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yes - if Booking.com can't or won't provide Payments by Booking.com, then switch to AirBnB - so much easier and you get your money!
It's not your responsibility to refund him for his travel problems. He could claim from the airline or from his travel insurance. Why should you lose money for something that isn't your fault?
I did start a thread a few days ago suggesting that we need to be on proper, independent forums that are more user friendly .... something like the phpBB forums ... (google phpbb)
welcome to the world of totally incompetent Booking.com support .... you are not alone!
I have had similar issues, so many times now ... if something is important, I start a message with something like "Please pass this on to a manager or someone who knows what they are doing" ... I often say that I don't want "minions" to reply with nonsense answers ....
Recently, within an hour of posting a support message, I get a phone call from a 1(888) number and it's someone who seems to know what they're doing ....
With the specific issue of multiple properties, I have a "Group Account" which simply lists all the properties .... when I click on a property, that opens a new window for that property .... after adding a property a few weeks ago and the Booking.com system telling me I could only take cash, I went on the "Booking.com Support Merry-go-round" with minions giving me nonsense replies. One of them told me to create a Partner Card and I was sent a link. I started the set up and it told me to add my properties again. I asked what the difference was between my existing Group Account and a Partner Card. It turns out there isn't a difference, it's the same thing, and I didn't need to set everything up again, and Booking.com phoned me and changed the settings on the new property from Cash Only to Payments by Booking.com ....
Booking.com support *can* do things right when they want to, but support is 99% rubbish .....
Booking.com do not like us taking damage deposits - they do not like us protecting our properties and protecting the next guests. I am in a long-running battle with Booking.com over this.
Booking.com did eventually allow us to request that guests pay damage deposits by bank transfer. We have a template email that goes out to every guest as soon as they book, asking them to pay the damage deposit by bank transfer. Only 2 out of the last 20 guests have done so. We are fully booked for the summer and I am too busy to manually chase every guest over this.
I will continue the fight to get Booking.com to automatically take damage deposits. It's the right thing to do.
We all have "competitors". Some are good - we might envy them, but a good competitor will bring more business to our towns, which in turn, will grow the tourist economy.
And some are bad - and eventually they will go out of business. They don't need your help to go out of business - they can do that themselves. And when they go out of business, someone else will replace them.
Focus on your business, not theirs. If you don't get many tourists in your area, do more marketing. Build a website saying how wonderful your town is. Then make it bigger. And bigger. Show that you have the best hotel / apartments / etc in town. Give people a reason to come there and they will come.
This is not Booking.com support ..... this is other owners chatting ....
Use AirBnb and TripAdvisor until Booking.com change their minds. Once you have a number of good reviews on those other systems, Booking.com might think you are genuine and might let you take online payments.