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These Guests Are So Exhausting, We’re Looking For Rooms Ourselves

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Briarrose1021 | June 29, 2022

I work night audit at a motel. This one begins at 4:05 am. A guest and three friends show up. I speak to them over the phone, as the office is locked between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am.

Me: “[Standard hotel greeting].”

Guest: “I have a reservation and I’m outside to check in.”

Me: “One moment, I will open the office.”

I open the office and the guest and three friends enter.

Me: “What is the last name on the reservation?”

Guest: “It’s [Last Name]. I have two rooms.”

Me: “I see your reservation. Unfortunately, check-in for this room is not until 3:00 pm.”

Guest: “Can I have an early check-in?”

Me: “You could, but early check-in begins at noon. In order for me to check you in right now, I would need to create a new booking for you for another night.”

Guest: “How much is that?”

Me: “For each room, it will be [rate] plus tax.”

Guest: “Can’t you just use my reservation?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but it is a third-party reservation, so I am not allowed to make any changes to the reservation. All changes must be made with them.”

Guest: “So, I can call them and change the check-in date?”

Me: “Unfortunately, sir, as it is after midnight, they are only going to be able to make reservations for the following night.”

Guest: “But we need a room now!”

Me: “The only way I can check you in now is to create a separate booking at the price I already quoted you. You will still be able to use your booking for tomorrow night, but that will not even be active for several hours.”

Guest’s Friend: “Why can’t you check us in now?”

Me: “Our system does not roll over to the next day until 6:00 am. At the moment, as far as our system is concerned, it is still [yesterday].”

Guest’s Friend: “So, can we check in at 6:00 am?”

Me: “Our early check-in policy is for a noon check-in. However, for an additional fee—” *which is roughly half the normal room rate, and only because I have the rooms available* “—I can check you in at 6:00 am.”

Guest: “So, how much would it be to check in now?”

Me: “To check in right now, it would be [rate], as it is a new booking. If you wait and check in at 6:00 am, on your original booking, it will be [amount]. If you wait and check in at 12:00 pm on your original reservation, it will be [other amount]. If you wait until 3:00 pm, there will be no additional charge to your reservation.”

Cue spending the next ten minutes going through those prices and the fact that I cannot give them access to the rooms right now unless they pay for a new booking, and no, I will not let them put their luggage in the room right now and come back at 6:00 am unless they pay for a new booking.

Guest: “Okay, let me check with [Booking Site] to see if they can change the check-in date.”

Me: “Sure thing.”

I know full well that [Booking Site] can’t do that. Cue me waiting about five minutes while [Guest] is on the phone with the booking site. He comes back to the desk with an employee from the booking site on speakerphone.

Me: “This is the [Hotel] front desk.”

Employee #1: “Yes, the guest [Guest] is trying to check in and wants to know if they can check in early.”

Me: “As I have already explained to [Guest]—” *who is standing right here* “—their reservation is for the night of [today], and our computer system does not shift over to the new day until 6:00 am. I cannot use [Guest]’s current reservation and check them in right now. I can check him in on a new reservation, but if he only wants to use his current reservation, then the earliest I can check him in is 6:00 am for the early check-in fee.”

Employee #1: “I understand. Please put [Guest] back on the phone.”

I hand the phone back to [Guest] and wait to see what he is going to do.

Guest: *After hanging up* “So, we can check in at 6:00 am?”

Me: “Yes, but not before then without making a new reservation.”

Guest: “Okay, we will be back at 6:00 am.”

Me: “Okay, see you in an hour and a half.”

I escort the guest and his friends back outside of the office and close and lock the office door again.

Approximately fifteen minutes later, the phone rings.

Me: “[Standard greeting].”

Employee #2: “Hello, this is [Employee #2] from [Booking Site] calling on a recorded line. I am calling about a guest with a reservation for [today] who would like to check in early.”

Me: “Yes. As I explained to the guest at least four times and have already explained to another [Booking Site] representative…” *goes through an explanation of times and early check-in fees*

Employee #2: “Oh, okay. In that case, would you authorize the cancellation of this booking with no cancellation fee?”

It is a pre-paid booking, which the boss has already told us is not refundable under any circumstances, though our manager has been known to allow for refunds in certain situations and basically leaves it up to us. And, normally, I would allow it because it’s for the next night and we can still sell the room. However, these guys tried to argue with me for thirty minutes and then wanted a refund when I wouldn’t put them in a room, even though I told them the system WOULD NOT LET ME because the system is STILL ON [YESTERDAY].

Me: “No.”

Employee #2: “Oh. Okay.”

I’m fairly certain she isn’t really surprised by my denial, given the situation, but just sort of surprised at my flat, one-word response.

Employee #2: “So, that is a no for the cancellation without a fee?”

Me: “Correct. They can cancel if they want, but I am not authorizing a refund.”

Employee #2: “Okay. Thank you very much for your time.”

End of the phone call and beginning of the wait until 6:00 am, because I know they’re coming back.

At 6:15 am, the phone rings again.

Me: “[Standard greeting].”

Guest: “Hi, it’s me to check in.”

Yes, he said exactly that.

I open up the office to check in the guest.

Me: “I just need ID and a credit/debit card.”

Guest: *Hands me ID* “Do you take [Online Payment]?”

Me: “No. Credit/Debit cards only.”

The guest looks confused and digs around in his wallet. Finally, he finds a card and hands it to me. I try to charge the card for the early check-in fee on the first of the two rooms. The card is declined.

Me: “This card was declined. Do you have another card you would like to use?”

Guest: “Yes. Just a minute.”

He texts on his phone. A minute or so later, one of the friends who hasn’t been in the office yet comes in and brings his card.

Me: *To the friend* “I will also need your ID for this payment.”

I get his ID and try to run the payment — success for the early check-in fee. Now I try to process the security deposit — declined. We process the security deposits separate from the room payments, as they are just holds and it is easier to refund/release them at checkout when they are separate.

Me: “This card worked for the early check-in fee, but it was declined for the security deposit. You still owe [total] for the two rooms. Do you have another card you would like to use?”

The friend checks his balance on his phone. 

Guest’s Friend: “There is enough of a balance; please try again.”

I try again, and it’s still declined for insufficient funds.

Me: “The card was declined for insufficient funds. Do you have another card that you would like to use?”

The guest hands me a credit card this time. I run it and the security deposit does through. YAY! I go to process the payment for room two, beginning with the early check-in fee — declined.

Me: “So, this card worked for the security deposit of the first room, which is now fully paid for. But it was declined for the early check-in fee on the second. Do you have another card you would like to try?”

I am really trying to stay nice, but I only have another ninety minutes on my shift, I’m annoyed with these people, and I am tired, so I’m sure the strain is coming through in my tone.

Guest’s Friend: “Will our room be available from outside?”

I’m confused as to why this is even a question since anybody with eyes and half a brain can see this is a motel with EVERY room accessed from the outside.

Me: “All of our rooms are accessed from outside.”

The guest does something on his phone for a few minutes.

Guest: “Please try that card again.”

I prepare to try the card again, glance at the card reader, and G**D*** IT! THE F****** MACHINE HAS STARTED ITS NIGHTLY PROCESSING! So now I have to wait for it to restart. I explain this to the guest and we twiddle our thumbs for about three minutes waiting for the card reader. It finally comes back up and I try the card again. This time, both payments for the second room go through. YAY!

I would also like to say that, while all of this is going on, the guest is also filling out the welcome form we use for each of the rooms, and I have to hand them back to him a full FIVE TIMES, telling him each time that I need the FIRST AND LAST NAMES of each guest who will be in the rooms. After ask number five, I finally have the forms fully filled out, so I finish processing the check-ins and hand them their keys at 6:45, letting them know that the Wi-Fi password is written on their key packets. I gladly usher them out of the office, close the office door behind them, and come back to type up this story.

I will be so glad when the shift ends in an hour and I can go to bed because people who refuse to listen to what I am saying simply because they don’t like it truly annoy me.

BUT! The phone rings at 7:11 am.

Me: “[Standard greeting].”

Guest: “Hi. Can you tell me the Wi-Fi password?”

Me: *In a slightly annoyed tone* “It is written on your key packet.”

Guest: “Oh. Thank you.”

Me: *Hangs up* “Which is what I told you when I gave you your f****** keys!”

Yes, I said this out loud to the empty office, because it made me feel a tiny bit better. Well, not really. But it needed to be said and I couldn’t say it to the guest.

Question of the Week

What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

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