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Thank you Sharon, I am well aware this is NOT the booking.com helpdesk.
However it is a Forum where accommodation providers can point out issues so others can learn from it, and ask questions. That is what I have done.
It is lovely that booking.com 'support' staff 'reach out' to us, however trying to get a reply or actually speaking to someone when they ask you to ring them back is almost impossible.
You have now removed that (faulty) telephone number, and you have edited it out in my original post.
As you have now removed it I can't show you a screenshot.
However, 'The Fine Print' tick-boxes still can't be ticked.
This is the reply I have had from Support:
"It looks like we have had to edit your content: "The Fine Print' additional information re Corona-measures. It doesn't work!This means your post included inappropriate content, private information, was incoherent, irrelevant or duplicated"
Please explain what in my post was inappropriate, private, incoherent, irrelevant of duplicated?
I agree with you. We have managed to reach an agreement with ALL our guests who booked on the non-flexible/non-refundable rate for the period that now falls within the official UK lockdown/closure of accommodation providers. They have either had a refund, or a full credit towards a future booking in the next year. After all, the 'Force Majeure' clause applies.
However this dispute was about a cancellation request dated before the UK Government announced the forced business closure; for a stay with us that fell outside the initially announced lockdown period... and the guest never bother to give us a reason of why he wanted to cancel.
We are VERY flexible with cancellations but only if the guests bothers to communicate with us, explains the circumstances, and is generally pleasant and/or apologetic. In most cases a mutually satisfactory solution is found.
Thank you for your points, PiboMarco.
I accept I made a mistake by believing that (standard) email -the one with Accept/Decline- was a cancellation. It wasn't, I realise that now. However, the wording is ambigious, and open to various interpretations, and something booking.com should rectify and clarify.
Secondly, booking.com should back-up their hosts more and not put undue pressure on to refund a non-refundable, non-flexible booking.
I will try to make this into a positive and contact the 'Product Manager' of the non-refunadable rate, and make some suggestions on the wording of the emails and ask them to review they way they handle a dispute.
I run a small B&B in the Cotswolds and also have issues with booking.com's interpretation of 'non-refundable' and 'non-flexible' rates, as it now appears these rates are actually both refundable and flexible when the booking.com decides they are. I am currently neck-deep in a dispute with a guest and booking.com about a booking for 12 June 2020 that was cancelled with no reason given on 13 March 2020, before the Covid-19 lockdown was even announced. At least we thought it was cancelled as the booking.com email said: "This guests wants to cancel his booking" and 'we notified the guest there is a cancellation fee, but wanted to know if you were at all flexible in this case'. You get two options, a red button to 'DECLINE' or a green button to 'ACCEPT'. I declined, at this point the guest had been charged in full, and I assumed that was the end of the matter, so I removed the booking from my diary. (Btw I did offer the guest a full credit towards a future stay with us, but the guest declined that goodwill offer...). I have now found out that the guest did not proceed with the cancellation through his booking.com account, and therefore the booking remained 'active'. A huge amount of telephone calls and emails followed, the relationship with the guest became acrimonious, and I withdrew my goodwill offer of a full 100% credit towards a future stay, and told the guest he is not welcome with us - ever. Since then there has been a continuous stream of emails and telephone calls from the guest booking.com support team, every time a different person, trying to get me to change my mind. I have now been told that booking.com will accommodate this guests elsewhere in a business of similar ratings and price, invoice me for those costs, and presumably take that money by Direct Debit which is currently how I pay the commission. How they are going to accommodate that guest is anybody's guess as the UK Government has now extended the Covid-19 lock-down of hospitality business to the end of June 2020, and he is NOT a 'key' worker, therefore it would be illegal. The lesson to be learned from this is that the non-refundable, non-flexible rate booking.com wants you to offer in addition to your normal rates, is in fact refundable and flexible, to the cost of the accommodation provider. Nice one.... and something to be aware of!