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Taking payment - At check in or check out?

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Morticia

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We also do a pre auth when the reservation is made. We have discovered that a pre- auth is only good for up to 30 days max. This requires us to run re-auths every 30 days to keep them valid. This is generally not a problem with credit cards (unless they are close to maxed out) because it approves against the customers available credit line. Debit cards are a problem since there is no credit line associated with them. They only have what the customer has in their bank account. Pre-auths on Debit cards have been problematic for us as they hold the $ to make it inaccessible to the customer. Many find this extremely inconvenient. I prefer to not take debit cards for reservations for this reason. They can use them for payment, however..
How do you do a pre auth? What does it mean?
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Bree said:
How do you do a pre auth? What does it mean?
This is when you scan the card (or key enter for deposits) and get an approved autorization # for the amount you request. Then that amount of $ is held in limbo, untouchable by the card holder until it is either released or the transaction is processed.
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Copperhead said:
Bree said:
How do you do a pre auth? What does it mean?
This is when you scan the card (or key enter for deposits) and get an approved autorization # for the amount you request. Then that amount of $ is held in limbo, untouchable by the card holder until it is either released or the transaction is processed.
Interesting phenom happened here...tried to run a check-in the other day and we use the 'folio' key to process the transaction. Folio 1 was 'in use'. Hmmm. We do the check-out immediately so the guest can sign the receipt. OK, re run card and use Folio 2. Folio 2 'in use'. Getting a bit weird. Tried Folio 3 and it worked. Went back into Folio 1 and there was a check-out waiting to be processed from the day before. Got guest to sign that on check-out. In Folio 2 was a transaction from 2008. Yup, 2008. About 54 weeks ago. Not knowing that at the time and thinking this was a recent transaction we did the check-out. Then could not find any bookings for that price. After an hour of calling this one and that we got the info we needed to track down the person who was charged (in our records, not in person). Our take on it was just to cancel the charge or refund the card as this was waaay too old to ask someone to pay for our error. No can do, we don't have the full cc number anymore. And the card is expired.
Curious how the payment went thru on an expired card and what will happen next. We managed to get some info from the processor and called the issuing bank (out of the country, long distance, foreign language, interesting call). They put a note on the account for when the card holder calls to refute the charges.
Walk-in guest with a card not issued in the country they gave us for an address.
But, it does bring up an interesting point on pre auths only being valid for 30 days...
 

hiddencove

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I take payment in full via visa, MC, credit card over the phone. Most people I have been renting to prefer to pay the entire amount in full. Few have paid one half at time of reservation over the phone and the other half when they arrive. This is working well!
 

wendydk

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I take a one night deposit at the time of checkin, balance to be paid at checkout. Most often, during the goodbyes, the guest just says to "leave the balance on the card"!
 

One Day

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any of you take driver license info or photo copy.....info for the car they are driving
a while back this was becoming more the norm.
 

SweetiePie

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I always take a copy of their drivers license with the explanation that it cuts down on theft. No one has refused and we have no theft.
 

hawley

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I take full payment with registration. Sometimes I take a reservation from someone in Europe or Africa who don't have credit cards so I take the chance and make full payment when they arrive. So far no problems with this.
 

One Day

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I always take a copy of their drivers license with the explanation that it cuts down on theft. No one has refused and we have no theft..
SweetiePie said:
I always take a copy of their drivers license with the explanation that it cuts down on theft. No one has refused and we have no theft.
Cool.......that's what I am looking for
I would also think the vehicle info....so one knows what vehicle the guest is driving for similar reason.....no matter if it's a rental.....
 

Morticia

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any of you take driver license info or photo copy.....info for the car they are driving
a while back this was becoming more the norm..
One Day said:
any of you take driver license info or photo copy.....info for the car they are driving
a while back this was becoming more the norm.
No. Don't even ask to see license. Don't bother about car, either.
 

SweetiePie

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I always take a copy of their drivers license with the explanation that it cuts down on theft. No one has refused and we have no theft..
SweetiePie said:
I always take a copy of their drivers license with the explanation that it cuts down on theft. No one has refused and we have no theft.
Cool.......that's what I am looking for
I would also think the vehicle info....so one knows what vehicle the guest is driving for similar reason.....no matter if it's a rental.....
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I haven't had a need for the vehicle license number, even though there is a space on the registration for it. Most people don't have it memorized, even if it isn't a rental car. If it makes you feel more secure; then copy it down yourself.
 

JBloggs

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This is the deal - make your life difficult just for one bad apple? Put little signs up and treat every guest like an ignoramous because of one idiot? We do what we have to do, but we really have to think of the majority of guests.
The other effect of little signs is the "wet paint - don't touch" theory, you are asking for it by even bringing the suggestion to their view.
I am speaking generally of all that we do, taking a driver's license and car plate # is patooey. The majority of BnB guests are super, no issues ever. We speak of the bad ones here as it is something to share, something to get advice on. Really, we don't have terrible guests all the time.
This morning I was left a beautiful note in the room by a little 85 year old widow who told me this was her first time in a BnB and she loved every detail. The table was full and she was served first, she just lapped it all up. We don't often share the really special guest stories - whether it is due to their intimacy or just don't want to sound like bragging, but we really do get some special guests.
 

One Day

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Joe
I'm not implying anything....
I know what this forum is about.....I belong to an industry forum just like this. Have for some years.....We call them "War Stories"....We do the same thing.....work together to providing solutions to a posters problem/s
Personaly......I am not put off by some the less than peachy stories. I have them to....The good folks far out number the bad.
I have no misconception dealing with the public.....I prefer to work the angles and be prepared.....Damage and theft is nothing new, certainly something I am concerned with. I know how to deal with it in my business....as a B&B...I have no clue other than the obvious.....or what is obvious to me.....and I would be wrong....what I did find out in this thread is that there is recourse and much more finesse than I would have expected.
To me it's all cut and dry. Black and white.....no gray area.........someone broke/damaged something, they are responsible.....Something missing/stolen, they are responsible......and accountable.
As far as the driver / auto info......it's nothing new....it's standard check in at most all lodging establishments......it may not be standard where it concerns a B&B.....fine.
As mentioned above.......having a photo copy of the driver license....if that is going to deter theft....that's a win, win situation......if that would also parlay towards the issue of damages.....good.
Any business has an investment and then the ongoing operation. The idea with any business is profits.....
Now......from an outsider prespective regarding check in and check out....I'd prefer that most of what is needed to be done during the check in......so that upon departure day......hand over the room keys, thank the establishment for their hospitality, say good bye and be on my way
 

SweetiePie

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Speak for yourself Joe. We haven't lost any pillows, had any broken furniture, rugs stolen or any of the myriad of other problems that have been discussed on here in the past. Sometimes putting the fear of God in them when they check in saves a lot of problems down the road. It also depends upon the level of crime in your area if you are dealing with locals.
 

Morticia

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Joe
I'm not implying anything....
I know what this forum is about.....I belong to an industry forum just like this. Have for some years.....We call them "War Stories"....We do the same thing.....work together to providing solutions to a posters problem/s
Personaly......I am not put off by some the less than peachy stories. I have them to....The good folks far out number the bad.
I have no misconception dealing with the public.....I prefer to work the angles and be prepared.....Damage and theft is nothing new, certainly something I am concerned with. I know how to deal with it in my business....as a B&B...I have no clue other than the obvious.....or what is obvious to me.....and I would be wrong....what I did find out in this thread is that there is recourse and much more finesse than I would have expected.
To me it's all cut and dry. Black and white.....no gray area.........someone broke/damaged something, they are responsible.....Something missing/stolen, they are responsible......and accountable.
As far as the driver / auto info......it's nothing new....it's standard check in at most all lodging establishments......it may not be standard where it concerns a B&B.....fine.
As mentioned above.......having a photo copy of the driver license....if that is going to deter theft....that's a win, win situation......if that would also parlay towards the issue of damages.....good.
Any business has an investment and then the ongoing operation. The idea with any business is profits.....
Now......from an outsider prespective regarding check in and check out....I'd prefer that most of what is needed to be done during the check in......so that upon departure day......hand over the room keys, thank the establishment for their hospitality, say good bye and be on my way.
I'll just bring this back up...you won't know for certain who did the damage or took the items because guests leave their doors open when they check-out. They don't think someone else might just walk in and steal something or even knock something over because they wanted a peek at the room.
Getting a photocopy of a drivers license requires a photocopier right by the check-in area. Most B&B's have a little table or a desk the size of a postage stamp to conduct business. So now you have to turn your back on these guests and walk away to an office somewhere with the guest's license to make a copy. I don't even have a copier I could run a license thru.
License plates the hotels usually ask for. I've been asked for my driver's license once, in Vegas, to prove I was the person I said I was. Apparently they have problems with random people showing up and playing the 'what are the chances someone has this name' game and getting their room.
We had an innkeeper on here before who would totally be agreeing with you. She had guests walk off with something and she was on the phone to them to 'bring it back right now'. She was going to file a police report. We're talking a little statue that was in the room. Maybe $20. She did the whole thing...photocopy of license, plate # and she had her gun in the desk drawer.
Maybe if I had been a cop (she had) and I still lived in NY (she does) I might be more leery of guests. Maybe I've been lucky. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe both. I just think all the extra work done for each guest just to be able to file a police report once every 5-10 years for someone who walked off with a blanket (possibly by mistake) is just too much effort.
Obviously that's just my opinion, everyone does things differently for their own reasons. And if I ever need to file a police report I'll probably find out it was req'd that I collect all of this info all along.
 

One Day

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When my mom and dad took vacations.....they were always coming back with logo'd ashtrays, hand or bath towels......I won't even mention the soap collection my dad had......I didn't see a regualr size soap in there bathroom for many years..... dad did alot of business travel as well.
I've gone on Golf trips with friends.....always one in the crowd that wanted to or did take towels.....one instance a friend wanted to take all the towels from the 2 rooms...When I got through with him..he quickly gave that up
 

swirt

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As far as the driver / auto info......it's nothing new....it's standard check in at most all lodging establishments......it may not be standard where it concerns a B&B.....fine
Big lodging establsments ask for license plate info primarilly because they have a large lot and if someone's car alarm is going off they want to be able to contact the owner asap and get it turned off. In a smaller B&B it is not always necessary because you know who belongs to which car.... a bigger B&B may have a harder timekeeping track.
I think in some locations they do it because it is a legal requirement for hotels/motels. It is not so the owner can have an APB put out over a broken vase or stolen pillow.
 

JBloggs

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Speak for yourself Joe. We haven't lost any pillows, had any broken furniture, rugs stolen or any of the myriad of other problems that have been discussed on here in the past. Sometimes putting the fear of God in them when they check in saves a lot of problems down the road. It also depends upon the level of crime in your area if you are dealing with locals..
SweetiePie said:
Speak for yourself Joe. We haven't lost any pillows, had any broken furniture, rugs stolen or any of the myriad of other problems that have been discussed on here in the past. Sometimes putting the fear of God in them when they check in saves a lot of problems down the road. It also depends upon the level of crime in your area if you are dealing with locals.
Nor have we. So do the notes work or do you just have guests who don't steal and break things? I will say it is the latter.
 

JBloggs

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"Stuff happens"
We have people in and out of our homes every day - it is what it is. Wear and tear, not-so-bright guests doing silly things, we get them all. We are open to the public. If we are paranoid of destructive guests then we should close the place down or take stuff out of the rooms, or child proof the BnB.
I guess I have a different view to those who have the US vs THEM mentality when it comes to innkeeping. It is a very ugly viewpoint. Should guests ever find this forum - G_d help us all! They would never stay at a BnB again.
 

One Day

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Yeah.....
Just tossing this out there.....
What if you have 3 parties check in........all cary their own luggage inside.
You don't get to see what car is with who......and as stated....one of the car alarm goes off.
Please, please all understand........I am from NY, close enough to the City that our County Exect has a couple times mentioned our county becoming the Cities sixth borough...............and yet there's talk time to time making our Island from the city limits ----> East, our own state.
Obviously my perspective is based on my location and experiences. I'm not in a high crime area....though I do lock my car and trucks at night. We do lock our doors at night. Do have an alarm and motion spot lights all around the house ( the lights are great for entertaining purposes as well )
I do think being cautious and taking precautions is important
 

Morticia

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When my mom and dad took vacations.....they were always coming back with logo'd ashtrays, hand or bath towels......I won't even mention the soap collection my dad had......I didn't see a regualr size soap in there bathroom for many years..... dad did alot of business travel as well.
I've gone on Golf trips with friends.....always one in the crowd that wanted to or did take towels.....one instance a friend wanted to take all the towels from the 2 rooms...When I got through with him..he quickly gave that up.
I think it used to be thought to be ok to take the logo'd towels, then hotels started adding on the cost of the towels (retail) if they found they were gone. Then guests started fighting back saying they never took any towels and cc issuers started taking the guest's side.
I went thru a similar fight at a Holiday Inn. Went to check out and the front desk said I'd made quite a few long distance calls and I had to pay for them. I told them we were there for a wedding, which went from noon to 7 PM and I was not in my room during the time the calls were made. The front desk person then stated, 'Well, it seems SOMEONE was in YOUR room using YOUR phone and this is the bill.' And mgmt backed up the front desk. (I have never stayed there again and it's near where my family lives so I'm there a lot. So, for the $25 or so in free long distance calls one of their staff made on my phone, they lost thousands of dollars in repeat biz over the past 18 years.)
I ended up having to fight the charge thru my cc company.
Glad you convinced your friend to cease & desist!
 

Morticia

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Yeah.....
Just tossing this out there.....
What if you have 3 parties check in........all cary their own luggage inside.
You don't get to see what car is with who......and as stated....one of the car alarm goes off.
Please, please all understand........I am from NY, close enough to the City that our County Exect has a couple times mentioned our county becoming the Cities sixth borough...............and yet there's talk time to time making our Island from the city limits ----> East, our own state.
Obviously my perspective is based on my location and experiences. I'm not in a high crime area....though I do lock my car and trucks at night. We do lock our doors at night. Do have an alarm and motion spot lights all around the house ( the lights are great for entertaining purposes as well )
I do think being cautious and taking precautions is important.
Nassau County?
 
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