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More fake bookings than real ones

My girlfriend and I run a Hotel & Apartment building in Utah.  We have converted most of our units to apartments but maintain 7 very nice themed hotel rooms.  We do everything for 35 apartments and the 7 hotel rooms.. maintenance, cleaning, marketing etc.  So cleaning a hotel room for a booking is personal and time consuming.  That being said..

7 of the last 10 bookings have had invalid credit cards, disconnected phone numbers and did not show.  Overall 53% of all our booking have been that way... they are also mixed in with our 20% cancellation rate.  That means 26% of our total booking actually stayed with us. 

I can't think of what someone would get out of doing this but it is not normal and seems like a scam and very frustrating.  When it first started happening I contacted booking.com and they didn't even acknowledge it as strange.

Is/Has anyone experienced anything like this?  Possible reasons? solutions?

Thank you!

Jason Koetting

Kirk Hotel & Apartments

 

 

 

63 Replies

1
Hakan

I have the same experience with our apartment rentals in Rio de Janeiro, could be scam but more that people are fouling around. Try to fin a payment solution and secure 50% if the dont show up you charge the customer 50% of the total value. Then you will have only serious buyers.

1 year ago
1
Vallepacifico18068

I have a Vacation Home in Rosarito B.C. and I lost all the month of December 2017 in fake reservation. So far I have 2 more fake reservations for March .To make matters worse I have no access to the credit card info. or anything else, any ideas?

1 year ago
1
Raghavendraeturu

Booking. Com just wants just make money
No back up
I have 90 percent fake bookings
No support
If we call them it will take some hours
To lift call

1 year ago
1
Raghavendraeturu

No partner support
Booking. Com is always on guest side
No support for property owners
We need concent of guest to cancel
Any booking
But guest can cancek booking any moment

1 year ago
1
Karl

what i do is ask for deposit, if they cancel within 7 days of the booking date. The deposit are not refundable.

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

I do prepayment booking and every day we still have one booking with invalid credit card (mostly insufficient fund or fake card) so I can assume it will be worst when come for postpayment accommodations. Unfortunately booking.com has been very proud to brand themselves as channel that allows customer to do "hit and run". Please note that I can see from this forum that many customers even asked for chargeback as well after they stayed and booking.com won't support us as partners. There is no win-win situation here.

We all just have to accept it if we still want to use this channel as booking.com pays huge amount of money to be on top of the search engines.

1 year ago
1
Seaviewpalacehotel

Every one faces this issue. I run a hotel in kovalam, kerala. Even we faces this issue. Fake reservation, fake numbers. And even the guest wont reply to emails or calls we make. Booking.com representatives are not bothered about this. Loss is only for the hotel partners.

We we contact guest, they will tell us that they are on the way and will reach in 30 mins or 1hr approx, and no one will show up. Booking.com should also think about their partners or they should charge a some amount as booking fee so that the chance of cancellation or no show will be less.

hope they will take care of this.

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

@seaveiwpalacehotel

You can change your setting to charge non refundable deposit or cancellation fee. Obviously you need to have facility to charge credit card. Booking.com does not have facility to charge customer credit card at all. They will not invest on that as their chunk of money goes to advertisement and to market the channel to ensure they are always no 1 in the search engine and hence can sell your rooms. If you want prepayment system, you might want to choose other channels such as Agoda, Expedia or Hostelworld.

1 year ago
1
Karl

since if there is no action from booking.com site, we should opt out from booking.com maybe just use agoda.com instead...

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

Just found out that all the comments advising moving to other channels were not shown in the forum. LOL

1 year ago
1
Reservations

I have a guesthouse in Langebaan on the West Coast of Cape Town, SA. after reading all the above comments it seems like it is the same everywhere over the world. out of 10 online reservations on Booking.com, 3 result in real bookings and as an establishment you have to be vigilant all the time - even with a no show and your booking policy is 50% of total reservation will be charged, Booking.com does nothing to support.

1 year ago
1
Seeheim

Seeheim Hotel

i manage bookings for Seeheim Hotel in Namibia and I have been experiencing the same issue,i would like to know why they even charge commission for fake bookers. why should we pay if most bookers are fake and no show, the contact details provided are either not available or does not exist.

any way to change this?

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

@Seeheim

Yes, changing channel is the only answer as booking.com does not care about it. What they want is their commission and a brand image as a pro-customer channel.

1 year ago
1
Keithsola

I've also received more fake (always last minute) booking than real ones. I received my 14th in since Sept yesterday.

I have tried to contact them and it TOTALLY adds to my frustration because they lie to me, their customer after begging me to be their customer (I'm very successful with AIR BNB and VROB)

WHY DO THEY LIE? WHY DO THEY SAY SOMEONE WILL PICK UP THE PHONE IN 5 MINUTES FOR A HOUR WHILE YOUR ON HOLD. WHY TO THEY SAY THEY HAVE 24/7 SUPPORT AND THE TEXT STATE SOMEONE WILL GET BACK IN TWO -THREE DAYS AND NO ONE EVER DOES.

I KEEP GETTING FAKE RESERVATIONS (#14 ARRIVED YESTERDAY)? FAKE NAME FAKE CC INFO, FAKE ADDRESS, FAKE EMAIL, FAKE PHONE?

I'M WONDERING IS BOOKED.COM SOME HACKERS FAKE BUSINESS....I CAN'T EVEN CANCEL?? I READ ABOUT PEOPLE HAVING SUCCESS WITH THEM AND I WONDER IF THOSE ARE FAKE REVIEWS TOO.

1 year ago
1
Info

We have reservations which will result in about 6 on 10 to be cancelled either by the client or by us. This is done within free cancellation period and sometimes when it happens to take the prepayment, we find out that the credit card is invalid. Despite contacting the client and reporting to Booking.Com, many result to be fake and you have any mean to get your rightful cancellation fee if it should be applied. We lose more 24 hours before being able to cancel the reservation and it should be instant as if the client is serious, he will book again promptly and provide genuine credit card details to secure his reservation. Booking.Com has implemented, for some selected properties, a virtual card payment same as Expedia or Agoda. This is at first stance a good initiative to stop the fake reservation as client pays Booking.Com at reservation. However, the client still has the choice between paying directly Booking.Com who will then repay us with the virtual card or provide us their credit card details to be charged (later) as per set conditions, then leaving the gate still wide open to fake reservations. Why do the policy makers at Booking.Com still allow these practices that cost us money and time and less commission for them.

1 year ago
1
Birth2etrn

It's been months and I've only had 1 real guest. The 1st day I started this account I got 7 bookings for far out dates. As time started to get closer to those dates, each of those reservation started canceling their stays. As of right now I've only had 1 guest stay. I almost feel like BDC is partially scamming in the beginning. Based on the comments I read it seems as if BDC has some sort of algorithm to load up bookings in the immediate beginnig and slowly take them away as time goes on, with the hopes of real bookings coming through while the HOST are excited about the instant rush of initial bookings. I've had Credit Card scammers try to get in my place as well. I had to download an APP called BAR CLUB STATS. So far this is the best APP out for SCANNING government issued I.D's. I will not let anyone enter my premises without a government issued I.D or 2. I also take a picture of the I.D, just incase of a SCAM, I can forward a real picture of the persons to the POLICE / PROPER AUTHORITIES. This is normally a real deterrent for SCAMMERS. Right now I've had the best SUCCESS with AIR BNB, They really partner with the HOST. They have a registration / screening process thats similar to buying Crypto Currency (SCAMMER DETERRENT). Bank Account, Government Issued I.D and a bill with your current address on it. So I campaign for AIR BNB, 100% of my BOOKINGS have been REAL. Check out the APP, and make sure you make it part of your POLICY. GOVERNMENT ISSUED I.D & CREDIT CARD matching the name on the reservation, then SCAN the I.D as well. The other option is to get off this site. I hope this has been helpful..Good Luck with this GREEDY COMPANY.

1 year ago
1
Birth2etrn

Why does one's comments have to be approved by the COMPANY thats operating as a TICKET SCALPER. MEANING = Only focused on how to take %'s fee's away from the HOST (Commissions, opportunities, etc) with no HOSTS SUPPORT!. No concern with CREDIT CARD SCAMMERS. BDC has to do more to support the HOST.

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

We are ending our partnership with BDC as well. We asked them since December 2017 why they do not want to put tick box required by Visa International in their booking form (requirement that has to be adhered since 2014 by all e-commerce business) and until today they do not want to answer at all (more than 20 emails). They simply answer that it is not their right to answer (so who has the right to answer?) and that they are sorry that they simply cannot meet up our expectation.

And since Visa International is going to simplify the charge back procedure starting 1 April 2018 and BHD still refuses to put the tick box (some partners here suggest that this because BDC does not want to pay relevant tax in their country as a proper e-commerce business) - I don't think I can be part of illegal business. My business will face fraud charges and also a possibility of charge back from every customers BDC refers to.

I agree that this is a very greedy company and put all partners in big problem soon.

1 year ago
2
Lou Borchers

My system of making the guest pay works:

Solution and turn your reservations through booking.com from nearly worthless to real reservations as coming from all

OTA´s:

MAKE ALL YOUR RESERVATIONS NON-REFUNDABLE! and let booking.com state in "The Fine Print": `Please note that the hotel

will contact guests directly with instructions and information on payment methods´.

By my experience non-refundable will not bother your booking numbers at all.

But it will still not keep the nasty guest away that all of our hotels hate on booking.com: The no-shows. They will

not bother if non-refundable or not because they think they will simply continue as usual at booking.com: book

several rooms/hotels at booking.com and give false credit card data, wrong names, wrong or no CVC # and of course

don´t keep funds on their credit cards because they know booking.com does not care anyway. Booking.com supports that

behaviour because it does not cost them anything, only the hotels who are stupid enough to block rooms for these

worthless bookings pay.

Don´t even continue with your high-risk for charge back card-not present chargings, just cancel your merchant account

needed anyway only for booking.com trying to charge their mostly worthless reservations, save that money since all

OTA´s transfer the guest payments anyway to your bank account.

Use Pay Pal and write Invoices through them, send these invoices through booking.com to the guest email, MAKE THEM

DUE ON RECEIPT!

Write this on the invoices:


Dear Guest:

Many guest think that they paid their reservation already when they gave their credit card data to booking.com during

the reservation process.

That is NOT the case, Booking.com will not charge your credit card, they only keep your credit card data as a

security in case you will not show up on this non-refundable reservation.

(INSERT YOUR HOTEL NAME) will also will not charge your credit card, only in case of no-show.

THAT MEANS YOUR RESERVATION HAS NOT YET BEEN PAID!

*YOU* have to pay this invoice *NOW* the same way you pay other things online.

That is also valid for last minutes bookings ON THE ARRIVAL DAY because booking.com guest are known for not showing

up if they did not prepay.

**PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR APARTMENT/S WILL BE PERMANENTLY RESERVED FOR YOU ONLY AFTER YOU PAID BY CREDIT CARD!**


Best regards,

Terms and conditions (on the right of the Invoice):

As stated at booking.com in "The Fine Print": `Please note that the hotel will contact guests directly with

instructions and information on payment methods´.

THIS INVOICE is our payment method, you have to pay it by credit card NOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR APARTMENTS FOR YOU!

We issued this invoice through PayPal as an external payment provider. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A PAYPAL ACCOUNT!

*Also on last minute bookings ON THE ARRIVAL DAY you have to prepay by credit card NOW.*


If not paid immediately something stinks already, so on the next morning, send your

First Reminder:


Your invoice was due already yesterday but you did not pay it.

(We have peak season here, the whole island is about 90% fully booked on your dates.) (if applicable, speeds it up)

*BECAUSE YOU DID NOT YET PAY, YOUR BOOKED ROOMS ARE STILL OPEN TO BOOK FOR OTHER GUEST; THEY ARE NOT YET

RESERVED/GUARANTEED FOR YOU!*

Our experience with booking.com guest shows that if they do not pay immediately they mostly NEVER pay anymore!

This is the procedure booking.com recommends to us, YOUR HOTEL NAME:

"1. Email guest the instruction on paying your invoice amount.
2. If guest paid, please block/guarantee the room. *(THAT MEANS ROOM IS NOT YET GUARANTEED FOR GUEST BEFORE PAID!)*
3. After maximum of two email attempts no payments have been received, the booking will be cancelled by our Customer

Service Team.
3. You will receive a cancellation email from Booking.com and you may resell the room."

Regards,


If still no payment, on the 3. day:

(Second and last Payment Reminder)


Dear Guest:

Until now you did not pay this invoice for your reservation even after my first reminder.

My experience with booking.com guest shows that if they do not pay immediately they mostly NEVER pay anymore!

If I had more Apartments than are likely to be all booked it would not matter, but I have only ... Apartments so it

should be understandable that I can not block them for booking.com guest that did not prepay.

Ask yourself: What would YOU do if you were the hotel owner: Would you leave the reservation alive and block the

rooms for other guest who might also want to book at these dates AND pay?

To make it clear: The rooms are still available for other guest to book.

I will not send you any more reminders to pay your invoice.

That means for you that you are in the same situation as I am on your arrival day: If you have luck, the Apartment

might still be available, if not, you had bad luck...

And if you do not show up, I will charge your credit card with the whole amount since the reservation is non-

refundable.

And if somebody else booked AND paid it, I will cancel your reservation and booking.com will throw you out!

We do not have these problems with other travel agents like Agoda, Airbnb, Ctrip, Expedia, there a reservation is

only possible when they charged the guest credit card successfully.

Apartments will be permanently reserved for you after you paid (and our welcome Email with full info also about best

airport transfer and directions will be sent.) (if applicable)

Regards,

More remarks:

The threatening with charging the guests card is only to speed them up, actually if they don´t really want to book

they gave wrong data anyway or don´t have any funds on the card.

Since Global Payments invented 2 years ago an "Account Maintenance Fee" of 1000 US $ additionally to their 3,5%

commission on each transaction I immediately canceled my contract with them. That is also their intention, to get rid

of customers that don´t bring really high turnovers.
So I don´t even store booking.com´s mostly worthless credit card data anymore.

Upon receiving the reservation I block the rooms of course in case the guest really wants to book and pay.

After the 2. reminder I open the rooms again and call booking.com to send a reminder to the guest from their side,

too and they will give them 12 or 24 hrs. depending on you to pay.
After that and no payment arrived through Pay Pal call booking.com and let them throw the guest out!

I always tell the guest through booking.com that I enjoyed throwing them out!

Try it, it works for me!!!

1 year ago
1
Dbwolinski

I have a bed and breakfast in Colorado Springs. At least once a month I get a short notice reservation for our most expensive room for 3 or 4 nights. I charge in advance, but: The credit card is invalid, the phone number is often random (a real number, but not the right contact), address is on a street that doesn't exist. Then I'm holding the bag with the room unavailable and waiting 24 hours after requesting a new card number and not getting it. Booking.com just shrugs when I call for a followup.

1 year ago
2
Lou Borchers

You did not read my comment above you, it works! You don´t have to charge any guest credit cards of booking.com reservations, most of them are worthless anyway. Let the guest pay your invoice sent to them from Paypal and if they did not pay immediately, throw them out because they do not intend to pay!

1 year ago
1
Coralsandsrarotonga

Here in the Cook Islands, we were getting high cancellations and fake bookings. In the last two months we have changed to 'non refundable 30% deposit' and this has changed our business overnight. Any card declines we get on booking, we just send back to booking.com as 'card declined' then cancel booking. We charge the balance of 70% 30 days ahead of arrival. For us, everyone has to arrive by international flights so we very rarely get last minute bookings so having last minute cancellations, card declines, or no shows was crippling.

1 year ago
2
Lou Borchers

Yes, that´s what I recommended in one of my previous comments. You can even make it without deposit and charge 100 % without reducing bookings or, as I do it, let the guest pay your invoice with their cards, reducing also possible charge backs to zero! Booking.com guest need their special treatment to make them pay all this just because booking.com does not like to bear the risk of charge backs....

1 year ago
2
Ericoutram

Dodg,gie. *** bookings.com

no show ,last minute booking.now shows,no txt eta

all the norm,if ya let them ,use you

theyre useing you.

what do I mean ,any booking longer than a week

people can worm, out ,they’re worms at it

go on as many ,booking sites as you can handle,

youll find one will work for you,I have two good sites and a third that you know who

booking .commmm,is the last resort,resort

ie last minute bookers,yes the people not organised and turn up when they feel like it

Jason ,above yes cancellation

are a pain

but I don’t allow,more than a week ahead for bookings

no long term bookings for peak times unless its paid and booked at that date

again long term bookers pay in advance,

upfront for peak times,more than one day

and ya won’t get burnt ,with empty rooms for days on end

check in times early with notice to them when they book.if they don’t check in early with notice by txt or phone

stick there room up as quick as possible and tell them that

i txt them .no response there room back up for rent.

most successful people ,sort there

shitbooking .com out,as anyone with half a brain ,after one no show a month

I’m not here ,towaiti—-for them

I txt or call them quick let them know ,

if ya don’t get answer ,and deposit cancel there booking .b4 they do it to you

boy ,oh boy they’re on the ph faster than cosmic dust,rebooking ang kissing your ,,,,

so i know Jason ,

every time they screw you around ,no show

theyre of doing it it too me or another mug gins.here there and every were

i have tried talking to the coe

ceo but she’s on full time holiday drinking wine in the sun restaurant ,

jason ,advice all I can give

get several booking sites,3/5 best ones

no long term bookings ,I’ll explain in a minute

as I understand ya can’t ph everyone but any big ,long term or over two days bookings

get txt #

ph# and ask for deposits money,,if they’re serious they’ll pay as they do with airbnb

holiday booking I don’t take bookings as it’s busy at that time

and find I can put up the sites and get

good bookings anyway,

who needs any more than 30/45days at peak times

also rainy days I’m swamped

yes swamped with holiday makers ,washed out of there cars and camps

so Jason demographics,what’s yours

communication,communication,communication

booking .co is a old fashion search engine,burning up in the cosmos

its a comet,with a long tail ,burnt out

love or hate it it’s out there in the Milky Way.

and does light up your life,rooms ,when people use it

but it’s not the only star********* in the booking market

so until they listen to you

and listen to me ,I use 2*

3other booking sites with better systems ,yes Jason

you and I would never get a job with booking .co as there all

afraid we’ll. do a better search engine

and use booking .com for the late and non show,

and only one day stayers ,last words ph ya quests ,ask for the deposit

get some waiting money for no shows,

god bless you

love from New Zealand kaitaia,

the space between us is the same space that brings us together

pps I’m on holiday for three months

no booking .co

because I don’t open my calendar to bookings sites ,it’s my hotel and I choose who comes when

best of luck .

1 year ago
1
Fincahostalbolivar

We have a hostel in Colombia and so far we only had three fraudulent bookings.

When we come across a suspicious booking we usually check the credit card in the virtual terminal of our POS terminal provider. If the credit card is invalid we mark it in Booking.com, and about 2 hours later we can cancel the booking.

1 year ago
1
Denis

I run an in inn with 18 rooms. I prepare a full breakfast daily for my guests. For my first 6 years I had no such problems but this winter the bogus reservations started. This is not just random people making reservations and failing to show. This is systematic, purposeful, by design, but I admit I cannot figure the reason. It just happens with too much regularity. This does have an impact. I purchase the food for these phantom guests, I prep it, I turn on lights in the bogus rooms and turn the heat up a bit, and wait up for the check in, so it's time, money, and inconvenience. They follow a pattern so I am now generally able to spot the fakes, so I no longer prepare. But the pattern tells me that it's not random, it's not rude jack asses, it's a planned scam.

1 year ago
1
Denis

Here's a "coincidence." I complained to B.C by message through the extranet. In that complaint I described the bogus reservations, stating that these three common features tell me when I have a bogus reservation, and that I can smell them out. Since that communication the bogus reservations have transformed, they've changed completely, they've become more damaging (longer times in more expensive, premium rooms). I have been forced to require a pre-payment from this day forward. Just makes more work for me, and if it's too much work maybe it's time to cut ties.

Any one have any idea what this is about. I know these are not real people going through the steps to make a reservation just to not show up. This is a fraud of some type, I just cannot figure what they are angling for.

1 year ago
1
Miami Beach HomeStay

Let me explain my issues business has been slow so I decided to try and see who my competition was I found the only property in my area was my only competition in what my property offers and value. For several weeks I watched as she would price match her unit to the price of mine, she has 4 I have 1 unit that is comparable so she would match one of her units to my price mine till she had it rented, and then would drop the prices of her other units to match my price till she got all the guests looking in our market at my price.

All this is legal say Booking.com they say its Competitive marketing. I came up with a new strategy 40% off our daily rate. My competitor I believe doesn’t want to match that rate. As a result of my strategy my property gets booked with fraudulent bookings when ever both of our properties have availability. This results in my property being removed from the market for 12 to 24 hours due to Booking.Coms policy. Once the 12or 24 hours is finished if her property is still available I will get another fraudulent booking until her property is booked.

As long as her property is booked my property is pretty much safe from not being taken off the market. This only seems to happens when we both have availability.

My question is what can I do ?

Sincerely,

David Cernance

Miami Beach HomeStay

305-707-1029

1 year ago
1
Info

This is the main issue with Booking.Com and their system which presents major weaknesses in genuineness of reservations and therefore reliability of payment . So far they will allow the visitors to make these fake and fraudulent reservations and all the burden remains on our shoulders.

We share our last experience: we received a last minute booking at beginning of this week with arrival next day. As the payment was due, we processed the credit card on morning of arrival day and it was successful. Later, a person showed up and presented his passport, was not same name of reservation, and said that the person who made the reservation will show up 24 hours later. He presented himself as the colleague, sharing the house, and showed us a copy on his cellphone of passport of person who made reservation. We had some doubts and asked for more clarifications with that person. Finally, it was an attempt to fraudulently stay at our property and that person just left discretely while we were processing some verification which confirmed that status. We had also to revert the credit card transaction to avoid further problems later.

When we cancelled the reservation, we got immediately a phone call from Booking.Com for inquiry. The lady operator informed us that they will contact person who made the booking but never reverted back as she found it was be a dead end as everything was fake.

Actually for our property we have above 60% of cancellation rate: fake, invalid credit card details, cancelling some days before free cancellation period ends with 'genius' status clients involved.

Booking.Com for some destination applies now direct payment to them upon reservation. They will process payment with the client and repay you later (generally at end of month) the amount less commission by bank transfer. You may on the Extranet select that method or call your account manager for support. This will guaranty your reservation as visitors won't accept to pay immediately for fake reservation.

Also, you must have a cancellation period and policy. This will filter your reservations and put a reasonable period that will allow you to get other reservation if there is cancellation.

1 year ago
1
Matt

I have two phone apps that are helpful:

"Hiya" ($15) & "White Pages" (free)

The first thing I do is verify the number in Hiya. If it shows that person's name then it is good. If Hiya does NOT show the person's name I call the number.

White Pages I use to search the person's name to see if I can find one that matches that name and address.

If both of those options fail, I mark their credit card as invalid in Booking's extranet. I can then cancel the reservation if they do not update their info.

My investment in time is 5 minutes per reservation and works well for me.

1 year ago
1
Brjul

Hi

I have at small B&B in Denmark with 3 rooms.

The last month I got 10 fake bookings. all off them have a phone nr. that do not exist and a email made over Booking.com. The name is Inglish and the country is Kina -off course the all are not shown....

I tryed to get help from Booking.com, but they told me that they never heard about this problem before..... But following this, i can read that this is a problem many Places? and what to do?

1 year ago
1
John Hatchman

Hi

We run a small B&B in New Zealand (two rooms only). Recently we start to have fake bookings (in June). These fake bookings all have very smiler format:

1) strange countries (such as Swaziland, Jersey)

2) the customer details are not real: preferred language is Cantonese but customers all have english name, non from china, the fake phone numbers have same format/number of digits/numbers

3) all don't answer any messages

4) all booked at similar time of the day and week. In our case, they were all made around 10am NZ time for same day booking

5) no any other booking details such as arrival time

I have tried to contact booking.com, but nobody is interested in helping us to get rid of fake bookings. They say there is a department for investigating fake bookings, but no further actions ever taken and we can not contact this special department

We should get together to raise the issue to a higher level if booking.com is not willing to do anything (such as internet fraud at country level)

Please join the discussion if anyone else have similar experience...

John

1 year ago
1
John Hatchman

To continue my previous post, attached are the two fake bookings screen shot. please let know any other similar fake bookings..

1 year ago
1
Miami Beach HomeStay

Anyone who wants to call or WhatsApp about this feel free to call me

USA. 305-707-1029

1 year ago
1
Tutcoast

John Hatchman

I am in New Zealand too and had quite a few fake bookings over the summer months. I started now to check the Credit card numbers, if they fake, I report them to booking.com. They do not do anything about it, but when you check the Card then at least you can cancel the booking early

1 year ago
1
John Hatchman

Thanks Tutcoast!

We are thinking of getting credit card pre-authurization service from the payment provider. But it of course will add on further costs. But it seems the only way to make sure the card and bookings are genuine...

How do you check the card from your end?

Thanks

John

1 year ago
1
Tutcoast

Hi John

I have Credit card facilities in my Motel. I lost quite a few bookings over the busy time, now I am checking all my bookings. That is all I can do, unless i am charging up front

1 year ago
1
Info

Thank you very much for sharing all these information. I have 10 vacation properties in Montreal for rent. From March 1, 2018 to now, I have experienced over 60 fake reservations - invalid credit cards, telephones given never work or the person is not existed at that number, etc... I have always tried to charge full amount on the given credit card right after the booking. The problem I have is these reservations always happened at the busies times of the month or week and they tied up my properties for at least 24 hours while waiting for the FAKED individual(s) going and update the credit card information. By the time I'm allowed to cancel these faked reservations (as required by Booking.com that I have to wait for 24 hours), other guests who really need the place to stay have already booked with my other competitors.

I have called in the Booking.com partner support team to explain the situation. Some representatives were nice enough to do the cancellation right away, but many others didn't really care. From March 1 to now, I have called in to the partner support almost everyday and each time I have to spend at least 3 hours on the phone to explain the situation. I'm starting to get very frustrated with this problem and thinking about pulling all of my properties out of Booking.com just for the peace of mind.

11 months ago
1
Info

Are we allowed to share information or posting all faked reservations on here?

11 months ago
1
Gayleeade

Seems this problem is world wide. I run a small 3 room guest house in Christchurch, New Zealand. The bogus bookings started three months ago. Bookings with obvious fake name and address and of course no shows. These bogus bookings block the room for other legitimate guests. The last 8 out of 10 bookings received have been fake. Booking.com dont seem to have an answer to this problem, however I am able to pick up on the fakes now but it is starting to get very annoying now. Maybe its time for a change !!

11 months ago
1
Denis

The names seem to get more realistic and the pattern seems to change, at least it has for me. Strange thing, the pattern of the bogus guests changed for me AFTER I identified the pattern on this forum. Probably just coincidence. I discussed this issue with a guest who works for a subsidiary of B.com. His opinion, maybe a competitor trying to make those impacted quit B.com. I don't know if I agree, but I keep asking myself to what end are these perps doing this? It takes effort to make these bogus reservations. And the credit card numbers are real enough that when I put them in my computer vault they pass the smell test. On the other hand, if I transpose a number when putting a legitimate credit card in the system my vault rejects it. So these credit card numbers are good fakes. Of course when I try to run them for payment I get an error message.

Anyway, anyone have any theories on the motivation behind this.

11 months ago
1
Joymel

Hi there - I have a small B & B in Christchurch and this week for the first time have experienced 'fake' bookings - 2 over this weekend. We don't have credit card facility so I need to come up with a solution. B.com don't have any answers when you speak to them. I will be checking bookings much more closely now as I can see that lack of response to my confirmation email and request for ETA plus phone numbers that don't work are a red flag. I have also now set up to collect credit card details even though we don't process these. For a very small business the cost is just too high. Air B & B is very easy in this regard - however our success rate is much higher with B.com and I am not sure why.

Joy

11 months ago
1
Gayleeade

Joy, sounds like you in same boat as us. We dont have c/c or eftpos. Just internet transfer or cash. Yes air bnb very efficient with payment procedures but up until recently booking.com have sent us far more bookings. Maybe it is one of their competitors trying to get us to pull out from booking.com i think there must be a way booking.com can tighten up there systems because this is starting to become a big problem

11 months ago
1
Rheavpajarillo

The fake bookings started a week ago. It zeroed out my room inventory for that weekend. It was booked by Chinese nationals usually at the last minute for 3 consecutive days. Called the attention of booking.com. But received no response. It happened again this weekend. So basically, the fake bookings block the rooms for legitimate travellers to see. So I try to overbook my rooms. Well, guess what. Even that room was booked by fake bookers. So I immediately signed up for Payments by booking.com. to get rid of fake bookings. We don't have credit card facilities by the way. But the changes will be in effect next week. For now, I just have to bear with these nuisances. I am also with airbnb. Great payment facilities with them, but majority of our guests comes from booking.com.

11 months ago
1
Joymel

I am trying to get Booking.com to tell me if our fake bookings came from the same email address as I they will have a record of the email addresses used. This morning I checked out my new booking method which now requests credit card - just to find that there is next to the credit card details this note from booking.com: No credit card? we have lots of hotels who don't request credit card details ....... This looks as though they are encouraging people away from my site and will do anything to get a booking.

I encourage others to keep at booking.com about fake bookings - they may finally 'hear' us.

11 months ago
1
Mirko

We are new to Booking.com, with our two apartments, and so far we were doing fine, in our small town.

We felt gleeful when two days ago we got 5 bookings in one day. Up to now, there have been 8, in quick succession. They are all similar:

- 2 people

- 1 night

- All from the USA (one from Canada), with regular names (Rory, Kim, Ruth, Thomas, Arthur, Jay, James), and last names that are just slightly uncommon (Charette, Solis, Dawkins, Dewey, Dunn)

- No response to messages asking about arrival time

I started suspecting something today. I went online and found posts like this one.

I sent messages to Booking.com asking about my 8 reservations that are likely to be no shows. I'll update you on what they say.

We had one no show last week, a Japanese called Tomomi, whose preferred language was Cantonese (red flag?). We marked it as no show, and requested the 50% cancellation fee, but no word from Booking.com yet. I asked about that, too.

11 months ago
1
Vicky

From this year, more than 60% bookings from booking.com are fake reservations.

All don't answer any messages and the customer details are strange.

I am wondering if these bookers can make money by making fake reservations?

It seems booking.com doesn't try to solve such problem.

10 months ago
1
Spiti Tou Georgiou

I am also getting these 'fake bookings' the so called guest is nearly always from Ukrane, Russia or Hungary. They range from a few months ahead to last minute ( which I can't accept in my situation) they all result in me being unable to cancel, or if I do manage to cancel it's a long drawn out process that takes you closer to the window where you are no longer eligible to cancel so you end up being charged the commission by Booking.com I have done some research and at the moment there is no protection for us. No way to bring booking.com in line or get them investigated. My suggestion is as a collective vote with your feet. I have two genuine bookings through them coming up ( guest has already paid) once these have been. I am cancelling my connection with thid channel and sticking to Airbnb, Tripadviser and owner's direct.

10 months ago
1
Vicky

Remember to mark the fake reservation as a "no-show" by 24:00 of the day following the check-in date. Then you won't be charged the commission. Otherwise, a commission will be charged. And you cannot cancel before guest's arrival even the booking looks very fake. This mechanism is stupid.

10 months ago
1
Kevin

After reading through most of this thread, I had to respond.

You should be able to mark no shows right up until the deadline for adjusting bookings after the end of the month. You should NEVER have to pay a commission for any no show. If you are doing so, you are doing it wrong and should contact booking.com for some training on how to use the extranet to adjust your bookings before the invoicing deadline.

One user stated that they were going to add pre-authorization to their current payment system and that doing so would create additional costs for them and asked what others do. For our small property (B&B or boutique hotel) we use Square for in person payment card processing. Square, unfortunately, does not provide for pre-authorization. However, we use Stripe for most of our card not present transactions, including website direct reservations and (importantly) pre-authorizations. There is no fee for the pre-authorization with Stripe.

We had a problem last year because neither of our systems would permit the charge without CVV and zip code. We found out THIS year that we were mistaken and Stripe provided an answer. Often with these no shows, the zip code was in error and booking.com does not provide us with the CVV. Both the zip code (or postal code) and CVV checking *can* be turned off in Stripe for processing the pre-authorization or no show fee. Pre-authorization can be done very quickly after the reservation is received. Doing so cuts down on invalid card, no show, can't charge reservations and the last minute price drop that these can create when they are discovered late on the scheduled arrival date.

Best practice is to pre-authorize (even if only for $1) immediately after receiving a new booking.

10 months ago