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Extra commission charged to hosts by Booking - What's happening?

"What's happening?
We’re modifying the way we charge commission to ensure consistent prices when it comes to mandatory additional fees.
Starting April 1, extra costs like housekeeping, bed linens, and service charges will be added to the final commissionable amount. This update means you’ll be charged commission on one complete, final price (i.e. room rate plus additional applicable fees).
You can refer to section 2.3.2 of the General Delivery Terms, which explains that the calculation of the final commissionable amount includes all (mandatory) extras, fees, and surcharges added to the offered rate at the time of booking."

Yeah... What's happening?

24 Replies

7
Aaltje B.

Katerinka... Are you referring to extra commission that host have to pay, or guests?

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Yes. The guests do not pay commission. It's us who pay.

3 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

of course. but does it mean then that we have to pay extra's and we haven't asked for it?

I haven't read about the update yet.

The extra cost we have as hosts should be paid to us, hence my confusion.

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Yes, we have to pay extra and as usual, its Booking one way decision, though they call us "partners".

From my understanding, instead of being charged commission only on the room rate, we will be charged commission on "extras".

For example,

Before:

Room rate - 100
housekeeping - 10
bed linens - 10
service charges - 10
Our commission (17%) - 17

After:
Room rate - 100
housekeeping - 10
bed linens - 10
service charges - 10
Our commission (17%) - 22.1

3 months ago
1
Hibees01

I´m new to all this and was thinking about putting my appartment on Booking.com,

are they really going to charge the owner extra for housekeeping, bed linen etc...

that would mean we would also have to put up our prices, its crazy?

Nothing justifies that....

1 month ago
7
fluff

I may be wrong but I thought the idea was that any any extra we on put on top of the basic price gets lumped into the final total and all is commissioned.

We, for example, only have one add on that BDC "see", this is a customer choosing to include breakfast with their booking. Our basic price does not include breakfast but does include all the things mentioned in posts above so we are effectively charged commission already for these.

However, if you charge your guests separately for these items and currently don't pay commission for them, you soon will! You will either need to adjust your prices to absorb the cost or find a way to not include the extra charges on BDC without then giving your guests a nasty surprise (and bad reviews no doubt).

Basically, I see at as BDC closing a loophole where they were missing out on income on certain properties' "extras".

1 month ago
1
Hibees01

Is it a loophole, clean linen and house cleaning should´nt be taken a s a commission, surely, these things have to be done and paid for.

1 month ago
7
Katerinka12

Well, Booking thinks there was loophole before, when hosts made room rate very small, but everything on top extremely expensive. Just imagine, huge cleaning fee, service charge, electricity fee, resort fee... And fee... And fee...

But Booking at least has to inform us about those changes, so we could prepare and adjust our room rates as well.

I really don't understand why it is so difficult just to publish one article as news or blog for all partners to read. Guests are also affected. Hotels spends years in business to maintain the rate they recognize for and pay much for strategy and branding. But one day Booking affects the business by making that rate miserable and creating confusion for clients.

For example I like one hotel that charges 88 dollars every Friday. They use this rate as special offer, they spend on advertising, paying money... Sending emails to loyal customers. But one day I see, that rate jumped to 100 dollars, without informing me, and I feel that hotel cheated me, sending me emails with attractive $88 rate. I wonder how many clients will call that hotel and ask what actually happened. But even if they will do, how nice and believable will be the answer? It's not us, it's Booking...

1 month ago
3
Janefryer

What about taxe de sejour. It appears booking.com do not take directly which means my asking the guests when they arrive. They only charge per booking, not per head. What if tguests refuse?

1 month ago
7
fluff

That is something your French main office should have already been on top of so you'll need to ask them. I guess there is only a choice of whether BDC includes it or tells guests that, for France and other similar tax levying countries, the hotel will be charging on top of the booked price.

The law of the land stands. It looks to be a complicated one as the tax is variable from one province to another. Since the latest form has been in place for a few months now BDC really need to give you a clear answer on this.

My reading of the tax came from here;

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2048

P.S.

Is this the name BDC give the tax or is this something else....

Taken from a random hotel in Paris on the BDC site.

1 month ago
3
Janefryer

Many thanks again. I am registered for taxe sejour Nice and other sites like airbnb, homeaway etc take it at source with the booking using my permit number. Seems like I have to inform the guests after they book that this is a legal requirment and physically ask them to hand over the cash upon arrival. Of course I can give them a receipt but its diffiucult trying to prove that the money goes where it is due and the fact that many might not know about it when they book. As booking.com do not allow us to add our own paragraphs of information, I do not see how we can inform people in advance.

1 month ago
7
fluff

I edited my post ;-) a moment ago by adding the "ps".

1 month ago
3
Janefryer

I have been trying to configure my tax in the relevant section but as I am a private home owner in my main residence and not a professional, this is what comes up below. So not sure if that is the name they call it. Hotels are professionals so apparently can add it. The 'H' may stand for Hotel??

"

City tax
A city tax of 3.00% (this will not exceed per person per night) is not included

3% (this will not exceed per person per night) is not included

1 month ago
7
fluff

Is that the correct percentage for your province? If yes, it looks like the probable answer, meaning that when guests book they are notified and it appears on their booking confirmation. That is all the proof you require to make the charge.

I would still obtain guidance/confirmation from BDC though, or maybe another member from France with the same type of property will happen along and help? (I run a hotel in Asia)

Good luck.

1 month ago
1
Jay

It's just greedy. The question is how do we avoid paying the commission on additional fees?

I'm tempted to block off the rest of my booking.com calendars for this year and let my other platforms fill up the dates. Then at the end of the season just remove my properties. That will entitle booking.com to zeros commission from me... let's see if they find that more "consistent".

I have been responding to all the messages in my inbox from them with the message below. Can we all do the same and start flooding their system with push back? I've also started leaving similar comments on their social media pages. We have to create a visible protest otherwise it looks like we're just accepting it. I have no issues paying them a commission because they bring me a lot of business, but this is greedy. I am not a hotel chain with hundreds of rooms booking each night. I am a small operation.

MY RESPONSE TO BOOKING.COM EMAILS:

Please clarify how this new commission structure is more "consistent". When you take it off the nightly rate, that's pretty straight forward. How does applying a commission charge to our "additional fees" make anything more consistent?! It looks like a greedy money grab to me.

Those fees cover costs that are now mandatory to the operation of my business. My cleaning fees go straight to a service that I hire. Now you're dipping into that and I'll have to pay out of pocket to make up the difference. I can raise my cleaning fee but that reflects poorly on me and on booking.com. I try to keep things as reasonable as possible for the traveler while allowing myself to keep my business open.

I don't have an issue paying services out of my own pocket to run my business. BUT I do have an issue paying Booking.com twice! Now we will be paying Booking.com for a service that they themselves are not even offering. How is that allowed, realistic or expected?

It's so ridiculous. Your current 15% is already among the highest in the industry. I'll be blocking off the remaining dates in my booking.com calendars and removing all my properties from booking.com at the end of the season. Then you'll be entitled to zero of my dollars... that seems like a pretty consistent commission for you to figure out.



Jay

1 month ago
3
Janefryer

Surely we do not pay commission on taxe de sejour.

I only just joined in April and my commission is I think 18% not 15% which probably explains the extra for my cleaning. I also get charged on top 1.1% to process bookings so its creaping up to 1/5th of my rental going before I start paying tax and social charges in France which is I guess another 30%. So, in essence I end up with 50% out of which, unlike the UK, I cannot claim any expenses for purchases, wear and tear etc. My cleaning fee does not even half cover the true cost of cleaning and laundry. As its my main residence I cannot rent for more than 120 nights anyway. I am beginning to wonder if it can possibly work financially. We shall see after our first season I guess but in the UK, I use airbnb who only take 3%. Quite a difference. Quite enlightening.

1 month ago
7
Katerinka12

"My cleaning fees go straight to a service that I hire. Now you're dipping into that and I'll have to pay out of pocket to make up the difference. I can raise my cleaning fee but that reflects poorly on me and on booking.com"

Exactly!

In addition to that, cleaning fees were always X amount for the past 20 years at least. If I will change it, people will not understand and simply will not book. That what happened to other hosts in my area, when they tried to play Booking "consistency" game.

No consistency, no clients...

1 month ago
1
Jay

Right, and I don't have an issue paying services out of my own pocket. BUT I do have an issue paying Booking.com twice! Now we will be paying Booking.com for a service that they themselves are not even offering. How is that allowed?

1 month ago
5
David

Had a telephone call from BDC rep trying to get me to offer breakfast for guest booking a no breakfast rate. I told them I offer both with breakfast and no breakfast rates if a guest decides to take breakfast when they arrive and have reserved room only then they can pay me direct. I got the impression the agent was not impressed with my answer.

1 month ago
7
Katerinka12

The funny thing is... OK, how do they justify their commission on cleaning, let's say? I don't see even a filter built in the system to let the guest search for places that offer cleaning.

Maybe some collections "clean vs.not clean"? :) or article in the blog "most clean places in city X"?

Maybe.. Promotion on cleanliness and booster? Anyway... What are we paying for?

And how could you go about "electricity fee"? How can you choose a provider, if most countries in the world have monopoly provider?

It became a total mess

1 month ago
1
JasmineCottage

Hi Katerinka,

Where did you hear about the change to the commission? We run a self catering holiday cottage and we've not received any notification. We contract out the cleaning and it costs us around £70 per booking. We charge the customer a £45 cleaning fee and build the rest into the price. We don't charge extra for electricity or WiFi.

Our most recent booking was received on the 13th May and the commission structure was the same, there was no commission on the cleaning fee. Is it just hotels which are affected?

1 month ago
5
David

This was reported in the press recently

"Booking.com is cracking down on hotel ‘resort fees,’ which are rarely included in the advertised room rate"

looks like Booking.com are going in for the kill or as ABBA would say

Money Money Money its a rich mans world

1 month ago
3
Janefryer

Checked the last couple of booking and the commissionable amount does not include extra charges (cleaning), only the rental. Maybe its changing though.

1 month ago
1
JasmineCottage

Genuine resort fees are effectively a tax by the local authority. There is no justification for BDC to add commission to a tax. IF certain partners are abusing the system, BDC should investigate and punish accordingly. Instead they're taking the easy option and punishing everybody - and taking even more money off us in the process.

1 month ago