So, you have created a great space for guests in your serviced accommodation. You receive a nice week-long booking, take payment, make everything ready for the guests’ arrival, they have a good stay and then leave with no hassle.
Life is good, serviced accommodation is doing the business for you !
Then a couple of weeks later, after the money from this booking is happily sitting in your bank account or has even been spent, you get a letter from your card merchant saying that the cardholder has challenged the payment. They say that they never authorised the transaction and never stayed in your apartment.
Must be fraud, so after having provided the service for the week you now have to return the money for the booking!
Very unfair, but this is the real world of chargebacks – the scourge of serviced accommodation providers.
You may have even received the booking through a website like booking.com. What did they do to protect you against a potential chargeback? Simple answer – nothing. There is very little verification of their accounts and card details provided.
I had a real problem with chargebacks when I was running one of my London properties as serviced accommodation. Sometimes the chargebacks came months after the stay when the money was definitely spent.
We saw a trend in the chargebacks that happened. They were almost always last-minute bookings, and generally for more than a few days. These guests were also often very problematic, leaving the apartment in a really bad condition afterwards.
Well I don’t believe in being a victim and complaining about these things, you need to live and learn.
So we put in place more robust procedures to check the guests’ identity. We started to require copies of a photo ID (passport or driving license) from guests so that we could be sure of the person booking the apartment.
This has worked well, and just recently ensured that we did not lose £1,100 on a chargeback. Make sure that you have good protection against chargebacks, especially if providing accommodation in big cities.
I hope you have found this blog informative. If so then please like the Goldsmith Property Facebook page so you can keep up to date with future posts. Get in touch with me if you have any questions on this, I am always happy to help.