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I have to cancel a booking

 
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Morristhedog



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 108
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: I have to cancel a booking Reply with quote

I discovered yesterday that I made an error. I have booked two similarly named families for the same dates in August.

I am mortified that I have done this. I think because the original enquiry of one family was in a different name. Then when a man began to email me, I thought he was the other man that was booked in directly from another company. A dreadful misunderstanding on my part. I blocked out the dates and thought all was well. I thought the original enquiry from this family was one of many enquiries I get, that go no further once I write to them setting out the terms for the rental period.

I spent all last night beating myself up about how this could have happened.

It was only because the second man wanted to pay his balance early that this has come to light, when I carried out a reconciliation yesterday.

I have been considering what to do. I have located three local similar, yet more expensive gites available for the dates and thought I would offer these to the second booked in family, when I telephone them with the news.

Originally I prepared an email for them, but decided that was too impersonal, and that I should speak with them.

I can't believe I have made this error. I have made no terms of booking on any site where I advertise, in fact advice as to what to include in such terms would be very welcome. I am hoping it is not too late to offer the poor client something better than my place in order to make amends. Should I offer more?

I read an old post from 2008 on a similar subject on here, and wonder if anyone has any useful advice in respect of my call with the family. I so hate to disappoint them, but I have to get on with it. I am not sure a Bank holiday is the day to do it. I do not have all my alternatives in place yet.

Any constructive advice would be welcome. Thank you.
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 429
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Morristhedog

It's every owner's nightmare but it sounds like an honest mistake. I haven't had to deal with it myself (yet touch wood!) so haven't really got any advice other than that all you can do is humbly apologise and offer them an alternative. Try not to beat yourself up too much, it happens.

Good luck
Jenny
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Morristhedog



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 108
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply. Happily, I found the contact number and website of a lady from my French class, and she has a vacancy in a newly converted gite with pool close by, where, because she is new, she has a vacancy.

I bit the bullet and phoned my client who eventually calmed when I told him of this alternative. He has spent money on hotels and ferries of course, which makes him distressed.

Finally he agreed to look at the superior offering. I have just sent the details to him. It has been an expensive mistake for me, since of course I will pay the difference for the family. I so hope he agrees to my offer.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1317
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sympathies, Morristhedog. I have been there several years ago and I know that feeling, and believe me you will never make this error twice.

This is what happened in my case. A lady booked well in advance and paid her 25% rental deposit. I marked her dates off on the Owners Direct calendar but forgot to make a paper record of her booking or anything about her or her proposed trip. In those days I always made a detailed paper record containing everything I needed to know about the guests - the rent, arrival/departure dates, dates when payments due, address, telephone, special requests etc. etc.

Several months later I was checking the OD calendar and found that there was a week's booking shown there which I couldn't match to anything in my records. My foolish assumption was that I had made a mistake in marking off the calendar and so opened that week up again for a booking.

Sure enough OD (because it was such an excellent site in those days) found me another tenant in a short space of time, and I booked her in and took this new tenant's deposit, still not realising my error.

Like in your case, the original tenant decided to pay her balance early. This was when I realised what had happened and what a dreadful shock to the system it was. I am not suggesting that it is the correct or best way to proceed, but this what I did: I emailed the second tenant and said, with a sincere apology, that there had been a serious mistake and that we would not be able to accommodate them for the dates she had booked. I asked her for her (UK) bank account details so that I could return her deposit money plus an ex gratia payment of 500 - towards another holiday for herself and her husband - and further would refund airfares on a goodwill basis, if that proved necessary.

Well she replied with her bank details, air tickets had not been bought, so the whole sorry business cost me 500, but the second tenant seemed happy with it and there were no repercussions.
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