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No payment or communication from guest!

When a guest hasn't answered any correspondence nor paid a deposit (property conditions) I honestly feel that the room can then be opened up for a genuine paying guest. We struggle to motivate this to the call centre. Booking.com and the property owner are both losing money because of this.

40 Replies

1
Mixy

That is very true. I recently had such situation with a guest who booked 7 days and didn't answer any of my messages even though I was trying to contact him for more than 4 weeks. All booking. com did was to try (unsuccessfully) to contact him. When I declared no show, it was too late. Not to mention that this rule can be abused by my competitors. The new rule must be that if the guest does not reply in a reasonable time, the host should have the option to cancel that booking.

1 year ago
3
christine

I know why the guest didn't bother to respond; because it looks like spam in their in box.

1 year ago
1
Mixy

Christine, you are probably right, but I also relentlessly tried to contact him by phone, Viber & Whatsapp.

1 year ago
3
christine

Well, if policy states that they have to pay a deposit, why didn't you get it when they made the reservation?

1 year ago
1
Mixy

No deposit in the policy. It is close to impossible to get it because there are legal limitations for that in my country.

1 year ago
1
Mixy

And btw, even if there is a deposit, 2/3 of the accommodation price is still lost, both for me and booking.com. In reality, most customers skip accommodations who demand deposits

1 year ago
2
Paul Chatwin

aaaaaaahhhhhh my favourite Booking.com subject.

Within the Booking T&Cs on the booking.com website it states several things - and they are VERY important.....

By making a reservation through Booking.com, you enter into a direct (legally binding) contractual relationship with the Supplier with which you make a reservation or purchase a product or service (as applicable). From the point at which you make your reservation, we act solely as an intermediary between you and the Supplier, transmitting the details of your reservation to the relevant Supplier(s) and sending you a confirmation email for and on behalf of the Supplier.

When rendering our Service, the information that we disclose is based on the information provided to us by Suppliers. As such, the Suppliers are given access to an extranet through which they are fully responsible for updating all rates, availability and other information which is displayed on our Platform.

Each Supplier remains responsible at all times for the accuracy, completeness and correctness of the (descriptive) information (including the rates and availability) displayed on our Platform.

rates made available by Suppliers may carry special restrictions and conditions, for example non-cancelable and non-refundable. Please check the relevant product, service and reservation conditions and details thoroughly for any such conditions prior to making your reservation.

And the following two terms are especially important

For certain (non-refundable) rates or special offers, please note that Suppliers may require that payment is made upfront by wire transfer (if available) or by credit card, and therefore your credit card may be pre-authorised or charged (sometimes without any option for refund) upon making the reservation. Please check the (reservation) details of your product or service of choice thoroughly for any such conditions prior to making your reservation.

Please note that a reservation which requires down payment or (wholly or partly) prepayment may be cancelled (without a prior notice of default or warning) insofar the relevant (remaining) amount(s) cannot be collected in full on the relevant payment date in accordance with the relevant payment policy of the Supplier and the reservation.

The above statement is VERY clear - it states that if a booker does not meet YOUR T&Cs of Booking, then YOU CAN CANCEL THE BOOKING WITHOUT NOTICE.

So, when Booking.com tell you to follow the failed card procedure - ignore them.

WHY should you suffer just because a booker has failed to read and accept your booking terms?

WHY should you wait 24hrs or 36hrs for booking.com to chase the booker?

WHY should you have to wait until 6pm to cancel a same day booking?

This is what we do.........

1) WE try to call the booker to ask for payment - we do not leave a message if they dont answer.

2) WE email the booker and give them OUR courtesy deadline for paying.

3) We use the extranet mail feature to advise booking.com that (a) the booker has not paid as per our T&Cs, despite being offered a courtesy payment period (b) we make it VERY clear that the booker has failed to meet our Booking T&Cs and therefore does not have a valid booking (c) we advise booking.com that because the booking is not valid, we DO NOT have any liability to the booker and will not be liable for any relocation fees.

What then happens is booking.com send you auto emails showing you how to complete their failed card procedure.

We just have a laugh and ignore those emails - if they can totally ignore ours then we can do likewise.

And finally, we make sure we send availability to another OTA so that they can sell the room according to our terms and they can have the commission.

Keep a record so you can mark the booking as a No Show if booking.com wont cancel it.

Thankfully, another major OTA (beginning with the letter E) allows hotels to cancel bookings without all the fuss.

And finally, if we get too much hassle off any OTA, we just up the rates on that OTA so they are more expensive than the others. If enough of us protested like that, they would get a reputation as being more expensive and JUST MIGHT listen to us.

1 year ago
3
christine

Well I am no expert, and I don't even know which country you are referring to; but, if I was faced with that constant loss and cancellations, I would not have that policy. At the very least, then, maybe overbook? I personally wouldn't do that, because I do not want to deal with an irate guest who has no accommodation, maybe reach out to other hotels in your area and ask how they deal ?

Getting back to the people you couldn't contact- I think you are obligated to have the room available for them.

1 year ago
1
Mixy

First of all, I am not facing "constant loss and cancellation", I only had one such case in last three years. Literally in 99% of cases reply from the guest is guarantee enough that they will show up, and based on that experience I suggested to booking.com to include the provision that the guest must reply in a reasonable time. Overbooking is not an option because I rent only one accommodation, just like most of the hosts in my and many other areas. Big hotels have various means (not available in cases like mine) to solve this problem.
And yes, I know I am obligated to have the room ready for non-responsive guests and that is exactly the policy which in my opinion needs to be changed by booking.com.

1 year ago
2
Gail and John

I agree with you Mixy in most cases whereby the guest responds to a message they will show. It's the ones whereby after emailing, phoning sending sms's and still no communication it's almost certain they will be a no show.
We are a small establishment with only four bedrooms so it is frustrating when we could have a bed filled with a paying guest we have to "fight" with booking.com to release the room. I understand that both the hosts and booking.com need the guests business but wish they would look at it from the establishment point of view. We are in South Africa and we request a deposit upon receiving the booking. Booking.com does bring us the most amount of bookings so guess for now it's fingers crossed that they may look into this issue. Gail

1 year ago
1
Mixy

Hi Gail!
The case I mentioned above was particularly problematic because it was booked for 7 days, which is a lot for me, most of my guests do not stay longer than 3-4 days. Therefore, booking.com could introduce obligation to reply for guests who stay 5 days or more. That could be one possible way to solve this problem.

1 year ago
3
christine

One such case in over 3 years ? I wouldn't care...... to be honest. It seems to be an unusual occurrence.

1 year ago
2
Ivybridge Gues…

Hi Gail and John, something in black and white via Booking.com email or a letter in the post should inform the 7 day guest of your intentions before re-opening availability. If full guest details are not provided by guest how genuine is the contract between 2 parties?

Have an availability check on neighbours too as a back up plan.

That may help... Xmas greetings!

1 year ago
1
Haywood Ivanda

After several attempts to contact the guest in vain I dropped Bookin.com a mail and explained my dilemma. They immediately opened the availability of the room from their side and I received a new reservation within 8 hours from a different guest.

1 year ago
1
Alan Hokeanfee

Hi booking.com we hope that you can do the way like airbnb collect all the payment before moving in to the unit or collect some booking deposit from the guests who book, cause I got a lot of case after guests booked the unit the last few days didn't reply and didn't answer the phone or the last day cancel the booking, we can't find new client on the time and this will make us loss money .

1 year ago
1
Keithsola

Over the last 4 months I have received (on average 3) scams per month. Bogus names/ cc info/ phone numbers and email addresses?

Over the last 18 months I have received 1-2 day booking from booking.com. Meanwhile during the last 18 months I have had 322 days rented (AIR BNB / VROB). Every weekend and lots of weekdays! My schedule is 85% full (weekends) til Oct 2018 (complete 6 bedroom home)

booking.com is barely existent excepts for all the scam bookings of which they say they can't do anything.

booking.com REALLY needs to sharpen it's pencil if they are even going to be a player ( in Wisconsin)

1 year ago
2
Gail and John

Don't booking.com get it!!!
Guest doesn't pay deposit
Guest doesn't communicate.
We the host send emails, phone calls (voicemail) still nothing.
Now you tell me what the odds are that this guest is not going to be arriving. This costs both us and booking.com lost income.
Does anyone receive any reimbursement from guests cancelling or no shows?

1 year ago
3
christine

Come on, seriously? If you get all crap reservations from b.com, Keithsola, and you brag how you are soooooo full from other airbnb or whoever, then by all means close off your inventory with booking!. If you don't want to work with b.com, then don't!. Use your brain!

Do you really think that b.com is in the business of checking reservations for real cc info? YOU take the money, it is YOUR responsibility. If you can't collect the money or deposit up front, cancel it. If you can't contact the guest in advance... cancel it. You people and your "I have 1 room and I have 9.87 on reviews". OK GREAT. No one cares that you have 2 or 4 reviews and that they are 9.7 or 9.8 or 10.0...and then on the other hand, the most popular thread for all these weeks is people complaining about anon reviews. wow, so many of you have so much to learn.

And now I read the comment that Gail and John want reimbursement from guest canceling and/or no shows ... THEN change your policies . I have commented before about non refundable reservations, hey maybe that's an idea! Grow a little backbone and either take action and change policies or quit complaining!

I am sure many of you will be all up in arms by this comment. Then it is YOU to whom I speak. Start acting like you are in business to make money by selling rooms.

1 year ago
1
Mixy

Christine, " If you can't collect the money or deposit up front, cancel it. If you can't contact the guest in advance... cancel it."

Please inform yourself before commenting. Entire point of this discussion is that b.com does not allow ANY cancellation whatsoever, while the rest of us argue that they should.

1 year ago
3
christine

Oh trust me, Mixy, I am not ignorant. Let me repeat myself for you since you do not understand: YOU have complete control; it is YOUR property, after all. I would add the inventory back MYSELF and resell the room. Where is the rule that says you have to wait for b.com to do it for you? when they finally get around to adding it back, then ... duh.... remove the extra inventory.

Keep in mind, Mixy, this whole thread is about you complaining about your own cancellation policy and 1 such reservation you had 3 years ago for 7 days and you couldn't contact the guest in advance. And you want b.com to MAKE the guest reply? That is funny. If you find it necessary to sit around and wait while b.com pulls its head out of the sand; then, maybe you should choose another line of work. I don't sit around and wait for anyone. I am running a business here.

1 year ago
1
Keithsola

Hi Christine,

Thanks for your feedback. Your welcome to state I’m bragging, but it totally wasn’t the point I was making. Without stating my success in this business (with a brief descrpition), no one would really know.

I signed up with b.com for more exposure and had hoped they would be a source of bookings. (Airlines (except Southwest) are on every travel site.)

My point is my disappointment in the results and the fact that I continually have bogus bookings from them. People names, with bogus phone numbers, bogus cc’s and emails??

I’m close to deleting myself from there system because it. Believe me I wish they where more of a player in the industry! Is it the area I’m in?? Do other have this issue?? I’m I on the right thread?

You seem to have a ton of confidence and I’m guessing b.com is going GREAT for you!!! Your business sounds beyond belief!! I trying to learn, not jump ship or be insulted. Your not ignorant. Why so many no shows, bogus (scam) listings ??

Thanks

1 year ago
3
christine

B.com does the same as any of the others out there for us in terms of results. So we are not partial to any as they all bring us business. I can't imagine why you would get fake reservations so often and from only one source, Keithsola.

1 year ago
1
Nelli Wu

Christine, maybe it is because booking.com is the only source that does not have verification for their guest? Or that other booking partners not only provide safety procedures (like government ID verification, etc) but insurance for the safety of both host and guest? Or that the setup and rules of engagement with other booking platforms are easy to use, informative and factual?

For example, when i registered with booking.com I carefully chose the policies that would give me the most protection yet be easy for my guest, e.g. prepayments at time of booking. Booking.com did not tell me that they don't enforce this policy, nor that I would be expected enforce these policies myself. Or I would have done so.

I had my very first reservation with booking.com this week and it turned out to be a scam. The guest registered as united states residents when they were in fact cuban nationals. The booked last minute and called to confirm their booking but did not pay. They then used the confirmed booking to bypass immigration scrutiny in my country and never showed up nor answered their phone after. Immigration has now blacklisted my vacation rental as "one of the properties 'these people' use for illegal entry." Yes, I am now blacklisted over one failed booking, and my first to boot. It doesn't help that I declined an request from a previous customer to honour this one.

Since in my settings I requested a deposit payment at time of booking through Paypal, I believed the site would have automatically directed them to make their deposit (other sites do that Christine). Otherwise why have it in the settings? Booking.com did not tell me that I would have to request the payment and invoice the customer myself anywhere in the set up process or I would have done so. Again, other sites tell you what you have to do next when you receive a booking and the policies you sign up for are enforced and communicated to your guest, on your behalf, when they book.

To top it off booking.com charges the highest commission fees and the host still has to do all the work. If I'm paying this higher fee for just advertising/visibility then it should be clearly communicated and I'll work with it. But I was really expecting to have a better service experience for that 15% fee.

1 year ago
1
Reservations

I recently removed all of my 10+ properties as out of 10 bookings, at least 9 cards are declined when processed resulting in bookings cancellations, lost of management time, card processing fees, useless phone calls, etc... It seems guests from their site don't get our messages... I will only relist my properties when and if Booking.com does like AirBNB/VRBO, collect payments, security deposits, etc... on our behalf and become the merchant of record.

1 year ago
1
Craig

Warning to All:

I have just had PayPal refund a guest who paid a deposit, arrived at the property, checked in and stayed 2 nights...Unfortunately, my staff were too nice and trusting and allowed her to stay 2 nights even though she did not pay the balance owed. The guest kept swerving until we finally asked her to either pay or leave.

The guest left and my property was left vacant and blocked over the very busy Christmas period without any revenue costing me approx $7000.

Then the guest opened a dispute with PayPal and Pay Pal have rewarded her the $700 deposit back.

PayPal cannot be relied upon or trusted to uphold the terms and conditions of Booking.com.

I will never use PayPal again to hold any funds and I urge all property and hotels owners to also think twice as a customer can just open a dispute resolution and request their funds back and you can do very little to stop this. I even provided proof of the booking, the non-refundable policy and proof the guest arrived and stayed 2 nights in the villa and PayPal still awarded against me.

It's an absolute disgrace that PayPal can do this whilst the guest gets to negatively impact my business to the cost of $7000 and is then even awarded her deposit back which is a slap in the face.

Not happy...

Craig

1 year ago
2
Gail and John

Craig I am so sorry that this happened to you, I really appreciate you sharing as a very valid warning. Thank you

1 year ago
1
Manoirmontdidier

I had several of these reservations from North African countries and they are fake. Booking told me that they often make these reservations in order to apply for a visa to enter the country (they must show the embassy that they have a place to stay - even though they have no intention of visiting). They search for places that do not require a credit card to book. Booking said to simply send a message giving them 24 hours to pay a deposit (give them the exact date and time deadline in the message). Then contact Booking after 24 hours and explain. Booking has always cancelled the reservations for me when I followed this procedure.

1 year ago
1
Nelli Wu

I've had to do this for 5 out of 6 bookings so far. That's a lot. There is no toll free number for me to contact booking.com so each call cost me $3/minute.

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

Why don't you activate Booking.com payments? Everything will be paid.. late cancelations and also no-shows.

1 year ago
1
Nelli Wu

I asked Booking.com about this. They said it's on me to request and retrieve payments from guest. Is this something that's available in certain regions? Because they told me that it's not available at the moment.

1 year ago
1
Linquendapriva…

We had a guest and her friend check in with the knowledge from booking.com that they would pay us on arrival/departure which other guests have done. These guests check out and told my husband they didn't have enough cash and that they would settle through bookings.com. I have messaged booking.com and the non-paying thief and no response...what and where do I go ??

We should be able to name and shame, this guest probably did thiss and go free accommodation for their holiday in South Africa. NOT COOL !!!

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

But how would they settle through booking.com? The property handles all the payments with the guest. If you don't have activated Payments by booking.com it all depends of you how you will secure the booking. Such as getting a POS terminal for startes.

1 year ago
2
Ivybridge Gues…

Yes Joey you should be criticized for encouraging a business model for dummies!

Accommodation providers are in the hospitality business which relies heavily on guest relations. You really should be managing three crucial aspects of your business and they are marketing, finances and operations. You have in effect left all three to Booking.com and taken what's left at the end of it.

I guess accommodation is not your first line of business!

11 months ago
7
pibomarco

Payments by Booking.com is one of the best features on BC.
Joey I usually tell Booking.com that I will waive the cancelation fees only if I will receive another booking for the same period. Same goes for the guests who would like to leave a day earlier etc..

11 months ago
2
Gail and John

Payment by booking.com we haven't been notified of this option in South Africa sounds pretty good

11 months ago
2
Gail and John

So no communication from guest after numerous requests for a deposit through different channels including pulse. I go into pulse and press the button "request to cancel booking" I then press "due to non payment"
Message then comes up from booking.com
" This booking will remain valid until guest agrees to cancel" did screenshot but sadly can't post it here.
Mmhhh (shakes head)

11 months ago
7
pibomarco

Those are the issues if you are not able to colect money/deposit upfront. It takes time.. many guests doesn't regulary check their messages or they ignore them or for any other reason.. "Request to cancel" doesn't help much.. Usually it is effective when the guest wishes to cancel and you agree with that by waiving the cancelation fees.
Basicly you can contact BC, all they can do is to try contact the guest. They will not cancel the booking till they get an answer from them.
That is why Payments by BC or Online payments are recommended. You need a POS terminal to use online payments.
Payments by BC is available only in selected countries. Contact BC if your property is eligable for this feature.

11 months ago
2
Gail and John

Going to look into booking.com direct payment and see if eligible, thanks for your valued feedback much appreciated!!

11 months ago
1
Trudi

Before booking.com ALLOWED me to activate Booking.com payments I had over 40 bookings, 70% of which were bogus. I reached out to every one, tied to call them, sent numerous messages....those who honestly double booked and were honest cancelled (less than 50% of them did this) the others? who knows. I did NOT hold rooms for them I could not as it would have bankrupted me for 3 months. Not a single one of them ever showed up, who is going to fly half way around the world and never answer a message from a host? no one.

Since now I have a strict cancellation policy and after complaining incessantly to customer support (although I am a superhost on airbnb) booking.com payments is now enabled no more phony bookings. I must say however that many ask to change and there is not easy way to do that and keep the terms....

24 days ago