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Automated booking acceptance is creating duplicate bookings

A week ago (mid June) I received and automated booking acceptance for my property, which covered the same dates as an exiting automated acceptance made in January.

It has taken a week to correct this, and get booking.com to accept responsibility. I have spent several hours on the phone on this.

This booking was cancelled *by the client* 2.5 hour ago. 30 minutes later, I got another one for exactly the same dates from a different name. Both are shown as in Russia.

My property is a single apartment, sold as one unit (so one "room"). The booking diary for the relevant period shows "rooms to sell 1" and "net booked 2".

So far, no-one at booking.com has explained what is going on, but I'm getting pretty fed up.


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Leandri Klopper

Hey.

Booking.com works on an Instant Confirmation Structure. That is their whole niche. If you as property open a date on Booking.com and a guest books it, Booking.com guarantees the guest accommodation and guarantees the property a guest. That is literally their biggest attraction to property owners and guests.

If your property isn't open for a certain date, then you need to close it on Booking.com. You were very lucky that the guest cancelled the booking because if they did not, you would be held liable to provide accommodation (or pay for alternative accommodation) as per the Contract. 

I strongly suggest that you read your contract or ask Booking.com to go through it with you. 

Feel free to ask should you have more questions, the partners here are always willing to advise. 

Keep well. 

1 year ago
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Keith Oborn

Thank you for answering, but I don't think you read what I said at all.

First off, note that I have been in the holiday rental market for 16 years, and all major platforms offer an "instant confirmation" system. I don't need to have it explained!

Note that what follows is all system-generated. At no time did I try and manually change the calendar except the one instance at the end - and I did that on advice of the Partner Services agent.

I have one "room to sell" (it's a single apartment). The period Dec 30 2019 to Jan 4 2020 was booked on Jan 12 2019.

All well and good: Rooms to sell 1, Net Booked 1

On June 10 2019 the system confirmed a booking from a guest in Russia for Dec 29 to Jan 6.

Now showing Rooms to sell 1, Net Booked 2. This is of course impossible.

I spent several days chasing this matter, and many emails and some hours on the phone. After I made this post I spoke to Partner Services, who agreed with a previous agent that this was a booking.com error and that I would not be responsible for costs or guest relocation. I received an email to this effect on 14 June.

At 7.36 on Jun 16 I received a guest cancellation, but I assumed that this was internally generated.

At 9.46 on Jun 16 I received another booking, from a differently named Russian guest, for the same dates - Dec 29 to Jan 6.

I once again spoke to Partner Services, who were very apologetic. However, as of today (18 Jun) this second error is still present, and I have received no response to my request for an overall explanation.

During my call with Partner Services on Jun 14 I noted that another period (Dec 21 to 27) showed:

Rooms to sell: 1, Net Booked 1, Room status Available. Again, this should not be possible.

We corrected this manually, but it shows that there is a persistent underlying error.

In my 16 years dealing with the various major online booking platforms I have never had so many problems as I've had in the first 6 months with booking.com. If it wasn't for the extra business generated, I'd have given up on booking.com some while ago.

 

1 year ago
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Leandri Klopper

Hi Keith,

Oh shoot, sorry about that. Seems I did misunderstand. 

Sounds like technical issues which shouldn't have happened. Did you check that you listed the correct amount of rooms that are physically at your property? I think you do that under Room Details, under every room type that you have. If you say there are 4 and you only open 2 on the calendar, that might be where the problem is coming in. 

Other than that all I can say is, Sorry I don't know. Normally Partner Services are excellent to work with, or at least that is my experience. 

Another option you could try is to get your Account manager involved. Your account manager is responsible for your property and other in the area, but they are normally very knowledgeable and willing to assist. Do you know your account manager? If you go to Inbox and scroll down, look to the right and his/her details will be there. If there is no name there, you can phone customer care and ask them to check who is assigned to your area and ask that he/she get in contact with you. 

Best of luck

1 year ago
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Keith Oborn

Just an update: "luck" is what I need. It has happened again. I have exactly one "room to sell" and once again a date range that was already booked (this time via Homeaway, with the calendar correctly synced) has been booked by booking.com

Partner services inform me that booking.com are "having technical problems importing calendars", but in this case the calendar was correct a few days ago, showing the dates as blocked.

That does not, of course, explain with the other two cases occurred where both the original booking, and the duplicate ones, came from booking.com.

This has now taken many hours of my time, and given the number of other bugs and problems I've had with booking.com I'm really not sure it is worth continuing. The competition does a vastly better job!

1 year ago
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Leandri Klopper

Hey there,

Thanks for the feedback.

That's really not good news. I hope they got the booking moved at no cost as you didn't cause the problem? I get that it takes up your valuable time, I sincerely hope they fix this as I really enjoy the Booking.com platform. 

Hopefully they send the feedback to their tech team with every instance so that they can solve the underlying problem. 

1 year ago