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Smart Flex - The Latest Crazy Idea from Booking.com

So .... Smart Flex is all about giving guests the option to cancel, free of charge, when we use Non-Refundable settings. If the guest cancels, Booking.com either find a replacement or pay us anyway. Great? Not really.

We want guests to book and come on holiday. We don't want them to book and cancel. We don't want our calendars blocked with a "maybe". Therefore we use Non-Refundable settings. Simple. Works fine. The "maybes" don't book, don't block our calendars, we know what days guests are arriving and leaving.

Except ..... Booking.com have now added Smart Flex. This gives (some) guests the ability to cancel. We still get paid. No loss to us there, but no benefit to us either. However, we lose the ability to edit bookings, change dates, extend stays etc. And losing those abilities is bad. It's a pain in the backside.

So .... Smart Flex brings no benefits to us, it just means that managing guests through Booking.com is more hassle.

Why? Why do Booking.com come out with these crazy ideas?


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Downtown Rising Sun 1 year ago

There is an even worse catch. Unlike what they advertise on the terms of this deceptive policy. Suppose your non-refundable period is 2 weeks and ""smart""-flex sells it as fully flexible until 2 days to check in to the guest. Then they won't try to take the payment 2 weeks to check-in as per your policy, but 2 days to check-in, as per the policy that they sold to the guest. Suppose now the guest's card is bogus, which with Booking.com happens very often, then Booking.com will tell you that it was Booking.com that cancelled the reservation and not the guest and therefore, it is a different case, in which their guarantee does not apply!!!!!!!!! Of course this is nowhere in the description of the policy and no way such an argument could ever stand in any Court of Law, but do they care one bit? These guys are having fun with people's jobs my friend...

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Isle of Wight … 1 year ago

So ... apparently, even using Non-Refundable on the bookings, we don't get paid for Smart Flex cancellations ..... people are now booking, then cancelling soon after .... had 3 today ..... we NEVER had this before Smart Flex .....

BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD

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CConsta 1 year ago

Suupose a guest cancels via the smart-flex program and we get no guests for that period they make a full refund but that is of course with a HUGE condition that they of course do not write publicly: you need to remove all your restrictions. That is, you are not allowed to have minimum nights or refuse to accept last minute bookings. They take full advantage of us and this is because they simply can.

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Ian Mylam 11 months ago

It makes me angry that booking.com auto-enrolled our business for 'Smart Flex' without permission. It should be something you choose, not something imposed on your business. We just discovered that a non-refundable booking has been 'upgraded'. It shows a total lack of respect for business partners.

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Tony Bishop 7 months ago

I have no fewer than 6 fraudulent smart flex reservations that I am currently fighting to get paid for over a holiday week.  We are looking at about $10,000 in lost revenue that they are trying to find lopholes not to pay us.  Of course, good luck getting anyone from booking.com who actually can give anything but a canned response.  

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Cpirit Country Haven 6 months ago

I agree - what a rubbish programme!!! The Smartflex just blocks us off with less control and dumps us if the guest still cancels "after the Smartflex cancellation period". Rotten idea. No benefit. Shame on Booking.com for such a lousy idea. Not happy - happened now too many times.