Obsessed about credit card info

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Morticia

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OK, we've had a couple of cancellations/no shows who left us holding the bag because their credit cards were no good, so now I'm obsessive about cc info and looking closely at it. (Sorry, that means I'm going to bring it up again.)
We got 2 reservations last night with the same email address, 2 different names for the rooms (not unusual), but the same name for the cc info, with 2 different cc #'s. Would you think the person just didn't want the deposit for 2 rooms going on the same cc or would you think they were just making up the numbers? We don't take deposits so no way for me to know if the cards are actually good or not.
I am also emailing everyone whose cc info has expired prior to their arrival date and they're not really good about responding until I call them.
 

Country Girl

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That's a little strange. I think I would run the cards to be sure. For the first time ever we are taking deposits when guests make a reservation. If the card is no good we know right away. I hate to do it but we've gotten burned too many times with no shows and bad cc's. Usually it happens from someone who booked months ago and then on their arrival day, no show and declined card.
 

Red Handed Jill

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Morticia, I take the cc info they send at face value. But - we take a one night deposit with each reservation, and I run the card before I confirm the reservation. I won't confirm a reservation if the cc won't work...because they're not making a deposit. I run the balance the morning of check-in, mainly so I can have all the paperwork ready when they get here (we don't have the little machine, we have to use the computer printer). If the card weren't to go through, I would hold checking them in until they provided a working card.
So far, this has worked very well. I do think I've lost "reservations" because people don't want to make the deposit. That's they're choice - I figure too many folks are out there using Expedia, etc, and paying in full for their entire stay up front. A one-night deposit is not too much to require.
 

Banana

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I haven't had any major problems since I started the authorization procedure after my three no shows/no good card debacle in July. However, I don't authorize it until 6 days prior to the arrival of their stay (I have a seven day cancellation policy). So if you are willing to wait that late (if you can rebook within that week), this may be an option for you. Several people told me I should not do it this way, as it holds the money out of their account. Suggestions all around to take the one night deposit. I don't want to do that. So this is working for me, no one has had a problem with it whatsoever. I tell them at time of booking that is what I will be doing, and I also specify it in the email confirmation. It works for me. It doesn't cost any more, and it catches any bad cards.
 

Copperhead

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Morticia, you could do an authorization for a few cents or a dollar to verify a good card, that should not affect their use of the card as in holding funds. This should not cost but a few cents but will assure you do have a valid card. One thing Webervations has going for it is that it does confirm the cc # is a valid number. It does not (unless you use their processing) authorize, just assures the number it legit. Of course this only assures that you do have a valid card, not that it has the funds available to satisfy their bill when it is due.
For anyone that has a clause that they are repsonsible for part of their stay (i.e. 1 night or 50%) by a certain date prior to check in, I do not know why you do not go ahead and take that portion on that date? (cancel by 5pm on 9/30, at close of the evening, you charge the deposit.) At that point it is due to you anywayty and you know at that point whether the card is good or not for the remaining balance when they are to arrive. If not, a quick call to give guest the benefit of the doubt and allow them the opportunity to provide a good card - or you at least have the time frame to open the room for another booking.
 

Copperhead

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I haven't had any major problems since I started the authorization procedure after my three no shows/no good card debacle in July. However, I don't authorize it until 6 days prior to the arrival of their stay (I have a seven day cancellation policy). So if you are willing to wait that late (if you can rebook within that week), this may be an option for you. Several people told me I should not do it this way, as it holds the money out of their account. Suggestions all around to take the one night deposit. I don't want to do that. So this is working for me, no one has had a problem with it whatsoever. I tell them at time of booking that is what I will be doing, and I also specify it in the email confirmation. It works for me. It doesn't cost any more, and it catches any bad cards..
Banana wrote: Several people told me I should not do it this way, as it holds the money out of their account. Suggestions all around to take the one night deposit. I don't want to do that. My financial advisor said there is one good reason to running the card for the deposit on the cancel by date! If the amount you are autorizing is the amount you are going to get regardless of a late cancellation, it can be making interest for YOU in advance! It is already being removed from the guest's available credit or if the card is associated with their checking account, it is removed from their available cash. This only allows the issuing bank more time to make money on someone elses money - you might as well be making money on it!
 

Banana

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Morticia, you could do an authorization for a few cents or a dollar to verify a good card, that should not affect their use of the card as in holding funds. This should not cost but a few cents but will assure you do have a valid card. One thing Webervations has going for it is that it does confirm the cc # is a valid number. It does not (unless you use their processing) authorize, just assures the number it legit. Of course this only assures that you do have a valid card, not that it has the funds available to satisfy their bill when it is due.
For anyone that has a clause that they are repsonsible for part of their stay (i.e. 1 night or 50%) by a certain date prior to check in, I do not know why you do not go ahead and take that portion on that date? (cancel by 5pm on 9/30, at close of the evening, you charge the deposit.) At that point it is due to you anywayty and you know at that point whether the card is good or not for the remaining balance when they are to arrive. If not, a quick call to give guest the benefit of the doubt and allow them the opportunity to provide a good card - or you at least have the time frame to open the room for another booking..
copperhead said:
Of course this only assures that you do have a valid card, not that it has the funds available to satisfy their bill when it is due.
This was the case with my three no shows. I always check the card number to ensure it's validity. Just because it's valid doesn't mean the funds are there. With the authorization for the full amount, I ensure I'll get my money. Interest? What is that? I haven't seen more than 2% interest offered on a checking account since the 80's.
Again, I'll say...this is working for me. When it doesn't, I'll look into something different.
 

JBloggs

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Just remember the few cents thing is what thieves do who steal credit cards, and then the card gets put on hold and the bank contacted. It happens all the time, test the water, oh its good use it.
 

Copperhead

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Just remember the few cents thing is what thieves do who steal credit cards, and then the card gets put on hold and the bank contacted. It happens all the time, test the water, oh its good use it..
Joey Bloggs said:
Just remember the few cents thing is what thieves do who steal credit cards, and then the card gets put on hold and the bank contacted. It happens all the time, test the water, oh its good use it.
I understand your concern here but it is not just the test that flags the card - but an uncommon use of the card after the test. It would not be held just after a test, this is done by many companies to assure a good card. After my DH's card was compromised (twice) we were made aware of the charges that they tracked after the test use.
 
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