If a guest checks out of the booking process without making an immediate payment (via credit card or PayPal), the booking will be created in a pending status. This means that the time is blocked, but there is a deadline when the payment must be received.
If you don't receive the payment or mark the booking as paid within that time, it'll be automatically canceled.
If a booking is pending, you'll see that as a status and an hourglass will appear on the booking calendars:
During the pending period, we'll send occasional reminder emails to the guest to nudge them and make sure they don't forget to send payment. There is a default template for the pending reminder emails, which you can customize yourself through the "Send Pending Cancellation Reminder To Guest" system message template under "For booking emails..." -- or choose your own in the Guest Pending Notification setting.
The auto cancellation time is set in the rules section for each property, under Pending & Offline Payments:
The other settings in this area let you disable pending cancellation entirely, change the pending notification email sent out while the booking is pending, and choose whether to automatically cancel the booking or send yourself a warning notification email so you can deal with the situation.
You can override these values for a specific quote in the Billing section of the quote.
Bookings will automatically be set pending for one of four general reasons:
- Manually set Pending
- Check or Custom Instructions payments
- "Card will not be charged at checkout" rule
- Bad cards through channel APIs
- Vrbo API in Request To Book mode
- Finding and triggering Pending Bookings
You can manually set a booking as pending from being "permanent" under Change / Move Booking while viewing the booking. You can make it pending for a certain number of days or until a certain date. You'll only be able to make manual changes if there are no payments yet - by definition, a pending booking is only pending because no payments have been made. As soon as a payment is recorded, however small and by whatever method, the booking will become permanent. If booking is already permanent, the Pending Status will not be available. Status option examples:
If you've got a Check payment method or Custom Instructions payment method and the guest uses that to check out, the booking will be flagged as pending until you receive the payment. Check payment methods show the "make check out to" and mailing information. Custom Instructions payment methods allow you to enter a block of text describing how to pay you -- for example, bank transfer or wire transfer instructions.
These payment methods will only be available based on the days in future settings in the rules section for each property:
By default, the arrival date must be 15 days in the future for them to show up during checkout. If it's less than the days in future settings, they won't show up and any remaining payment methods (credit card/PayPal) will show instead. If you don't have a credit card or PayPal payment method and it's less than the days in future setting for your other payment methods, the guest won't be able to check out and instead will receive a message directing them to contact you to pay.
Once you get the check in the mail, wire transfer, etc, go to the Transactions tab of the booking and choose Payments > Record Payment. Set "Amount Paid" based on what type of payment it was, fill in the rest of the info, and click "Save":
That will record the payment in the system and clear the pending flag on the booking.
If you want to change the pending deadline date or turn off pending without receiving a payment, you can use the Change Pending Status link in the booking's pending bar on the booking:
You should normally use the "Confirm and Take Payment Now" link to accept a pending booking. While it is possible for you to manually accept a payment, if you do this, then none of the normal actions (additional payments, etc.) will be automatically scheduled - in effect it will be treated as a manual booking.
"Confirmation required but credit card verified" is a similar beast to the "check or custom payments pending" flow -- but for credit card payments instead. When you set this to "card will not be charged at checkout" (rather than "card will be charged at checkout"), we'll allow the guest to check out with a credit card, but we won't charge the card at checkout. Instead, we'll verify that the card is correct and create a pending booking in the system.
PayPal WARNING: "Card will not be charged at checkout" only works with normal merchant accounts. It DOES NOT work with PayPal, as PayPal doesn't allow storing cards on file. If you only have a PayPal account and set this rule to not charge the card at checkout, guests won't be able to check out online and will instead be directed to email you for checkout instructions.
The Vrbo configuration (cancellation policy, initial payment amount, charges, etc.) will be automatically passed through into the Booking. However, if desired, you can make changes in the Rules or Charges tabs of the Booking, such as if you've made a private agreement with the guest to take a lower initial payment.
Once you've validated the guest and confirmed that the time is available in all calendars, use the "Confirm & Take Payment Now" link in the Booking's pending bar to actually charge the card:
The Vrbo API and Booking.com API both send credit card info with bookings. They do some level of credit card validation before they allow a booking, but it's possible that the card succeeds on their end but the charge fails in OwnerRez -- perhaps the guest's card was valid but didn't have enough balance to run the first payment.
When this happens, the Booking will be set as pending in OwnerRez, and we'll send a card-failure email to you and the guest so the guest can update the card on file. You can also go to the Booking Transactions tab and send a Request > Request New Card which is basically the same thing.
By default, the Vrbo API is in Instant Booking mode and runs the first payment as soon as the booking is received.
If you set it to Request To Book mode, all bookings will come in pending -- similar to the "Card will not be charged at checkout" rule -- and you'll be able to choose to confirm them or cancel them using the links in the pink bar at the top of the Booking's page:
To reject the booking request, simply Cancel the booking, and it will automatically be rejected via the API and cleared from your OwnerRez calendar. If you don't take action by the specified time, the booking will automatically be canceled.
When an RTB booking is auto-canceled, the cancellation is recorded as "canceled by owner." This may have negative results on your Vrbo reputation.
You can search for Pending Bookings in the main Bookings screen, List view, using Filters:
You can also use Pending status as a Criteria on a Trigger to send a message. For example, an "As soon as booking is created" Trigger with Pending criteria of Pending Cancellation, can be used to send a special message to guests whose booking was automatically placed into Pending status for some reason (e.g. their credit card payment failed).