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Fraudulent Reservations/Bookings Lost Revenue and Lack of prevention or care by booking.com

Here is a good one.    I received a 6 night fraudulent booking from a person that has an address of the Booking.com US Headquarters.      I have 5 rooms and this has locked up the room for real reservations and I am have lost 20% of my opportunities this next week.     

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I did all the necessary tasks immediately.    

1 Pre-authorized the card which returned Declined.    

2 Placed the reservation in invalid state on the admin site.  

I wrote booking.com via the extranet showing them the addressaddress and they simply sent me back a form letter stating the 23 hour hold.    I called the customer service which was absolutely a waste of time.   However they understood my feelings though which is comforting.  

I asked customer service to escalate this to incident to management for greater problem resolution.

No one can answer the questions as to how or why these occur and what they are doing to prevent it.     I can think of several.    First, do a simple pre-auth on the credit card.    Is the check digit valid?  Is the address a valid address or is it for a location that makes no sense, like the White House or Wrigley Field or the US headquarters for Booking.com.    

The lack of care by Booking.com is astounding.     

 

9 Replies

5
David

24 hours is way to long to hold a room on an invalid credit/debit card.Booking try to be understanding with the guest but it is the guest responsibility to make sure they input the details of a valid card with available funds.2 hours maximum is long enough to deal with invalid cards.

9 months ago
1
Karen Jacka

I absolutely agree that Booking.com should vet guests. My calendar is full of Booking.com reservations but there is no way of contacting these guests and determining as to whether they really intend to stay at my Lodge .. other than via Booking.com, and then they don't answer the mail. I currently have someone from Nigeria booked into my Lodge for over two months yet she does not answer any mails/messages - if I was going somewhere for two months, I would want to know more.

8 months ago
5
David
Karen Jacka If you have a booking from any country on the African continent for that period of time you should be very concerned.
African countries are high on the radar for people making bookings in western countries so to gain VISAS.
When you apply for a VISA you need to provide an address where you will be staying in the country you are visiting once they gain the VISA they have no intention of staying with you so will either cancel or a no show
8 months ago
1
Karen Jacka

Thank you for the information David. The issue now is that I cannot cancel the reservation. I have tried but Booking.com says that the guest has to agree. The guest hasn't agreed yet and they probably wont agree … and then I am stuck with a no show and commission fees … and a chance that the payment is not honoured. Manual payments via a CC machine can be refuted by the CC owner and the bank is then required to reverse the transaction.

8 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hi Karen Jacka ,

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.

According to my knowledge, if a card declines automatically the guest has 24 hours to update it. If they don't then you can click the cancel button that will appear. So yes, it's a time thing but at least it's not a few months but rather a few hours.

If not, take down the card details. Mark them as invalid, and then the same cycle will happen. The guest will have 24 hours and if they don't... you can cancel the booking without having the guest agree to it.

A while ago Booking.com set this in motion as we-Owners are sometimes unable to get a hold of the guest to discuss the payments/failed payments with them. So this way, they warrant the guest enough time to comply but also enable the owner to cancel if there has been no communication.

Hope this helps?

8 months ago
1
Kimbrrv

This is crazy.. room gets booked.. invalid credit card.. so i wait 24 hrs.. meanwhile my rooms are booked. Not just one.. but numerous.. BDC recommends i charge prepayment.. how do you do that on invalid credit cards? Next solution.. so you tell them invalid.. fraudster has 24 hrs to change.. gets canceled and within 2 minutes of the cancellation another fraudulent reservation appears. If technology can't be solved - change processes - this is Business 101. Response from BDC - we are working on it.. if you trace forums.. actually been working on it awhile now.

I am NOT checking invalid credit cards all day just to have them replaced by more... ridiculous that owners would even be asked this by BDC. Without rooms.. you have nothing to get commission on. Time to start validating guests. where is management on this.. head in sand waiting til IT fixes it? This is faulty Business process that is causing the issue.. NOT I.T. The "let guests book erratically" with no validation needs to stop. Get it together or lose property owners which i would imagine is several daily with this crap.

4 months ago
2
Sleephere

Dear all,

The policy of BDC regarding fraud and card validity is absolutely inacceptable and they now it.

I discussed with them numerous times stating that if they substitute themselves for the owners by acceptoing booking in our name, they should also check card validity.

By refusing this check at the time of booking confirmation BDC creates a great opportunity for fraud, illegal immigration, fake bookings to obtains VISA's etc.

They do not accept these arguments, although the necessary check applications are available in the BDC systems. (they have to use it for prepaid bookings anyway). We also know there are discussing with AI service providers to improve their card fraud recognition system.

Let us get together on "Booking.com independant user forum" on Facebook; and see if we can form a group.

K. MONDT

4 months ago
5
David

Yesterday I received a booking when I went into the extranet the credit card had already been marked as invalid by booking.com.they said on some reservations they now check the credit card up front.as anyone else had this recently?

4 months ago
1
Innkeeper

Given that booking.com has not resolved this issue and has not described any plans to resolve, I have a solution for to remediate the fraudulent bookings locking up my rooms. I have Resnexus as my reservation application and source of truth. In that application I created extra rooms called "holding cells" that are not online or available for booking. When a fraudulent booking comes from booking.com I move the fraudster to a holding cell which frees up the room for other channels to book.

4 months ago