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The Saga of the Deposits

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Alibi Ike

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This is our first year taking deposits so we're learning as we go. Took a deposit for a stay this weekend. Guest arrived, had no idea the deposit had been taken and wanted to pay cash. Sigh. Refunded deposit on cc, took cash.
 

Don Draper

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NO! They just cost you $$.
You just have to have your answer ready for this...put it on your policies and on your confirmation, the deposit amount IS taken at the time you make the reservation. We even have this as part of the policies that they have to check the box when they book. THEN they can pay cash for the balance if they like when they check-in/out. And if you are going to offer to refund the deposit then you NEED to charge the cc processing fee that YOU PAID when you ran the deposit.
Trust me...as with any new policy you're going to get people trying to be an exception and push the limits, but just get the policy in place and stick to it.
 

agoodman

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion.
 

Copperhead

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Once the deposit is taken that is it for me... I would sigh (to myself) at the thought of having cash in hand, but that is it... They can GLADLY pay cash on the balance. This is another case of the importance of READING the policies and the innkeeper sticking to them too. (Yes, preaching to the choir again.)
 

EmptyNest

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I would not have refunded the deposit. Just made them pay the balance due. You were charged to do the deposit and now you are charged with doing the refund and you get no compensation from the guest for that. Just be sure in your policy that is says the deposit is charged to your account when the reservation is made. Make it clear it is not refunable.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Balance only on the cash. If guests ask to pay the deposit in cash when they're there, just tell them it's already been processed, sorry.
 

Alibi Ike

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
 

Don Draper

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
.
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.
 

Alibi Ike

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
.
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.
.
Don Draper said:
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it.
OK. Totally understand this. I'm ok with refunding the card to accept cash. It's not a big deal to me. Right now we're just trying to figure out how to do this whole deposit thing so it works for US, not the guest. It's a LOT more work than not taking deposits ever was. I have to make reminders to take the deposit a week before arrival (I get a lot of cancellations so I'd just as soon not take deposits now for July and then refund them in June. Plus, I know me. If I have the money NOW I will spend it NOW and I won't have it in July when I need it for food, etc!); run the deposit; print out the registration form; attach the deposit to it; note that the deposit was taken; resend the confirmation with the info that the deposit was taken and showing the new balance; file the reg forms for next week AND explain it all to the other half.
Because the cc machine is in the inn and the computer is not, I lug the laptop out to the desk to run all the deposits so I don't have to write it all on bits of paper that then have to be shredded.
Not complaining. It's a learning process. It's taking some time to get it right. I keep forgetting to run the deposits at night before the batch job goes out. It will all work out by summer. This is practice right now. There are quite a few reservations outstanding right now that never got the policy change so each day I have to figure out which forms have been printed and which still need to be printed. Who has paid the deposit and who owes the full amount.
Again, not complaining, just mulling over what I've gotten myself into!
 

Don Draper

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
.
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.
.
Don Draper said:
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it.
OK. Totally understand this. I'm ok with refunding the card to accept cash. It's not a big deal to me. Right now we're just trying to figure out how to do this whole deposit thing so it works for US, not the guest. It's a LOT more work than not taking deposits ever was. I have to make reminders to take the deposit a week before arrival (I get a lot of cancellations so I'd just as soon not take deposits now for July and then refund them in June. Plus, I know me. If I have the money NOW I will spend it NOW and I won't have it in July when I need it for food, etc!); run the deposit; print out the registration form; attach the deposit to it; note that the deposit was taken; resend the confirmation with the info that the deposit was taken and showing the new balance; file the reg forms for next week AND explain it all to the other half.
Because the cc machine is in the inn and the computer is not, I lug the laptop out to the desk to run all the deposits so I don't have to write it all on bits of paper that then have to be shredded.
Not complaining. It's a learning process. It's taking some time to get it right. I keep forgetting to run the deposits at night before the batch job goes out. It will all work out by summer. This is practice right now. There are quite a few reservations outstanding right now that never got the policy change so each day I have to figure out which forms have been printed and which still need to be printed. Who has paid the deposit and who owes the full amount.
Again, not complaining, just mulling over what I've gotten myself into!
.
Absolutely, implementing any new system is always painful. And this year will be the roughest until you totally get into the new system. I am laughing though, because what you describe as more work (taking the deposits) sounds much easier to me than NOT having a deposit and waiting for the cancellation to happen any minute. I think that could be why you've gotten so many cancellations...with the old system there was zero risk to the guest to book with you...if they find something they like better than just cancel and don't give you a second thought.
What we do (because our cc machine is also not near our computer) is print out the reso form when it comes in. Run deposit, if card clears send confirmation, then just file the reso form by date. When guest arrives print invoice out, credit deposit to total due, and then they pay the balance. I can see why that would be a very different system for you to adjust to with cash flow, but heck my advance reservations are what pay my bills during the off-season.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
.
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.
.
Don Draper said:
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it.
OK. Totally understand this. I'm ok with refunding the card to accept cash. It's not a big deal to me. Right now we're just trying to figure out how to do this whole deposit thing so it works for US, not the guest. It's a LOT more work than not taking deposits ever was. I have to make reminders to take the deposit a week before arrival (I get a lot of cancellations so I'd just as soon not take deposits now for July and then refund them in June. Plus, I know me. If I have the money NOW I will spend it NOW and I won't have it in July when I need it for food, etc!); run the deposit; print out the registration form; attach the deposit to it; note that the deposit was taken; resend the confirmation with the info that the deposit was taken and showing the new balance; file the reg forms for next week AND explain it all to the other half.
Because the cc machine is in the inn and the computer is not, I lug the laptop out to the desk to run all the deposits so I don't have to write it all on bits of paper that then have to be shredded.
Not complaining. It's a learning process. It's taking some time to get it right. I keep forgetting to run the deposits at night before the batch job goes out. It will all work out by summer. This is practice right now. There are quite a few reservations outstanding right now that never got the policy change so each day I have to figure out which forms have been printed and which still need to be printed. Who has paid the deposit and who owes the full amount.
Again, not complaining, just mulling over what I've gotten myself into!
.
Seems like you're learning how to streamline your process. I'm glad you told us how you are doing it. I can see how it's more work for you.
The way we've set it up is different than what you're doing because we charge the deposit immediately when it comes in. No reminder notice at the cancellation period, no additional work. I can see why you've chosen to do it the way you have, because you're very practical in knowing that if the money is in the bank, you'll spend it. Every one is different, so you'll figure out a streamlined method for yourself.
Lugging the laptop into the inn when you have to post seems like a big pain! Are there funds to get a cheap computer to leave in the inn? We got a $300 e-machine we use in the inn for ourselves. Are you using PMS?
With all the cancellations you get, you could make some money (enough to buy a new cheap computer) if you charged a cancel fee...you would also cut down on your cancellations. I know, I know....one thing at a time

 

Alibi Ike

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
.
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.
.
Don Draper said:
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it.
OK. Totally understand this. I'm ok with refunding the card to accept cash. It's not a big deal to me. Right now we're just trying to figure out how to do this whole deposit thing so it works for US, not the guest. It's a LOT more work than not taking deposits ever was. I have to make reminders to take the deposit a week before arrival (I get a lot of cancellations so I'd just as soon not take deposits now for July and then refund them in June. Plus, I know me. If I have the money NOW I will spend it NOW and I won't have it in July when I need it for food, etc!); run the deposit; print out the registration form; attach the deposit to it; note that the deposit was taken; resend the confirmation with the info that the deposit was taken and showing the new balance; file the reg forms for next week AND explain it all to the other half.
Because the cc machine is in the inn and the computer is not, I lug the laptop out to the desk to run all the deposits so I don't have to write it all on bits of paper that then have to be shredded.
Not complaining. It's a learning process. It's taking some time to get it right. I keep forgetting to run the deposits at night before the batch job goes out. It will all work out by summer. This is practice right now. There are quite a few reservations outstanding right now that never got the policy change so each day I have to figure out which forms have been printed and which still need to be printed. Who has paid the deposit and who owes the full amount.
Again, not complaining, just mulling over what I've gotten myself into!
.
Seems like you're learning how to streamline your process. I'm glad you told us how you are doing it. I can see how it's more work for you.
The way we've set it up is different than what you're doing because we charge the deposit immediately when it comes in. No reminder notice at the cancellation period, no additional work. I can see why you've chosen to do it the way you have, because you're very practical in knowing that if the money is in the bank, you'll spend it. Every one is different, so you'll figure out a streamlined method for yourself.
Lugging the laptop into the inn when you have to post seems like a big pain! Are there funds to get a cheap computer to leave in the inn? We got a $300 e-machine we use in the inn for ourselves. Are you using PMS?
With all the cancellations you get, you could make some money (enough to buy a new cheap computer) if you charged a cancel fee...you would also cut down on your cancellations. I know, I know....one thing at a time

.
It's the same thing really just that I don't leave the $300 laptop in the inn, it's in the office.
If the cancels go way down because guests don't book because of the deposits, then I'll probably go to taking them at the time of booking. Testing it out one step at a time. If I implement the deposit at time of booking then there will be a cancellation fee to cover the processing and general aggro.
I'm figuring each rez this year is costing me an extra $1. That's still a 1/4 of what I lost last year not having a deposit policy in place and guests not showing, bad cards, and all that.
 

Proud Texan

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
.
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.
.
Don Draper said:
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it.
OK. Totally understand this. I'm ok with refunding the card to accept cash. It's not a big deal to me. Right now we're just trying to figure out how to do this whole deposit thing so it works for US, not the guest. It's a LOT more work than not taking deposits ever was. I have to make reminders to take the deposit a week before arrival (I get a lot of cancellations so I'd just as soon not take deposits now for July and then refund them in June. Plus, I know me. If I have the money NOW I will spend it NOW and I won't have it in July when I need it for food, etc!); run the deposit; print out the registration form; attach the deposit to it; note that the deposit was taken; resend the confirmation with the info that the deposit was taken and showing the new balance; file the reg forms for next week AND explain it all to the other half.
Because the cc machine is in the inn and the computer is not, I lug the laptop out to the desk to run all the deposits so I don't have to write it all on bits of paper that then have to be shredded.
Not complaining. It's a learning process. It's taking some time to get it right. I keep forgetting to run the deposits at night before the batch job goes out. It will all work out by summer. This is practice right now. There are quite a few reservations outstanding right now that never got the policy change so each day I have to figure out which forms have been printed and which still need to be printed. Who has paid the deposit and who owes the full amount.
Again, not complaining, just mulling over what I've gotten myself into!
.
Absolutely, implementing any new system is always painful. And this year will be the roughest until you totally get into the new system. I am laughing though, because what you describe as more work (taking the deposits) sounds much easier to me than NOT having a deposit and waiting for the cancellation to happen any minute. I think that could be why you've gotten so many cancellations...with the old system there was zero risk to the guest to book with you...if they find something they like better than just cancel and don't give you a second thought.
What we do (because our cc machine is also not near our computer) is print out the reso form when it comes in. Run deposit, if card clears send confirmation, then just file the reso form by date. When guest arrives print invoice out, credit deposit to total due, and then they pay the balance. I can see why that would be a very different system for you to adjust to with cash flow, but heck my advance reservations are what pay my bills during the off-season.
.
Don Draper said:
What we do (because our cc machine is also not near our computer) is print out the reso form when it comes in. Run deposit, if card clears send confirmation, then just file the reso form by date. When guest arrives print invoice out, credit deposit to total due, and then they pay the balance.
We run an authorization for the full amount. If the credit card is approved, then we send a confirmation. When they leave, they are given the option to pay with a different credit card (which happens often) or to pay cash. If they pay cash, I simply void the authorization and I'm not out another transaction fee. The guest sign a credit card receipt and only receive an itemized statement if they have added packages or services to the room.
 

SomeGuestsSuck

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Hi all, we're new to posting on the forum - but have enjoyed reading your comments/stories for some time.
We feel very strongly about deposits - we never hold a room without payment of one night's room rate. Well, maybe for 24 hours if they just need a bit more time to confirm their plans and we're in a generous mood!
We've had this policy right from the beginning of our B&B career - initially we did it so the guests would have something invested in their booking so that:
a) they would only book if they were sure they wanted the room, rather than "just in case" they wanted it
b) if they need to cancel they would definitely let us know asap (rather than just not showing up) as they will want their money back!
We charge $20 on ALL cancellations - to cover credit card fees and our time dealing with and processing the booking and the cancellation, and keep the full deposit if cancelled within 7 days (except sometimes we fall for the odd sob story and just keep the $20...).
We very rarely have anyone complain about having to pay a deposit - if they do we just tell them that's our policy and we just simply don't hold rooms without a deposit. Our guess is if they don't want to pay a deposit it is because they are very likely to cancel last minute and so are not a booking we would want anyway.
The other upside of this policy, which we naively hadn't considered when we first started, is the benefits for cashflow - it spreads your income more across the year. For example we much more than just daily room takings in Jan and Feb due to the deposits we take for the summer ahead.
Of course this is not an increase in income, it is just a redistribution of it to other parts of the year - but it does make you feel better off in the winter than you would otherwise!
 

Breakfast Diva

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I respectfully disagree, this is a cost of doing business and exactly the reason I don't process advance deposits, if you do, and the guest wants to pay cash, then we should respectfully "eat" the cc charge which we incurred
Just my personal opinion..
It would be helpful if they mentioned that up front when making the rez. Then I could just do a pre auth on the card to be sure it was ok. This was a case of 'check policy box, don't read policy'. As I would have had the cc expense anyway, it doesn't seem to me like I lost anything. There is no charge to refund money. And I saved a little on the subsequent nights' processing charges.
.
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.
.
Don Draper said:
I disagree here...why jump through hoops on a case by case basis? Have your policy be what YOU want it to be and stick to it. If they want to book, they pay a deposit, period. We were the first in our area to both charge a deposit and a cancellation fee. Did it cost us bookings? No way to tell. But fast forward one year and everyone in the neighborhood is doing EXACTLY what we do. So it's certainly not costing us anything right now.
This issue again might depend on Inn size...if we were doing this kind of thing (which we were originally) it literally ends up costing hundreds of dollars a year. Less rooms and doing this less frequently I agree, what's a few cents. But it all adds up. And for us it is just much more straight forward to have the policy be very clear and uniform.

 

InnBloom

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Hi all, we're new to posting on the forum - but have enjoyed reading your comments/stories for some time.
We feel very strongly about deposits - we never hold a room without payment of one night's room rate. Well, maybe for 24 hours if they just need a bit more time to confirm their plans and we're in a generous mood!
We've had this policy right from the beginning of our B&B career - initially we did it so the guests would have something invested in their booking so that:
a) they would only book if they were sure they wanted the room, rather than "just in case" they wanted it
b) if they need to cancel they would definitely let us know asap (rather than just not showing up) as they will want their money back!
We charge $20 on ALL cancellations - to cover credit card fees and our time dealing with and processing the booking and the cancellation, and keep the full deposit if cancelled within 7 days (except sometimes we fall for the odd sob story and just keep the $20...).
We very rarely have anyone complain about having to pay a deposit - if they do we just tell them that's our policy and we just simply don't hold rooms without a deposit. Our guess is if they don't want to pay a deposit it is because they are very likely to cancel last minute and so are not a booking we would want anyway.
The other upside of this policy, which we naively hadn't considered when we first started, is the benefits for cashflow - it spreads your income more across the year. For example we much more than just daily room takings in Jan and Feb due to the deposits we take for the summer ahead.
Of course this is not an increase in income, it is just a redistribution of it to other parts of the year - but it does make you feel better off in the winter than you would otherwise!.
This is almost exactly how I approach deposits, even down to falling for the occasional sob story....)
I only wan to add that I just spent about 10 minutes reading your blog and laughing out loud. Thanks for the chuckles!

 

SomeGuestsSuck

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Hi all, we're new to posting on the forum - but have enjoyed reading your comments/stories for some time.
We feel very strongly about deposits - we never hold a room without payment of one night's room rate. Well, maybe for 24 hours if they just need a bit more time to confirm their plans and we're in a generous mood!
We've had this policy right from the beginning of our B&B career - initially we did it so the guests would have something invested in their booking so that:
a) they would only book if they were sure they wanted the room, rather than "just in case" they wanted it
b) if they need to cancel they would definitely let us know asap (rather than just not showing up) as they will want their money back!
We charge $20 on ALL cancellations - to cover credit card fees and our time dealing with and processing the booking and the cancellation, and keep the full deposit if cancelled within 7 days (except sometimes we fall for the odd sob story and just keep the $20...).
We very rarely have anyone complain about having to pay a deposit - if they do we just tell them that's our policy and we just simply don't hold rooms without a deposit. Our guess is if they don't want to pay a deposit it is because they are very likely to cancel last minute and so are not a booking we would want anyway.
The other upside of this policy, which we naively hadn't considered when we first started, is the benefits for cashflow - it spreads your income more across the year. For example we much more than just daily room takings in Jan and Feb due to the deposits we take for the summer ahead.
Of course this is not an increase in income, it is just a redistribution of it to other parts of the year - but it does make you feel better off in the winter than you would otherwise!.
This is almost exactly how I approach deposits, even down to falling for the occasional sob story....)
I only wan to add that I just spent about 10 minutes reading your blog and laughing out loud. Thanks for the chuckles!

.
Thanks so much InnBloom - SO glad you enjoyed it!
We have several years worth of stories that we're gradually working our way through - and you know more crop up every day....
 

InnBloom

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Hi all, we're new to posting on the forum - but have enjoyed reading your comments/stories for some time.
We feel very strongly about deposits - we never hold a room without payment of one night's room rate. Well, maybe for 24 hours if they just need a bit more time to confirm their plans and we're in a generous mood!
We've had this policy right from the beginning of our B&B career - initially we did it so the guests would have something invested in their booking so that:
a) they would only book if they were sure they wanted the room, rather than "just in case" they wanted it
b) if they need to cancel they would definitely let us know asap (rather than just not showing up) as they will want their money back!
We charge $20 on ALL cancellations - to cover credit card fees and our time dealing with and processing the booking and the cancellation, and keep the full deposit if cancelled within 7 days (except sometimes we fall for the odd sob story and just keep the $20...).
We very rarely have anyone complain about having to pay a deposit - if they do we just tell them that's our policy and we just simply don't hold rooms without a deposit. Our guess is if they don't want to pay a deposit it is because they are very likely to cancel last minute and so are not a booking we would want anyway.
The other upside of this policy, which we naively hadn't considered when we first started, is the benefits for cashflow - it spreads your income more across the year. For example we much more than just daily room takings in Jan and Feb due to the deposits we take for the summer ahead.
Of course this is not an increase in income, it is just a redistribution of it to other parts of the year - but it does make you feel better off in the winter than you would otherwise!.
This is almost exactly how I approach deposits, even down to falling for the occasional sob story....)
I only wan to add that I just spent about 10 minutes reading your blog and laughing out loud. Thanks for the chuckles!

.
Thanks so much InnBloom - SO glad you enjoyed it!
We have several years worth of stories that we're gradually working our way through - and you know more crop up every day....
.
Oh boy.....DON'T I know!
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,969
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0
Hi all, we're new to posting on the forum - but have enjoyed reading your comments/stories for some time.
We feel very strongly about deposits - we never hold a room without payment of one night's room rate. Well, maybe for 24 hours if they just need a bit more time to confirm their plans and we're in a generous mood!
We've had this policy right from the beginning of our B&B career - initially we did it so the guests would have something invested in their booking so that:
a) they would only book if they were sure they wanted the room, rather than "just in case" they wanted it
b) if they need to cancel they would definitely let us know asap (rather than just not showing up) as they will want their money back!
We charge $20 on ALL cancellations - to cover credit card fees and our time dealing with and processing the booking and the cancellation, and keep the full deposit if cancelled within 7 days (except sometimes we fall for the odd sob story and just keep the $20...).
We very rarely have anyone complain about having to pay a deposit - if they do we just tell them that's our policy and we just simply don't hold rooms without a deposit. Our guess is if they don't want to pay a deposit it is because they are very likely to cancel last minute and so are not a booking we would want anyway.
The other upside of this policy, which we naively hadn't considered when we first started, is the benefits for cashflow - it spreads your income more across the year. For example we much more than just daily room takings in Jan and Feb due to the deposits we take for the summer ahead.
Of course this is not an increase in income, it is just a redistribution of it to other parts of the year - but it does make you feel better off in the winter than you would otherwise!.
This is almost exactly how I approach deposits, even down to falling for the occasional sob story....)
I only wan to add that I just spent about 10 minutes reading your blog and laughing out loud. Thanks for the chuckles!

.
Thanks so much InnBloom - SO glad you enjoyed it!
We have several years worth of stories that we're gradually working our way through - and you know more crop up every day....
.
I too have enjoyed the read. I have a very similar frog story.... ribbit, ribbit!
Welcome to the forum.
 
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