Not honoured by Booking.com - Risk-free Reservation policy

 We received notification on 21 September via the Extranet that

"if a guest cancels, we'll look for a new guest for the same dates. IF WE CAN'T FIND A REPLACEMENT, YOUR ROOM WILL STAY EMPTY AND WE WE'LL PAY FOR THE RESERVATION".

This has happened twice since receiving this new policy and twice we have been denied the remedy to the cancellation promised.

We were advised by Customer Service that this was actually just a TRIAL and not implemented except for a chosen 500 cancellations world wide per day.

I find this a blatant disrespect for the accommodation provider and FALSE advertising to us.

 We can no longer believe or trust what is promoted to us by BOOKING>COM  as a new tool as they say to "HELP US MAKE MORE MONEY".


Has any one else had this experience?


Caroline Crabtree

I had an experience of this - a cancellation, then another booking dropped in, only for them to instantly cancel - this happened 3 or 4 times (new booking/instant cancellation) then another booking that did "stick". The guests were very unhappy with what they got, complained in 2 A4 pages to me, adding that they felt "duped". I wondered if they had been re-routed (as it were) from a very different property. I ended up giving a large refund - so not a good experience.


I was offered this and didn't accept as didn't fully understand how Booking.com could pay out risk free without them loosing money. Also have my suspicions on rerouting customers from their chosen B&B especially if that B&B isn't full. :(


We received the "Risk Free Reservations" message from Booking.com on Nov 20, 2017. In December, we had 5 paying guests, 6 cancellations, and 1 no-show. I wonder what Booking.com invoice for December will show? Have sent two messages to customer service to get details of this program, but have not received any response. In practice, if we get a reservation from booking.com, I do not block our Airbnb listing. Unfortunately. the reservation dates are blocked on booking.com site, so no one can book those rooms on those dates.


Same problem and after one hell of a lot of communication back and forward to try and find an actual policy this is the latest response on 26th June 2018.

Dear Partner,

Thanks for getting in touch with us.

Please allow me to share the following:

The Risk Free Reservation only covers some reservations, at times. You will see whether a reservation is a part of this, after it has been cancelled by guest. It will clearly state that this reservation (from that point forward) is a part of the Risk Free Reservations and that we will find another guest for you for that date.

*They cannot tell you what reservations is part of it, so basically a con !*

I have refused to pay any invoice that has a no show / or cancellation on, if the amounts exceed the total invoice price, and invited booking.com to take me to court, would love to shout this to the world


Any cases where the "risk free reservations" features has been auto-activated by Booking.com without even a message in the extranet?


This happened to me as well, I'm writing back and forth to them and they refuse to pay, they are the most dishonest established I have ever seen. stick with airbnb and you do well get paid on time and they handle damages made guests.


Holylandapartments you are so right, I urge everyone to stick with airbnb, I've stopped taking booking with booking.com and my occupancy rate has not dropped, airbnb keeps me at 91 to 98% full. I am still refusing to pay commission to booking.com for the months in took for them to explain their policy and why I did not qualify for risk free reservations, and of course they can't explain, I have invited them to take me to court for the outstanding amounts, but they do not respond. Here is the best although I don't take booking on their website my properties are still displayed, so I have changed the description and now includes ' book on airbnb it's cheaper' and it was approved and is now displayed !


I started this thread and what I have come to learn is that booking.com is really designed to look after the hotel chains and not the smaller apartment blocks, owners, or small establishments. They started looking "over the fence" at what airbnb were accomplishing and opened their doors to us without taking into account that we are different and take a personal interest in these kinds of incorrect messages - the big hotel chains probably never read what they get sent.

Their commissions are exorbitant and they fail to see us in a different way


Recently these risk free bookings have been added to our extranet! As yet I have had nothing but hassles.

On Wednesday I noticed that on my management site that I had a risk free booking (only by chance) showing in window was that I was to charge,new card details. On noticing that there was no new card details, I went to booking.com extranet. Only to find that on the same booking b.com we’re no longer liable for this. Telephoned b.com to be told that they had emailed my Chanel manager for me to open the room 4 days prior ( Chanel manager received no such email). So it’s hard luck more or less.I’m out of pocket even tho the person was still showing on my diary and I had no way of knowing to re- open room.

Then once again on Friday( last night) noticed again as above new card details to be charged, again there are none to charge. But YES all is ok card details on booking.com extranet, which while on the telephone to b.com I try to charge( this is before guest arrival as suspicious)

DECLINED... b.com agent also try’s again DECLINED.

Then I ask “what happen now?” I’m told I can phone the guest. Me- can you not do this? Agent - I have but there is no answer. Me - do you think that they are likely to answer me? NO

So I ask what I should do now if they don’t turn up today? I told to mark as no-show and they won’t charge me commission! FANTASTIC... no money again!

I confused as to how Fridays booking seemed to cancel itself without the email to my Chanel manager? Replacement found still to be out of pocket.

i didn’t ask to be added to risk free booking in the beginning


Sorry to add 2 weeks prior to all this I had noticed a risk free booking the first time I had come across this. So me being telephoned just to find out what this was. Told be told by that b.com agent not to worry it’s WINNER WINNER!

Please guys be aware of this

Alice's Palace…

In Australia, there are laws that protect consumers (if host is not operating as an ASIC registered business/is operating as an owner/investment property). There is also protection for small businesses from harmful 'big business practices'.

If you have issues that are causing you loss and constitutes misleading and deceptive conduct..., contact the [state] Small Business Commission or equivalent (if you are operating under an ABN). If you are operating as an owner/investment property (non ABN), contact the ACCC and/or the [state] Office of Fair Trading or equivalent ;-). There is also VCAT (in Victoria), which can be accessed after going through the Office of Fair Trading. Not sure about other states.

Also speak with shock-jock journos that love a David and Goliath battle if BDC isn't listening, but do exhaust attempts to sort out issues with BDC first-up.

Mar Suite Apar…

It is definitely false advertised and I am unable to understand why Booking.com at least cannot check if the hidden credit card is valid or not before provided to us when the risk free policy expires in the last date before guest arrival date.

The guests can cancel anytime and when we do not have the right information, it is impossible to earn the booking money for the room in anyway.

Sadly, missed opportunity at here for the small businesses that depend on every possible income.


Helen Kopnina

booking.com now allows risk free cancellations on bookings with strict reservation policy, so the guest can cancel an time and hosts does not get paid and lose other potential guests as reservation is closed until cancellation is processed. The guest pays booking.com commission, host gets nothing. See for example reservation ***

I would like to request that my strict reservation policy is re-instated and that I am compensated for cancelled reservations.