How do you get the incurred damages after guest left (ex: Smoking in Room = $175 fee) if you get cash or paid thru Paypal

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To confirm the date, we charge payment in full for ONE to THREE nights and 50% down payment for FOUR nights or more.  They pay this via Paypal, directly from pay buttons on our website or I invoice them through Paypal.

The problem I have is how do you RE-charge the credit card (supplied and copied upon check in) if damages were made, like smoking in the room which incurred a $175.00 fee? The guest also signed (and was given a copy) of the renter's rules stating the "no smoking policy" and fees attached if this rule was broken. 

Does anyone have a suggestion of a good credit card processing company (not Square or Intuit because I do not have a Smartphone). 

Paypal will not work on this problem.  I would like a company with low processing and monthly fees.

I have spoken to a few companies who state "if I was handed the credit card, I could process the fee like a telephone order",  I have spoken with a few companies (companies fees range from 1% to 4% and a monthly fee of $5 to $49).  I do not know any of these companies...

Before I sign a contract with an unknown company, does anyone have a suggestion, comments or words of caution? I do not want to go through my personal bank because we do not have a business account (thier fees are too great at this time).  Many thanks & take care,

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Hi I'm new here, but you might want to check out Airbnb and list your property there.  The interface is beautiful and the payment processing is a breeze!  Plus they have a wonderful $1,00,000.00 insurance policy if anyone should damage your property.  The review process is the most brilliant idea I've ever seen in the hospitality industry, it blows away tripadvisor.  It is slated to be the Facebook of the hospitality industry and your beautiful cabin is an ideal property to list.  If someone smokes in your place you can leave them a review saying so.

Check out my listing

I listed with them as a trial run to see if I would enjoy having all kinds of strangers at my house, to make sure I'm cut out for operating a bed and breakfast, the answer after a year of listing on Airbnb is a resounding yes.   I love Airbnb and am actually thinking of using them for when I open my full fledge bed and breakfast, their reservation system is the prettiest and most professional looking around!  Their fees are 3% but I don't mind paying because it is design so well, it is visually beautiful and simple to use.  I have yet to find a reservation system that is as pretty and simple as Airbnb's they are light years ahead of the competition!

CottageKeeper

 

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I thought as another line of advertising I would use Air B&B - can't even get my listing on properly as it won't load my pictures - plus its not big in the uk - tends to be people letting out spare rooms and sofa's ie non professionals

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Most of us here have nothing but negatives for air b n b. Sorry!

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In my jurisdiction, AirBnB is essentially a collection of illegal businesses and tax cheats.

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If you are new and using AirBnB please, please be sure you are not breaking any local laws in re your zoning and collecting lodging tax. If someone local who is running a business wherein they are paying for licenses and handing over tax money sees your listing they may turn you in.

If you're following all of your local ordinances, getting licenses and collecting the proper taxes you don't have to worry.

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all you want addressed is your question about a credit card processing 'system' ... lots of good suggestions here.

 

and maybe you don't want any other suggestions at all.  still, i'm going to say this ....

 

a smoker who violates your rules about not smoking in your cabin will likely fight a charge for cleanup after smoking. regardless of how you try to charge them.   period.

i ended up paying additional costs to fight a chargeback on a damage fee well deserved by a bad guest.  so it cost me more in the long run and it hurt.

i don't say this to be vicious, but from experience. 

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seashanty wrote:

i don't say this to be vicious, but from experience. 

seashanty couldn't be vicious if she wanted to!

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Arkansawyer wrote:

seashanty wrote:

i don't say this to be vicious, but from experience. 

seashanty couldn't be vicious if she wanted to!

Ark, don't be fooled by my rainbow monkey hat.  I look quite fierce in my bear hat!

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I completely agree!

I just like to try and cover ALL my bases before I jump in.  
We have been extremely lucky, through our screening processes.
We have had two minor damages, and both were invoiced and paid after the fact.

Now that we are getting over 60% monthly occupancy, I am just playing devil's advocate
I getting the best systems in place.  MANY thanks for ALL the input here. Take care, B

 

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The best offer I have yet is with ICS (Intergrated Card Services).

No Contract,
Free Printer/Terminal Supplies (Nurit 2085),
No Annual Fee, Monthly fee of $6.50
Transaction Fee of .20 cents (does anyone else miss the cents sign on a keyboard?)
and per transaction:
0.39% - Swiped Debit
1.59% - Swiped Credit
1.99% - Keyed Debit
2.19% - Keyed Credit

So WHAT have the hidden costs/obstacles NOT mentioned with this offer?
What more questions do I need to ask? Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?     Thanks, B

 

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These fees sound too low, I would be very careful. Visa & MC fees may be in ADDITION to the processing fees. Visa, MC, et al have a minimum rate that must be charged to them through your processor and the rates you posted probably don't include those.

 

 

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YES, it does sound to cheap! many Many MANY additional fees:  (like another poster stated, same price different terms used) here's a few: 
PCS Compliance fee (to be charged yearly or monthly by law, East is $7 per month)
and then the Visa/Mastercard/Discover "Network" fee ($ 2.90 to 7.95 month).
or an additional statement fee ($ 5).
or an additional ON-line processing monthly fee ($ 10).     

Going the pray, then invoice, then send to collections route, might not bee too bad...eeek!                                                  .

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Little_Easy_Cabins wrote:

YES, it does sound to cheap! many MAny MANY additional fees:  (like another poster stated, same price different terms used) here's a few: 
PCS Compliance fee (to be charged yearly or monthly by law, East is $7 per month)
and then the Visa/Mastercard/Discover "Network" fee.
or an additional statement fee.
or an additional ONline processing monthly fee.     

Going the prey, then invoice, then send to collections route, might not bee too bad...eeek!                                                  .

We have all done this for years. It is nothing new, I had to pay a monthly PCI compliance fee and run the scan/audit. This is why so many have gone with Square. If you are a business you have to pay fees, it is what it is, but trying to make the best of it is wise. 

I guess I am confused with your question, are you asking about charging a guest who smoked in a room, or searching for a cc merchant service?

I will tell you now, that no credit card company will back you charging for smoking in a room. The agreement made by the guest is to pay for the room night, and tax, nothing more. No matter how you word your policies. The best you can do is send them a statement with the amount due.

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Little_Easy_Cabins wrote:

The best offer I have yet is with ICS (Intergrated Card Services).

No Contract,
Free Printer/Terminal Supplies (Nurit 2085),
No Annual Fee, Monthly fee of $6.50
Transaction Fee of .20 cents (does anyone else miss the cents sign on a keyboard?)
and per transaction:
0.39% - Swiped Debit
1.59% - Swiped Credit
1.99% - Keyed Debit
2.19% - Keyed Credit

So WHAT have the hidden costs/obstacles NOT mentioned with this offer?
What more questions do I need to ask? Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?     Thanks, B

 

I discovered a 2.90 Visa Network fee per month

$5 statement fee

.25 connection fee

Cards that became listed a non-qual and when asked what that was, I was told there had to be some sort of intervention like numbers keyed in - NEVER keyed in numbers, they were ALWAYS swiped but there were deemed non-qual and how do i fight that??

And I am not even going to get into the PCI compliance issue. I did not and do not take cc numbers online, did not and do not have them on my computer and it took a lot of effort to get them to stuff that issue up an orifice. They do find extra fees - each company has their own names for them and ways to assess them. Lots of luck. And I really am not being snarky - I really do wish you luck with it.

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Thanks!, what company are you using? Ta' B

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Do not remember the name of the first cc processor, second was Regions, and the last and final was First Data and the also started in the last half of 2012, a minimum monthly amount that if my transactions did not meet, they just took the difference from my account. I went to Square. I am small - 3 rooms, in an off-the-beaten-path location that I have MADE into a bit of a destination - so I do not generate tens of thousands of dollars in charges each year so they stick it to you as the little guy who needs them (so you can take credit cards) more than they need you. What I hope they wake up to find out is that there are more "little guys" than there are big generators if/when the little guys leave in droves.

In my opinion, it was the little guys leaving in droves that caused bandb.com to come up with the Diamond Coll ection rate - they just soaked everyone who was convinced they could not survive without being #1 on that site so they paid the freight. It certainly made up for a few of us who waved bye-bye.

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Thanks! B

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Does any have experience with 
ICS (Intergrated Card Services)   OR   East Commerce Solutions?

East's Quote is:

No Contract,
Monthly Printer/Terminal of $ 4.95
No Annual Fee, Monthly fee of $ 6.00
PCI Compliance Monthly Fee $ 7.00
Transaction Fee of .10 cents (does anyone else miss the cents sign on a keyboard?)

and per transaction:
0.25%          % - Swiped Debit
1.71%         % - Swiped Credit
0.25%         % - Keyed Debit
2.0%         % - Keyed Credit

Madeleine's picture
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In re those fees- those are the fees V/MC charge the processor. The processor charges fees on top of those. Those are the fees you are missing. Also, as I said earlier, those are the plain vanilla, no rewards cards fees that they are telling you. Rewards cards are about a 1/2 % more. Business cards are almost a full point more. International cards are also more.

Ask yourself how many people do you know who have a card with no rewards/points? Maybe 1 every month will show up. But, the biggest thing we hear at check-in in re cards? 'Oh, let me use this one, I almost have enough to get a free plane ticket.'

Guests do NOT know that YOU are paying for that 'free' plane ticket.

Debit cards...you have to have a pin pad to get those rates. Otherwise it goes thru as a charge at the higher rate.

We get calls all the time from processors who tell us they can lower our monthly fees. All we have to do is send them a statement from the previous month with all of our transactions and they will lower our bill. So far? Of the ones who have even called back not a single one could save us more than $2/month. And that guy called incessantly telling me I was losing $2/month by not switching. I finally asked if his company would buy out my contract at the processor we use and then he stopped calling. But, it's a new year...he'll start up again I'm sure.

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That offer looks pretty good at first glance, but I don't have a lot to compare too.

On another forum, somebody had posted a spreadsheet calculator for comparing processors.

At 6.50 per month ($78 per year), and assuming you do an average of 2 transactions each day for 360 days ($144), and assuming all your transactions are swiped credit at 1.59%, you will have to process almost $20,000 in the year before you will be beating the flat 2.75% fee from Square for swiped transactions (as an example).

It's actually not a difficult calculation -- just estimate how many transactions you think you will process in a month (or a year), and the total dollar amount of those transactions (maybe broken down by keyed vs. swiped), then you can calculate the total cost to run those using the figures quoted by ICS, and compare that to the total cost to run the same transactions through PayPal or Square or what-have-you.

 

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Harborfields wrote:

On another forum, somebody had posted a spreadsheet calculator for comparing processors.

Where can I find this?

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Harborfields wrote:

On another forum, somebody had posted a spreadsheet calculator for comparing processors.

Where can I find this?

http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16503&start=0&postdays=0&p...

(just pretend the Pounds Sterling symbol is a Dollar Sign -- it really doesn't matter)

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For many reasons, listed below, Square is out.
The calculations are quite easy, it's the fine print & contracts which give me pause.

Does anyone know about PCI Compliance ($7.00 month):
Is this a state surcharge or standard, account the board fee?   Thanks, B

 

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Little_Easy_Cabins wrote:

For many reasons, listed below, Square is out.
The calculations are quite easy, it's the fine print & contracts which give me pause.

Does anyone know about PCI Compliance ($7.00 month):
Is this a state surcharge or standard, account the board fee?   Thanks, B

 

PCI compliance is charged by most processors. We always get hit with this in Feb and I practically jump out of my chair because we are closed in Jan so we don't process many transactions. It is essentially insurance in case credit card numbers are stolen from your processing system. It covers a minimal amount of investigative work to discover the breach but it won't cover being sued because your guests' cc info was hacked. BTW- YOU are at fault. Never the processor. So, it's a joke really.

Yes, the calculations are easy but you don't have all the info to make an informed decision. They have not told you about rewards cards fees, international fees, business card fees, Discover card fees (you have to take D if you take the big 2).

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It is a fee they can stick to the merchants and it can be any amount they want (think they can get). Regions wanted $25 per month.

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Nightly rate: $74????  THat is way too low. Like others said. It costs money to be in business. Paypal charges you a fee. You don't think you get it for free do you? Charge a deposit equal to your smoking fee. If they smoke, the deposit is not returned or credited to the account.

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you can get second hand i pads and i phones very cheaply now - ie much cheaper than one person smoking

Madeleine's picture
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You will find credit card processors will not allow you to charge the card for damages. Best bet is refundable security deposit.

What processors are you looking at?

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I have spoken to over 8 companies.  
They all state that we CAN process AFTER the the client leaves,
IF the proper steps are taken when they check in. 

The main one I am considering  is 
Integrated Card Services – ICS Merchant Services  
and also  East Commerce Solutions, North Ame Bancard, Resource Nation

Any thoughts or suggestions?  Many thanks, B

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As far as the list of companies you are looking at, I haven't heard anything good or bad about them. As Copperhead said, avoid a contract (we can't get out of ours without paying $275 even tho we've been with them for 10 years) and get your own equipment, don't rent. The rental fees will kill you.

Make sure you verify with the processor first that the equipment you are buying works with their system. Lots of older equip is out of date. My terminal doesn't do updates any longer. I am sure they will be pushing me to buy a new one. Going with Square doesn't work for taking deposits because you need the card to swipe or you need to have the cvv from the back of the card. And then the processing fee is higher.

We never ask for the cvv because I do not want to have that info lest we get hacked.

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Little_Easy_Cabins wrote:

I have spoken to over 8 companies.  
They all state that we CAN process AFTER the the client leaves,
IF the proper steps are taken when they check in. 

Not for damages. Of course you can run the card for the balance of the stay if the guest leaves without checking out.

Get that in writing because VISA and MC say you cannot charge a guest for damages without the guest's express permission. Without a sig on the cc slip the guest will win every time. And even if they sign, they can go home and dispute and say they were 'threatened' or the damage was there when they arrived.

BTW, did they tell you what the proper steps are? We would all like to know this as we've been over this a million times and have posted the terms and conditions on here taken right from the cc websites.

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I am still in the "process gathering stage" now,
but here's what they all have confirmed (as well as, other posters on here).

Any additional charges which are discovered after check-out
(smoking, room service, telephone or mini-bar), the hotel may amend a guest’s bill,
provided the cardholder has agreed to be responsible for "delayed" or "amended"
charges, and you follow up with a detailed invoice to the customer explain such

At the time of check-in you must make sure your guest signs an agreement to pay for "delayed" or"amended" charges as defined by your terms and conditions.  Also, a pending "additional cleaning fee" would work too.

These charges CANNOT be listed as "loss, theft or damages"
(those are small claims court issues).  Thanks, B

 

 

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Little_Easy_Cabins wrote:

I have spoken to over 8 companies.  
They all state that we CAN process AFTER the the client leaves,
IF the proper steps are taken when they check in. 

They all will say you CAN charge after the client leaves, what they are not saying is that ANYONE can fight the charge.  Your smoking fee is considered by CC companies as a damage fee, all of the card companies state in their policies that damages can not be recouped via CC so if you charge a card for the fee and the cardholder fights the charge the card co. will side with the cardholder.  As stated before damages can only be recouped via invoice and if they don't pay, by small claims court.  That is why you would be best served to charge a cleaning deposit in the beginning than to fight the battle afterwards. 

All CC processing companies will have charges, each have different methods to determine your % and other fees, but they are all higher than what we would like!   As stated by others, do your research online, get their best prices, and try NOT to get caught up in a contract.  Purchase your own CC machine - check out ebay, etc. for a refurbished one. 

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Good to know, I just asked again for clarification with ICS.

Looks like if i swipe the card at check in, input the proper amount,
(as a security deposit, which I was never able to do via paypal),
have the client sign slip & contract, 
and then leave the transaction 'pending' until client departs & room cleared, 
then the fee would be valid.

also, thanks for the ebay tip as well! Cheers, B

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Really, in spite of Visa Internationals guidelines that specifically say that you cannot? You better get that in writing. 

http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/visa-acceptance-guide-lodging-industry.pdf

Page 16 and Page 47

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great link (and the page number too!!) . . .  will do.
MANY thanks, B

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You must have heard this before "you must spend money to make money"!  If you want to be in business, there are things that do cost and one is credit card processing.  I have not looked at paypal in years but there is a fee, right?  You have added the any cost of that fee into your rental costs, right?  No different with a credit card processor, add that into your rental fee as well as the business checking (really what is that $10 a month?). 

Now about your smoking guest.  You have a fee for noncompliance but no way to charge them?  This will not help you with your current problem but why not create a deposit (on top of rental), this is done a lot in the rental world.  If they leave everything intact, you issue a refund of their deposit.  If they smoke or otherwise damage the place, it is taken from the deposit.   As for the current matter, the only thing I can suggest is send them an invoice.  If they do not pay, your only recourse is to take them to small claims court or move on. 

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copperhead wrote:

You must have heard this before "you must spend money to make money"!  If you want to be in business, there are things that do cost and one is credit card processing.  I have not looked at paypal in years but there is a fee, right?  You have added the any cost of that fee into your rental costs, right?  No different with a credit card processor, add that into your rental fee as well as the business checking (really what is that $10 a month?). 

Now about your smoking guest.  You have a fee for noncompliance but no way to charge them?  This will not help you with your current problem but why not create a deposit (on top of rental), this is done a lot in the rental world.  If they leave everything intact, you issue a refund of their deposit.  If they smoke or otherwise damage the place, it is taken from the deposit.   As for the current matter, the only thing I can suggest is send them an invoice.  If they do not pay, your only recourse is to take them to small claims court or move on. 

I have had problems with this in the past.  If and when we get into a problem like this, I just send them to a collection agent.  I have had great luck with it.  I have a really good agent.  It does go on their credit score and if I do not collect at least I can get them that way.  It will haunt them for 7 years.  I have even had people call us after having in on their score for a year and decide to pay it just to get it cleared up.  Some will not care.  But at least I get the last jab!!!

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Bob, what collection agency do you use? I will file the info away & hopefully never have to use it.

Many thanks for all your comments too! Ta' B

 

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If any of you have any customer accounts that you are unable to collect on then give this guy a call. It will be well worth the time for you. They have collected on many of the bills I have sent over.
Its very easy to get set up and they will start the same day. I had one account they collected on the first day.
Their fees are simple. No collect, no fee. If they do collect they keep 50%. I was ok with that. 50% was better than nothing.
If you do use them or contact them mention Bob with Crystal Cove sent you there.
Good luck!

We use Tucker, Albin & Associates
My contact there is: Daniel Hall
.hall@tuckeralbin.com">d.hall@tuckeralbin.com
877-455-4572x505
tuckeralbindotcom
I called him and told him if it would be ok to post this info. He is ready to go when ever anyone needs them.

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(re: You must have heard this before "you must spend money to make money"!)  

I fully understand this. 

However, my question is in regard to a reputable company to sign up with NOT the actual cost (I was merely supplying the relevant facts).  There are numerous reason why I do not wish to use my back-woods rural Regions bank (and the only large chain bank  within 45 miles).

For clarification.  I do not need pricing guidance, I know my local market and my know my costs.
I am seeking a credit card processing company.  I do not know anyone who has used one.  Does any one have any pros or cons?  Many thanks, B

 

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They are all chiselers. Just pick one. Heartland, NPC, Walmart. They all charge you way more than necessary. You'll find 'fees' for everything on the bill. A basic vanilla credit card (one with ZERO perks) will process for about 2.1% + an access fee (anywhere from 10 cents to 25 cents). Rewards cards process for another .5%. Amex is about 3%. Business cards are more. Foreign cards are 3% more on top of everything else.

Do a Google search. Then do a search for 'scams' using the processor's name. See what comes up. Or, just pick one and ask here. But we can't pick a processor for you.

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You are a business ... and there are costs to doing business.  Yes, we hate all the fees that come with business accounts and merchant accounts, but paypal is not the way to go in my opinion because it is not designed for your needs.

I am looking into dwolla which is low fee per purchase (24 cents) and is a transfer of funds between accounts, no credit cards.  Or, as Kathleen suggested,  invest in a smart phone or pad and use square to minimize your fees. Yes you are going to incur fees but you will also have some protections in place by using credit cards.

But ... no business bank account?  Why not look into a local credit union to do your banking with? You really should have a business account.

 

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Even if it is a personal account that is used only forthe business is better than co-mingling funds. I now have a business account at a bank in town, but I had an account for years that I used only for the business and the checks had the business name on them but I do not believe it was a "business" account as far as the bank was concerned - maybe it was. Hmmm. Anyway it was not and is not now at the same bank as our family account. I am a sloe prop though so that may make a difference. SS is correct - a separate accoiunt for the business is a must.

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----

gillumhouse's picture
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Use an iPad and go with Square.

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Thanks, I have heard many good things about 'Square' from my artist friends

That said, you would not be able to process incurred damages after the guest has departed.

I am not trying to re-invent my "wheel", just looking for a reputable processing company which serves small volume clients. Thanks & take care, B

 

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Little_Easy_Cabins wrote:

I am not trying to re-invent my "wheel", just looking for a reputable processing company which serves small volume clients. Thanks & take care, B

We ALL are! After 3 tries, I went Square. You hear one thing during the "courtship" and after the honeymoon period. the marriage sets in. It is as simple as what you hear before an election and the reality of after.

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You would have to be able to get reception to appreciate the the value of a smartphone.
When a tower is placed closer (as well as water and gas and DSL)
and is available in this area, I will happily pay & upgrade.

. . . and of course I have a separate (personal) banking account
to handle all of this business' related dealings.

Thanks, B

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