user avatar image
1

booking.com refuses to cancel bad reservation

We're a small, family run B&B. We cannot accept middle-of-night arrivals (our check-in closes at 10pm), and our room rates are set according to occupancy of each particular room. All of this is clearly specified in our booking.com listings. Our property score is 9.6 based on more than 120 reviews.

We received a booking late Monday from a guest for a single room for Thursday night. In it she tells us that she won't be arriving until as late as 12:30am Friday, and that she is bringing another guest with her.

Obviously we are under no obligation to accommodate her. We wrote her a polite note stating that we cannot accommodate late check-ins, and that the room he has booked is single occupancy. Wew telephoned and left voice mail. There has been no reply.

We also emailed and telephoned booking.com. They never acknowledged the email and took no action after the phone call.

We called booking.com a second time Wednesday morning. By this time our property had already spent over an hour attempting to deal with this simple issue. This time we explained that we would not honor the reservation and we expected booking.com to cancel the reservation promptly.

I was told we had to speak with a supervisor and was placed on hold. After another 10 minutes,  the supervisor got on the line and explained she had to call back. She spent another couple of minutes verifying our identity before hanging up and telephoning our property. The conversation went something like this:

Booking.com rep: "As I understand it, you want to cancel this reservation because you THINK the guest plans to bring two people"

Me: "I do not THINK it. The guest informed us through email that she is arriving with a party of two. It is in black & white on the correspondence record. We also do not accept middle-of-the-night arrivals, and we will not honor this booking."
 
Booking.com rep: "Well, we will have to call the guest."

Me: "With all due respect, booking.com should have called the guest yesterday. We have already spent a great deal of time on this very simple matter." 

Booking.com rep (dripping with condescension): "There's no need for this attitude. I am trying to help you".

Me (exasperated with the arrogance, and out of time): "I'm sorry but this conversation is over. We will not honor this booking. Thank you for your time." 

It is really quite astonishing how booking.com refuses to allow even the most stable and reliable properties to prerogative to cancel suspect reservations, yet arrogates to itself the right to maintain reservations that in clear violation of the booking terms. The company's lack of respect for the management time of its partner properties is simply infuriating. 

7 Replies

1
Nuca32

A mi no me han ayudado a solucionar nunca ninguna situación de este tipo. ellos cobran del cliente, y si hay algun error en la reserva te desesperaras al telefono, te dirán que si a todo y cuando cuelguen el telefono no harán ni caso. es una falta de respeto enorme a la propiedad y al cliente.

1 year ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune.

I understand that in the contract Booking.com stipulates that every booking needs to be honored. They can't cancel if the physical misconduct hasn't happened, even with viable evidence that it was coming. Unfortunately you get people out there who ruin it for everyone by being dishonest. They have a double booking but don't want Booking.com to charge them for alternative accommodation for another guest, so they claim all sorts of things.

Best of luck!

1 year ago
1
Pristine1917

Thanks Leandri. Thankfully, the law protects people from unconscionable contract clauses that compel inequitable loss. Moreover the contract specifically compels booking.com to address our interests. We have absolutely no intention of honoring this booking.

The customer service people at booking.com are generally very good and they do seem to understand the property perspective. One of the main reasons we've stayed with booking.com despite many problems is that instead of some undertrained person in a call center in Manila or Bangalore, we find real booking.com employees answering the phone in dedicated centers around the world. Many of them go the extra mile to resolve problems.

But they often are hamstrung by edicts issued by a corporate hierarchy that seems outrightly hostile to the interests of the "partners" they purport to serve. The higher one goes up the payscale the more partner-unfriendly it becomes. The absurdity of some of the decisions we've seen over the years is breathtaking (eg, removing the "state" field from the address form for guests on the US booking site).

Cancellation should be the prerogative of trusted properties like ours. If we are expected to entrust our interests with booking.com in this relationship, the reverse must also be true. It does not benefit us to create problems for the corporation and we are entirely capable of following the same set of criteria it does.

1 year ago
5
monet208

If you expect what is in your last paragraph then from the comments of partners in this Forum, you and I and the rest of us are living in cloud cuckoo land

1 year ago
1
Chepechula57

How to block orders from local customers
We do not want to host locals in our place

1 year ago
1
Emma

You cannot block anyone by location. I would gladly block all bookings from RUS, but booking.com is not a facebook site so you have to accept any booking from booking.com.

1 year ago
2
Reception

Hi, its it funny we are the ones that paying booking.com and getting very little help and the guest pay nothing and have all the rights

If a guest say they are getting in late by phone I assist in leaving the key somewhere

but if i have not been informed I lock up and leave, as everything is in the policy, you can even decline a booking after a set time at night , but in saying that they book and don't tell you that they are coming late

4 months ago