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Guests Go Godzilla When Owners Cancel Bookings

By William May
Published: 03/11/06 Topics: Comments: 0

Guest Go Godzilla When Owners Cancel Bookings

Owners who choose to cancel Guest Bookings do so at their own peril.

Going on vacation is a big treat for most travelers and especially true for vacation rental homes, resorts and specialty lodging. Guests plan ahead, organize family and friends, often pool their money and splurge on a big adventure.

Is it any wonder, they are very unhappy when an owner or manager calls to say that their booking has been cancelled?

Their anger and disappointment is not ameliorated by the reason for the cancellation.


In one destination, forest fires flared up unexpectedly causing dozens of reservations to be cancelled. It may have been explained calmly but basically managers were telling guests "Don't come here or you could die."

None the less guests screamed, yelled and called the managers thieves, liars, and worse.

Some went online to vent always mentioning the cancellation but failing to mention the reason.

It was not the property owners fault, it was not the managers fault. And it certainly wasn't the fault of the forest fire crews working in terribly dangerous conditions.


An owner in Hawaii planned an eight week renovation of his luxury condo, but the wise manager took the rental off the market for twelve weeks. Close to the re-opening date the contractor admitted he could not finish even by the twelve week mark.

The gracious owner offered to refund the guests money in full and to upgrade them to an ocean side luxury villa complete with private pool. The rent was triple what the guest had paid. And the owner picked up the entire tab.

These guests also reacted by screaming and yelling, calling the manager thieves, liars, and worse.

They took the upgrade of course, but called every day to complain that it have five bedrooms and they only wanted four. Just walking past that empty bedroom reminded them they had been ripped off and 'screwed with.'


In today's age of online anonymous slander and liable, it seems humans have been imbued with an inalienable right to bitch and moan repeatedly publishing their venom to millions of people.

There are many occasions when venting helps other consumers avoid a similar fate. But not all problems are avoidable. No one knows when forest fires will break out. Planning a model far in advance does not insure that materials the contractor ordered will arrive on time.

Sometimes road crews stall traffic to your vacation getaway. Sometimes it rains cats and dogs when you arrive. Sometimes the neighbors are a bit too loud. Sometimes grocery stores run out of food due to the onslaught of tourists.


Mental health counselors refer to the phenomenon of blaming others for our problems, or for unavoidable problems as "Transference."

If someone is pounding a hammer in their workshop and a friend arrives distracting them sufficiently to hit their thumb with a hammer, it is immature transference to blame the friend. And yet many of us do just that.

Although it is human nature to blame others, it is mature to acknowledge that problems arise and to take them in stride. If it's raining on vacation, playing board games really is a worthwhile substitute. If a forest fire cancels your vacation, pick a new destination to try. It might be even better.

And for owners there is another lesson here. Never ever cancel a booking for slight reasons. Trying everything possible to avoid cancellations. Do not subject your manager to the screaming, yelling and venom many consumers will direct at them.

Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0505 – 03/11/06

Comments: 0

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