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Can someone enlighten me about what a credit card company will cover?

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River Wren

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I was at a B & B meeting last night and I overheard one Innkeeper telling another that a CC company will not cover "Room damages". Does anyone know if this is true?
If it is true, whats a innkeeper to do when things are ruined or damaged? Inquiring minds want to know.
Thanks!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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American Express won't cover damages nor can Amex be used for security deposits of any kind. A big no-no that won't be won.
Visa/MasterCard will cover those damages as long as the inn is in compliance with all of the stipulations in their merchant agreement (often small inns, unfortunately are not) and as long as the guest clearly agreed to be responsible in writing.
Documentation is the key as well as having a detailed understanding of your merchant agreement. Get a copy, if you don't have one on file, and read it. Dull reading but necessary.
 

egoodell

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To my knowledge none of the cards will cover damages, and the thing to do is to charge a "cleaning fee" when you need to.
The place to have this mentioned is on your guest register. I have a paragraph, smaller print, above the spot where they sign indicating they are responsible for excessive cleaning fees and for cleaning fees if they smoke in the room.
RIki
 

Innkeeper To Go

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To my knowledge none of the cards will cover damages, and the thing to do is to charge a "cleaning fee" when you need to.
The place to have this mentioned is on your guest register. I have a paragraph, smaller print, above the spot where they sign indicating they are responsible for excessive cleaning fees and for cleaning fees if they smoke in the room.
RIki.
I like clearly stating that the charge is for a cleaning fee, too, since that's what it really is. And that's what the credit card issuers like to see - clarity.
I actually like to go 1 step further and state that the cleaning fee for smoking will apply if smoking occurs in a room.
That way you're covered even if the guest says, what me? no it wasn't me who smoked...
 

swirt

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If it is true, whats a innkeeper to do when things are ruined or damaged? Inquiring minds want to know.
I think the basic idea is that a credit card is not supposed to be used as a string tied directly to a person's wallet that you can pull on if needed.
You present them with a bill for damages or whatever the extra charge is. Or as Riki suggested, you put the possibility of the charge on something they sign upon check-in, that way they are aggreeing that the card could be used for that.
 

JBloggs

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RW this is true and it will not cover smoking in a non smoking room either. We don't like to publicize this info. If a guest damages something you send them a bill. You can't charge their card for damages, and IN FACT you cannot retain their cc info either, it is for the purchase of the room only.
The cc company will back the card holder every time, not the merchant.
 
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