Hope you’re all doing well. For those of you who are procrastinators like me, don’t forget to mail your taxes on Thursday!
On Sundays I always do my vacation rental business chores. Generally, I tweak my headlines, make sure all of my calendars are up-to-date, and double-check my rates on HomeAway (because once the date has passed, the rates disappear). Then I go through my current renters file. I notify my housekeepers of all the dates they have to clean, go through my billing statements to see which renters still need to fax their rental agreements back, and which renters are due to pay. (Since I take credit cards, most of the work falls on me to push the payments through.)
So, this Sunday when I went to go and charge credit cards, I was very annoyed that every card I went to charge was declined! It’s always an uncomfortable situation to have to call the guest and tell them their cards were declined. But before I contacted them, I reflected on something that happened to me recently which embarrassed me. When I rented the home for the Olympics, the first payment went through fine but the second payment got declined. And it was not due to lack of funds in my account. Nope, I had to call the bank and approve the card over the phone.
So when I contacted my guests, I handled the situation very gingerly and was very careful to not alarm them. I explained the process and, quickly enough, they were able to call the bank and approve the charges.
So bottom line: before you judge your renters’ credit worthiness when a credit card issues a decline response, consider the problem might be out of their hands. Most often it’s a security issue with their bank.