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Boarding situation, WWYD?

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  • Boarding situation, WWYD?

    I'm just curious what others think, I guess.

    The fellow boarders that I'm friendly with (which are most of them, it's not a huge boarding population) feel the way I do but I'm not sure what *I* will do.

    Barn owner (BO) has a very interesting habit of (for the past few years) talking to each boarder about how much $$$ is lost each month from running the place. All of us, at one time or another, have verbalized that BO should raise the board if that is the case. Last year, we all had to sign new contracts that listed new rates but they were only for new boarders coming in. Great, no problem, no one is in dispute that board has not been raised in YEARS (at least 6 years, since I've had my current horse).

    Last Wednesday (6/15), I happened to notice a flyer tacked along the aisleway of my trainer's barn - with last years rate sheet and a scribbled note at the bottom that says the "new" rates will now apply to all boarders as of 7/1/11.

    Someone said the same thing with the scribble at the bottom was in the bathroom, too. Now, half the boarders do not use my trainers barn for anything and another %age of those do not use the bathroom (it's a pretty gross one!!! I sure don't use it).

    We are all scratching our heads over why BO would not simply MAIL the new rates to every body with the standard courtesy of 30 days notice. We got 2 weeks notice and several people I spoke with had no idea those 2 sheets were where they are. Some of use stood around trying to figure out which rates applied to our stalls since some of the descriptions were alarmingly similar and the rates widely different!

    I would like to mention to the BO that 30 days would be standard and ask why she wouldn't mail these to us with a note as to which rate is applicable to their particular horse's stall.

    Some of use feel that while the new rates are perfectly justified and we are happy to pay them, we won't be paying them until 8/1/11. Seriously, we have to give 30 days to leave, my trainer gave us 30 days when her rates went up. I have my 'contract' from last year and there is nothing stating 30 days notice for rate increases.

    Sorry this got so long - I (and others) area really, really annoyed by this.

    Should I tell BO that we have no problem with the increase but the delivery stinks??? Or just shut up and pay it on 7/1.
    ~* Be kind to one another *~

  • #2
    I'd say something and explain that two weeks isn't enough time to budget for an increase. If it's a $25 or less increase I might be inclined to let it slide, but...
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


    • #3
      boarding woes

      What would you gain from telling her that her delivery stinks? My guess is nothing except bad feelings all the way around. If there is nothing in the contract that states she is required to give you 30 day rate increase notice then she is not in the wrong.
      Her delivery is less than professional and she will realize that when half the boarders don't pay it because they didn't see it.


      • #4
        How much is the increase? A lot of people, myself included, budget their money and may not be able to come up with the extra cash on short notice. If it's a pretty minimal amount I would probably just pay it, but I would be annoyed at the short notice.

        It sounds like there's confusion as to whether or not the same rates are to apply for all boarders. I'd ask for clarification.

        Honestly, the part about the BO complaining to all her boarders about lost money and all that would irritate me a lot. Her boarders don't need to know all that. I hate when people gripe to me about money all the time. I don't have a money tree in my backyard either (well, in my case - the apartment complex didn't come with a money tree!) but I don't whine to people about money being tight.

        I'd also let the BO know that it seems not everyone is aware of the increase since not everyone uses the restroom or goes into the trainer's barn.


        • #5
          I would say something like "Next time, would you mind giving us 30 day notice and posting the notice in a more prominent place - or sending by mail?"

          This time around whats done is done. And you have been telling her to increase board if need be - so she stops openly complaining about being in the hole every month (which, by the way I feel is very unprofessional and inappropriate IMO) ; and she did. Granted she didn't go about it in the best way, but you know the saying...sometimes you cant have your cake and eat it too
          Barn rat for life


          • Original Poster

            I'm glad I'm not just being whiney. I try really hard not to be!!

            Increases are anywhere from $25 to $100 (yes, that much) depending on what barn/stall type you have.

            Is my horse in a stall with a double run or a box stall or just a stall with a run? Well, it's a box stall (bigger than others) with a run. There is no rate listed for that config. I guess I'll pick the $25 option. Hee, hee.

            I truly believe the BO purchased the place 5 years ago as a place to store all their pasture puffs. This person has the majority of the horse's on the property and 2 of them are useful citizens. The rest are either old or young and unhandled. I stay becaue I love my trainer. Otherwise, I might not. The care is fine, actually, so no complaints there except for the BO .
            ~* Be kind to one another *~


            • #7
              I don't think there is anything to be gained from telling the BO you didn't like the way the board increase was communicated. Yeah, I agree, a more formal harder-to-miss method would have been more businesslike. But if your BO had her MBA she probably wouldn't be bothering with running a boarding stable. I think that given that this is the first board increase in a long time and probably is overdue and that this is your only complaint, then I think it is probably better to either go along with it or just mention something in a gentle manner.


              • #8
                Well, if the contract doesn't specify how much in advance she has to give you notice, I'd pay if you're able. It's not a good way for her to do it, but holding out until August is likely to create strife.

                I think you should tactfully mention something about the way she notified people, though, if your relationship with her allows it (in other words, if you don't think she'll get mad at you ) and if you want to. You're under no obligation to school her in customer service, but if you want to say something, it might make her think and avoid this kind of situation in the future.
                exploring the relationship between horse and human


                • #9
                  Why not just not pay it this time, and when she tells you you owe X amount of $$ you can simply say you did not know about the increase, did not see the postings.... Not only would that tell her that her delivery and time frame suck, but also what rate she considers you horses stall..


                  • #10
                    I'm a big fan of the direct approach. Just because the BO's delivery of, and explanation of, the new rates sucks, doesn't mean you have to descend to her level of communication. I would point blank ask her what rate increase she is expecting you to pay, and act on what she tells you.

                    If it's a $25-$50/month increase, that's not enough that I'd bother too much about it. $100/month, though,..................I think I'd be having a lot to say about that sort of an increase with only two weeks notice. Pretty crappy way to do business, and I don't think a diplomatically-worded statement to that effect would go amiss. BO sounds pretty clueless, so maybe she doesn't realize how much difference $100/month will make to some people? I don't know. But if you like the place, the care, and your trainer, I'd tread lightly,...............and tactfully.
                    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                    A life lived by example, done too soon.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ESG View Post
                      I'm a big fan of the direct approach. Just because the BO's delivery of, and explanation of, the new rates sucks, doesn't mean you have to descend to her level of communication. I would point blank ask her what rate increase she is expecting you to pay, and act on what she tells you.

                      If it's a $25-$50/month increase, that's not enough that I'd bother too much about it. $100/month, though,..................I think I'd be having a lot to say about that sort of an increase with only two weeks notice. Pretty crappy way to do business, and I don't think a diplomatically-worded statement to that effect would go amiss. BO sounds pretty clueless, so maybe she doesn't realize how much difference $100/month will make to some people? I don't know. But if you like the place, the care, and your trainer, I'd tread lightly,...............and tactfully.

                      BO probably has been having real trepidation about raising the rates, which is a possible explanation for the conversations about losing money each month. Those uncomfortable conversations may have been trial balloons. Then, when she finally came to her decision, she didn't have the foresight to see that she was giving short notice, since to her you all already "agreed" to an increase in your conversations about the barn losing money. Not smart or correct, but that's how some operate. I think I would skip trying to educate her about it, and just get clarification in the manner that ESG so wisely states.