Booking.com is a FRAUD- THEY ARE HOLDING MY PAYOUT SICE 3 MONTHS
I started working with Booking.com around April 2019. I had my first property listed, then another two. In total, I have added three (3) properties on Booking.com.
One of my properties was performing well, and I have had bookings all thought May and June 2019, whilst others had no reservations or non-confirmed reservations (due to cancelations, etc).
Booking.com has paid me for 2 reservations taking place in the month of May 2019, but after that, I encountered some serious problems and abuse of terms and conditions on Booking.com part:
1) After receiving the first payout for the month of May reservations (which was a really small amount, circa 200), I noted that I am no longer receiving payouts from Booking.com.
2) After checking my account, I noted that in the Finance section/menu a remittance has been generated with all reservations listed, but it's marked as "pending payout".
3) I contacted customer services, asking for an update and this is where I ended up, running around in circles for the last 2.5 months (and counting) without being paid for accepted reservations:
i) Booking.com explained to me, that my property is pending for verification. So I requested a new code (as I never received the first one).
ii) Second code never came through in the post either, and I am unable to request a 3rd one.
iii) I contacted finance team and customer services on numerous occasions asking for advice and how this can be resolved, and they were all telling me I have to verify the property before I can get paid
iiii) I continued contacting Booking.com and in the end, someone from customer services replied about other 2 options of verification (see below Booking.com Extranet message):
" Booking.com | 23 July 2019 - 16:02:04
Dear Partner, Thank you for your message. We would like to assist with your account. Please find below alternative verification methods we can offer: 1. OTA Verification. Please let us know if you list the Property on Airbnb or Tripadvisor. Please send us the link to your property if this option suits you. 2. Video Verification. To proceed with a Video verification, you will need to be available at the property. Please let us know if this option suits you so we can provide further information. Thanks for your cooperation Kind Regards Partner Support Team"
iiiii) So I responded to Booking.com by providing an Airbnb link (which had a couple of reviews). They replied saying this is not accepted, as they need to see minimum of 10 reviews:
" Booking.com | 24 July 2019 - 11:07:55
Thank you for getting back to us. In this instance we would not be able to verify the property using your Airbnb link as the property has less than 10 reviews which is the criteria required. I understand this property needs to be verified as soon as possible so I have sent over a request to arrange a video call with yourself and one of our team will be in touch to get this sorted.
Thank you for your patience.
Partner Services Team "
iiiiii) I checked Terms and Conditions, and there is nothing mentioned about this. I recontacted Booking.com and asked for Option #2:
"2. Video Verification. To proceed with a Video verification, you will need to be available at the property. Please let us know if this option suits you so we can provide further information.",
I got a reply a week after, from someone else saying " I am sorry I was unable to contact you because we are in different time-zone". I honestly don't understand, how can an organisation, as big as booking.com, withold millions of $£ of customer moneys and continue to abuse legal terms and send customers such unaceptable excuses.
iiiiiii) As Booking.com did not accept any other options or failed to verify my property, it was automatically closed-down and customer services confirmed that on 09/07/2019, as per below:
" Booking.com | 09 July 2019 - 14:04:22
Dear Partner, Your proeprty has been closed since 2019-05-15 because we were unable to verify you. This is the reason you have not been paid out for the last payouts. I have asked my colleagues from the specific department to help you get verified and they should get back in touch asap. Please make sure your contact details are correct in the booking.com extranet so we can reach you to assist further. Whenever you need us, we're always here. -- Zhala L. Booking.com Partner Support Team"
I called again on 01/08/2019, and then again few days after... Each time I have been given same excuses:
A) Your property is closed down
B) We are unable to verify your property
I don't understand, how Booking.com can keep my money because they are unable to verify the property?! Remittance advice is there showing reservations accepted and payout we are due; There is even a review from one of the guest who stayed with us in June at this property which clearly shows that property exists; We have an account on Airbnb with same name and photos but it was not enough for Booking.com even though this is not something in their Terms and Conditions.
What are my options here? Take a legal action against Booking.com? Will I succeed with Booking.com being so much bigger than me, an ordinary person waiting for 1,4K GBP which I am entitled to? I am absolutelt shocked and disgussed reading all over the internet same and similar reviews from thousands of other customers. What can I do to get my money, besides NEVER EVER AGAIN USING BOOKING.COM!?
Jean (Boking.com Host)