Booking's faulty online software causes losses for hotels, but BDC does not care.
On July 11, at 00:42 a.m. (shortly after midnight) our channel manager sent us an email that we had a new reservation from Booking.com for July 12. As our check-in time starts at 2 p.m., this means that the reservation was made 37 hours before the guest could check-in. We have a standard policy that guests can cancel up to 24 hours after booking, which means they could have canceled until July 12, at 00:42. On July 12, at 1:50 p.m. the guest wrote us via WhatsApp that they were "on the way" and we expected them to arrive between 4 and 5 p.m. At 4:26 p.m. they canceled the reservation. We were not in time to register this as a no-show because BDC had accepted the cancelation against our registered policies. In fact, the guests had received a message from BDC that they could cancel the reservation for free "at any time". Not only had BDC not respected our cancelation policies made according to BDC's options that a booking could only be canceled within 24 hours, but they had also allowed the guest to cancel "anytime", which in this case was done after 40 hours but could even have been later than this. We even found out that these guests had booked 2 different hotels in our town for the same dates, and after arriving at one, they canceled the other (ours). This is obviously fraudulent and BDC does nothing to protect us against this fraud. Not only does their faulty online software change a 24-hour cancelation limit to "anytime", but they also don't discover either when guests book several hotels in the same town for the same dates, which obviously means, they have no intention to realize their stay in all the booked hotels. When we complained with BDC about the cancelation, they claimed that we had allowed the free cancelation, without even analyzing what had happened. Only nearly two weeks later, after half a dozen more complaints from us, eventually, one employee showed some interest in taking us seriously. The rest of the customer service that we had to deal with, is blatantly lazy and incompetent. We will see if they will actually do something about it, if they compensate us for the loss and if they correct the faulty software. Be warned to not trust BDC respecting your cancelation policies or accepting their responsibility for their errors.