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In case of No Show, is it reasonable to charge the guest
As long as your Terms & Conditions reflect that you will charge for no-shows, I think it is only fair to charge the guest. The problem, however is getting the payment from the guest if they have not paid a deposit.
I agree, if your terms and conditions stipulate that you will charge a no show, it should not be a problem. The cc details you should have at this stage if you processed a deposit
Hi Akbar,I hope that you are well.
The best way to avoid no shows is to not confirm the booking until you have received a sufficient deposit. Whether that is 50% or 100% of total booking value is entirely up to you.
You will also learn which guests are more likely to be no shows. This may not hold true in your town/city/country, but where we are there are pretty clear trends as to who will show up and who will not.
As to charging no shows, unless you have their credit card details and the ability to process them, you most likely won't get your money from the guest. You would be better served to simply black list the guest so that you know what to expect from them the next time they do make a booking with you.
Yes Akbar, as long as your T&C show this on Booking.com... however I caution you, when guests are no shows then you commonly find their card details are "declined" so you cannot get your money anyway!
Sometimes people are "no show" for good reasons but I guess we have all been disappointed by "no shows" and last minute cancellations which we likely will not fill..... I guess that is part of the business unless we take deposits.
We are a four-bedroom B&B in Whitehorse, Canada.
We do not charge deposits, and rarely have a problem collecting for no-shows.
Our cancellation policy is stated on Booking.com; and guests agree to all policies when the make their reservations. Our second step in our cancellation policy is to reiterate the policy in our confirmation email (template).
We have another template for "no-shows". It reminds the guest of what they agree to. We tell them how much we are going to charge their credit card; and we go ahead and charge the credit card on file.
We have only had one dispute in three years. The guest ended up having to pay the cancellation fee because I could clearly demonstrate that they cancelled their reservation without the requisite number of days (seven days in our case).
Since we changed to a seven-day cancellation policy, we have way fewer cancellations as well.
Hope that helps!
Yes, I guess I should be putting in a less-flexible cancellation policy - at least 3 or 4 days ahead of the booked date..... Thanks for your info, Tara :)
We had a two-day cancellation policy. It felt like we were doing more cancellations than bookings!
As soon as we changed to a more strict policy, our cancellations decreased dramatically.
If you have these types of issues, work with your booking.com rep for your area. They can gives loads of advice.
So do you still get lots of bookings? I guess I've been a little afraid that a cancellation policy might discourage clients..... So that is part of the reason I have it set as 24 hours notice before a stay and no cancellation policy...
Very good comments here, as I am sure we have all experienced this problem. Thank you all for sharing!
Tara, I am not quite sure how you process cancellation fees without the guest supplying you with a CVC number. (It may work differently here in South Africa than in Canada.) Our problem is that guests ignore the messages we send right after booking to ask them for the CVC number (which we can not see on booking.com extranet) in order to process payment of the deposit. This is one of my biggest obstacles with the way booking.com is structured: If we can not get payment from a guest, it is very time-consuming to cancel a booking from our side (it takes booking.com 3-5 days to respond to an e-mail, and the telephone helpline always has a long waiting queue). Yet, we will be held responsible in case the non-deposit-paying guest does choose to arrive and we have rented out the room to a paying guest.
Just wondering how everybody deals with this.
In Canada (perhaps North America??), it is no longer legal to collect the CVC in our industry.
Our debit machine does not ask for it.
I wonder if you can talk to your debit machine help line and see if you can change your setting? This is said in innocence of exactly how the technology works. :)
I wish Booking.com customer service was more helpful in cases like yours. I don't deal with them unless I absolutely have to. I only work with our regional office because they seem more on the ball.
I was nervous as well when we implemented the new policy. But it had to be done. People were booking on a 33-day average from arrival, and cancelling in only two days. The math didn't allow for new bookings. Our booking averages are more in the two-week mark now.
We are watching our occupancy climb year by year. Even after changing our cancellation policy. We even raised our rates this year--which we haven't done in 14 years. We have a good product here; and we just had to make the move to making life easier on ourselves (hence the seven-day policy).
Two years ago, we completely rebuilt our website, made it mobile friendly, added a security key, used only top-notch photos, and faithfully sent guests email links to TripAdvisor asking for reviews after every stay.
We also implemented better communication (using templates so that we always used the same information). We stepped up our concierge services, and all-in-all, we're delighted with our occupancy rate. Even in our two shoulder times (April and October).
In the UK we still get CVC details... the problem is do you check every card is kosher - life is too short!
I think the balance - which has to be individually decided - is a generous cancellation policy which gets abused, or a more strict one which may discourage a few bookings but since they may be the ones that would cancel anyway... are you any worse off...?!!
Here in Australia I have had a similar problem and I asked Booking.com to supply me with the CVC numbers.
After a number of months and loosing considerable amount of funds from a No Show, a second call to Booking.com and I now receive the CVC numbers.
Tara - since we still get CVCs in the UK I have no personal experience of this scenario, but I am told it is possible to process charges without the CVC - obviously something which needs a discussion with the card handler.
I have to say - if you lay out the circumstances - they are generally very helpful, they will be experiencing the same problem in another industry and have come up with a solution... albeit you may have to alter the wording on your T&C to fit with their requirements...
I've been done by several guests. No shows that just didn't turn up. When I tried to charge them the credit card payment was blocked. Not good as on all occasions it was peak period and I had other people wanting the rooms.
Booking.com should take the payment and then forward to us clients. Much easier and safer and its what most other booking sites do (eg AirBnB).
Thanks for your advice. I shall try to organise to get the CVC number.
I fully agree with you. Most other listing sites we are advertising on also take at least the deposit amount we specify before confirming a reservation. They then take their commission from that and pay us the balance within a couple of days. Much more efficient!
Somehow we have by far the highest percentage of cancellations (or no-pays) from Booking.com, when compared to other listing sites we use.
Possibly Diana... but how long before they want to charge for this additional service? An optional extra possibly, but I prefer the card details... which I can also charge if guests have damaged the room in any way....
Graham - the problem I have had is that each time the no show guests have blocked their credit card so wasn't able to obtain any payment!!
Its always been at peak tourist time and I could have easily filled the rooms if only they had let me know they weren't coming.
Ohhh I know the problem Diana, but I think I would rather take the hit of an occasional "no show" and duff card details, than an extra 2-5% on commission for each booking to pay for the costs of payment up front... which has been discussed before.
Always amazes me - take the full payment at the time of booking !!
How many airlines let you pay when you get off the flight? Trains? Theatres? etc etc
Our T&Cs state that we take the full payment upfront and we have a strict no-refund policy.
It does wonders for cashflow, no shows are virtually zero (but we have the money and dont have to clean the room so we'd welcome hundreds of No Shows lol)
We are the only property in our area which takes pre-payment and our trade is up year on year.
The other thing is also having a good Property Management System doing the hard work for you.
We use http://www.thebookingfactory.com who provide a website, booking engine, back office and channel manager.
As soon as a guest books they get a confirmation email and an info email. The software automatically checks that the payment card is valid and will auto process the money when we tell it to (in our case immediately).
If the payment fails, an auto email is sent with a payment link and a deadline for payment.
Unfortunately booking.com doesn't let me, not even a deposit. Its instant book.
I have had several no shows with the credit card blocked and booking.com did nothing.
And as I also use other sites such as Airbnb, which does take payment for me, I have to be very quick to update calendar and avoid double bookings.
By the way how do you manage bookings made through booking.com with this system (The Booking Factory)?
We set our room qty, rates and availability on there and that is sent to/from all our channels in real time.
When a booking comes from an OTA, our website or a manual booking, all of them are instantly updated so never any double bookings.
We have instant bookings on all our ota sites and WE TELL THEM what our booking terms and conditions are NOT the orher way round
I am also a small operator and signed up to an on-line diary and channel manager for £50 a month. It's a brilliant system and carries out card verification checks at the point the reservation comes from Booking.com. We get notified of fails and I can then mark them on B.com. Our policy is advance payment for 1st night to be taken 7-10 days before arrival. We tried taking payment at time of booking but it really upset my accounts!We have a 7 day cancellation policy so our pre-payment window allows us the opportunity to re-sell a room if things go awry and with the payment.
Our on-line diary allows us to be more savvy and weed out the potential no-shows as we take payment and send an automated confirmation.
There are always guests who make a booking at the start of the year for months later and then forget about their booking - a debit on their card is a sharp reminder to check the terms and conditions!
Thanks to all who took their time to discuss important issues regarding no shows and cancellations. My take on it is brooking.com should do more to help enforce payments. How would a guest feel if they turned up at property to be told someone else came and paid so room was given out. They will leave a review to damage your business. Hosts should be able to leave a review under guests that cancel/no shows and don't pay. Booking should have ways and means of making sure both the host and guest are protected and reviewed.
If you are in the UK Inamangeorge - I believe Queensborough have a booking system that allows the proprietors to "report back" on guests. I used them many years ago - before their current system started and their bookings back then were not worth much, but for a fee I understand they now offer Channel Manager and this "Guest reporting" system...
What if I accidentally press a no show after a stay has been made? What will happen? Can i revert?
Interesting question Judith, but I suspect one better addressed to Booking.com rather than here on the partners forum... this is not a problem I have ever encountered.
We run a small hotel in Albania and 99% of our guests use the 'pay on property ` option when they make a reservation.
In case of no-show we simply loose our income and booking.com doesn't take any responsibility for that , on the other hand if I only put the credit card option i will loose all the customers, so really there is no solution to this for us, but to contact the guests via phone until we are convinced they will come and then pray ;)
This really sucks. I've never had a problem with Airbnb with any cancellations, but since our property is listed on Bookings.com we have constant problems and no-shows. I'm in New Zealand, can anybody please advise me where I can get hold of an "area rep"?
We are in South Africa and these bookings that end up in No shows and invalid credit cards are usually from Nigeria. I do not understand what is is these people are doing but it is a SERIOUS nuisance. Alot of preparation goes into creating the reservation with messages, requests for deposits etc. We lose money and Booking.com does nothing. Do they even read these forums ?
We only once had a notification from Booking.com that they had vetted a customer's credit card and it had been a stolen card but never had that again.
I have the same problem here in Aruba , with people from Venezuela and from Columbia , they just book an appartment to have something on paper -an adress- for the immigration but they never show up . The problem is that all the period that they have booked , the appartment is closed for other possible clients , so my suggestion is that we can make an annulation ourselfs without specific reasons , just that we know in front that they don't show up.
With kind regards Marc
Definitely charge them, in advance if you can. I had the same problem usually with people who pre-booked more than one place so they didn't have a set travel distance.
I know charge them a week in advance, non-refundable.
They don't react to any question so they surely won't pay anything , but still the period for that appartment is closed to other serious people
I guess just charge them in full - no refunds..... If the credit card is invalid, at least you don't hold the room for them..... Some hotels here in Canada are doing that now, so I guess B and B's have to follow suit or be out-of-pocket!
Thank you Jan, I totally agree with you. We will move them to a provisional column to keep the room open for serious bookings.