1
Answered

BAD REVIEW AFTER MISCONDUCT

Frank's backpackers has only one 6-bedded dormitory room, shared by self-sustainable guests who are keeping everything tidy by themselves.

 

But often, when I send the requirements of my special concept,

people tend to simply not react or agree, without really reading that what they agree on and without registering in advance so I can send them a door code to get in, any time they want.
Usually expecting to find a reception that will let them in anyway as they have already paid.

As I am usually not present myself like I explained in my automatic reply, the problem should solve itself when this guest cancels or finds out he should have answered within the 48 hours I asked him to, twice.

But if I am present at the moment of arrival, accepting them to pay me a deposit to make sure that they will live up to what they agree on,

even when I give them a chance to make up and do what they should have done, receiving back their deposit anyway,
they tend to write me a bad review, lowering my score,
complaining about a concept they agreed on, in advance.

Even in rare cases when I have to report a guest for bad behavior, Booking.com still gives this guest the opportunity to give me an extremely low review, drastically lowering my overall score.
Specially when he can repeat that with several separate bookings.

Does anyone else have a problem with this as I am asking Booking.com to please consider changing this policy.

I don't see the benefit of reporting misconduct if the guest can punish me for that.

Thank you, Frank


1
The Warehouse

I recently had the same experience: guests who violated seriously every house rule: taking in other people, smoking inside, being loud (and keeping other guests from their sleep), using drugs. I reported the misconduct to booking.com immediately, but still the guests can place a bad review.

The policy of booking.com is that a booking is a confirmed booking immediately. There is no possibility of screening in advance, as a host you can't refuse a booking. The other side of this policy should be that when a misconduct is reported (especially when there are witnesses), there should be no possibility anymore for this particular guest to leave a review.

Petra Faber

The Warehouse

Amsterdam

+5
1 year ago
2
Jay

Entirely agree with your comment, Petra Faber. Reporting someone for misconduct, especially if they're part of the Genius scheme, is likely to cause resentment and respond with a negative review. If a person has behaved in such a way that they are reported for misconduct Booking.com should prevent them from reviewing that property because they know that negative rating is going to affect ranking and also put off some potential guests from booking in future.

+4
1 year ago
1
The Warehouse

But how can we take this to a higher level at booking? Customer Service repeats the same message over and over again. I'm certain we are not the only hosts with this experience, but it's almost impossible to talk to someone at booking who's responsible for the policy.

+2
1 year ago
1
Tangoteamwork

Thank you Petra and anonymous respondents,

I think we can take this to a higher level if we react like we do now but preferably not anonymous.
We should take a stand for this serious problem.

I am sure you all work hard to get high scores en then just one guest who misbehaves can bring this score down extremely by giving the lowest score possible for things she/he even agreed on.
And when bookings are booked separately for weeks, this guest can even multiply this impact.

Another problem is that if we don't report misconduct, we can't even refuse this guest next time he/she books.

I discussed this subject several times and all Booking.com agents agree completely but feel like being stuck with the common procedures.

Hopefully Booking.com will take into account that most hosts are working too much to even have time to look into this Forum and react but I assume this problem should count for all hosts.

Greetings, Frank

+1
1 year ago
2
Jay

Hi Frank, being entirely new to the forums I had no idea how to create a profile - until now, so hopefully I am now no longer anonymous!

It is incredibly frustrating that such a major company within the travel business would neglect this area - one of several I've already noted. It stands to reason that if a guest has behaved appallingly to the point they are reported for misconduct, they are likely to respond by leaving a negative review knowing that it has the potential to adversely affect business for that listed property.

Another area there's an imbalance.. a guest's review is instantly published, the responding owner/manager has to wait for their reply to be moderated before being published and that can take several days. It's been three days since my received negative feedback and still my reply has yet to be published - I did email them yesterday and as yet, continue waiting for a response.

Let's hope the powers that be take note and implement a balance, so that businesses are also protected.

Kind regards,

Jay

+1
1 year ago
1
Tangoteamwork

Great contribution Jay, thanks.
I have the same problem with my reply to the negative feedback I received three times in a row from the same misbehaving guest.

Greetings, Frank

1 year ago
2
Jay

I'm curious, Frank, as you had x 3 negative reviews from the same guest, why not block them from returning to your property after the first time they engaged in misconduct on in your property, or was that before BDC introduced the Misconduct/Block features?

I do think those of us in this industry are given a rough deal in some respects because we are forced to accept general bad behaviour due to the issue of receiving negative feedback which we can do nothing about, and that needs to change.. So, come on, Booking.com, please revise this procedure and make it more balanced.

Kind regards,

Jay

+1
1 year ago
1
The Warehouse

Totally agree with Jay.

* we're not able to screen the guests

* when a misconduct is reported, the guest stil can place a negative review

* as a host you can reply, but you have to wait for publishing.

And you never get to speak to someone who is responsible for the policy. How do we reach other people?

1 year ago
1
Tangoteamwork

That's right Jay, the 3x negative feedback was after giving him another chance several times.

+1
1 year ago
2
Jay

Oh Frank, that is awful, and a tremendous shame for you. While I take into consideration that people are away and looking for a good time, so perhaps aren't as careful and considerate as they perhaps usually are, I still operate a zero tolerance stance, e.g., if I can prove they've smoked on my premises, they have to leave as I'm not jeopardising my other guests, insurance and fire safety for their feel-good-factor, and I won't be held to ransom by the threat of a negative feedback either, which is why BDC needs to review/upgrade their policies and work at also protecting the hosts who advertise businesses through them.

1 year ago
1
Karinkazno2

This site needs to update policy's.

guests can leave us feedback so why can't we do so for them?

Likr other sites ( airbnb)

that way it's fair .

i have just marked a mid conduct guest yesterday so let's see what happens!!!

+2
1 year ago
1
Tangoteamwork

I just received a guest that didn't confirm to agree with my special concept of keeping everything clean and in the same state without any reception available.
Although he didn't receive any door code, another guest let him in.

Because I was at home myself I gave him one last chance but next morning all the light was left on, sinks were dirty and wet, etc.
Seemingly a guy who is used to get what he want by simply stretching his limits.
He begged for another chance but from experience I know this can get me into lots of trouble so promised him to pay him back the nights he didn't stay and I let him sign a paper that he wouldn't leave a review.

How's that for a temporary solution until Booking.com figured out a solution?

Greetings, Frank from Frank's backpackers.

1 year ago
1
Tangoteamwork

Hello everyone,

I just had another bad review from a guest that didn't live up to what he agreed on and misbehaved and I sent another message to Booking.com to look into their policy.

I also called Booking.com and the person I was talking to gave me the idea to go to inbox > Booking.com messages > and scroll down to the end of this page.

There you can find a button for feedback and I asked booking.com to please look into this issue as specially low budget hosts must have more problems with it but cannot find this community so share it.

Please follow my example and let's make a difference.

Thanks, Frank

1 year ago
1
Campassi

To submit a misconduct report:

  • Confirm that the info provided is truthful and accurate
  • Agree that the info provided can be shared with the guest, who is the subject of your comments, as well as with third parties (including law enforcement). This includes the context of a data subject access request or a question from the guest as to why he/she is blocked from booking at your property.
1 year ago
1
Frank

So is this the new version of how to submit a misconduct report coming from Booking.com??

If this is the case I confirm that the info provided about any guest that gave me a bad review in the past is truthful and accurate.

I agree that the info provided can be shared with the guest, who is the subject of your comments, as well as with third parties (including law enforcement).

I understand that if this includes the context of a data subject access request or a question from the guest, he/she can be blocked from booking at your property.

Did I understand that right Campassi?

1 year ago
1
Campassi

I am not the expert. I am just a user like you. I have a similar issue, did some research, and copy&pasted this quote from Booking.com hoping to help others. I am in the hotel business. I decided not to report the guest misconduct because I have learned several things ... among them - people are far more motivated to post bad than good, - paying attention to a bad guest such as responding to a bad review is just what they wanted so I ignore most bad reviews, and - Google has told me on a recorded line, that they "are not concerned with the truthfulness of reviews" when I offered to prove that a person threatened a bad review if not given a free room.

1 year ago
1
Frank

Wow! That must have been an impressive experience Campassi.

Booking.com management doesn't seem to be concerned whatsoever about the well-being of their partners as you can see for they still didn't even react.

This is why I found my own solution.
Every time a guest misbehaves I ask him/her to leave my building, promising to return the money of the missed nights,
after they have given me a review of at least a 10 ;-)

+2
1 year ago
1
Ian Coetzee

Had the same issue - reported misconduct and got a 2/10 review - here's Booking.com response to my request to remove it

Dear Partner, Thanks for getting in touch with us. I am sorry we are not able to discuss this over the phone but due to time zones, it is an inappropriate time to call. I fully understand it might be demotivating to get this kind of reviews, when you are trying your best to provide amazing service to your guests. We are sorry to say, but at this time we are unable to remove mentioned review, because it does not violate any of our rules. Comments are removed only if they: • Contain profanity, sexually explicit or violent content, hate speech, discrimination, or threats • Mention full names (first + last name), or include personal attacks relating to named personnel • Promote illegal activities (e.g. drugs, prostitution) • Contain content that is exclusively about a competitor and/or Booking.com, with no relation to travel • Mention websites by name, include emails and/or addresses, phone numbers, credit card details • Contain politically sensitive content Unfortunately, we, as global company, can not decide to take either Partner's or Guest's side. We respect both of you and your rights of sharing your opinion. However, as you cannot avoid all negative comments, you can reply to the comment to provide your point of view to the potential guests. How you respond to a negative review says more about your property than the negative review itself. Please also note that reviews that are older than 24 months will be removed from the system automatically in order to focus on more recent experiences and evaluations. If you have any other questions, we’re here to help in any way we can. Best regards, -- Solveiga P. Booking.com Partner Support Team

Ask a question or search by keyword at our Partner Help Centre

-1
11 months ago
1
Frank

Thanks for sharing Ian, The management of Booking.com doesn't seem to be willing to look into their policy. Just feedback about their employees and that's it. One these employees offered me a great solution.

When I have another case of misconduct I can call them and request to treat it as a no show. No show at my property means loosing the full amount and they are not able to give me any rating anymore. Of course what Booking.com says about our answer to the bad review makes sense but our rating doesn't change for the better. I hope more people will enjoy using this solution until the management is ready to look into this and change their policy. Greetings from the Netherlands, Frank

11 months ago
1
Suldal Hotell

Hello, 

I had the same problem. The guest broke all the hotel rules, his dog left a poo on the carpet and then he didnt pay for the stay. He just run away. He gave booking.com wrong credit card details so now i have no money, room that looks like hell and review '1' thats saying that personel was bad because i asked him to pay and clean the poo. 

What can we do? There have to be some way to fix it! 

+1
11 months ago
1
Frank

Wow Suldal Hotell, that's the most extreme version I ever heard. What we answer to the bad review makes everything clear I assume but our rating doesn't change for the better. Specially since the rating can even be as low as 1.  

One the employees offered me a great solution.

When I have another case of misconduct I can call them and request to treat it as a no show. No show at my property means loosing the full amount and they are not able to give me any rating anymore.

I hope more people will enjoy using this solution until the management is ready to look into this and change their policy. Greetings from the Netherlands, Frank

+1
11 months ago
1
Frank

Let me rephrase the solution one the employees of Booking.com offered me:

When I have another case of misconduct I can call Booking.com and request to treat this guest as a no show. No show at my property means that the guest(s) will be loosing the full amount of their payment and they are not able to give me any rating anymore.

I hope more people will enjoy using this solution until the management is ready to look into this and change their policy. Greetings from the Netherlands, Frank

11 months ago
1
Casa Blanca Hill

This is a serious problem and a definite flaw of Booking.com which needs to be addressed.  Anyone with half a brain can easily spot the problems with this, so I don't understand why they haven't taken any measures to correct this. 

I had one review that was not horrible, but not very good either which lowered my overall score rating.  The guest also left an inaccurate, negative feedback message, to which we as hosts can respond to, which I did, but booking never posted my response.  6 months later, my response is still "pending."  So now someone looking at my listing and reading through the guest reviews, can read this particular guests review and not see my response, which is completely one sided. 

I now am facing a second guest which is due to check out today and I know that I'm going to get an extremely negative review from them, because we got into a messy argument.  They haven't done so yet, but I know it's coming.  When it happens, I will call Booking.com and tell them about the first incident and now this one and if they don't delete these guests reviews and scores, I will be forced to withdraw my business and close my listing with Booking.com.  There are plenty of other companies that I can list with.  I think this action is needed in order for Booking.com to recognize the seriousness of this problem.  If other people with similar experiences do the same thing, Booking.com will have no choice but to listen and address the situation.

Ralph, Panama

+3
5 months ago
1
Frank

I agree with you completely Ralph and I admire your forwardness. I didn't give up yet trying to rephrase the solution one of the employees of Booking.com offered me:

When I have another case of misconduct I can call Booking.com and request to treat this guest as a no show. No show at my property means that the guest(s) will be loosing the full amount of their payment and they are not able to give me any rating anymore.

I hope more people will enjoy using this solution until the management is ready to look into this and change their policy. Greetings from the Netherlands, Frank

+1
5 months ago
1
Casa Blanca Hill

Thanks for the tip Frank.  I guess Booking.com will be the one losing when there is a "no show."  Hey, we have to protect our credit rating so if Booking.com doesn't recognize this, then they will lose the income as a result.  I'll try that one on my next case...

5 months ago
1
Frank

I forgot to mention that my special condition is that if the guest cancels or doesn't show up passed the limit of 3 days in advance, in my case, they will loose the full amount, so not only the first night. I did that so the guest has to do effort to get his money back and if he gives me a reasonable reason I can decide to pay him back up to the amount that covers my effort into all of this. But it also results in Booking.com not losing income either.

5 months ago
1
Hans Jonasson

Does Booking always accept this no show solution? My guest must pay 500€ in the deposit (I rent out a big villa) and if they brake the house rules will they lose the money. But that will of course make them upset and give me bad reviews.

4 months ago
1
Frank

I found a better way Hans, I put that if the guest cancels later than 3 days before arrival, he or she will lose the whole amount. So in this case I simply ask them to cancel and me nor Booking.com will lose any money but the guest cannot leave any review anymore. Good luck, greetings Frank

4 months ago
1
Hans Jonasson
  1. But if they refuse to cancel?  
  2. I have problems with my current guest and tested the "no show" solution and just lost 250 euro in cleaning fee :D But still better than a bad review I only have 10 stars so far.
+1
4 months ago
1
Jamie Nash

Hi

 

I have a guest stayed at my house. Stayed for 5 days, then the day before they leave they start saying the 'place was dirty, beds uncomfy etc'. I said if they had let me know any issues when they arrived four days ago, I would of sorted any issues they had. They are 'hinting' about not wanting to leave a negative review... In other words, if I refund them, or part refund they won't leave a bad review. All my other reviews are good, but I only have about 11 reviews at the mo, one bad one and the average comes down...

 

Its almost like they are holding me to ransom. I was on the verge of offering them a few pounds back, but now I'm wondering about the 'No Show' thing? Good move or not?

3 months ago
1
Apartments Di Gallo

Did anything changed with review policy & misconduct behavior? 

Thank you

4 months ago
1
Emilia Apartments

The problem alone lies on the fact that Booking.com review score system is very bad structured. I am a hotelier and also I am a guest to several hotels around the world. I understand very much that a guest finds a review very helpful, when searches for an accommodation. On the other hand a review score can be very intimidate when is not reflecting truely for not the right reasons.

There are people staying for 14 nights or more and give me 10 score, someone is coming for 1 night in the same room and give 7 score. Not disputes at the hotel, not complaints, when they leave, they look very happy and satisfied, not bad commends in the reviews and they still give a bad score. I don't know why, some people may feel strong or happy by been unpleasant to other people, who knows? The fact is for some times and for the wrong reasons, not for the true experience, a review score can harm the income of the hoteliers.

Now, the most people do not look at the comments, is the overall score that they look at, and actually the booking.com platform helps on that. That is not fair when comments can display a different picture. (Mistake by Booking.com number 1).

Mistake no 2: they have a detailed score system with numbers - not the right system in complicated business like hospitality! The most of the other online platforms, if not all, have a 5 star score system, this by far is the most appropriate score system in such business. Two competitors do not get intimidated by a difference of 1 or 2, but most likely to have the same stars. The 5 star system is appropriate because people have different opinions for exactly the same thing. As a result someone with a different opinion for an accommodation wouldn't influence me negatively for something I may find it very pleasant if I go! 

Mistake no 3: They do not care about the opinion of the hotelier, at all! The fact that if a reviewer gives a score without comments and especially when the hotelier feels that the score is unfair, has no way to reply with his/her comments or to defend themselves. I know that many hoteliers have complained about this, but booking.com simply doesn't care. Also, should not have anonymous comments for the hotelier, the hotelier should always know the reviewer so he/her can defend themselves properly. 

Mistake no 4: A hotel is not simply one product, in the most hotels some rooms are better than others, is not fair to put them in one basket and give an overall score. The system should have ways to distinct the score between different rooms the same way as it does with the services. Also a score from a guest staying 1 night should not count the same with a score by guests staying 14 nights, simply is not fair at all. 

All of the complaints that I read above have to do with the unfair score, not actually for the comments. We, the hoteliers do not mind so much for the bad comments, some people have an opinion that we do not agree or they do for a revenge, but as far we can reply we accept the review system with comments. The bad system at Booking.com is the score system, it harms unfairly and maybe illegally, the income of some good hoteliers. Booking.com must change it. A 5 star system is far better (at least for the overall score) than the 10 numbers system. 

+1
1 month ago