When a guest requests free late cancellation inside the 7 day free cancellation period we would do so only if Booking.com or we can sell the room(s). Is there a template to state this or how do other businesses go about it without looking mean?Also as soon as we are asked for a free late cancellation should we take payment immediately in case they cancel their credit card details (it's happened before) then refund if room(s) is/are re-let?
Any time you take payments / process cards yourself, you expose yourself to risks of fake bookings, no shows, card failures and late cancellations, all giving you empty rooms that you cannot fill.
If available, use Payments by Booking.com and set all payments to Non-Refundable. Guests must pay at the time they make the booking. No more late cancellations. If a guest doesn't show, you still get paid. It's the only way. Take a look at other discussions about no-shows, late cancellations, cards not working, and the bigger discussion on Payments by Booking.com
Thanks for that. I would like to take payment at time of booking but I do feel it puts a lot of people off. I will look at other posts as you suggested and have a good think!!
If people want to rent your property, they will pay.
Try booking a room on AirBnB without paying. Try booking a room on TripAdvisor / HolidayLettings without paying.
If someone doesn't want to pay, they don't really want to rent your room. There are plenty of others who will pay.