You’ve probably read or heard about people who receive invoices for the wedding they RSVP’d to but didn’t show up…. Is it fair? Well for weddings, I’m just not sure, although weddings are incredibly expensive affairs and I know a number of brides who have to condense guests lists simply because of the cost of feeding everyone – let alone all the other expenses!
But there are times we need to look at when we don’t show up for something and get an invoice.. already I am hearing people shout – But it wasn’t my fault, the Babysitter didn’t turn up – the traffic was bad… my dog got sick…
And although many things are out of your control and there is no one to blame in many instances the No Show causes a cost to another party – that if a business probably needs to be compensated for.
Imagine if you booked an apartment for a weekend away and at the last minute cancelled. The hotelier or apartment owner, quite likely turned other potential paying guests because it was already booked…by you. Now at the last minute, yes there may be someone who calls at the last minute that needs the apartment – but what if they don’t? The hotelier is left with an empty room – and it’s a business, if it was yours – wouldn’t you want compensation?
Think about hiring a car – same situation, you book a car for a trip away – only to discover you double booked your weekends and have to cancel your trip. The car hire firm is more than likely going to charge you as the car may very well sit idle in the lot all weekend when it was supposed to be creating income to pay employees…
Can you see where this is going?
Cancellation fees – are just that cancellation fees. If you cancel enough in advance, the car hire team can promote the vehicle for hire, the apartment owner can say ‘Yes’ to the next person that calls. If you cancel a week, a few days or worse the day before, the chance of the business recouping what is potentially lost income becomes more remote – therefore the cancelation fees generally increase closer to the booking time.
So what do you do – well there are always options.
See if someone you know can use your reservation?
If you are inside the cancelation period – ask if there is an opportunity to move the booking to another time – ie you are still giving them business, just on a different day. This will require a conversation with the business.
Ask for a credit and see if this could be transferable to another branch or even business service – for example at Alpha Car Hire you might like to call and discuss whether you could instead use their airport parking locations to park your car securely for a future trip, or if it is a chain hotel – ask if you can possibly use a credit towards another facility.
It comes down to being reasonable. It’s not the businesses fault that your great aunties dog got hit by the rubbish truck and you are stuck at the vet, but most businesses understand these things and will accommodate where they can
And if you are about to get married – make a note of who doesn’t turn up – consider sending them the invoice.