Guest replaces a penalized no-show with late cancelation without penalty, Booking supports the fraud
Recently we had a reservation via Booking, only 1 day before the supposed arrival. Usually, our guests need to pay a nonrefundable deposit right after booking, but given the short time to their arrival within 24 hours, we could not enforce it. On the day of the arrival, we asked them at what time they would arrive and they told us they were about a 4-hour drive away from us. 4 hours later they canceled the reservation via booking. Their reservation, name, and credit card details disappeared immediately from our extranet, so we could neither report them as a no-show nor charge their card. When we complained with Booking about this, we were told that the cancelation policy for this reservation was that the client could cancel anytime without charge. But this is a lie. Our extranet shows clearly a very different policy: guests need to pay a 30% non-refundable deposit that is lost if they cancel later than 30 days before arrival and have to pay the entire reservation in case of a no-show. Bookers also receive an automatic message detailing these payment and cancelation policies again. We have never received any notice from Booking that different policies would apply to these guests, nor would we have accepted them. Obviously, the right to cancel a reservation the same afternoon when they should arrive makes the report of a no-show moot, and thus opens the door to fraud and irresponsible behavior of the clients, and Booking.com covers this kind of fraud. On the other hand, even if we had had time to try and get a deposit from the clients and wanted to cancel the reservation after the guest does not pay in time, BDC would not allow us to cancel the reservation unless the client agrees, which with fraudulent bookers will not happen. That these bookers acted fraudulently is shown by the fact that they booked another hotel in our town for the same 2 days. We found this out because these clients showed us their 2 bookings with ours canceled in a message to "prove" that they had canceled our reservation "correctly". Booking covers this fraud and even tries to gaslight us, claiming that we had cancelation policies that we never had and would never accept, against all evidence on our extranet. And they call us "partners" while they defraud and gaslight us.