Life in the accounting department of a third party billing company has been… unpleasant the last month. Everyone is trying to clear their accounts for 2019 so we have been getting the most calls out of any department. We have also been hit hard by the cold and flu season so we are down to half of our normal staff. Wait times and tensions are high!
This guy didn’t really need accounting help per se, but wanted to ask me a hypothetical question and see how I recommend that he handle it. I’ll call him Post-It, you’ll see why at the end!
Post-It: I keep getting chargebacks! I need to know what you want us to do when the guest isn’t responsible enough to check out at the front desk. There are no things in the room but they don’t say anything so we keep charging them and then they dispute it.
Me: Do you try calling anyone when your staff notices the rooms have no belongings in them?
PI: (in a very snarky tone of voice) Uh, no. That’s not possible.
Me: Why not? If you are collecting personal phone numbers like you should be upon check in then you can just call the guest-
PI: Well, thanks for your great advice but that’s not always possible.
Me: I don’t see why. In any case, if you can’t reach the guest, then you should call us. We can also try contacting them on your behalf to find out if they have left. During business hours you can call the accounting department number listed on our website to reach us and we will be glad to help. There is an after hours number I can also give you, if you would like.
PI: So where can my front desk find that after hours number on your website?
Me: You can’t. I can give it to you and you can provide it to your staff.
PI: Well, that’s not satisfactory. Where can my staff go to find the number online?
Me: It’s not available on the website. It’s not a hotel support line, but you can call it for some very basic issues like this overnight or on weekends and they can try to assist you as well. This isn’t a number we give to hotels, typically, but I’m just trying to help you out.
PI: WELL THEN HOW IS MY STAFF SUPPOSED TO FIND IT??
Me: I’m giving it to you right now, and you can note it somewhere so they can see it.
PI: Are you serious??
Me: Why is that unreasonable?
PI: THAT’S your professional advice?? Leave a post-it note in what, sharpie?? Where??
Me: Or whatever other sort of note you want, on the desk. Maybe if you have a book with important numbers you could list it there.
PI: Well perhaps you should just escalate me then, because that is UNACCEPTABLE! I want it on the website!
Me: My supervisor is gone until Wednesday. I will get you to their voicemail and you can leave them a message.
I didn’t hear the rest cause I transferred him mid sentence. He never did get the after hours number. I texted my boss, and they said they are far to busy to return calls to crazy people. 🙂