Damage Deposits by Booking.com
A few months ago, I was invited to take part in a "zoom" type meeting with Booking.com to discuss damage deposits. I explained the necessity for taking damage deposits:
- a) guests tend to look after a property because they want their damage deposit back
- b) this helps prevent damage to a property and inconvenience to the next guests
- c) the primary aim is to protect the property and protect the next guests, not to make a little bit of extra money
I explained many issues with taking damage deposits separately by cash and bank transfer, such as:
- a) we cannot take cash on arrival as we have multiple properties and do not know when guests will arrive and cannot wait around for them - they are often delayed on their journeys
- b) we cannot guarantee that guests will bring cash with them
- c) if a guest arrives without cash, it will just create bad feelings if we refuse to let the guest into the property
- d) we should not be meeting guests face-to-face to take cash due to Covid-19
- e) it is unfair to make guests wait at a property for us to inspect the property before refunding them in cash
- f) cash is never a good way to do business as we need proper electronic records of the deposit being paid and also being refunded
- g) if we do make guests wait and find damage and need to claim, it will end up in arguments with guests, which can put the safety of our staff at risk
- h) taking damage deposits by bank transfer is a lot of extra admin work, especially with refunding guests, as they often don't give us correct bank details
- i) other booking channels include the damage deposit as part of the booking payment, which makes it easy for everyone, and they automatically refund 7 days after departure, unless a claim is made
- j) we manage a lot of properties but many are not listed on Booking.com yet because every time we add a property, it's a battle with Booking.com to get damage deposits by bank transfer set up (this seems to have got better now)
I said that Booking.com should not be different to other booking channels - they should take the damage deposit payment at the time of booking, just like the other booking channels do.
They showed me some Extranet screenshots for "Damage Deposits by Booking.com". There were different versions with different ways of setting up the damage deposits and different wording. Some of the wording suggested that a fee might apply for using this. I said again that Booking.com should not be different to other booking channels and should not charge additional fees.
Since then, I've heard nothing.
Has anyone else heard anything?