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Is it possible to detect unpaid payments owed by Guests from VRBO payment requests?

Rich S
Nov 17, 2019 10:32 AM
Joined Dec, 2018 301 posts

Q1) Is there any way to create a trigger that fires when a guest is past due in making a payment to VRBO. OR would need to know the due date for the unpaid payment along with the total due and total paid amounts.

Q2) Since VRBO started collecting some but not all taxes in CO, I have to submit an additional payment request on all bookings. It's calculated at 8.5% for town and village taxes, based on my nightly rate plus any special fees (admin + cleaning) that I've set up. This could be tricky because once the payment request is submitted in VRBO it then appears to be part their subtotal that includes nightly + special fees. I don't currently have a way to receive payments in OR, so I have to submit the request from VRBO, but would be nice to have OR alert me if this hasn't happened as it should.

Currently I just have an informative email that gets sent to guests telling them to expect the payment request.

Ken T
Nov 18, 2019 2:55 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1325 posts

First, I see you are NOT using the HA/VRBO API (and you can't, unfortunately, since you don't have 5 properties). So for anyone else reading this, this answer is applicable ONLY to non-API VRBO bookings.

If you have made a payment request in VRBO and it's been approved, then it should appear visible to Channel Bridge and show up in OR as an additional charge. If the guest has not paid it, then the booking should show as balance-due. You could set up a trigger to fire for bookings that came in from VRBO and still have a balance due at, say, 1 day before arrival.

For taxes, if you are using Channel Bridge to push rates to VRBO, you can put in an appropriate rate escalator % to make sure the tax is included in your rates as listed there. That way you don't have to make a special request of the guest, it's already built into what they are paying. You can also configure OR to keep track of Taxes to help know what you need to remit to the different authorities.

Valerie R
Nov 30, 2019 12:34 PM
Joined Sep, 2019 118 posts

I also have a property located in CO and have had to do the same thing as Rich S, asking the guest to make an additional payment to collect the tax that VRBO (and in my case, Airbnb also) does not.

Ken T suggested using the Channel bridge to escalate the rates by whatever % is needed so that you don't need to send a special request for the outstanding tax due. However, that won't really be a good solution (in my opinion) because what that will do is increase your rates overall by whatever %, which means the guest will end up OVER paying the tax. VRBO will collect their tax % based on the inflated rates.

For example, let's say the nightly "rent" is $100 and the total tax due is 10.875% (the amount due for my CO property). VRBO collects 8.875% and I need to collect 2%.

$700 rent + $50 cleaning fee + 8.875% tax collected by VRBO ($66.56)

If you inflated the tax (and fees if taxable) by 2% it would look like this:

$714 rent + $51 cleaning fee + 8.875% tax collected by VRBO ($67.89)

Yes, you could then back out the 2% from the rent ($14) and fees ($1) to pay the 2% tax but the guest ended up paying $1.33 too much.

Perhaps this amount is not significant enough to make it worthwhile to continue sending a separate payment request for the 2%; I just hate asking guests to pay more than they need to for their stays.

Chris Hynes
Nov 30, 2019 1:16 PM
OR Team Member Joined Oct, 2012 1396 posts

Well, your case is different than Rich's since you're API integrated with VRBO.

When you're API integrated, VRBO won't remit any of the tax so there's no issues based on their forced rates like there are with platform bookings. Instead, they'll just collect whatever taxes you've got set in OwnerRez and pass those through to you to remit.

So just make sure the taxes are set correctly in OwnerRez for that property totalling up to the 10.875% and you should be good to go.