Motel Mingle Forums Online Bookings Guest Payments

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  • #2303

    BMM

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      I have been receiving quite a few emails regarding guest cards not authorized for payment on guest departure.
      Our chain recently has been making a radical move towards virtual cards payments through our channel manager (such as wotif already do).
      This is costing us an extra 3% and I am dead against this move.
      Their reasoning behind this is exactly as first stated- invalid cards.
      My philosophy is with all sites that we take full payment upon booking, whether its 1 day or 100 days from when booking is received. We then ensure that guest presents card upon arrival, regardless of the fact that it has been prepaid.
      SURE, this may lose you some bookings or you may have to credit guests card if they cancel within your cancellation policy.
      BUT, I sleep well at night in the knowledge that I have received payment for room.
      Ensure that you get payment on arrival, even if the guest pulls the old “every other motel, I pay on departure”.
      This is your business and your rules, that is why you decided to go into business in the first place.
      SO YOU MAY LOSE THE ODD BOOKING, BUT IS THAT THE ONE THAT WAS GOING TO COST YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE?

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      • #3175

        BusybeesBusybees

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        • Topics Started 22
        • Replies 232

          So typical for me 🙁 I haven’t been able to take anything for more than a 2 day stay!!
          Maybe I should stop bagging OTAs!!!! LOL. Maybe I will start trying again on the day of arrival!!

        • #3173

          imageBallina Colonial Motel

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          • Topics Started 10
          • Replies 87

            Virtual Cards
            I have not come across any restriction with taking monies upfront from Wotif recently. 1, 2, and 3 day bookings have all gone through O.K. on day of arrival. Could it be a 7 day booking thing?

          • #3172

            TIDYWAZZA

            Participant
            • Topics Started 10
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              As Busybees & Ballina Colonial, suggested I have started to process the Virtual C/C from Wotif.com on arrival. Any and all work fine for payment on arrival! Single and multiple day stays all are going through OK at this time.

            • #3167

              BusybeesBusybees

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              • Topics Started 22
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                Hi Brumby,
                We do a couple of things with regard to claiming money for bad guests.
                Our PMS alerts us to the fact that the card is “bad”, out of date, wrong number, so at least while they are checking in we have that first alert.
                Secondly if the guest gives me the impression that they are “sus”, we now take a $300 bond. If they are not prepared to pay the bond, then we are not willing to take them on, for we feel they must have something to hide!! I give them a receipt which they must return in the morning in order to get their bond back, and our office doesn’t open till 8am.
                Now to actually answer your question….
                The fee you charge should at least cover the cost of the transaction.I would like look at your bank statement and see how much you are charged per transaction.

              • #3165

                Brumby

                Participant
                • Topics Started 3
                • Replies 30

                  I have recently read a few beware alert and I have been caught out when taking a credit card number only as security. Where a guest has stolen items or trashed room, I have had no luck in getting any money. So I intent pre-authorisation of $200. To cancel that on checkout another transaction is needed. Would a 10c transaction do it? Anythoughts!!

                • #3145

                  BusybeesBusybees

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                  • Topics Started 22
                  • Replies 232

                    Hi Ballina Colonial,

                    Just to add to the wotif card. I take on the day of arrival BUT i have found that there is in fact a restriction. If the guests is staying longer than 1 day, the card wont let you take it until the day of departure. this happened to me last week. I couldn’t understand why it kept coming back declined so I rang wotif and then she explained the “restriction”. I told her i had always taken it prior to the guest arriving, and she said it may let you take it it the guest is only staying one day but def not more than one!!

                  • #3144

                    imageBallina Colonial Motel

                    Participant
                    • Topics Started 10
                    • Replies 87

                      Virtual Credit Cards

                      Here is a little trick that you may or may not know about. Wotif, Expedia, Agoda and those that provide a ‘virtual’ Credit Card number for us to charge, all say to charge the card on the day of departure.

                      You can in fact charge the card on day of arrival, which is what I do. These guys have failed to put in any ‘activation’ restriction on the cards. I suspect that you could even charge at the time of booking, but that would be a bit cheeky! The only ‘virtual’ card that I have so far come across that does have the restriction is Jetstar/Qantas/Hooroo. Go for it; better in our pockets than theirs.

                    • #3058

                      BusybeesBusybees

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                      • Topics Started 22
                      • Replies 232

                        I replied to your post on the AccomNews site!!

                      • #3057

                        imageBallina Colonial Motel

                        Participant
                        • Topics Started 10
                        • Replies 87

                          I know this is one of our favourites subjects and recently a friend of mine in another motel rang me with a problem.

                          I have been telling him for years to take payment at booking, but he never has and on numerous occasions has been seen off with no shows and invalid Credit Cards. His latest problem is that he is getting an extraordinary 1 in 5 cancel. I explained that with no monetary commitment from the customer, they will cancel at will, even within your cancellation period. You can’t pay for your plane ticket (often cheaper than the accommodation cost) when you get to check-in, so why do they think they can for a motel?

                          It got me thinking as to what other local motels were doing, so did a quick analysis. I had a feeling I was one on the strictest and I was right, as I am the only one that makes a notional charge on a cancelation outside of the cancellation period.

                          Only one other charged 100% at time of booking.

                          Four charge 100% of 1st night at time of booking.

                          The other six on arrival.

                          Three others are on seven days cancellation notice.

                          One is on three days and four on two days cancellation notice.

                          The remaining three give just one day.

                          It was interesting that the three largest motels collected monies on arrival and also had a one day cancellation policy!

                          Where do you fit? I know that I probably lose a few booking as a result of the policy, but like someone else said; I sleep well at night (and don’t have a night bell!).

                          p.s. It was interesting to read an article in AccomNews just this week that the Marriot and the Hilton are only now tightening their cancellation policy.

                        • #2323

                          BusybeesBusybees

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                          • Topics Started 22
                          • Replies 232

                            I agree with BMM, as I have said SOOO many times before, get your first night’s tariff on booking, the rest is paid ON ARRIVAL, and they must present a valid credit card on checkin.
                            I think virtual cards are OK as you can access the money before the guests arrive, so if it doesn’t go through you can contact the ota and ask the question. Having said that, the OTA is suppposed to have collected the money and THEY (OTA) is actually paying you NOT the guest, so realistically the money should be good.
                            As far as the chain goes, I thought in the latest newsletter is stated that cost was being added to the guest was aware the fee would be added to their booking and it was up to us the waive or collect the fee. I won’t be waiving the fee.

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