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Merch Gymreig / Welsh Lady
I bet a lot of people book through Bookings specifically because they know they can be completely inconsiderate and not show and not cancel without any downside. It is their marketing scheme so I doubt they will help the hoteliers and change direction. I use a PMS (property Management system) which allows me to cancel the reservation without getting Bookings "approval" and opens the calendar so the room can be booked again. If the guest from Bookings does show up, I have their reservation printed out, with our deposit and reservation policies, as well as the messages requesting they make a deposit and their cancellation notice. I try to accomodate them at another hotel (as a courtesy) if my hotel is full, but outside of that, send them packing. If they don't want to follow my advance deposit requirement, I don't need to save a room for them. Brutal, but my first interest is paying my employees and keeping the doors open!
Many of the suggestions are well intentioned but don't address the issue of doing business with Bookings in Ecuador (or some other less developed countries). Bookings does not facilitate the collection or enforcement of deposit requirements. My initial rate of no show/cancellation was almost 80% because of Bookings enthusiastic "BOOK NOW! NO OBLIGATION" advertising. The first thing I have had to do is to program my property management system to immediately send a note to bookers saying that their reservation will not be confirmed until a 50% deposit is received in our bank account or sent via PayPal. I then follow up, at least twice, telling them they are at risk of cancellation and then finally a notice canceling their request for a room. As is true with many rural villages, we do not accept credit cards.....it is not an option in many 3rd world locales where it is a cash culture....so, this tiresome and time consuming tracking is necessary. I will also say that this policy has created some very angry customers, who feel that we are 'all business' and have lost our friendly laid back vibe, by requiring a financial commitment with reservation. But, it has also helped me keep my doors open. I have additionally added a requirement that the booker enter an address which takes a few extra minutes and may prevent some happy fingers from booking multiple hotel until they decide which one they want. On the other hand, Expedia does process payments for us. Although the percentage is steep, I have never, ever had a no show and their reservations do not require continual follow up and apologies for enforcing policies. That being said, Bookings drives 80% of our business, so their partnership is critical for our success. I too hope that Bookings will find a solution for Ecuador hoteliers, but we are such a small market in relative terms, I imagine we are not much of a priority.
I have been using EZEE solutions for a year and it is far from EZEE. Lots of little glitches that make it unwieldy and it is not at all intuitive. I like the calendar configuration, I have gotten used to its idiosyncrasies, but I would not recommend it.
It's a huge hassle and the moats you have to climb to confirm a client in a cash economy are ridiculous. I now have no problem, after sending 2 notices, and receiving no response, with moving their reservation to a non-existent room, so in essence canceling them out, and then sending them a message telling them we have canceled their reservation. If guests can't be polite enough to follow our clearly stated bookings rules, we don't need to pull out our hair tracking them down when we have a good steady walk in clientelle during high season. It is something Bookings will have to address. Expedia and AirBnB have solutions, which although cost me slightly more, saves me a lot of time and frustration and at the end of the day, money.
It's very easy. In many countries Bookings doesn't provide a payment portal via credit card, meaning the hotel is stuck trying to chase down the guest and ask them for a payment via bank transfer, paypal, etc. It is hugely inconvenient and really time consuming. Almost 80% of my guests do not show and are not courteous enough to cancel their reservation which results in enormous lost revenue during our peak season.
We have a huge problem with no shows and no deposits. It is a ton of work. I use a third party Property Management System where I can go in and over-ride the booking, and cancel it. Bookings is my biggest producer of reservations and revenue, but also the most work. I also use another OTA that accepts credit cards and then pays me, so I am guaranteed to be paid for the reservation but they charge about 25 percent for the service. My secondary issue, is that I have to check my invoices so carefully because I often get charged for no-shows, but Bookings has been really good at accepting my learning curve and has deducted the charges I dispute.