how to take damage deposits?

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  • Avatar
    Jkangarloo

    We make sure that we have a validated credit card on file, and have the guest sign a disclaimer at check-in that says they are liable for damages. Then we are able to charge the card if there is any damage. I've had guests dispute the charge, but showing Visa the signed disclaimer is sufficient.

    You can also ask for cash in the currency of the guest's choice. This makes it easy to return to the guest at check-out (assuming someone is there to check the room). This seems to be popular with airbnb rentals.

  • Avatar
    pibomarco

    Collecting damage deposit on the time of check-in by cash. Refundable at the check-out. 

    ’the only person you can trust is yourself’

  • Avatar
    Laura, Community Manager

    Thanks for asking this question, Beth, and to Jkangarloo and pibomarco for these great ideas. :)

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    Cash is definitely the best, however it still has some cons. Paying at the check out is a problem - what if you find a damage later?

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    That is why I think - bank transfer. Payable back 7 days after the check out time.

  • Avatar
    Houda Auclair

     

    Collecting the deposit in cash is my only solution, I don't have any other mode of payment but one out of two customers refuses to pay at the time of check-in. For the tourist tax it is the same story.
    Once in the room, I cannot ask the guest to leave my accommodation, so they stay without paying the tourist tax and deposit.
    I can't take the credit card, so I'm trapped.
    My welcome email has become an unwelcome email. I must remind you of the check-in and check-out times, the deposit to be paid in cash on arrival, the tourist tax to be paid in cash on arrival. In the end, few clients respond and when they arrive they refuse to pay or sign the inventory ;-((

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    That's the problem when it comes to collecting in cash. Once you let them in - you can simply remove them. Well, I would do that - but it is my administrator who doesn't want get involved in conflicts.

    I just set up a payment by bank transfer, up to 3 days before arrival. If they don't do it I will be sending them e-mails they rather should not come as they will get no keys and will be fully charged - as there are Terms&Conditions on the webpage they accepted when booking they stay. 

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    By the way - I just wonder - is asking which nations cause most of the the damage at your properties "racist"? The problem is statistics still look the same... 

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    pibomarco

    Houda Auclair:
    I beleive Turist tax is same as City tax? 

    You (or BC) must put the amount of your local city tax in the system. And you choose if it is included in the price or excluded. Even if it is excluded, City Tax is calculated in the TOTAL price on the guest confirmation. In this case guest can not refuse to pay city tax. 

    Jack Alty:
    Saudia Arabia & Izrael

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    What about Saudi Arabia and Israel?

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    pibomarco

    Oh I didn't notice that it was a retoric question? 
    From these guests I experienced a messier place and higher amount of damages, they also usually have more kids then average. That's why I don't accept children anymore. :) Not puting them all in the same basket though. Some guests are fine. 

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    Kids - yes, it can be some problem. However - I had no damages caused by Scandinavians, Poles, Swiss, French, Belgians, Irish, relatively few by Brits. Even with the kids.

    My property is in Spain.

  • Avatar
    Houda Auclair

    Hi Jack

    Yes city tax. Here call it tourist or stay tax ;-)

    I think it depends where we are. I'm in Paris, 500 m from a major station Gare du nord. I receive customers from all over the world for one night and more. Sometimes it is a last minute reservation.
    I ask 150 € that I give back at the check-out when the customers give back the key. I give the pass of the common building (35 € that I have to deactivate if someone leaves with + the key of the main secure door to make a copy I need 57 € without counting that a person will have access to my house + the room key) It has already happened that a customer leaves with the keys and refuses to send them because it costs a lot, then stop answering emails.
    For the city tax it is clearly written on the site and I make a reminder by welcome email but I have already had as an answer: ask you 4 € haha, I pay but only with the credit card, I have no change or it is not me who booked but an agency and she told me that everything is paid.
    I feel like a beggar or tax collector and it's very unpleasant ;-((

  • Avatar
    pibomarco

    So your bookings are pre-paid? In that case I would suggest to higher up little the rates and make city tax included. It's worth it.. less stress, less "bad moods", less frustration and it sure is UNPLEASANT. Why would you put yourself in this position on daily basis because of a few euros? 

  • Avatar
    Houda Auclair

    Pibomarco

    In France, the tourist tax does not have to be increased by commission. I was thinking of increasing it a little bit and including it, but the person in charge of accounting refuses to do so because a client can dispute and he will be right.

  • Avatar
    pibomarco

    I don't understand. The only reason why not I see is being "greedy". You either pay a commission on city tax or you act as a tax beggar, tax collector and be put in unpleasant situations. :)

  • Avatar
    Houda Auclair

    The matter is not greed, it's law infringement. The very principle is that you must not charge a commission on whatever taxes. If you do so it is an offense. 

  • Avatar
    pibomarco

    In this case this is an offense to Booking.com. You are not charging the commission, Booking.com does. By this logic you should also exclude VAT from the rate, right?   

  • Avatar
    Houda Auclair


    Booking.com is not responsible for the laws of each country, it is up to each user to find out.
    I cannot talk about VAT, I am not subject to this tax.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer

  • Avatar
    Eriholliday1905

    I cant believe that Booking.com leave us to deal with the damage deposit. 

    It is very inconvenient as you want a good relation with the guests and if any damages found there is going to be arguments when trying to get that sort it right there if is a cash payment.

    Even with Credit card is difficult as I do not have the machine to get Credit Card payments and with Paypal can be difficult as one of the owner mentioned. 

    I prefer the way Airbnb deals with all the process. Lets hope Booking.com takes this into consideration and do something about it.

     

  • Avatar
    Beth The Dentist

    I 100% agree. It’s ridiculous booking.com leave us to deal with this. Air bnb far superior to deal with just generally in my experience.

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    Jack Alty

    I agree. However, I have different problem. Although I am in Airbnb too - 95% of my bookings come from booking.com. I don't know why. 

  • Avatar
    Beth The Dentist

    We are the other way around. Not sure why that would be? Pricing? We deliberately price booking.com significantly higher to compensate increased hassle involved

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    I have almost same prices on both platforms. I mean, I reduce them a bit on Airbnb.

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    Katerinka12

    PayPal is BIG NO to everything connected to services. They claim they are IT advanced, when in fact they didn't create a single policy for digital goods.

    No to PayPal. In 101% they return money to clients. And be careful, their Protection Program in some countries runs for 6 months! Many people wouldn't mind to earn some money on you, whos face is well forgotten. People, who worked for that Propection Program, if you didn't know, who is that person who shoots well prepared automated templates for such serious topic as your huge expense? No, thats not attorney at law. Its an underpaid Indian guy, who has never been to USA.

    So, here are some points (please, share your experience! After discovering many stolen items, I am revising our policies and excited to listen to your Help)

    1) you can't collect from any guest, who was dishonest from the very start. Even if magic will happen (you collected!), its not worth of your money and health

    2) No to PayPal.

    3) No self check out

    4) Be brave! Close the door in front of their face, if they don't want to give cash deposit :)

    5) everything connected to damages should be done prior and never After. For instance, Booking keeps deleting my posts about stolen items and losses. The question is why, if they are not responsible for them anyway?

    6) signing house rules is not a solution for us. My units are for flight layover and next day our client is in another country. Please, correct me, if I am wrong but for police your "house rules" is nothing, it's not an evidence or prove of a crime.

    6) taking the guest credit cards details and charge him after? If I am the guest, I would prefer to change the place instead of sharing my credit card details. Host is not a God. Being myself a guest, I experienced Super Businessmen hosts, that were just going crazy over my money.

    Besides, hotels are meant to spend money and apartments to save. In the first place we already have a client, who is actually saving his money. 

    7) some items can be insured. However, I have never heard about insuring towels and bath robes. Who doesn't know, really good ones cost a fortune.

    8) Airbnb is not a solution. At least for us. We have clients every day. Airbnb wants that there was no guest After the thief. And where did you see thieves being caught by ala police hosts right during crime? They run away like rats.

    UPDATE: after writing this post, Airbnb sent me a surprise (they sent me this not because they read it here) :

    "As a valued host, I have taken necessary action and processed your payment request." 

    I am not removing my post, simply because I am "valued". After removing 5 properties from them...suddenly became valued :) 

    Jokes aside, it is a Newbie is the one, who needs money most. That's why I am not removing this post. 

    I honestly do not know who performs better Airbnb or Booking. As Booking keeps distance from that problem. But Airbnb uses our money for advertising and marketing strategy as they brag about their insurance budget. So, partially they are responsible for our damages. 

    9) Booking is deaf ears. My posts about Reality and not sweet lies that Booking wants to see here, are being deleted

  • Avatar
    Beth The Dentist

    We have had a few instances of damage due to air bnb guests and after showing photos of damage and original purchase receipts we were given full payment by air bnb. Paypal absolutely useless as are booking.com. We have now started using worldpay and so far so good.

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    Katerinka12

    Hi Beth.
    May I know your country of registration with Worldpay? Does it mean you accept credit card payments on your website through Worldpay? As all my properties are located in 3rd world countries, well... I spent several years submitting documents to similar companies and no success. Obviously I am here because Booking created 6 months of stress, not few years.
    Kindly share your experience with Worldpay.

  • Avatar
    Beth The Dentist

    Hi Katerina, country of registration is UK. We don’t have a website and simply advertise our apartments on booking.com and air Bnb. We send the guests a link to make payment via world pay a week before they will arrive, and refund the payment following departure. Not had any issues yet, other than occasional complaint about fees (if people pay by credit card rather than debit card then 3% and if currency exchange also required may not be a favourable rate. We only pay back what is received (-fees) but warn guests regarding this.

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    Wait, how do you advertise your payment by Worldpay on Booking and Airbnb? Is your listing for cash or credit card? It's being a big problem for us, that guests do not read (or pretend) messages on Booking. Not to mention Airbnb as people there do not like any additional payments (so diplomatic here, heh)

  • Avatar
    Jack Alty

    Sounds good to me. I think you can provide them with a link to payment even via mobile phone - they cannot say they didn't get it.

    Anyway, Beth the Dentist, how do you sign up to Worldpay? Are there any problems with it? Is it straightforward?

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