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Delay credit card processing until after rental contract signed for Vrbo bookings?

Loretta K
Sep 19, 2022 10:18 AM
Joined Jul, 2022 11 posts

I would like to wait to charge the credit card for Vrbo bookings (API integrated, Instant Book) until after the contract is signed.  And I would like that all to be automatic – the signing of the contract triggers the charging of the credit card. All of it has to be done within 48 hours or the booking gets cancelled. How do I set this up? 

I've already set the “Property” Rule for credit cards to “Card will not be charged when the booking is made” and know that applies to direct bookings but can't tell if it works for Vrbo bookings.

Ken T
Sep 19, 2022 8:28 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 899 posts

This is not recommended and not supported - the card should be charged as soon as the booking is made.  You don't want bookings blocking your calendar that have not paid you anything.

Loretta K
Sep 19, 2022 8:45 PM
Joined Jul, 2022 11 posts

So either I am out the 3% or the guest is out 3% if they decide they don't want to actually sign the contract.  Sounds like I have to use one of three House Rules to admonish them to read the contract because the cancellation policy of losing 3% becomes effective as soon as they book even though they haven't actually signed a contract.  Do you have any other options for this?

 

Ken T
Sep 19, 2022 11:14 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 899 posts

Yes, in fact, it is essential to state in your House Rules that guests are required to sign and follow the Rental Agreement.

Loretta K
Sep 19, 2022 11:41 PM
Joined Jul, 2022 11 posts

Thank you, Ken.  I have that rule already so I know I can cancel if they don't sign.

The issue is that it used to be a zero-cost cancellation for both me and the guest if the guest would not sign the rental agreement (full refund up to 60 days prior). That's because Vrbo does not retain a processing fee if you fully refund the guest (I am not talking about the service fee).

But now that I process the card (currently with Stripe), someone has to pay the 3% Stripe fee if the guest doesn't sign the contract.  I'm using the 97% refund cancellation policy so the guest pays the 3% if they cancel.

The problem is a guest that won't sign could argue that they don't have to pay the 3% fee because they never signed the contract agreeing to the 3% cancellation fee. Or that I cancelled their booking when they didn't sign so I should pay the 3% fee.  Either way, it seems to make more sense to me to not process the credit card until after the contract is signed.

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Hynes
Sep 20, 2022 6:31 AM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1370 posts

Your first instinct here is correct -- if you enable the "Card will not be charged when the booking is made” rule, that will apply to Vrbo bookings as well as direct. The card won't be charged upon booking and you'll be able to confirm the booking manually and choose to charge at a later date. 

Also note that the guest does agree to the house rules, Renter Agreement, and card processing several times during the Vrbo booking process even if you don't have a signed agreement on file in OwnerRez yet, so there shouldn't be any issues of confusion. If you go through that process as a guest, you'll see all of the different places that the charges and policies are made clear and the guest has to agree.

 

Loretta K
Sep 20, 2022 8:42 AM
Joined Jul, 2022 11 posts

Thank you, Chris.  You had told me how to delay the processing of the card for my own website in a different forum post.  But after I received a booking from Vrbo last Wednesday, and it showed "Pending until Thursday, Sep 15", I suspected the setting for "Don't charge the card now" applied to Vrbo, too, because it's at the property level.   

What confused me about that booking, though, was that the email I received after approving the processing of the card was "Automatic payments applied...." with the message "When this card came in initially, the guest didn't send a good credit card so we weren't able to schedule payments and put the card on file.  We just got a good card number from the guest..."

So all that is missing from what I want to do is the automatic trigger to process the credit card when the rental agreement is signed. Any ideas on that?

And, yes, I know the guests see the contract and house rules when they book, but I've had a few people refuse to sign the contract after booking because they finally read it when they had to sign and initial it.  I'm sure we dodged a bullet with those guests, but I don't want problem guests to sign the contract to avoid losing their 3% if they have no intention of abiding by the contract.

 

Ken T
Sep 20, 2022 6:06 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 899 posts

No, there's not a way to make the card process automatically when the RA is signed. If you choose to turn off the auto process, you'll need to run it yourself when, in your judgment, the booking is ready for it.