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Hi David. You have posted this on the partner forum, so other businesses not booking.com. It probably won't be read by any of the booking.com staff. I really feel your pain. I didn't even realise that people booked multiple properties and then just chose one on the day, until I started to do this. Let alone bogus bookings. If you can switch to booking.com collecting payments for you then that resolves the issue or at least you get paid if no show because they have their credit card details.
You have posted this on the partner forum, which is for partners to discuss issues. You need to send this request for a Bill to booking.com. Use the Inbox icon on Extranet to send them an email.
You can't cancel a reservation. You need to contact the customer and get them to do it. I always look at alternative accommodations that are available so that you can suggest it to the guest. It softens the bad news a bit. If the guest doesn't respond then you will need to contact booking.com, using Inbox on Extranet or by phone.
Also, look at this from the guests point of view. If I was travelling, I wouldn't wire money to someone I didn't know before I had turned up at the accommodation and checked it out.
I agree with Barry. Prior to having BdC collect payments I only did cash transactions. I had several no shows, so no money. Since switching to Booking.com collecting my payments this has not happened. They do charge to do it but overall worth the charge and the wait.
That seems to be the general idea, but there also seem to be some holes in the scheme from our perspective. Make sure you leave the dates available. There is a discussion within this Guest payments & finance area of the forum where booking.com try and explain but partners come across problems. Have a read of it.
You cannot cancel a booking yourself, the guest has to do it. Best thing to do is email them and apologise and do some investigation of other properties so that you can recommend somewhere else that is similar price, that way the bad news goes down better.
If booking.com covered us with their insurance then they would just increase the commission and pass on the cost. Which would be a double cost if you already had your own insurance.
Appreciate you guys are doing it tough at the minute. I am in NZ and the smoke has created a heavy haze here so realise it is really bad there.