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Technical issues with Booking.com calendar allowing bookings over the top of already booked dates

This is the second time we have received an online Booking.com booking from a guest when the calendars clearly show dates are booked out on both booking.com calendar and our other platforms. 

We have had to argue with booking.com . We have been users for 5 years and only have problems with their platform in relation to errors with syncing. The first time we wrote an email stating the technical glitch in their system and asking them to investigate however never heard anything back. And as per their policy we were made to find suitable accommodation at the same cost for the guests. We never received any follow up about the glitch. We are meticulous at keeping the calendars synced and rechecking all calendars after each booking. In our booking.com Pulse account it shows the other platforms being synced every few hours. 

Today once again Booking.com system allowed a 7 day booking over the top on an existing booking that was made from another platform 6 months ago! Again they wanted us to find replacement accommodation for the guests. Which this time we said not to. They will not admit fault. 

Has anyone had similar experiences? If so what was the issue and what was booking.com's response? 

Many thanks 

Nicky 


Profile picture for user barry.reilly.winnov.net b
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BrookAve 1 year ago

 

Hi Nicky

 Firstly I complete ly agree and understand but....Its not a technical glitch, its actually by design.

 

The iCAL sync was never going to be instant, 24/7, etc

 

In fact there is only, based on other postings, an indication that theres a schedule to sync only every 3 hours.

 

Clearly that is not going to work for 2 or more OTA calendars.

 

This is why BdC take no responsibility, and have none to take.

The main issue is this info is not well known or understand in the official guides.


However there is a permanent solution, just its not one provided by BdC, instead its a 3rd party service, referred to as a Channel Manager.

 

The premise is that all roads lead to it, it acts as the master, initiator, etc.. therefore all OTA booking calendars are overruled and get their bookings ;lulled into the CM calendar.

 

cloudbeds, nobeds, etcc are some examples.

 

 


You really should manage this directly with guest to avoid relocation invoice by BdC.

 

I have covered this alot, so simply:

 

  1. Message Guest of the intention, don't waffle or give long winded reasons just keep it short and simple and quote local government health restrictions restrict, travelers from their location. Note  they will receive a notification shortly to action and confirm in order for their prepaid rate to be fully refunded, failure to do so will result in no refund.  
  2. Now in Reservation details page, click Request Cancel, right pane bottom.  
  3. Choose option 2.  
  4. System sends Guest notification and requires them to action a link to confirm in order for it to complete and also trigger any prepaid  full refund.

 

Side Note: should the guest not action nor reply the booking is still valid.

Should they contact BdC you may end up being invoiced for relocation.

 

Reminder : property link is missing from your profile, see HowTo below.


Kind Regards,

 

 

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Nicky Warner 1 year ago

I understand syncing is not 'instant' but as mentioned the pre-existing booking had been in out calendar from AirBnB for 6 months......! So you're saying my calendar has not synced for 6 months? I am not referring to two bookings that occurred on the SAME DAY for the same dates.It was a booking made in February for October from AirBnB. 

And why have a Sync function if it does not sync? Because as evidenced by AirBnB and HomeAway , Verbo their sync / iCal work just fine and in the 6 years we have been with them not one hiccup or double booking. My husband has reminded me that it is actually the 3rd double booking related to the Booking.com technical issue with i-Cal.   

Why have a sync function if you are then going to suggest Partners pay a further fee on top of the already excessive fees Booking.com charge ( relative to other platforms)  to have a Channel Manager? 

I browsed the online Partner Community on this issue of i-Cal Technical issues with Booking.com only to find it littered with incidences of your Partners complaining about the exact same glitch you claim does not exist.

With all your money you lack good customer service from a Partner perspective and have a great imbalance between the loyalty to the guest and your Partners. 

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Annabel Lichfield 5 months ago

Hello Nicky

I may be a bit late to reply but this exact scenario has just happened to me twice in three days. Nothing like this has been a problem in the eight months we've hosted with BDC, and never in five years hosting on other platforms.

My double bookings were made over existing BDC bookings, made months before, so nothing to do with a calendar sync issue.

When I discussed each case with BDC systems support, both analysts confirmed it was a computer glitch with BDC, not my fault or responsibility. In fact Lynn from systems said she'd just dealt with the exact same problem from another host and was very familiar with the problem. She explained and showed me it relates to the number of units available to book - the system duplicates the bookable units. On her advice I re-synced my calendars which did not help at all so I went through every single date and manually adjusted the number of bookable units.

My question to BDC is - how can BDC take a booking for unavailable dates, accept payment and then keep that payment and ask the host to refund the guest? It makes no logical sense and borders on illegality because BDC is selling a holiday that doesn't exist.

I'd be interested to hear if you managed to resolve this problem Nicky? And who else is experiencing this same issue?

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Isle of Wight … 5 months ago

The biggest thing here is that you actually got to speak to someone at BDC who actually admitted a fault and actually explained anything to you. Normal response from BDC support is utter nonsense and refusal to acknowledge any faults. What did you do to get a proper, sensible reply?

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Annabel Lichfield 5 months ago

Wow I do feel lucky in that respect then! I called reservations each time I got the overlapped booking and they dealt with both as cancelled bookings before offering for me to speak to their tech team to check my availability. Each tech person was really helpful and candid in their explanation about what had happened. Otherwise I would still be completely confused about what had happened. Next challenge will be cancelling potential charges for reallocating one guest and refunding the other.

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Aida Velazquez Lugo 26 days ago

I just had the very same issue with a reservation done weeks before, so no sync issue. I had to ask the "new guest" to cancel the reservation since we cannot do that ourselves. I wrote tech support and they told me to get a channel manager, but no intention whatsoever about fixing a problem that is clearly theirs. Why do I have to go through a third party software if there is a sync function that is obviously not working properly? I have my property on 2 other sites and none of them have this kind of issue.

Later on, another guest staying at my place asked me if they could extend their stay. When I mentioned that there was another reservation closed for those days, they told me that they were showed as open on their Booking app, which means that I can only expect this issue to happen over and over. Should we go ahead and manually block the dates? That's plain uneffective and stupid.

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Annabel Lichfield 26 days ago

I really sympathise - it's so frustrating and worrying. There's no way of knowing whether new software would even fix the glitch, I have my doubts! In my case it relates to the Rooms to Sell value on the calendar - when available it shows as 1 (or the number of bookable units) and when booked it should show as 0. But the problem occurs when there's a booking but this value is still showing as 1. So now every time I get a booking, I check it and manually change to 0 if necessary. Is this your issue? It's worth checking if you haven't already. Good luck!

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Aida Velazquez Lugo 25 days ago

This seems to be exactly my problem. Odd thing is, while the date is marked as "Closed for bookings" in the settings for a booked date and every setting option is blocked, there's still a "1 left to sell" note on the calendar. I assume that this is exactly the main issue.  I've tried to change it to no avail. Can you tell me how you do it?

 

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Annabel Lichfield 25 days ago

Yes - this is the issue! This is what I do - open the calendar and select List View. The second row is Rooms to Sell and if you hover over each cell, it shows you how many rooms are available to sell on that date. If you need to change it to zero (meaning not available) just click on the number and you can overwrite it. See how you get on!

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Aida Velazquez Lugo 25 days ago

It totally worked! I guess I'll have to do this everytime and change it in case of cancellation, but at least I'm at peace now knowing that I won't have another troublesome overbooking. Thank you so much!