How we deal with no show, changes in reservation and extra charges or deposits
We are small bed and breakfast in Belgian Ardennes, active for 2 years.
We have same problems with no show, guests being unhappy about extra charges or deposits like anyone else I believe, so here are useful steps which help us reduce risks and damages
1 We always sending welcome email, with a short description of our rules, charges and directions to make here to anyone who is booking us from any recourse. Text is sent in the templates,so it takes only one click, and helps greatly to prevent unpleasant surprises at check in and "we cant find you" situations(you would not believe how many people still cant navigate their way in the era of GPS). If deposits or extra charges are due (for example charge for the pet), we mention it in this first latter, so guests are prepared for it.
2. We charge 70% penalty for cancellations at the last minute and for now show. Sites like expédia or our own website allows us to have guests credit card details, while AIRBNB is charging guests upfront, so we can easily charge no shows, or people who choose last minute cancellations.With booking.com it is more tricky, because we choose to charge our guests ourselves, at check in, and in this case scenario booking.com does not allow us to see guests credit cars(anyone has similar problems?)because of that we insist that booking.com guests should provide their home address ad simply sending bills(and hiring debt collectors for big amounts) if penalty is due.
3. Avoiding the situation when we are fully booked but guest does not show up, so room night is wasted.
We require all guests who arrive after 17.00to confirm their arrival time by phone at the day of arrival.. This condition is listed at our page, at the email which we are sending to people who reserve with us, and in the SMS text message which we are sending to the guests at the day of arrival.
To prevent any miscommunications we are placing a phone call to the guests who did'nt respond o us, and dint check in before 17.00,asking to confirm the reservation..
If guest fails to communicate we pt the room he has booked back n the market.
This allows us to relist the room back at the market if guest fails to arrive or communicate is arrival time to us by 17.00, and avoid loosing game night.In the rare case scenario when guests didn't respond to our messages and calls, but shows up later we act according to circumstance: if there is a room available we let guests stay, if not we refer to the correspondence and help find alternative accommodation.
Usually we charge principal amount at check in. Guest receive printed invoice,corresponding with their reservation number and house rules to sign, so any surprises are brought to the minimum.