10

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


 

  1. Where are the latest announcements to track?  
    1. ...Weekly Update Topic - https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/community/booking-advice-and-updates/…  
    2. ...Previous Topic -  https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/community/booking-advice-and-updates/…  
    3. ...Force Majeure Topic To Monitorhttps://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/legal-security/important-informa…  
       
  2. 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.  


     

  3.  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.  
     
  4.  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.  

     

  5.  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. https://www.ccpc.ie/
    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  
  6.  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:  

     
    1. Offer reschedule with in the same calendar year, subject to date aavailability;
    2. Offer a credit voucher via email subject to date availability
    3. Offer partial refund 30-50% ,and message finance team or support team to action where BdC hold the payment.
    4. Offer full refund 

 


1
Trisha Cosgrove

Barry,

 

How does this apply if btc are cancelling without our agreement claiming force majore

 

I had 3 cases so far?

 

Many thanks

Trisha

8 months ago
10
BrookAve

 

Hi Trisha

 

Not if you take the lead and contact the guest and agree terms directly it wont happen.

 

+1
8 months ago
5
Craigmoniecottage

Sorry Barry beg to differ - In February I did just as you suggested to Trisha the guest did not communicate back after their initial request and Booking.Com yesterday sent through the Force Majure notice to me.

I think Bruce G's response to you was really interesting don't you -Perhaps due further consideration?

+1
8 months ago
10
BrookAve

and that's fine to agree to disagree, but its not going to change BdC enforcement of the GDT contract.

 

The only thing you can do to prevent it from happening is to get ahead of it and deal directly with the guest.

 

As for that message you refer to that was not the guest requesting it.

 

I had one of those today for someone already had a check-in date , so I knew something was not right, so I messaged them and discovered they had not even contacted BdC..

 

All this talk of petitions and lets gang up on BdC, is not going to change anything

 

I am a realist, its utterly pointless, I 've already moved on.

 

 

Kind Regards.

+1
8 months ago
5
Craigmoniecottage

Hi Barry - Nothing to do with agree to disagree it is a fact.  Also I understand if you are a realist and find things utterly pointless and having already moved on. Perhaps with that in mind you should take a break from this site because reading your posts you seem to get aggy very quickly. Just a thought.

All the best

8 months ago
10
BrookAve

Hi,

You misread the tone then if that is what you thought I was doing.

I just simply get straight to it, better to be blunt than sugar coat it.

 

 

Kind Regards

 

 

+1
8 months ago
2
Charming House…

I have had the lawyer of a guest contact me, demanding a full refund.  In March, I already allowed the guest to reschedule to September.  Now, I have received several threatening emails fro their lawyer, stating that they will take me to court to recover a full refund.  

What are my rights under my Strict Cancellation Policy?  I know that I have the right to override the Cancellation Policy however, this does not seem fair to other guests that have cancelled without refund and the manner in which their legal counsel has demanded this has not been kind and they are demanding my fiscal number and tax details.

Additionally, as their booking is now, not until September In have not yet recieved any payment from Booking.com for this reservation.  So, am I right in thinking their legal case should not be targeted at me directly and instead through Booking.com?

I am only a small personal property owner.  It would be nice if I could rely on my larger "partner", Booking.com, to help handle these legalities.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

5 months ago
10
BrookAve

 

Hi 

 

Simply ignore it, its a tactic to trick you into instantly complying with 100% refund.

Even if they are legit, you dont have to send them anything.  has the booking been prepaid to BdC, and you use Payments by Booking?

i.e. BdC are holding the funds until checkout

 

did the guest themselves since the march contact where by the dates were changed to September, have they made any contact to request full cancelation and full refund at all? From my PoV , since the booking was altered in March for September it does not qualify for Force Majuere/Circumstances. All they had to do was ask and even wait until august to see how things are. This feels like there is some thing else going on.

For now ignore until August at least, do not reply. or engage with this 3rd party.

 

If you want have a free consultation with a legal advice service.

 

 

Kind Regards

+1
5 months ago
2
Charming House…

Yes, full payment was made to Booking.com and so I will not recieve payment until September anyway.  The guest only asked to reschedule in March to September, not for a refund.  They have made no contact with me since.  Only through this lawyer, who is very threatening and demanding.  This is some of what he wrote:

"It depends on you, not on Booking.com. I have just spoken to Booking.com to double check and they have confirmed to us that we had the right to get the full reimbursement in March and that if you agree for the total refund they are more than happy to go ahead. Moreover I have confirmed that the money has already been sent to you, so you are not telling the truth on this. Booking.com will be writing to you too.

I am writing to formally request that you confirm to me in a maximum of 72 hours whether you agree or refuse to reimburse the 100%. If I do not hear from you in the next following 72 hours, I will assume that you refuse to it so we will be forced to claim it legally."

Personally, I recieved this response from Booking.com:

"Legally there’s no reason to refund the guest. I have informed this to the guest.  As an agent I will ask if it is possible to please offer a change of dates, as this could highly help, but as my previous colleague informed you and as I informed the guest, a refund is not within any forced circumstances framework."

 

It may be a scare tactic, but it is extremely disturbing!

 

+1
5 months ago
10
BrookAve

 

Yes I can understand, for now ignore as they have no leg to stand on.

 

Also the fact the guest has not contacted you since the change of dates, I see this 3rd party as a scam.

 

So on that grounds ignore.

 

Should September check-in date come and go, on day two mark it as a no show, and then when the next pay out cycle is due BdC will pay you.

 

 

 

+1
5 months ago