No Show? You Might Be Banned Forever

OpenTable.com offers a great service by allowing people to make their reservations online.  Reservations are often hard to make, but easy to break.  OpenTable discourages this kind of behavior, however, by automatically deactivating accounts that have more than four no-shows within a 12-month period.  Restaurants can assign you a no-show if you (1) arrived late (usually more than 15 minutes without giving the restaurant a call), (2) failed to honor or cancel the reservation, or (3) called to cancel but not within the cancellation policy (usually 24 or 48 hours prior to reservation time).

These rules may sound harsh, but OpenTable is meant to reward patrons who regularly honor their reservations or cancel them on time.  Despite this, OpenTable is also quite amenable to hearing you out if you feel a no-show has been assigned in error.  Take for example our weekly lunch last week, when there was obviously a miscommunication between OpenTable and the restaurant.  We had made a reservation through OpenTable, but the restaurant was not able to find us in their system.  When we checked our balance afterward, it turned out we had been assigned a no-show.  A simple email to OpenTable explaining the events, however, quickly rectified the situation and we were awarded our points.

All this to say, you should try your best to honor your reservations or at least be considerate enough to cancel in a timely manner so others may take your timeslot.  Otherwise, you might be making your last reservation on OpenTable.com.  Another lesson here is to keep track of your points to make sure you haven’t been inadvertently assigned a no-show.  Bon appetite!

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