This Is Checking Out Okay

, , | Right | February 8, 2018

(I work as the guest services manager at a hotel. Early one morning, around 9:00 am, a local resident comes in looking for a room. She pays cash and leaves a deposit, and since we have a vacant room already cleaned, I agree to check her in. Around 2:30 pm, the customer comes back to the front desk.)

Me: “Hi! Is everything okay?”

Customer: “Oh, yes. There’s just been a change of plans. I won’t be needing this room tonight, after all, so I’ll be checking out now.”

(At this point, I prepare for a fight, because housekeeping has just finished for the day. I won’t be able to refund her room charge if the room has been used in any way, because I can’t rent it out until it has been properly cleaned.)

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. I will have to go check the room, though, before I can—”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, no problem! I just took a shower, had a nap, nothing crazy in there. No damage, I promise.”

Me: “Yes, well, unfortunately, housekeeping is finished for the day, and since the room has been used, I won’t be able to refund your money today. You see—”

Customer: “Oh, I know.”

Me: *pause* “What?”

Customer: “I said, ‘I know.’ I don’t want my money back; I just wanted to pick up my deposit.”

Me: “Oh! Well, in that case, you’re all set to go.”

Customer: “Oh, good. I was starting to think something was wrong.”

Me: “My gosh, no. It’s just that normally when this happens, people expect to get their money back, and they fight with us.”

Customer: “Really?”

Me: “Oh, yes. You have no idea. I’ve had people check in at 3:00 pm, and at 11:00 pm, they want to leave and be refunded or have the charge removed from their credit card. People get really aggressive about it, too; last month we had to call the police on a woman because she was trying to get in the office to assault my front desk clerk. She destroyed part of my lobby!”

Customer: “Really? That’s unbelievable. You would think people would understand the concept of paying for what they use or consume. Some people just never grow up.”

Me: “Well, here’s your deposit back, and thank you again for not pitching a fit.”

Customers: “No worries. Thanks a lot!”

(Best customer I’ve had in weeks.)

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