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Property trashed, TV and Playsstation stolen, can't get hold of support. Booking.com not answering messages

Yesterday our cleaners found our property trashed by the last guests and several items stolen(including the TV, PlayStation, some framed pictures). We filed a police report and try to get in touch with booking.com from 1 pm yesterday. It is impossible to get a hold of a support agent. I tried calling from different phones, using different menus and also different languages at one point, sometimes even after more than 10 minutes, the call is always dropped.

I also reported the guests' misconduct yesterday and sent a message to support. Both with the request to contact me as soon as possible. Until now no one has contacted me. I am severely shocked by not being able to contact booking.com. We have hosted hundreds of trips in different properties and there does not seem to be a way to urgently contact booking.com. These guests might also be a threat to other hosts and I don't think anything prevents them to book another place right now.

I really don't know what to do at the moment.

 


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pibomarco 4 years ago

You can't do much about it.. Guest can always create a new (fake) profile. The question is how to better protect yourself in future? Collecting damage deposits, taking guest info before check-in (ID cards, passports,..), accepting only pre-paid bookings, pre-authorizing credit cards etc.. Flexible policies = more troubles. 

 

https://partner.booking.com/en-us/help/where-you-can-reach-us

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NICK NARA 4 years ago

I always request for a image copy of their ID for pre registration at my condo security guard. I make it clear that guest will not be allowed to check-in by the security officer without pre-registration. This method works very well, guest will not create any trouble as we got their ID copy.

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M Adamopoulou 4 years ago

Very sorry to hear about this bad experience.

Cannot believe people do such things...

As pibomarco said....strict policies....

Wish you only good guests.

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Community Admin 4 years ago

Dear Oehmke Immobilien GmbH! Thanks for posting in the Community!

 

We are really sorry to hear about this experience. 

 

In such situations it is important to contact the police right away and inform our customer support team via "Guest misconduct" button. Customer service opening hours always depend on the country, but the English line is open 24/7. Here you can find a relevant number for your country: https://partner.booking.com/en-us/help/where-you-can-reach-us

 

It is also important to set up a damage deposit, in order to avoid similar situations in the future. As mentioned above, you can also request a copy of the guests ID or the guest might fill out a registration form upon check in.

 

Best regards!

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Philipp 4 years ago

Many thanks to everybody that took the time to respond.

We are renting out whole apartments that the guests enter via pin code. Our payments are administered via payments by booking.com. No one is on side thus it is not possible to check the ID's or take a security deposit in cash. We also do not get the credit card details of the guests as booking.com is collecting the payments. As far as I am aware booking.com is refusing to collect a deposit if you are using payments by booking.com. Which I think is shocking compared to for example Airbnb. Also, booking.com does not seem to have the policy of verifying their guests, which doesn't seem to be correct either.

@community admin: We did file a police report right away and also tried to contact booking.com on all channels I am aware of. Via phone, extranet message, reporting misconduct and also here. I have not even gotten a response for 48 hours now. To say that I am shocked is an understatement. Is there any way you could escalate the case? Any other steps I can take?

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pibomarco 4 years ago

You don't report guests to your local officials for the city tax purposes?   

 

As Nick Nara said, let the guest know that they must send you the copy/picture of their ID's before arrival, otherwise the pincode won't work, and payment will not be refundable. 

 

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Philipp 4 years ago

Dear pibomarco,

 

yes, we do report guests to the local authorities using the data provided by the booking platforms. We mainly have to enter the number of guests, nights and the price in order for the tourist tax to be collected.

 

Do you have any experience in regards to withholding the keys/pin code if guests don't provide their ID? I would assume that booking.com would not allow that and at least refund the guests if not penalize you. 

If that would indeed be supported by booking.com that would be something that could be worth considering. Although I am certain your reviews would take a beating. ;)

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pibomarco 4 years ago

Ok but beside that you must also provide info of the each guest such as name, last name, date birth, country, ID or passport number..? Local officials (police) usually need this info in case if the person went missing, has some sort of accident, preventing criminal activities... so the police can get required information faster.

 

If we don't provide this info for each guest in 12 hours after the check-in day we as hosts can be penalized 3500€ and 1000€ per guest if we send wrong information (such as typo, untrue data, etc.)

 

I've hosted all kind of guests, many guests and never had an experience that they did not want to provide their ID. 
Anywhere in the world when you go to a hotel you must provide ID card or passport or driving licence if you want to check-in. If guest does not want to provide ID (which is a common sense that they do) you have the right not to accept them.

 

 

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BrookAve 4 years ago

Hi all,

 

My idea and I've done this already and works pretty well is  , a pre-clearance policy, kinda like , an airport does. in that:

 

  •  Ahead of arrival, message the guest to submit a government issued ID,. Must include all edges of the ID, and be 100% in focus and readable.
     
  •  All guests to be named and ID for them also.
     
  •  For those paranoid, or just don't understand GDPR, I usually suggest using WhatsApp as it is encrypted. Also makes taking a photo very easy and no excuses from them 

    Some will just reply to the message being relayed to their email inbox with them attached.

    I make a point of deleting them after a few months if everything was ok.

     
  •  For any guest who tries to argue or not submit, which hasnt happened yet, I plan on having a cleverly worded template of 'No Id , No Entry' :)

    Zero tolerance policy on laziness

 

I am curious to know what country you are in as to why BdC was uncontactable.
I'm guessing Germany based on something else I just spotted above.

 



Your profile has no property link - See their property

That is what it looks like when you do have it setup.




Click on my name to find an article on How-To.  This greatly helps us help each other, and may even inspire a visit from one of us too :)

 

Sorry to hear about this situation , wouldn't wish it on anyone.

 

I also have other articles done on Amazon tech for monitoring with cameras, in entrance, common areas [ halls, stairways, kitchen etc.] that may inspire and help.

 

 

Kind Regards.

 

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Philipp 4 years ago

Dear Barry,

 

thank you very much for your response. I have added the apartment to my profile. You were correct about being located in Germany (Berlin).

 

I finally managed to speak to someone from booking.com today. It is still very odd that it took 48 hours, as I have used the phone support many times before and never had an issue like that. I can only assume that they are overwhelmed with support requests because of the coronavirus outbreak. I still have not received an answer to the misconduct report nor the messages I sent in the extranet.

 

They waived the booking commission (which is obviously only a fraction of the damage) and asked me to send some pictures and a video we made inside the property. I haven't heard back but will update as soon as I receive a message.

 

In regards to the ID copy suggestion: German guests are very careful about their data and I don't believe many people would be happy to share their ID with a random apartment, especially electronically where it can be stored and used in the future. To be honest I would not do it myself either. Also to collect an additional deposit beforehand via a different payment method than the original booking will lead to unhappy guests and low ratings in the reviews as people don't expect that. We do receive most of the bookings last minute (within the last 72 hours) so the time to interact with guests is very limited. From the top of my head, I would assume that in all the apartments combined we hosted about 1000 bookings via Airbnb and booking.com and never had an issue like that. But I would definitely say that there are more issues with booking.com guests and definitely have the feeling that is because of booking.com policies it attracts worse guests. Also, I would definitely expect booking.com to react immediately if misconduct is reported that includes theft.

 

I feel booking.com should verify the ID's of the guests and store them centrally (pretty much what Airbnb is doing. This way the guests only have to trust booking.com with their data and hosts are protected. Also I truly believe there should be the option to only accept bookings that have their accounts verified and also booking.com should offer the option to hold the deposit for you if you are using payments by booking.com.

 

I appreciate all the posts and tips here very much and if anybody has a good solution on how to improve guest vetting without annoying the guests and or a function on booking.com that I am missing I would love to hear the suggestions. :)

 

Best wishes,

 

Philipp

 

 

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pibomarco 4 years ago

Well it's either that, or stolen TV's an Playstations and leaving a big mess.  There is noone to welcome these guests in person so if you want to protect yourself better you need to make some strictier measures. And majority of guests will understand that.

 

Also Booking.com (Expedia, HRS.de, Hostelworld,) are hotel based platforms and AirBnB (HomeAway,..) are home based platforms. So the comparisment is not quite on point. Two different models. 

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.neri 4 years ago

I was almost shocked when I heard the first time that booking.com don't have a "black list". Ofcourse it should only be for severe misconduct, like damaging the property, emptying the credit card so you cant get money etc. I am not saying that we should write a review for every customer like in Air bnb but if people new they could never use the service again, they might think twice. I mainly get great people but I've had some unpleasent stuations and felt very small and insegnificant when i was told that the person is "welcome" to go and do it again to another property owner... I think rhere should be a strong recomendation to booking.com to do it. 

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BrookAve 4 years ago

Hi Neri

 

Actually there is blacklist,  two infact.

 

First one is when you report a guest, and optionally toolbox to block guest from future bookings.

 

The 2nd will be internal that flags a guest with repeated partners blacklisting them.

 

 

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Yvonne Leung 1 year ago

I just got raided by guests(21/01/2023). They lied about the number of guests coming, smoking, stealing over $1000, doing drugs, and leaving the house with a disgusting odor and untidiness. We are devastated by the loss of our properties and the limited time to clean the lingering cigarette smell and dirty carpets for the next guests. Now they are off, targeting other homes and I do not want any other hosts to experience this.

I have called booking.com using your method and they confirmed booking.com will not compensate for this loss and there is nothing I can do if they don't choose to pay. (The maximum damage deposit is only $400). They do not enforce any compensation from the guests nor do they verify guest IDs before they check-in. They leave all the tasks to property owners for guest monitoring whilst charging 15% + service fee. All of my messages sent to booking.com have not been replied to since. I am going to write to ASIC to make a complaint about booking.com so they can take attention. 

Other hosts have more severe losses than I do. Stolen TV, Bluetooth speaker, PlayStation, left property unclean and still able to leave negative reviews to the listing. I am so disappointed with booking.com. In the future, I am afraid to use high-quality supplies for booking.com clients. I hope they stop supporting those clients from growing in numbers and take better care of "partners". 

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Sue S. 1 year ago

As of February 10, 2023, we encountered the same situation from the first 2 booking.com’s bookings. Both bookings’ guests took Apple TV and Apple TV remote control from each home they rented from us.   They also took all sorts of decoration: metal decoration on the coffee table, cushions on the master bedroom, a blanket, and pillows. They took shower rack, and even shower head which resulted in the next guests had to shower without a shower head. One of bookings took the key and never returned it to our lockbox and we had to change all the locks. We have cameras showing they were carrying big backpacks and moving thing in a big plastic bag out of the room. Considering they even parked a Uhaul on the driveway when they checked out, we might find more things were missing when we do more inventory checking. We messaged the guests, but they never replied. Booking.com kept replying they sent the same messages to the guests and were waiting for their replies.

At this point, we just think what happened was involuntary donations. We don’t mind to make donations to the people who are in need of those items.  On the other hand, being stolen and robbed can make people feel vulnerable or angry. What the victims will do mostly like is not going to make whoever involved ( the thieves and the enablers) have an easier or better life. The bad consequences and karmas and waiting for the thieves and the enablers.

To post the details here is to warn the hosts and the potential hosts who are using or will use a platform like this to rent out their properties be aware of the situation.
 

As human beings, we all have our responsibilities to the world: to make it a better place! We all should do what we can to improve the society, big business owners, small businesses, and every individual who can do something to make it right should do so.

Good luck to the thieves and robbers at making the right choices in the future. The consequences or karmas of stealing and or robbery is just not worth what they had stolen or robbed. Good luck to booking.com at doing the right thing and not to enable the bad behaviors.

What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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Yvonne Leung 1 year ago

Thank you for reading my post. 

I hope you are not affected and have a good rest of the day!

Yvonne

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Sue S. 1 year ago

We are deeply affected by the similar situation!

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M Adamopoulou 1 year ago

Thanks Yvonne!

No I am not affected…probably because I live downstairs!!!

 

Wish you all the best.

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Sue S. 1 year ago

Did you check the guests in yourself in person? We’ll do that next time. I did meet one of them upon their checkout. However, it took a while to really figure out what they actually had taken because they moved things around so much that you hoped those items were misplaced. 
As I know, the police couldn’t even hold the people who broke into people’s house in jail for too long. What can they do to this type of guests? The society simply deteriorated, if we don’t stop bad behaviors from the beginning. Let us know what you think we can do to stop: stop buying residential investments? Stop hosting?