B.

Weekly Coronavirus Update: March 16, 2020

EDIT: Since this post was published we have added more resources to help you during this time. You can find them here

Dear partners, 

To begin, on behalf of the Partner Community team here we want to thank you for continuing to support one another during this time. Since launching the Community we have been continuously amazed with the time you have taken to support each other and this situation has been no exception. 

This is a big topic, and community support is essential - so we are adding a #Coronavirus tag to help you easily find all relevant information from fellow partners. We are also constantly monitoring the community to update our help article with the questions we are receiving from you here. 

You can see the article here: https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/legal-security/important-information-regarding-coronavirus

As always, this article is available in 30 languages; should English not be your preferred language, you can click on the language dropdown at the top right of the page.

On behalf of the Community Team, thank you again for continuing to support one another during this time. 

Sergei and the Community Team 


1
Insta Properties

Hey Guys,

verifying this invoices Booking.com has sent please let me know if this has happened to any of you.

1st - when BOOKING.COM started the Free Risk Reservation for guests (they Specified that if the guest cancel they will try their best to find someone else if they do not managed to find someone they will pay the full amount) guess what (they send the invoices without checking that some cancellations were done with the RISK FREE RESERVATION CLAUSE they placed in, and i couldn't even take the payment for those reservations) ARE YOU TRYING TO CHARGE ME FOR SOMETHING I DID NOT GET PAID? we will have a great conversation later on.

 

2nd - please stop cancelling reservations for free on MAY 2020. maybe we could offer something else, maybe there will be someone in the tourism industry who will create CLAUSES OR WAYS so we do not go Bankrupt. IS BOOKING.COM DOING ANYTHING TO HELP US?

 

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH BOOKING.COM- I AM NOT PAYING THE REFUNDS YOU DO IN MY BEHALF (WITHOUT CONSULTING ME FIRST) DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS NEW FORCE CLAUSE YOU MADE UP - I HAVE A BUSINESS I ALSO HAVE A FAMILY AND TRUST ME WE ARE LOOSING MONEY BY OFFERING GUESTS DIFFERENT DATES.

3rd - who do i need to contact to claim my money back?

4- we will see eachother at court i am tired of your position only looking after guests, you are not doing anything to help us, we are here to get some support not just fo you to read our comments and get ideas from here on how to destroy us evenmore... (if i have to give money back i will pay 1 pound each month as i will be so screw for the rest of my life thanks to you BOOKING.COM.

 

This following message is for Barry: if they decided to FORCED in the information you have just placed an hour ago - then if they cancel my properties for not having enough money to pay them THANKS TO BOOKING.COM  (then i will have to make an effort to get £1- £10 every month until I pay them the money they are returning to guests without my AUTHORISATION). I WILL HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER PLATFORM TO PROMOTE MY PROPERTIES. 

 

11
BrookAve

 

 

Hi Insta Properties

 

On 2nd point, indeed that should not be happening any more. THey put in a new thing where you should get an email with 4 options and 4 links for you as partners to choose the outcome.

 

But I have noticed its not happening for all of us and not for all cancellation requests coming in. 

I had sent feedback on this directly via the message option. No reply as of yet.

 

On 3rd point,  if you have the references on the invoice simply message  via booking.com messages in extranet. will likely take time for the fiasco to be sorted.

 

On last point, indeed its a not ok at all from our perspective.

I have seen previous to this other topics on here were partners discovered extranet account suspend or closed , via an email notification or did not even see that. And the comments indicated it was due to outstanding deficit balances.

 

Kind Regards, Be Safe, Be Well

2
Jem

Totally agree. Can't pay what we don't have when we don't even owe it anyway 

5
Craigmoniecottage

Hi all

If you have not alrady got the latest notification from B. Com here it is "TALK ABOUT CLOSING THE STABLE DOOR AFTER THE HORSE HAS BOLTED"

Big Notice is that this only applies to bookings after 6th April.  We still have the problems prior to that and lets face it more relevant than from 6 April onwards as the bookings will be few and far between and as the world opens up the lead time for bookings will be SHORT. B.Com does not have a leg to stand on from what I see and indeed as you suggest Insta Properties  time for us all to look at other Platforms for promoting properties - NOTHING LASTS FOREVER AND NOW IS A GOOD TIME FOR US ALL TO TAKE TIME TO LOOK FOR NEW PLATFORMS - I.E. LOBBYING EACH COUNTRIES OWN TOURISIM ASSOCIATIONS TO JOIN FORCES AND CREATE SUCH A PLATFORM (GLOBALLY) NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE DURING THE TIMES WE LIVE IN Nothing is beyond the realms of possibility and would'nt you like to see commissions being retained in your own countries for the good of the economy rather than to a few Fat Cats investing in  the Venture Capital Industry. Toachieve this we have to be committed to move forward with such an exercise by challenging tourist authorities etc.

 

 

5
Craigmoniecottage

Hi All sorry forgot to post the B.Com latest notification

Dear partner,

 

 

Last week, we promised to share more detail about our ongoing work to support you, our partners, in these incredibly challenging times.

 

 

Today we are announcing changes regarding our Force Majeure policy on guest cancellations that are due to government travel restrictions triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

 

What’s new

 

 

By now, we can expect that our mutual customers are aware of the risk of further COVID-19 spread, and as such the risk they are taking when making new reservations, particularly Non-Refundable and Partially Refundable bookings.

 

 

Therefore for all new reservations made as of 6 April 2020, we will no longer apply Force Majeure conditions for guests seeking to cancel or modify their booking due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. These reservations will be treated like any standard booking, according to our policies and procedures.

 

 

What this means

 

 

For reservations made on or after 6 April 2020:

 

 

1. The COVID-19 Force Majeure procedures that we implemented in view of government travel restrictions do not apply.

 

 

2. Our standard procedures apply, including relating to Non-Refundable and Partially Refundable reservations. As such, you will be in control of whether, when and how to refund COVID-19-related guest cancellations for reservations made on or after 6 April 2020, based on the policy chosen by your guest, your individual, legal and governmental situation and mandatory consumer law.

 

 

3. We will introduce extensive new messaging across our website and app, both pre- and post-booking, to make customers even more aware of the risk they are taking in booking Non-Refundable or Partially Refundable reservations on or after 6 April 2020.

 

 

4. As the COVID-19 situation evolves constantly, we reserve the right to reinstate our contractual Force Majeure policy. If we do, we will communicate this to you and the change will only apply to reservations made after such communication.

 

 

5. You remain responsible for making sure your availability on our platform is up-to-date, including when government restrictions mean your property must be closed. Should a guest book a room that is in fact not available, the guest must be given a full refund unless they agree to a different solution.

 

 

For active reservations made before 6 April 2020, regardless of future check-in date:

 

 

1. There is no change. Our Force Majeure procedures, implemented in view of government travel restrictions and based on our contract, still apply. For more information about these procedures, please visit our Partner Hub.

 

 

2. We anticipate that more governments around the world will implement binding regulations that restrict the movement of people. Our Force Majeure procedures will apply as normal to any reservations made before 6 April 2020 for any future check-in date where government travel restrictions make it impossible, illegal or prevent guests from travelling to or staying at the accommodation they have booked. We will continue to update our Partner Hub with the most up-to-date information about our Force Majeure procedures, including where they are in place around the world.

 

 

More updates

 

 

Beyond the updates outlined above, we continue to work on new ways to support you, our partners.

 

 

  • In these uncertain times, customers are looking for flexibility. For the time being, we will therefore be making it as easy as possible for customers to find flexible options. To help your property benefit, we recommend putting flexible policies in place. To support this, we are building new functionality that will enable you to easily switch policies to fully flexible.

 

 

  • We are working on a campaign to incentivise customers to rebook properties they cancelled due to COVID-19, once they are able to travel again (Non-Refundable and Partially Refundable bookings only.)

 

 

  • Very soon, we will share details of new tooling that enables you to change the dates of many reservations yourself, when requested by the customer. You will no longer need to call our Customer Service teams.

 

 

  • We continue to work on our plan to stimulate travellers to start booking once this crisis is behind us and it becomes safe to travel again.

 

 

  • We continue to work on our Recovery Preparation Toolkit, which we will publish to help you get back to business and back to growth as soon as possible, once countries begin to show signs of recovery.

 

 

Stay informed

 

 

For the most up-to-date news and information, please check our Partner Hub.

 

 

We hope that the updates outlined above reassure you that our teams continue to work around the clock to support you in these challenging times. We promise our support will continue once this crisis is behind us and it becomes safe for the world to travel again. Because we remain in this together - as partners.

 

 

Yours in partnership, Booking.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3
Apple Property Group

nice to see booking.com canceling and refunding when clients refuse to pay the balance. instead of losing the deposits for bookings the end of may they are giving them back deposits and sending invoices 

 

aaa

3
Harlingford Hotel

How do we as a group who disagree with b.com actions collectively find a way to co-ordinate a resistance?

5
Craigmoniecottage

Hi Harlingford Hotel - By everyone on this forum contacting others in their areas to get together and dispute  these draconian, questionable practices being forced upon us(in the past peoples/companies independance has been destroyed because of these). We are all experiencing the reality of COVID-19 and it very much looks like B.Com is taking full advantage of this to inflict massive missery and hardship on us all.  They are relaxing their draconian practices in one hand but telling us on the other that they maintain the right to enforce them whenever they choosewhilst in the meantime ensuring that they will not be responsible for their stuipidity in the first place by saying everyone would get refunds from non-refundable bookings.  It is up to us guys if we are passionate enough about this to get more support starting with our own neighbourhoods.  Talk to each other - we are doing that here so talk to the guys next door or around the corner by e-mail, twitter, call them.

5
Craigmoniecottage

Hi Apple Property Group - I hope you challenge the legality of that.  

As you can see the latest notification from B. Com has altered their take from 6th April Onwards (who is going to be booking then and any that are will be very short lead time as and when movement  starts up again) otherwise they will in fact be responsible for the refunds and they don't want that.  Again in the notification they actively say they will cherry pick as and when they make changes.  This is totally not a professional manner in which to conduct business and I don't think that any ethical business / industry throughout the world would be allowed to.  

There is very bad feeling amongst us on this forum and also those that are outside it but still affiliated to B.Com.  The feeling is such that we have had enough and should be looking at other platforms etc. and indeed Associations in UK such as Hoteliers Association, B & B Assoc., FSB, CMA are all getting behind the accommodation providers and indeed are lobbying MP's/parliament so not knowing where you are located but I am sure there will be similar associations and others in the same situation and you should reach out to them to get their support and move forward. 

Someone has also suggested maybe time to look for other platforms and perhaps it is.  We might think that the possibilities of that are slim but you know nothing lasts forever and now we all have some time on our hands we should turn our thoughts towards that again trying to involve tourist associations across the world to see how they can all come together to provide a bigger platform - got to start somewhere but in the short terms we need more support from the accommodation providers so if you are in an area where there are more of you bring this forum to their attention.

  

 

6
David

The most outrageous thing also is that BDC are allowing people to leave rooms on their site for people to book where travel restrictions remain in place.

5
Craigmoniecottage

David - so right but they have not and because a lot of these travel restrictions vary from country to country they are leaving them open so that when lockdowns are lifted reservations can be made irrespective of what restrictions might remain in place in different countries.  I am going month to month with my countrys guidelines on lockdown however, that as we know can change but of course the responsible thing that B.Com and the other OTA's should have done was to suspend guests being able to book as soon as the crisis struck but they didn't/haven't.    

6
David

My ***** neighbour has rooms bookable on BDC from tonight right through the year. As I understand we should not be taking any bookings until after 13th April and that's only if the lockdown is lifted. as it stands guest can book her rooms for tonight.

6
David

So, I just receive a cancellation that requires a refund I call BDC and tell them I will make the refund but there will be a small charge £3 to cover my bank charges firstly for charging the card 1 month ago and secondly for refunding the card.I was told by a ROBOT that I can not do that and I must make a full refund.So we are now being dictated to that we don't just give refunds but we must pay our banks also to do this.I politely asked Madame robot if she goes to work without being paid a salary for which she could not answer.Anyone being forced to make refunds I suggest letting BDC refund the guest then let them invoice you that way you do not pay bank charges.

1
Insta Properties

hey guys,

it looks Booking.com do not know the process for the clauses they placed in force. 

I have mentioned the invoices they sent to me without consulting the ones that were RISK-FREE CANCELATION (for which I did not get any payment at all and Booking is the one who has to pay for the amount I have lost). I have disputed the invoices that were with RFC and guess what they approved it but they have only deducted their Commission but they do not mention the outstanding amount that I need to get paid BY Booking.com for the CANCELLATIONS made with the RFC clause they had in place.

I have tried to call them several times but the call does not go through.

is there another way to get in touch with them? anyone who can help me here...

5
Craigmoniecottage

Hi All here is a wee update that may be of interest - A post from another page on this platform from our friend at the Harlingford Hotel (made yesterday) This post has also now been forward to all the UK associations/government bodies/relative trade media etc.

Hope it helps

To our friends, hotel owners and managers, there just might be a glimmer that the *** at Booking.com are starting to listen.

Of course, a cancellation came up whereby Booking.com ordered us to refund the customer and, after I replied that it was a contractual reservation – prepaid, non-transferable and non-refundable – as their website T&C’s, they told me it was in OUR contract with Booking.com T&C’s paragraph 2.10 Force Majeure Event.

I was not having this, so I pointed out in return that:

There is no statutory, or common law definition of force majeure or a force majeure event in British Common Law.

Also, according to OED and Chambers Dictionaries the definition of FM is…superior power (Covid19) an unforeseeable or uncontrollable course of events, excusing one from fulfilling a contract.

Which meant in effect that as Booking.com was making our contract with the customer null and void then, by the same logic and LEGAL principle, the Booking.com contract quoted as giving them the power to make refunds on our behalf without permission was, effectively, null and void also.

Finally, we got a positive response from Lisa O and Sergei admitting this was indeed the case and they would contact the customer to inform them that a change of dates was the only option.

They admitted they can’t have it both ways, if the contract with the customer is null and void because Booking.com has issued a state of FM, then, the contract with Booking.com is also null and void.

Any payment made by Booking.com to a customer without our permission, is a liability ONLY for Booking.com. We are not legally obligated to then refund Booking.com.

 

 

2
Jem

Thanks. This seems like a good approach. I just used your message and I seem possibly to be making progress. I think. 

3
Apple Property Group

The funny situation is I emailed something similar to 7 cancellations we had this week when they forced a refund, however, I had 5 different responses.

It seems that there is not a single policy just make it up as you go along.

After all, these treating us with contempt forcing payments with invoices I'm also getting people wanting to cancel in August etc free and the customer services are asking why I'm so strict and cannot be flexible. 

The answer I gave them was not polite, however, if they want to treat me the way they do then I will recipitate the flexibility with them also.

 

We need to stick together and make sure we pay our commission but not the cancellation invoices. We will lower our prices on other OTD's.

 

Good luck 

5
Craigmoniecottage

Hi I got a notification from them today saying I had overcharged a guest (had not) and told to refund withing 3 days. Wrote back to C.services and told them I had not was non refundable - B.Com cancelled without first consulting me and finnished by saying they were responsible and not me and sent them a copy of above.  I think whenever they contact us with these refund demands we refuse and send a copy of the above.  The above has been sent around a great many bodies (for large organisations and small businesses, Politicians, government bodies) all of which are discussing the policies of B.Com and the impact they are having on the tourisim industry which as we know is a major p itart of the economy in the UK (as well as many other countries).  An economy like many on is knees. A part of the economy that will impact a great deal more in the coming weeks/months if they allow the practices of the OTA's as they stand now so we do need to stick together and talk to your neighbours along the road, round the corner  etc. Invite them onto this site to leave their feedback.

All the best