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Booking.com has a very serious problem. The percentage of good reservations is rapidly going down for my Inn. To combat this trend, we now take payment when booked. No accepting of reservations without a valid credit card. Last 12 reservation, 9 were bad. No valid credit card then we remove the reservation from our system. No 24 hour wait and no worry about them showing up. The reservation is deleted immediately.
Talked to a Booking.com representative who was nice but no help what so ever. There is no help to be had from Booking.com "help". A few more screw ups from Booking.com and my account will be closed. In case you don't knows, they also screw up your rates at odd times. Good luck with Booking.com but I think they are becoming a liability.
Been getting fraudulent bookings. All the bad bookings are for a four day reservation in our most expensive room. We deal with this by charging a one day deposit as soon as the reservation is made. Card declines then report bad credit card on booking.com and immediately cancel reservation on our system. Forget the 24 hours delay that booking.com wants. Policy is to confirm a reservation requires valid credit card.
If you only use booking.com for your reservations then the above information may not help. We use Rezovation for our reservations from all sources (Booking.com., Expedia, Travel agents, etc). Bad credit card then cancel reservation. Booking.com will contact guest to update credit card and lets them stay booked on Booking.com for a minimum of 24 hours. If the guest does update then we can put them back on our system. So far the four day reservation has never updated nor showed up.
Booking.com is our number one trouble maker. We have a no deposit policy with everybody else except them. If we have a no show with a bad credit card then it is a Booking.com reservation. For Booking.com only, we take a deposit 30 days ahead. If the credit card fails then we report on Booking.com that the credit card is invalid. Booking.com gives the customer 24 hours to correct the problem before it allows you to cancel the reservation. We ignore that 24 hours and cancel the reservation immediately on our POS system. The only reason we report it to Booking.com is to remove the commission charge. If customer corrects the problem then we just reinstate the reservation (small chance of that).
Treating Booking.com this way eliminates 99 % of the problems with Booking.com. The other times are people checking in with bad cards. Eliminated this by asking for a credit card and ID before they can check-in like any other large lodging establishment I actually had a group of four try to check-in with an over the telephone reservation using a credit card. Credit card was not in their possession when they showed up and no one had an ID. Really?
I do not have this problem with Hotels.com, Expedia, Trivago, Bedbreakfast.com and other various travel agents. You can set an option for a verifiable credit card only but Booking.com says this is coming in the future. Good luck with that. Answer is to treat Booking.com reservation like they are radioactive and take extreme caution.