1

Unfair Treatment meeted out

We have been associated with booking.com for more than 3 years. Our properties have a 9.6 guest rating. A few months ago we were pleasantly surprised to receive a fraud notice claiming we have committed some fraud and have to pay some amounts. There has never been any delay in paying commission to booking.com nor have we indulged in any practices as claimed. The investigation they carried out is supposed to be top secret and no details are being devulged about the process. We contacted the local country office and explained our case and received a patient hearing but no headway has been made to withdraw the debit notes issued to us. Since the claim made by booking.com was about guests being convinced to cancel and book directly we conducted an investigation of our own which threw light on 3 new properties in our area having a similar name and were allowed on the booking.com platform. Our suspicions of these properties being contacted by our guests was conveyed to booking.com. In protest we have closed our properties on booking.com and are awaiting replies to requests made to the local country office to resolve the matter. Has anyone faced a similar problem? And if so how do we go about getting booking.com to respond instead of treating their partners this way?


8
pibomarco

For a better insight you should copy exact message(s) that you received from BDC about this fraud. 

1
The Yuppi Hipp…

I received the following message along with debit notes for commission payable to them for guests who they claim to have stayed with us. 

Dear Partner,

We regret to inform you that your property is temporarily suspended for the upcoming 14 days from the Booking.com platform due to a breach of the Accommodation Agreement (please refer to article 7.3 c) (ii) of the General Delivery Terms). The suspension is effective immediately.

The suspension is taking place because at least one of the following behaviours has been detected:

1. In some reservations the guest stayed at your property but the reservation status has been modified incorrectly on your end in order to avoid paying commission. 

And/Or:

2. In some reservations the guest has been asked to cancel the reservation made via Booking.com and make a direct booking at your property. 

These behaviours are not allowed per contractual terms.

We kindly request you to honour all outstanding reservations you have on our platform prior to the effective suspension date, regardless of whether the date of the guests’ departure is before or after the date of suspension.

We also encourage you to conduct an internal investigation and make sure that your staff are marking the reservations correctly following the standard procedure. 

In accordance with the terms of the Accommodation Agreement, we also request you to pay any outstanding commission due to Booking.com BV (plus costs, expenses and interest, if applicable). 

After 14 days you will have a chance to set your property’s listing bookable again - we will send you more details about this once you are eligible.

If you have any questions, please reply to this message and a member of our support team will get back to you.

Thank you,

Fraud & Abuse Team

Booking.com B.V.

8
pibomarco

We were suspended few years ago, because of the second point you mentioned. And it was difficult for us to get back online after a couple of months. But we really did promote lower rates for direct bookers back then :) 

 

Usually those behaviour claims are done automaticly by the system alghoritms.. so probably if you had many cancelations, and for example you soon after closed inventory, the system could be alerted..

 

At least it says that after 14 days you have a chance to set your property bookable again. For us wasn't that easy at the time.

 

1
The Yuppi Hipp…

In principle i refuse to open my properties on booking.com till some human gives me a satisfactory explanation of why this has happened instead of being analysed by artificial intelligence. Our business is related to being human and hospitality. If this huge company can hear my small voice i would like to say.... your success is because you work with a business of being human and hospitable. It wont take long before you are brought down to your knees because you do not listen to human voices and to your partners who reach out to you.

Thank you Phibomarco for your kind and reassuring words. We will survive because we are human and we treat our guests and partners with kindness. We are happy never to charge our guests even if they cancel at the very last minute because we are blessed with walk ins.

8
pibomarco

Yes I understand what you are saying. The only issue for us was that without Booking.com we actually received less bookings although we also host on other OTA's but most of bookings came from Booking.com. Walk-in guests are quite a rarety for us now comparing to many years before. Problem is that we need Booking.com more then they obviously need us (based on a suspension) although they received 5000€ monthly in commission, so we are more or less forced to adapt to their policies and system. As "we" I am speaking on behalf of my business. Anyhow I am now more or less sattisfied with Booking.com comparing in the early 2010's where they werent so flexible regarding payments, policies, restrictions.. as are now. Wish you the best!