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Old 07-05-2017, 03:17 PM
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Default Another last minute cancellation/sob story

I really wonder about peoples' consciences these days.

As many of you know, I own vacation rentals. They are the source of a lot of my personal income.

We have a 30 day cancellation policy on all of our rentals. If you cancel within 30 days, you forfeit the rent. That's because we don't have the opportunity to re-rent the cabin.

So a lady calls me today...her reservation is in 4 days - July 9 - for a full week.

"Well, my son takes care of an elderly gentleman who is related to his niece, and his niece was going to take over care of the elderly gentleman while my son came on vacation with us. Well, his niece fell in the shower and broke her elbow and we would like a refund."

Of course, I went through the 30 days deal, and she went off on how I was being greedy and inconsiderate.

So let me get this straight: You don't know me from Adam, call me up with your personal problem, and want ME to bear the financial responsibility for it? How would anyone with half a brain consider that fair?

I pay plenty enough every day for my own personal tragedies and problems, without indemnifying all of my renters for their problems too!

Wow!

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:02 PM
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I agree with you that a Clear and FIRM cancellation policy is fair.
It is a problem when people think they can just tell a sad sob story and expect you to change your policy.
It is one of the reasons I am dreading if we lose our current renters because so many people cant or wont respect peoples rules.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:03 PM
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people need to read the fine print before they rent. VBROs are not hotel chains that can handle a last minute cancellation. I hope she pays you
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:43 PM
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Cancellation policies are so common these days, that there is no reason why anyone should be unfamiliar with these policies. Even hotels have a cancellation policy that would require an advance notice in order to receive a refund. Other people's emergencies are not your emergencies, so therefore you don't have to sacrifice for their emergencies.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:44 PM
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Sorry to hear that.

How will this play out and who will handle this? Does it require legal action or something?

Just because the son can't go doesn't mean that the mom and whoever else was planning on going can't make it now either.

While unfortunate for them, this is exactly why you have that policy in place.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:59 PM
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You are absolutely right, of course. We've rented many vacation homes and none of them allow last minute cancellations.

I'm curious if you suggest or offer trip insurance as part of the rental process. If not, perhaps you could consider at least linking guests to an appropriate trip insurance site where they could get coverage for their stay.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:48 PM
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We had a lady back in the spring who made reservations for the wrong dates, which meant she no-showed. That cost her $2200.

She charged it back to her cc, they took the money back from us, and then we had to file a dispute.. The lady cited that we "misrepresented" the property.

Of course, we submitted a plethora of evidence to demonstrate that she made the reservation for the wrong dates, and got 5 emails from us confirming the dates.

Three months later we get notice that she is still asserting this and that "a decision has not been made."

They offered us arbitration, but said if we lose it could cost us $500. I said "heck yeah we will go to arbitration". So now we wait two more months!

There is NOTHING to arbitrate! She made a mistake and wants the homeowner to eat it!

If we lose the arbitration i am tempted to sue for the $2200 plus all fees paid to recoup it.

Real honest lady here...
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
You are absolutely right, of course. We've rented many vacation homes and none of them allow last minute cancellations.

I'm curious if you suggest or offer trip insurance as part of the rental process. If not, perhaps you could consider at least linking guests to an appropriate trip insurance site where they could get coverage for their stay.
This was through VRBO. They offer it, she didn't take it, but it wouldn't pay in a case like this anyhoo.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:40 AM
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Guess you can't fault her for trying

Unless she was a many time, repeat renter, I'd stick to your policy and keep the deposit, explaining basically as you have above. To soften things you could consider a slight discount to re-book this place or another, at another time?
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishindude77 View Post
Guess you can't fault her for trying

Unless she was a many time, repeat renter, I'd stick to your policy and keep the deposit, explaining basically as you have above. To soften things you could consider a slight discount to re-book this place or another, at another time?
We always offer that, but it's usually "thanks but no thanks, we just want our money back."
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:35 AM
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Complete crap... Would be nice if people had an ounce of accountability anymore. Made a mistake, suck it up, learn from it... vs cheat your way out and expect others to pick up the tab for your mistake. Unfortunately thats not at all the millennial way and things will probably get worse as the population ages.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:56 AM
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If this is a growing problem (and I'll bet it is), be sure to speak up to VRBO. In order for them to make money, they need their "product" (people willing to buy and rent out vacation properties). If the property owners get disgruntled and start selling off their vacation properties so that they don't have to deal with nonsense like that any more, VRBO's earnings will go down. It would be in their best interest to make improvements such as looking in to ways to firm up the cancellation policies.

Home Away/VRBO wants to grow. http://www.kvue.com/news/local/homea...jobs/451614679
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishindude77 View Post
Guess you can't fault her for trying

Unless she was a many time, repeat renter, I'd stick to your policy and keep the deposit, explaining basically as you have above. To soften things you could consider a slight discount to re-book this place or another, at another time?
I agree with this as well. Doesn't hurt to try from their side. Otherwise I understand it's still a business and they agreed to your policy as well.

While it's a different situation, I was reading up on the B&B policy I have for next week reservations, where they still charge you for canceling within 7 days of the reservation. However, IF they can find someone to book that room, to they offer a voucher to use within the next 12 months instead of a refund.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:49 AM
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So... her son can't go on the vacation so she wants to just cancel the whole vacation? She made the reservations and the money is already committed.... so she could still go! Heck, bring a friend along instead if it means there is now an extra room in the house. .... people.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:23 AM
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Haven't used VRBO in a bit but I know airBNB makes the owner's cancellation policy clear when you are booking. Anything could happen when you book a vacation so the renter needs to be prepared for that.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseBucks View Post
Haven't used VRBO in a bit but I know airBNB makes the owner's cancellation policy clear when you are booking. Anything could happen when you book a vacation so the renter needs to be prepared for that.
Contracts don't mean anything these days. If people can find a way to work around them, or frustrate you to the point of dropping the entire matter, they will do so.
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHusker View Post
Contracts don't mean anything these days. If people can find a way to work around them, or frustrate you to the point of dropping the entire matter, they will do so.
Sad but true. You can fight it knowing that you're right with signed contract in hand, but the time and cost of the legal proceedings to do so can easily outweigh the potential benefit - and the customers know that.
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
Sad but true. You can fight it knowing that you're right with signed contract in hand, but the time and cost of the legal proceedings to do so can easily outweigh the potential benefit - and the customers know that.
On the other hand, I may spend what it takes to win the $2200 dispute, as a matter of principle.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:47 PM
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I remember renting an apartment to some girl. She signed the lease, paid the deposit and about a week or so later I heard from her that she had moved to TX (we are in PA) and wanted her security deposit back! No can do. She forfeited that, and now I had to find another renter. Why does someone rent an aparment and the next week move to TX? This is why some folks are poor and will always be poor, because they never plan out their lives in any way shape or form. But of course they want everyone else to pick up the slack for them.
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:00 PM
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That's just life man...part of doing business. Move forward just Suck it UP!

We've never experienced this before. We don't do VRBO anymore, but Airbnb host way better IMO.
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