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Thank you Stay and Baja Kathleen.
I totally agree that BDC should not allow these guests to leave a review. I had a long discussion with the BDC service centre about this, but was told they could not do anything about it, wich may be true for the service centre agent, but not for BDC as a company! They could chose to treat their hotel partners more decently, than they actually do.
In the instances where it happened to us that guest arrived with 'unbooked' children in tow, it was quite clear that they had done this deliberately to save money. They have breached our policy, we were polite and did not turn them away. We have done the right thing by them, which we were not obliged to do, they have done the wrong thing and because they felt caught out, they retaliate by leaving a bad review.
It is frankly unacceptable in such a situation to treat your hotel partners unfavourably and 'reward' your guests' bad behaviour with giving them the power for revenge. My suggestion to the agent was to at least not let such a review by counted in your overall average rating score. Or at the very least not let them review anonymously or without leaving comments. Because there were no comment, we as a hotel did not even get the change to reply and set things right in our reply. There are so many things BDC could do and is chosing not to!
If BDC considered guests who violate the rules and get rightly turned away as 'cancelled' or 'no show', and this status shows up in the system, they should technically not be able to leave a review. 'Stay" were you able to verify this - just a thought. I would definitely forward the threatening email to BDC and definitely hang on to the email, in case they also leave a bad review on Tripadvisor.
Unlike Airbnb where reviews are possible on both sides there is a total power imbalance with BDC!
Thanks to everyone for the comments.
We will definitely try arguing using 'insurance' next time and will not accept 2 adults + child sharing a bed.
Graham, when you send them elsewhere and mark them as 'no-show' you basically are not charging them at all? It certainly solves the bad review issue, but then we loose the money.