Fraud & Abuse Team. Booking.com (this is what happened to me and my friends who manage many hotels )

Somehow,  (this is what happened to me and my friends who manage many hotels )

 We have been trusted partners with Booking.com since our opening in 2012, and since that period up until 2021 we have paid a sum of ***,000 USD in commission invoices to Booking.com.

And since the beginning of our relationship with booking.com, we have not had any incident that led to any kind of distrust or doubt of fraudulent activities from our end. We believe that our relationship has been exemplary over the years and we've been consistent in following guidelines and procedures.

we were quite surprised to receive notices of fraud from Booking.com earlier this year as we rely heavily on this platform for our reservations and it is considered a primary source of income for our hotel. we tried to get in touch with you to request an explanation as to why our account was flagged however they were unable to understand the exact reason (or the specific incident) that caused this issue. We were able to understand that this was caused due to a high number of "No Show" and "Booking Cancellation" from our end resulting in our account being flagged and eventually terminated.

We want to take this opportunity to explain our case in hopes that our account gets reinstated so we can resume our activities normally.

In 2020 the whole world was turned upside down due to COVID however Lebanon was already going through another serious problem which was a full economical collapse. The banks and the state announced Capital Control measures on all bank accounts starting October 2019 and we are still suffering from these measures to date. These measures include but are not limited to freezing of all foreign currency bank accounts with marginal withdrawal abilities and no option of transferring funds outside the country (unless you produce hard cash at hand). This was accompanied by an extreme devaluation of our local currency and the creation of a black market exchange rate. To elaborate a bit more, our local currency exchange rate was 1 USD = 1,500 LBP in October of 2019, however by January of 2021 the exchange rate in the black market hit a record of 1 USD = 24,000 LBP. 

Now while the black market rate is trading at the rate mentioned above, the official exchange rate is still pegged at 1,500 LBP which is far from reality. Businesses quickly opted to dealing with cash payments (the term "fresh" dollars) only and stopped all transactions related to wire transfers or cheques as money in the bank has been rendered inaccessible. 

Upon taking the decision to restrict our business to cash payments, we started encountering problems specifically with customers coming from Booking.com and other online platforms. These customers insisted on paying using the local currency and based on the official exchange rate as stated on the booking.com website (or other platforms). To elaborate more with an example, if we had listed a room night for 60$ on Booking.com the platform automatically transfers it to 90,000 LBP based on the official exchange rate and this is what a number of the clients who had booked using online platforms insisted on paying. However in reality 60$ is now the equivalent of 1,200,000 LBP (if not more as the currency is still losing its value on a daily basis). Our staff was instructed to cancel all bookings for clients that refuse to pay in USD or to pay based on the daily black market exchange rate. This led to multiple incidents of confrontations/cancellations with customers and eventually a new law was passed by the ministry of tourism (late April 2021) stating that all foreigners staying in hotels are obliged to pay in USD.


Hassan Awdi 1 year ago


i encountered the same problems and just got terminated. 

what are your contact details 

WH HOTEL 1 year ago

Hi Hassan,