A confusing request

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seashanty's picture
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I helped with check-ins at a place today. Not sure what was going on.

Guest paid their deposit by credit card and when they checked in I asked if they wanted to put the balance for their three night stay on the same card. No - they wanted to pay by check which the inn accepts. But they wanted a REFUND of the credit card payment deposit of $215 for one night and would pay the total by check. I declined this saying this would incur a charge for the inn. Guest persisted, I still declined to do this. I said they could pay balance with another credit card or check but I could not refund the deposit. Guest paid the balance with a check. 

Why would a guest ask this? Any ideas? It wouldn't free up available credit on their credit card as it takes time for a credit to go through. I hope the check doesn't bounce. 

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seashanty's picture
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 You'll probably end up seeing these two on America's Most Wanted or some show like that. I just imagine them joyriding around the country and taking cruises. But that's how my mind works.

Morticia's picture
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seashanty wrote:

 You'll probably end up seeing these two on America's Most Wanted or some show like that. I just imagine them joyriding around the country and taking cruises. But that's how my mind works.

There apparently it's an older couple running amok in Ohio, pulling this scam everywhere they go. Not sure if you can find out the name, but you might want to tell the owner to alert other places in the area so they don't make it a habit.

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PhineasSwann's picture
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We take them for weddings and events way, way in advance only. N

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seashanty's picture
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SAD UPDATE: The check bounced ... not only that ... the account had been closed some time ago. The owner tells me via the grapevine ... Guests were all over town 'spending' money they didn't have. Writing bad checks and using credit cards for cash advances and debit cards to get cash back. Last vaca before jail time? No idea what is going on with them. Someone will catch up with them sometime soon and it won't be pretty. 

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Seashanty,  I think we are in the same state.  If the check was for $250 (not certain about the limit) written on a closed account from this state, then you can charge the person with a felony.  The jerk who tried to stiff us had initials TC and was known in the Big City suburban areas to regularly pass checks on closed accounts.  He always settled just before the court date and we were warned by the police to only accept cash as he often wrote yet another bad check to settle.

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Morticia's picture
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They weren't from Ohio, were they? Older couple?

seashanty's picture
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Morticia wrote:

They weren't from Ohio, were they? Older couple?

I don't recall where they are supposedly from. They asked about a senior discount, I'd say early 60's. Very polite and unassuming. Sad  I wonder if there was also identity fraud going on there like maybe they were using a stolen checkbook, etc. My elderly sister (who hasn't driven in YEARS) just renewed her license again online with the same picture from years ago. She sort of resembles the person in that license photo but has aged considerably since then due to ill health. 

Generic's picture
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Time to remove cheques as an acceptable form of payment. No one uses them anymore other than to make rubber.

 

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We only take them well in advance ie deposit for a golfing group coming next june is paying with a cheque - on the day? no way - they are long gone if it is rubber, plus faff to get to the bank to put it in and so on.

Generic's picture
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When a cheque does go bad here, you can sometimes put the cheque "on collection" and the bank will charge a fee to hold it and certify it when there is money in the account. But then you have to go after them for the fee, etc. A pain.

Audrey Forrest's picture
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I absolutely refuse checks.  The main reason is NOT because the check might bounce but more importantly if one does not take a credit card,  there is no security backup if damage is done to the property.  We have on occasion had to charge guests for stealing towels, damaging property including having to repaint a room and without their credit card to charge, it would have been bad.

No, protect yourselves.  Checks offer no damage protection.

We also don't take people who use drugs and recently had to

evict a couple who were users.  It was pretty bad but we wouldnt

allow other guests to have contact with them.  They wanted a

full refund but because they violated our rules, were not entitled to any refund!

 

Booking.com backed us up on this too!

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Silverspoon's picture
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We have had one bad check in 28 years...and that one was ultimately paid back before the court date.  We do not take credit cards and it has made our life much simpler. But we would never give a refund for deposit in exchange for a new check.  That deposit money is ours. Period.

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I've taken ONE check in the last 10 years, guess what, it bounced.  

 

seashanty's picture
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If you're going to pass a bad check, why compound things or make the seller suspicious by asking for this refund? Will have to wait and see if it clears.

Flower's picture
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We had an American  guest do this also .Why he did not want us to do this, cause he would be charged an 2% or 2 1/2 % on a foreign transactions .He said there we only 2 people that had processed his deposit before he got there. They usually held his deposit till he arrived and then he pay cash for the completed stay. We never took checks. As not many people use check now a days.

As it takes to long to process the check and maybe the people would be gone before the check cleared their bank.  I keep my fingers crossed that all will work out for the best.

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Arks's picture
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Yep, that's what I'd suspect, that the check would bounce and you've refunded the deposit to the card, so you've lost everything. I'd only do it if I had a way to verify the check, or if they went to a bank and brought me cash.

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Generic's picture
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I would be afraid that cheque would bounce. Then again, I don't take cheques at all.... hardly anyone in this country uses them anymore.

Highlands John's picture
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Same in UK, no-one takes cheques any more, we stopped several years back. Never had one bounce on me, but not worth the risk.

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