Closing Property because of coronavirus
We are a small hotel in Bath. My elderly mother lives with us. She is in her 70s with underlying health problems. The UK government has asked people in this age group to self-isolate as of Friday. However, we cannot self-isolate if we still have guest staying. Most have already cancelled, but we still have one or two remaining reservations.
Does anyone know what Booking.com's view is on this situation. I have been unable to to find any answers online.
Many thanks in advance and stay safe,
Hi Christian ,
I'm genuinely puzzled as to how you cant see all the related topics.
Kind Regards, and all the best to you and family at this time.
Because when I click on the 'Request to Cancel Reservation' link we only get 2 options, neither of which is applicable -
I’m in a similar situation
The UK Government has closed down, bars, restaurants etc and says It’s not safe at the moment, (potentially life threatening for some particularly vulnerable groups,) to have people coming into your establishment.
In these circumstances I may choose to close my BnB until the situation is under control.
However I still have some bookings where guests haven’t cancelled and who may not want to.
If I cancel existing bookings now, what are the potential consequences to me in terms of my agreement with Booking.com?
BdC and any other OTA, will only cancel and full refund if the guest asks them for it directly.
This is why it is important to handle the guest directly yourself to offer alternative if the booking was non refundable rate.
In your case its very straight forward, but depending on how far away the check-in dates are, i.e. if after lets say May 5th, I would hold fire.
If those after May 5th contact you first my all means refund or offer credit if change dates is not amicable to them at this time; then depending on how they get about it consider and offer up to 50% refund.
You don't have to worry about relocating them during the periods mentioned by BdC on the COVID19 topic page, it lists by country and if it located in versus traveling from etc.
Simply crosscheck the area./country the visitor is from before making any offers.
so in summary:
1. yes or you can if this was normal times
2. if BdC relocate guests normally yes they will add it your bill or deductions if using Payments by Booking.com.
3. If BdC cant relocate them normally I suspect its just a refund
4. Really consiquences, are only if you don't get ahead of any action to deal with the guest directly and the guest goes straight to BdC, worse case refund or relocation costs.
This is why reaching out to nearby accommodation providers and networking with them as a fallback is handy to have.
5. I'm not entirely sure , I know 330 billion has been allocated by UK and 3.3 billion by Ireland to help unemployed, certain businesses like air transport, infrastructure etc.
I would say yes you certainly can, just simply contact guests by message/email or phone with a template that covers each scenario for you.
Start with rescheduling; then credit; then partial refund.
It can be as simply as just getting them to realise you are not a big commercial hotel, you are just like them and have expenses too.
Yes there can be some who are inconsiderate, and steadfast obnoxious and just want full refund.
In some cases if its just one night and you just don't want them ever coming due to their obnoxious behavior, then yes refund and then use the report form on details page to blacklist them. That's your perogative.
My points really mean , get in their first, talk to the guest and offer alternatives to just a refund. I had several phone calls from OTAs coincidentally both Expedia and booking.com in the last 90 minutes, management and account managers , thanking me for my volunteer work on here and other sites ,and to get my perspective and feedback.
I relayed all of what has been said on here and other places, the main grievances.
And what I thought could be done both in the immediate future and near future to help alleviate partners worries and concerns. I hammered home the main point being.... do not default offer full refunds on non refundable bookings. While both reps agreed with me in principle, of course they cant guarantee anything.
The bdC person who phoned me was going to a daily meeting and said she would relay my feedback.