Motel Mingle Forums Guests Behaving Badly Dodgy Credit Cards

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  • #2295

    Brumby

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      A few third party websites like Booking.com and Expedia do not collect money from customer instead just pass on credit cards details. Their marketing difference is pay on arrival. Since the cards are not verified, the motels are at the mercy of their clients. I have received quite a few dodgy credit cards, insufficient funds, incorrect numbers or expiry dates etc. My arrangements with these websites is full deposits up front- under cancellation policy. I catch the bads ones when they book. A few have winged but genuine accept it. To motels stand you ground and ask for full payment upfront. Most third party websites will agree.

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      • #3289

        Mr PetersenMr Petersen

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          You should be able to refun to ant valid credit card.

        • #2353

          BusybeesBusybees

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          • Topics Started 22
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            thankfully not come across this yet!!

          • #2348

            imageBallina Colonial Motel

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              O.K., this was a new one for me, but just might be a common occurrence.

              A guest books through Booking.com and I collect all the monies up front from her Credit Card in accordance with our term & conditions; no problem.

              Then the guest cancels within the cancellation period (no problem), but in the mean time her bank, which just happens to be the same as mine, has upgraded her Credit Card and she has a new number. Standard procedure to avoid money laundering you cannot refund to other than the original card number. So I ring the bank in order to get some confirmation that the old and new numbered Credit Cards belong to the same person. No, no, no says the bank that would contravene the Australian Privacy Laws. Basically, the bank did not want to know and had no solution to the problem and were not prepared to help out two of their own clients. Sounds about right!

              So what can you do? This in fact was a genuine case and not money laundering, so the only solution we had was to request a copy of the guest driving license and refund by cheque. How backward a step is that in this age of electronics.

              I just wonder how the big boys like Wotif or say Qantas deal with it

            • #2347

              BusybeesBusybees

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                When we take a booking, we take the first night’s tarrif to secure their booking, and explain our cancellatin policy then. I always ask for an email address so I can send their receipt. I also send EVERY booking, regardless of where they book, (provided they have supplied an email address) an information email, confirming their reservation, amount of guests arrival and departure. It also contains information on the rooms and our cancellation policy. I also hit “read receipt” and keep that “read” comfirmation until after they have departed.
                I believe, we have our cancellation covered… or at least I hope I do.

              • #2345

                Angimon

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                • Topics Started 14
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                  Below is is an extract of a document from the ACCC website re travel and accommodation cancellation fees and prepayments. I think it is a matter of treading carefully, as if you can reasonably sell the room, or do, you need to refund the guest. No shows with no possibility of selling the room are one thing, but cancellations ahead of time are slightly different.

                  “Cancellation fees
                  Your ability to claim cancellation costs from a customer depends on certain factors. If you charge a cancellation fee, booking fee or administrative charge, it should not be excessive; otherwise, it may be regarded as an unfair contract term. You should consider limiting the fee to the reasonable costs associated with making the booking and, if relevant, preparing the accommodation for the customer’s arrival, or reserving services for their use.
                  If the guest has paid you a deposit, then cancels the booking without a good reason (for example, if they just change their mind), you will usually be able to keep the deposit depending on the terms of the contract.
                  Generally, a fair deposit should not be more than 10 per cent of the total cost of the accommodation or service booked, unless your potential loss or inconvenience justifies a higher amount. Otherwise, such a higher amount may be seen as a pre-payment. Pre-payments are refundable, minus any actual or reasonable costs you may have incurred before the booking was cancelled.
                  Cutting your losses
                  Before applying your cancellation policy, take into account the likelihood that losses can be limited by re-booking another guest. While the chances of re-booking get smaller closer to the booking date, you should make reasonable efforts. If you re-book the accommodation for the same price, it may be difficult to argue that you have the right to impose a cancellation fee, except for costs already incurred.
                  If the contract allows you to reclaim losses from a customer, without taking reasonable steps to avoid them, it may be deemed unfair under the ACL. This could include any terms that allow you to claim the total cost of accommodation from a guest regardless of when they cancel the booking.
                  Deducting cancellation fees from credit cards
                  If you record credit card details when confirming a booking by phone, advise customers at the time that their card will be charged if they cancel and ensure they accept that condition. If you don’t, it may be considered an unauthorised transaction under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s ePayments Code, which may apply to your bank. To be safe, give reservations staff a script to follow.
                  By issuing a written confirmation, you can also prove to the credit card company that you met their conditions.”

                  more info can be found by googling “cancellation policy motels australia accc” then going to the Word doc under the heading “Consumer Cancellations Australian Competition and consumer…”

                • #2338

                  BusybeesBusybees

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                  • Topics Started 22
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                    As I have said so many times before, if we ALL did the same thing, charge the first night’s tariff and the remainder is paybable ON CHECK IN, and they must present a valid cc, and perhaps charge a flat rate say $10 for cancellations then the customer would know what was expected ACROSS THE BOARD.
                    I realise this is a pipe dream as the ‘big boys’ won’t play the game but if all us ‘little guys’ stick together and do the charge the same way then it would make EVERYONE’S life easier:
                    A) ours, cos we know if they don’t show we still have the money for the first night, If they dont want to do this then we know up front, they are more than likey going to be trouble anyway!
                    B) the customer cos they know they will lose the first night and pay $10 cancellation fee, so are less likely to cancel. It just makes SO MUCH SENSE to me.
                    Can anyone let me know why they think this wouldn’t work? I really AM interested in what you think.

                  • #2332

                    imageBallina Colonial Motel

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                    • Topics Started 10
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                      Booking.com are not very good at making customers aware of the ‘booking term & condition’. They are hidden away behind ‘tick boxes’ and don’t even appear on the customers booking confirmation, which I think is illegal. In Booking.com’s recent survey, this was one of the major concerns I raised.

                      For our part, we take 100% of the accommodation cost up-front and now even charge an ‘administration fee’ if they cancel outside of the cancelation period to cover our time and effort in handling the booking and then reversing everything, including re-marketing the room(s).

                      Yes, we have had a bad review as a result, but better that than getting a ‘no show’ with an invalid/no-funds Credit Card number at a prime holiday period. Incidently, in very small print at the bottom of the customers booking confirmation, it does say that the hotel/motel will collect the monies in 24/48 hours from the time of booking.

                    • #2306

                      BusybeesBusybees

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                      • Topics Started 22
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                        Just for your peace of mind Marlborough, the payment policy on booking.com is YOUR policy, not booking.com. IF you wish, like we do, to take full payment on booking then you make that judgement call and put it in your booking policy. On their website it flashes “book now pay later” BUT in the little question mark are your terms and conditions, and you can say that the full tariff will be charged.

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