BEWARE: According to BdC not all Guests are GUESTS
In a debate with CS yesterday I was advised that guests who book via Agoda (owned by BdC) are not guests - so any policies/rules you apply to guests do not apply.
That has to be the most absurd thing I have ever been told by CS in any business.
Then he put the phone down on me.
I was making the points:
- We are free to choose from the available policies that are presented in the profile/setup. We use those that are best matched to our service, our environment and meet the needs of our customers.
- The current onslaught of false bookings from Agoda is not "our fault", is not "due to our choice of policies". It is down to the 3rd party agent (Agoda) not ensuring that the reservations it passes on to BdC are genuine.
I further believe neither BdC or Agoda will do anything about it as BdC (who own Agoda) have a financial interest in the situation prevailing. Bomdarding us with false bookings that block our availability is part of a strategy to drive us to BdC collect - where BdC make even more margin by collecting the customers payment at the time of booking and retaining it not until the guest arrives, but until the guest departs. Thats a massive boost to BdC cashflow. And of course on top of that they can make even more positive margin out of currency exchange. We also have to pay an additional 3% for the use of a Virtual Credit Card.
If it was financially viable, we could be persuaded to go for it BUT most of our customers are French (we are in France) they are not international travellers, they are low/slow/no adaptors of online payments and credit card use. They prefer to use cheques (yes what a pain but thats their choice) or cash. The few that do have a Credit/Debit card prefer to pay at our premises rather than commit to a charge on the web.
For us to adopt a "pay online when you book" model would deny us the opportunity to sell to most of our customer base.
So BdC/Agoda why not just resolve playing your part properly - Selling GENUINE accommodation reservations for which you are paid a fee?
Cheques?? Hilarious.. French are low/slow/no adaptors of online payments and CC use? That's a bold statement, generalizing just like that. Are you primarily targeting guests that are 60+ years old?
It's 2020, not a stone age and you're in EU. You want to sell GENUINE accomodation reservations? Well do something about it like the majority of us hosts did.