Policy: Guest Policy – Guest Forward Credit

Company Position: 

Property Providers™  vision is to “Help People Live Better” through being Sydney’s most flexible residential rental company. This vision is driven by 3 core values: Passion, Performance and Partnership. This policy has been created based on our belief in our guiding principle, that all great long-term partnerships have a solid foundation of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment, and mutual risk. 

Document Purpose: 

The purpose of this document is to clearly communicate the company’s policy as it relates to the company determining the distribution of and providing guest forward booking credits and how they can be redeemed.

Background: 

At Property Providers we take our customer experience seriously and want to always deliver good service. We have built a strong customer-centric business over the last 10 years servicing over 10,000 guests and achieving an average customer satisfaction score of 93% over this time. Given the nature of our business; it is inevitable that complexities can sometimes occur. Occasionally circumstances may arise where a guest may be offered financial compensation or reward from the business in the form of a forward credit to spend with the company in the future. The intention is to make the guest experience the best it can be within our circle of control and to have a mutual understanding between all parties.

Policy Objectives:

  • To be clear, concise and consistent regarding all facets of guest credits. 
  • To proactively avoid confusion and potential conflict in relation to guest credit notes.  
  • To be upfront regarding credit redemption mechanics. 
  • To enable both parties to understand and honour the terms of guest credit notes.  

Agency Policy:

There are a number of different ways by which a forward credit can be awarded to a guest.  

  • A forward credit can be offered by the business to a customer as a form of gratitude, recognition or as an unsolicited reward/prize.  
  • A forward credit can be offered by the business to a customer as a form of compensation depending on relevant circumstances. (I.e., due to a major complexity during the stay).  
  • A forward credit may be requested by the Customer as part of compensation negotiation to be reviewed by the business. See details below.  
  • Under Extenuating circumstances where a booking may be cancelled, and Property Providers agree to a guest’s request for a refund in the form of a forward credit.  (I.e. COVID, operating outside of normal cancellation terms).  

Forward credits can have variable values determined/dependant on the circumstances in which they are being given. Operational mechanics for the distribution, redemption and fulfilment of credit notes are outlined below:   

Operational Mechanics:

Issuing Credit Notes & Validity:

  • Credit notes are distributed to the guest/customer by email from a senior member of agency staff after an internal review.  Front line team members who may be handling a request for a credit will escalate to Sr management for review. All credit notes are valid for 12 months from the date of email receipt.  
  • Importantly, the booking confirmation/commitment is required to occur in this time frame, however, the stay itself can be after the 12-month period validity of the credit note but within 24 months of the credit note being distributed. 
  • Credit notes are issued and redeemed in $AUD.   
  • Credit notes are unable to be redeemable for cash value.  
  • Recipients of credit notes should retain their own record(s) of the credit note provided 
  • Credit notes are only valid towards one future booking, no balance will be carried forward if the Credit exceeds the booking tariff value 

Redemption (Booking a property using a credit note): 

  • When making a booking with the intention to use a credit note, the customer should present the credit note at the beginning of the sales process to their Booking Agent. 
  • Guests wishing to redeem a credit note must book directly with Property Providers.  Credits cannot be redeemed when booking via a third-party channel (I.e. such as VRBO or Airbnb.) 
  • Guests should book under the same name, email address and phone number as any previous bookings they have made with Property Providers.  
  • The credit note value will be applied against the tariff of the booking and not against any additional fees & charges (i.e., booking fee, credit card charges etc.).  
  • All payment balances due for a booking outside of the value of the credit are to be paid prior to the credit note being applied to the booking. All other applicable payments and balances must be paid as per our payment Terms & Conditions.   
  • Booking rates vary depending on the time of year, length of stay, number of guests etc.  Customers will be quoted for their stay at the time of enquiry and a credit note applied against the final booking value. *Quotes are subject to change, see our T&Cs for more information 
  • All security deposits (incl. pet) must be secured on a valid credit card. 
  • Credit notes are unable to be used to pay the security deposit. 
  • If the credit note value exceeds the booking tariff value, any remaining balance will be forfeited by the Customer.  
  • Bookings are confirmed upon payment and receipt of a booking confirmation email.  
  • For any amendments or changes to bookings where a credit note has been used, normal policies and Terms & Conditions apply.  
  • Redemption of credit notes is only able to occur once. Unfortunately, if a customer books with a credit note and then cancels that booking, the value of the credit note is forfeited. All other standard cancellation terms apply for other funds paid.  

Extension of Credit Notes: 

  • Extension to credit notes may be considered under extenuating circumstances with Senior Management’s discretion.  
  • Requests to extend a credit need to come in the form of written communication from the guest and are required to be requested at least 90 days before the expiry of the original credit note. 
  • The agency does reserve the right to decline requests for extensions upon their discretion, however, Property Providers will do its best to consider all requests with valid and reasonable reasons for extension.  

Transfer of Credits:

  • Credit notes can be transferred to another person if the terms of the credit note provide this as an option.  
  • Transfers are unable to be split between multiple parties.  
  • If a guest wishes to transfer a credit note we ask they submit a request to do so with the agency. This request should come from the original credit note recipient’s email address.   
  • Any transfers should be completed within 60 days prior to arrival.  
  • The transfer request should include the transferee’s contact details (email, address & phone number) and the transferee should be cc’d into the communication.  The agency will be required to validate this transfer by contacting the original guest by telephone.  Contact will only be made via the original information provided to the agency. 
  • The property owner/agency reserve the right to decline this transfer should it contradict other agency policies, procedures and processes.   
  • Use Case/Working Example: 
    • Judy stayed with Property Providers and received a credit note of $2000 to use for her next stay. However, she is not returning to Sydney within the next 2 years and would like to transfer her credit note to her sister who lives domestically.  
    • Judy must write to Property Providers via email requesting the transfer and cc Mary on the email. Judy must provide Mary’s email address, residential address and phone number. Judy must highlight that she would like to assign the credit note to Mary and approves her sister to use it.  
    • Property Providers calls Judy to confirm the request for transfer and the details for the transferee provided.  
    • Once approved, Mary is able to use the credit note against a booking. The original distribution date of the credit note still applies, so she must book within 12 months of the original credit note date ( I.e. when it was given to Judy). 

Requesting a Forward Credit as a Form of Compensation: 

  • Should a guest request a credit note as a form of compensation for varying circumstances, they must submit their reasonable compensation/credit request to Property Providers in writing via written proposal. 
  • The request will be managed internally through our case system. Senior Management will review the request and respond to it accordingly within 7 working days.   
  • When a credit is warranted, agreed upon and approved it will be communicated in writing to the primary guest by a senior member of staff.  
  • Once a credit note is provided the redemption, transfer and extension mechanics outlined in this policy apply.  
  • We always want to do the best for our customers and owners, however, should an agreement on the issuing of, or value of a credit note not be to the customer’s satisfaction they are within their rights to escalate using platforms such as NCAT.  

Rationale:

Property Providers™ positioning is to be “Sydney’s Most Flexible Residential Rental Agency.”  In this regard, we want to have a clear and concise framework around how forward credits are distributed to a customer and the mechanics around their redemption. A credit note is solely gifted at senior management’s discretion. Property Providers will not tolerate abuse or aggression towards staff in relation to compensation requests or credit note distribution/redemption.  

Switching between management models is more complex than it may initially seem. We are happy to provide our owners with this option as part of our flexible Property Providers feel it is important to have controls in place around the use of credit notes as it can directly affect the relationship with the customer, the business and the owner of the property.

Summary:

Property Providers™ positioning is to be, “Sydney’s Most Flexible Residential Rental Agency”.  We are happy to provide credit notes when it is appropriate to do so but do with a clear understanding of the mechanics listed above.   

We believe that the above policy has been developed with the spirit of partnership in mind and is grounded by our guiding principle of mutual respect, mutual reward, mutual investment and mutual risk. 

Effective Date:  This policy is effective June 1st 2022

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