Vacation Rental Chargeback Prevention 101
We write about Vacation Rentals from experience. And this past Christmas and New Year's we were charged back a total of $8,070.00 from 1 reservation from Booking.com. We have experienced fraud from VRBO prior but twice in 6 years.
Booking.com, being new to the VR Market has some serious loop holes that fraudsters use to their advantage. In order to reduce your chances of going through the same experience, we've put together a solutions to protect you and your property.
1. If your traveler is paying with someone else's card put the card holders name as the main person on the agreement and have them fax in or email copies of the card, ID and signed agreement. Until then, do not accept the reservation even if they beg..."Its my moms card." "My husbands card is like my card too". All of these may be the truth but if it's not, you'll be left unprotected if they decide to stick it to you.
(Credit card providers are rightfully on the side of there card holders and have protection measures to ensure there safety.)
2. Require 2 forms of picture ID from the agreement holder.
3. Have your travelers sign a physical agreement and take images of there ID on top of it the agreement showing both at the same time.
4. Require 1 Picture ID from all of the guests (Its hard for all of them to have fake id's).
5. Personally Check-in and Check-out your traveler. (You can do this by requiring a check-out inspection). Usually fraudsters do not like meeting in person and check-in at late hours. This way, you're there to meet them face to face.
6. Ask for 2 personal references with contact information. These references can not be staying in the property. (We have recovered money owed by calling these references. People hate to be embarrassed).
TIP: It's hard to dispute a transaction that was physically charged. So if you can, charge the remaining balance at check in with a physical machine. That way, you're golden.
All of these tips are feasible depending on how many properties you have etc.
100% Fraud Proof Tip: Only accept reservations from sites that payout out directly; Like tripadvisor, airbnb and travelmob. These sites are charged back all the time but they have the money to deal with it.