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1
Max

Booking.com Rules Protection of Partners

Recently we had an uneasy situation with booking.com review page. Our guest claimed that he lost his wallet in our Hotel. The guest called us three days after his check out. We have checked the place where he supposedly left his wallet but we did not find it there. We promptly informed the guest that his wallet is not in the hotel. The guest became angry and he wrote a bad review of our hotel. Even more, in review, the guest claimed that the owner of the Hotel, mentioning me by name, refused to return the wallet to the guest. I complained to booking.com team about this review explaining that the guest in his review has connected myself with a crime. The booking.com team refused to change review and to delete my name and position in the hotel from it. I called manager in booking.com and she explained to me that rule clearly states that the review is allowed to mention my name if it does not mention the surname of the person supposedly connected with the crime. My complaint was that wording "owner of the Hotel" is the same as the last name for the person. Additionally, I explained that by Hotel Rule we are not responsible for lost items. Especially we are not responsible for items lost 3 days after check out of the guest. The booking.com manager explained to me that I have the right to write an answer to the guest. But this answer would not change the statement that I owner of the hotel refused to return the wallet to the guest. Because of this review, we have received some cancelations in the last five days and my friends and partners started to ask me questions about the wallet. At the and I have got a call from the guest claiming that he has found his wallet. He contacted booking.com and requested deletion of his review of my Hotel. Just then Booking.com team deleted this awfull review from booking.com page. My problem is that in this situation that guests are able to write any personal attack on a hotel or stuff of Hotel just if they do not mention the surname of the person. Booking.com review page publicized accusations of the Hotels without a check of the facts connected with accusation. In our case, the guest's review connected the hotel and me with the crime of stealing the wallet. My opinion is that booking.com team should contact their partners in case of such horrible accusation and they should watch for personal attacks in a review not just by name and surname but by position in a hotel as well.

3 Replies

5
Isle of Wight …

You are not the first person to mention the unfairness of Booking.com reviews policies, or their unfair treatment of property owners generally.

The more I read, the more I think that there could be a legal case against Booking.com ....

 

 

2 months ago
7
fluff

As the publisher of such a review it might leave BDC open to libel. Even with a clause on the lines of "all reviews are the opinion of the guest and not that of BDC", they have still printed/published it and refused to remove it in the full knowledge that it has been contested.

Could make an interesting court case. Even in the odd case where the review is removed, on the hosts request, by BDC the score remains which is completely out of order. In these cases you are better leaving the review in place so that you can give a calm, factual response. In the OP's case this would have been very damning of the guest.

Vila Boska Palic

Did the guest replace his review with a full retraction? I bet not!

2 months ago
1
Max

Fluff the things get really weird with this review. The guest deleted his review and requested a new review form but booking.com refused to send it to him. He called me when he found the wallet and felt really bad for improper review. His brother was at the same time at our Hotel. And they both have had a good time. His brother gave us a perfect review rate and then the guest found out that he is missing his wallet. The guest even had a huge problem with booking.com team to delete his own review. He sends them three e-mails requesting a new review form. Review stayed on booking.com review page 48 hours after the guest requested to replace or delete the review. I could understand somehow the guest, he desperately tried to find his wallet with a lot of money. He even carefully used the wording in the review. He did not write steal but he wrote that I  "owner of the hotel has refused to return the wallet that the guest clearly left in the hotel room". It would be the same if he wrote: "John the owner of the hotel was looking suspiciously to my three years old daughter". So I could write the answer "I did not look in a bad way to his daughter. But what would booking.com customers think about my hotel and me? As I said I was writing twice to booking.com requesting to delete the review or at least black out my name and position in the hotel. But booking.com team refused to do it because the review is not against booking.com Review Rules. And Review Rules are: 

Comments are removed only if they go against our policies, namely: •       Contain profanity, sexually explicit or violent content, hate speech, discrimination, or threats •       Mention full names (first + last name), or include personal attacks relating to named personnel  •       Promote illegal activities (e.g. drugs, prostitution)  •       Contain content that is exclusively about a competitor and/or Booking.com, with no relation to travel •       Mention websites by name, include emails and/or addresses, phone numbers, credit card details •       Contain politically sensitive content 

So it is OK for everyone to call you criminal as long as the full name is mentioned. So the John the owner of the Hotel is not personal information and booking .com refused to black it for 7 days. I called booking.com team twice but they refused to delete my information connected with the awful crime. The second time I requested to talk with booking.com manager and she told me that in her opinion the review department should blackout my personal information but she is not in that department.  She advised me to reply to the review. After this call, my personal information stayed on the website connected with the crime. I could not understand why we are not protected as partners by booking.com. My review rating is great and I do not worry about it. I am concerned with booking.com review rules. The guests could throw a shadow on my name and the name of my Hotel without any proof, we could be blamed for stealing, beating, attacking, and any other misconduct. If I have not called booking.com they would not even check the facts mentioned in the review. Even more, they refused to protect my name and the name of the hotel when I called. At the and I have lost a big part of income this week because of this review. I lost my good name in the local community and I have lost a couple of contracts with tourist companies. And it happened to us after 5 years of partnership with booking.com. Thank you booking.com team for all.

2 months ago