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Just to provide a follow up on my original post....
I never did find out if there was an official complaints procedure. No-one at booking.com were willing to provide that information, or the numerous people I spoke to, simply did not know the answer. I went round and round the houses trying to get to the bottom of it.
My complaint like Harriet Crawford's above, was financial. Last year, it was a case of my account being suspended and receiving threatening action. This caused no end of stress. I can only deduce that this action by them was a computer generated automatic process. I say this, as whenever I speak to someone from booking.com they don't seem to know what is happening or why something has occurred. Even their extranet messages seem to be computer generated.
The battle has ended. Even though I did eventually resolve the finance issue there has since been more. I had to same problem trying to get a credit note from them. And, now it seems there is a lot of fraudulent credit card activity. I have received numerous chargebacks in the last year for which booking.com will take no responsibility for despite them saying they verify the booker!
I feel your pain. I think something does have to be done about this subject and, at a higher level. Their booking policy encourages fraud for which they gain financially. A company of this size with their market standing, should be made accountable. Guest and Booker details should be verified by them as a standard protective measure for us property providers.
I had to contact my merchant provider again today for another chargeback on a booking that took place in September. In this case, the guest did stay but were able to claim a chargeback months later.
Our booking policy insists on guest personal details but this means nothing as they provide false details that are not verified by the booking channel. The merchant provider can only verify that the card number is genuine and the required funds are available. They are unable to verify the cardholder.
Fraud is on the increase and I think legislation needs to be put in place to protect small business against this.
My merchant provider told me they get chargebacks on a "regular" basis relating to accommodation bookings made through booking.com.
Personally, I think us small companies need to make a stand and protect ourselves first in order to force companies such as booking.com to change their policy.
By us all insisting on guest photo id that matches the booker and cardholder, booking.com will have to take a look at streamlining this to prevent profit margins dropping.
If Airbnb can verify their bookers so can Booking.com,
It is so refreshing to know we're not the only ones pulling our hair out on this subject. It never ceases to amaze me that people just don't read the info they are given.
Personally though, I think guests get too much info. on the b.com site there is far too much information not to mention the constant updates guests receive before arrival. I stayed one night in a serviced flat and I received about 5 updates from booking.com before I checked in - that's just overkill and, I have to say the information received differed to what the property provider told me.
To expect the guest to read the fine print is pointless - why is there a fine print? all the information a guest needs should be in the main text of the booking confirmation. The booking confirmation if sent by booking.com or us as providers, should be posted on the extranet so we can all read what the guest has received. We then have the opportunity to correct any info if needed.
It isn't clear when guests receive the key code info from b.com. They shouldn't get it before the cancellation period has ended or, until they have paid. This is particularly important to us as we are not located on site.
To ensure this doesn't happen, we do not provide this information until the day of arrival. For some of our sites, we simply can't as a key code is generated when keys have been returned by exiting guests. The earliest we issue these details is midday on arrival date, we then send this info by text and request confirmed receipt from the guest.
We also request an ETA and follow this up if we haven't been provided this info. Not all guests appreciate the difference between an apartment, an apart-hotel with a hotel and we do not offer 24hr assistance.