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We had a double booking problem exactly because of this system.
The initial booking was cancelled - call this booking 1. Booking.com then resold the room - call this booking 2 - but the data that was transferred to our channel manager had the booking reference of booking 1 with the guest name of booking 2. Then guest for booking 2 modifies his booking. This is sent through to our channel manager booking reference 1 with the guest name of booking 1. Then for some reason booking.com send a message that booking 1 is cancelled ( even though this had happened many days before). As a result the room was set available to book. Then booking.com resell the room - booking 3. Result double booking as booking 2 and booking 3 were still live.
There then followed hours of effort and many messages too and fro to sort this out. Booking.com maintain it is my channel manager that is causing the problem. I have sent them pictures of the texts from booking.com to my mobile phone clearly showing the incorrect booking references etc. - messages which have absolutely nothing to do with my channel manager -but still they maintain it is my channel manager's fault.
My advice is to avoid this scheme. Something is definitely screwed up somewhere in the system and so far my contact with booking.com technical department doesn't give me any confidence that anyone is going to investigate the issue any time soon. With summer season at the door the last thing we can all do with is double bookings!
We used to be really flexible. If guests said they would be arriving after our check-in time we would wait up for them - often waiting many hours and into the early hours of the next morning. Then we stayed in a small hotel in the UK who did the same for their guests. The result was that we were disturbed every night by other guests checking in late - bagging luggage up the stairs, finding their way about etc.
This really made us think about how we run our property. Is it fair that guests who are already checked in and trying to sleep are disturbed by guests who are arriving late? We decided it wasn't.
So we moved our final check-in time from 22:00 to 20:00, so guests are arriving earlier in the evening. We message guests the day before arrival to confirm our check-in times and we are really strict about applying them. Since we have done this we have had no problems with late check-ins and we have happier guests who are already in-house. On the rare very occasions when guests are delayed by traffic, weather or something else unavoidable, then if they keep us informed, we will be flexible - but they are asked to be absolutely quiet when coming into our property We explain why and so far everyone has been totally understanding.