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Show and Tell: Payment policies. What's yours?

Hi everyone,

About two months ago, we invited you to share your cancellation policies. It was quite the turn out, and some great discussions took place – so thanks to everyone who took part!

Whether you manage your own property or work within a hotel chain – everyone is bound to work a little different from each other. But by sharing your policies with fellow partners, we hope you can learn from each other and get ideas on how to run your business more effectively than ever before.

With this in mind, we’d like to shine light on payment policies.

If you remember what decisions you made on payments when you first joined Booking.com, we’d love to hear about them. Did you decide to require prepayment? Maybe you opted in to Payments by Booking? Did you decide against accepting bookings without credit card?

Share your payment policy with the community in the comments below.

39 Replies

2
Magradzetamar74

I've been having tough time with the fake reservations. First of all this mostly happens as Last Minute Reservation and mostly with suspicious names and telephone numbers. I'm worried because the most active season is soon to come and I want to somehow be able to differentiate real customers from the fake ones. My country (Georgia) isn't allowed to take prepayments from customers. We are also unable to take the cancellation fee.
Could you please advice what ways could be used to avoid such misunderstandings and discomfort?

4 months ago
1
Damirlux

Firs of all, booking.com make everthing for our apartments (payment and so on) and our cancellation terms require notice of cancellation to be received more than 7 days before the date of arrival.On 7 days before arrival booking.com debit the guests credit card. We don't want guests who book or cancel in last minute because we don't do that also to other hosts.So we have a few cancelation in a year (7 days before arrival).

4 months ago
2
Magradzetamar74

Mostly I get the last minute notifications and that is odd. If you somehow miss the notification you miss the "no show" notification to booking.com
I still think how this issue can be treated not to be tense all the time and not to get this many fake bookings

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I am very happy with the Payments by Booking. My life became less stressful from switching from cash payments to Booking payments. No more destructive people who book several places for cash and resist to pay taxes and cleaning fee! Needless to say how long and poetic their reviews are (I can't beat their writing skills for sure:)!

And of course, we have no more no shows. On other hand, clients should be happy too. If we know that guest is serious about his reservation we can go out of our way too.

We started to have less cancelations but they do happen from time to time, because payment by Booking can't help people to get rid of beeing greedy, king and queen demands, expectations like "poor third world country", slavery, VIP disorders like providing a bus personally for the guest with personal driver and someone waiting for him at the airport without even knowing arrival time...

I am also free from worrying did I forget to mark the no show or no..

However, my never ending problem is Security deposit. As much as I want to start it, most of our guests leave very early to catch the flight to islands and collecting security deposit contradicts the main reason of renting my place, because normally its for flight lay over and no one wants to be bothered with security deposits.

4 months ago
1
Isle of Wight …

Booking.com has some strange "rules". I manage a number of holiday homes in the UK. They are all advertised on TripAdvisor, AirBnb, HomeAway and other sites. Only one property is live on Booking.com and it took about 9 months for Booking.com to verify it. A second property is "live" but closed due to Booking.com "rules" on payments.

All properties have a key safe by the front door. Guests book online, often several months in advance, normally paying by credit / debit card through TripAdvisor etc - they pay a damage deposit online at the time of booking. When they arrive for their holiday, they let themselves in, and a few days later, they leave. The property is then checked and cleaned and prepared for the next guest and if all is ok, their damage deposit is automatically returned to them.

The one live and open property listed on Booking.com has "Bank Transfer" as the payment method. The damage deposit is collected by bank transfer by Booking.com.

The other property on Booking.com has "Bank Transfer" as the payment method but "Cash" for the damage deposit. Cash is not a suitable method of payment - we cannot have someone waiting around outside a property for whatever time the guest might arrive - and of course, even if we did that, there is no guarantee that the guest will have the cash for the damage deposit. I asked Booking.com to change it, but apparently they won't as although I already have one property live with Booking.com, I am now classed as a "New Partner"....

I don't know why Booking.com make things so difficult or why they apparently keep changing the rules. I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall with Booking.com. Fortunately, TripAdvisor, AirBnB, HomeAway and other sites make things very easy ....

4 months ago
7
fluff

We've had a total reversal of payment policies with all OTAs. This was solely driven by the inordinate amount of false bookings and cancellations almost entirely via BDC, a feature that hit extreme levels during the last 12 months and HAD to be addressed.

For high season we have gone no refund and full advance payment. For low season we are trying out a non-refundable first day deposit. These were only possible due to getting access to processing credit cards off line. (we did not want to use the BDC collect system as it is too slow to pay)

We obviously expect to see a large reduction in bookings received, the plan being that this reduction will be mostly the weeded out chaff plus a percentage of bookers that don't like committing in advance.

4 months ago
1
Javierdvalentinp

He estado teniendo dificultades con las reservas falsas. En primer lugar, esto sucede principalmente como Reserva de última hora y, sobre todo, con nombres y números de teléfono sospechosos. Estoy preocupado porque pronto llegará la temporada más activa y quiero poder, de alguna manera, diferenciar a los clientes reales de los falsos. Mi país (Perú) no tiene permitido realizar pagos anticipados de los clientes. Tampoco podemos asumir la tasa de cancelación.
¿Podría, por favor, aconsejar qué formas podrían usarse para evitar tales malentendidos e incomodidades?
De tal modo agradeceria una comunicacion con un consultor de booking que me pueda acesorar referente a este tema que me tiene preocupado, gracias.
+51 980 742 766

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

We having big problems with the new payment process that now booking using. All started around August 2018 Booking using now credit card processor name STRIPE . Since stripe managing and processing the guest payment. We losing business due to constant declined credit cards by stripe, yes in some cases there is no funds , but I’m talking about 100% declined credit cards. We did had some reservation that went through in the month of August 2018 and we DID NOT GOT PAYED YET , prior to stripe stepping in it was a pleasure and good business model to work and deal with booking, not anymore. Today is Jan 29 no payment received as of today ( yes I’m in contact with booking, misleading and poor communication from booking) I will give another 24 hours if nothing comes through will go a head and delete our listing from booking.com

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

I like it best when I know people have paid in advance. One of the four OTA's I am with have that, the other three make people pay at arrival, or part payment.

Not handy if people have paid part of the payment with a different credit card as the one they take with them on holiday. Oops, the numbers don't match.

Many Chinese people say it is cheaper to pay cash. But then some pay with big money and I don't always have the right change.

I do have a special new device that says fast-pay and lets clients pay with credit card via a cellphone attachment. That worked out well a few times, but was declined lately too.

So now I request guests in advance to bring the exact amount with them if they like to pay cash before they arrive. Hopefully, that helps. Not sure what other method is left.

In case they don't they have the money the last alternative is to get it from the nearest town ATM system, which is 20 km further up.

And the VCC Virtual Credit Card system gave an error lately since I couldn't distinguish it from a non-payment. The money did arrive a week later, and guests and myself were relieved, but a bit of a pain to update them via emails during their holiday.

Best is paying through an invisible system. It's a chip - carry it under your skin in your hand, and that allows entry when paid - haha, no reality here yet, but one day... it will happen.

4 months ago
2
Glennroy111

My wife and I own and Manage 5 CONDOS (yes CONDOS not apartments…that’s what we call them in the USA) in the Panhandle of FL, USA. We do about 250 turn-overs per year. I list all these properties with HA, Airbnb, Flip Key and only two properties with BDC. 70% of my business is through HA. The cancellation rate with BDC is near 90% and near 10 % with the other listing providers. I require a $ 300 deposit on booking and the balance due 60 days prior to check-in. Full refund if outside the 60 day window. My concerns are:

BDC, unlike the other companies, tries to minimize the payment requirements when renters view the listings. They “hide” this under “fine print”. So at time of booking, when the renter gets a message from me that their Credit Card did not get approved for the $ 300 down payment, they are surprised and do not realize that a deposit is required for booking. That’s why the cancellation is soo high.

For one property, BDC lets me “see” the credit card information when I receive the booking request. However, on the other property, BDC blocks out the credit card data until two weeks prior to check-in. I can’t live with that short a time to validate the renter’s intent or financial status to pay, especially during the peak summer time. I complained to BDC and they say that’s the way the system works!! They say I need to wait for it to correct itself. UGH!! So I’ve virtually de-listed with them on this property.

4 months ago
1
Info

BDC allow potential guests' to multi-book same dates at various accommodation providers within the same locality, this leads to a high level of cancellations. For micro businesses, this is not good practice/policy and certainly affects occupancy levels, which in turn leads to lower income for both the accommodation provider and BDC. Although we have raised this a number of times with BDC, both verbally and in writing, NOTHING has changed.

4 months ago
1
Gina

We have handed everything over to Booking.Com, they take money and pay us during the following month, there is no haggling with guests. Cancellation is refundable only if Booking.Com have requested us to confirm that it is okay.

No Hassle at all, no embarrassment with asking for money, guests and hosts both happy. Recommend it.

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

We handed all to booking, was working great 18% fees it’s high but gives us a piece of mind and hassle free of refunds/ charge backs and cc frauds . All this was working great until booking gave the whole cc and financial procces to Stripe a credit card processor NOW we have problem with each reservation, guests cc not going through, declined 100 % all of the reservation are in the same declined status . All the reservation are subject to cancellation. We had only 2 that went through, it was August 2018 we didn’t got payed yet today is Jan 30 2019 .
Will need to shut down and cancel all the future bookings on Booking.com
Was working great for us until booking gave such an important part of the operations which is financial to a company (stripe ) that dosnt believe and refuse to have customer services of any kind.
For all you of out there small and big , be ready it can hit you any day . Don’t relay on one source . Last word for booking, go back to the PULSE app you cannot charge us 18% or higher with such a mess on your end and at the end of the day not to pay us for 5 months !

4 months ago
1
Gina

I'm fairly certain that we pay just 15%, having not heard of Pulse or Stripe we have never had any cc issues, Booking.Com take all our money and pay us in the middle of the following Month - it's great.

4 months ago
2
Glennroy111

As far as I know, I don't have the option of BDC collecting the money. For the 1 property I have that is on-line, I get the CC info on booking. I have control....but way too much "no funds/rejected". I'm not sure how to cancel the listing. I just raised the price so nobody would book with them.

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Glennroy, try to contact Laura and ask her who she recommends solving your situation. There must be a way around it. Don't give up just yet.

4 months ago
1
xavier

hi friend's

booking.com make my hotel a great value for the customer's and very much to me i am just 3 month old baby for booking.com but my business growled a lot then before thank too booking.com

4 months ago
2
Glennroy111

No question xavier....they are a HOTEL oriented company and probably do an excellent job in that arena.

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

Hello you al, thanks for your support and ides. Please allow me to make it clear. BDC brings us AA lot of business and we love the customer service which is a real live support 24/7.We were one of the first BDC offered this services, the PULSE program which is the collection of the funds and transfer to us . This program was new with some minor issues which were solved and fixed all was working GREAT! Problem started when BDC collaborated / hired STRIPE . Now stripe is the one that will be responsible to collect and distribute the funds to us the owners. The Idea and the policy of Stripe NOT to work or do business with A HIGH RISK companies . Hospitality which what we do is consider as A HIGH RISK business. So as of last email i received BDC have no problem with my profile, my property,my background check,(my rating over 9 stars) and the only one that still checking my profile is Stripe! Please let me be clear we didn't received ANY funds since August 2018. We have guest that coming and we probably are not going to be payed. Not sure about other owners but we here to make money. To maintain and run this business if its small or big cost money, so if we dont getting payed we out of the pocket on experiences and virtually giving "free" stay. Good luck.

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Have asked my bank in NZ. They say Stripe user need a different port. What I understand is that Booking.com has the license, the gateway so to speak.

You can ask B.com if they will allow you to copy that code that is needed to make full payment possible.

It is commission based, and I expect Booking.com is paying for that?

If you have your own website and people want to pay through stripe you have to add that code too.

I have received all B.com money so far but could be due to the fact that I work with a channel manager, so he may have solved that problem on my behalf with the new stripe license.

Lanski, keep asking the financial team of B.com. I know it is a pain, but you work hard for it and you should get what you deserve.

Hoping that this system will be simplified and beneficial to us all in the end. Wishing you all the best. Greetings, Aaltje.

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

Hi, here in USA its a risky business to charge people, after they getting there services then they calling to there bank asking for refunds , the banks will refund them immediately with not much questions. Then the bank will go after the business owner (me ) and take from my bank account the funds. yes its sounds crazy but it happens to often. that is why we prefer Booking to charging and collecting the money for us. Received a few days a go email from Booking that we still waiting on Stripe to reply regarding the payout. Thats a Joke REPLY !?!? takes a week and we are not there yet. We already had the guests and the guests were charged on August 2018 6 month ago , so who is holding and using the money ? Stripe ? Booking ?

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

wow! You should get your money back with interest I would think... What does B.com say? Did you ask the finance team?

Five months is a long time!

I wish you the best adviser around to assist you.

And let us know when things are solved too, would be great.

Keep going strong Lanski.

4 months ago
2
Magradzetamar74

Hello guys,
could anyone advice how I can avoid last minute bookings? is there any kind of restrictions in the settings?
Thanks in advance

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Hi Magradzetamar or is it Tamar?

Click on the blue icon Property

Click on : go to help centre.

Since I can't see a place where you can actually create blocked days before or after your bookings. Other OTA's do have this facility, but haven't seen it here.

I work with a channel manager, and he arranges settings for me that I prefer. That is pretty handy! Since all groups that I work with have different booking systems, different calendars and different payment systems. Now I don't have to worry about it all.

very handy! So if someone books from one group, automatically other groups will be blocked for that day.

I have a small unit, with only one bedroom, and it already pays for itself.

Not sure what they can offer you in your country though. Who knows it is something for you too.

4 months ago
1
Bella Gogoa

According to the law of India, my business cannot take GST from guests. But because of the problems of booking.com with taxation in India, booking.com has demanded since June 2018 that I take GST from guests and pay booking.com according to invoices issued to guests. I have done it right since June 2018. But since November 2018, I noticed that there are no GST taxes in the bills issued by booking.com after that, I contacted the account manager, he told me not to worry, the program is now changing and all the payments with taxes will collect by Booking.com and since from December 10th 2018, booking.com will take payments on its own. I took money from guests according to the bills issued by booking.com. To my great surprise in January 2019 that, I received a GST bill that was not taken from the guests. After that, on January 8th 2019, I contacted the account manager, he confirmed to me that this was an error in the program, and made the necessary changes to the program. He assured me that he would quickly fix everything and the GST account would be changed according to the payment for guests. After that, I checked all my bookings. From November 2018 to 07th of January 2019 booking.com did not take taxes from guests! But on 17th January 2019, booking.com automatically deducted the amount of taxes from my Payout Balance money. That is, booking.com stole my money without any convenience and without looking earlier complaint. Below I list all 21th reservation numbers of current January 2019, in which booking.com thought that guests' taxes are zero. I demand that all GST accounts be recalculated immediately, and that booking.com returns the stolen money!

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Bella,

You overlooked those taxes, why you didn't check for them in very long period of time? Didn't you check the breakdown of many bookings you had?

Few months ago I noticed that taxes disappeared from the bookings of my guests. I contacted the Booking and they said that now I have to notify them about any additional charges like taxes and cleaning fees.

That's really so disappointing about Booking that they can change anything in any moment of time. How come they didn't notify us? That's finances and very important matter. One way always. Not just changing rules of the game, but not even notifying the "partner" who pays for such mood swings?

Taxes must be included in the booking, no matter who will pay for them. They must appear in reservations. Contact Booking and ask them to include taxes.

Write directly to Booking, not here for a proper record of communication and ask them to readjust your next bill. I hope it will work for you.

4 months ago
1
tejaswi hotel

Respected Madam,

Reg; Payment Policies we are from Tejaswi hotel from India Andhrapradesh we are not receiving payment's please solve my problems we are doing best businesses my hotel is three star hotel

in india another Clint make my trip the payments are credit with in two days to my account

kindly concern my problems otherwise we drop our relation with your booking.com

thanking you madam

Tejaswi hotel,

M Dasharathramreddy

my contact no 9133536799

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

To Tejaswi , you need to contact booking customer servise we cannot help you here . We are hosts like you . Good luck

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

No money yet from BC . First reservation was canceled by us due to this matter . Booking cannot get a response for weeks from Stripe.Striie was hired by BC to collect ant transfer the money to hosts and hotels . So looks like stripe holding / stole the money and booking still waiting for them to reply LOL . So we waiting for our money from Aug 2018.

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Hi Tejaswi,

Indeed, I am in the same position as you are, as Lanski said. Check via the help section and ask a question via extranet Inbox second column or help (yellow circle) and ask a question there.

Stripe seems to be a big company, so they must sort the problem, they have a lot to loose if they don't.

Wishing you the best.

Aaltje B.

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

Stripe is a small company located in valley in Los Angeles, and the way they work dosnt meet any minimum standards of a company , ANY company , looks like ether they too small and trying to swim with the sharks or bangheads that don’t give a dam about anything else or super smart that just drained Booking partners money . Google them and see how many lawsuits they have . Ether way it looks bad. If I as a host will provide this kind of customer service which is zero I will stay out of business very quick . Spoke with booking yesterday and they admitted they have a Sirius problem with stripe.

4 months ago
1
Handan

Hello,

I have 3 different properties listed on B.com. 2 of these properties have condos and 1 property has 16 rooms.

My first condo property has a set up where Bcom collects payment from the customer directly which works the best.

The second condo property I have, I have to collect the prepayment and balance from the guests which works sometimes okay and sometimes not.

3rd property where my smaller and cheaper rooms are, I have to collect the prepayment and the balance.

So the first property works like charm. Payments are handled by Bcom and customers rarely cancel. In fact, I think I had 2 or 3 cancellations at most last year.

2nd property also gets rare cancellations but customer often complain that they didn't know we would collect a prepayment.

My 3rd property is a disaster when it comes to reservations. I get so many cancellations after I try to charge a prepayment, it's not even funny. Just last fall, due to large availability, I had changed the policy to no credit card required for same day bookings and I received a fake reservation for 6 rooms or more ( I can't remember) and of course they were no show. If I don't charge a prepayment some people show up and some people don't. They don't even pick up the phone when trying to call to see if they're actually going to arrive because it's past 11 pm and my office closes at 10:30 pm.

This is getting very old. Bcom has to see that almost everyone is fed up with fake reservations and customers. Read the comments here and see for yourselves. Creating a trend where property owners are put at unfair situations like that is a bad business. You have got to do something to better handle transactions.

Best regards,

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

It looks like Bdc is in serious trouble if Stripe company is not upfront with what happened.

But who come first, the business of Bdc or the business owners with their units that they rent out.

I guess it is the people who do all the hard work.

And I assume you did pay commission all these months. I am wondering what is happening behind the scenes. Assuming that Bdc do have lawyers in place to get things sorted.

I think it is good for Bdc to play open card and be transparent about the background. Otherwise they will lose too many good hosts.

Hope we all get to hear soon what the outcome will be and how affected people will be reimbursed!

Best of luck,

Aaltje B.

4 months ago
2
Glennroy111

Handan,

I agree with your comment on the 3rd property -"My 3rd property is a disaster when it comes to reservations. I get so many cancellations after I try to charge a prepayment, it's not even funny" I have 90% failure when I try and process the Credit Card on booking for the down payment. My only property listed with B.com (I have 5 condos) experiences NUMEROUS cancellation due to insufficient funds. Too Bad...I wounder what's going on. I've expressed this to B.com numerous times....no luck. They must be going thorough rough times, but are missing out on a LARGE AND RICH condo market in the USA. The market needs more competition to AirB and Home Away. Too bad...too sad! They spend LOTS of $$$'s on advertising so they should get their acts together to reap the fruits of their efforts. Perhaps their Hotel customers are more pleased with the way they are running their company.

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

We using BC 100% to collect the money from guests. For the last 6 months all the credit cards of the clients ate Denied / declined due to insafition funds. Which is not true, BC gave all the power of charging and transferring to Us the hosts which now working withStripe .

4 months ago
3
Ireland-B&B

When I started my B&B 6 years ago, I was very naive to the business. The first year, if someone phoned for a reservation (as I was not online for the first year), I would just take their name, phone number, date of arrival etc but no credit/debit card to hold the room for them, the guest could pay by cash or card when they arrived. I had little or no cancellations and 'no shows' but I quickly realized...the guest who paid by cash at check out was always the one (not all cash paying guests, but some) that took something from the room, usually the large towel. Then I changed my rules and they had to give me their card details at the time of booking, even if they were coming that evening, but I didnt take a booking fee and again they could pay cash or card on arrival/check out...no more items taken from the room ;)

IF towels go missing again, I'll phone them to say they can keep it as I will charge it to their card !! But if they take some thing from the rooms you can be sure they wont come back again anyway.

4 months ago
5
Mashi Niwarthana

I'm really glad about the payment with booking.com. We just have to pay their commission on time. Actually sometimes I was late to pay their commission. But I try to pay their commission on time. Because I haven't met people like these. i'm on several sites, but booking.com is the best.! Booking.com always try to help us and they have helped me several times. Thank you booking.com.

4 months ago
2
Lanski70

Yes same here, we lweteconecofvtyr first to join this option that booking collect the money and transfer to us. Great customer service that always in help when needed. My bigest complain is in the recent 6 months we didn’t got payed due to company name Stripe e that now working for booking and do all the collection of the money and suppose to transfer to us. The way I was explained and see Stripe collected the money in behalf of us and booking and now not releasing or giving any explanation or response to this matter . Booking needs to cut the relationship with Stripe to be the best company again

4 months ago