not want to pay when the bill came.

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