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Why do Owners expect a refund when they cancel last minute?

asked 2017-07-22 08:28:28 -0500

I absolutely hate it when an Owner has to cancel. Mainly because they expect a full refund no matter what. My policy is set to Strict. I've had too many situations over my 2 years of doing Rover to leave it at that Moderate Setting.

No matter how hard I try to be professional, respectful and fair when it comes to these Cancellations the Owners LOSE it when they find out they are not getting a full refund.

I always offer to give them a 50% discount on their next stay for however many days they just had to cancel. Apparently that's not good enough. GGRRrrrr....

Am I delusional that people should realize if they are going to take up one of my spots they can't just cancel and leave me without the opportunity to replace that income?

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answered 2017-07-23 15:20:51 -0500

This comes from the BS mentality that the client is always right, making jerks out of many people when it comes to how they treat service providers, we have made spoiled brats out of customers. Of course people expect to pay for services received but customers must understand that when booking with a small business, they are taking a huge percentage of the revenue potential for this business and that it is not always possible to book a new client in the slot reserved for them when the cancellation is last minute. Many other businesses will charge a fee for last minute cancellations or not even refund any portion of the fee if the cancellation is too close to the dates the services were to be provided, like airlines, hotels, spas.

In my very many years in the service industry, I have found that clients that have no respect for you or your business and show no consideration for your loss of revenue end up being real bad clients in the long run, never happy, often dishonest, hard to deal with, capricious, always looking to pay less and get more, simply not people I want to deal with or people I will end up making money from.

So I say stick with the cancellation policy you are comfortable with but make sure to really point it out to your clients during the booking process, that way they can't turn around and loose it on you if they need to cancel last minute and will not get a refund.

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AMEN! Fannie. You are 100% correct about all of this. One woman got super nasty (even AFTER I had Rover refund her 100%)... to her I say "Good riddance" I think I dodged a bullet by not boarding her dog.

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-07-23 22:02:19 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2017-07-22 08:46:57 -0500

I understand as most sitters will that a late cancellation is tough on us because we lose income. But we are service providers and client only wants to pay for services provided, and feel they deserve a full refund if they cancel. Since you set your policy to strict their refund is very limited or non-existent depending on when they cancel. Personally I keep my policy on flexible as I would rather keep my clients happy and keep them long term. Your short term gain on cancellations may determine if a client ever books with you again - but that's you decision to make.

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You do mostly walking, correct? A boarding cancellation is entirely different.

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2017-07-22 14:44:54 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2017-07-25 08:30:57 -0500

Ah, yes. The cancellation policy. This one was really tough for me, and I probably changed it 5 before settling on something that worked for me. There are certainly pros and cons to all options. Personally, I have decided to keep a flexible cancellation policy. I know when my "peak times" are, so I set mine to strict for just during that period, because I know I could have filled that spot with a paying customer. I think the reason why people are upset is because it doesn't really tell them much about cancellations when they book. It comes as a pretty big surprise, and it's not a good. one. I live in a more rural area, so its' important to me that clients leave with a good taste in their mouth. They might have to cancel this time, but I want them to come back if they ever need me again, so I let it go.
If I was fully booked on a regular basis, I would probably charge, but for my situation it doesn't make sense to. I need a wider customer base, even if they have to cancel sometimes.
I also haven't had many cancellations, though, so I'm sure once I got burned a few times I might change it, but I have to say I understand why a customer would be upset over paying full price for a service that was not rendered. Hotels charge, but they explicitly tell you that they will. If you have a strict cancellation policy, I think it is reasonable and considerate to mention it during the booking process, just so there are no surprises.

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I like your point about mentioning it. I have a little "sitter info" form that has my contact information, address, etc. When I give them this, I usually mention, "if anything comes up, just let me let know. As long as its a week before the stay, Rover will give you a full refund."

Hannah S.'s profile image Hannah S.  ( 2017-07-30 11:54:01 -0500 ) edit

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