Risk free reservations - Don't work for pre-paid bookings!

The idiots at Booking.*** have enrolled me yet again in "Risk free reservations".  I have come off this and now when I say I want to come off it still leaves me on.

As a result of them adding me without my permission yet again, a guest booked yesterday for September for several days but cancelled within 5 mins.  As it was called as risk free, BC didn't bother to cancel it properly and send me the cancellation email,  I therefore charged her in full for the booking a few hours later - nearly £500 on a Visa Debit!

She immediately came back to me concerned that I'd charged her when she cancelled hours before.  I spent credit card commission to charge her and again to refund her so I'm out of pocket as well as looking bad with the prospective guest.

Why can't BC see this is a ridiculous system when we take pre-payments?  I've called and emailed several times and yet still no call back from my account manager.

They wonder why us poor small hoteliers and B&Bers aren't happy! 

Aaltje B.


There must be some processing time for the situation not being changed as requested, or something is not saved perhaps...

If you call the finance team they will be able to assist, but please be polite.

Nobody and nothing in this world is perfect !! Go for a run before you give them a ring, do some sport or do 20 push ups. ( no cheating)

And forgive yourself and others for not being perfect, take a deep breath and start again.

Wishing you a good outcome.


Aaltje B. The almost perfect host ;)


i totally understand your frustration and when lots of us never got paid for April is was totally frustrating.

There is no one in FINANCE, no one answers the telephone it is very scary!

i'm thinking Booking.Com are having cash flow issues or may be sinking!


This feature which booking.com offers to property owners for non refundable bookings is not clearly explained as it's not completely risk free as stated. Booking.com say the booking is guaranteed and risk free but one can only debit the virtual credit card 2 days before arrival and it's not visible until then. Booking.com also state that from the date that the credit card is visible the guest is responsible for payment not booking.com so the guests credit card details replace the VCC details on that date. If a property owner then debits the card 2 days before arrival and it does not go through for payment due to an invalid status the it has to be marked as invalid and the property owner risks loosing out on a non refundable booking. It really is better there not to opt for this feature as at least one can check credit cards for non refundable bookings at the time of the booking.  This really should be explained by booking.com more in detail as, as it stands it's really only risk free for booking.com and not the property owner

Ilaria - Commu…

Hi guys, 

All you need to know on Risk Free Reservations is explained here.

Feel free to take a look at it and ask questions if you feel like it.