4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2020 11:03 PM by swlinphx RSS

    How can we keep damage deposit in escrow after adjustment of final payment?

    swlinphx Premier Contributor

      It would REALLY be helpful that when a guest requests a change after booking and paying their first payment (such as different dates that increases or decreases the second payment, or splitting the bill, etc.) that there is an option to add back the damage deposit separately when submitting the Additional Payment Request.  That way we can recalculate the revised rental amount as the additional request but put the damage deposit back as ADD DAMAGE DEPOSIT so that that portion stays in escrow.  Otherwise any change to the final payment sends the damage deposit to our bank account along with rental payment, resulting in processing fees even if no loss or damage.  We charge $300 so only get $291 and the guest wonders why we only return $291 -- and then I believe on top of it there is another 3% charge to the guest as well so they receive even less.  Is this not a matter of simple software coding update or is it impossible for some other reason?

        • Re: How can we keep damage deposit in escrow after adjustment of final payment?
          scowol Active Contributor

          swlinphx   I had a request to make some changes and inquired about the damage deposit.  Guest wants me to split final payment invoice for damage deposit refund

           

          I hadn't considered the ramifications of what you described, so I'm glad you posted it.

           

          There is a litany of enhancement requests for things such as this, but there is rarely any traction.  I think Vrbo continues to be focused primarily on the initial booking, and driving bookings--period.  This type of request for a post-booking enhancement unfortunately just doesn't seem to rise up to become a priority.

          • Re: How can we keep damage deposit in escrow after adjustment of final payment?
            wildiris Senior Contributor

            Could you please explain the process of what currently happens when a guest changes his booking after making the first payment?  Having a guest's damage deposit sent to the owner instead of being held in escrow doesn't sound good and may be a violation of the law in certain states.  I've never had a guest alter his reservation after the first payment and I don't understand what happens.  I have a flat damage deposit regardless of how long a guest is staying.  It's a separate line item on my fees.  Are you saying that if a guest alters his reservation, Vrbo takes the money earmarked as a damage deposit and moves those funds into the "additional rent" requested?  This would be truly troubling.

             

            Is your damage deposit a percentage of the rent?  I'm trying to understand what you're describing and I could see that if your damage deposit is a percentage of the rent then you'd want to be able to increase the amount of the damage deposit if the guest extends his reservation and pays additional rent.

              • Re: How can we keep damage deposit in escrow after adjustment of final payment?
                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                Yes wildiris that is what I am saying.  We used to do the damage deposit as percentage of the rent but now as I said above it is $300 flat, regardless of whether the rent is $450 or $4,500.  Now if you are simply adding a charge due to added nights or services they request you can use Add Payment Request. However, if you make any change after the first payment that reduces the amount of the final payment or splits it in any way, then yes, you must first cancel the entire final payment and redo it as Add Payment Request and then, since the damage deposit is part of the final payment on HomeAway, re-add the damage deposit as an additional payment request as well along with the rest of it and it will now be converted and handled as if it is part of your income.  You are then responsible for the processing fee that will be charged when it is deposited to your bank account and for getting it all or partially back to the guest upon checkout.

                 

                Surely they can add a different button or at least a checkbox that asks if you are adding a damage deposit (to be held in escrow) if you have to refigure the final payment, which will then cause that amount or portion to be held in escrow, as it was originally.  I don't see why any change like that automatically is a deal-breaker and the damage deposit is now part of your fee.