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Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable?

I see from the press that a hotel in Blackpool charges £100 to guests who post poor reviews of them online, and that the hotel is rated as number 858 of 894 hotels in the town. My cynic's view is that they might be finding it a goor way to raise extra money, especially as they're quite a cheap place towards the lower end of the market.

These day, though, all good hotels and B and B proprietors are working to get good reviews, thoughtful in handling justified but poor reviews, and concerned at what do do in the event in an unjustified, perhaps malicious, slamming. You may wonder "would that really happen" ... well, yes, I'm afraid it would.

1. We opened our doors to the cameras of "Four in a Bed" - a TV show in which only the highlights of a week's visits by guests least likely to choose to stay (given the option) are broadcast. It's set up to be an interesting show, and it's marvellous publicity - but it also raises emotions including (we have learned) in people who have never stayed, and who judge a place purely by what they see of it and its owners on TV, and have those emotions raised to such an extent that they follow up on what they think as if they had stayed.

2. People love a bargain. And some love complaining in order to get a better deal. "We always look for faults when we check in so we can complain and get an upgrade" said a contact to me once ... and I can believe it of her. We've been caught once (once too many) when I suggested to a guest who had reported a spec on the mirror that shouln't have been there that she pay what she felt to be the right amount, and she walked out at the end of her stay paying nothing. And this tiny minority of people will quite cheerfully threaten a poor review unless [insert what they want here] ... occasionally following through if the hotel doesn't give way.

So, I have an understanding for the folks in Blackpool. I think they have it wrong; I think they need to look at their product as say "perhaps these people have a point" ... but I do have an understanding.

And I was taken by a peverse parallel too. We too have a £100 charge in our terms and conditions which we may levy. We have a very late cancellation without penalty policy as business guests do need to change plans at the last minute on occasions, but late cancellations do cost us. So we reserve the right to make a charge of up to £100 in cicumstances where cancellations are not bona fide or prompt - say someone books a room "just in case", or if they decide they're not travelling weeks ahead, but only let us know with little notice. And we would also apply the charge should someone cancel, then phone in to re-book a few minutes later and ask for a last minute bargain price because "I know you had a room just cancel". They would probably find, indeed, that they weren't welcome to rebook even with the £100 penalty as the trust that's needed between guests and operator would have been broken. We have - never - made the charge. But if there's a good case to do so, make no mistake that we would.
(written 2014-11-20)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
M401 - Well House Manor - Seeing how others do it
  [4443] Seventh stay away this year - and it's still only February! - (2015-02-25)
  [4373] A long and disappointing evening - (2014-12-30)
  [4348] Taking my life in my hands in Swansea - (2014-12-11)
  [4255] Making a personal gain from a more expensive business hotel stay - (2014-04-02)
  [4245] It always happens to me when I'm in Borehamwood! - (2014-03-06)
  [4177] Setting and publishing your hours to suit your customer base - (2013-09-18)
  [4109] What might you find at a tiny bed and breakfast? - (2013-06-03)
  [4093] More things to make sure that we do NOT do ... - (2013-05-18)
  [4091] A reminder of why we opened Well House Manor for our customers - (2013-05-17)
  [4081] Pushing down the advertised price, pushing up the total price charged. - (2013-05-08)
  [4058] The highs and lows of customer service - Cheltenham - (2013-04-03)
  [3975] Being an amateur hotel inspector helps me run a professional hotel - (2013-01-14)
  [3970] Comparing four VERY different places to stay - (2013-01-11)
  [3963] National TV - Melksham - 9th January 2013, Pre-alert. - (2012-12-27)
  [3900] The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed - (2012-10-20)
  [3794] Should hotel staff sit on the toilet in the customer bedrooms? - (2012-07-02)
  [3776] Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site - (2012-06-23)
  [3754] Eyes Wide Open - (2012-06-06)
  [3368] Well House Manor hotel, Melksham - recommended to you by our customers - (2011-07-23)
  [3333] Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way - (2011-06-25)
  [3054] Longhope Hotel - (2010-11-16)
  [2911] Feeding the Grockles - (2010-08-09)
  [2885] Twenty Questions - (2010-07-24)
  [2502] Monday night, Tuesday night - (2009-11-13)
  [2441] Not your cup of tea? - (2009-10-08)
  [2413] Sanity checking the price, and selling up to increase income - (2009-09-21)
  [2311] Floor to ceiling - (2009-07-30)
  [2308] A new place in pictures - (2009-07-28)
  [2127] Call in the professionals! - (2009-04-12)
  [2105] Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport - (2009-03-27)
  [2007] Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival - (2009-01-24)
  [1915] Quietly putting prices up - (2008-12-02)
  [1758] Lindors Hotel, near St. Briavels, Wye Valley - (2008-08-18)
  [1672] The Composting Cone Challenge - (2008-06-10)
  [1597] Comparing hotels - as a guest and from the proprietors view - (2008-04-01)
  [1547] New bathing idea for hotels from Hotelympia - (2008-02-20)
  [1525] Just one thing let the service down - but that is my memory - (2008-01-31)
  [1458] The wrong way to put up prices - (2007-12-05)
  [1454] From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans - (2007-12-03)
  [1413] The little gestures that can really count - (2007-10-27)
  [1406] Away or home - which do I prefer? - (2007-10-25)
  [1374] Maidenhead Coffee Challenge - (2007-10-02)
  [1356] Crystal Ball - How long do I need to be online? - (2007-09-18)
  [1354] Match the Bedroom to the Hotel - (2007-09-17)
  [1347] Wireless Internet Access at hotels - an update and some pitfalls - (2007-09-12)
  [1333] Kasteel Elsloo - Michelin rated hotel. - (2007-09-05)
  [1301] Plastic or China - (2007-08-12)
  [1287] Work and play at Well House Manor - Football and Shell Shortcuts - (2007-08-02)
  [1205] Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel - (2007-05-26)
  [1091] The Psyche is all wrong. - (2007-02-24)
  [1026] The Wheatsheaf 2, The Bell 0 - (2007-01-09)
  [1011] Well House Manor and Beechfield House, Hotels, Melksham - (2006-12-29)
  [966] CSL, KISS and RTFM - (2006-12-05)
  [736] New Tape Librarian - (2006-05-28)
  [714] Room for Octopuses - (2006-05-08)
  [699] Extremes costs of getting on line - (2006-04-25)
  [693] The on line booking experience - (2006-04-21)
  [619] If its Sunday, it must be the Norland - (2006-02-23)
  [514] Crazy Day-sies - (2005-12-02)
  [17] Differing tastes - (2004-08-17)

M400 - Well House Manor - The Hospitality Business
  [4613] Our best hotel customers help us ... to help them ... be our best customers. - (2016-01-04)
  [4603] Happy New Year. Our customers are our ambassadors - (2016-01-01)
  [4543] Saturday morning at Well House Manor - (2015-10-17)
  [4521] Should we get an AA or Visit Wiltshire hotel assessment? - (2015-10-09)
  [4232] Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy - (2013-12-30)
  [4202] Excellent Railfuture conference, but some setup lessons - (2013-11-03)
  [4051] On reading a new hotel review - (2013-03-24)
  [4033] Official Star ratings for hotels - still worth having? - (2013-03-07)
  [3988] Three cheers for the staff at Well House Manor - (2013-01-24)
  [3909] Every Customer Counts - (2012-11-01)
  [3838] Guest review - Well House Manor, Melksham - (2012-08-14)
  [3832] A busy day at Well House Manor - so come in and make it even busier! - (2012-08-10)
  [3743] Sunday - no longer a day of rest - (2012-05-28)
  [3660] A Pivotal Incident - learning how to welcome your guests - (2012-03-18)
  [3309] Tipping Policy - Well House Manor - (2011-05-29)
  [3164] Brown - or Mrs Sally Brown, accountant from Whitstable? - (2011-02-10)
  [3147] Hotel star ratings - towards a better system of review - (2011-01-25)
  [2936] The service that customers should receive - (2010-08-27)
  [2879] Night Porter and reception - 24 hours a day? - (2010-07-20)
  [2724] Escapee Grandparents welcome - Henfield and Melksham - (2010-04-15)
  [2593] Food and drink launch - (2010-01-21)
  [2303] Turning potential customers away - (2009-07-24)
  [2283] Everyone is in the customer relations business - (2009-07-12)
  [1877] Guests doing a bunk? - (2008-11-09)
  [1792] All the pieces fall into place - hotel and courses - (2008-09-10)
  [1622] An extra step - victory from defeat - (2008-04-25)
  [1548] Hotelympia - show report - the lighter side - (2008-02-21)
  [1445] Looking after you Christmas Customer Crowds - (2007-11-26)
  [1422] Wiltshire - speaker / after dinner talker offer - (2007-11-05)
  [1421] Castle Lodge Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - (2007-11-04)
  [1284] An update on the West Wilts show ... - (2007-07-30)
  [1248] How NOT to oversell a hotel - (2007-06-27)
  [1180] Conjugation - (2007-05-08)
  [1161] A contrast in room rates and facilities - (2007-04-25)
  [1122] Hotel - online feedback forms compared - (2007-03-30)
  [1108] Express service - (2007-03-14)
  [1084] Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events - (2007-02-17)
  [1048] Getting rid of people - hotel techniques - (2007-01-21)
  [1046] Bounce, bounce, bounce - (2007-01-20)
  [1002] Meet the neighbours - (2006-12-20)
  [988] You should think you're first in a hotel room - (2006-12-15)
  [922] Staying at your own hotel - (2006-11-12)
  [884] Drive time - (2006-10-02)
  [774] Bed and Breakfast, or Hotel? - (2006-06-22)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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