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Security Deposits

Oct 1, 2016 4:22 PM
Joined Sep, 2016 3 posts

I do not see the security deposit in the quote. How is that handled?

I had a bad experience vith vrbo insurance where the did not pay the claim because the renter said it was broke when they got there Even thou my terms and conditions says they must report any broken item within 4 hours of check in. CSA insurance sucks when it comes to protecting the property owner. The renter is from out of state and I would have to file a small claims case in another state.

Michelle J
Oct 1, 2016 6:31 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jan, 2011 582 posts

Security deposits (for damage which are done as "holds" on the credit card) are a great feature in our system, and we have a lot of great automation built around that process.

The charges that you see on the quote are not part of the security deposit. The security deposit (or "security hold" which is a better of thinking about it) is part of the process that the guest agrees to when viewing and accepting the quote. For instance, here is a sample quote that the guest sees. I've arrow'd the part about the security deposit. (click to open bigger view)
All of this is dynamic based on your settings and options in your account.

You create rules (property > rules) about how you want the security deposits to be held. For instance, when it's taken, for how much, etc. our system the automatically places a hold on the guest's credit card (or authorized PayPal transaction) for that amount. After the booking is over, we send you an email each day until the security deposit is released. It's very simple to release - one click. If you want to collect on it, that is simple to do as well.

There are a variety of emails that are sent to the guest as well during this process. For instance, here's a plain vanilla "receipt" style email that is sent to the guest when the security deposit is reserved by the system. (click to open bigger view)
If the credit card failed, there is a email template for that as well as when it's released and other things.

Michelle J
Oct 1, 2016 6:41 PM
OR Team Member Joined Jan, 2011 582 posts

I wanted to talk about the damage protection insurance part as well, since you mentioned it.

You are absolutely correct that VRBO and some of the other players in the industry have VERY BAD products. We hear this a lot. Not only are the premiums expensive but they set up the claim process to deny everything unless you have a lot of admitted guilt by the guest and a 3 inch stack of receipts. It's really pretty much a scam.

A few months ago, we developed a partnership with Travel Guard/AIG and developed a product that works very very well. It's aimed to cover every booking WITHOUT the guest knowing about it because guests that know about damage protection tend to treat property with a cavalier/wild attitude (since they know damage is covered).

What happens is - if you sign up for it - all of your bookings are covered by default. When you create a booking in our system, a damage protection policy is issued automatically. The cost per booking and coverages are as follows:
The guest is not told about this. If you want to increase the cost of your rates or add a surcharge to cover it, you can, but the protection is between you and Travel Guard/AIG.

The claim process is very straightforward. It doesn't matter if the guest admits that they damaged it or not. It doesn't even matter if you know WHICH guest damaged it. If you make the claim within 14 days of damage and pay for it within 60 days (the replacement/fix cost) you will be reimbursed. The process is hassle free and does not depend on guests acknowledging blame.

In addition, we recommend that you still do a security hold on every booking. Security holds on the credit card give the guests incentive to behave (since their money is on the line) and it provides a double wall of protection against damage.