I will try to make this as simple as possible.
Exactly 10 years ago, I had an reservation by a couple with 2 kids. The good old days of straight forward inquiry, response, booking (no extra fees, response time etc) but that is not the issue here.
Inquiry in March 2009 for a week in summer. Smooth communication, contract signed etc. 30% non-refundable deposit paid. Balance 8 weeks before arrival (non-refundable) paid.
A few days before arrival "loss in family" so they can't come. We decide through further communication to open the week (no chance) and offer to give them "credit" if they can re-schedule. We give them all possibilities still open in summer for the same price. Doesn't materialize.
Mid August, they say they are trying to see if something in September or October will work. I give them all possibilities. The prices are lower so the agreement is their full payment will be applied without any refund as we could not fill fill the original summer week.
Time passes and can't get any commitment but in the meantime, other inquires come through, some we "lose" because we are trying to accommodate these people who cannot commit. In the end they could not make it and apologized and told us to no longer "hold" anything or turn away any others
Today, I hear back from the father, "Hi it has been 10 years! when we intended to visit your beautiful region. I even paid a certain amount in advance. Unfortunately, my relationship with xxxx broke down and was the reason why we had to cancel. We love your country and my new wife especially loves your region. Please let us know the conditions and availability in May or June." (this is for our 1-bedroom cottage and not the 2-bedroom requested 10 years back)
So I know what most people on the forum will say.
I have replied with availability and conditions (same as before 30%, balance 8 weeks before etc.)
Waiting for their reply.
Please don't read too much in "his" wording as he is not a native English speaker but the line "I even paid a certain amount in advance" stuck with me. Before I replied, He even sent me the payment request from 10 years ago so it appears he kept all correspondence.
I too preserve most if not all of my correspondence especially ones where money has been exchanged and after reviewing, I see that all my original correspondence and payment completions were threw his "ex" so his "I paid a certain amount" sounds a bit of a hint of what may come next.
I'll have to wait and maybe nothing will come of it but I am dreading the "do I get a credit from 10 years ago" question?
I do not wish to get involved in who paid what between them 10 years ago but now he wishes to come with his new wife. Only the 2 of them and not even his 2 children who are of course probably grown up by now.
Like I said, I need to just wait to see what kind of reply comes but just want to hear reactions/advice on how to prepare for the awkward request if it does come.