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Cancellation periods

We are a tiny guest house cancellation policy WAS 24hrs now changed to 7 days, we have and just had a cancellation 2 days before, I wondered what most people stipulate and do worry about it effecting business

65 Replies

3
Mike

Can you get prepayment ? I can't get prepayment on Booking.Com but on Airbnb our payments are guaranteed - our cancellation policy is free cancellation unless it is within 5 days of booked date - it there are extenuating circumstances I return all or part of the payment, but to date cancellations have been few and far between and our cancellation policy has had no adverse effects.

8 months ago
3
Rhjbyron

Sure Mike most of our trade is through b.com so paid once a month I’m just considering longer than 7 days, I would refund in honest circumstances

8 months ago
3
Mike

I advise you to try Airbnb also I have found it to be really great, been on the ABB platform now for almost 3.5 years, problems virtually nil. Sudden cancellations and no shows woth B.C. are rife!

8 months ago
3
Rhjbyron

Air bb represents around 10/15% of our guests we’re very rural don’t know why we don’t have more we’re still quite new I need to get a website and more exposure I wouldn’t want to depend on trade now for income now

8 months ago
3
Mike

We are also in a bit of a hard to get to location so I do free pick up and drop offs between certain times - I charge for late night pick ups. For people with cars of course the location is no problem but you have to make a lot more effort for guests with no cars. Good luck.

8 months ago
3
Rhjbyron

Interesting idea Mike 95% have cars but perhaps it might help thanks

8 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hey Rhjbyron ,

Just thought I would point something out, not sure if you are aware of it or not. But if you change your policy today (to 7 days) then it is only applicable on bookings made from today. Past bookings will not fall under the new policy as they were booked under the old policy.

Just something to keep in mind :-)

8 months ago
3
Rhjbyron

Hi yes I know there isn’t too much pending some for next summer I wondered what most people have the period set at

8 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hey again,

Ah my guests have 4 hours to cancel after they confirm a booking. After that I ask 100% cancellation fee. When I first opened on Booking.com I have much more flexibile peroids and grew to a nice rating and lots of reviews, then I cut it down.

8 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

For us all rate plan are full pre-payment with non refundable, no amendment, and non-transferable. WE don;t have problem with decrease production. Each year our production continue to growth.

7 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

My rates are all full-prepayment so it reduces cancellations. Fewer reservations but secure...

7 months ago
1
Bayview Motel

Our cancellation terms require notice of cancellation to be received more repeat MORE than 7 days before the date of arrival.On 7 days before arrival we debit the guests credit card as you will then be within the no refund cancellation period.Debiting early brings to light the dud credit cards and allows you time to contact the guest for new card details.We have not had any objections to debiting 7 days before. Remember in terms of Contract Law payment is due and payable at the time of making the reservation.It is up to the motellier if he/she wants to wait to collect later.AA Travel take payment at the time of the reservation being made.Agents offering virtual card payments ,take payment from the guest at the time of reserving.

7 months ago
1
Cordoba 11

Hi everyone! I have a question because is my first time in Booking, I am from Argentina, I published my property and I opened the calendary but when I simulate a search on web, my accommodation is unavailable. What the reason is? Can you help me? Thanks!

6 months ago
3
Mike

Hello, Of course you have listings "switched on" right? I had similar problem before and it was because listings weren't switched on, also if there are many other listings in your area your listing may not be showing up as it is new. Hope you solve the problem.

6 months ago
7
Katerinka12
  • "For us all rate plan are full pre-payment with non refundable, no amendment, and non-transferable. WE don;t have problem with decrease production. Each year our production continue to growth."

    Sounds as a dream to us. Even no amendment? How did you do that?

    I have tried Strict policy and got zero bookings. This was done as an experiment only and proves that guests do actually take cancellation policy seriously (at least something that they do read!).

    If I am the guest, I will not book non refundable and especially no amendment rate (by the way, does amendment means no adding guests also?), unless:

    1) hotel is trusted, known hotel chain (will gladly pay to Shangri-la!)

    2) last minute, cheap and therefore non refundable

    3) no other choice. One hotel only in the jungles :)

    There are some things, that make sense when we say that travelers plans change. Its not just mood swings, but flights do actually get canceled and delayed. And what really irritates me the most, that strict policies are just money making machine for some hotels, so as much as I can I would like to save myself from such places.

6 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

We use same concept with Air fare, if guest looking for lowest rate then booking policy is will be very strong.

For our amendment policy, we are not allow guest to change travel date, adjust any booking details after they confirm booking, name cannot be change, no. of pax cannot add. This is our advertise policy but ofcourse in some case we are allow guest to do depend on what their situation/reason. Or sometime we do have small amount of penalty charge.

6 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

Katerinka12 Have your try to have two rate plan, one for flexible policy and other for non refundable policy with 10%-20% lower rate.

6 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I also have two rates. One for a non refundable in low season and a flexible one in high seasons. I am experimenting but I think non refundable works....

Cheers....

6 months ago
7
Katerinka12

It's a very good idea, how come I didn't think about it. At least they will understand (if ever), why do they get lower price.

How about number of guests? Do you charge 2 people and 4 people the same rate?

And what do you do, if more people will try to check in? I had a guest, who brought his wife and 2 kids and mother and father in law, when his booking says clearly - 3 persons. We allowed him and his wife to stay, but parents had to go somewhere else (hotel next door). They were very rude to my staff and complained about everything on Earth being not satisfied with country, which means that they are not satisfied with themselves.

I already knew these people would leave bad review. My staff allowed them to check and they sincerely thought that they can just be nice to the guests and they will come down. I received multiple messages on Booking demanding to return the money while they were enjoying the time inside my unit. Bombing me with messages stopped at 11 pm, when they went to sleep.

After they check out at 12 noon, the bad review followed saying that they had 2 bookings and "even Booking can't find it" and "you better find the way to return the money". So, if people read it they will be scared for their money thinking that we are scammers. Though if I am the one to read such review, it will sound to me impossible that Booking can't find their booking, when presenting a reservation is actually guest's responsibility.

Did you ever deny an entry? And on what grounds? How Booking handles such situations?

6 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Just to clarify, they were demanding to provide them second unit (apartment) for free... For their parents

6 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Very awkard situation... My Studio can accommodate up to 4 guests. I charge the same. If guests bring more people its not possible to accommodate them, I have no other space available. One guest requested an extra bed for his mother when he made the reservation so I accepted by charging 10 Euros per night.

I have never denied an entry even when guests came with 7 dogs. I try to manage situation as better as I can.

Am a newbie so I dont have many experiences....

6 months ago
1
Muller0810alex

How can I set a notification period on booking.com? We need at least 3 days notification from guests for there arrival date. Can payment be arranged as with Airbnb?

6 months ago
1
Info

need to waive cancellation fee ? how can i

6 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Muller0810alex and welcome to the forum. In your Calendar monthly view scroll down and when you find Minimum advance reservations there you can add how many days in advance you want.
Hope I’ve been of help...

6 months ago
1
Amandadianaallen

I have found that if you contact your guests with a welcom / thank you for booking message and start to build a relationship with them it greatly reduces cancellations. It also makes them feel special and important. I have had very few cancellations, the two I have had have been due to illness and a cancelled plane. Hope that helps

6 months ago
3
Richardloram

HI - yes I always send out a welcome and thank you message - however I found found that the more assistance and info I give to guests the more likely they are to cancel - this is how it feels. I am a small B'n'B outfit in Liverpool UK and have huge numbers of cancelations - mainly due to people not taking time to read details of the house and the fact the two bathrooms are shared. I do see this as a serious pain on the arse - as you have to unbook etc - however not sure if this is a price worth paying as the rooms are booked up agin within a few weeks. At first it really upset me but now bit more relaxed about it

6 months ago
2
Glennroy111

My wife and I own and Manage 5 CONDOS (yes CONDOS not apartments…that’s what we call them in the USA) in the Panhandle of FL, USA. We do about 250 turn-overs per year. I list all these properties with HA, Airbnb, Flip Key and only two properties with BDC. 70% of my business is through HA. The cancellation rate with BDC is near 90% and near 10 % with the other listing providers. I require a $ 300 deposit on booking and the balance due 60 days prior to check-in. Full refund if outside the 60 day window. My concerns are:

BDC, unlike the other companies, tries to minimize the payment requirements when renters view the listings. They “hide” this under “fine print”. So at time of booking, when the renter gets a message from me that their Credit Card did not get approved for the $ 300 down payment, they are surprised and do not realize that a deposit is required for booking. That’s why the cancellation is soo high.

For one property, BDC lets me “see” the credit card information when I receive the booking request. However, on the other property, BDC blocks out the credit card data until two weeks prior to check-in. I can’t live with that short a time to validate the renter’s intent or financial status to pay, especially during the peak summer time. I complained to BDC and they say that’s the way the system works!! They say I need to wait for it to correct itself. UGH!! So I’ve virtually de-listed with them on this property. Does anyone else experience this problem?

6 months ago
1
Ellie

Glennroy111 - I fully agree with you. My bookers book for fun! When they're asked for a deposit, they just ignore me. They just don't understand why they have to pay a deposit! Mainly it is due to B.com saying that no credit card is necessary to book, instead of saying 50% deposit is due with booking. It drives me insane. B.com have stopped replying to my complaints, but they are valid. 90% of bookings at my property are cancelled due to non-payment of deposit.

6 months ago
2
Kenata

we take a one night deposit on reservation and have a 14 day cancellation period. You may not be aware but Booking.com actually contacts guests and reminds them when they can cancel and get their deposit back! This does not help us!

We do get some cancellations just on the 14 days (I suspect because of this reminder) but at least it is not only one or two days and we have some chance of recovering and getting a new guest.

Taking a deposit also shows that people at least have some intention of coming and it is not so easy for them to book many places and then cancel. One person even told us he always books four places for the same dates and decides at the last minute which ones to cancel. What a waste of everyones time and likely lost revenue as other guests will have been turned away. Sadly Booking.com advertising encourages this behaviour.

Agree Airbnb is better about this as people pay the whole thing up front and people rarely cancel BUT it is difficult to get airbnb bookings unless we bring the price right down so neither site is perfect.

6 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Well said Kenata I agree with you. Even my daughter has told me that she aslo books some places for the same time before she decides which one is better. Unfortunatelly booking.com advertising encourages this behaviour.

Take care...

6 months ago
3
Rhjbyron

Utterly ridiculous unsettling behaviour, perhaps bookings need to take back control, to quote brexiteers

6 months ago
3
Richardloram

My proposal to Booking.com - if this forum is read by them - I would have thought it was as it is the best free info they can get on their buisiness practice - is...... If every booking was charged a booking fee instantly then there would not be the 'booking for fun' - previously described. If this was a nominal fee of say £/$ 5 it would probably iradicate these cancelations massively - and if it didn't then us hosts could be compensated for the time we have to spend putting them in and out of our systems. Booking .com could even take a £/$ or 2 - and give us the rest. I appreciate this would ruin their not needing a credit card claim to book - but I think everyone uses one in the end to book - don't they and the claim is surely a bit useless in this light.

I would also question Booking.com about why more than half my cancellations are made by their 'genius' guests - surely this lack of care when booking(which I think alot of it boils down to) should make them consider slightly less 'genius' - or maybe their 'genius' status is based on how many rooms they book - in which case no wonder so many cancel !

6 months ago
2
Glennroy111

BDC is SOO much Hotel oriented. Surely not set up for the CONDO market in the USA. Hundred of thousands of Condos looking for alternatives to Home Away and Airbnb. We need a deposit ( $ 300) on booking request to lock-in the reservation and balance normally due a month or more prior to check-in (I require 60 days). My favorite choice is I have control of their credit card and can validate and charge the deposit on booking request. MANY times, the credit card fails to clear the payment. It seems to me, Booking.YEA!!! is really a HOTEL search engine. I wish them luck, but they are really missing out a real opportunity to capture some of this USA massive business.

6 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Booking is so much hotel oriented, but they allow condos and other type of private properties to join. It might take time... But does Booking need to be identical twin of Airbnb?

While Airbnb is trying to grow into hotel ala more professional mode, Booking is "lowering" themselves into condos.

Thanks to both of them people realized the importance of Any kind of property.

Glennroy111, what do you mean you require 60 days?

6 months ago
3
Rhjbyron

True, we all have our own unique places :) Katerinka , just had a real blow of cancellation on a new property, hits you hard, especially when people don’t even bother to say why or respond to ‘cancellation ‘ template reply, which I normally personalise.

6 months ago
2
Glennroy111

Are you kidding K1-2. This ain't no Motel 6 which you are normally stay in. These are condos over $ 1 million each. You should rent one of them....but you probably don't have the money. All I'm saying is, if BDC wants to expand to other markets, they need to consider what the market demands. All the condo owners usually require longer periods of paying up-front. I book June - Aug months in advance.

6 months ago
3
Richardloram

HI - I am just trying to understand the booking system here - Glenroy111 you seem to be pretty clued up - so do Booking.com take the deposit ahead of time off guests and do you get that in advance? Or do you not get anything till they pay you a month after the booking has passed - or there abouts ? Kind Regards everyone for responses

6 months ago
3
Mike

We get most of our bookings through AIRBNB - their system for smaller places, especially places that don't/can't accept credit cards works really well. We also try to get a few bookings through Booking.com - 50% of reservations with B.C. are either cancelled or NoShows, I did ask B.C. if they have any alternative payment methods for us other than cash on arrival and their answer was:

"Kindly note that currently the payment method where Booking.com is taking care of the money is not available in Japan"

So depending on where you are alternative methods are available. (Not for me yet unfortunately)

6 months ago
2
Julaweg

We do not run 1 mil $ properties but any cancellation heart us. I made restriction so if people do not serious they will not make reservation. We have 2 seasons that we can make some money and I do not like stay empty at the time when I can rent any place I have.

Before we trust people and even they did not pay we still kept room for them. Not any more. We making living and working hard for that. I discover that people respect us more for requesting down payment and being strict.

6 months ago
2
Julaweg

Booking is rely bad. Pay us next month after guests check OUT not IN. We have 2 seasons Summer and Winter. When people staying from Dec.. and check out at the beginning of January we have to wait till February to see money. Very often we have to take loans to pay service, electricity, insurance and taxes. Taxes have to be reported up front months before we see anything.

If not AirBnB, who pays next day after guests check in, we would not survive.

Most of guests from Airbnb much nicer then one coming from Booking.

6 months ago
2
Glennroy111

Hi Rich, It seems from what I'm seeing over time, a lot of folks have different arrangements and rules that they work under/with BDC. In fact, the two of my properties are governing by different rules with them. The first property allows me to "see" the credit card info of the renter when they book with me. I can then try and collect the initial $ 300 down payment though the CC processing company I'm using (EDGE...used to be PayPros). And then collect the balance 60 days prior to check-in. I have control and I like it that way. BTW that's the only listing company that allows me to view the renter's CC info

The second property won't let me "see" the renter's CC info until 2 weeks prior to check-in. I can't accept that. When I ask BDC why the rules are different the say "for security reasons" I can't see the CC for the 2nd property. They say it's automatic and will correct itself over time....but they don't know when.

I collect the money from the renters and pay BDC 15% of rental $'s at the end of each month. They pay me nothing.

Seems like there are lots of ways BDC works with the owners/managers. Perhaps based on where the property is located. HA and AirBnb seem to be much more consistent and have a WAY LESS cancellation situation due to lack of funds from the renter when they request to book.

6 months ago
7
pibomarco

Being "greedy" and having 0 cancelations doesn't go hand in hand with BDC.
Since we started working with BDC 10 years ago, last year we changed our policies drasticly.
- no pets
- no children to 12yr
- reduced max occupancy per unit
- strict cancelation policy
- payment: Payments by BDC

Best decision for us so far. Less work, less problems, less cancelations, 0 no shows, perhaps little less bookings but only during low seasons.

6 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

pibomarco I think your decision in making your policies very strict after 10 years will save you from many struggles and make you happy. I wish I could follow you but I just started hosting and my Studio is not in a popular location hidden in the woods. When guests finally discover my Studio I will think about being more strict.
Thanks for sharing your ideas.

6 months ago
7
Katerinka12

pibomarco, sounds like a perfect solution.

But as much as I want to implement the same rules, strict cancelation policy will bring 0 clients to me (de facto). That's because of my "property near airport" location. No one wants to deal with strict cancelation policy, because of flight delays and changes of plans during trip which is normal. In addition to that my competitors do allow anything they could allow and they don't care about the property much and especially about the clients. Anyway they just come and go. And these things are not seen on Booking page...

6 months ago
1
P Jarrett

We have just two rooms here at www.themill-longmelford.com

We have a 14 day cancellation policy, so if a room is cancelled 14 days or less than arrival there is no refund.

We asked booking.com to allow us capture cc details (CCV codes - as Glennroy says above) from the guest when they book and save them via our channel manager, and then, we simply charge the guest's card 14 days before they arrive and the money is in the bank!

Booking.com were reluctant at first to let us capture the codes, but they will do this if you insist, and its puts the hotelier in control.

Simple. If they try to cancel after we have charged the card, we have the money. They can cancel anytime they want before we charge the card. We never have a problem.

Easy!

6 months ago
7
pibomarco

M Adampoulou and Katerinka. I totally understand. Ofcourse it all depends from the location, guest target, uniqnuess, competitors ect.. One policy can not be suitable for all host. In the beginning I also thought this won't be good for my business setting my policies so strict, but so far glad I've tried it. I even receive more direct bookings because of that. For me it works.

P Jarret but is CCV code necessary to make a charge? With my machine I can skip the CCV code and still be able to charge the card.

Was doing similar practice, but I also encountered in few cases, when the guest made a claim to their MASTERCARD or VISA and told them that they didn't authorized the transaction. The company then made a refund to the guest without the question, and you can't do nothing about it.

6 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

pibomarco thanks for sharing your experiences. I think you might be right about receiving more bookings with strict policies. Potential guests prefer to see strict policies. They seem more professional and trustworthy.

Have a good day...

6 months ago