user avatar image
1

Russian Fake Reservation

Dear Forum

This morning I faced a new last-minute cancellation from a Russian family. Of course before the 7-day cancellation period

I was sure 100% that this reservation was a fake just for visa purpose. And I have 2 10 days reservation in July and August, that will face the same issue (I am ready to take a gamble a 1/100)

I contact Booking platform, and I am disappointing by the support they provided us. We all pay 17% commission fees for a service; a part of this services is to provide us reliable customer and give us the possibility to accept or not accept such type of fake customer

One of the solution they propose me is to extend to 30 day my cancellation period, but I consider that will affect too much the other customer in their buying decision.

I am looking for advice, or create a group to advice booking to create an option where we could exclude such type of customer (ban countries).

I love Russia, I speak Russian, I have no problem with this country, just with the way they use Booking

Arnaud

Nice France

8 Replies

8
Leandri Klopper

Hi there Arnaud,

Thanks for your detailed account. There are so many posts in the forum regarding this topic.

What I've derived from all our fellow partners is that the only way you can prevent fake bookings is by making the free cancellation peroid very narrow. Or not having one at all. Yes, you might then lose a lot of bookings but you need to decide. Either you get a lot of bookings and there are some fake ones as well, or you get less bookings but they are all legit.

Me, I went for the second option and my property is still doing really well. People may cancel the booking within 4 hours of making it. After that the booking is confirmed and I request payment (they are welcome to make payment arrangements with me but full prepayment is required).

Booking.com holds us responsibile for taking payment, so even if it's a fake client for a visa your policies dictate what they do or do not pay. So that burden is on us, the property owners.

Keep well!

1 year ago
5
Wightgal

I would suggest you charge a non refundable deposit equal to the cost of the first nights stay. Charge this when the reservation is first made. If payment can't be met, you then have the option to cancel the reservation.

1 year ago
1
Moulin-neuf

This is a new problem for me with one fake reservation from a Tunisian gentleman who was a no show and two suspected fake reservations in the next few weeks. On the advice of Booking I have asked a 100 euros deposit by a date in the middle of next week and am hopeful that Booking will then allow me to cancel the booking. Neighbours of mine have also had the same problem and the latest is a booking from Gabon. These bookings seem to have a similarity in that they are for a single person, for a long period and from a country say not France, UK or America. Personally I think that Booking should be taking far more care to filter these bookings rather than to throw the responsibility on the guesthouse owner. With respect I think they need to earn their generous commission.

How does the scam if that is what is is work?

1 year ago
1
Lamillasserie

We have had this too,a 3 room, 7night booking--that is 21 nights in total-- from Turkey. I always send a confirmation email to all bookings and ask guests to re-confirm and give me an arrival time. All guests quickly answer. However, the Turkish guests did not respond to several repeat emails. When I called the number provided on the booking. com site in Turkey and identified myself as “ the B&B France you have booked,” they hung up--disconnected the phone call. When the time came for their arrival, they were a no- show. Now I have an 18 night booking from outside Europe. Is it real? I hesitate to send a direct email to the client because that would give access to my email address and who knows what else.

1 year ago
5
Wightgal

Phone BDC explain your concerns, citing your recent no show , ask them to cancel this reservation. Then update your booking terms to include a deposit.

1 year ago
1
Moulin-neuf

Thank you for your extremely prompt response! I have spoken with BDC and they have suggested I ask a deposit by a specific date and that if it is not paid then I can ask BDC to cancel. Keep fingers crossed for me on Tuesday, the said deadline. I have heard nothing back from the guests concerned and in any event would be reluctant to supply my bank details to enable a bank transfer - I don't take credit cards - and had wondered if the guests had wanted to make a payment how to do it. I had in mind Paypal. Am I being over-sensitive about my reluctance to provide bank details?

1 year ago
5
Wightgal

We accept credit/debit cards .

BACS transfers are very common now within the business community. By giving a customer your bank account number and sort code, you are not divulging to much information. Pay Pay would be a another good option. But with all payment options, be aware of associated costs.

or. Will BDC set up a virtual credit card for you?

1 year ago
1
A Acatrinei

Hi!

Regarding this issue: You don't have to become worried, I think that some of that fake bookings can come from your local competitors also; You have to follow some steps to avoid it: fix a limit for cancelation period, verify guest card details, send a message to the guest and verify his phone number (the country also, sometimes can be a mistake in phone no listed in BDC page)..etc.

If the guest card details are not available for you or has not money in card account (in pre_autorisation period), if you have not mail answer, if you have not phone answer ..there are 90% chance to have a fake booking and you have to ask BDC to cancel the reservation.

By the way... now BDC are going to inform you if you receive reservations based on NOT valid card marked and the guest has only 20h to provide right card details. Otherwise you can cancel the reservation.

Regards,

11 months ago