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Obtaining full customer card details with Smartflex

I have a 7 day cancellation period which Booking.com reduce to 4 days with Smartflex meaning they cover the 3 days up to the new 4 day cancellation period. They provide a virtual card to guarantee up to the 4 day period then modify the booking by providing the customer's own details for the final 4 days as they become liable. However when the new details are provided, Booking.com remove the CVV on their card (to stop me charging) but also they do not provide the number with the customer's card. This effectively means I am holding a booking I cannot guarantee as I cannot charge to the card in the event of a "no show" (my credit card supplier needs the CVV or will not process).

Simple issue you would think but I told this to Booking.com 3 weeks ago and the answer was to declare the card invalid. SThis is stupid as the card IS valid only they fail to provide the CVV. It happens on every Smartflex booking and I tried unsuccessfully yesterday to explain to a total of 6 different Booking.com agents (one in Singapore) and all I was told was to mark the card invalid. I ended up phoning the guest and they gave me the CVV but it is a little embarassing and also difficult with overseas customers.

Has anyone else had this issue. I have withdrawn from Smartflex to see if they will do anything, but once I said I had the number the stopped talking to me.


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13 Bees 2 months ago

Have exactly the same issue and, unfortunately, the exact same success rate with Booking.con that you experienced..... we're guessing that this is part of a wider play by them to force a new process (probably paid for) on accommodation owners down the line.

BTW, how did you opt out of the Smartflex service please as I'm trying to find the steps right now and am clearly missing something!

Thanks and have a great weekend

Kevin

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Kew House 2 months ago

I logged into the Booking.com hub, then "opportunities," then "smartflex" and if you scroll down there is a chance to alter it. Initially it only allowed me to delay by up to a month, which I chose. One month to the day, I received a Smartflex booking but this time when I went back in, I found the opportunity to cancel completely. Not sure if this has been added or if you have to do the "delay" first before the chance to cancel. You'll know when you go in. It took a little bit of finding as the whole Smartflex page is about the "opportunity" so obviously cancelling is a taboo word.

At this moment we are running with a 7 day cancellation  period so them reducing it to 4 is not a great deal. It might be a better deal for those with longer cancellation periods.

I can process without the CVC but it leaves me on very shaky ground if the guest complains and I cannot understand why they offer the CVC with their virtual card but not with the guest card. Anyway since withdrawing I have had no negligible drop in business.

 

Ian

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Isle of Wight … 1 month ago

The CVC issue existed before Smart Flex - Smart Flex is just another nuisance that causes yet more problems.

The solution is to use Payments by Booking.com.

I've posted and commented dozens of times about this .......

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Kew House 1 month ago

I think I prefer to keep my own merchant account with more freedom, flexibility and better rates. Smartflex, as you say, hasn't added anything to my business so, as Booking.com have not even attempted to answer my questions, the simple solution is to do without it which I'm doing.

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Kew House 1 month ago

I just wanted to add to this post. I withdrew from Smartflex for one month initially over the CVC issue and another booking arrived at the end of that period before I withdrew completely.

Today the new card details arrived for that guest and lo and behold, the CVC number had been taken from the Booking.com virtual card (as it should be) but the guest CVC was intact. This is the first Smartflex booking with the CVC number still there. Maybe someone WAS listening.

If this is the case then I'll give it another go!

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13 Bees 1 month ago

Hi, could you point me in the direction please of how to turn Smartflex off / withdraw from the programme because I'm being dim and can't find the right options. Thanks in advance

Kevin

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Kew House 1 month ago

If you log in to the Booking.com hub, click "opportunities", then "Smartflex programme", this is where you join OR unjoin. You need to really scrolll down to the bottom to find the part about leaving the programme but it is there.

 

Ian

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Isle of Wight … 1 month ago

After a flurry of Smart Flex bookings which all became cancellations, we're turning off Smart Flex. Being messed about like this is no good.

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13 Bees 1 month ago

Thanks very much both :-)