Alright, since this posting, I had another cancellation, this time a four day stay. The reservation was made in February, so ten days prior, I tried to phone her to confirm. No response. Six days prior, I tried to phone her, with no response. The following day, I emailed, and within 10 minutes got a reply that her father had died, busy handling his affairs, blah, blah, blah. Whatever! Try to run the card...declined transaction. Neither of these issuing banks will give me any information because I am not the card holder. So now that I'm out almost a grand from these inconsiderate...ok, I won't get vulgar.
My new procedures...authorize the full amount of the stay six days prior, swipe the card upon arrival to complete the charge. My processor assures me
this will only cost about 20 cents more, per transaction. I'm good with that - gives me time to rebook if need be, or get a different card number from the guest.
Since I put these procedures into place, I've had one booking made within the cancellation period. I told the customer what to expect (the authorization) and he said "Oh, we'll just pay cash". Cash, hey great
No problem, I say, I'll just remove the authorization when you arrive. He was all good with that until
the next day when I actually did it. It took ten minutes to explain that an authorization is not a charge, and now I suppose it's going to be ackward when they arrive.
Does anyone else do it this way? This seemed like the easiest, cheapest way to do it, and anyone that is making a legitimate reservation and actually plans to come, should not have a problem with it. This is part of my email confirmation that I send to the guest, after the reservation is made on the phone, and after I've verbalized it:
"An authorization for the cost of your stay will be placed on the provided credit card during the week prior to the stay. Should you choose to pay cash upon arrival, your issuing bank will be notified to release the authorization."
Is this understandable? Am I covering myself well enough here?
Sorry the post is so long - if you hung in there long enough to read it all, thanks for the help!.