Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Gift Ideas...Don't End Up in Disaster!

Every Christmas season, bed and breakfast owners get calls for gift certificates for friends, family, and business associates.  These are great gifts and have the flexibility for people to redeem them when they want to.  There is 1 word of caution from Carol Steffey, owner of Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast:  Read the fine print when purchasing online.
Most lodging establishments have online reservations today which is widely used by the generation that carries Ipods and other mobile devices.  Most of these reservation systems are meant for the person staying in a room, to register for their stay.  When you book online you supply your name, address, phone number, etc.  Some people, according to Steffey, will give the Gift Certificate in a different way.  Instead of ordering a Gift Certificate that is valid for "x" period of time, they will book a room on a specific date for their parents thinking that this is making things easier.  The only problem is that they supply their own name, their own address, their own phone number and of course their credit card data.  Mom and Dad show up to check-in and the innkeeper tells them they have no reservation for them.  That is because the innkeeper has the name/address/phone for their children, not them.  In some cases the parents will call the kids, the innkeeper discovers that the reservation made online was not for the people staying there, and after getting off to a bad start on their over night stay, Mom and Dad finally get their room.
Whenever you purchase something online there is usually a Terms/Conditions statement that you have put a check mark in that you have read and understand.  In the case of Garden Gate Get-A-Way B&B there is a statement that "if this is a gift it cannot be booked online as additional information is necessary".  Since some people don't read the terms and conditions they book a gift online that almost turns in to disaster for the person trying to check-in with no reservation in their name.
The final word:  Read the fine print or order gifts over the phone.
Written by Carol Steffey, Garden Gate Get-A-Way Bed & Breakfast, Millersburg, Ohio (330) 674-7608

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