Cancelation Invoice After Fire

 Hi There,

In spring of this year we had an unfortunate incident. The cottage on our farm had a serious fire, burning half of the structure to the ground and making it inhabitable. Due to the significant construction required to bring the cottage back to a habitable standard, we were forced to cancel the rest of our bookings for 2018.

Having gone through the correct procedures on booking.com for making cancellations, we received confirmations of such from them by email. At this point i want to draw attention to one particular instance.

We received an email as such:

Dear Shanbolard Cottage,

We’re reaching out to you about reservation XXXXXXX for XXXXXX. As previously agreed with your property, we have relocated the guest to an alternative accommodation.

The original reservation of the guest will be cancelled, and you will receive a notification confirming this shortly.

As a token of our appreciation for our continued partnership, the commission for this reservation will be waived.

Thank you again for working with Booking.com. We look forward to our continued partnership and mutual success.


Silvia M.
Booking.com Customer Service Team


At this point we believed that the matter was closed and that all the correct procedures had been followed. However, four months later we received this email:

Dear Shanbolard Cottage
We're contacting you about a follow up to reservation XXXXXXXX, for the guest XXXXXXXXX.
We have refunded the guest on your behalf, and an invoice has been issued to your property in the amount of EUR 351.74.
The invoice for the refund is final, and this matter has been fully resolved for the guest.
Kind regards,

Booking.com Customer Service Team

This came as quite the shock. Having already been informed by booking.com that:

"As a token of our appreciation for our continued partnership, the commission for this reservation will be waived."

The fire has been a harrowing affair for my family. At the time of the fire we had three guest staying in the cottage, they all escaped with their lives, unharmed, however it could have been a different story. Fortunately the structural damage to the building was covered by our farm insurance, however the furnishings and belongings within the cottage were not and as such have had to be replaced at great personal cost, as well as the fact that we were not compensated for loss of earnings.

In truth, at times, this whole ordeal has left me very drained and emotional. Having lost my livelihood for 2018, it has been hard to bear the financial burden of refurnishing and reestablishing the cottage as a working and earning accommodation. Having made progress during the summer, to then be hit with an invoice for €351.74 left me shocked and wounded.

I would like to continue my partnership with booking.com in the future, however if this is indeed their policy then i will be ending our partnership immediately. If following procedure with regards to unavoidable cancellations can still leave me in a position to incur a charge of €351.74 then i'm afraid that this is a service i can do without.

Claire Mathews

David 5 years ago

Hi Claire

So sorry to hear about what happened to you unfortunately Booking.com do not seem to have any understanding that occasionally bad things happen.

Earlier this year m business partner dropped dead and I needed to can cancel many bookings so I could come to terms to what had happened and sort things out.booking tried the same with me threatening to relocate guest at my expense I stood my ground and thankfully Booking realised they were be totally unreasonable.

Contact your area manager and tell them this was an unforeseen tradgedy and they as a multimillion pound/dollar company should try and be a little more understanding.For me the guest who had their bookings cancelled were far more understanding than Booking was.

Wishing you the best of luck at this difficult time