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How can I avoid many cancellations?

Many times I have been receiving bookings through booking.com but a lot of No-shows and cancellations is common.

Has anyone else been experiencing this? and how can it be dealt with?

The accounts being used to make the the bookings sometimes looks suspicious.

 

Bala

19 Replies

2
The Mermaid at Azure

Hi Bala,

You should set your payment option of the reservation with a credit card.

Then, set the payment to be settled 7 days or 14 days before the arrival date.

Set also cancellation fee.

Booking.com now provides this facility that captures credit card payments from the bookers.

I hope this helpful

1 year ago
1
Allanaskings

Hi There
Cancellations are frustrating and perhaps booking.com could help us by taking a non refundable deposit from clients which can be used if clients cancel booking.
When I say used I mean transferred to our account as sometimes it’s not easy to fill the vacancy at short notice.

1 year ago
1
Seyhaa

I totally can’t agreed more, having to capture the clients credit card or enforce the cancellation policy will not help since that’s will only scarce the reservation in the first place. Plus as a vacation rental owner and having a very limited unit to sell unlike hotels with many rooms, it’s surely a catch 22.

1 year ago
1
RolandW

Hi Bala,

Statistically in my country 50% of reservations on Booking.com will be canceled, another 10% are no shows. If you just started, you will quickly learn to live with it. You can check the situation in your area by going on extranet and look the cancellation statistics, while comparing with your competitive set.

People cancel because they do not take enough time to research the other options. Then they find something cheaper, something more attracting, etc. Cancellation rates might in general go down once you are in the business for a while and collect many good reviews, so that guests know what they can expect. I see cancellations as a good thing if they come in time, so that the room is freed up again.

The worst are the No-Shows! Those you can only fight with the most strict credit card rules. The guest need to be affraid to be charged if he doesnt show up. In my case i can only charge cards which i physically plug into our machine, so i cannot preauthorize or charge them when they do not arrive. But as long you pretend, it helps massively :)

Greetings, Roland

1 year ago
1
Apollopavilion47

now I am relieved because I thought I was the only one who gets cancellation with that rate, my opinion is when we get the reservation we charge the credit card two nights as a deposit, and that is not refundable under any circumstances and that should be clear in our cancelation policy this way at least we guarantee 2 nights. I will try that. unfortunately, that will work with the non-refundable rates but most of the people now reserve with the refundable rates so the can cancel any time and really do not know how to get around it

Maybe if booking charge its commission directly from the reservation this way we don't have to worry about the payment when we are really busy, just a thought

1 year ago
2
The Mermaid at Azure

Hi Allanaskings,

Yup! Booking.com can help you do with a non-refundable deposit by setting up your cancellation policy.

I had the same frustrating and innumerable experiences last month. Now, I'm good. Trigger-happy bookers are less and more serious bookers :)

Booking.com is really leveling up! :)

1 year ago
2
Nino Jejelava

To Use a credit card is not an option in my case.

So I found a way !!! After my property gets booked I write gust if he doesn't reply i immediately contact booking com through inbox !!! and ask them to contact them and if they cant cancel their booking. I loose still time while bookings com solves the issue, but at least it gets canceled !!! and opens for new bookers !!! instead of waiting for no show up day when its too late to get new booking for that date.

From my experience guest which come on contact always show up !!!

1 year ago
1
Manojkumarmark…

The best way to avoid no shows is by communicating.. there is no better way.. the minute a guest books I send them an email , whats app them and sms them with all the details of their booking and ask them to put a 25% deposit if they want to confirm their booking.. also in my policies I have the option to ask for payment before arrival thru bank transfer.. this has really worked for me as I manage 15 resorts and hope this will help others too

1 year ago
2
The Mermaid at Azure

Hi Nino,

Another good option now available at Booking.com is "Payment thru Booking.com". Have you heard of that? You can activate it in your account.

Ensure to set your cancellation policy, Pls attached sample:

1 year ago
2
Nino Jejelava

HI Mermaid :)

That option which you print screen is only possible if you can process credit card of a guest yourself, in my case we can not process it we have bank account but no credit card processing means. Hence there is no payment through bookings com. Bookings com policy always stated as far as i remember they do not intermediate the payment (that is charge guest and then transfer money to your account in case of cancellation like other platforms do. SO at the end having non cancellation policy doesn't help much if guest will not show up you cant charge him :)

More over NONE REFUND option of bookings com is also usless !!!! when i asked them that my non refund booking was canceled and act according to the policy they answered that non refund policy compensation(that is deduction of one night stay if they cant replace the guest ) happens randomly not at every occasion :)

1 year ago
2
Chantal

My fool proof strategy to reduce no shows and cancellations, is to send an invoice for full prepayment, once the reservation is made. I do not have a credit card machine, so I accept payments only via Western Union and bank transfers. Clients who do not pay on time are reported to booking.com, who then contact the client directly. Within 24 hours the reservation is cancelled if payment is not received.

At first, I was fearful to go this drastic route, as I too felt it would affect reservations. But I had no choice! Sometimes communication was EXCELLENT with prospective guest before arrival - we'd call each other to confirm details, I'd help with setting itinerary, one guest callers to say he had left the airport and was on his way, then...nothing..no show!! With strict pre payment policy, I don't lose business as long I enforce the cancellation early enough to allow time for others to book. The biggest risk now is with gusts who book same day or up to 2 days prior to arrival. But at least my risk is minimized!

1 year ago
1
Bala Cyrus

Thank you very much for the answers and/or suggestions. That was really helpful.

1 year ago
1
Ericplow1

It's too bad booking.com doesn't take the payment like Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity,etc. They take the payment at the time of booking and verify and collect it. They charge 3% to do that, well worth it!

1 year ago
1
Michellebigbear

I charge their credit card and security deposit in full when the reservation is made. I would never wait for people to show up to charge them. I never get no shows because they have already paid.

If you can't charge them by credit card, I would suggest sending them a PayPal invoice to pay and give them 24 hours to pay it. If not done, cancel their reservation and open it up for someone else to book.

1 year ago
1
Jorge Lopez Be…

Does anyone know when payments by booking.com will be available in Ecuador?

Thank you!

10 months ago
1
Thecottagesbythesea

Many of the suggestions are well intentioned but don't address the issue of doing business with Bookings in Ecuador (or some other less developed countries). Bookings does not facilitate the collection or enforcement of deposit requirements. My initial rate of no show/cancellation was almost 80% because of Bookings enthusiastic "BOOK NOW! NO OBLIGATION" advertising. The first thing I have had to do is to program my property management system to immediately send a note to bookers saying that their reservation will not be confirmed until a 50% deposit is received in our bank account or sent via PayPal. I then follow up, at least twice, telling them they are at risk of cancellation and then finally a notice canceling their request for a room. As is true with many rural villages, we do not accept credit cards.....it is not an option in many 3rd world locales where it is a cash culture....so, this tiresome and time consuming tracking is necessary. I will also say that this policy has created some very angry customers, who feel that we are 'all business' and have lost our friendly laid back vibe, by requiring a financial commitment with reservation. But, it has also helped me keep my doors open. I have additionally added a requirement that the booker enter an address which takes a few extra minutes and may prevent some happy fingers from booking multiple hotel until they decide which one they want. On the other hand, Expedia does process payments for us. Although the percentage is steep, I have never, ever had a no show and their reservations do not require continual follow up and apologies for enforcing policies. That being said, Bookings drives 80% of our business, so their partnership is critical for our success. I too hope that Bookings will find a solution for Ecuador hoteliers, but we are such a small market in relative terms, I imagine we are not much of a priority.

7 months ago
1
Ericplow1

I have been very disappointed with booking.com. I am in the US, and more than half of my reservations get canceled or have invalid credit card numbers supplied. I wish booking.com would do like Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity.com, Orbitz.com, etc. They actually verify and collect the amount due, and they enforce the cancellation policy that the host has set. To get the money, they give you a "virtual card" number which processes just like any other credit card. So this way, the host knows 100% that the guest is legit and that the bill will be paid. These web sites only charge 3% extra for this service, and that is well worth it! They deduct their commission from your payout, so everything is completely automatic with no surprises at the host's end. And if the guest cancels, you can still charge the virtual card the amount that is due after any refund is made for the cancellation policy. They handle everything for you. If booking.com would go to that model, it would vastly simply the process for everyone!

7 months ago
1
Thecottagesbythesea

I bet a lot of people book through Bookings specifically because they know they can be completely inconsiderate and not show and not cancel without any downside. It is their marketing scheme so I doubt they will help the hoteliers and change direction. I use a PMS (property Management system) which allows me to cancel the reservation without getting Bookings "approval" and opens the calendar so the room can be booked again. If the guest from Bookings does show up, I have their reservation printed out, with our deposit and reservation policies, as well as the messages requesting they make a deposit and their cancellation notice. I try to accomodate them at another hotel (as a courtesy) if my hotel is full, but outside of that, send them packing. If they don't want to follow my advance deposit requirement, I don't need to save a room for them. Brutal, but my first interest is paying my employees and keeping the doors open!

7 months ago