12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 7, 2019 10:59 AM by scowol RSS

    Pre- approval question

    madijae Contributor

      I know this will have been asked 100 times before, but I cannot see it!

      I had a booking request over the weekend for a week in January 2020. I accepted it, but then got an email to say their credit card had not worked. It is now on my calendar as a pre-approval and they have 72 hours to pay. I have now got a family wanting to book the last two days of that week plus a few more days. If I accept them, then the first pay, I am going to have problems! Or, if I accept the second people, do the first ones then become unable to proceed?

      Thanks for any help!

      Madi

        • Re: Pre- approval question
          bonesxxx Active Contributor

          Whoever pays first will make the other party unable to pay/reserve. The pre-approval is just a hold... if you accept the second guests before the first ones pay, the first ones will get a notice "the property you are interested in is not available."

           

          If it were me, I would call or email the ones who booked first and give them 24 hours to make a payment or you will rent to another interested party.

           

          If they don't or you don't hear back, take the second guest.  Just be honest with them both.

           

          I've had to do this before.  I just reach out to the first guest and say, "sorry to sound like a car salesman but I have another party interested in the same week as you.  Since you inquired first, I am going to hold it for 24 hours.  If you haven't paid by then, I will have to allow the other party to book. I appreciate your understanding,"

          • Re: Pre- approval question
            wildiris Active Contributor

            Take a look at this thread - Pre-Approve a booking

            • Re: Pre- approval question
              wildiris Active Contributor

              I wouldn't be as nice as bonesxxx in regard to the guest whose credit card charge was denied.  If the pre-approval allows you to accept the booking request from Guest #2, I would go ahead and accept Guest #2.  I would then contact Guest #1 and explain that his credit card was denied and in the interim another booking request came in for their dates, which you have accepted.

              • Re: Pre- approval question
                madijae Contributor

                Thank you both! I thought that the first to pay gets the booking (they are both pre-approvals) but just wanted to make sure. It hasn't happened yet, but one of my biggest fears is a double booking!

                And bonesxxx, I hope you don't mind but I have saved your 'used carsalesman' speech and sent the first people a version of it :-)

                Thanks !

                  • Re: Pre- approval question
                    bonesxxx Active Contributor

                    Haha no problem.  Double booking is impossible within VRBO as the dates are blocked as soon as the reservation is complete (i.e. paid). I assume both parties are coming from VRBO?

                     

                    The biggest risk of double booking comes from using multiple platforms.  Calendars synchronize but they are delayed.  One day I am going to get a booking from VRBO and then another from FlipKey for the same dates due to synchronization delays.  It hasn't happened yet but it's only a matter of time.  I've noticed as much as a day lag between my calendars updating on other sites... BDC being the worst.

                      • Re: Pre- approval question
                        madijae Contributor

                        We are also on another platform (starts with and A and finishes with a b). I am a bugger for half doing something and thinking I will finish it later...but I am scrupulous at blocking out nights on one platform before accepting the request on the other, and then writing the names etc down on my spreadsheet!

                    • Re: Pre- approval question
                      ohst8er Premier Contributor

                      Wait, what?  A booking request that you approved but had a denied credit card is still on your books as a pre-approval??  That is SO not OK!!!!  If I buy something from Amazon and my cc is denied, there is NO assumption on Amazon's part that they should hold that item for me.  Have you called CS about this?  Is this for real?

                        • Re: Pre- approval question
                          madijae Contributor

                          Yes, ohst8er it was definitely a booking and not just an inquiry, but the credit card did not work. And it is definitely showing on my calendar as a blue pre-approval.

                          The first people have come back to me saying they definitely are coming and will log on to the website tonight and pay. Well, they will only be coming if they pay ffirst and secure the booking! Thanks bonesxxx, your message worked better than my one last night did :-)

                          • Re: Pre- approval question
                            scowol Active Contributor

                            ohst8er   I don't think this is something to be alarmed about and call CS.  As madijae stated, they received a booking request and accepted it.  The card was declined, so the system converted it to a pre-approval to give the traveler an opportunity to input another credit card.  In the past, before this change, HA would simply cancel the entire reservation (and we got dinged when the metrics were still a mess).   So it's a good thing.  HA/Vrbo is not "holding" the dates.  Rather, they are just giving the traveler another opportunity to pay with a valid credit card vs. being draconian and canceling the entire booking request.  If another party comes in an books and pays, then the pre-approval is canceled. So there's no harm if the pre-approval, and the calendar is not blocked.

                             

                            Improvement for when you get a declined credit card on new booking

                              • Re: Pre- approval question
                                ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                scowol, I was unaware that the system is set up to work this way, which is why my reference to call CS.    Thank you for posting that link.  So long as the pre-approval does not hold up your calendar I'm ok with it.  I would not be ok if the pre-approval DID hold up the calendar.   Like others, I am of the mindset of, first to pay, first to book. 

                                  • Re: Pre- approval question
                                    scowol Active Contributor

                                    Indeed. I think I surmise that you've been with HA/Vrbo back in the days when things were in transition from Vrbo being an advertising site to a booking site?   I do recall the time when pre-approvals used to block dates and lock the calendar!  I even recall the days when an expired pre-approval would result in a cancel or decline on the metrics!  So glad that this issue is resolved.

                                     

                                    And yes, I agree with first to pay--first to book!  I used to get burned so many times waiting for a guest who said they would be booking "tonight" but it never materialized.  With the exception of a trusted, returning guest, I never hold dates.