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Receiving a booking and others arriving. Who is legally responsible

we recently received a booking from a lady for 4 adults. she didn’t come but had booked for her teenage son and 3 of his mates. If something had been damaged who would have been responsible for payment of damages, and could we have denied them access? 

23 Replies

8
Leandri Klopper

Hi there,

It's a tough one.

According to what I've experienced, the person who is standing in front of you at the property must have the confirmaiton letter issued on Booking.com. This confirmation letter must have the corresponding details on it. So if for instance Leandri made the booking, her name is on the confirmation letter, but Susan is standing in front of you... then it's a No. Denied. Nur. Nee. Because how do you know it's not fraud? Anyone could gypo a fake confirmation letter.

If she did book for her son, and you don't feel comfortable with it then make sure your own policies are in place and well communicated prior to arrival. For instance, you can add to your policy that children from a certain age aren't allow to check in alone...

So I suggest, let this situation encourage you to make sure all your rules are set forth correctly so that you can literally just apply them if something happens.

Best of luck!

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

First of all, you have to help yourself. You should supervise, who is coming. There might be different situations like:

1) 10 people instead 1. In that case you can deny their entry and I believe Booking will support you. Some people do that for two reasons: it's either they are trying to hide from you, that there will be party at your place or saving money. As everyone knows in this business there is an extra charge for additional people. Take a look at hotels listings. They charge different prices for the same room depending on number of guests.

So, misrepresentation and different number of guests for overnight (visitors are till 10 or 11pm, overnight those who are actual guests) is a serious matter.

2) legal responsibility. The one who created damage irregardless of payment, invitation, if he is visitor, stranger, foreigner, etc is legally responsible. However, when it comes to payment, considering minor age, government can order parents to take financial responsibility. That's legally speaking, but please avoid such situation. In other thread we discuss how to take damage deposits, it's very helpful for you to read it.

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Booking confirmation

Booking confirmation is very clear. It's allowed to book either for yourself or for someone else, indicating their name. In that case you will see Leandri booked for Katti :)

If people honest, they normally write like hi, I reserved your place for my in laws, my aunts, etc. We have such situations very often.

Age

If you are not comfortable that minors without parents will be staying, there is an Age limit. You can identify, that you don't accept minors or someone above 50, for example.

Restrictions who books

You can also specify what information guest must provide in order to book with you. Does he need to give you his telephone number? His address?

Though, again Booking doesn't check the veracity of this information. We had guests "from Vanuatu" with not existing numbers (and yet they complain if we were not able to find and recognize them at 3am)

Welcome letter

You can also give time and a chance for a person to cancel his booking by shooting him letter, like this:

Hi Mr. X,

I would like to verify, if you are the actual guest, who is coming and what is the total number of guests. We need this information to know how many towels and toiletries to provide. Also, please kindly bring the xerox copy of your passport as security office asks us to provide it for all our guests.

If person has bad plans, without replying you he will cancel his reservation :)

9 months ago
1
Dfergz

Thank you for the comments. we have been running for 4 years and hadn't had this problem before so it was a new experience. (have had too many turn up! so knew how to handle this and yes booking.com does support you.) They would have been too old for age limits to be in place as they were around 18, however it is good to know that we can say no if the person hasn't told us they are booking for someone else.

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Actually, you can say no whenever you want. Prior to booking, after the booking, at the time of arrival of your guest...being a property owner you are in advantage. However, if you put so many restrictions, incredible rules, then the potential clients would avoid booking with you. Its really a Balance, as Leandri said about October, and I think same true for business, he he

9 months ago
5
Sara Jarvis

Hi Katerinka12

Out of interest as I’m over 50 how could that be not a good booking.

i thought we were not allowed to discriminate?

9 months ago
7
fluff

Most the OTAs tell us to check that the I.D. matches the booker or people named on the booking, plus the credit card should match. (you can ask to see this even if the guest is paying cash)

Therefore, if all seemed OK right up to arrival time and you then discover that the above is not so, you may indeed refuse the check-in.

You can, as we do, have a check in form that indemnifies the establishment by the signatory. Although this may not help with any claim with the OTA it will help if police are involved or a police report required.

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Booking never said anything about discriminating. That's not the thing. It's up to you, there might be different situations.

For example, Eugenia (forum member) doesn't like that small kids would stay in her place. Is she discriminating? Of course, no. It just she doesn't like those crayons on walls and wee wee in bed. Many hosts do not even have budget for buying a new matress and painting walls, or simply can't deal with it).

What if you rent room in your house and somehow you can't really relate to an 18 year old? You would love to see those guests, that would love to chat with you and share health care tips and most probably they are also above 50.

What if you run crocodile farm? Those foreigners don't know anything about crocodiles and think its exotic. But you know, that having little kids could be dangerous as you are not their parent to look after them. That's why you accept guests above 12 year old for example.

May be its my wild imagination, but that's how I understand why Booking created age filter. Especially as we are not allowed to put our own descriptions how would we know all important details related to the age?

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

This is not an advise, but something to think about. Here are your priorities:

1) You.

You, you and only you will decide, who steps in to your property. Will you get security deposit or not? Just don't break law and study what is the common practice, how to not become crazy host, etc :) But really, in majority of countries, government respects private person's property. Even police can't step in without court order or warrant of arest.

2) Law in your country

OTAs role is just to introduce A to B. They went far beyond that. Like Airbnb pays for damages, when in fact it's the host responsibility. He is the one, who overlooked (for instance, I was such host). OTAs already helping so much, that people think its their responsibility.

If you are running OTA, how can you take care of law difficulties and differences in all countries? Do you know that in many Muslim countries, if the government will find out, that you allowed unmarried people to stay in one room, you will go to jail? So, even if you are interested to make money and the deal look sweet, respect law first before any OTA.

3) local hotel standards and culture

What normally properties owners do in your country? By the way, this forum is good place to exchange experience with other hosts, isn't? In some countries if you call police, it takes 2 minutes for them to arrive. In some countries they wouldn't even show up. No wonder, hotel owners ask for big security deposit.

3) OTA

We had such situation - client checking in at 1am. As per our policy we don't charge for cancelation, but no one asked for it. That's crazy to keep the unit blocked till 12 noon of next day. Despite our policies, if he showed up at the door, I would give him refund. However, he wrote Booking next day and asked for refund. I resisted. I was not sleeping as I was out of the country thus time difference. Booking didn't call me or messaged me (that's because the guest contacted them the next day). I stated, that we did our job - we cleaned the apartment, I replied within seconds with detailed instructions on how to get to our place, I followed up several times. If you follow my messages... That's another reason, why I use messages and extranet. Even with phone conversation, I send the message as well. Because it's your prove. I operated with facts instead of bla bla bla.

I was so disappointed, thinking and thinking that how come we deprive ourselves of sleep, go extramile, they keep our listing blocked for this client, so we can't accept another guest...we did our job well, yet Booking wants to deprive us from our bread. How can I not only be responsible, but pay (!) for a person who didn't check the messages, who didn't show up and didn't have courtesy to notify us, or at least cancel right away...

And you know what, Booking took which side do you think? Of course, not the clients side, not our side, but their side! If it states on their site, they respect it! So, if you state your rules/restrictions/deposit on their site, I believe they will support what states in listing.

In fact, you are the one to state in your listing your own rules. I never saw that Booking will insist (unlike Airbnb) you to put very low prices, not to ask for any deposit, give refund if your policy states no refund, etc. It is however understood that if you are superstrict with your clients one day you might be left alone in your hotel :)

9 months ago
1
Talbo369

I want to come out of Booking.com and have nothing more to do with them. Back in the summer I had a message to tell me that a husband, wife and two children are outside our gate, asking where do we get the keys I was shocked as I knew nothing about this so called booking and anyway I already had guests in there in the middle of their 2 week holiday. I told them I could not help them and go back to Booking.com. 4 weeks later I received an invoice for their commission which I duly returned and then received a credit note.

The first 2 weeks of September I had guests through a private booking and my family and I have been there for the last week, yesterday I received another invoice stating that I had been paid 700 euro for a whole months booking with their commission due by the end of October. Absolute rubbish and this is why I have requested to not be involved with Booking.com in future

9 months ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Talbo369 stop hijacking discussions. This thread is about something else.

So open a new thread and talk about it there.

Now, On TOPIC: We usually receive a message or they call us to notify about them booking for others.

We certainly don't refuse them as we have the bookers card information, they are responsible towards the friends/family they booked for. Regardless of that, we never had issues with such booking.

Although we ALWAYS had issues with people under 23. Therefore we have blocked that age group and we refuse all further bookings for that age group. Just too much damage and extreme mess.

Another case that you guys might not receive that often is business bookings, where the guests are not the ones booking, rather their company/secretary is the one creating the bookings. However these guest are never an issue for us.

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Hi Thuild

Just recently Booking sent me a message that my place is something that business clients look for and only few partners are invited to participate in that program of adding additional discount (suggested 5%) off on top of Genius discount.

Is it where your business travelers are coming from? Airbnb placed my units into Family group as we received a lot of excellent comments particularly from couples. As for Airbnb, they request for some additional amenities specifically for business travelers. As for Booking.com, I am not surprised, that they chose us, since the area itself could be considered as business.

What funny is, we have never received a booking made by secretary. Hollywood stars, diplomates, government officials, US army, Olympic champions, etc did always book personally.

I am just curious where those business travelers come from? I hope I am still on topic :)

As for age, we don't set age limit. My units are by definition are not suitable for party. I did however met hosts and saw their cases with guests who are young. 23 is good number to set in order to avoid some problems. If I understand correctly, the problem of a topic starter was not an age problem itself, but Identity.

9 months ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Katerinka,

It's Zsolt actually, not Thuild :) I don't know which one is your property or what type it is.

We have been receiving business travelers since we went Live with BDC, actually our first booking was a business one.

We were never asked to pay extra. However you can probably put that into the thread where we discuss commissions: /en-gb/community/pagamenti-e-contabilit%C3%A0/what-commission-do-you-pay-bookingcom-do-you-have-laws-governing

Regarding Airbnb, that is not working for us in this area. We received 0 reservations from them this year and I don't see that changing any time soon. I'm stuck at receiving Superhost with 1 reviews left.

We also got called by embassy secretaries to book for their diplomats. Seems like people like to do things that way.

Most of the people coming here who have secretaries booking for them, are not huge company owners, more like middle class people.

For that reason I would not make a big thing out of this as long as you have something to guarantee for you, card details from the booker, from the guests staying at your place, etc.

Best regards,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Sorry to call you by your brand name and nice to meet you, Zsolt.

"Regarding Airbnb, that is not working for us in this area. We received 0 reservations from them this year and I don't see that changing any time soon."

In this area - what exactly do you mean? Area of this business travelers? Your place is included in Top 10 Family hotels and that's alone serves as the best and free advertising and a catch. There are other ways to improve on Airbnb, unless you really hate them :)

9 months ago
7
Thuild - Your …

We are hijacking the thread now.

In this area, meaning my city. Because the number of views has dropped significantly and we are not going to sell our rooms 70% cheaper because Airbnb is suggesting that to us.

Trust me, my listings are as full as possible therefore not much else I can do about it. It's just not the market for a place like mine.

Cheers,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

9 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Katerinka12,

You wrote "Booking confirmation is very clear. It's allowed to book either for yourself or for someone else, indicating their name. In that case you will see Leandri booked for Katti :)" Hehe Nice!

I think this nails it exactly and what the general concensus is on the group. Stick to Booking.com's rules for the guests and you will be fine.

Have a lovely week Forum!

9 months ago
3
cassid

Just remember that the person who books can review you and not the person who stays, that secretary/agent will be the one who reviews you.

Does that invalidate and discredit the whole review system ? when you consider booking as a guest you would assume a review is from a previous guest, well it does not have to be, it can be from a person who never met you or even stayed in your country let alone your property.

Be CAREFUL with 3rd party bookings.

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Thank you for good point. Booking should think on how to go about it. Really, it doesn't make whole system look nice. From my expectation the secretary shouldn't leave a bad review for the boss... But who knows? I really thought that reviews are coming only from people who actually stayed. It seems that in this world of Booking money decide everything. And hospitality business is too far from being a money machine. The hospitality business is all about taking good care, by definition it couldn't make crazy profit as other businesses do. People are involved, not moneyalone... Unless I am still wearing my pink glasses and flying in my dreams...

9 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I also had a third party booking but the guest that came to my property gave his information about my place and thankfully the review was excellent.

9 months ago
1
Shelgar

I haven't had this problem yet, just occaissionally pets arriving unannounced. I always try to have a conversation with guests via the booking.com email to get a feel for who they are and they for me. Mutual respect and fair exchange is what travelling and hospitality should be about.

9 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hi there,

Funny enough, every single booking I have had that was made by someone else has not reviewed the property. It's like both parties are not interested.

The secretary or friend or whoever who does the booking is just concerned with getting it done, and the people coming to the property has a good time. And I never hear from either of them again. It's very strange but I won't who gets the email to ask for a review in such a scenario?

Then you also got those who book themselves for themselves as if they are booking for a guest. If that makes sense? Then it looks like this Booker name: Katerinka12 . Guest name: Katerinka12 . I wonder who gets the review email :-P

9 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I love to book for myself LOL
In that case I am sure that I am treated both as a Payer and a Guest :)
Also, many sites will not bring you to the next page if you leave one field empty.
Just trying to understand their logic :)

9 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Shame yes Katerinka12 ,

Some of the guests booking our resorts are elderly and not really comfortable with technology. So when they make online booking I often get very weird guest names. I'll change some details to protect the guest but I had a guest once who added they guest name as "Leandri and Japie Klopper from Springs"

It was very cute and they were such a sweet couple to work with! I'm quite sure there is no "system" that checks what names are being entered. I can probably make a booking with a guest name: "Barney the Dinosaur" and it won't be flagged. Very worrisome but highly entertaining.

9 months ago