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I agree with you Isle.
People can make reservations on our own website by sending a request that has to be confirmed by us first. This is never a problem for guests. The only problem we have is, that Booking promotes itself so much on Google and other search platforms, that potential guests actually have trouble finding our website, even when they try, because they keep being redirected towards Booking. This is why we need Booking even though we would prefer not to work with them. Smart business model but not very sympathetic towards hosts ....
Ok I didn't know that, thank you I will certainly look into that.
I have been wondering why hosts cannot protect themselves on Booking? In our B&B we also had experiences with people stealing from us, breaking things, taking plants out of our garden, being disgustingly dirty or just extremely unpleasant, as I guess all hosts have. Why is there nothing we can do to stop those people from coming back here?
We can't do anything about unfair low-scoring, if guests do not leave a comment we cannot even react. There is no system to rate guests the way guests rate us. Feels like Booking doesn't care about us hosts and only has the interests of travellers in mind, yet we pay them a whopping 17% commission. We do get a bad deal.
I had a long talk with the support team; I called them because their replies on mail had just been generic messages and did not address the issues on the new review system that I pointed out.
The sliding bar for the overall experience has been replaced by a number system, which imo is better because less sensitive to mistakes. The lady told me they are working currently on making the subcategories a 0-10 scale as well, and also that those no longer automatically go to 7.5 if the overall experience rating is less then 10. Instead they just show 'unmarked'.
A suggestion I made is that the overall experience would no longer be the one and only rating for the property as it is highly subjective and emotional. Instead I suggested that the final rating would be an average of the subcategory ratings, which are more objectified, and the overall experience rating. The lady I talked to really liked that idea and she was going to forward it to the development team. Well, that's what she said anyway, let's cross our fingers and keep posting feedback and contacting support team.
OK so our scores are going down as well. I sent a few messages on this subject both to support and on feedback. I pointed out that not only did guests score the subcategories all 10/10 and the overall score 9, but also I talked to 2 families that were upset because they wanted to score us 10 and not 9. I made screenshots and sent them to Booking with this explanation.
The first reply I got from Booking was: "the guests choose the overall score", a link to the explanation of the new scoring system and the addition "your understanding would be appreciated". So I replied and pointed out that yes, guest choose the overall score but the system is faulty. I also made some suggestions to improve: start the overall experience bar at 10 instead of 1 and let guests drag the bullet backwards if they want to choose a lower score, or to let them type in a number as this is less prone to mistakes. Make the subcategories a 1-10 scale as well and, lastly, let final score be the average score of the overall experience score and the subcategory scores together.
Booking replied that they sent my message to a specialist on the subject who would get back to me within 2 days. After 6 days I sent another message saying I did not get a reply yet. This was 2 days ago, and I have not received any reaction.
The first message said: "please contact us if you need our help, we are there for you". Really Booking????
We have had this over and over again. I feel one of the problems is the sliding bar - you really have to hold it till the end of the bar and if you don't (or don't see the end, as on some phone screens) you rate lower than you wanted to. I have had families telling me this a few times.
Because the bar starts at 0 you easily miss out on one or two points. Booking should let it start at 10 and have people slide it backwards if they feel that is appropriate. Wanna bet that makes a huge difference?
For us it's the same: my husband and I spend about 1 1/2 hours per room to clean.Like you I am on my knees to clean the floor. Still sometimes people score the cleanliness lower and when I ask them what was not clean in their room, I never get an answer.
And it's not just that category: today we got a score of 5 on facilities. The free internet in the communal areas, mentioned on Booking, has been upgraded so guests have access in their rooms and on the terrace as well. These guests, who were very demanding and basically treated us like servants during their stay, were told they could put some things in our fridge and took that as a go-ahead to take over half our fridge with bottles of wine and water and six-packs of beer. When they left I allowed them to take some plants from my garden. Which facilities were they disappointed in? We got a 5 on comfort when we have beautiful big rooms with very good and comfortable beds... no idea what they found not comfortable. Yes it was hot - we can obviously do nothing about that. It happens in august.
Basically guests can score any way they want, even if it's complete nonsense. I would really like the possibility to rate guests.
Sergei, could you please take the time to answer questions? We all want to know what is going on and what Booking is going to do about this. If you want confirmation of the fact that the new rating system causes problems, ask your customer support how many complaints they get every day.