Forced Payout of Non-Refundable Reservation
I received the below message from Booking.com today with regards to a reservation booked at the non-refundable which I was "expected" to refund. Booking.com have refunded the guest due to Forced Circumstances and have issued an invoice to me, which I am now "expected" to pay.
What doesn't seem right about this particular case is that I was communicating with the guest and offered them accommodation credit to be used within the next 12 months, instead of issuing a refund to the guest. The guest appeared to be ready to accept my offer of accommodation credit until Booking.com advised them that they are entitled to a full refund. The guest actually wrote me and said that he no longer needs the accommodation credit now that he has been promised a full refund by Booking.com!
Since we have not received any income for over 2 weeks now and have no idea how long it will be before we are receiving any income this is going to place a severe financial strain on our business. It will be difficult for us just to pay our next Booking.com invoice, let alone refunding guests who had booked non-refundable reservations!
Just doesn't seem right to me ...
They also sent out a message to all partners today advising us that the procedures of the Forced Circumstances will allow guests to postpone or cancel trips. It would appear that there is no option for guests to postpone trips, just cancel and get a full refund.
Booking.com also advised me today that they will not be honouring Risk Free Reservations due to Forced Circumstances, so we will also be losing out on income for these reservations.
We're contacting you about a follow up to reservation #######, for the guest #######.
We have refunded the guest on your behalf, and an invoice has been issued to your property in the amount of EUR 437.83.
The invoice for the refund is final, and this matter has been fully resolved for the guest.
Booking.com Customer Service Team