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Let's talk cancellations

Hi everyone,

But we’d love to hear how you deal with cancellations. We’re sure you’ll have some tips and tricks that other community members will find useful!

We’re going to post three cancellation scenarios here, and suggest some actions you could take to minimise the impact. 

Scenario 1: A guest didn’t show up and you can’t charge for the booking

Suggestions:

  • Verify your guests’ credit card details when you initially receive bookings, and consider pre-authorising a small amount or requesting a prepayment in advance.

  • Review your bookwindow for these cancellations. If a lot of these bookings are made far ahead, consider offering early bookers a non-refundable rate to increase your occupancy and secure revenue.

  • If your property’s eligible, you could sign up for Risk-Free Reservations. That way you can offer more flexible rates and guarantee revenue even if guests cancel.

Scenario 2: You get a last-minute cancellation

Suggestions:

  • If time allows, adjust your availability and try to resell the room/unit.

  • If your property’s eligible, sign up for Risk-Free Reservations. That way you can offer more flexible rates and guarantee revenue even if guests cancel.

  • Review your restrictions (and relax them if necessary) to make sure you’re visible to as many potential guests as possible.

  • Make it easier for last-minute mobile bookers to make a reservation.

Scenario 3: You have a higher cancellation rate than similar properties in your area

Suggestions:

  • Try to offer a mix of rates and policies that appeal to all kinds of guests: from non-refundable rates for early bookers, to flexible cancellation for those booking in medium to long book windows.

  • Make sure your availability, rates and restrictions are maximising your visibility to guests for all book windows, long and short.

  • Offer guests multiple payment options to increase your chances of getting their booking and securing revenue.

  • Verify guests’ credit card details when you initially receive bookings, and consider pre-authorising a small amount or requesting a prepayment in advance.

  • Check your 'Cancellation characteristics' report regularly to track the impact of specific actions you’ve taken to reduce cancellations.

Let us know what helped reduce cancellations for your property in the comments below!

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56 Replies

2
Bakeyrabina

Hello, 

This is Rabina from Shine Homestay. sometimes, I have problem of no show and several times cancellation. 

In my payment method i did payment on arrival may be this reason. how to change my payment method?

 If i want to charge for no show how to do? Does booking charge me if i do not waive for cancellation. 

 

+2
26 days ago
4
Isle of Wight …

It is far better to prevent cancellations in the first place.

We use Payments by Booking.com and set all dates to Non-Refundable. We are fully booked and don't normally have cancellations.

 

 

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26 days ago
2
Bakeyrabina

I think non refundable is better idea to avoid cancellation does they do payment in advance or on arrival , mine is on arrival

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26 days ago
1
Rumpai Loft Habitat

question:  How can you be sure to get paid(non refundable) when you charge the customer on arrival?

 

24 days ago
1
Isabel du Plooy

How to enter directions to my property, I have tried for over 2 hours now. HELP HELP

+1
25 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Ilaria and thanks for such helpful information.

I have 100% cancellations but not at last minute, mostly a month before. I have tried everything but cancellations are still popping up....disappointing me every time.

Booking com facilitates my payments and I am very satisfied. Is it possible that I request  a prepayment in advance???

Thank you for sharing and carrying...

 

 

25 days ago
2
Ienh

If you are new on booking, you can not accept payments in advance. you can only get that if you have met certain conditions. But when i asked the lady from booking what they were, she did not know which criteria you had to fulfill...

10 days ago
6
michael beeston

Hi "M"...I have said so many times in the past.Cancellations are a PAIN !!!!..we used to in the early days get quite a few cancels BUT then changed our Pricing Policy to the following:-

 

1.30% DEPOSIT on the initial booking (we have our own Credit card machine so very easy)

2. A Cancellation policy of 14 days before the booking otherwise the guest is charged 100% of the accommodation.....A few times we have had a cancellation of 13 days ..I charge them 100%

It might sound tough but it certainly stops MOST of the cancellations. Of course we get a few (death in the family/flight delays and stuff like that but generally NO CANCELS !!!!)

Hope that helps...............off to Melbourne on Sunday to see the Grandchildren..YIPPIE !!!

 

+2
25 days ago
2
Bakeyrabina

Hello

I think I should also apply it. But I am getting problem of no show by last week.

In this case does we get payment

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24 days ago
6
michael beeston

Yes.............IF you have a deposit (and credit card details) and a cancellation policy of how many days ???.7/14/21..what you think is reasonable.  Michael.

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24 days ago
2
Bakeyrabina

Thanks for suggestions.

But how do I know that I get the payment of booking cancelled because in my listing property the payment is in arrival. Ok booking.com charge the amount from the card but when I get this amount. 

Whether it deduct in my commission?

Thanks for suggestion

24 days ago
1
Rumpai Loft Habitat

There was a case when it was no show and I did write to Booking.com staff asking how I could get a compensation from it and this is how I got answered.

"The customer did not have any credit card linked to the customer account so there was nothing Booking.com can do"

Has any one have any cases like this?

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24 days ago
2
Bakeyrabina

Hi,

Oh really, so scaring, I don't have any idea on this. 

23 days ago
2
Ienh

Yep, many times... they can book because you can only get cash money... so they don't have to fill in their creditcard number... You can wave you money goodbye...

10 days ago
6
michael beeston

Guys....Thats the first problem..............Get paid by credit card BEFORE they arrive !!!  charge 30% deposit and then you have the credit card number..............How do you normally get the money ????

If you dont have a credit card number there is nothing Booking.com can do..in your policy you MUST ask for the credit card details.....it saves so so so much hassle !!!

 

Hope that helps.................

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24 days ago
1
Rumpai Loft Habitat

We have changed our policy about the cancellation.

Thank you for your advice.

24 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

Michael, I collect cash, check, transfer (only domestic).  I have not credit card agreement. 50% muy bookings are international.... so I cannot get paid before arrival. I just rent my vacation house.

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23 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

Booking *must* do something.... they are quite a bug number of people to think.  A simple man makes a proposal: - Use, and let us know, gust statistics about cancellation and no-show.  - ABOVE some threshold, do not make booking request pending on hosts approval.  A way to MOTIVATE guests not to play games booking gallore at no cost no penalties.

23 days ago
1
Rumpai Loft Habitat

"You don’t have permission to view the credit card details"

This is a message that we received from Booking.com page. How do I view a credit card detail ?

+2
24 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

me too. Moreover, the analytics pages show quite wrong data (0 no shows, wrong;  0 cancellations within 30 days to check-in, wrong)

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23 days ago
6
michael beeston

??????.not sure on that one....Contact Booking.com to get the right answer..we never get this message ????

24 days ago
2
Ienh

You get these messages when you are new on booking...

10 days ago
2
Baronray69

I have had 11 cancellations for this season for 4 day bookings, mostly from Russia, but also from Saudi, Morocco, and 2 no shows also from Russia. There appears to be a pattern. Are these people just obtaining an accommodation address so that they can tick a box on a visa application. I know that this happens in some countries as the son of a friend does this. He then cancels prior to the date. Is there some way that Booking could vet these people? all they do is prevent others from booking and so lose us income?

 

Ray

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24 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Michael so nice to hear from you. 

I remember your reservation policy but I don’t accept credit cards, payments only through BDC and I don’t know if a deposit is possible, that’s my question. I think I will give a call to My BDC local office to find out. 

Some of my cancellations are also from Russia...

Michael I am having my granddaughter this weekend staying with us until Sept for her summer holidays.

23 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Sorry didn’t finish my comment...

YIPPEE!!! kids are fun and have great time... can’t wait... Wish we wore closer!!!

 

Wish you and Rita grate fun!!!!

23 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hello guys!!!

 I just called my local BDC office and informed me that since BDC facilities my payments I cannot add to my policies a deposit prepayment...

So I guess I should just cross my fingers and hope I have no more cancellations.

Cheers!!!

23 days ago
4
Isle of Wight …

When I set the pricing in the calendar, there is a checkbox for Non-Refundable - do you have that?

22 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

I think booking must inform STATISTICS about guests' cancellations and no shows. This is FACT data - 0% subjective, not coming from anyone's opinion

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23 days ago
6
michael beeston

Hi "M"..thats a bumber..I was not aware of that as we have our own credit machine so can do virtually what we want.....a funny one ..this morning I charged a customer $500 for accomodation  BUT it was for August (my mistake) so I rang him to apologise..he saw the funny side of the story and said dont worry its done..just leave it so I have the money 2 months in advance hahaha.

Enjoy your grandaughter..yes its lovely as you know we have 5 grandchildren and its sometimes hectic but wonderful. Off to Melbourne (home of the biggest Greek community in Australia) on Sunday for 4 days............Magic But its a bit cold only 4 degrees in the morning max 13    cooooooooooooooooooool !!

"M" I have to say I find the NEW Community Partner a bit boring /sterile and not as "easy" as our old one and it lacks the warmth of all of us talking and chatting.What do you and everyone else think , especially Katerinka !!.....I hardly see the old faces anymore...................anyway will have a Champagne or 2/oops I mean 3 when I am on the plane   hahaha Take care Michael.

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23 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

Booking should USE guests statistics on cancells and no-shows.  It cannot be a festival of irrational bookinb. BELOW some healthy mark, bookings can be automatic (as of today): a prize for good behaviour

ABOVE that mark, booking request will stay pending on hosts approval. Ideal world: we shloud confugre the threshold at which we want to be asked for approval. A way to MOTIVATE guests not to play games booking gallore at no cost no penalties.

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23 days ago
6
michael beeston

Antonio.They do this on your booking page..have a look at Market Analyse.All stats are there for pricing/cancels/amount of bookings/everything..its quite good.

 

Maybe booking.com should send out a small video or message explaining to EVERYONE how  it works and how to get information ????..good idea.

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23 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

My bad, for sure I am not being clear, I'm sorry. 1) I  tried to mean *specific guest statistics¨, not statistics of my property.  I want to CHOSE guests based on thier cancellation and no-show record 2) Booking.com can do something as well: "if THIS guest has more than, say 20%, cancell/booking, ASK the host whether one want to accept or not the booking.  Same for no-show. 3) Booking.com can USE each guest statistics to help us, it's fear.  THey could let us know it as data, it's not subjective.  This is far different from "Analytics" contents 4) Not least... analytics data is wrong. Mh... very wrong.  It shows 0 (zero) in no-shows and 0 in "cancellations within 30 days of check-in"  It's not 0 neither of them:not trustable I appreciate this chat, thank you,.

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23 days ago
6
michael beeston

Antonio.....UNDERSTAND and yes !! if a guest continually cancels or no show,anywhere in the World......Let Booking.com  TELL US so we can make the decision wether we accept the booking or not. !!!

 

It could save a lot of headache !! and hassle.

+3
23 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Michael!!!

Yesterday I had abooking for 7 days and today they cancelled.....

Antonio you have a point if a guest cancels more than a certain of times there has to be a penaofor them...perhaps no more bubbles...

At this moment I am eating Greek souvlaki with my granddaughter...yiiami...

Yes sometimes she is hectic but I love her...I enther company and feel blessed....

Ive have been working for 40 years and didn’t enjoy my kids as much as I would so now I have my second chance...

+2
22 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Michael I agree with you about our new Partner Community...

Katerinka12 has shared with us a great post. She has done very impressive photo shooting and has shared incredible information.

Unfortunately it’s high season for us meaning we have relatives and friends visiting us so my time for the Community is limited.

 It’s up to us to make this Community the bestseller we all want...we can do it...

Have fun in Melbourne...

 

22 days ago
2
Baronray69

This morning I received the latest cancellation of another 4 night booking. That is a total of 12 this season. It is about time that Booking considered its partners. They should remember that without us they would have no business.

 

+2
22 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

I Totally agree.   Booking does not (1) inform about cancellation/no-show records of each guest (2) allow us to DECIDE whether to accept or not a guest booking request based on thht records Exapmlo: if gues thas more than X cancells/no-shows during las ¿year, 2 years? RESERVATIONS MUST NOT BE AUTOMATIC

+3
16 days ago
1
Killin BnB lake Ohau

We received a booking a couple of days ago & the guests have not arrived.

We obtained the credit card No. including expiry date & CVC No, & have tried to charge the card but the card No. is not real, nor is the ph. number they provided.

Booking.com state that No Shows get charged for the total booking, but we can't charge them if the card is not correct.

Surely it is up to Booking.com to vet their users & make sure they provide a valid credit card No.?

Several businesses we know locally have had the same issue, with fake bookings being made - other than Baronray69's suggestion that they are using the booking to get an address for visa purposes, I can't think of any benefit to someone in making a fake booking.

 

+1
20 days ago
2
Ienh

Hi all, We are new on Booking. We can only charge cash payments, so when people does not show up, we have no money. One of our conditions is, is that there must be a verified telephon number... but of the 6 reservations, there was only one number verified! And they could all book directly. So something is going wrong at this site! And of course the people did not show up! So we have lost a lot of money on booking.com and that is why we will be gone from booking at the end of july!

+1
17 days ago
4
Isle of Wight …

Cash is always a risk. Switch to Payments by Booking.com (if that's available) and set Not Refundable. If a guest books, you get the money whether they turn up or not. If you can't or are not allowed to use Payments by Booking.com, use AirBnB instead.

+1
17 days ago
2
Ienh

Thank you for your reply. That is the problem. When you are new on booking, you can only take cash... Just after a few criteria (which the lady on the phone did not know which...) you can accept credit cards or let booking handle your payments. We are also on airbnb and that is much better! That is why we are leaving booking now... and probably a whole lot of newcomers will do also...

+2
16 days ago
2
Ienh

I tried to send booking a message... it does not work! Well... i am really done with them. They only have cost me money!

+1
16 days ago
4
Isle of Wight …

Get yourself 10 good reviews on AirBnB and then see if Booking.com will allow you to take payments via Payments by Booking.com .... it took me months to go live on Booking.com so I feel your pain ....

+1
16 days ago
1
Antonio Pages

It is SO EASY for guests to make reservations gallore at no cost, that many people just make a reservation for each place they evaluate. Just in case: not to lose them Then, they forget or just don't care about cancelling: they keep the reservations. WHy to care? It's a free insurance to have a place available.

+1
16 days ago
2
Ienh

You are right Antonio! But it is free cancelation 14 days before they arrive... but when they don't have to pay, they just don't bother to cancel the booking...

16 days ago
6
michael beeston

Wow.I see a lot of negative stuff here.hopefully Booking can do something, there are many stories of cancelations and no shows and NO MONEY !! about you !!!..Do something (B.com) if you can.........Michael.

+1
16 days ago
2
Baronray69

Don't hold your breath, Michael. I have been waiting for a reply from Booking.com since the end of April. I also sent a recorded delivery letter marked"Private" to the CEO, almost 3 weeks ago and yet to have any communication from them. Just sent an email via extranet. I live in hope(not much).

Ray

+1
16 days ago
2
Ienh

Well... i don't think you will get an answer from booking... we never got an answer from them. Even on the phone they could not say anything and well, if you google on problems with booking... they are almost number 1 in not resolving any problem. We have only 2 reservations left... and we are certain they are gonna be no-shows... telephone numbers are not working and guests do not respond to any of our messages... After that we are going to close our account on booking. Airbnb works just fine for us.

16 days ago
6
michael beeston

Ray..............I have to say I have been so impressed with booking.com this past 3 years and to see so much negativity is surprising to say the least.............I honestly hope you and ALL of us get some POSITIVE answers !!!!..Good Luck Ray............Michael.

+1
16 days ago