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I want the customer to be able to digitally sign the Contract without having to sign and mail/fax it back which seems old school and I don't want to be in limbo for days waiting. I just want to make sure I set it up so it's legally binding of course so is the "check box" alone legally binding or is there an option for a digital signature? Thanks!

6 Responses:

John Amato, October 22, 2014:

Hi Steve - let me ask: what are you doing now for contracts?

The legal-validity issue is very complicated and will vary from state to state (not just yours, but the guests as well). Here's a blog entry I did on it several months ago: Vacation Rental Contracts

As always, we are all-ears on ideas for this, so please post 'em if you've got 'em...
Steve Sasman, October 22, 2014:

Hi John, I've been using Google Forms for years. It has them read the contract, fill the form, and digitally sign, hit submit and that's it. I get a notice, and they are booked. This is legally binding as digital signatures are legit at least in the USA. I just didn't know if a check box alone did the trick. I would also like the ability to have them check a box or two acknowledging some key points to avoid them skipping over the contract without reading at least the most important items. I can post my contract link if you like... Thx!!
John Amato, October 23, 2014:

So it sounds like the only difference is the actual, pixelated signature, is that right? Have you gone through the process of signing one of these? How does it work? Do you use your mouse? Finger on your phone? Or is it like Docusign where you pick a font that looks like your signature?

We sure want to keep something like this in-house, as integration always seems to lead to trouble. Also, since Bookerville's contracts are all pre-filled, we don't want to lose that ability.
Steve Sasman, October 29, 2014:

I don't think it's even a legal requirement to have a hand written signature. It just looks cooler. Typing your name is just as legal. To me, I would rather keep it simple if it's not a legal requirement.

I think a VERY key point would be the ability to have the guest initial or check a box for specific clauses. This ensures they don't skim over the contract.

Especially in the Guest Centric mode, where they can book the dates themselves, this function helps SCREEN the guests....which is vital to ensure they are not over max occupancy, don't have pets or whatever else is important.
John Amato, November 2, 2014:

We could implement some kind of tag that you could place in specific places in your contract, and these tags would result in a check box along with some custom text to the right of it. I'm pretty sure that could be done rather easily.

But what is the expected behavior of these check boxes? Is it enough to simply require all of them to be checked, just like the overall check box at the end? Or does specific data (timestamp? what else?) need to be collected with every check box?
Steve Sasman, November 3, 2014:

Just that they are checked or initialed is good enough for me. Only goal is to assure they aren't skipping over entire contact without reading the details that could make them choose something else that would be a better fit.

___ I understand there is a Maximum of 8 guests

___ I understand I will lose my $500 deposit if....

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