Profile picture for the user i
7

Booking.com Inbox - Guest Don't Know They Have An Inbox

About half of our guests do not know they have an inbox.

The Booking.com inbox is very important. It is where we send directions, check-in details, coronavirus information, damage deposit information and so on. Yet half the guests don't know that they have an inbox.

If they phone us and ask for information, we tell them it's already in their inbox, but they don't know they have an inbox or how to find it. Booking.com will not help them unless the guest phones Booking.com. Of course, if they don't know they have an inbox, they don't know that there's something they can't see, so don't know that they'll need to phone Booking.com for help.

Many guests arrive, having got lost, because they haven't seen the directions that we send to their Booking.com inbox.

Many guests don't pay their damage deposits and we have to phone Booking.com to ask them to help the guest find their inbox to see that they have to pay the damage deposit and how to pay it.

Many guests arrive with a PIN code, which is something to do with Booking.com, but nothing to do with us. The guests think the PIN code is the key safe code - it isn't.

We used to ask Booking.com to edit "The Fine Print" in our descriptions to say "please check your Booking.com inbox". "The Fine Print" is shown on the booking confirmation with PIN code that guests see. Guests were then aware that they have an inbox and were able to check and see the damage deposit information, the coronavirus information and the directions.

Recently, Booking.com started refusing to add this simple piece of text to "The Fine Print". Now, many guests have problems.

Why do Booking.com make things difficult for us and for guests? Why not just add that simple piece of text to "The Fine Print" to make guests aware of where to find the information they need?

 

 


b
11
BrookAve 2 years ago

 

Agreed its become a running joke at this stage, how so many cannot see the same page layout and footer content simply showing the same unified content.

 

E.g. contact us link is not visible for everyone on footer bottom section.

 

It was only a few months ago they changed compose message label , and the content on Contact Us page in a detrimental way, layout. More muddled, and badly written.

 

I could go on but I will leave it there.

 

Kind regards

Profile picture for the user i
7
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

Today ..... 3 guest arrivals from Booking.com .... 3 guests phoned us .....

1 - didn't know we had sent directions to his inbox and was lost

2 - didn't know we had sent directions to his inbox and was lost

3 - didn't read the messages we sent to her inbox so came unprepared

The messages we send to their inbox include essential safety information for coronavirus, along with directions and check-in information. It's very important that guests read these messages.

Profile picture for the user i
7
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

Another 3 today, same thing, they didn't read the messages in their inboxes ..... 3 more families lost, on hot days, because they don't know that everything they need to know is right there in their Booking.com inbox .....

And Booking.com refuse to tell guests that they have an inbox .....

b
11
BrookAve 2 years ago

 

You'd think these utter bellends would have the cop on 2 days before going anywhere to make sure they have their ducks in a row. 

Look up how to get there; how to get in ;how to check-in etc...

Its just dumbfounding, how thick and lazy some people truly are.

 

./facepalm

Reminds me of that BBC Old Tv show :   "Some mothers do have 'em "

 

Profile picture for the user i
7
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

The thing is, most of them find their way "close" to where they need to be ..... so they're doing some work to find out how to get there .....

They have PIN code on their booking confirmation .... they think that's their key safe code ....

The one tiny little thing that would make everything much easier for guests and owners is for Booking.com to tell guests to check their inboxes. Guests just don't know that they have inboxes with the information they need.

A couple of years ago, Booking.com recommended that we request a change to The Fine Print (which shows up on the booking confirmation with the PIN code) to say "Guests should check their Booking.com inbox for information". This helped a lot.

A few months ago, Booking.com started refusing this tiny little change. Now, the majority of guests seem to get lost because they don't know that they have a Booking.com inbox with all the info they need .....

So the real bellends are not the guests, they are Booking.com for making things difficult for guests.

 

 

Profile picture for the user i
7
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

And same again today ..... very stroppy guests today, angry at us because they didn't know they had all this information in their booking.com inbox .... and they had given a wrong phone number and wrong email address, and booking.com had tried to contact them and given up .... yet if we were allowed to have "Check your Booking.com inbox" in "The Fine Print" on the guest's booking confirmation, everything would have been fine ......

Why do Booking.com not care about guests? Why do they want guests to be upset, angry, lost? Why don't they want to help guests?

Profile picture for the user i
7
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

And now just had another set of guests shouting at me because they didn't know they had a Booking.com inbox with all the information they need .... 15 minutes of unhappy guests shouting down the phone at us .... and the guests would be much happier if Booking.com would simply tell them that they need to check their Booking.com inbox .....

Profile picture for the user i
7
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

And now it is just about every single guest who asks where they're staying and how to get there ...... several guests every day having no idea where they're going because they didn't know all the info is in their Booking.com inboxes

This cannot be because everyone using Booking.com is stupid

Perhaps we're stupid? What are we missing? How do other hosts / partners send directions to guests?

 

b
2
Bent Scorer 2 years ago

Dear Booking.com,

We NEED you  to fix this!

Many Guests are not aware  they have an INBOX.  This is a big problem for the guest and for us - the HOSTS! 

1.  ITS unsettling and causes anxiety to the Guest, because they are not accessing our messages.

2.  I communicate with my guests using the inbox with the acknowledgement of the booking upon the guests booking.  Followed up with the WELCOME MESSAGE one to two days prior to the stay.  Unfortunately not all guests know there is an inbox.  So they presume the Host has failed to communicate.  This causes problems resulting in:-

3.  The Host gets a bad review for communication and for staff BECAUSE the guest doesn't know we have responded.

 

Profile picture for the user d
B.
Didem - Commun… 2 years ago

Hi Bent Scorer, thank you for building on this topic! Yes, communication with guests is extremely important and I for sure understand what you mean. I've forwarded this feedback to our teams and noted that some guests don't seem to be aware that they've an inbox and requested for solutions to address this. 

b
2
Bent Scorer 2 years ago

Hi Didem

Thank you for picking up on this and forwarding to the teams. 

I hadn't understood until now that some guests don't know they have an INBOX and how  it's not obvious to a new guest to booking.com.

I don't understand why this problem/difficulty has not been resolved by Booking.com, surely it has a negative effect on anyone trying to book using this platform!?  I do hope that this will  be addressed.

b
2
Bent Scorer 2 years ago

Hello Didem - Commun…

Since our last communication I'm reaching out to you to find out if  the guest INBOX issue is being looked into and when we can expect  this to be resolved.

Guests who don't know they have an INBOX are continuing  to rate us poorly for STAFF in their  reviews because they don't know we have communicated to them, so we are being marked down! 

Surely this should be a  concern for Booking com as well and would benefit all -- host, guest and booking.com to have a solution to this?

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Thank you.

b
11
BrookAve 2 years ago

 

  • Utter nonsense, guests do know!
  • The messages are also auto relayed to their email inbox too.
  • zero excuses for them.
  • Remember Rule #2 - Guests will lie to get free things and free stay if they can get away with it; and play dumb to rules and policies.
  • Dont be naieve.

 

i
6
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

You're wrong BrookeAve - the overwhelming majority of guests are not dishonest or stupid or trying to get refunds, it's a simple case of Booking.com misleading them into thinking the printable Booking Confirmation has all the information they need.

Profile picture for the user d
B.
Didem - Commun… 2 years ago

Dear Bent Scorer, thank you for tagging me here and I hope you're well. I completely understand, and I'm sorry that I don't have any news on this topic at this moment. If I'd have an update, I'd definitely share with you.

j
1
Jamie Hendy 2 years ago

Booking.com is the worst service I have ever used.

I am a highly experienced professional host. I have used Airbnb and other platforms for over three years, and never once have I had an issue.

I recently made the decision to add booking.com to the list of platforms that I use. Within a very short period of time, I have accumulated multiple issues and problems.

One of my cottages now has a second negative review, which looks really bad.

The guest lamented in his review how I didn't provide basic check-in information like the key box code. I have since spoken to this gentleman. He was oblivious to the fact he had a booking.com inbox, which is where I sent all of the check-in information. He claimed he had received nothing from booking.com other than an initial booking confirmation email and a PIN, which has simply nothing to do with my property. Just as everyone else on this forum is reporting!

It is appalling that booking.com are aware of these issues, but refuse to rectify them. Even though the solution is simple - just inform people they have an inbox on your site at the time of booking. Instead booking.com is allowing its hosts and guests to suffer. Shame on you booking.com, this is simply unacceptable!

Also, your customer service is appalling. In response to my complaints, I received a generic response which in no way relates to my complaint. You need to take a leaf out of Airbnb's book, their customer service is outstanding.

If the negative reviews are not removed from my property by the end of the week, I will be withdrawing all of my properties from this platform. I will also document my negative experience with booking.com on every single app site and review platform I can find.

I look forward to booking.com hopefully solving the problem, which they created.

i
6
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

the solution is simple - just inform people they have an inbox on your site at the time of booking

 

Tried, tested and proven to work - not 100%, but infinitely better than the current systems .....

Profile picture for the user d
B.
Didem - Commun… 1 year ago

Hi Jamie Hendy, I hope you are well. Thank you very much for your feedback.

I wanted to share with you this article which gives tips on how to reply to negative guest reviews. When you reply, you will be able to share your side of the story. I hope this is a bit helpful. 

https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/node/2364/

Responding to Negative Reviews:

1) Don’t take it personally

Even the best properties have guests who will find something to complain about. Remember, vacations can be stressful, especially since they have a time limit. Usually your guests want everything to be just right.

2) Keep calm and stay polite

By being polite and courteous, you can turn a negative review into a positive display of your professionalism for your future guests, which can actually encourage people to book with you.

Objectivity over emotion

If guests misread or ignored important information (for example, related to renovations) mention that the information was shown on Booking.com at the time. That way, you can stay objective and acknowledge the inconvenience without taking the blame.

For example: “I'm really sorry that your stay was compromised by noise from the renovations. We're doing everything we can to minimize the inconvenience, and the dates of the renovations are listed on Booking.com.”

Keep it constructive

Criticism can be turned into something constructive. If a guest complains about something, acknowledge their disappointment and investigate to see if you can make improvements. Thank them for the feedback and mention if you're taking action.

For example: “We're sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the breakfast. We're currently looking into working with a local bakery to provide a better selection of fresh pastries daily.”

Acknowledgement, not blame

Guests writing a negative review often just want to be heard. To defuse their anger or frustration, acknowledge their negative experience. This doesn't mean that you're taking responsibility for upsetting them, but that you're listening to their complaint.

For example: “It's really unfortunate that you were disappointed by the size and general layout of the rooms at our property. Sorry that you weren't satisfied. We're a small, family-run Bed & Breakfast and can't always match the standards of a hotel. We sincerely hope you found accommodations which met your expectations on the rest of your trip.”

i
6
Isle of Wight … 1 year ago

Didem, do you think it's acceptable that guests are grumpy because of Booking.com? Do you think it's acceptable that guests get lost because Booking.com don't tell them that we've sent them directions? Do you think it's acceptable that we get negative reviews because of Booking.com?

None of us want grumpy guests - and the guests don't want to be grumpy either. None of us want negative reviews. And none of us want the hassles of guests phoning up in distress because they're lost, don't know how to check in and so on. And none of us want to spend our time pacifying guests because of Booking.com.

The fixes are simple. I do not understand why Booking.com don't just make the fix.

I am tired of almost every guest from Booking.com phoning up for directions and other information that we have already sent them.

i
6
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

When a guest makes a booking, they get a printable Booking Confirmation from Booking.com. This has the booking details and a PIN number and The Fine Print as shown in our Extranet. It does not have directions or any other information.

We send directions and other information using scheduled message templates - it's all automated. The automation works well. Everything the guest needs to know is in those messages.

But .... the guests don't know they have an inbox and don't see these messages. They get lost and have to phone us up, often frustrated after a long journey. If they find the property, they think the PIN number is the code for the key safe - it's not - we're not even sure what the PIN number is. Again, they get frustrated. The result is unhappy guests who phone us up and vent their frustration on us.

A couple of years ago, we asked Booking.com to change The Fine Print to include "Please log in to your Booking.com account to see directions and other information in your Booking.com Inbox". This text then appeared on the printable Booking Confirmations. It worked fairly well, helped quite a lot.

But then Booking.com began refusing to amend The Fine Print. The problems grew as guests got lost etc. Booking.com said "the guest can phone you for directions". But, this defeats the purpose of using scheduled messages. Guests don't want to phone us after a long journey, they just want to get to the property and get in. We don't want to spend all our time answering phones and directing unhappy guests to the properties.

Booking.com also told us that the automated messages we send are also sent to the guest's email address. However, Booking.com don't seem to verify email addresses or mobile phone numbers any more - they used to. Many people book online, get the Booking Confirmation and do nothing else. We get work bookings where the guest has used a business landline number and business email address that they don't have access to, so they'll never see the information we send unless they log in to their Booking.com account and we have no way of contacting the guest. We just have to wait until they phone up in frustration.

Many guests also tell us that once they book on Booking.com, they get loads of marketing emails from Booking.com so stop reading emails from Booking.com - this means that they won't look at the automated messages we send.

We have now added "Log in to your Booking.com account to check your Inbox" and "Install the Booking.com app on your phones" throughout our listings. It's in other messaging templates for Smoking or Parking. It's in Policies > Key Collection. It's everywhere we can possibly put it. Despite this, around 80% of Booking.com guests phone us because they haven't seen the messages in their Inbox and need directions etc. It's a massive waste of our time - and bear in mind that we're an agency with multiple properties.

In contrast, we rarely get these issues with guests from AirBnB, VRBO or TripAdvisor. It is very clearly a problem with Booking.com.

The solutions needed are:
- amend The Fine Print and the printable Booking Confirmation to tell the guest to check their Inbox for messages from us
- display the same thing on screen once a guest has completed their booking
- redirect guests to their Inbox or to a page showing that they have a message waiting as soon as they complete their booking
- make sure email addresses and mobile phone numbers are verified before a booking is made
- sack whoever at Booking.com thought that not telling guests to check their Inboxes was a good idea

i
6
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

And another one today ..... again and again and again .....

j
1
Jamie Hendy 2 years ago

Booking.com - you need to get your act together. 

After hosting on other platforms for years, I have recently added booking.com to the pool of website I use.

One of my first experiences as a booking.com host has been being told by an irate guest that I am essentially a terrible host who left them out in the cold, that I had provided no access information or anything. 

This was a real surprise to me, seeing as I had sent them multiple messages via booking.com with the access code, directions, information about location attractions etc in advance of their stay.

After reading through these other hosts experiences, I now understand what has happened. The guest clearly didn't even know they had a booking.com inbox. Why do you make the site overly complicated?

b
11
BrookAve 2 years ago

 

  • Dont fall for the lies, guest know and have a second copy in their email inbox too and on their smart devices.
  • They will turn up late , pretend they didnt see messages , reminders sent out such as the pre-arrival template check in message.
  • I have seen it all and more, I'm not that gullible so you shouldnt be either.

 

 

i
6
Isle of Wight … 2 years ago

As I've said, they're not dishonest or stupid, they're being misled into believing that all the information they need is on the printable Booking Confirmation.

b
11
BrookAve 1 year ago

 

some of them clearly are thick if they try to use that excuse, as the same messages in inbox are replicated to their own email inbox, hence why i am calling bullshit on them.

 

  • first message received is the reservation confirmation with number and PIN
  • second message is the New Reservation template you set up to trigger automatically on a new reservation.

i recently discovered the account owner phone number was valid but not actually theirs. so now i check and ask them to confirm as i send check in  & how-to videos via whatsapp and take photoID that way too.

i
6
Isle of Wight … 1 year ago

first message received is the reservation confirmation with number and PIN

And they think this is all they need - they think the PIN is the code to enter the property but it isn't.

Where in that first message does it tell them to log in to their BDC account or check other emails for directions and check-in details?

b
2
Bent Scorer 1 year ago

If our messages to the guests are going to the GUEST INBOX and THEN replicated to their email, the problem will arise with (some) guests because the email ends up in the spam folder. 

I'm saying this because that was my experience when I booked through booking .com as a guest, the emails were ending up in my spam folder and I didn't know this...I just thought at the time that the HOST was just not communicating.   That is the problem, if it happened to me then it will be happening to many others.  And also as @Isle of Wight has pointed out, Booking.com are failing to verify the email addresses, postal addresses and telephone no. of guests.  As a host we have had several guests who have provided incorrect address details where the postcode does not match with the area and we've also had instances where there has been a problem during the guests stay and their number given is INVALID.  Even booking com were UNABLE to get hold of the guest at the time.

So this is a real problem, it's not that the guests are ' pretending ' not to have received the messages, (of course a few might try that!). But if our messages end up in their SPAM folder they may simply not realise to check this 

Booking.com NEEDS to advise guests of the INBOX and they also need to alert guests to include booking.com in their contacts to avoid emails going into their SPAM folder!  AND Booking.com SHOULD and MUST be verifying the guest details, to protect the HOST!!!