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Alibi Ike

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...goes unpunished. I am here to say I have learned this lesson for the last time. We just had a call at 9 PM from a hotel in Utah. Apparently our guests, due in at 7 PM, were standing in their lobby with our confirmation paperwork saying they had a rez at the hotel in Utah. Because this was a foreign cc, I did not take the deposit and when they cancelled the card was bad.
Last time I am learning this lesson.
Tomorrow I sit down and I run every single card that is coming in within the next week. If it doesn't work, rez cancelled. If it does and I get a cancellation after that, too bad.
The guests didn't even speak to us, they asked the hotel to call. No way I am putting the hotel in the middle of this by asking them to get in touch with the guests for a valid cc number. As it is, with the 'card not present' fee, the standard fee, the points rewards fee and 3% cross border fee, I'm only paying the processor not me.
 

Don Draper

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
 

Alibi Ike

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OK, just did the upcoming week. 6 days. TWO bum cards. All the extra reason I needed to stick with this deposit plan. One person gave me a new card the other I'm waiting to hear from the travel agent who booked it.
 

InnBloom

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OK, just did the upcoming week. 6 days. TWO bum cards. All the extra reason I needed to stick with this deposit plan. One person gave me a new card the other I'm waiting to hear from the travel agent who booked it..
Wow, I wonder what's up with that. I always (well, 98% of the time) take a 1-night deposit at time of booking -- no matter how far in advance that is -- and almost never have a bad card. When you say bum card, do you mean the amount was declined, or the card was bad?
If the card was declined, could it be that they're using a debit card and they didn't expect you to charge it today? I ask that because sometimes when I take a reservation and explain the deposit requirement, folks ask if I can wait til the next day so they can get money on there. And that's usually okay by me for a reservation in the future.
 

Paradise

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
.
Paradise said:
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
I agree with both above. That's how we do it too. No deposit, no reservation. The $25 cancellation fee is more than plenty to cover your expense. I know it costs a little more to enter in the charge rather than swipe, but the peace of mind I get is definitely worth it to me.
 

Alibi Ike

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
.
I've considered the deposit at time of booking scenario but we get so many cancels I would have to institute the cancel fee as well. Plus, if I get the money in Nov for an Aug stay, well, the money's gone by Aug. It's something to consider, tho, as I would definitely know the money was in the bank well in advance.
I'm seeing how this works out this year. And I just ran cards from Europe and Canada, cost be damned. I am not losing another dollar on these folks who don't have valid cards regardless where they are from.
 

Don Draper

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
.
I've considered the deposit at time of booking scenario but we get so many cancels I would have to institute the cancel fee as well. Plus, if I get the money in Nov for an Aug stay, well, the money's gone by Aug. It's something to consider, tho, as I would definitely know the money was in the bank well in advance.
I'm seeing how this works out this year. And I just ran cards from Europe and Canada, cost be damned. I am not losing another dollar on these folks who don't have valid cards regardless where they are from.
.
So if you don't take deposits then you're basically running on zero income in your down season? Just take the deposits and put the $$ in an account that you can use when you need it. We would never make it through the winter if we didn't take a 50% deposit.
 

Alibi Ike

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
.
I've considered the deposit at time of booking scenario but we get so many cancels I would have to institute the cancel fee as well. Plus, if I get the money in Nov for an Aug stay, well, the money's gone by Aug. It's something to consider, tho, as I would definitely know the money was in the bank well in advance.
I'm seeing how this works out this year. And I just ran cards from Europe and Canada, cost be damned. I am not losing another dollar on these folks who don't have valid cards regardless where they are from.
.
So if you don't take deposits then you're basically running on zero income in your down season? Just take the deposits and put the $$ in an account that you can use when you need it. We would never make it through the winter if we didn't take a 50% deposit.
.
We're like little squirrels in the summer season... ;)
 

Breakfast Diva

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
.
I've considered the deposit at time of booking scenario but we get so many cancels I would have to institute the cancel fee as well. Plus, if I get the money in Nov for an Aug stay, well, the money's gone by Aug. It's something to consider, tho, as I would definitely know the money was in the bank well in advance.
I'm seeing how this works out this year. And I just ran cards from Europe and Canada, cost be damned. I am not losing another dollar on these folks who don't have valid cards regardless where they are from.
.
For reservations way in advance, you can tell them that you will charge their card 3 months prior. What I usually do is in January, send an e-mail to the ones who have reservations way in advance and tell them I'm going to charge their card. You can do a charge 3 months in advance if you don't want to keep the money for so many months prior to their arrival.
If you start the $25 cancellation fee, you won't care as much if they cancel because you'll actually be making money. I swear to you if you start doing a cancellation fee, you won't get as many cancellations! You can always waive the fee if you feel like for specific people. At least then it's your choice.
 

Joey Camb

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
.
Paradise said:
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
I agree with both above. That's how we do it too. No deposit, no reservation. The $25 cancellation fee is more than plenty to cover your expense. I know it costs a little more to enter in the charge rather than swipe, but the peace of mind I get is definitely worth it to me.
.
We do first night deposit for stays more than 4 nights due to scams plus i then know card works.
 

Generic

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Alibi Ike said:
As it is, with the 'card not present' fee, the standard fee, the points rewards fee and 3% cross border fee, I'm only paying the processor not me.
A bit off topic but.... what the heck is a cross border fee?
I'm using Elavon (via Costco Canada) and I pay 0.51% more for card not present. And about 0.51% more for Premium Visa or Premium MC. But I have never been charged a "cross border" fee. And what's a points rewards fee?
We also pay just 6c for an Interac (debit card) transaction, but that only works with Canadian cards now.
I thought that out banks were bad, but this sounds worse!
 

JBloggs

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I had 3 cancellations today, July, Aug and October. I just googled our inn under NEWS on google to see what the heck is going on, was there a bad press release or something.
Note the article link I stuck inn the news here is a release letting people know "THESE B&B'S HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND APPROVED" Perhaps this is in the publics mind (esp in the news area near those fatalities in MN)?
Do we need to have on our websites inspected and approved? I know many of us have badges from various organizations. I think I might have to ADD THAT SOMEWHERE NOW!
 

Alibi Ike

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Alibi Ike said:
As it is, with the 'card not present' fee, the standard fee, the points rewards fee and 3% cross border fee, I'm only paying the processor not me.
A bit off topic but.... what the heck is a cross border fee?
I'm using Elavon (via Costco Canada) and I pay 0.51% more for card not present. And about 0.51% more for Premium Visa or Premium MC. But I have never been charged a "cross border" fee. And what's a points rewards fee?
We also pay just 6c for an Interac (debit card) transaction, but that only works with Canadian cards now.
I thought that out banks were bad, but this sounds worse!.
Premium cards % here depends on what level of premium the guest is getting as a 'reward'. Business cards are higher still. International cards higher again.
The cross border fee is a 3% surcharge that I pay AND the guest pays with certain banks to process the dollars to... conversion. Gimme strength. The damn computer does that not some gnome they pay by the hour.
Our debit card charges are supposed to go DOWN to 20 cents per transaction. Right now they are slightly less than a credit card. BUT, I'm guessing I will have to have a pin pad and new card swipe machine to handle that.
 

Alibi Ike

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I had 3 cancellations today, July, Aug and October. I just googled our inn under NEWS on google to see what the heck is going on, was there a bad press release or something.
Note the article link I stuck inn the news here is a release letting people know "THESE B&B'S HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND APPROVED" Perhaps this is in the publics mind (esp in the news area near those fatalities in MN)?
Do we need to have on our websites inspected and approved? I know many of us have badges from various organizations. I think I might have to ADD THAT SOMEWHERE NOW!.
It might not hurt to have it on your website somewhere. I should go add the PAII medallion, too.
 

JBloggs

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I had 3 cancellations today, July, Aug and October. I just googled our inn under NEWS on google to see what the heck is going on, was there a bad press release or something.
Note the article link I stuck inn the news here is a release letting people know "THESE B&B'S HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND APPROVED" Perhaps this is in the publics mind (esp in the news area near those fatalities in MN)?
Do we need to have on our websites inspected and approved? I know many of us have badges from various organizations. I think I might have to ADD THAT SOMEWHERE NOW!.
It might not hurt to have it on your website somewhere. I should go add the PAII medallion, too.
.
Alibi Ike said:
It might not hurt to have it on your website somewhere. I should go add the PAII medallion, too.
I think I do have it somewhere. We are required to post it in public view here as well. I removed all those stinking badges from the website in one of my mad-house clearing out modes and moved it or did something with it.
 

Alibi Ike

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I had 3 cancellations today, July, Aug and October. I just googled our inn under NEWS on google to see what the heck is going on, was there a bad press release or something.
Note the article link I stuck inn the news here is a release letting people know "THESE B&B'S HAVE BEEN INSPECTED AND APPROVED" Perhaps this is in the publics mind (esp in the news area near those fatalities in MN)?
Do we need to have on our websites inspected and approved? I know many of us have badges from various organizations. I think I might have to ADD THAT SOMEWHERE NOW!.
It might not hurt to have it on your website somewhere. I should go add the PAII medallion, too.
.
Alibi Ike said:
It might not hurt to have it on your website somewhere. I should go add the PAII medallion, too.
I think I do have it somewhere. We are required to post it in public view here as well. I removed all those stinking badges from the website in one of my mad-house clearing out modes and moved it or did something with it.
.
I have the 'wall of certificates' here. Yes, we have a state license. Yes, we have a town license. Yes, we are members of the state association. Yes, we have taken a safe food handling course. I know there's one more thing up there but I can't think what it is.
Oddly, someone did go around asking what all the pipes were sticking our of the walls (sprinkler system). She'd never seen anything but the sprinkler heads before.
 

Don Draper

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Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back..
Don Draper said:
Take the deposit. Institute a $25 cancellation fee. You'll never look back.
What he said!
We run the card at the time of booking & take a 50% deposit (100% on one night stays). Card is bad I call right back & "verify the numbers" as it's been declined. No card. No booking. period.
.
I've considered the deposit at time of booking scenario but we get so many cancels I would have to institute the cancel fee as well. Plus, if I get the money in Nov for an Aug stay, well, the money's gone by Aug. It's something to consider, tho, as I would definitely know the money was in the bank well in advance.
I'm seeing how this works out this year. And I just ran cards from Europe and Canada, cost be damned. I am not losing another dollar on these folks who don't have valid cards regardless where they are from.
.
So if you don't take deposits then you're basically running on zero income in your down season? Just take the deposits and put the $$ in an account that you can use when you need it. We would never make it through the winter if we didn't take a 50% deposit.
.
We're like little squirrels in the summer season... ;)
.
Then it's simply a matter of adjusting what you do. I cannot emphasize what BD said enough...you WILL get FEWER cancellations with the fee. It's not costing them anything to "hold" your place 'til they find something that suits them better...so why wouldn't they?
 
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