At Crafty’s, we are very fortunate to work directly with MOST of our guests…through our website, social media, text, phone and email.
However, from time to time, we’ll meet some new folks through the big listing sites, like AirBnb, HomeAway, Verbo, etc.
That makes us sad to see them pay those ridiculous “service fees” and we’re limited on how and when we can contact them.
Anyway…when the whole Covid shutdown slammed into the world, vacation rentals were deemed “non-essential”. BAM!
i reached out to all of our upcoming guests to see how they wanted to handle their reservations. They could reschedule, let it ride or cancel with a full refund…easy-cheesey….well, except for the couple of bookings that came through the listing sites…not so easy.
Most guests chose to cancel until things cleared up. I notified the listing sites to issue a full refund….but a few weeks later, I started getting messages that the guests had not received their money yet.
Ya’ see…when a guest books on a listing site and makes payments…the property owner (me) does not receive any money…not until after the reservation is complete.The listing site holds the money….not me, not the guest.
So, when these sites were flooded with Covid related refund requests…they were overwhelmed..and their refund processing ground to a halt. Guests waited weeks for their money…at a time when people were being furloughed and laid off, this was hurtful to so many people.
Meanwhile, at Crafty’s…I was able to process refunds immediately…only taking a couple of days to clear the credit card processors.
I learned this hard lesson after Hurricane Harvey…and so i set all of guest’s deposit money aside in separate account…just for this type of situation…after all it’s not MY money until I’ve earned it.
At a time when we’re all re-discovering the value of small business, I hope that you’ll spread the word about booking direct and support us Independent Owner Operators.
Here some more info if you’re interested:
– Crafty –