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thehippie777
10-06-2008, 06:17 AM
Okay I understand that not many people ever spend nights in hotel rooms. Fine.

But, why do they freak out when the computer does pre-authorizations? Our computer system is also set up to pre-authorize about 15% more then the room rate just in case the guest makes phones calls or rents movies (have to make sure there is enough credit just in case). Now, if a guest checks out & only had the room charge, then in a couple days the actual charge will settle & the authorization will release.

Now...this happens at nearly every hotel I have ever stayed at & at some restaurants (for tip). So, why do guests call back that day after viewing thier credit card balances online & freak out that they were charged more? hmmm

& why can't our front desk braindeads tell them why? No one listens... So it always sounds good when a front desk person says, "Geee, I don't know why you were charged that..." And we wonder why guests get annoyed & think the hotel ignorant?


urg.

Fenrus
10-06-2008, 07:39 AM
I'm kinda on the fence with this one... As nice as it is with the pre-authorized destruction, could there be a way to just authorize the price of the room, then on another transaction make a "broke stuff" authorization, so they don't think they've been overcharged?

I dunno... I guess it's easier to do it how it's done now.

Broomjockey
10-06-2008, 05:10 PM
The problem with two seperate auths is that you'd have to run the card twice. And doing that can trigger the "suspicious spending" alarm on some cards and get it locked down.

Chanlin
10-06-2008, 10:12 PM
I wish people would get it through their heads that the company that charged your card has no control over when the pre-authorization drops off of the account.

I suspect the bit about the pre-authorization may be in any agreements they sign when reserving the room. Although I could be wrong.

Difdi
10-07-2008, 02:40 AM
Let me tell you a story about a hotel pre-authorizing my debit card...

I was 22 at the time, and traveling with my family. We were going to a family reunion, you see, and I went on a little side trip to see something I'd been wanting to see for years. Due to scheduling issues, I ended up having to spend the night at a hotel by myself on my side trip. The plan was to rejoin the extended family the next day for the reunion.

I'm always very cautious when traveling. I don't walk down dark alleys, I don't walk under ladders, and I find out in advance, while making reservations with rental places, hotels, etc, exactly what it will cost me. I carry very little cash on me; Enough to tip people, enough to use a couple vending machines. I keep the bulk of my cash on a debit card, but even then I take the precaution of only loading it with a bit more money than I'll need.

For my side-trip, I was carrying a small cooler of food, to keep my expenses down. I'd already paid for my round trip ticket before leaving for the side-trip, and the only expenses I expected to incur on the way would be tipping the hotel bellboy, tipping the housekeeping staff, admission at my destination, and so forth. I had a little extra cash, but only enough for a couple vending machines, maybe an ice cream cone.

Unfortunately for me, the hotel didn't inform me they pre-authorize things like room service, hotel staff tips, the snack bar in the room, and so forth, just in case I'm a deadbeat. So I arrived at my destination (100 miles from my family), checked into the hotel, then went to my touristy destination. And when I tried to pay my admission, my card declined. The only money I had available was my tip and vending machine cash. Which was not enough for the admission. And my cellphone wasn't showing any bars. So I got to go back to the hotel instead of doing the thing that was my sole purpose for even staying at the hotel in the first place.

Back at the hotel, I called my bank, and had them check my account statement for me. Seems the hotel had taken more money than they quoted me for the room. Complaining to the hotel didn't do any good, since the pre-auth thing was in the fine print they never mentioned to me over the phone.

So I was out nearly $100 in hotel room and $60 in my round trip ticket. And because the hotel stole money from me, my entire trip was wasted. You bet I was pissed. The hotel removed the pre-auth in a couple business days, but by then it was far, far too late.

My example is fairly extreme, but it does illustrate just how supremely sucky a pre-auth can be. To say nothing of the pure insult involved in telling a random stranger "We think you're a scumbag thief, so we're taking a little extra money in case you take our stuff and refuse to pay." Nowadays, I make a point of asking if they pre-authorize. But at the time, it never occurred to me that I had to ask them "Are you sure the total you just quoted me is all you'll be charging me?"

If someone ever lies to me on the phone about a pre-auth, you bet I'll be talking to the attorney general, as well as suing.

Broomjockey
10-07-2008, 03:52 AM
And because the hotel stole money from me, my entire trip was wasted. You bet I was pissed. The hotel removed the pre-auth in a couple business days, but by then it was far, far too late.
<snip>
"We think you're a scumbag thief, so we're taking a little extra money in case you take our stuff and refuse to pay."
<snip>
If someone ever lies to me on the phone about a pre-auth, you bet I'll be talking to the attorney general, as well as suing.

Speaking for at least some of the hotel people,
1) They didn't steal your money. As proven by the pre-auth coming off in a few days.
2) That's not what they're saying, they're saying that because people in the past have acted like scum, they have a policy in place which for most people will result in lower prices while the actual scum will be paying for being scum. If they didn't do this, then every time someone jumped out on paying something, they'd have to recoup it from the people who do.
3) If they actually lie to you about it, you should sue, it's deceptive business practices.

I'd like you to keep in mind that we have more than a few members in the hotel/hospitality industry, and you're coming dangerously close to some of the stories they tell where people go "I'd never do something like that, I deserve special treatment!"

alogram
10-07-2008, 05:19 AM
Actually, it was probably the bank that held your money. Most times the money is released by the hotel within 24 hours of checkout.

the banks seem to take longer to release.

Not to be rude, but I have never understood people who travel with almost no money....because, for example, I have never heard of a hotel taking double the amount of authorization, so unless you were staying at an extra fancy hotel, it shouldn't have been that much.

And what if something had happened and you ended up stranded in that area?

Oh, and another thing I have never understood.....people who say "I will pay you at check out." RIGHHHHHHHHHT. Sadly, this happens A LOT.

thehippie777
10-07-2008, 07:52 AM
Let me tell you a story about a hotel pre-authorizing my debit card...

I was 22 at the time, and traveling with my family. We were going to a family reunion, you see, and I went on a little side trip to see something I'd been wanting to see for years. Due to scheduling issues, I ended up having to spend the night at a hotel by myself on my side trip. The plan was to rejoin the extended family the next day for the reunion.

I'm always very cautious when traveling. I don't walk down dark alleys, I don't walk under ladders, and I find out in advance, while making reservations with rental places, hotels, etc, exactly what it will cost me. I carry very little cash on me; Enough to tip people, enough to use a couple vending machines. I keep the bulk of my cash on a debit card, but even then I take the precaution of only loading it with a bit more money than I'll need.

For my side-trip, I was carrying a small cooler of food, to keep my expenses down. I'd already paid for my round trip ticket before leaving for the side-trip, and the only expenses I expected to incur on the way would be tipping the hotel bellboy, tipping the housekeeping staff, admission at my destination, and so forth. I had a little extra cash, but only enough for a couple vending machines, maybe an ice cream cone.

Unfortunately for me, the hotel didn't inform me they pre-authorize things like room service, hotel staff tips, the snack bar in the room, and so forth, just in case I'm a deadbeat. So I arrived at my destination (100 miles from my family), checked into the hotel, then went to my touristy destination. And when I tried to pay my admission, my card declined. The only money I had available was my tip and vending machine cash. Which was not enough for the admission. And my cellphone wasn't showing any bars. So I got to go back to the hotel instead of doing the thing that was my sole purpose for even staying at the hotel in the first place.

Back at the hotel, I called my bank, and had them check my account statement for me. Seems the hotel had taken more money than they quoted me for the room. Complaining to the hotel didn't do any good, since the pre-auth thing was in the fine print they never mentioned to me over the phone.

So I was out nearly $100 in hotel room and $60 in my round trip ticket. And because the hotel stole money from me, my entire trip was wasted. You bet I was pissed. The hotel removed the pre-auth in a couple business days, but by then it was far, far too late.

My example is fairly extreme, but it does illustrate just how supremely sucky a pre-auth can be. To say nothing of the pure insult involved in telling a random stranger "We think you're a scumbag thief, so we're taking a little extra money in case you take our stuff and refuse to pay." Nowadays, I make a point of asking if they pre-authorize. But at the time, it never occurred to me that I had to ask them "Are you sure the total you just quoted me is all you'll be charging me?"

If someone ever lies to me on the phone about a pre-auth, you bet I'll be talking to the attorney general, as well as suing.

Okay for some reason this reply doesn't add up to me. Let's for example, say your room cost $89+tax. Our hotel will authorize $110 at checkin, and the bank will hold such a charge for prolly 3 days on a credit card maybe. I am guessing you had more then $200 in your account since you were planning a trip and admission.... So from what I can gather, it wasn't the hotel that caused the issue it was the bank. If you didn't have enough cushion for the authorization amount, then I would say you didn't have enough money for the trip. This reply confuses me. Sorry. Authorizations with cushion have nothing to do with thinking someone a scumbage. I am so confused...

powerboy
10-07-2008, 09:58 AM
I can understand where Difdi is coming from. If the hotel didn't mention anything about a pre-authorization, then I can see why he thought the hotel had stolen the money. My question is, was there a sign stating it, that there was a pre-authorization? Was it stated on the contract? If not, then the hotel is at fault for not mentioning about it.

Sarlon
10-07-2008, 03:00 PM
I'm not against preauthorzation, but I am currently fighting with a local restruant, and my bank to get back some money, that they over charged on my card.

The place I ordered from is a very nice place, fine dining kinda thing, BUT I wasn't eating there, I had called in my order, was quoted a time of 15 - 20 minutes, drove across town to pick it up, then took it to a friends house to eat. Most interaction I had with a waitress was handing her my card to pay and picking up the bag of food.

now from working in credit card claims before, I know that if I have NO intention of leaving a tip, that if there is a place to write in a tip, to write NO tip and put in the toal amount again in the total bar under the tip line. I did both of these things.

I go to order dinner last night and check my online balance to see how much money I have...to find that they over charged my card alomst $9!!!

talking with a friend I learned that that place often over charges the card to make sure their payment and any tip goes through. but the funds have already cleared the account, and its more then I allowed!

Sorry for the thread jack ><

cawaker
10-07-2008, 06:01 PM
Here's how its worked for me, with a debit card the money actually gets put on hold, so you cant use it at all.

with a real credit card its just a pre-auth and you still have access to your full credit limit.

At least thats more or less what a couple high end vegas hotels have told me when i tried to use the debit card for check-in

smileyeagle1021
10-07-2008, 07:43 PM
May I be the one to point out... hotels are GENEROUS with pre-authing debit cards... want to guess what happens when you try to rent from National Car Rental with a debit card... they will tell you either must provide a copy of your FULL itenerary to verify your return date or to get bent... yes, they have EVERY right to refuse service to debit card holders, so a hotel just holding an extra percentage for the potential use of incidentals is generous considering the alternative.

Difdi
10-08-2008, 12:22 AM
Actually, it was probably the bank that held your money. Most times the money is released by the hotel within 24 hours of checkout.

Even 24 hours was longer than the side-trip the hotel stay was for. Since the plan was go to other city, check in, visit tourist destination, return to hotel, sleep, checkout, leave town...even if the bank released the pre-auth instantly after the hotel released the pre-auth 5 minutes after checkout, it still would have screwed me.

Not to be rude, but I have never understood people who travel with almost no money....because, for example, I have never heard of a hotel taking double the amount of authorization, so unless you were staying at an extra fancy hotel, it shouldn't have been that much.

All it takes is one mugging to make you reconsider carrying lots of cash on vacation. All it takes is one stolen debit/credit card taking longer to clear up the issue than the entire vacation (let alone a 1-day side trip) will last to convince you to limit how much you could lose.

The pre-auth wasn't all that much. But it was just enough to leave less on the card than the admission fee. And with the security feature of declining rather than overdrafting set on the card (which also stops a thief from running up massive overdrafts). Combine that with the place I was going to being unable to combine a cash & debit transaction, well, guess what?

And what if something had happened and you ended up stranded in that area?

Like what? Godzilla? I suppose I might need to pay my own bail, but I wasn't planning on breaking any laws and being arrested. To pay for the hotel? Handled in advance over the phone. To tip bellboys and housekeeping? I had cash for that. If I get thirsty? Camelbak. Hospital stay? Insurance card. Round trip ticket back to my family? Pre-paid, good for a couple months and electronic (no paper ticket to lose). I wasn't planning on visiting gift shops and buying souvenirs. I had enough food and water with me for longer than the trip would take. I had all expenses planned, plus $20 for small incidentals. All being mugged would do fund-wise is wipe out my ability to tip, buy a candy bar or visit the hotel gift shop. Any disaster that would exceed my ability to cope with what I had on hand would have exceeded my entire savings account.


Okay for some reason this reply doesn't add up to me. Let's for example, say your room cost $89+tax. Our hotel will authorize $110 at checkin, and the bank will hold such a charge for prolly 3 days on a credit card maybe. I am guessing you had more then $200 in your account since you were planning a trip and admission.... So from what I can gather, it wasn't the hotel that caused the issue it was the bank. If you didn't have enough cushion for the authorization amount, then I would say you didn't have enough money for the trip. This reply confuses me. Sorry. Authorizations with cushion have nothing to do with thinking someone a scumbag. I am so confused...

Nope. All my dealings with the hotel prior to checking in were over the phone. I paid with a debit card that will decline rather than overdraft. I transfer money into it as needed via online banking, to limit what someone could get away with if they stole the card (or memorized the number). I had called in advance to find out what the bill would be including all taxes and fees. I knew what admission would be, including all taxes. I knew what my ticket to travel there would cost, including all taxes and fees. I rounded each number up to a whole dollar and put that much in my debit card.

When I was making my hotel reservation over the phone, I asked them what a customary tip would be for bellhops, housekeeping, etc. I put that amount of cash in my wallet. I then added $20 in the form of two $5, eight $1, and 8 quarters as "just in case" money. The total of cash was less than the cost of admission where I was going.

At no time, did the hotel notify me that they added a cushion to the bill. No signs where I checked in, they never mentioned it on the phone. They didn't mention it in person. They swiped my card while I was reading the fine print on the papers I was signing (with my pen poised above it) while checking in. The pre-auth was not in the fine print. But even if it was, I had already spent almost $100 in getting to the hotel. Refusing to sign might have gotten me a refund of the hotel bill, but I'd still be out the ticket price to even get to the city.

I didn't find out about the pre-auth until my card was declined at my sole reason for giving that hotel (and the bus line) my business in the first place. And they couldn't process a "half with debit, half with cash" transaction there. I didn't have time to go back to the hotel, resolve the issue and come back (assuming it could be resolved). Any solution that would have gotten me into the place would have required a second day of hotel stay, which I couldn't afford.

I make a point of finding out EXACTLY what everything on the trip will cost, including all taxes and fees, before I step out my front door to go on the trip. Having had cards stolen and been mugged (separate incidents) in the past, I try to limit how much I'll lose if it happens again. If the hotel had not lied to me and then temporarily stolen money from my debit card, my trip would have gone flawlessly. I ended up paying around $160 to sit in my hotel room and stare at the wall because they didn't disclose their dishonesty until after it was too late to do anything about it.

Now, when I travel, I ask about pre-auths (among other things) and I don't do business with places that do them. And yes, I've occasionally stayed in a tent at a campground instead of a hotel over it.

May I be the one to point out... hotels are GENEROUS with pre-authing debit cards... want to guess what happens when you try to rent from National Car Rental with a debit card... they will tell you either must provide a copy of your FULL itenerary to verify your return date or to get bent... yes, they have EVERY right to refuse service to debit card holders, so a hotel just holding an extra percentage for the potential use of incidentals is generous considering the alternative.

The hotel knew I'd be paying with a debit card when I arranged the reservation on the phone. They said they'd accept it. If they had said no, I'd have arranged other payment. They never mentioned a pre-auth cushion. Why should I be grateful that when they took more money than they said they would, they took less than the maximum they could have? Especially when their doing it pooched the entire reason I was staying at the hotel at all?

1) They didn't steal your money. As proven by the pre-auth coming off in a few days.

If someone picks your pocket on the street, steals $20 from your wallet then puts the wallet back, and mails you the $20...has a crime been committed? For those 2-3 days the mail takes, that money cannot be spent, and is gone just as if it had actually been debited.

2) That's not what they're saying, they're saying that because people in the past have acted like scum, they have a policy in place which for most people will result in lower prices while the actual scum will be paying for being scum. If they didn't do this, then every time someone jumped out on paying something, they'd have to recoup it from the people who do.
3) If they actually lie to you about it, you should sue, it's deceptive business practices.

Having a policy is one thing. Not disclosing that policy to a customer until it's too late for the customer to object and/or take their business elsewhere is sucky. Treating honest people as thieves is suckier still, and may arguably be libel or slander.

If they want to raise their rates because they got stiffed, fine. Rates are disclosed up front. Adding a surprise, after-the-fact fee to the bill of everyone in the hotel who didn't rip them off, who stayed there when the deadbeat did? There's a word for that: Theft.

I'd like you to keep in mind that we have more than a few members in the hotel/hospitality industry, and you're coming dangerously close to some of the stories they tell where people go "I'd never do something like that, I deserve special treatment!"

Yes it sucks. But is it really special treatment to demand that you be treated innocent until proven guilty? I'd call it common decency to not be treated as the scum of the Earth until I actually prove to be said scum.

Do people steal? Sure. Do people dine & dash? Of course. Do people take a crap in the beds? Some do (brain bleach, please). Treating every person on Earth as if they were the worst of the worst does cover you in the event that you run into an SC. But how many of your customers really are SCs? 1%? 10%? If you treat 90% of your customers badly without cause, who is the sucky one?

thehippie777
10-08-2008, 08:35 AM
Okay not really meaning to sound rude or anything, but it is your job as a consumer to have extra cushion at all times when you travel (plastic would be advisable). You never know what kind of emergencies could come up.

Every single hotel I have ever stayed at have always authorized a little more then the overall room cost. Even hotels that accept cash payments often require the room be put on a credit card or debit card anyway. A hotel can not hold your hand along the way let alone be sure to mention things like that including all the other B.S. most of us are required to say to every guest.

Please, try working at a hotel first before you fly off your lid. It is often Coperate or the owners who require pre-authorizations. Please don't take it out on the little guy. Or please, be a responsbible consumer and keep emergency funds with you at all times. If you run out of money, that is your mistake not the hotels'. They are watching their own butts & that is all the pre-authorization is. Keep in mind that there are criminals out there that rent hotel rooms, and to prevent them from coming in such requirements are kept. Not only to keep the hotel safe, but guests as well.

Daisy
10-08-2008, 12:30 PM
A few years ago, my mom gave me a voucher for a local hotel. (It was one of those deals where you earn points when you stay and when you get enough, you get a voucher for a free night.) The idea was for me and my then-hubby to have a night out to ourselves. Well, all I had was a debit card and the hotel required some kind of card "on file" at check-in, do I used it. I knew we weren't going to have any incidentals, so I wasn't worried about it - until we went over to the mall to get my mom's Christmas gift. The hotel had pre-authorized not only a small amount for the incidentals, but the full price of the room as well, when they had the voucher in their hands. Total hold was almost $200 - which was pretty much every penny in my bank account.

I asked the front desk lady about it when we got back to the hotel, and she said,"Well EVERYONE knows you don't use a DEBIT card at a HOTEL!" Gee, thanks lady. Maybe you could've, I don't know, mentioned that?!?

The manager took pity on me (I wasn't yelling or anything, just weepy) and somehow released the authorization. Don't have a clue how he did it, but he did.

smileyeagle1021
10-08-2008, 03:50 PM
The manager took pity on me (I wasn't yelling or anything, just weepy) and somehow released the authorization. Don't have a clue how he did it, but he did.

actually depending on the software it's not that hard... at least with softhotel all I have to do to release any holds is post enough payment for the estimated remaining balance to show zero, if that hotel's system is the same all the manager had to do was change it to prepaid status and run the voucher through then instead of waiting until check out like is normally done.

And Difdi, I may point out, the hotel I work at says on the check in form that you sign that a hold may be placed on the card and most hotels I've staid at have had similar small print... if the hotel you staid at didn't then I'd say by all means, please contact the AG in their state, go in all guns blazing, they are scum, otherwise, and I hate to say it, but you are no better than the SCs we complain about not reading.

Evil Queen
10-08-2008, 04:50 PM
All the hotel's I've worked for (except the Mom and Pop hotel) has over authorized by 10-20%. But the authorizations release the same day you check out.

However, if you checked in on a Friday and checked out the next morning (Saturday), the authorizations will not drop until Monday because the banks are closed. That's just the way banks are. Sorry, but it is.

There's a reason Hotels do the things they do.

@Daisy: I'm sorry the hotel you stayed at authorized for the cost fo the stay rather then just incidentals. Since they had the voucher in their hands, they shouldn't have done that. Hopefully it hasn't turned you off of staying at all hotels. :)

SpyOne
10-13-2008, 12:26 AM
But, why do they freak out when the computer does pre-authorizations?
Just a guess: because the VISA card they gave you is their debit card?

As I understand it, "pre-autorization" is just a way of putting a "hold" on some of a person's credit. You haven't actually charged the card yet, so they don't owe interest on it yet or anything, but their credit limit is effectively reduced by that amount as you have "dibs" on that money.

But how does that work when it's a debit card?
If my booking a hotel room now for my vacation 3 months from now is going to freeze part of my bank account, I may have trouble making my rent this month. Just because I fully expect to have enough money to cover my room three months from now does not mean I have it now.
And if you take an extra 15% without telling me, I am likely to be very angry. I have a budget for this trip, and enough money in my account to cover my room, my rental car, my food, and the activities I plan on doing. Your undisclosed "security deposit" means I'm in town with a car and place to stay, but without enough money for food during my stay. If I had known ahead of time, I might have budgeted more money, or in the alternative realized I couldn't afford the trip.


I'm just saying: I can see how someone not familiar with how hotels traditionally work (pre-authorize, extra in case of damages, etc) could be caught completely off guard, and what to you looks like "business as usual" can look an awful lot like "theft".

Personal anacdote: the only time I have taken a hotel room and not paid cash, I actually used Priceline.com. I booked the room well in advance, and paid for it when I booked it to lock in the special rate. While I was required to present my debit card as ID when I checked in (to verify it was the same one that had paid for the room), my pre-payment was the only transaction the hotel posted to my card: no pre-authorization, no security deposit, no 15% extra. And this was an upscale hotel of business suites, not an EconoLodge. So not every hotel acts as yours does, and someone with experience staying in hotels might still be shocked at how things work there.

smileyeagle1021
10-13-2008, 12:56 AM
Just a guess: because the VISA card they gave you is their debit card?

-snip-
3 months from now
-snip-
extra 15%
-snip-

Priceline.com. I booked the room well in advance, and paid for it when I booked it to lock in the special rate. While I was required to present my debit card as ID when I checked in (to verify it was the same one that had paid for the room), my pre-payment was the only transaction the hotel posted to my card:

-snip.
first, most likely

second, almost no hotel will place a hold that far in advance... if a hold is placed it's done at check in

third, most hotels will give the option of blocking all incidentals in the room which will avoid the need for an extra 15% pre-auth, most of them though you have to ask for it specifically, it's not something they will ask you about (because of course they want you to use the incidentals that the hotel offers)

and fourth, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WE DO NOT BILL FOR PRICELINE, PRICELINE BILLS AND SENDS US THE MONEY THROUGH THEIR DIRECT BILL ACCOUNT :rant: :rant: :rant: :rant:

sorry, that wasn't aimed at you spyone... I've just been dealing with a lot of special people who want to argue with how priceline (and the other prepay sites work)

and actually with a prepaid it makes sense that nothing would be held to the card, because the computers do a pre-auth based on what the estimated remaining balance is... and if you've already paid for it, that would be zero, so zero plus any percentage will still be zero that they would pre-auth.

Bandit
10-13-2008, 01:53 AM
I've been caught in a situation like that on a rather whirlwind business trip - with a corporate credit card.

Basically, since I was renting cars, and hotel rooms in 4 different cities in 4 days, and had been on another week-long trip two weeks before (i.e. no bill had come through), by the time it came to check into the last hotel, all the pre-authorizations all came to a head at once.

I was not a happy panda dealing with both the Credit Card company and the Hotel at the same time. Ended up passing the gal from the CC call centre over to the clerk to get it sorted out.

And yes, I used "How can we make this work?" and "How can you help me?" instead of "FIX IT NOW!". Seems I can do the puppy-eyes over the phone when I'm real tired and have just been shoe-horned out of yet another airplane seat. :lol: Also helps that it was a corporate card.

Turns out the auth would have expired the next morning from the car rental place.

When I'm traveling for myself, I hate the pre-auth as I may want to make a side trip, but I always cover with the plastic and pay with the debit.

B

PS: When the bill for that month finally came it, it was for just a tick over $10k. And that's with staying at cheaper hotels! ;) (and a travel agent's mistake that had me both in Nashville and Las Vegas at the same time. :lol: )

thehippie777
10-14-2008, 06:11 AM
I have used my debit card all but once when booking/renting hotel rooms. I have never had any issues.

Oh & we only preauthorize for 3 reasons: 1)Guest asks us to prior to arrival 2)When a guest on plastic checks in 3)When a guest ends up being a NoShow

ThePhoneGoddess
10-14-2008, 12:30 PM
Banks do pre-authorizations for every single charge they get. If you look up your bank statement on line and you have pending charges, those are authorization holds. The bank is holding the money expecting the merchant to send them the paperwork for that charge. Once they get the paperwork, the charge is then put through and becomes permanent. If they don't get the paperwork within a few days, they drop the hold. It amazes me how few people understand that.

I deal with people freaking out about authorization holds all. night. long. Usually some variation of "You stole my money and didn't give me my minutes!" or "What do you mean you didn't approve the charge?! You took the money!"

If we denied a charge, we can get an authorization hold taken off by calling the bank and giving them the authorization code from the charge and telling them it did not go through. Otherwise it's usually 2-3 business days for it to come off by itself.

Jack Doe
10-15-2008, 05:00 AM
Maybe it's just me, but I will NOT do ANY business which puts a hold of any amount over the agreed upon amount. Pay at the pump? Hell no. Gonna charge me 105-120% at a hotel? You'll find a chargeback to fight. If you want, I will assist you in verifying funds available with my bank, but I'll be damned if you're going to hold anything beyond the contracted amount.

What got me like this was when I went to D.C. on a TDY about three years ago and stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. $71/night room, hold for an even $100 on my CC (government issued.) Pissed me off when I went out to get some dinner and the debit card I'd been carrying was declined. Went back, raised holy hell, and the manager released the hold (I had him immediately charge the appropriate amount.) Eight weeks later, I took three days leave before going back. Flew my (then) fiancee up and we spent two nights at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City (just outside DC.) They took my (personal) CC, ran it for a $1 "Does the card work" check, and checked me in. So...why did the bargain hotel put a hold of 40% on there, when the $419/night hotel just verified the card? It tells me that many 'bargain' hotels either have crap policies or do not trust their customers.

smileyeagle1021
10-15-2008, 05:05 AM
It tells me that many 'bargain' hotels do not trust their customers.

no we don't... when on a good day we'll have $200 in damages and my personal record was $800 to one room... yeah, forgive us for not being trusting :wave:

that said... it's not hard to avoid... just ask for the payment to be run in advance and have all incidentals done on a cash basis only (ie, you want to use it you come down to the desk to pay for it) and there will not be a hold places (at least at the chain I work at, if there is a zero balance on the account and incidentals are turned to cash only).

thehippie777
10-15-2008, 01:31 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I will NOT do ANY business which puts a hold of any amount over the agreed upon amount. Pay at the pump? Hell no. Gonna charge me 105-120% at a hotel? You'll find a chargeback to fight. If you want, I will assist you in verifying funds available with my bank, but I'll be damned if you're going to hold anything beyond the contracted amount.

What got me like this was when I went to D.C. on a TDY about three years ago and stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. $71/night room, hold for an even $100 on my CC (government issued.) Pissed me off when I went out to get some dinner and the debit card I'd been carrying was declined. Went back, raised holy hell, and the manager released the hold (I had him immediately charge the appropriate amount.) Eight weeks later, I took three days leave before going back. Flew my (then) fiancee up and we spent two nights at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City (just outside DC.) They took my (personal) CC, ran it for a $1 "Does the card work" check, and checked me in. So...why did the bargain hotel put a hold of 40% on there, when the $419/night hotel just verified the card? It tells me that many 'bargain' hotels either have crap policies or do not trust their customers.

Sorry, but you are indeed an SC.

JLRodgers
10-15-2008, 02:57 PM
One year I went to Los Angeles.... not a problem, had my debit card + one or two credit cards (can't remember how many). I had access to about $4,000, with an additional "overdraft" of $500 if needed. Considering my trip was going to cost only $400, I figured it was enough -- but I took $500 in cash just in case (sidenote: taking change in rolls for a tollroad "just in case" + flagged ticket for a one-way = "loads of fun" at the airport security table).

What happened?
--all accounts were locked due to potential fradulant activity
--accounts finally unlocked
--pre-authorizations overdrafted my accounts
--(home) finally got back the overdraft fee over the $500 loan

And all because of the pre-authorizations....
Car rental place authorized my card for 2x the total bill for my rental period. Then ran the pre-auth twice. Credit card was maxed and they charged me an overdraft fee (yet there wasn't anything removed, just a "hold").
Paid for the hotel, had to use my debit as the other card didn't work for "some reason" (found out the next day). Went to the mall to shop, got out my debit card..... didn't work. Apparently the Hotel accidently charged me 3x the total bill (got it cleared up that day though) -- and the bank locked my account for suspecious activity....
Got that cleared up -- all accounts unlocked! Yet all the pre-auths were still on (except for the like 125% hotel thing, whatever it was). Since my 0 balance (no charge other than pre-auth) on credit card was overdrafted, I had to make a payment over the phone.... so I did.... didn't go through until a few days later. Once I was, oh, on my way home all my accounts were unlocked and ready to go, but my checking account had only $100 in it! Got home -- and I owed $500 in a loan for overdraft protection!

A week later of calling and getting all the pre-authorizations cleared from my accounts, I finally had my money back. Fortunetely the bank and credit card company were "nice" enough to give me back the overdraft fees and such that happened from pre-authorizations.

Broomjockey
10-15-2008, 07:34 PM
Wow, never would have thought I'd need to close a thread on pre-authorization, of all things.