Outrageous Booking.com advertizing
I just opened a Booking.com website as I try to see if at last they have closed my account (once they have you, they hang on like leeches). What I saw explained why this terrible, incompetent company is so untrustworthy and so useless for small, independent hosts, many of whom complain about 90% worthless "reservations".
The heading on the page was "Reservations with no credit card! Free cancellations!" (or words to that effect).
So! Booking.com ENCOURAGES every senile oldster idly dreaming about a vacation somewhere, every 6-year-old with access to a smart phone, every scheming hustler someplace in the world, to "reserve" with one click. Then what happens? The host spends hours online trying to confirm what is only a whim, a fantasy, or an intentional scam, then begging some call-center attendant whose first language is Bulgarian or Chibcha to "cancel" a non-existent rezervation. The hosts' labor and schediling problems cost Booking.com NOTHING. They play the law of averages! A hundred thousand "reservations" world-wide MIGHT mean 10,000 genuine rentals. And then there they are: the jackals from Holland, demanding their commissions. In some countries, such as Panama--where I operate--they do not even OFFER to collect from guests and supply to hosts credit-card info.
So sure, they advertise "Reserve for free! Cancel for free!" But they block your calendar and confirm for these phantom "guests" and you as a host end up with 90% or higher cancellations and no-shows.
Time to contact Professor T. or the real Netherlands consumèr-protection authorities. These people needed to be reulated in their home country. HERENGRACHT HERE WE COME!