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14562 Views 49 Replies Latest reply: Nov 28, 2013 8:15 PM by kailua520 RSS
Active Contributor 343 posts since
Nov 18, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 9, 2012 1:04 PM

What is Your Policy if a Traveler Leaves Something Behind?

Do you ask travelers to pay for postage? Do you return items free of charge? Do you provide a safe or lockbox on your premises?

  • sophie Senior Contributor 964 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011

    Funny you should ask this today. I had a checkout yesterday and they trashed my house! They broke my $100 Cruisinart coffee maker, they left mounds and mounds of dirty baby diapers. (No word of babies on the inquiry or subsequent correspondence.) Left tons of beer bottles, etc. It appeared they had quite the party. It took my housekeeper an extra 3 hours to clean the place.

     

    Anyway, after they checked out a girl called me and wanted to know if we found her baby monitor. I asked who I was speaking to and she gave me a name that wasn't even on the contract.

     

    In this case, I would absolutely make her pay to return anything they left in the home. On the other hand, if they were nice, respectable tenants, I would return the item at my cost.

    • New Member 1 posts since
      Jul 9, 2012

      I have insurance for each renter for damages up to $5000.00. That way you can go out and get a NEW Cuisinart! As for the diapers, we live in the mountains of NJ..yes..there are mountains in NJ...and use any items such as those in the garbage to keep the bears away. Works everytime.

       

      Considering the return of guests' property, if their name is not on the lease I would ask them why it is not there and then charge those named on the lease for the return postage. Otherwise, I return small items at my cost.

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011

    Hi Laura,

     

    My rental agreement generically states that we are not responsible for items left behind. That covers us.  However, we're "nice" and we have always returned items, a few of which were costly {watches, earrings}. A couple of times they were "travel items" like nice shaving / manicure kits leather bound , electric curlers,  and even resort dresses and designer jeans. We have not asked anyone to pay for the postage but sometimes the guests volunteered to do so and followed up by sending us the money {very nice}. Sometimes the guest volunteered to refund us -- but did not follow up  {not so nice} -- and we did not pursue it.  And, then there are the few people who left something behind....we returned it....but no one responded {that's really not very nice}...and for those folks, I sent them all an email asking if they received my package and they all emailed back (curt), "Yes, thanks" ...but did not offer to refund us the postage. They were all good guests, just the same.

     

    C'est la vie.

     

    P.S. my cotttage does not have a safe  (we're in a really peaceful area here --- house breakins are not common in my immediate location).  But, I do have a safe for guests if they want one ---no one has ever asked --- it's NIB (new in the box)....never been used --- I keep it for "safe keeping", if anyone should want one.  It's just silly really, a thief can walk off with it, if  someone would ever break into the cottage -- there is no place to "hide it".

  • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011

    Recycling a recent posting: 

     

    I have not had many items that guests request returned.  I find an assortment of baseball caps, sunglasses, cds, and clothing at the end of each season.  I hold the items for several months in case someone contacts me, but I'm usually contacted about "lost" items I haven't found at my house.    Occasionally a guest will let me know they found the "lost" item in their own home or car. 

     

    The exception to the usual items I  find was a Cartier warch found under a bed, where it had been hidden from view for a few weeks.  Yikes.

     

    The owner very graciously offered me reimbursement for mailing the watch.  I accepted since the cost of safeguarding the watch was steep. 

     

    Other than the Cartier, I've found miscellanous items that would very likely cost more to return than they are worth.  Unless I'm contacted, the items remain in my "lost and found" until I expty it in preparation for the next season.

     

    Edited to add:  I don't have a policy regarding lost items.  I have returned very few lost items;   a small expense over the years and little inconvenience to me.

  • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
    Dec 31, 2010

    Hi Laura,

     

    Yes, we provide a safe / lockbox on the premises.  It has an electronic / numeric key pad.  We set the key pad to the same code for all guests prior to their arrival.  We have a note on there that gives them instructions on how to change the numbers to a private key code of their own choosing.  We ask them to re-set it back to the original code, prior to their departure.

     

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ERVMJU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

     

    We do have a back-up key for in case a guest forgets to reset the code back to the original.

     

    Regarding items left behind, we have a section in our Guest Rules, which lists all the things one should do to receive a full refund of the security deposit; after the bullet list, we have the words:

     

    If any of these provisions are not satisfied, only the amount of the actual damages will be deducted from the deposit.  Smaller items left behind may be mailed back to the guest (at the owner's discretion), with the postage and shipping costs removed from the security deposit. 

     

     

     

    As you can see, we don't promise to mail anything. This is because it is a true inconvenience to us, going to the post office during business hours, when we both work full time jobs.  But we are making it clear that if we do mail anything back, we will deduct the cost of shipping from the security deposit.

     

    We have mailed things back on a few different instances ... cell phone chargers, curling irons, etc.

  • mike-dfv Community All-Star 815 posts since
    Mar 5, 2011

    I just had a guest leave a few items. One of the items was a new set of flip-flops they had just bought so I mailed them, along with the other items to them. It only cost a couple of bucks, but it would have been nice if the offer of reimbursement had come.

     

    A safe is something we're looking into right now.

     

    Mike

  • loscuatrotulipanes Community All-Star 231 posts since
    Oct 7, 2011

    We had a case recently where a guest left 2 jackets in the apartment and called to request we send them back to the East Coast. Now, remember, we are based in Central America and sending anything via DHL or FedEx costs a minimum of $100 (trust me, I researched to the bone trying to find a cheaper option). So in mentioning this casually to the guest, she said, "great, thanks in advance." Ha!


    What are we to do? We had a day-long discussion about the pros and cons of sending, not sending, asking her to pay, paying ourselves...etc.

     

    In the end, we bit the bullet and sent her jackets ($120). We figured the cost of sending them was worth avoiding a potentially annoyed guest (even though the guest didn't really have any grounds to be annoyed -- she forgot the jackets!)

     

    To make a long story short, she responded by saying how gracious and generous it was of us to ship them ourselves and that she'd be telling her friends about us (guests say this all the time). Turns out, she was an Editor at Travel + Living and we got featured in a giant piece as a result of her reference.

     

    Moral of story: be overly generous with your guests. Once in a while, you'll get a reward (call it karma) that makes it all worthwhile

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
      May 25, 2011

      Our Check Out Procedures are posted in 2 areas of our home and we ask everyone to check to make sure they have everything.We also tell them to check the DRYER.

       

      I once had someone leave a pair of diamond stud earrings.  My housekeeper missed them ( don't get me started on THAT!), but my property caretaker went in and found them & I  had him mail them back (insured, of course).

       

      I have a HUGE collection of cell phone chargers ( no one ever asked to get those mailed back). I keep  1 of each type in a kitchen drawer - just in case someone needs one.

       

      Other small stuff, I'm not going to the trouble unless someone  asks and is willing to pay postage. If it is something of value I'll do all all I can. .

      Debj

  • iopbeachhouse Community All-Star 455 posts since
    Aug 10, 2011

    I e-mail them and let them know we found their item. Then I ask them what they want to do. Most have said to just forget it because the item (sunglasses, cheap watches, chargers) weren't worth the bother. One guest left an expensive wine carry case. He had a local friend pick it up from our housekeeper and got it back through him. No safe in our home but we have considered it.

  • I have two programable safety boxes in the house, each can be programmed with a credit card or with their own code. I have never had anyone leave anything behind, although in the instructions I state that if they forget the code, I will charge $100 to open it, since I must travel to the property 50 miles away.

     

    As for the small items left behind, my property is overseas, most small items fall into the policy of "What is left in Pochomil, Stays in Pochomil", but I had one occassion that the guest requested their notepad back, I gave him the option of DHL for $45 from Nicaragua or wait for someone to bring it to the USA and I would mail it for free. If it is under $5 to $10, I don't bother to charge them. He waited a month to get his notepad.

     

    Happy renting,

     

    Gabriel

    Pochomilbeach.com


    • scowol New Member 17 posts since
      May 12, 2012

      Simple - cheerfully offer to return the property at your own cost.  I've done this 4 times, and the return on the relatively small cost of mailing the item has paid huge dividends in repeat guests, referrals, reputation and RAVE reviews.  Why nickel and dime a guest for a forgotten item?   My four guests who left behind forgotten items left glowing reviews about the service I provided.  Reviews are invaluable, and positive reviews make your property a magnet for future guests.  Differentiate yourself from other owners by providing top-notch service!

      • trish Contributor 151 posts since
        Feb 24, 2011

        We have a mountain home and people bring stuff for hiking, biking, boating, fishing, rafting, snorkeling etc etc. Most often the equipt. is brought to the home in big garbage sacks in the back of an SUV or truck.

        Our most troublesome renters were here over Christmas/New Years for three weeks. I posted about them under a different topic a few days ago. Three wks of dog droppings from 2 dogs in the public areas where other kids play, tons of garbage left, a broken kitchen counter, oil spilled in the garage (2ft. in diameter), furniture moved around and left in the wrong places, windows left open in Idaho's single digit winter temps while the heat was running, additional guests staying at the house on a rotating basis, etc etc. When my husband went up to clean after these ingrates left, he found 5 HUGE garbage bags in the garage. One felt as if it were NOT garbage, and he looked inside to find a rifle case, gun oil, unopened presents (still with tags on them) new Christmas lights, jars of home-made preserves, tins of cookies, etc etc. In my email to the guest, I mentioned all the damage done to the house and property and that we'd be keeping a portion of their damage deposit for cleaning and repairing, etc. I also mentioned that there were the questionable good items in one big bag and did they intend for that to be thrown away or want it back? She sent me a scathing email chastising me for us "DARING to go through their garbage" (which they were to take with them, as they'd promised since they had so many people at the house and had the option of a dumpster where they worked)

        She went out of her way to tell me how horrible we were for looking in the garbage bag. YES, she WANTED to throw all that out and it was none of our business!!! Other renters have said "oh my.... we left things in the garage and forgot to load them in the truck when we left; are the innertubes we used on the lake still there?" So in this instance, we are sometimes damned if we do, damned if we don't.

        I know one thing; if they'd have wanted the rifle case, and all that other stuff sent back, they'd have paid for it themselves. A rifle case is huge, and the rest of the stuff would have filled a big box.

        Small things, we call or email the renter and ask. If they want it back and it's small and simple, I just send it back. I can't say I've gotten rave reviews as a result of sending things back, tho.

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 862 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011

    Like Scowol I make an effort to make sure that on my dime I send anything back. 

  • ttaylor0 Active Contributor 425 posts since
    Apr 1, 2011

    I call them regardless of how small the item and ask if they would like me to mail it to them. Several times I get them on their cell phone before they even arrive home.  I tell them that I can take the postage out of their security deposit.  I have had a hat, tennis shoes, a coat, and a set of wedding rings. Sometimes they say yes and sometimes they say throw it away.  But unlike Trish,  I have never had anything but, “thank you for looking out for us,” when I called the renters. 

  • bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
    May 21, 2011

    We used to notify people when items were left behind, but rarely do so these days.  If it something expensive like a iphone we do notify them immediately.  We charge for shipping and add a $15 handling fee since we are a half-hour drive to the closest post office or shipping store. If they can wait until our next trip into town, we do not charge the handling fee.  If I have already refunded their security deposit, I send them a new request for payment via PayPal.

     

    That said, if they leave behind clothing or kitchen items or hairdryer, etc, we do not notify them but wait for them to contact us.  Be aware that you may think you have a husband and wife renting your place only to find out that it is a husband and girlfriend.  If you try to contact the husband and "the wife" answers the phone - well, lets just stay that it is anybody's guess what will happen next.  This is why I leave it up to them to contact us. 

    • susaninrehoboth Active Contributor 876 posts since
      Sep 3, 2011

      I have to admit it never entered my mind about it being girlfriend vs wife. If hubby or wife is stepping out on their spouse, they darn well ought to be sure not to leave anything behind. Not contacting someone about something left for the reason you stated is not a concern to me.

       

      My rental agreement states I will return anything found.valued over $20.  I charge postage.

  • lahainarental Contributor 76 posts since
    Mar 22, 2012

    Our housekeeper is incredibly thorough and will inform us immediately if something is left behind. We make every attempt to contact our guests before they leave the island to get the items back to them. If we are unable to connect before they fly back home, we follow up with an e-mail and mail the item back on our dime. Yes, this eats in to our profit a little, but we believe the goodwill we generate by going the "extra mile" is worth it. We get rave reviews from our guest and a lot of referrals.

     

    April

    World traveler and proud owner of two beautiful Lahaina Maui Vacation Rentals:

    http://www.mauiparadiserentals.com/index.html

  • gymbeau Contributor 196 posts since
    Jun 24, 2013

    Found a laptop in the condo, moments after the guest left.  I called:  "We are already on the interstate, where can you meet us?"   Me:  "At the front gate."

     

    I

  • cbel0004 Contributor 167 posts since
    Aug 22, 2012

    I did contact the guests the first couple of times it happened and did send back but was never even offered postage reimbursement.  Plus, I have noticed that the guests who leave multiple things behind tend to be the ones who are in such a rush to get out on time they leave all the lights on and the house in general is left in a disrespectful condition.  Now I just wait to see if they contact me.  I feel like I would only be enouraging their behavior by offering to mail them something back at my expense.  If they don't have the time to leave the house in a decent condition, then I don't have the time to mail something back unless they want the cost taken out of their deposit.

    Now if it was a piece of jewelry or something expensive I would contact the guest no matter what condition the home was in.  But, until I can afford full back up sets of towels and bedding, I am not going to eat the cost of postage and 45 minute round trip to the post office.  If it was a really great guest then that would be different, as I would want them to come back again.

    • trish Contributor 151 posts since
      Feb 24, 2011

      Believe it or not, last year, someone left an antique diamond/gold ring in our vacation rental. We found it on the floor when cleaning after a group of guests had left. We called them that same day, and they (all women) said that it didn't belong to anyone in their party. They'd had no friends visit, so that wasn't an option. So we sent emails to all of our guests for that year and told them we'd found a piece of jewelry that wasn't ours and had to be one of our guests and that if they had lost something, to contact us and describe it. Not one person contacted us. I still have the ring and feel bad that someone lost a ring that had to have belonged in their family. We had two previous guests write to us and say that they thought it was nice that we were trying to find the owner instead of just cashing in on the ring....but no one claimed it. Weird.

      • susaninrehoboth Active Contributor 876 posts since
        Sep 3, 2011

        Do you clean your VR yourself? If not, have you contacted your cleaners? Maybe a cleaner lost the ring.

         

        I had a guest find a pair of earrings with several small diamonds that he found under the bed. I didn't know how long they'd been there.

         

        I contacted every guest for the past year with no one claiming the earrings. Then about a month before a repeat guest was due to check in, she emailed me and asked if anyone had claimed the earrings, stating if not and they are silver with XXXXX in a XXXX Jewelers box, they are probably hers. It ended well but I thought it strange she would wait months and months to ask about them.  Yes, that's the earrings and I told her where in the condo I'd hide them. Good thing I didn't sell them.

        • trish Contributor 151 posts since
          Feb 24, 2011

          Yes, we cleaned that rental ourselves. And we found it while running the vacuum; so we know it hadn't been there the last time we'd cleaned. We still wonder how it got there..........but it's been nearly a year now and no one has ever claimed the ring, so I guess I have some new bling to wear.

          Other than that, we've only had a phone charger left behind. The folks asked for it back and I mailed it to them; they sent me a few dollars back for postage, so all's well that ends well.

    • beachbumz Active Contributor 538 posts since
      Jan 21, 2013

      It got a point this summer where a number of guests were leaving things behind and wanted me to get things back ASAP. No offer for postage and it was coming out of my pocket. Oh, and I need it now. I also had to get in touch with my housekeeper and have her go through the trouble of sending. As a result, I added a clause that effectively states that the guest is responsible for anything left behind. My plans, if I go down and they still want it, will be glad to send it back on their dime. Medications or expensive jewelry, that's something else. Leaving a book behind that you can get for $5? No thanks.

      • cbel0004 Contributor 167 posts since
        Aug 22, 2012

        Beachbumz,

         

        Curious to know....did the people who left things behind seem to be the messiest guests?  The last guests left 3 items behind but cost me 3 hrs of extra cleaning. No way am I calling them to offer to send stuff back at my expense.

        • beachbumz Active Contributor 538 posts since
          Jan 21, 2013

          My housekeeper never mentioned whether it was dirtier than usual. The guests I've spoken with a) appeared to be in a hurry and didn't take / couldn't take the time to check; b) did not appear to be candidates for repeat rentals; c) almost had an entitlement approach. You know, "I stayed at your condo, I left something, so now it's your responsibility to get it back to me....ASAP!". I agree with swlinphx - it takes alot of time arranging for this to get sent back and adds insult when they won't pay.

      • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
        Aug 30, 2011

        It takes enough time to package and address items and arrange for UPS, FedEx or go to the post office.  We print the label up online electronically using their information and, after asking them, their credit card on file.  The favor is not to pay for their shipping but taking the time out of our schedule to prepare and send the package.

  • harborfields Contributor 206 posts since
    Jul 12, 2011

    You never know what might be precious to a guest. Last year we had some guests leave some things behind that we thought were pretty inconsequential, so rather than contacting them we gave the items away. Two months later the guests contacted us to ask if we had found their items, and if so could we send them. We responded that yes, we had found some of the items on their list, but had given them away. The guests were none too happy about that.  So ever since then, our policy is to e-mail our guests as soon as we find an item left behind, and ask them what they would like us to do with it (at their cost).

  • grace300 Contributor 62 posts since
    Sep 17, 2013

    You do what any good guest service person would do. You take a picture, text or email it to the guest and ask if they would like it returned, and you return it, hoping they will compensate you for your postage, but knowing that if they don't, they will remember that you took very good care of them. Prople who are nickle and dimed in their contract, the rules etc, probably will not feel like coming back. I want guests to come back.

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011

      you return it, hoping they will compensate you for your postage, but knowing that if they don't, they will remember that you took very good care of them. Prople who are nickle and dimed in their contract, the rules etc, probably will not feel like coming back. I want guests to come back.

      I think you need to be careful about applying that rule to everyone across the board and calling it "nickel and diming" if the owner/manager doesn't pay out of pocket for the guest.  Some people charge in a day what we charge in a week.  The nature of our business is not a high volume of returns, even if they give us five stars and loved it.  Of course there are exceptions and we do get returns, but if someone pays $400-500/week and then forgets a drawer full of clothes and you go out of your way to prepare, package and apply postage I don't think it is the owner/manager's obligation to pay $15-20 to ship it back too, nor do I think that would cause a guest not to want to return because you didn't pay for something that was their fault, nor do I think that they would expect you to.  As I said before, taking all the extra time to do that in addition to the usual check-out procedures and duties is in itself the "nice gesture", not absorbing their costs for forgetfulness.  Would a hotel pay for such items if it wasn't their fault?  We print out and pay for the UPS or USPS postage online with their card on file after they confirm they want the item(s) returned and we have their okay.

       

      It's all a matter of how much you charge and the nature of your business, as with any merchant or service.

      • bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
        May 21, 2011

        I totally agree with you swlinphx...but there certainly is a wide variety of opinions on this forum. 

         

        That said...I have never had a guest get upset because they had to pay for the shipping charges to return something that they left behind. They have always been apologetic and appreciative that we contacted them to let them know that we we found something they left behind.  And we have MANY returning guests. 

         

        Some of the shipping charges can be high if you have to return something overseas...or if the item is heavy.  And yes, you are correct... a hotel will always charge to send something back.  

        • carol Senior Contributor 2,142 posts since
          Dec 10, 2010

          I had to return a full garment bag once.  I think it cost me $80 or so to mail.  Most items I return fit in a Priority mail box for $12.95.   It's not worth any extra time -- other than what I'm already putting into mailing it! -- to try to collect on these small amounts or to deduct it from the deposit.   But my place has high rent and lots of return business, so this is a business decision I make that is appropriate for me. For a place with low rent and rare returning renters, it may make sense to charge the mailing cost.

          • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
            Aug 30, 2011

            It's not worth any extra time -- other than what I'm already putting into mailing it! -- to try to collect on these small amounts or to deduct it from the deposit.

            Actually, we don't have to "collect" from the guest.  We simply charge the card we have on file and pay for it and print the label right there on the shipper's website.

             

            Very nice of you to pay $80 out-of-pocket.  That is the cost of many cleaning fees.  I'm not sure how many people would be willing to waive that fee since the expense would be the same.

          • bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
            May 21, 2011

            If we could just drop something with normal mail, we would likely return an item free of charge, if it was not heavy and did not include overseas shipping charges.  BUT it is an hour round-trip drive for us to get to the nearest Post Office or shipping center. When we have overseas guests and we know they are continuing their trip in this country for a week or more, we contact them and ask if we can send it to their next destination for them to pick up when they arrive. This has saved the overseas shipping charges. And they are most appreciative they can get the item back sooner than later. 

             

            Funny, what some people leave behind...a coffee bean grinding machine...a pair of waist high fishing waders...a full drawer of all new bras in various colors (maybe 3 dozen) from a wedding shower no less...an iphone...a brand new Rubbermaid cooler requiring a BIG box...just to name a few items...

      • grace300 Contributor 62 posts since
        Sep 17, 2013

        It almost seems that you are resentful of taking care of your guests. The time needed to  do that, and the extra expense is to be expected.

         

        I'm not saying the guest won't return to you, but that they will be more likely to do so if they are treated well. Left behind items are to be expected in this business! My background is in hospitality, and yes, there are times you simply check with the guest that an item is theirs and return it to them. That is not such an onerous task. You are not obligated to pay for shipping, but, by law you may be obligated to take a reasonable care for those items for a period of time. You cannot just throw someone's things away that they leave behind.

         

        Of course your guest will not expect you to return the item gratis. When you do though, you have given that guest  fabulous service. They will remember you and come back to you. If your attitude is such that you believe simply the act of checking them in and out is a "nice gesture" instead of an expectation of minimal service, you might not be in the right business. That said swlinphnx, I respect your own experience, and expertise, but I would encourage all owners to look at things like this as an opportunity to "wow" your guest.

        BTW...everytime I do this, the guest has re-imbursed me. Every time.

        • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
          Aug 30, 2011

          Of course your guest will not expect you to return the item gratis. When you do though, you have given that guest  fabulous service. They will remember you and come back to you. If your attitude is such that you believe simply the act of checking them in and out is a "nice gesture" instead of an expectation of minimal service, you might not be in the right business. That said swlinphnx, I respect your own experience, and expertise, but I would encourage all owners to look at things like this as an opportunity to "wow" your guest.

           

          And what is your average weekly rate again?

          • grace300 Contributor 62 posts since
            Sep 17, 2013

            IMO exceptional guest service should not be predicated on the amount they pay. My units range from "economy" to "affordable".

            • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
              Aug 30, 2011

              IMO exceptional guest service should not be predicated on the amount they pay.

              In my opinion you don't have to cover a guest's personal costs to have "exceptional service".  Why not cover their rental car or ride from the airport for that matter?  If a guest leaves something behind it is extra work for you.  The time it takes to prepare and ship it is service.  You're saying the owner/manager should cover the cost too.  I disagree.

               

              Are all hotels not offering good service if they don't ship back an item you left behind for free?  Do you know any economy or even moderately-priced hotels that would?  And yes, our rates range from $400-$1,000/week, and even less from $1,400-$3,000month.  When you're getting a smoking good deal, that matters more than expecting a place to cover your personal costs too, especially when they're unusual or out of the ordinary.  Of course if you're charging top dollar (a price range you won't quote) then $15-50 shipping or more may not matter to you.  I'll bet any guest you ask would rather have a lower rate however.  You can't have it all.  I guess that would be like me saying that those of you that charge several thousand a week are price gouging, but it's okay because you'll pay that $15-20 in the rare case they forget something, or you'll include a bottle of wine upon arrival.

               

              We offer an exceptional value and service for the price we charge.  I don't know anyone who charges very little and then offers concierge-type services free of charge.  Too often people here assume that their own business model applies to everyone else or that their consumer base is the same.  Our biggest advantage, bigger than all you have mentioned, is offering comfortable, spacious and well-kept accommodations at a resort environment for barely more than a basic motel room.  Now that is what I call "exceptional" -- and what I think the average consumer would appreciate more if they had a choice.

              • beachbumz Active Contributor 538 posts since
                Jan 21, 2013

                I like what you say about the varying business models. I realize a question was asked initially, but I get really tired of one or two people insisting that their model is right for everyone. It's not. If you do this, and it's part of your customer initiative, that's wonderful. Say it. Don't imply that after 15 years that my way of doing it is wrong and that I'm not providing good service (by your standards). Because that is what is being implied by others (intentionally or not).

  • codcape Contributor 70 posts since
    Apr 3, 2012

    i used to send things back at my cost but got sick of being nice.  if they leave it, i toss it.  if it was something of value (i.e. ipod, etc) i would send it back, but socks, shorts, jackets, sorry, they go into the trash.

  • lazym Active Contributor 389 posts since
    Sep 5, 2012

    Can't you consider the package and postage back a business expense and take it off your taxes at the end of the year?  That alone seem worth keeping a guest extremely happy (for small or light items maybe not bulky or heavy ones).  If they haven't already they will probably leave you a very nice review.     

  • twobitrentals Community All-Star 1,338 posts since
    Aug 5, 2011

    I live 1000 miles away and so have no idea what is left behind. My cleaning folks would not know either. If someone calls, I will ask for cleaners to see if they can find it, but it is up to them to pay for the return.

     

    I did want to mention to you all though a situation that happened to me personally at a hotel. I happened to leave a very expensive silk robe behind on the back of the bathroom door. I called the hotel, they said that they "did" have it as the maid had found it. I offered to pay for it to be returned, or to make a trip back there to pick it up....it meant that much to me. They told me that would call me back as to what to do. I didn't hear for a few days....called back and the manager told me that the maid quit and took the item with her and there was nothing that they could do. They only suggested that I stay at their hotel for one night on them. HUH?? Needless to say, I wouldn't stay there if it was the last place on earth if their maids "steal" things. I was just out of luck for leaving it there.

     

    I am only sharing because not all hotels provide a "return policy" of forgotten items. It is up to the guest to either remember the item, or make arrangements to have it returned at their own expense.

     

    I have only returned one item that was left behind (they called, as I would have no idea) and the cleaning folks took care of it, but the guest paid for the return.

     

    Oh, and I thought about a safe at my VR, but decided against it as I didn't want it to "appear" that there was an issue with loss. I will "re-think" that if there appears to be more of a problem in my area.

     

    Message was edited by: twobitrentals

  • kailua520 Contributor 50 posts since
    Apr 27, 2011

    If a guest tells me they left something or my cleaning crew finds it, I go to the post office and get the cost of the mailing.  Then I email the guest and tell them how much it its.  My rule of thumb, if its under $10 I just mail it out. If its more or needs insurance, they pay for it. Never had a problem with this

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011

      I go to the post office and get the cost of the mailing.  Then I email the guest and tell them how much it its.  My rule of thumb, if its under $10 I just mail it out.

      Most things that cannot fit in a standard envelope or very small box will be more than $10.  Also, you can get the exact cost and all info for both UPS and USPS (and even print the address sticker with bar code and tracking number) online from your computer.

      • kailua520 Contributor 50 posts since
        Apr 27, 2011

        if you have the weight of the item you can get the cost from the computer or if it fits in a flat rate box.  Guests have left items that easily fit in a flat rate small box ($5.95)  and in a flat rate envelope such as gloves and ski hats, baby binkies that a child could not live without.   If they were not new then most of the time they dont care. 

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