Suspicious booking / no help from booking.com
I am writing this out of total exasperation with booking.com. Their lack of support for their "partners" and the erratic, now-you-see-me, now-you-don't customer service.
During the summer our small, 12 bed hostel received a very strange booking. At 5:13 one evening we received a last-minute, 8 person booking for one night. At 5:14 we got a message from the same booking asking, "has u all the beds" for "tonite and maybe after". I was trying to reply to this message, and figure out what was meant by maybe after (more nights?), when I got a phonecall. This was 5 minutes after the initial booking.
The booker wanted to know if we had the beds. I told them we did that night, although it was short notice, but could not accomodate them the following nights as we had bookings already. They then told me to cancel the booking and, "don't charge me anything now".
I began writing another message, this time to booking.com to explain the situation. Before I was finished, at 5:36, I got a call from booking.com asking had we cancelled the reservation. I explained that the guest asked to cancel the reservation, 5 minutes after making it, because although we had room that night, we couldn't accommodate the length of stay he wanted. Booking.com said okay.
To clarify the situation I sent two further emails that night, explaining the situation in detail - no response.
I don't know what the booker told booking.com but the following morning we were issued a charge of €400!
Frustrated, and feeling the booking was suspicious, I have spent the last month trying to call, email and message booking.com.
I never speak to the same person, sometimes being told that the name I was told "doesn't work in this office".
I have sent a number of queries that get no response.
On the phone, each time I explain the situation anew, the booking.com representative agrees it seems suspicious, asks to look into it further and tells me they'll ring me back. Or email. Then, a day later, I get the same perfunctory email as always, with none of the issues I raised addressed. It's maddening!
Does anyone have an idea how to speak to someone in booking.com who can make decisions and act fairly?
Booking.com have now cut off our hostel for non-payment of the fine. To be honest, I think we're okay with that. I don't want to work with a company that won't support us. It's just unfair.
But I would like an explanation of how a booking for €216 in our hostel, that was cancelled by the guest after 5 minutes on the phone, lead to us being issued a €400 invoice. [Note: there are local hostels that are cheaper than ours that had availability that night too!]
If anyone has any suggestions, or has gone through something similar with a suspicious booking, I'd love to hear it.