9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 11, 2019 12:51 PM by twobitrentals RSS

    Guests who leave items behind

    mountainbeagle Contributor

      Hi - How does everyone handle it/respond when a guest lets you know they left something behind in your house? We do not live in the area of our vacation home and a guest just emailed that she left some bath wash in the shower and a travel coffee mug in the kitchen. The house has already been cleaned and another guest is arriving today. I'm sure the cleaning crew left the bath wash in the shower and washed and placed the travel mug in the cabinet. My thought is to tell her I don't have a way to retrieve the items at this point but can send the travel mug in a few weeks when we are back at the house. Any thoughts on an appropriate response to the situation?

       

      Thanks - Amy

        • Re: Guests who leave items behind
          margaret CommunityAmbassador

          Bath wash and a travel mug? These are silly things to expect you to return IMO. Tell them you will look for them when you get there but you cannot guarantee you will find them. If you do find them I would charge for postage to return them. I usually return left behind items and eat the cost unless it is very expensive. Bath wash and a travel mug will probably cost as much to mail as they are worth.

            • Re: Guests who leave items behind
              mountainbeagle Contributor

              That's what I plan to say. This is only our second return request over a year of renting and it seems unreasonable. This guest also complained about the mattress on the bed she and her husband slept on. A mattress that is in great, like new shape, not quite 2 years old and no other guests have complained about. It caused her husband to 'threw his back out' evidently.

                • Re: Guests who leave items behind
                  margaret CommunityAmbassador

                  Mattress comfort is subjective. What is comfortable for one may not be comfortable for another. Most people rave in their reviews about our comfortable beds but I had one guest who wrote in his review that it was uncomfortable. He said he slept on the couch, we have 5 beds and it was only him and his wife staying. He could have tried a different bed but he chose not to do that. You can't please everyone.

              • Re: Guests who leave items behind
                ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                In my RA is a paragraph regarding left behind items.  The cost is $35.00, which pays for postage and my housekeeper's time in packaging and taking the item to the post office.  It is taken from the damage deposit or paid for via paypal.

                 

                We have returned on average 4 items per home per year.  The weirdest one was the scientist from Duke who left a spider in a glass vial in the refrigerator and stated that it was crucial to their research.  The best one was the guest who left behind a loaded handgun and a large hunting knife.  Those items could not be mailed, and the guest had to arrange for a friend to pick them up.  Isn't it interesting what people bring on vacation?

                • Re: Guests who leave items behind
                  moosebigd Active Contributor

                  We had a guest who requested that we mail her brand new sneaker that was left behind back to Canada.  We are 10 hours from our rental, so until we paid our housekeeper for her time (retrieving the item, boxing it and traveling to the post office) plus the postage to mail it, that one sneaker cost over $40!  She was shocked at the amount, but did reimburse us for the costs.  As margaret said, the cost to return the items will probably be as much as, if not more than, their actual value.  If the items are still there when you or your housekeeper go to the house, I think I would get an idea how much it will cost to return them and see if the guest is willing to pay that much for their return.  Or, lock them up and tell her they will be there for her if she comes back again next year!

                  • Re: Guests who leave items behind
                    ambidextrous Active Contributor

                    I do not return low-value "stuff" ... socks, random things. But anything of value, either $$ or sentimental (favorite stuffed toy, etc) goes promptly in the mail. While you're thinking about the expense of this gesture, keep in mind that you are creating a great customer service experience that guests will talk about. This is marketing you cannot buy. I think it's well worth the expense....

                      • Re: Guests who leave items behind
                        margaret CommunityAmbassador

                        I agree and have returned quite a few items but bath wash is ridiculous and a coffee mug would have to be a very special mug or it would be less expensive to just buy a new one than to ship it back.

                          • Re: Guests who leave items behind
                            twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                            I Agree with this........but why would anyone bring a mug that they treasured with them on Vacation??? Seriously some guests are expecting waaaaay to much from owners in terms of frivolous items being returned. They have a responsibility to make sure that they have everything. So, I am with ambidextrous on some items. As for other items that are left behind unless someone specifically calls it either stays in the VR or goest to the thrift store.