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What is your (real) cancellation policy?

asked 2016-04-07 18:00:11 -0500

If a customer has to cancel their stay, do you stick strictly to your cancellation policy or do you make exceptions (and call Rover to give the customer their money back)? If you make exceptions, under what circumstances? Does it make a difference if you had to refuse another stay request in order to keep a spot for the person who is cancelling their stay OR are you more lenient if you didn't have to refuse anybody?

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6 Answers

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answered 2016-04-07 18:55:30 -0500

Luckily I've never had a cancellation. I would stick to my cancellation policy for the most part. I would make some exceptions. I have a repeat client who is always on time & books well in advance, if he had to cancel I'd make an exception because I know it's not going to happen often. With first time clients I wouldn't make an exception because I don't know if they're going to cancel often or if it really is a one time thing.

It definitely would make a difference if I had to refuse another stay to keep a spot open for them. I love animals, this isn't just about the money for me. The inconvenience to myself & another client is the problem. I am more lenient if I don't have to refuse anyone.

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answered 2016-04-30 02:26:42 -0500

My cancellation policy is flexible. Even though this is my full-time job I would never allow the customer to be charged if I didn't provide the service. I always offer to call rover.com to give them a refund if they come back early but they usually just let me keep it as a tip or use it as credit for next time.

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answered 2016-04-08 12:42:18 -0500

I'm pretty lenient. If the reason they're cancelling is something totally out of their control, like the crazy blizzard that hit here over the winter, I call rover and request that they get their full refund. I also had one owner that cancelled 3 stays at my request. Their pup got a papilloma and for fear that my dog or other dogs staying with me might pick it up we agreed that it would be best for their dog to stay with a sitter that didn't have other dogs. In that case again, I called rover and requested that the owner get their full refund. I've had cancellations for deaths in the family etc. that I deemed appropriate.

I don't make that public though. My cancellation policy on my page is "moderate" and I've found that dog owners will abide by it and don't try to weasel out of it. I worry that publically stating on my profile that cancellations are case-by-case would encourage people to book before finalizing plans and I'd end up with more cancelations.

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answered 2016-04-07 22:01:11 -0500

Once booked, the only cancellations I recall are from regular frequent customers. I definitely consider the reason if I decide to make an exception. For example, I've had cancellations when the pet became unexpectedly ill and the pet parent decided to cancel their plans and stay home. Although I might have filled that spot, I appreciate that they're caring for their dog and not leaving a suddenly ill dog with me, which is not so great. I also have made exceptions for steady walking clients when the pet-parent becomes ill and chooses to stay home with their dog for a day occasionally. I found exceptions are most efficiently handled by emailing the info. from the e-mail account associated with your profile, rather than by phone. Again, it's handled as an exception on a case by case basis to my published policy.

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Comments

I've had some of my repeat walking clients cancel a day last minute if they're sick or working from home too. I usually just make a note of it and give them credit for the next time they need it.

Natassia E.'s profile imageNatassia E. ( 2016-05-08 07:13:38 -0500 )edit

You can do that. However, if the booking was through Rover and anything were to happen during that future credited walk, I doubt the dog would be covered,because Rover would not see documentation to support it.

Deb A.'s profile imageDeb A. ( 2016-05-08 14:26:32 -0500 )edit

You could book it through Rover and charge $0 too (or $1 if zero doesn't work).

Jean D. & Ray P.'s profile imageJean D. & Ray P. ( 2016-05-08 16:29:29 -0500 )edit

Oh interesting. I thought it would raise suspicions with rover or something.

Natassia E.'s profile imageNatassia E. ( 2016-05-09 18:22:28 -0500 )edit

Natassia - In case your comment was reply to my suggestion, I've always preferred to keep my records straight by crediting services not rendered and rover has never had an issue with that. On the other hand, I can't comment on Jean's suggestion as that is not how I've / would handle cancellations.

Deb A.'s profile imageDeb A. ( 2016-05-10 13:41:01 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-05-08 02:05:45 -0500

I'm listed under "flexible" on Rover, but refunds are a case-by-case basis and only for repeat clients. I had a client who sometimes would come home from work a day early and I often refunded his extra night. Most clients understand that if I refused another guest because I was booked with their dog(s) and they cancel, there will be no refund. One lady booked with me and then changed her mind when she came to drop the dog off because she thought the other dogs were too aggressively sniffing her tiny pooch. There was certainly no refund for that (especially after refusing a M&G).

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answered 2016-05-27 03:20:33 -0500

I am usually pretty lenient even though I have a moderate policy. There are a couple sitters that do not get priority as a stay because they have cancelled last minute a couple of times. Most people are pretty considerate and let you know well in advance if they have something come up and have to cancel. I understand that stuff happens so as long as it is not an ongoing issue, I try to understand.

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