6 Ways to Avoid Non-Fraudulent Chargebacks

These best practices are your best defense against guest-filed claims.

Dealing with chargebacks is possibly the biggest frustration that you, as a vacation home rental property manager, may face. Between possible fees and staff time spent trying to settle a claim, chargebacks can be the slow death of a vacation rental business.

Fraudulent chargeback claims are irritating enough, but non-fraudulent claims – filed when a guest is unhappy with the service and is attempting to be refunded – make you to take a good look at your business and may show you that you need to make some adjustments to your policies and procedures.

While there’s fraud and risk management technology to protect you from fraudulent chargebacks, what can you do to reduce the possibility of non-fraudulent chargebacks? To start, follow these best practices:

1. Disclose your cancellation policies at checkout

Provide a “click to accept” acknowledgement button, or require guests to sign a copy of the cancellation policy to safeguard that your policy was disclosed and acknowledged by your customer. Keep a date-and-time stamped record of this policy that you and your guests can access later.

2. Provide accurate property descriptions

Give potential renters accurate information so there are no surprises. Views, available parking, size of the space, neighborhood, and location are examples of pertinent details. Double check that you are presenting them honestly.

3. Maintain property essentials

Keep all the appliances and utilities mentioned in your listing in excellent working order. What seems like a minor inconvenience to you might be the last straw for your guest. Air conditioning units, WiFi connections, and heated pools are just a few small conveniences that can leave you open to a chargeback if they do not work to your guest’s satisfaction.  

4. Display policies clearly

Let guests know where they can find your rental policies and official terms and conditions. Send the rental agreement for them to sign, and have the guest initial all important clauses in the agreement like a cancellation policy reminder, or policies around pets or smoking.

5. Follow a check-in procedure

Have the guest sign a guestbook and visually check your guest’s ID and credit card used to pay for the stay to make sure the person that paid and the person checking in are the same. It’s also a good idea to include a copy of your policies at check-in for the guest to sign.

6. Address guest concerns quickly – before they escalate into a dispute

A small discount or another accommodation now may satisfy a guest and prevent a chargeback for the full amount later. Sometimes a little extra customer service can go a long way, and the faster a concern is addressed, the less likely the concern is to become a larger issue. If a refund is due, process it immediately. It costs you only a little time to issue a refund. If your guest gets impatient and initiates a chargeback, you could end up paying additional fees.

If you implement these best practices with your procedures, communicate your policies clearly, and are willing to go the extra mile for your guests, you can reduce the risk of chargebacks and gain their continued business.

This post was written by VacationRentPayment. VacationRentPayment™ – Powered by YapStone enables property managers to securely accept and manage guest payments seamlessly through their property management software. To learn more about chargebacks, visit VacationRentPayment’s Chargebacks Best Practices Guide.