1

DAMAGE DEPOSIT

If your payments are collected by BDC, how do you collect damage deposit as there seems to be no other way except cash?

2 Replies
262 Views

7
jaybeegee

Yes typically cash on arrival but you might want to put in your T&Cs that you collect it by bank transfer/paypal and insist that the customer pays before arrival.

11 months ago
7
Isle of Wight …

I've posted about damage deposits before .... I've had long running disputes with BDC over this .... I view damage deposits as essential as they help protect owners and future guests. If guests do cause damage, the deposit may not cover the costs of the damage, but it can help, if we choose to claim on the deposit. We also have to remember that if we do claim, guests can dispute the claims or write bad reviews - good reviews are worth far more than a few quid claim on a damage deposit. The most important thing is that when a guest has paid a damage deposit, they tend to take more care of the property because they want their money back. That's great, because if they look after the place, it's available for the next guest. If they trash the place, we might have to cancel bookings at the last minute (on the day of arrival) - that is totally unfair on us and future guests. The simple solution is for owners to use Payments by Booking.com and for BDC to authorise cards for an additional £100 at the time of booking, just the same as AirBnB / TripAdvisor etc. But Booking.com don't want to do this because, in their words, they do not trust property owners. Yes, that's right - Booking.com do not trust owners, like we are a bunch of criminals. I have several properties listed on Booking.com. One has settings that say the damage deposit can be paid by bank transfer (direct to my account), the others all say it will be collected in cash on arrival and refunded in cash on departure. We can't do cash on arrival as we have self catering properties accessed via key safe - we rarely meet our guests and we cannot wait at properties for hours for them to travel possibly hundreds of miles with a ferry crossing that might be delayed, and cannot expect guests to wait outside a property for us to arrive after the guests have had a long journey. It's also not wise  to deal in cash - we prefer all payments to be electronic so that there is proof of payment and proof of refund. After lengthy discussions with BDC, they allowed me to set an automatic email reply, which is sent immediately after a booking, asking guests to pay the damage deposit by bank transfer. They allowed this for all 3 properties. This didn't work as guests generally don't read the messages sent to their inboxes. We also had a separate problem with guests printing the booking confirmation and arriving without the access codes to the property, because they hadn't read the messages in their inboxes. To resolve both "reading messages" problems and to get a damage deposit from the guest, BDC said to add information to Property > View your descriptions > "The Fine Print". This is visible on the booking confirmation which they tend to print out. Our "Fine Print" includes the wording " Please note that a refundable damage deposit of GBP 100 is required. Guests should check their Booking.com inbox for payment information." This now partially works and we get some damage deposits paid - we have to chase for others. BDC have also said that if a guest does not pay the damage deposit, we should contact BDC to report non-payment and they will contact the guest. Of course, knowing how useless BDC support is, they will take one look at the policies, deny all responsibility and almost certainly refuse to do anything. We do now have a separate bank account for damage deposits by bank transfer - this will make it much easier to track who has paid their deposit and to track all refunds. As a tip, if you go down the road of automatic emails with bank details for damage deposits, remember to ask guests to provide their bank details too. We spend a vast amount of time chasing guests to send their bank details for their refunds ......

+1
11 months ago