Linda and Ron,
I know EXACTLY what you’re going through!
I manage a hotel and about 95% of our guests pay with credit/debit
cards. On occasion, we get a “Retrieval Request” which means the
cardholder has disputed the charge for X reasons.
For a disputed stay where the guest DID actually stay in the hotel -
Once we receive the RR, we make copies of ALL documentation…the
reservation (unless they were a walk-in), the signed registration
folio, the signed final bill, and the actual credit card slip. THEN,
we type up a letter of explanation. All this is faxed to the
bank/processor. We prevail almost 100% of the time because we can
PROVE they stayed with us and agreed to the charges.
For a disputed “guaranteed no show” reservation received via our
franchise or the internet - Basically the same procedure, except
there is only the hard-copy reservation, unsigned final bill, and
unsigned credit card slip. As you might imagine, most disputes over a
Guaranteed No Show result in a chargeback.
I agree with you 100% about how they find for the cardholder most of
the time. I was actually told by an “upper management” employee of
one of the major credit card processors we’ve used in the past (and
there have been at least 8 - 10 in the 13 years I’ve been at this
hotel) that they almost always find in the favor of the cardholder
and it was up to us, the merchant, to “negotiate payment” directly
with the cardholder (which is, of course, the most ridiculous thing
I’ve ever heard!).
Basically, “SELLER BEWARE” is pretty much dead on. Even if you, as
the merchant, follow ALL the rules, if the cardholder says “I
cancelled that reservation” or “someone else must have used my
Now, did YOUR customer order this item online and input the delivery
address during checkout? Just about every website I order from has
"bill to" and “ship to” fields. If so, you “may” have a chance. If
not, sadly, your chances of winning are slim to none.