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Guest showing up with more people than booked

 Hi there,

We now have had a couple of occasions, where guest had booked/paid for 2, but then showed up with a child (of various ages) in tow, expecting us to accommodate all of them in 1 room/bed.

We have charged our extra person fee in one occasion and received a bad review - we have not charged extra fees and have also received a bad review (they rate us down on staff and comfort!).

We are at a loss on how to handle this without getting a bad review score!

Booking.com is not prepared to delete those reviews, or if they are anonymous or without comments at least giving us as the accommodation provider a chance of reply.

Is there anybody who can share their experience, who had a positive review outcome in such situations?

Many thanks for your tips in advance.

Friederike

 

 

 

 

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103 Replies

4
Asad Chaudary

Hi Friederike,

In the Extranet, under Property > Policies, you can specify your preferences under Children and Extra Beds.

Normally, when you receive a new booking, you should be able to determine if a child is coming by looking at the "Total Number of Guests". You can then message them to let them know your policy about bringing a child and determine if they want to go ahead with the booking.

That being said, there is nothing stopping the guest from just ignoring you and forcing you to accommodate the child when they arrive. Whether you decide to charge them or not, is entirely up to you, but personally I allow one child under the age of 6 yrs to stay for free as long as they are in the same bed and most parents seem to appreciate the gesture.

1 year ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hi there Friederike,

Unfortunately Asad has a good point in stating that some guests will blatantly ignore meassures put in place to avoid situations like that.

What I have found works quite well, is in our terms and conditions we state very clearly that only the amount of people booked for will be allowed to occupy. Should they bring extra people, we reserve the right to refuse them entry. The way we state is so final that we don't really have guests who are willing to take a chance like that considering our properties are all quite far to get to and it would be a horrible situation getting there and being denied entry.

Perhaps make use of the Fine Print (Property-view your descriptions-fine print) to indicate that you don't allow extra people (any and all ages) as the room is not suitable. Keep in mind though, not many people take the time to read the fine print and as Asad said, it can be easily ignored also.

Best of luck!

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Assuming that you are willing to lose the booking - we just tell people that each room is only insured for a maximum of two people and that a third person can only be accommodated in a separate room (which we will charge for accordingly). They then have the choice of paying for the extra room or going elsewhere - if they choose the latter we just mark them as a "No Show", then they cannot leave a review....

If they choose to take the extra room and then write a bad review - there is nothing you can do, but at least you have made some more money from them;>))

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1 year ago
1
Friederike

Thanks to everyone for the comments.

We will definitely try arguing using 'insurance' next time and will not accept 2 adults + child sharing a bed.

Graham, when you send them elsewhere and mark them as 'no-show' you basically are not charging them at all? It certainly solves the bad review issue, but then we loose the money.

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

As I said in the first line Friederike "Assuming that you are willing to lose the booking" - I would rather lose the money than have three adults trying to share a double bed! Which we have had... with Bdc customers.

With children we may allow this, but it is quite clear the following morning that neither adult enjoyed a good night sleep - they assume our rooms are set up like Premier Inns with a double bed and a fold out single which they can use for free, they are mistaken.

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

One drawback Joey - children miraculously "lose" a couple of years age if parents think it will save money... and then you have to argue that the 6 or 12 year old looks remarkably large for his/her age... another source of dispute.

It never ceased to amaze me, the number of parents who thought children should be supplied bedding and food "free of charge" in a family room - in the end we did away with family rooms after one youngster decided it would be a good idea to draw a mural on one of the bedroom walls... and the parents seemed quite proud of the creative genius involved.

1 year ago
1
Pierre Meulemans

OMG, we’re facing some similar issue! Sorry about that but when do parents will consider their child as”people “ and not “pet”. When you see “children accepted”’it doesn’t mean “pets allowed” for free! Yes,we accept children but no, they’re just like pet sleeping at the bottom of your bed... We do not accept children “accepted or not”. We accept “people”!!! Every people deserve a bed, attention and care! If you think your child can accept less than a pet,  we understand why you booked a room for 2 instead of

a room for 3 😡

11 days ago
5
Graham Fisher

Well Joey, without our decorator present to price the job, all I could do is ask for a "contribution" which - with some delay - they paid but it did not cover the cost of re-decorating. They did apologise, but were clearly under the impression they had a budding "artist" in their little precious!

Frankly - if you have balconies, I would discourage families, what happens if "precious" climbs the rails... we found a 10 year old hanging out of a bedroom window trying to escape "play torture" by his older brother who was sharing the room - mum and dad had left them to go out for dinner.

Re babies - yes, they can be no problem.... but do other guests appreciate them if they are woken by the baby crying in the night and the parents cannot silence the baby....... it happens....

1 year ago
2
Nicbritton

I think it would depend on a few things as to whether I would charge the guest for extra persons turning up on arrival. If the extra person was a small child about six years old - I would let them stay in the parents room for free. if they are still a child but older than six i would charge for the breakfast only for the extra child. Adults and children over the age of 12 i would charge the same as all the other adult places and if they didnt like it - they would have to go somewhere else as we have in the past had these same guests smuggle more adults into the room the same night as check in. If guests are going to be deceitful from the start then it usually carries on throughout the reservation and you should think if this could be noticed by other guests staying - noise crowds etc.

1 year ago
5
monet208

Whatever you put in your terms and conditions will not stop guests turning up with a child even if you state an extra charge and specify age limits

Make sure you put in every email confirmation you send your child policy including the fact that unexpected children may be charged full adult price on arrival if they can be accommodated without notice- that has virtually eliminated unexpected children turning up for us

If they still turn up that leaves you the choice of letting them in or not

We are fortunate that we can always refuse any child bookings except for those with babies

1 year ago
1
John

I do not charge for children under the age of 6 and if the children turn up to be above 6 years old, I will only charge extra if they need additional rollaway bed and breakfast. It is hard to argue with guests as they will claim it was not stated in the booking or they didnt read. So, sometimes I have to give in so as not to receive a bad rating.

1 year ago
5
Wightgal

When you confirm the reservation with the guest always state under what basis the room has been booked. eg. Double room booked for single occupancy. Double room booked for 2 adults only. etc

We don't accept children ( under 18). But still had a couple turn up with a 3 year old. I phoned BDc explained the situation and that they would not be staying with us, handed the phone to the mother and let BDc sort it out.

As for any other requests for extra beds etc. I take Grahams route, none of our rooms are suitable and our Insurers do not allow it.

1 year ago
1
Denise

We have a no child policy because of stairs and balconies, but still have groups turn up with children. A lot of the times the guest has booked thru a third party and are not aware of the no child policy. If the child is over 3 years old we charge for an extra person covering breakfast etc. We also have the parents sign on their booking form after I have written “as our child was not booked on the booking form we take all responsibility if anything happens to them and agree to pay any damages caused by our child. All guests are happy to sign. I hope this has been of some help. Cheers, Denise

1 year ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hello everybody.Im new so everything you read is very helpful for me. My experience is not with extra guests but with seven 7 dogs. It wa a last minute booking they came late in the night with seven dogs in a van. At first I got shocked. The guests reassured me that they wouldn’t be any problem.They were going to a dog show the next day. I accepted them telling them to be careful. They did. We also went to the dog show it was fantastic. They left us an excellent review and we have become friends. It was a great experience for us and they respect the house leaving it as it was before they came.

1 year ago
1
Enquiries

We get this regularly so we have added to our booking policies to say that " we reserve the right to refuse admission if the customer exceeds the maximum occupancy of the room booked". We also state that for insurance and fire regulations we are unable to exceed the maximum occupancy. Most people will try it on but when we explain they have been very reasonable and booked another room with us (when we have had availability) or booked another room in another B&B.

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1 year ago
5
Wightgal

Denise, as you have a no child policy, how do you cover yourself against misrepresentation complaints etc from your other guests? Our guests book us because we don't accept children. Any child here could leave us open to Trading Standards probs.

We've had problems with the general content/context of third party sites, but have complained to BDc and Ev to either get them altered or have our accommodation removed from them. However whatever these sites say they can't trump your published policies.

1 year ago
1
Bayview Garden…

Yes this has happened to me also.

The guest booked my Studio for 2 and 1 child 4 yrs. They enjoyed their stay and loved the accomodation, very complimentary.

It is stated in the fine print that the studio is only for couples & a fold out is available for 5 and under or portable cot for a baby. Additional charges apply

The fold out bed was provided for a 2 night stay as per the booking

The guest contacted me on departure to advise I had overcharged them. They advised that the fold out bed had not been used as they all sleep together at home and they all slept together in my Studio. The guest demanded a refund and was insistent that the bed had not been slept in.

I stood my ground kindly & nicely stating Health & Safety Regulations about sleeping arrangements in my property. Every guest booked is supplied a bed & linen

I stated that I need to provide bedding for all guests including children under insurance requirements.

The guest gave me a nasty revenge review, even though I provided everything required.

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Adamopoulou - as long as the dogs are left in the van - fine. The problem is with the ones people try to sneak into the house.... the dog may be well behaved, but the next guest into the room may have fur or feather allergies - and hence another problem starts.

Joey - it may appear as though some are being "over the top" but everyone lives with their worst experiences and tries to avoid them in future.... and if that means adding "conditions" then that is what you do. When you have done your first ten years you will know a little more about what I mean.

Re: shuttle service - I presume you mean picking them up in your car? Since I do not know where you are located - be very careful with this.

In the UK you need to get your car insured as a taxi if you want to run guests around and comply with taxi regulations (two MOT's per year etc). If you run guests around on normal "domestic" insurance (social/domestic and leisure) then you are likely to find the insurers may not pay out in the event of a claim. You need to have it in writing from the insurers that you are covered for driving guests around.

You also need to ensure your car is covered for "Use in association with your business" - since this is not social/domestic and leisure use either - but this car use insurance may be different if you are outside the UK - still best to check.

1 year ago
1
Denise

Wightgal, every situation is different. I make the decision on who is in the house, what time it is etc. I have had to find alternative accommodation for some guests on occasion.

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

You obviously have more patience than I Denise, if they roll up with more than the booked numbers - I simply say sorry only the number booked, no more unless they take an extra room..... if they want to look elsewhere or I haven't got another room - then searching for other accommodation for the "extra's" is up to them!

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Conditions are listed Joey... but you try finding someone that has read them. At least if you have emailed them via the Extranet you have an email you can wave at them laying out the "conditions".... it may not help the argument, but at least they cannot claim they were not told.

1 year ago
1
Pentire2016

Booking.com need to allow us to comment on the guest... a guest review. The amount of time that a guest can review a property should be set. I have heard of guests writing reviews on a stay of 2 years ago, received after the premises has changed hands and the review being allowed. Not on, try taking a garment back to a shop after 2 months, let alone 2 years and trying to make a complaint!!!

I think the very fact that they... the guests could receive a bad review, and therefore make booking future accommodation difficult, could just hopefully make them think a little more carefully about their behaviour. Certainly, allowing a child to 'decorate' a wall should become a thing of the past!

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1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

This has been tried before Pentire, but I think the sites involved found the legal complications too much.... and now the new legislation has arrived anything that "identifies" people would be even more difficult. That is not to say it is not something Bdc should not be exploring.

The other problem was people then booking under different names/friends/parents booking etc there is no perfect system - and the buggers know this!

1 year ago
1
Admin

We used to accept children, until we had our first family stay. They slammed doors, jumped off beds, ran up and down the hall and wanted to play the piano at 7am to "wake up the other guests". The parents also sent them down at 7am for me to babysit and serve breakfast, and they were very rude and disrespectful 7 and 11 year old boys. I changed our property to "no children" while they were here. We will not be accepting any more children and any family turning up with them can find somewhere else to stay. It's just not worth the potential problems for other guests. And our adult guests prefer the peace and quiet.

1 year ago
2
Tropical Oasis…

I have found that many guests look at the maximum # of people allowed to occupy a property and try to book it the cheapest way. I always assume the max number of guests by law. I have stopped offering a discounted rate to a number less then the maximum. I will only stock my apartments accordingly. All my guest must pay in full a minimum of 30 days prior to arrival. I inform guests in advance that I must by law turn away guests showing up with more then the (Fire Marshal) allows.

+1
1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Hear, hear! Totally agree - we only take holidays when the kids are supposedly in school and only use places that do NOT supply entertainment for children.... a weak and less than totally reliable Wifi is an added attraction since it discourages online gaming!

1 year ago
2
mrw

In fact, being nice does not pay (nor money) good reviews !

Just apply your rules & conditions strictly and refuse people not meeting your contractual conditions

Booking Customer Service is one of the rare OTA making conditions applicable

Enjoy !

+1
1 year ago
1
Pierre Meulemans

This is just such an accurate and true comment! Thanks a lot for being “straight to the point”’!!!!

11 days ago
1
Info

I've had this happen on more than one occasion, actually last week was the final straw for me. We had two rooms booked and they turned up with an extra adult. Where did they think I was going to put the person. They said it's fine we brought an air mattress but I insisted that unfortunately we cannot allow an extra person as there is no allocated bed for them. Also if I do let them in they will leave a review that it was cramped so just bite the bullet and protect yourself and your rooms. We offer a service and some guests like to think they can do what they want. I'm always happy to go the extra mile but in certain situations you need to stand up for yourself.

1 year ago
2
Martin

Hi!!

In the Booking Agreement, there are specifications, whether a property accepts children or not. There are also age limit specificatons. This information makes it easier for a guest to plan his/her stay and the property owner to charge accordingly. It is expected that the guest reads the details but in some cases, as already shared, most miss the point. In this situation, first remember our business is hospitality. Be the first to offer the voice of wisdom - think about the solution and assurance of the guest's comfort - it is strength. Any guest travelling around the globe is looking for "home" away from home. Let them experience it in your property no matter what the policies are. Certain situations call for pragmatic approach - in compliance with the country law. Money is addictive, so value first. Money and success will follow, and perhaps these might overtake you!!

1 year ago
2
Adagio Accommo…

In my policy I have price per night for the apartment. It can accommodate 5 people. It makes no difference if reservation is made for only one person or five of them. The price remains the same.And everithing is clear to me and guests.

At the beggining I use to charge per person but it was wery messy preparing invoices. Therefore I've changed my policy.

1 year ago
1
Baja Kathleen

I have had as many as 4 extra adults(a total of 6 adults) show up for a room with 2 queen beds. I just FLAT OUT told them that was not acceptable. I also had a couple tell me they were bringing a small pet..which in fact was their daughter!! Luckily the room they chose had an extra bed. We are totally in our rights to turn back guests who ignore the rules...especially since it is printed on our listings. Booking.com should not allow those persons to give reviews!

1 year ago
1
Stay

This is a great question! We have a B&B, w/a clear policy children over 12 only, and guest booked for 2 adults in the system. They showed up with a 4 and 6 year old. We said they could not stay and offered to help them find a place to to stay elsewhere, but they clearly could not stay at our Inn. They found other accommodations but now are threatening a negative review if we don't give them their money back. We had offered a credit for future stay.

Booking.com customer service also discussed with us that the guest violated clear policy and are considered a cancelled stay (but they still get their commission). So - should we send the threatening e-mail to booking.com? Anyone seen this before?
Thanks for insight. Wish we could review the guest!!

1 year ago
1
Friederike

Thank you Stay and Baja Kathleen.

I totally agree that BDC should not allow these guests to leave a review. I had a long discussion with the BDC service centre about this, but was told they could not do anything about it, wich may be true for the service centre agent, but not for BDC as a company! They could chose to treat their hotel partners more decently, than they actually do.

In the instances where it happened to us that guest arrived with 'unbooked' children in tow, it was quite clear that they had done this deliberately to save money. They have breached our policy, we were polite and did not turn them away. We have done the right thing by them, which we were not obliged to do, they have done the wrong thing and because they felt caught out, they retaliate by leaving a bad review.

It is frankly unacceptable in such a situation to treat your hotel partners unfavourably and 'reward' your guests' bad behaviour with giving them the power for revenge. My suggestion to the agent was to at least not let such a review by counted in your overall average rating score. Or at the very least not let them review anonymously or without leaving comments. Because there were no comment, we as a hotel did not even get the change to reply and set things right in our reply. There are so many things BDC could do and is chosing not to!

If BDC considered guests who violate the rules and get rightly turned away as 'cancelled' or 'no show', and this status shows up in the system, they should technically not be able to leave a review. 'Stay" were you able to verify this - just a thought. I would definitely forward the threatening email to BDC and definitely hang on to the email, in case they also leave a bad review on Tripadvisor.

Unlike Airbnb where reviews are possible on both sides there is a total power imbalance with BDC!

1 year ago
1
Grzegorz Szychowski

You can have an email after a reservation asking for guest names and ages in order to make a check-in quick and configure beds.
That way you prevent all situations that were described.

1 year ago
5
monet208

Does not work because the guest will ignore it and turn up with children anyway

That's why they have not told you in the first place!

Tried everything here

Now all refused and charged

1 year ago
1
Kerry

I have holiday houses and the way I got around it was when I send all guests coming in Directions to properties I put on the bottom. IN RED if you exceed the number of people you have booked for your booking will be automatically be cancelled with no refunds and no exceptions.. I also tell guests to take out travel Ins as we have strict cancellation policies in place. You will be amazed at how many people phone me to add extra guests... It does work

1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Stay/Kathleen - agree with your points and hence my earlier comment a few days back - if you are willing to take the loss... mark them as no shows/tell Bdc the card was invalid (which it usually is) and forgo your Cancellation monies and then they cannot review on Bdc.

That will not stop them reviewing you on TA or somewhere else, but there is only so much one can do... and I get phone calls from Bdc Customer Services asking in faintly injured tones why I am pre-authorising guests card details!

1 year ago
1
Info

We have run into the extra person issue several times, most recently a couple arrived at 10:30PM (2 hours late), and on their way to our place from the train, they called to say " oh, by the way, our college age daughter is with us for this night, do you have a cot or sofa for her?" Our policies clearly state 2 persons per room, and our rooms are set up for only two, no room for sofa or cot! These people were grateful, apparently dad slept on the floor, but, really? who does this? If we had had any extra rooms I would have asked them to use that and charged them, but I was totally booked.

This is different, but, I am still shocked - mother and son arrive for college orientation, again, mom was surprised that college was not putting son up for the night, so, he is sleeping in her bed. But, she wanted to know if she could cook for him as he has multiple food allergies and apparently can't eat anywhere except for one restaurant. No mention of any of this in her booking. We don't allow people to do their own cooking, nor do we supply cots, do laundry or any other request that is not listed on our website! Just ranting.

1 year ago
1
Pentire2016

I totally agree with this. The review system is a very one sided stance putting those who do the work in a no win situation. There are of course providers who are solely there for the money cutting corners and providing the bare minimum. Same with every sector.

If BDC find it so difficult to do as AirBnB do, in that the review system is a balance between provider and guest. Then, they should know their providers. A good consistent review score, should immediately give us the right to comment..... at the very least, on a review that is low and inconsistent with the majority.

In my mind, a no comment, anonymous review, good or bad should be disregarded in the overall score. If you can't add just a word or two, then the review is just a standard tick box with no point!!

1 year ago
2
Lanski70

I had 2 guests for 3 nights. The guests "invited " 8 more people to hang around, i spoke with the guest and explained that in our policy only the registered and checked in guests can stay at the property at all times. I contacted booking and let them know , booking sent an email to the guest that extra people need to leave in 30 minutes if no the reservation will be canceled and i can call the police. All the guests left after 30 minutes BUT came after midnight all 8 of them sneaking in like rats under the gate (i have security cameras) I contacted Bookung and eventually the reservation was canceled.

The guests had to leave after there first night and i kept the rest of the reservation money due to misconduct of the gust

What to learn,

1. Stricked your policy.

2.Charge the guests 30 upfront with no return policy .

3. Dont rely on the Police only if you have official cancellation of the reservation.

You dont need bad guests and scammers, serious guests will go with your property.

4. Try to communicate with your guests on the booking page only.

5. Call Booking and you will get fast and great support .

Good luck ;)

1 year ago
1
Volpino

I had guests who booked my house for 4 people. 17 people and 5 large german shepherd type dogs arrived. they crept in, when i challenged them they were very unpleasant and intimidating. my maximum no is 10 guests and 2 dogs(with permission) What would other hosts do in this situation and if they rejected them would they lose their money? These guests? when they left left horrible reviews.

5 months ago
5
Graham Fisher

I'm afraid we are back to the old question Volpino - are you prepared to lose the money?

Here we reject the client (I would rather have the accommodation empty then risk the possible damage people like this are likely to cause!) then mark them as "no shows" (the booking you expected was not the one that arrived!) and say the card was invalid on Booking.com. You lose your money, but they cannot then leave a review on Bdc.

The choice is loss of money or loss of reputation via a bad review - your choice.

5 months ago
1
Volpino

May be, but how do I get rid of them...I am 78, fit but on crutches, if they refuse to go and behave in a threatening manner, what do I do?

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Well said Graham-Fisher. Don’t like this kind of guests and need them. Just call the police if you can’t handle it.
Very sorry to hear that guests might be so dangerous...
Wish you all the best and take care....

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Sometime ago I had guests bringing 7 dogs without notice but they were very responsible and licked the place after all leaving it clean and tidy but that’s another story.

5 months ago
1
Volpino

Thank you for your helpful replies

5 months ago
5
Graham Fisher

Volpino - if it worries you, then I think I would consider retiring and selling the property off.

Unfortunately, if people get to know your age and concerns they may "spread the word" and cause you more grief.

5 months ago
1
Info

I've also experienced bookings of 2 showing up with 3. EX:We had one couple bringing their daughter to college - the mother, a physician (I know this because she called 3-4 times previous to their arrival to ask multiple questions, and tell me about them), father and college age daughter arrived close to midnight and stated that they thought the daughter would be in the dorm that night, but! oh well, do we have a cot for her? Our policy is clearly stated: 2 per room, no child under 14. And here, at midnight, they wanted special accommodation! We have no cots, but gave them extra sheets and blanket and dad slept on the floor. I hope he was uncomfortable! I know that they were perfectly aware of the policy as mom is a planner ,she was just being sneaky.

We had another couple, clearly also aware of the policy, who arrived after we were asleep, snuck in their 9 year old son, and were feeding him wet cereal in bed (!) so that we didn't catch on.

I have learnt to always ask HOW MANY, but, on line reservations are harder to make sure people are telling the truth. We are a small B&B with only 4 rooms, so people who arrive with more then 2 often just have to suffer as we often don't have other rooms to move them to. On the other hand, I had a woman reserve two rooms for her and her adult son. Turns out, he didn't want his own room, he slept in the same bed a mom (!), and they were upset when I charged them for two rooms! Ah, people.

The only recourse to the bad review is to state clearly in the response, how they disobeyed the rules, and no wonder they were uncomfortable!

5 months ago