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Aibu to turn this customer away?

(420 Posts)
QuandryQueen Tue 27-Dec-16 09:37:51

I've name changed as I'm a regular and this is a work related question and I don't want it linked to my usual account.

I work at a Hotel and what with the Christmas break was the most senior person there yesterday and will be this afternoon and evening. I don't know what decision to make!

A customer reserved a room to arrive today and I noticed yesterday they have put a comment on the booking to say they are bringing their dog. We don't accept dogs except service pets. They booked through a travel agent/Web site rather than direct. I have been off prior to yesterday so not sure if others have seen the note or not. There's nothing in the booking to show that anyone has tried to get in touch with the guest.

I messaged them through the site they booked (a from hotel message not a personal one!), and highlighted where it says on their confirmation that pets are not allowed.

I have no other way of communicating with them. As of yet we have had no response.

What do I do?
1) message again, not knowing if they will see it?
2) if they turn up with the dog turn them away?
3) if they turn up with the dog let them just keep the dog in their room?

They've pre paid and booked a month ago so it's pretty crap that none of us have seen the note before now, but it is well hidden in amongst all the other data on their booking.

What do I do??

lilyboleyn Tue 27-Dec-16 09:40:32

Oh goodness.
If they're arriving today I think the best thing you could do for her is to let her keep the dog. I know it's against policy but the alternative for her is being left in the lurch somewhere she doesn't know and with potentially nowhere to stay.
With more notice you could have cancelled the booking. At such short notice I think it's morally wobbly.

DeathStare Tue 27-Dec-16 09:40:57

Message again then if they arrive with it, turn the dog away.

If you have a no pet policy then accepting the dog would not be fair on other customers who have deliberately booked that hotel because they are allergic to or afraid of dogs.

littleducks Tue 27-Dec-16 09:41:47

Won't other guests be annoyed if you allow a dog and they selected a pet free hotel. Do many hotels allow dogs?

You could always start with:

I'm sorry Sir, we don't allow dogs apart from service animals. Now is your dog a service animal <dramatic pause>

wink

LongtimeLurkerNowPokemonHunter Tue 27-Dec-16 09:41:56

I'd say you make an exception or make them a booking elsewhere at no extra cost to them. If they booked a month ago and heard nothing they have no reason to suspect there was an issue.
They could realistically be already en route just now, hence no reply.

lougle Tue 27-Dec-16 09:42:02

I think if they have stated they are bringing their dog and you have confirmed their booking, they'll expect to bring it. You should have noticed the issue earlier.

How clear is the 'no pets' section of the booking confirmation? Is it something that would have been clear prior to booking?

lilyboleyn Tue 27-Dec-16 09:42:28

You could also make very clear to her that you don't normally accept pets and that she will obviously be liable for any damage and get her to sign to say so.

Rosa Tue 27-Dec-16 09:42:33

I would decide when you see the dog and you meet the person. I would explain that the hotel site clearly says no dogs, i would also check the website third party that is selling the hotel and see whether the description states it.
Then go with your gut . If needed make a set if rules and dicuss at check in, no dogs on beds, in bar or whatever then see how the guest accepts it. I would be very apologetic and friendly and also in the mean time look locally if there are any other hotels nearby that do accept dogs.
Also how would senior management accept your decision?

Bluntness100 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:42:55

Do you have a phone number? If so call them and explain dogs are only accepted if it's a service animal.

You need to turn the dog away if it's not a service animal and people with pets should know to find this out in advance before booking. I suspect there's a good chance it's a service animal.

ChuckSnowballs Tue 27-Dec-16 09:43:33

I am highly allergic to dogs and my OH is petrified of them [due to seeing his sister mauled at a young age]. I would not be happy to book a No Dogs hotel to find dogs wandering around. We only ever check into Pet Free Airbnbs or hotels whenever we travel as a matter of course.

LongtimeLurkerNowPokemonHunter Tue 27-Dec-16 09:43:47

Just thinking, many hotels (even travelodge) charged an extra 25 quid for a dog. Might be able to take more deposit/add a deeper clean of the carpets to the charge? Just a thought

Rockpebblestone Tue 27-Dec-16 09:44:20

Have a quick ring round to find alternative accommodation that allows dogs. Refund them any money that has already been paid.

kilmuir Tue 27-Dec-16 09:44:21

I am assuming the dog is not a service dog?

Hoppinggreen Tue 27-Dec-16 09:44:53

I worked at a hotel with a no pet policy, which was very clear.
People would still bring them, partly I think because they didn't believe that we would actually turn them away but we did.
I sometimes felt bad about it but management were very clear on it. Is there no phone number on the booking? There usually is a contact number

ShadowMane Tue 27-Dec-16 09:45:01

Start looking for another hotel for them
Close by and similar or better than your hotel

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Tue 27-Dec-16 09:45:07

can the dog owner be offered the chance to pay for an extreme clean when they leave?

It's pretty poor practice that the "special requests" section has been ignored until now tbh, so I'd say the hotel is on the back foot here.

Also...dog owner may be away without proper email access so won't be aware of your last minute message.

greenfolder Tue 27-Dec-16 09:45:41

Do you have a room or rooms that you use for service dogs?

FriendofBill Tue 27-Dec-16 09:47:43

It states no pets on the website.
You don't then add a note 'I'm bringing my pet' it is their mistake and I would turn them away.
Let them use the phone/help them re book as a good will gesture.

Babymamamama Tue 27-Dec-16 09:48:09

In this one instance I would accept the dog and if any other guests complain I would refer them to the paragraph regarding service dogs. If they complained further i would give them a lecture about hidden disabilities. Job done.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Tue 27-Dec-16 09:48:10

I used to run a guest house... this sort of thing happens.. Get on the phone to your other hotels and guest houses in town who do allow pooches.. and reserve a room with them for the dog..

Oh and look carefully at how your no dog policy appears on the intermediary booking website... It is quite possible that the intermediary site doesn't actually mention the dog policy.

Also contact your boss or at least send emails to get your side or the inevetable argument recorded.. expect a slating on Trip Advisor.

sooperdooper Tue 27-Dec-16 09:49:46

I would try and find an alternative room locally that will accept the dog, and if it's more exensive your hotel has to pick up the cost - someone really should've spotted that request before now & you can't turn them away with nowhere to go!

It's also unfair to allow the dog to stay when other guests aren't expecting animals at your hotel, so I think it's your best option tbh

ChasedByBees Tue 27-Dec-16 09:50:31

In this one instance I would accept the dog and if any other guests complain I would refer them to the paragraph regarding service dogs. If they complained further i would give them a lecture about hidden disabilities. Job done.

That would be quite disingenuous. A pet would clearly not be a service dog and I would not appreciate someone obviously lying to my face.

OP, I don't know what to advise in this instance but a policy to collect phone numbers from third party sites and check the special requests as soon as the booking comes in should be implemented for the future.

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Tue 27-Dec-16 09:50:58

Call the travel agent/website. They will charge commission if there is a cancellation so decline the booking with them. They may even be able to rebook elsewhere. It depends on the booking site, the smaller ones are very helpful.

Allthewaves Tue 27-Dec-16 09:52:39

If states no dogs then I would say they can't have their dog in the hotel. You could end up with lots of angry customers about a dog being in the hotel, esp if it barks.

I'm horrendously allergic so if I stayed in that room after it I would end up with massive skin reaction and breathing problems.

user1471521456 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:53:51

How about ringing round local boarding kennels (if you can't find them a local dog friendly hotel) so you can offer that solution as well.

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