Customer Service Matters – My card’s been charged
My Card has been charged
This phrase is becoming more and more common, especially with the boom of online shopping. It’s funny how trusting we are when it comes to providing our credit card information over the internet. Not a second thought is given – less than 15 years ago this would be absurd.
When checking into a hotel, the mandatory “incidentals” hold charge is applied, a common practice for decades to ensure rooms aren’t trashed, raided mini bars are paid for and items in the room aren’t stolen – bath robes, coat hangers, light fittings and in the extreme case – grand pianos!
From the hotels perspective it’s risk management 101.
Prevention is better than than trying to fix something. The amount of times I had stood at a check in desk to hear a customer question “why the hell do you need to charge my card” tells me that not enough agents are preparing their customers. Tell them what to expect.
Fees can range from $80-$100 and are held as a temporary charge and should be released back onto the credit card after check-out. In most cases, they also do not affect the available balance on a card. Pax will say it doesn’t, but your bank will tell you the truth.
However there have been cases where the hotel has either held onto the charge for weeks, sometimes months after the traveller has checked out – if you’re checking into multiple hotels within a short amount of time, this extra amount can be seen to eat away from your spending money.
On occasion though, well, pax just forget the massage, the gin in the foyer or the extra service they approved. A little prompt of “forgive me for asking, but is there any chance you bought something else whilst you were there?” might be enough to jog a memory.
From my experience, it’s always worthwhile informing the traveler before their travels. This will ensure there aren’t any surprises and to also factor in this extra amount just in case the hotels are slow to refund the amount back onto their credit card.