I have been going to conventions for over ten years. While going to conventions, I have booked my own rooms, and roomed with others. During this, I’ve learned how to handle the finances of the room. With the help of a friend, I have an Excel spreadsheet that breaks up the amounts by per person and per day.
What brings this up?
Well I had an interesting altercation with a “friend” over his share of the hotel room at Otakon.
I contacted Shinji about staying in the room for $120. He agreed, and then a few days later asked me to bring it down to $100 or else he wouldn’t stay. I went and brought more people into the room to bring down the price for him. I found out a couple of days before the con that he may not make it down on Thursday due to work… Mind you I had to call him to few times to get his confirmation. I told him he should just catch a bus after work and I would get him a ride back with me.
I noticed that on Friday that he wasn’t in the room. That night I checked Facebook and he posted that he wasn’t going due to personal issues. After the con I called him and told him that he still owed me money. He tried to renege and say, “I don’t owe because I didn’t stay in the room”. For what it’s worth, that is the oldest excuse in the book and it does not get you off the hook. I told him that he still owed because of the following reasons:
- He did not tell me in time that he was not going.
- The other people in the room should not be penalized to pay for his share.
- Having personal issues is not a legitimate excuse.
So on Thursday, Shinji PayPalled me his money. Saturday I go to deposit it in my checking account. I get an email saying that it was cancelled and he filed a claim against me. The claim: “I never received the service I ordered…please refund my money…”
I call PayPal and explain everything. They close out his claim and rule in favor of me. You can not file a claim over intangible objects such as your share of the hotel room.
Three days later, I check my messages and he unfriended me.
Normally, I would be a bit upset over this that I lost a friend. But given that fact that I had to go through all of this crap to get the money owed to me, it’s no sweat off my back. Given the history between us, it’s not a big deal to me.
I have learned that I have to increase my trust levels with my friends who I room with at cons. Given the people I roomed with recently, they’ll be on my list for next year.
But if you’re wondering, these are my hotel rules. You can use them to help you with your hotel room setup:
- When I ask if you’re staying in my room and say or text yes, it’s a binding contract.
- I do not give refunds on rooms, unless it is a family emergency.
- You have up until two weeks before the con to pay for your share of the room or else you are liable for the full amount.
- If you can’t stay, you are on the hook for paying from half to the full amount.