Hi all, we had a guest booked all 6 of our rooms from belgium arriving 14th march they had booked a standard rate and had two days prior to the 14th to cancel with no charge, they cancelled the afternoon of the 13th so it was chargeable, we charged the guest as they left it so late, and I spoke to my insurance broker who told me that until there is a travel ban which there isn't from Belgium that I was within my rights to charge the guest, and they would have to contact there own travel insurance. I messaged the guest explaining this and they are now asking to move the reservation to June, which still means we lose out on a weekend not being paid for and also in our summer months when our prices are higher obviously!!! Any advice would be much appreciated. I think its outrageous that yet again Booking.com offer no actual help to business but put the strain on us businesses which without us there would be no Booking.com
Belgium is not quarantined so far so your guests are absolutely NOT legitimate to get either a free-of-charge cancellation or a reservation modification outside the free cancellation period. You are perfectly in your right to charge them fully as they are cancelling at the last minute and to refuse any modification into their reservation.
Travel insurances exist in this world and if people are not purchasing them, they have therefore accepted the risks and the money losses.
Booking.com has a list of countries and conditions on their extranet for the Force Majeure situation. As far as today Sunday 15th March 2020 09:24am (GMT) Belgium is not on the list of quarantined countries, therefore your guests are in the wrong and should be fully charged for late cancellation. We highly encourage you to only communicate with them through the Booking extranet to keep track of everything and allow Booking.com customer service to read over it if the situation is getting worse.
The Dene Team
Hi Dene team, thank you so much for your reply, the guests are emailing saying its force majeure and I had looked on the booking.com statement but wasn't sure, so thanks for confirming that Belgium is not on the list. I will reply to the guest AGAIN through booking .com and informed them of this. Whilst we all understand peoples fears, they should take responsibility for there own decisions and not expect business to fit the bill!! I wish you all the best Lorraine
Hi Dene team, I just looked at the B.com policies and belgium is listed along with France etc under schengen area, so are you sure this is not affected by the force majeure ? Thanks Lorraine p.s sorry for being a pain lol
It is for reservations made by Schengen countries citizen in the United States. So the UK is not concerned by that. ;)
Oh get it now lol, ok great thank you!!! Lorraine
They are trying to send you on a guilt trip. Politely and firmly state your case then end all messages. You can be sure they know exactly what the position is and are trying to force your hand. Resist and if it helps, think about the consequences for your family as its often instinctively easier to defend your loved ones rather than yourself. We are, after all, in a dire situation with the possibility of losing our businesses and livelihoods. Will these guests be on hand to help you out from the goodness of their hearts when that happens? I think not. If you read the huge number of messages on the BDC guest forum, the majority of guests who are complaining about this just really have not thought this through and are taking a ‘them and us’ stance. Its just not helpful to revert to that blinkered attitude and to think of hosts as enemy aliens unaffected by this situation.
Bdc don’t seem very active on updating the FC.
I had a German guest request a refund today for 2nd May. Our reservations are non refundable but I offered a 50% refund or the full value as a credit for a future stay. Next minute he’s messaging me to say he’s amazed with my lack of care for my guest, I’m putting money before people, my property must be financially poor and that he won’t accept the refund or the offer of future stay as the money is not important to him and he wants to write a review to reflect all of this and that will be a much higher loss to my property!!
its difficult to keep up with the situations in various countries but bdc is not helping matters.
I honestly don’t see how guests can act like that, if you book a non refundable reservation I think you know the implications of that and travel insurance should also come into it. Why are we being made to foot the entire bill? I Can not sustain this yet guests are behaving like that over £70, we’ll £35 really because I offered half back!
Hi, I know , people do like to try the guilt trip, and like you rightly state we are all in the same boat and we are going to be clinging onto our homes and businesses and may face losing them for something out of our control!! I do feel better both from the support on here from fellow hoteliers and also weve just had a German guest arrived who travelled from Germany yesterday by car and ferry with no problems. I'm going to reply now with my firm but polite response then I'm not going to answer said guest anymore. I wish you all the very best through this time and if I can offer words of support I'm there ,thanks Lorraine
As stated, follow the OFFICIAL recommendations.
We've had quite a few requests for FM refunds but only granted the genuine ones e.g. today we granted full refund to a five room booking from Italy immediately but a two room from Malaysia was declined.
@The Sea Spirit Guest House
I very much doubt the carrot dangled for a later booking is genuine, more like moving the booking to a date where they then cancel freely using standard policy.
Hi Fluff, I am sticking to the official reccomendations, just had another non refund cancellation request, and they wanted to postpone the reservation to march next year lol, I politely declined that one dont even know if I'll still be here next march lol