COVID19 - How-To handle enquires for Change of Dates, Last minute cancelations, Refunds etc
The purpose of this topic is to pull together several comments and give How-Tos.for those struggling with this site.
What is Force Majeure ?
Force majeure – or vis major – meaning "superior force", also known as cas fortuit or casus fortuitus "chance occurrence, unavoidable accident", is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, plague, or an event described by the legal term act of God, prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.Wikipedia
- Where are the latest announcements to track?
- ...Weekly Update Topic - https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/community/booking-advice-and-updates/…
- ...Previous Topic - https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/community/booking-advice-and-updates/…
- ...Force Majeure Topic To Monitor - https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/legal-security/important-informa…
- Cancellations - Last Minute or < 48 hours to check-in.
Using the cancel reservation button in Reservation detail page will not always be available.
In this scenario , simply copy the booking number and send BdC support
the booking number and message to confirm cancellation and
set the refund terms , be succinct, concise. don't waffle, no long winded sentences.
Extranet > Inbox > Booking Messages,
Click on right, the See Contact Options,
Choose Reservations, cancellation. Click on Contact us at bottom.
copy paste booking number in.
Enter message confirming agreement, and they will get to it when they do.
- Rescheduling to future dates.
Normally you have to wait to the original check-in date before it becomes active..
Click on the reservation, on right side of the details page is Change Reservation Dates.
- Guest Requests Refund for a Non Refundable Rate.
Simply contact the Guest and be firm , fair and clinical. Explain the situation with a pre-written template. It will save a lot of time back and forth and less stressful.
First Offer Change dates
Then voucher with an expiry.
Then partial refund if anything up to 50%, at your discretion.
While legally you are not under any obligation to do so you want to try do something for them.
Set a time limit for them to decide if you want to give them 2 or more options.
Don't get into a debate, keep it clinical.
Travel Insurance is a thing, remind them to check with their bank who may already offer coverage.
- Partners & Force Majeure
This greatly effects us all and even more so the smaller partners.
I cannot find any legal reason nor any evidence to backup any OTA policy on this.
I did find EU Consumer Law talking about the distinction between Package Holidays & DIY Holidays. and information on Travel Insurance should be obtained by the guest.
A DIY holiday is essentially booking different parts of your trip with different sources.
AS Booking.com displays us as only accommodation we fall into that category.
FC/FM section of the booking.com GTD https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/community/partner-feedback/gtd-regarding-forced-circumstances?utm_source=communities_notifications&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_comment_post_followed
- What are all my options to consider?
For non refundable rates, indeed people will lie and already have, and try to debate why they should get 100% refund.
Simply be clinical and state , one or more of these:
- Offer reschedule with in the same calendar year, subject to date aavailability;
- Offer a credit voucher via email subject to date availability
- Offer partial refund 30-50% ,and message finance team or support team to action where BdC hold the payment.
- Offer full refund