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Paradise

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Good afternoon,
We have received attempted claims in the past from our bank & have always responded within the requested time frame with the appropriate documentation (unsigned charge slip copy, copy of email with policy sent to guest, etc.) & have never had a credit card chargeback return the money to the client.
Recently over a holiday weekend we had 2 couples traveling together cancel on the day of checkin. As per our policy, they were charged the remaining balance for a cancellation within 48 hours of the booking. They were told verbally when making the reservation, emailed, & additionally, our policies can be found on our website.
The bank is now stating that because their slips were unsigned (as were others in the past)-again, no-show day of booking, so OF COURSE no signature-they gave the money back to the client.
Has anyone else run into this problem? Any alternatives (bank unable to provide any).
Thanks!
 

Alibi Ike

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Do you have the guests reply back to the email stating they have read the policies? There's your 'signature'.
 

Copperhead

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I agree with Ike, you do need a reply accepting those terms. One other thing I have sent is the phone log which confirms they called me to book. - this is harder now with fewer using my regular # instead of my toll free.
I take it you did get a deposit? How long ago was that? And they did not attempt to get it back? - I would attempt a reconsideration stating they they agreed to the deposit which proves that they knew and accepted the terms of the contract.
From now own it is wise to remember to have verbal reservations reply to your email confirmation to cement the agreement...
This is another reason to push online reservations to your guests - (note, make sure what ever booking system you use that they must check they have read and agree to your policies prior to finalizing their reservation)
 

agoodman

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If the policies are on your website and on your email conf, there should not be a dispute
In most cases you are dealing with a 3rd party credit card processor (not directly with Visa or Amex) so if you have provided all the docs to the processor and you are still being denied, tell them you will be filing a complaint with Visa/MC or Amex or Discover.
Often the processor will just "eat" the charge to keep the customer happy and pay you as well.
One very important thing to check - when you first set up your contract with your processor, they may have asked you (and by "you" I am referring to any Inn out there to check their contract..) whether you will be accepting phone and / or internet orders (ie no signature required). Some Inns may have contracts out there that say no, because at the time they signed their contracts, many moons ago, many did not have or did not want online res, and / or did not process advance deposits etc, so it is worth checking.
Don't take the NO lying down! Also make sure that you are set up as a "hospitality" type merchant and not a "retail" type merchant because different regulations apply to the two.
And as another poster said:
1. Make sure your policies are clear (not buried) on your website
2. Make sure you are sending some form of confirmation, preferably one that is "auto generated" when a guest books online, or one where you can "manual send" a system confirmation which outlines the same policies. I use Resnexxus and it also sends a (summary) copy to me as well as a text to my phone. CMA I say!!!
The other "DON'T" is DON'T call the guest to reconfirm the reservation within the cancel period, if you call to reconf then do it BEFORE the cancel period starts, otherwise the guest will say "well why didn't you call me BEFORE the cancel period started".
 

Tom

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If the policies are on your website and on your email conf, there should not be a dispute
In most cases you are dealing with a 3rd party credit card processor (not directly with Visa or Amex) so if you have provided all the docs to the processor and you are still being denied, tell them you will be filing a complaint with Visa/MC or Amex or Discover.
Often the processor will just "eat" the charge to keep the customer happy and pay you as well.
One very important thing to check - when you first set up your contract with your processor, they may have asked you (and by "you" I am referring to any Inn out there to check their contract..) whether you will be accepting phone and / or internet orders (ie no signature required). Some Inns may have contracts out there that say no, because at the time they signed their contracts, many moons ago, many did not have or did not want online res, and / or did not process advance deposits etc, so it is worth checking.
Don't take the NO lying down! Also make sure that you are set up as a "hospitality" type merchant and not a "retail" type merchant because different regulations apply to the two.
And as another poster said:
1. Make sure your policies are clear (not buried) on your website
2. Make sure you are sending some form of confirmation, preferably one that is "auto generated" when a guest books online, or one where you can "manual send" a system confirmation which outlines the same policies. I use Resnexxus and it also sends a (summary) copy to me as well as a text to my phone. CMA I say!!!
The other "DON'T" is DON'T call the guest to reconfirm the reservation within the cancel period, if you call to reconf then do it BEFORE the cancel period starts, otherwise the guest will say "well why didn't you call me BEFORE the cancel period started"..
agoodman said:
I use Resnexxus and it also sends a (summary) copy to me ...
Resnexus has a setting where you can have the exact email sent to guest also cc'd to you, not just a "paper-saving" summary. We do this now as if a question comes up, I can forward the exact email and say you got this, so ... Has helped. Of course people don't read. Had a guest stay, pay, and then later question an overcharge. I sent her a copy of the invoice I had handed her when she paid, and a copy of the confirmation, with the same charges on it. Oh.
 

Proud Texan

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We have our cancellation policies plainly printed on our guests' confirmation that is sent to them.
 

Paradise

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We have our cancellation policies plainly printed on our guests' confirmation that is sent to them..
Proud Texan said:
We have our cancellation policies plainly printed on our guests' confirmation that is sent to them.
Our cancellation policies are VERY clearly listed on our website, they are verbally given to them when they make the reservation AND they are emailed to them in their reservation confirmation (which also states, "Please read the terms & refund policy listed below. By making a booking you agree that you have read, understood, & agree to our cancellation policy.)
I checked w/the cc bank & they do have us listed as a hospitality business not retail (good tip) & am STILL trying to work w/the bank re: the chargebacks.
In the past we have sent the bank the requested documentation, including copies of the email confirmation WITH cancellations policies, & we have never had any charges returned to the customer, so I am trying to ascertain why NOW all of a sudden the bank seems to be returning all charges... very frustrating.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We have our cancellation policies plainly printed on our guests' confirmation that is sent to them..
Proud Texan said:
We have our cancellation policies plainly printed on our guests' confirmation that is sent to them.
Our cancellation policies are VERY clearly listed on our website, they are verbally given to them when they make the reservation AND they are emailed to them in their reservation confirmation (which also states, "Please read the terms & refund policy listed below. By making a booking you agree that you have read, understood, & agree to our cancellation policy.)
I checked w/the cc bank & they do have us listed as a hospitality business not retail (good tip) & am STILL trying to work w/the bank re: the chargebacks.
In the past we have sent the bank the requested documentation, including copies of the email confirmation WITH cancellations policies, & we have never had any charges returned to the customer, so I am trying to ascertain why NOW all of a sudden the bank seems to be returning all charges... very frustrating.
.
I have had 2 chargebacks in the last 6 months and what they did was when they received the dispute from the customer, they immediately took the funds from our account. Once I responded to the complaint, they returned the money to my account. When we actually won the charge back, they left the money in the account and the one we lost was then again taken out of our account.
You might be at the point where they initially take the funds out and just haven't credited them back yet.
BTW, both of my chargebacks were totally bogus. The one we lost was because the guest said there was an odor and didn't stay the second night, yet spent every moment of their first day and night in their cottage, cooked and didn't check out until 5 minutes after check-out time. The bottom line was that they really only wanted to stay 1 night, but we had a 2 night minimum, so they trumped up this bogus "odor". I lost because I couldn't prove there was no odor! How can you possibly prove something like that?
Best of luck on your chargeback.
 

agoodman

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Breakfast you want to check your contract and speak with your processor, under normal circumstances they may NOT pull those funds from your account until you have been given a reasonable (and I don't know the number of days with all the new visa merchant rules) amount of time to present your side of the case
 

Copperhead

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Breakfast you want to check your contract and speak with your processor, under normal circumstances they may NOT pull those funds from your account until you have been given a reasonable (and I don't know the number of days with all the new visa merchant rules) amount of time to present your side of the case.
Yes, that is the way it is supposed to work, you are given a certain amount of time to submit your documents, then only after review etc. would they remove the funds - if you are denied.
Diva, wonder if this is something they have done before, and they are repeating what worked... they get their one night and move on. " How can you possibly prove something like that?" And on their end, how could they???
Has anyone here ever rebuttled from loosing a charge back? Is there a way for a 2nd review??? Just wondering.
 

Pollyanna

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I sent tons of documentation including texts the guest sent dragging on and on about when she would arrive, which she did for two days into her 4 day reservation and then never showed. She was some head honcho at a big Buddhist retreat but had no qualms about paying nothing for making me hold her room for two days till she finally decided she would not come after all. This for a 4 day reservation in prime time. Could have sold her room ten times over. Anyway, I lost, I appealed to her personally and was honored with no answer whatsoever. Reason given was no signature on the receipt but she did check off on the policies. They got a copy of that too, oh well. Then I had to practice my religion and forgive! Very frustrating and so much effort to no avail. She actually claimed fraud, that she never made a reservation and didn't know how I got her info. Even with all the evidence, she won. Good luck.
 

agoodman

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I believe that if they deny your claim you have the right to a mediator but for small businesses like ours that usually costs more than the charge that is being disputed
Again, if your policies are clear on your site and your confirmation, if you have not voilated any Visa/MC (or other) reguslations and are set up to allow charging in advance of services / no signature charging (ie set up as hospitality) and have documented dates times of reservations, calls with customer etc then you should not lose a chargeback
If you ever have a "feeling" about a customer, start documenting for yourself and start reconfirming your telephone conversation in email (or good old fashioned USPS) to the customer
And in those free minutes of your day, review your contract and if your contract is coming up for (auto) renewal, then start shopping around, you would be surprised how much you can save
 

Copperhead

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Figure this deserves an update as I found out some info today.
I recieved notice of a chargeback today and the $ had been removed from my account. I called my Merchant Processor and found out that there are 2 types - an information request chargeback and an immediate chargeback.
Here is basicly the difference: If you are sent a request to show proof of signature, etc. and the $ have not been removed that is a information request chargeback - for these sometimes the people have clearly forgotten that they stayed there. The immediate chargebacks are when someone states that the item purchased was not as it was described, falty etc.
This is the 1st time I have ever had $ taken out before presenting my documentation. As Diva pointed out with her 'odor' issue, some of these things are not able to be rebuttled. The one I recieved said the room was unclean and they left. Well, WE did not know they left - for good, they did not come to us with any claim. We did see them as they walked out, but we thought they were leaving to site-see and that they were going to bring their bags in when they returned which happens on occasion. Our policy states that they are responsible for their entire stay once they check in. this policy was accepted with Weberv booking, and again with return acceptance to our confirmation email, but I do not have a signed charge slip. The only thing I have to defend my statement that the room was clean and that it was as described on my site is my 11+yr history and the reviews listed on the review sites. Yes, I am sending a print out of the newer ones (I do not get many but do have some from the same month as this booking.) That along with never having had a successful chargeback since opening are my only ways to defend the fact that this is a bogus claim. We shall see what transpires with this one.
 

JBloggs

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Sorry to hear that Copperhead, we're all here for you! Hope it works out PROPERLY. Thanks for letting us know.
 

agoodman

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Good that you are continuing to fight against it, I have never heard that because that means that the guest can actually just say "anything" and we are expected to "eat it", so I see no reason that you are still not given some time for justification before the funds are pulled
 

Copperhead

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Good that you are continuing to fight against it, I have never heard that because that means that the guest can actually just say "anything" and we are expected to "eat it", so I see no reason that you are still not given some time for justification before the funds are pulled.
agoodman said:
Good that you are continuing to fight against it, I have never heard that because that means that the guest can actually just say "anything" and we are expected to "eat it", so I see no reason that you are still not given some time for justification before the funds are pulled
With this type of chargeback you still get the opportunity to state your case, and hope they return your funds. But just like Diva, when people tell these type of fabracations they are very hard to prove, it becomes a he said /she said type of story.
This IS where the reviews can possibly make the difference as with the B&B.com reviews which have a rank for cleanliness we ranked almost all 5s with a couple of 4s and a couple of TA reviews mention how clean the place is. And since she also claims we are further to the big city than we are, I Google Maped the directions, and since we do say aprox. I think 5 minutes is far within that ballpark. By using 3rd party sites with nice, positive statements and back up to our location, I am hoping for a positive outcome in this matter. But what ever happens, I know I am being honest and I can move on.
 

Samster

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Figure this deserves an update as I found out some info today.
I recieved notice of a chargeback today and the $ had been removed from my account. I called my Merchant Processor and found out that there are 2 types - an information request chargeback and an immediate chargeback.
Here is basicly the difference: If you are sent a request to show proof of signature, etc. and the $ have not been removed that is a information request chargeback - for these sometimes the people have clearly forgotten that they stayed there. The immediate chargebacks are when someone states that the item purchased was not as it was described, falty etc.
This is the 1st time I have ever had $ taken out before presenting my documentation. As Diva pointed out with her 'odor' issue, some of these things are not able to be rebuttled. The one I recieved said the room was unclean and they left. Well, WE did not know they left - for good, they did not come to us with any claim. We did see them as they walked out, but we thought they were leaving to site-see and that they were going to bring their bags in when they returned which happens on occasion. Our policy states that they are responsible for their entire stay once they check in. this policy was accepted with Weberv booking, and again with return acceptance to our confirmation email, but I do not have a signed charge slip. The only thing I have to defend my statement that the room was clean and that it was as described on my site is my 11+yr history and the reviews listed on the review sites. Yes, I am sending a print out of the newer ones (I do not get many but do have some from the same month as this booking.) That along with never having had a successful chargeback since opening are my only ways to defend the fact that this is a bogus claim. We shall see what transpires with this one..
ugh...what a pain...hope it works out.
 
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