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More guests arrive then booked for

Our property is listed on booking.com as "no children permitted" (all our rooms are couples only with one queen size bed), yet people still book for 2 adults then arrive with children.  Any tips on how to prevent this? 

I already contact all guests before arrival and confirm the number of guests and that there are no children, yet they still arrive with them.  Some sneak kids in (I find nappies or baby food in the bin and/or handprints on glass doors or toys left behind, its obvious there's been a child there) and there's nothing I can do about this, if it takes the cleaner longer, I do charge extra. 

My occupancy permit is for 2 people per unit (regardless of age of the people, babies included) so if I see kids in the car when they arrive, I have no choice but to either refuse them entry or break the law and let them in.  If I get caught breaking the law and allowing 3 people in a 2 person unit then I face possible +$3000 in fine and 6 months in jail for "overcrowding tourist accommodation", which is not a risk I want to take, so I refuse them entry, which of course makes them angry, even though it is their fault for lying on their reservation and when I contacted them to confirm their booking details. 

When I contact them to confirm their booking, I have the following in the terms and conditions, but it still happens! "Bringing more people than your confirmation letter states (including babies and children) may result in additional charges or cancellation of your booking, cancellation policy still applies. If you arrive with more people than you booked for, we have no choice but to cancel your booking if the additional person/people breaches our maximum occupancy permits."

Any tips or tricks I haven't thought of to try and get people to be honest on their booking?  Sometimes I feel like I am interrogating honest couples on the phone/email because I am suspicious they may have a child coming too.  Does anyone else face this issue?  What do you do? 

16 Replies

7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Angela,

I had an issue with this also, then every time this happens, I remind them to book according to occupancy, even though we allow kids as they fit comfortably within the same bed with parents.

However there was this one guy who left me my worst review, a nice 2.5. He said that all accommodations allow children under a certain age to come, this is something normal for him so he didn't consider adding it to his booking, because kids stay should be free.

So what you could do is charge them extra, like a really big extra for cleaning and/or refuse their stay if it exceeds the 2 people limit, let BDC call center handle the drama. You can tell them on the phone that you are not accepting any guests who do not respect the occupancy settings of your property. You need to continue charging them for the stay even though you don't accept them with children, just so that they learn to respect T&C, because that is there for a reason.

I started charging extra fees for extensive cleaning, whenever they leave a room very dirty, nobody complained about it because I send them an e-mail with pictures of how they left the rooms, just to avoid any backlash further down the line.

Once some young couple decided to pain my bathroom walls with body paint (after they've painted themselves with that), this was one of those weird situations I've never thought could happen. Extra cleaning fee charged, they still left a 10 review (if you explain it very nicely, most don't get upset).

There is absolutely no way you can solve this issue, other than what you're already doing. Maybe put up a large sign stating these conditions at your property.

People are people and they always try to do things, even if it costs them extra in the end.

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
3
Torrdarach

I have this happen to me last year. A French couple had booked a standard double room and they turned up with a baby. I refused to let them in, i found them alternative accommodation and still charged them for the room as it had been booked for several months.

Our fire safety regulations only allow for 2 persons per room due to the size of them. If anything should happen then we are not covered by the insurance.

We have also stopped selling single occupancy on BDC as people were choosing this option, as it is a cheaper rate, and then they would turn up as 2 persons.

But just like Zsolt wrote, people are people and they will try anything!

1 year ago
5
Sara Jarvis

I added a double bed as so many couples asked with a single discount. but like you find that people pay a single rate and sneak someone in.A mature mother booked and arrived to visit her unhappy son in a school in London I was shocked in the morning to open the bathroom door and find a tall 22 year old showering away the next morning the mother explained he had slept with her in her single booking.........he ate a huge breakfast and I couldn’t charge more as they paid booking directly. Similar thing a few days ago a Mother snuck her adult daughter in the bed thinking I was asleep when I saw her after 1 am in the kitchen she said oh my daughter is watching a film with me

how to make them pay double after the fact???????

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sara,

Why couldn't you charge them even if they paid to an OTA?
If someone has a prepaid booking, that doesn't mean that anything else which is not included is for free.
This is actually your fault that you allow it to happen.
Sorry to break it to you this way, but you need to grow a pair and ask them to pay the difference.
I once had a situation that they appeared with another person. At the checkout I just told them what they had to pay extra, no complaint and everything was fine. Some other time the guests ask if it's okay to bring someone with them, or that they have a guest coming to have breakfast with them or even a coffee, everything has a price in your property so act accordingly and charge it.

Best of luck,
Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
5
Sara Jarvis

How could I march in and demand money after the fact actually I was more shocked at a 22 year old sleeping in the bed with his mother than the thought they had planned it I will try and refrase the booking terms though.I have an extra bed in the lounge for the people who say ‘oh can aunt friend or whoever stay over ‘ then I ask for money up front I even have the Square reader but the sneakiness of those two shocked me never had it with ABB as there is far more communication at booking point and although I prefer BDC this is becoming a sore point which could make me sadly change companies

1 year ago
5
Sara Jarvis

Another query please

i had to cancel due to emergency surgery recently and BDC were very good and relocated etc and they got in touch with guests as I was in hospital but the guest still phoned to ask ‘why did you cancel me ‘ isn’t that strange.?

1 year ago
5
Sara Jarvis

Is there a way to use this forum without re signing in every single question?

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Sara,

Not sure about the sign-in part. Usually if I'm on my laptop it keeps me signed in after I first log in in the morning.

So, I presume you have an apartment or more, therefore the check-out process is not at a reception where you can control the entry and exit of the guests?

If so, you need to just give them a notice, not barge in. I would just send them an e-mail or message stating that their reservation has been modified because of newly introduced guests and that you will be charging them extra.

I suggest you send an invoice with that.

About the second thing, if BDC cancels their reservation due to your medical emergency, then it shouldn't be something they should be upset about, you can tell them if they call why it was canceled. Normal people would totally understand.

Best of luck,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
4
Angela @Promhills

@Zsolt I like your statement that the "reservation has been modified because of newly introduced guests" - I think I will use this phrase from now on, thank you.

1 year ago
1
Michellebigbear

I would charge them a large security deposit and let them know that if they show up with more people than what the city allows, that they will forfeit their entire security deposit and will not be allowed entry. Of course, they can still charge back their credit card, but there's really nothing else you can do.

If they book far enough in advance, you could have them send you a money order for the security deposit. Then they can't charge back their credit card.

1 year ago
1
Info

We also have experienced guests booking for a certain no. then arriving with up to 5 extra people. It seems they are not aware that we actually live at the property and think they can sleep as many as they wish. These incidents are not just spur of the moment, they have planned it before leaving home, obviously to save money buy paying for less people.

One of these experiences was most uncomfortable as it took nearly 2 hours to convince this group they could only sleep the number they booked for. We even found alternative accommodation for the overflow which they refused, as they insisted they stay together. At this point I offered a full refund and asked them to leave. Still they said they sleep on couch or floor. Out property is a five star higher end property and we just couldn't allow this to happen, for several reasons.... health and safety, legal requirements etc. We offered for the whole group to use our guest kitchen to prepare and share their dinner at night and breakfast in the morning. When we went out to check that everything was turned off both vans were still their, indicating that noone had left yet. Upon checking those that were supposed to go where in the shower. Can you believe it????

As mentioned by a previous host, we give full details of what to expect from us as hosts and what is expected of our guests. this seems to make no difference to some people as we have had other hosts stay with us that have experienced the same problem. Guests get away with it with many of these properties as they let themselves in with a key and no one knows anything different.

As also mentioned by a previous host, we believe we have done everything possible, even going beyond what should be expected and still some guests push the countries.

On this occasion we received a terrible review from these guests sighting problems that are totally contradictory to all other reviews with our other accommodation partners.

Once again, we want to stay with Booking.com but the hassles of difficult guests are becoming a problem. Any ideas??

1 year ago
5
monet208

Take a large deposit if you are self catering

Pre- authorise the credit card

Refuse entry whatever your accommodation- if they are ignoring the Conditions can you imagine how they will treat your property

Charge them the full amount or balance since you have put this in your terms and confirmation

Don't be soft as 99% of the time it will bounce back and you will lose out

1 year ago
1
Info

Yes we have taken a 70% deposit. 50% at time of booking then 20% 8 weeks out. These guests did not get to mover their things in. All the discussion was done out side in a covered area in the freezing cold. they were also charged the full amount on the day of arrival. the problem was they arrived with 5 extra guests that we did not want to accommodate so charging wasn't the issue. The thing that hurt most was the very very bad review. When I spolk to Booking.com about it they just said they had to respect the guests opinion and comments and yes I responded to the review.

Thanks for your suggestions all the same. Guess we just have to understand hum,an nature lets you down at times. It's just that is has only started happening since working with booking.com. some of the guests seem to have a different outlook. We don't see where it is possible to comment on the guests in cases like this as we would hate these guests to treat others like we were treated.

1 year ago
3
Villa Junona Croatia

It has just happened to me.

A month ago a woman from France reserved a family room (2 rooms in fact with big balcony) for 1 person at the price for 1 person, of course.

Just after the reservation she wrote a message, saying that she did not understand if her reservation is OK for 5 person. In reply she got my answer saying that room is Ok for 5, but she had to change the reservation and pay for correct number of person.

She did not answered at all, but they have just come all five and tried to make me let them in, telling that this price that is for 1 person is too much even for 5 and they would easily find another hotel for less money.

I refused to give them keys unless they change their reservation details pay in advance the price which is correct for 5 person.

Am I right?

11 months ago
5
monet208

Don’t even think about this
You are totally right
They were trying it on
Hope you took payment for the one person who booked as well!!

11 months ago
2
Pennyinnz

I to have had this happen. Book for two then bring along 3 kids and I have a no children policy so didn't read. Difficult to turn away when there is no where else for them to stay.

6 months ago