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Why is Booking.com so bad?

I am new to booking.com and had to send a message that my first impression is that the system  is far too complicated, designed by a teenager who doesn't live in the real world and is full of irregularities.

Can anyone help navigate booking.com hell?.

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29 Replies
231 Views

7
Isle of Wight …

The developer will add your comments to his list. He will think about fixing things one day after school .... if his mum lets him ....

 

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9 months ago
5
Don Burns

Booking,com occasionally has live online classes (webinars) for host-partners.

 

I suggest the next webinar focus on updating a rental property's listing (adding and deleting photos, editing description text, adding more listed amenities, etc.).

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9 months ago
8
pibomarco

I use Expedia, AirBnB, BDC, Hostelworld, HRS.. and I can say that booking.com is one of the easiest to manage. 

 

As a new user you just need some time to get used to new platform/extranet. 

 

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9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

I disagree.

It's full of repetitive inconsistencies, has limited help and is far too complicated. I know that if I want to spend a dozen hours studying the confusing interfaces, plural, that I'll understand it. But that's backwards.

The job of the developer is to make the interface simple for hosts (and renters) and not expect hosts to spend a great deal of time trying to find what is being looked for and then work with it.

I think that booking.com needs to bring people off the street and watch carefully how they become completely frustrated with this website. Its design is awful. It desperately needs work.

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9 months ago
7
Isle of Wight …

Watching how people interract with systems is known in the development world as UX (User Experience) Testing. It was always a golden rule in programming. All reputable companies do UX Testing. Booking.com clearly doesn't .....

 

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9 months ago
8
pibomarco

I agree to disagree.

Give us an example of OTA that is "simple" and "user friendly". 

9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

Airbnb is much easier to use.

I realized that this is a user forum and not monitored by employees of booking.com. If true, this is just a discussion that resolve anything.

Is this forum monitored, and acted on, by booking.com?

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9 months ago
7
Isle of Wight …

There are "community admins" who pop up from time to time. They occasionally post something about how wonderful Booking.com is or occasionally reply to a post. They never, as far as we know, pass any feedback to "the powers that be".

It would be so easy for them to report the numerous posts here about double bookings (because the calendar sync doesn't work) or the numerous posts about fake bookings and no-shows (because Booking.com trick new owners into taking every booking as cash) or the numerous posts about damage deposits (which Booking.com don't want to collect for us like other OTAs do because Booking.com "do not trust" us), or the many bugs and problems with the Booking.com systems.

The bottom line is, Booking.com do not care about us.

9 months ago
Anonymous

Hello Allan Levene! Me and my colleagues, of course, collect feedback from the partners. Right now the Community is still not perfect and we are doing our best to build it together with our partners. We want this place to become a professional business Community. So every new partner starting a professional conversation, every important business topic raised here brings us closer to what we want to create. So, please, join our team!

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9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

I'm shocked!!! Or maybe not.

Can you clarify "trick new owners into taking every booking as cash." I am a newbie, struggling with their system.

 

9 months ago
7
Isle of Wight …

If you list a property on AirBnB, HomeAway or TripAdvisor, they take payments for you, deduct their fees and transfer the balance to your bank account. They also collect and hold the damage deposit, which is needed to protect your property and future guests.

Booking.com tell new "partners" that they must take cash only until they "have reached a certain number of stays", which they won't disclose. They also let you take payment by credit card, if you have your own facilities for doing this. Hosts then get a lot of fake bookings and no-shows because they expect guests to turn up as booked, but the guests haven't paid so don't come - the guests may even have booked several properties at the same time. The hosts still end up paying commissions.

The ideal solution is for Booking.com to be like the other OTAs - protect the hosts by taking payment and damage deposits at the time of booking. Booking.com will not take any payments for new hosts because they don't trust hosts, as if every host is a major criminal.

Don't put up with that. Always take payment at the time of booking. Ask Booking.com to set up Payments by Booking.com. If they refuse, just use AirBnB, TripAdvisor and HomeAway instead.

 

9 months ago
8
pibomarco

I always mentioned that there is a difference between Hotel based platforms (BDC, Expedia, HRS,..) and Home based platforms (AirBnB, HomeAway, Vrbo,..). So some things as to why those limitations can make more sense if you think more about it.

9 months ago
8
pibomarco

I do agree that on other OTA's there are less limitations (property descriptions, house rules, payments, deposits, etc..), but extranet as such is no different then any other. Once you get to know it, it's easy to manage. Like any other basicly. Design is awful? Well that's just ones opinion that has no weight. I don't mind the current design at all. Maybe it's because I am used to it. For my taste Expedia's design is much weaker. 

9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

Everything is an acquired taste. My problem is that booking.com is taking a long time to acquire. They want a commission on the public's property but make it very, very difficult to do business and somehow believe that computers are all powerful and don't need people to fix them.

9 months ago
8
pibomarco

Yes, to host on Booking.com you need to put more effort and be more patient comparing to other OTA's. The positive side of it (for myself) is that Booking.com brings a lot more bookings then the others.

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9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

That's good. It's a learning curve. I am new to this business and have noticed that none of the sites I looked at clearly show the financial arrangements.

Is there a site that has a simple table showing who gets what by site?

9 months ago
8
pibomarco

What exactly do you mean? financial arrangments between the OTA and host? 

 

On average Hotel based platforms takes 15% from each booking. Home based platforms (AirBnB) takes around 3,5% but charges guests an extra service fee (up to 18% I beleive). On AirBnB I opted for fixed 14% commission amount, so guest pays 0 for a service fee.

9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

Thanks, Isle of Wight, for the update about when and how guests actually pay for there reservations. It is a concern that booking.com takes a reservation, but doesn't collect the payment and charges a fee for the non-existent guest!

I'm not clear that if a guest books, pays with a credit card either to booking.com or the host's credit card system, AND agrees to no-show terms why the host doesn't receive their money anyway.

9 months ago
8
pibomarco

There are many payment options available.. In some countries prepaid options are not available. I guess the esiest way would be to set up your property and you'll see what options are available to you. If "cash only" is really the case it is usually just for the first few bookings for new partners I guess.  

9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

I just checked. For my first booking, they took a CC with a 7 day window to cancel. That's okay. I don't want to take payment when they arrive, as they may change their mind the day before.

 

9 months ago
10
M Adamopoulou

Sorry guys but for me Booking.com is not bad at all...

As pibomarco said most of my reservations are from BDC.  Booking.com facilitates my Payments and have no problem at all. My local office is excellent and very supportive with suggestions and very helpful ideas.

Surely, some fields might need improvement but that doesn’t mean that BDC is bad...

 

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9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

As an illustration. I dragged photos of my property around yesterday, as allowed and found that when I logged back in today they were not in that order. When I called them, I was told that they automatically sort the photos and the host cannot do anything but the main photo!

I pointed out that it was illogical and that the photo page had the drag and drop capability for the photos to be positioned in whatever order the host wants. That was met by silence.

It's a mess!

9 months ago
8
pibomarco

I remember that I also experienced this issue in the past. But since then I can re-arrange photos freely. 

9 months ago
2
Allan Levene

I moved up the ladder to the supervisor who said that the host only has control over the lead photo and if the host rearranged the photos in a logical way, the "algorithm" would reorder them as it wanted. It's truly ridiculous.

Although my heading was based on my initial opinions, the more I delve into how Booking.com for hosts works, the more I am reinforced that my subject title is correct.

9 months ago
10
M Adamopoulou

Sorry to hear your problems.

I have no problems with rearranging my photos...

Whenever I rearragne them, photos are appearing in the right order in my listing...

Wish you luck.

9 months ago
10
M Adamopoulou

I just wanted to add that it works better using a computer and no a mobile!!!

9 months ago