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Banana

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Has anyone had luck trying to put through a charge when the initial attempt was declined? I have a two nighter no show - the card does not come back as "bad account number", but it does give me "declined transaction". I tried everything from the full amount to $25 - nothing. Does this usually happen when they've used the maximum amount for the day (like on a debit card), and maybe I will have better luck tomorrow?
I don't take a deposit, and don't want to. This is the second time in six years this has happened, and I pay more for the card not being present (if I were to charge prior to arrival). It's not worth it to me - I'd rather take my chances doing it this way, and just grumble about it :)
 

Morticia

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I just had this last week. Same here, I don't take a deposit, don't want to start, but might consider it for reservations over 6 months out.
I did not try the card again, altho Cams suggested running it everyday for $10 a pop until it's all paid off. If yours is 'declined' call the cc processor and try to find out why. Maybe it is just used up at the moment. But it's more than likely been stolen and subsequently replaced.
My machine used to tell me 'call the processor' or 'hold the card' but it hasn't done that in awhile, so maybe they removed those options.
 

EmptyNest

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Can you call or email the people and tell them it was declined and that they have no reservation until the deposit clears.
 

Banana

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Can you call or email the people and tell them it was declined and that they have no reservation until the deposit clears..
It's a no show - they aren't answering their phone, and I don't expect them to phone me back. They know what they've done. I still can't get it to go through this morning. I'll call the processor later to find out why it's being declined.
 

EmptyNest

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Can you call or email the people and tell them it was declined and that they have no reservation until the deposit clears..
It's a no show - they aren't answering their phone, and I don't expect them to phone me back. They know what they've done. I still can't get it to go through this morning. I'll call the processor later to find out why it's being declined.
.
Sorry...You may be out of luck on this one.
 

wendydk

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Back in the hotel days when this happened, we would try running the charge again once a week or so, and most times, were able to capture the entire amount sooner or later (usually right after the first of the month when they would pay their credit card bill).
 

Banana

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Back in the hotel days when this happened, we would try running the charge again once a week or so, and most times, were able to capture the entire amount sooner or later (usually right after the first of the month when they would pay their credit card bill)..
I'm definitely going to keep trying, every day. But knowing it has worked for someone gives me a little hope. My processor doesn't have the phone number of the issuing bank, but I have the name. When I get a little time, I'll find the bank's phone number and call to find out why it's being declined.
 

JBloggs

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Banana you do what we do. Only once in a while has it turned sour like a declined card. I did try a card and it worked a week or so later. It went through and I had all the info ready to mail, then said stuff it, they can call me if they want their cc rcpt and statement, stuff it! So give it a shot, don't give up yet. You never know...
 

Country Girl

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I've had it happen to me a few time too. I tried the card for several days with no luck. Chances are they cancelled their card when they decided to stiff you. Sorry.
 

Banana

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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!
 

JBloggs

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Banana, so sorry. This is how we make our policies isn't it, people ask us WHY we do this or that, there is always a reason.
 

domsmom

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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!.
I thought it would be difficult to enforce a cancellation policy if payment is not collected. I am happy with people paying by check, just get it here 2 weeks before. When I have said ok to cash, 1/2 the time it is a no show. Cash for same day bookings works fine or for repeat guests.
If you don't collect payment within your cancellation policy, it can be really hard, as many of you mentioned to collect payment on the day of arrival if they choose not to show up. The extra .20 cents is so worth the peace of mind. I figure 1 to 2 weeks allows you to find out why it is declined. It is so easy for someone to contact the credit card company and say "I lost my card". The number is no longer valid, they get a new card, it cost them nothing, it cost you 1-4 nights lodging.
 

Morticia

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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!.
I like that. I'm going to call my processor and see how much it would cost me to do that. This being the week where 4 rooms cancelled. I think the problem is that the card holder doesn't understand that the money is held on their card so they cannot spend that money without incurring overdrawn fees. THAT must be made abundantly clear to guests. I've had quite a few who ask, 'You're not going to charge that now, are you?' meaning they don't have the money right now.
It's just like renting a car where they hold way more than the total you owe. Again, something a lot of people don't know.
 

wendydk

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I would rather take a one night deposit than to authorize a guest's entire stay on their card. A deposit does wonders to curtail late cancellations and no-shows. Nary a problem here in 7.5 years taking a deposit.
 

Joey Camb

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The only problem with authorisation is that people don't really understand what it is and therefore don't understand that the money is held and they can't spend it but it hasn't left the account. Also if you call to release the money it can take 2 or 3 days to release. We had a lady when I worked at a big hotel we used to authorise the cards on arrival plus $50 per person on top for extras and the lady didn't understand what we were doing and didn't realise she couldn't spend any of this money and it was all the money she had in the account so she had to eat in the hotel which we comped to her for the distress but she needed a taxi and couldn't pay for it it was a nightmare. It would be different for me as we don't really do any extras so we could just do for the full amount and that is it.
 

Joey Camb

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Also you could just do it for the big money stays as an extra layer of security and that would save you money.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I would rather take a one night deposit than to authorize a guest's entire stay on their card. A deposit does wonders to curtail late cancellations and no-shows. Nary a problem here in 7.5 years taking a deposit..
Little Blue said:
I would rather take a one night deposit than to authorize a guest's entire stay on their card. A deposit does wonders to curtail late cancellations and no-shows. Nary a problem here in 7.5 years taking a deposit.
Ditto! 4 or more nights gets a 50% deposit taken, or if booking more than 1 room
 

Banana

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Also you could just do it for the big money stays as an extra layer of security and that would save you money..
I'm not fond of the advance deposit, primarily because no other B&B in this area does that. I do not want to lose prospective guests because I charged a night's stay three months in advance. They'll just go to the next B&B that does not do this. I guess my thought is...if you still do not understand what an authorization is, even after I've explained that it "holds" your money six days prior to your stay, then that's your problem. After these last two no shows/cancellations, I'm not a happy camper. My thinking is...if you don't have the funds in your account during the penalty phase of the cancellation period, then your intent to show up is not there.
This is the best way for me to do things right now, but I was looking to ensure that the verbage in my confirmation letter to the guest made sense.
 

Banana

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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!.
I thought it would be difficult to enforce a cancellation policy if payment is not collected. I am happy with people paying by check, just get it here 2 weeks before. When I have said ok to cash, 1/2 the time it is a no show. Cash for same day bookings works fine or for repeat guests.
If you don't collect payment within your cancellation policy, it can be really hard, as many of you mentioned to collect payment on the day of arrival if they choose not to show up. The extra .20 cents is so worth the peace of mind. I figure 1 to 2 weeks allows you to find out why it is declined. It is so easy for someone to contact the credit card company and say "I lost my card". The number is no longer valid, they get a new card, it cost them nothing, it cost you 1-4 nights lodging.
.
Exactly my thought. These people that do things like this know exactly what they are doing and are going to make sure you don't get their money.
 

wendydk

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Also you could just do it for the big money stays as an extra layer of security and that would save you money..
I'm not fond of the advance deposit, primarily because no other B&B in this area does that. I do not want to lose prospective guests because I charged a night's stay three months in advance. They'll just go to the next B&B that does not do this. I guess my thought is...if you still do not understand what an authorization is, even after I've explained that it "holds" your money six days prior to your stay, then that's your problem. After these last two no shows/cancellations, I'm not a happy camper. My thinking is...if you don't have the funds in your account during the penalty phase of the cancellation period, then your intent to show up is not there.
This is the best way for me to do things right now, but I was looking to ensure that the verbage in my confirmation letter to the guest made sense.
.
Banana said:
I'm not fond of the advance deposit, primarily because no other B&B in this area does that. I do not want to lose prospective guests because I charged a night's stay three months in advance. They'll just go to the next B&B that does not do this.
How do you know they will? Absence of proof and all that. Being the one Inn that's different catches a guest's attention, and can work in your favor. We are one of the few in our area that charge a deposit, and if you look at our availability calendar, you'll see it doesn't seem to hurt us any...and sometimes that deposit money comes in darn handy in advance. Of course, to each his own...
 
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