Cant get the support I need

I have been sending a very valid question via my extranet to booking.com for many days now.   I keep getting an almost computerised answer back where clearly the person either doesnt understand my question or refuses to answer it in an intelligent way.  For many days, I have asked for somebody in management to call me to discuss this issue and I get nowhere.  Is there anybody out there who can help me get through to somebody that I can have a conversation with.  I am sitting on an island in the south pacific and cannot make international calls.   Hence I need somebody to either address my issue by email or call me.   Help please!!!



Hi Lydia,


Welcome to Partner community,


I know exactly what you mean, its like a non english speaker cannot think outside the box and be logical and helpful and instead quote canned responses based on keywords.


So here is what I suggest.

Outline here and now the actual issues or questions and then I and others can try to resolve or guide.




Kind Regards



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Lydia Coutts

I have a business in Vanuatu.   My contract with Booking is 15% commission.  For this, Booking.com dont even collect the payment.   I have to invoice clients and collect payments myself.  This is time consuming and leads to cancellations.   I am listed on other booking sites and they collect payments too and charge less than Booking. My sister lives in New Zealand and I suggested she list her property on Booking.   To my surprise, her contract with Booking is 12% commission.  I have asked Booking why my little business is being charged 3% more.  Vanuatu is a third world country, with a struggling economy and a struggling tourism industry.   We need all the support we can get to do more business here and help the local economy and provide more employment.   It doesnt help when our commission is higher by 3%, in our same area (Asia Pacific) and in my case, I even have to collect the payment myself!    Why should we be charged more?   This is unfair.   So if there are some legitimate reasons why we are being penalised, I expect Booking to show transparency and explain this to me.   All I have got from them is an automated response that says "we vary commission from country to country, this is company policy and we cant change this".   This is not transparency, this is not proper dialogue with a customer.    I am being "fobbed"off continuously with this automated response.   This is not in line with Bookings customer promise to be transparent, to listen, to provide support!


Sure, here is my opinion based on my experiences, hosting on other platforms, reading forums etc..


I would say that in general 15% commission is a standard service charge. In some countries commission amount can reach also 20% or even more. 


"The Booking.com commission percentage varies per country. Our global commission rate average is 15%, among the lowest in the industry, and can vary depending on your property type or location."


My opinnion is that Booking.com puts more effort to a transparent transactions (preventing money laundry). I guess also the reason is to prevent having as many legal issues as possible.


For example AirBnB gives more protection to hosts with their privacy and offering them different payout methods (transactions can be less tracable when using foreign "bank" accounts), meaning some hosts "are able" to rent their property "illegally" and are more difficult to be tracked by their local authoroties. Usually those (some) hosts also don't pay taxes etc..


Booking.com services, fees, commission.. differs based on a country's local laws. That's why some functions are limited or not available because some laws are more strict then the others or the costs are higher to operate there. 



Lydia Coutts

Thank you for explaining your understanding.   Of course it would just be simpler if Booking showed transparency and motivated their reason for charging more for the fact that my business is in Vanuatu!   I am on three platforms, one charges 3.75%, another 5.5% (both are well known successful international platforms) and we now know that Booking charges 15%.   I am not sure what are the other mainstream platforms to compare with, to reach the conclusion that 15% is a standard service charge.   I stand to be corrected but if somebody illegally rents out their property, they will be held responsible for this by their local authorities and tax laws of the country they are responsible to, not Booking.   So why should Booking charge more for legal implications that their clients may incur?   I run a legal business.  If I should breach legislation here, I  will be held responsible for this ...not Booking ... if thats what you were implying?   If one looks at all the features offered by Booking..their software, their 24-hour call centre, and all the other things they list as their service, is not unique to me, they are available to everyone, including those who enjoy lower commissions.  In fact, I enjoy even less service because they dont collect money on my behalf.  So theoretically, I should be charged less as I dont get the full gambit as everyone else does.   I know that the easiest thing would be to just walk away and use the other two platforms but this is a matter of principle to me too.  I hate being discriminated against and if I am not being discriminated against and there is a valid reason for me to pay more commission, then this must be explained to me in a professional and transparent manner.


Are you talking about platforms such as AirBnB, HomeAway? The difference is that this platform then charges the guest up to more then 12% for their service fee. Which is basicly the same if you want to match prices on all portals. Otherwise a potential guest will preffer to book your place on Booking.com rather then AirBnB because it will be cheaper for them.


On AirBnB I opted for a fixed commission amount (14%) so my guests pay 0 service fee and I pay 1% less commission comparing to other platforms that i host.


Also there is a big difference between Home based and Hotel based platforms. Most hotel platforms charge at least 15% commission.

Home based platforms came after hotel based platforms. and this type of the commission policy is just a reverted good business trick, where AirBnB earns even more commission (host commission + guest service fee).  "low commission" in this case also kept hosts from accepting bookings directly (outside of the portal) because it was not worth it.   


I am not implaying that. I just expressed my opinion as to why there are some limitations based on the location of the property. I think the fingers should be pointed more to the country's politics and their local laws. 


For example I don't see other reason why only on Booking.com we are not able to add banking details for payouts to Revolut, N26, Payoneer.. only local banks are allowed. I think it's because of the general transparency or they were pressured by some institutions/laws etc..


I also think it is not Booking.com's responsabilty to answer such questions to us. They have their own policies and written contracts. We either accept them or we don't and move on and choose a platform that suits us. 


M Adamopoulou

To make a long story short....

"We either accept them or we dont and move on and choose a platform that suits us."

pibomarco, you couldnt have said it better....


Lydia Coutts

What business would have the attitude of "accept it or move on"?   I would hope that Booking doesnt.   Imagine if, for example, your bank charged extra banking fees compared to other clients, and you questioned this and you got a "accept it or change banks"?   Or if you didnt approve of something your supermarket was doing and on questioning this, you got a "accept it or shop somewhere else"?   This is disrespect to ones customers and I am hoping that Booking will come back to me with some valid motivation as to why I have to pay extra to use their service, compared to other countries in my region.    Booking have this on their website "Growing Together is our ongoing promise to help you succeed" and their emphasis is on transparency to customers.   I would like to think that these are not mere marketing words but that feedback, concerns, questions and complaints are acknowledged and addressed.   


Well I don't know where you live, but in my country we have different banks and supermakets, and prices and fees varies from one to another. If I want to make a transaction to another country that is not in EU I can be charged an extra fee.  In my country the food, rent etc.. cost the same as in Germany but average salary is half the germans. In some turist destinations (such as some parts in Cuba) when you go to store or a restaurant, there are separate rates for tourists and for the locals. Each country can set their own rules that's why we can not expect from the customer or business partners from abroad to "enjoy" the same perks for the service.  Any (travel) agency take a percentage for their services and 15% is usually a minimum. That is just a common practice almost anywhere in the world. And if one country cost more and birocracy is more complicated and more expensive to manage it's not shocking that some fees can arise for those.

Lydia Coutts

Thanks Pibomarco for your input.  The conversation has also moved from where it started ie. that I had been asking Booking to speak to me about this and I continually received a computerised non-answer back....over many days.  My initial complaint was that I wasnt been heard, more so than about the commission.   I will close this conversation for now and will wait for some feedback from Booking.   Kind Regards.

Community Admin

Dear Lydia Coutts, thank you for raising the concern about the way we charge the commission amount depending on the country. Commissions are set up automatically by the system according to the Country & Region and are not depending on us to decide the amount. We understand that you wish to amend it since your property is located in Vanuatu, but at this point, we do not have the option to change it.

Wish you the best of luck!