It’s been a frustrating week here on our RV site in Alabama. While we’ve been watching presidential candidates making promises in their election campaigns that they may or may not keep, I’ve been patiently waiting for the promised internet connection to materialize. From the day we arrived here, ten days ago, the intermittent and poor connection from the booster (right next to our RV pad) has prevented me from fulfilling my promises to my clients – no Skype connection for example – so a knock-on effect has been created. There’s been a fairly cavalier attitude to the situation with the (predominantly) retired volunteers in the camp office failing to understand that not everyone on the campground is on vacation – in fact a lot of us are working from our RVs as if we were at home.
Don’t let your guests down
If something is ‘promised’ – for example, internet access, the Movie Channel, a bread maker, bunk beds – in fact anything you may have included on a listing, it should be at the property when your guests get there. If something has been broken, removed or replaced you need to let them know so they can make other arrangements if necessary.
My business partner loves to canoe and chooses his vacation rentals on the water and with a canoe included. His vacation is planned around canoe trips so if he got to the reserved property and found the canoe was no longer available, he would consider the package to be significantly not as described.
Upsetting a 7-yr old doesn’t bring great reviews
I screwed up big time when we decided to dismantle the bunk beds (double with single bed over) because they were a pig to make. It was so much easier to have the double and the twin side by side – they looked better; we deemed it safer for children, and my caretaker loves me since she doesn’t have to clamber up to the top bunk to make the bed. However, we didn’t think about letting our guests know we had made the change since the bed configuration remained the same – just both of the beds on the same level instead of one on top of the other. The seven year old who’d been promised the top bunk on his holiday was ‘devastated’, according to him mum, who was quick to call and complain. There wasn’t much we could do but apologise and learn from the experience, but it really got me thinking that there can be such a fine line between delighting our guests and disappointing them.
As providers to the travel industry we have a responsibility to deliver on our promises and if we can’t then we should communicate the shortcomings straight away, and perhaps offer some form of compensation depending on the level of the potential disappointment.
Lightning struck once – a year ago
For me – I was really happy to get to our new site on our first homeward leg, and find superfast internet – just as advertised. I’ll be writing some reviews on the sites we’ve visited and will be downgrading the one that made me a promise it could not keep. As an aside – when I asked what the issue was with the internet access, I was told the booster post has been struck by lightning – in 2011! I rest my case.