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After 2 years of providing linen, we no longer offer it as standard. It costs a lot here in Australia and is a general pain in the neck to coordinate, having it done off-site and delivered.
We would often having guests ask after they book, "oh, do you provide linen" (so it clearly wasn't a priority when booking), and other guests complain that the cleaning fee including the laundering was too high despite the fact that we subsidised the laundering and didn't pass the full fee on.
So we changed it and un-ticked the box about linens and bath towel provision. And we state in the text message to them that we no longer provide these as standard and have reduced the cleaning fee accordingly, enabling guests to have the flexibility to BYO. However, a linens and bath towel package is available upon request and fees apply.
Then say what the fees are and what they get - pillowslips (2p/p), bath towels, bath mats, hand towels, linens, tea towels. When guests request this, we have to process the payment ourselves (such a pity it can't be an add-on/click-the-button arrangement via booking.com where the fees are just added on). So we have been doing this since about March this year.
Provided you are up-front about it, then it's ok. I've found that about 70% of people request and pay for it. No one has cancelled because of it. We've only had one guest that slept on the mattress protector (was a late booking so the beds weren't made up, and they paid for the linens - I gave them access to the keys to the linen cupboard because I live a 1.5hr drive away. So they had to make the beds up themselves and clearly couldn't be bothered!).
I haven't gone through a summer with this arrangement yet, so we'll see. So far, so good though.
I think it depends a bit on the type of accommodation you have too. If it's aimed at the backpacker or budget accommodation, then be prepared for people not to pay for linens and sleep on the mattress protector. If your accommodation is aimed at a bit higher, you generally get guests that won't do that and would rather pay a bit more to have linens supplied.
So good luck with it. :-)
Thank you 'Fluff', I didn't know it was possible to have payments managed by BDC and am now on the way to having this organised. Appreciated. I thought the only option was payment via CC (which I have to manage).
Hello Spectacular Ap...
I just negotiated Payments by Booking.com after reading the post above yours by 'Fluff'. I didn't know it was possible to have payments managed by BDC. PbB is relatively new I was told and BDC are still working on it. I had to move to the cash only option first while the PbB is being set up and will take up to 3 months.
I had been taking credit cards only - an administrative pain and caught out a few times by the guest scam where they dispute the transaction with their bank months later, and get their money back because the name on the CC is infinitesimally different to the booking name).
There seemed to be some criteria re eligibility and inconsistent advice - one BDC call center person set it up (move to cash only on the way to PbB) and another call center person said I couldn't access PbB - it wasn't an option for me. The super-helpful supervisor sorted it out.
The 'eligibility' seemed to have something to do with if the host was already 'cash only' (tick for you), and have only a few rooms or a few whole house/s listed - I think. Perhaps give it another try and go beyond the first call center person, as needed.
Yes. Very expensive, and a scam.
Both times of disputed CC transactions have been with last-minute bookers - booking only a few hours before arrival. Hmmm. I wonder if this is a 'thing'.
I agree that BDC should be taking the payments if they are going to charge 15% in fees. Anything less is... a lot of work for hosts and forking out a lot of money, at the same time.
Not to mention, hosts have to either absorb the bank transaction costs (around 1.5%) or charge it on top (I charge on top and advise this in the fine print of the listing).
In Australia, there are laws that protect consumers (if host is not operating as an ASIC registered business/is operating as an owner/investment property). There is also protection for small businesses from harmful 'big business practices'.
If you have issues that are causing you loss and constitutes misleading and deceptive conduct..., contact the [state] Small Business Commission or equivalent (if you are operating under an ABN). If you are operating as an owner/investment property (non ABN), contact the ACCC and/or the [state] Office of Fair Trading or equivalent ;-). There is also VCAT (in Victoria), which can be accessed after going through the Office of Fair Trading. Not sure about other states.
Also speak with shock-jock journos that love a David and Goliath battle if BDC isn't listening, but do exhaust attempts to sort out issues with BDC first-up.