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What you should know about location verifications

Dear Partners,

Janita - Account Advisor, Toniya - Coordinator Partner Hub, and I have been reading your questions and suggestions on the location verifications topic in the Community with attention. We clearly see how essential this topic is to you, and definitely understand the reasons. We also want to ensure a smooth onboarding experience and running of your operations for you. Below, we would like to share some information that you may find useful.

Why do we do location verifications?

All properties go through a location verification procedure and this is to ensure that Booking.com is a secure platform for both owners and guests. When you confirm your property’s location upon joining Booking.com, you make sure that guests can easily find it on arrival.

Additionally, we promote your property across multiple search engines and on affiliate websites, so it’s vital that we show guests the correct property location right from the start. This also helps you to manage expectations and provide a positive guest experience.

How does location verifications currently work?  

- Once you complete the registration of your property, the location verification letter will be automatically sent to the property address.

- Once you receive your letter, it only takes 5 minutes to confirm your property location in your Booking.com extranet.

- It can take up to 25 days (including weekends) for your letter to arrive. 

- If you have not received your letter after 25 days or if you are in an exceptional case where you do not have access to postal services or immediate access to the property you want to list on Booking.com, contact us so we can facilitate your location verification by alternative means.

 - If you want to register multiple properties on Booking.com, each individual location requires its own location verification based on its unique address. 

- There are alternative location verification methods available as well, allowing partners to be able to open without having to enter a code from a letter. This may be more appropriate for a number of reasons such as letters not being able to be sent. In these instances we do either a video location verification call where we video call the owner and take screenshots of the property to match with the images online and see street address, or an OTA location verification using a select list of other OTAs for partners who are Superhosts or have 5+ reviews. 

Which feedback and suggestions have we heard from you?

Thank you for the feedback and suggestions on the platform. The below are some that we have noted and are taking to the team as ideas. These may not all be implemented, however it is a good step to bring them to the attention and discuss where we can improve.   

- Do more video location verifications instead of post

- Fasten the process to address waiting for weeks

- Allow more time for letters to arrive properties before closing those properties due to being unverified. This way, also prevent blocking of bookings and payments due to closing of a property after guest stayed and partner honored the existing reservations

- Manage the inbound for the support team or location verifications team better so that they can give timely responses and help during the process

- Use address location verification from utility bills 

What is next?  

Our team will have a meeting with our colleagues who take ownership of the location verifications topic soon and share your feedback and discuss what we can improve in the process to support you all better.

Read more in Partner Help 


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Mogie Govender 7 months ago

We are a new guesthouse having opened our doors on the 4th of November 2021. During the application process nothing was told to us about the verification process. a month later we were closed off for verification. Guests have stayed and given great reviews of our property. Surely this is verification enough that we are situated where we say we are, Also , should the verification not have been done prior to the opening of the establishment ? Guests now view the property as doing something wrong and thus being blocked from making bookings.

It is almost 2 months since we have been closed, the most crucial time of the year for bookings. I have messaged and called constantly and get the same response of we are working on it.

We are very disappointed by the lack of action by your platform.

Mogie Govender

 

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Haus friedrich 7 months ago

Hi Mogie, this has happenned to us as well, currently closed and at our peak season.  It is causing us huge financial pressure, this has forced us to register on VRBO to continue with bookings.  Their commision is lower than booking.com so we will receive more of the rental income.  I am slowly removing the rooms from Booking.com.  I am sure someone in the community mentioned they took legal action against the closure, I have a meeting with my Lawyer today to discuss options, I am also trying to find the community member that did this.  Feeling your pain.

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Mogie Govender 7 months ago

Thank you so much for the info Haus, I am sure to look it up. Its just crazy that this has happened to us during a time that we could have made money to carry us into the next 2 quiet months. The customer service agents dont know much either as I have been given a few very different explanations.

Praying for a change to this situation.

Have a great day further.

Regards

 

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golden crown 7 months ago

As it is same thing happened with me from last two months and I called so many times to booking.com but they never verified my location nor open my property bookable. I frustrate from their bleady ideot system where nobody listen their partner voice.

Major part which shocked me. How this brand will survive when they not give support to their clients. Even they are not having call center where all the problems resolved. Rather than a nominal Indian company Mmt give immediate service to the property owner and consumer who avail service. But this booking.com company is redicilous. Now I am not expecting their clientage. I will operate my property myself and drive direct bookings rather than give large commissions to these types of companies.

Bad experience of this company.

Was Not expecting from booking.com.

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Armelle Guillot 7 months ago

I was blocked for more than 3 months. I took some legal advice and there is nothing in the contract allowing a property to be closed and the payments to be blocked like that (at least in the French version I signed).

I wrote an official complaint (Booking process) saying my lawyer would contact them if they do not reopen my property within a week. It reopened 2 weeks later (without any location verification). 

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Mogie Govender 7 months ago

 Dear Armelle

 

Thank you so much for your feedback. It is really not fair to have lost so much business. I will look at our agreement with Booking.com and then take the necessary action.

Really appreciate you sharing your experience. ( btw) where did you send your complaint? I seem to be getting a reply from the service agent only whenever I have complained.

Many thanks

Mogie Govender

 

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Armelle Guillot 7 months ago

Dear Mogie,

Actually, I wrote 2 complaints via Booking process. Nothing happened after the first one (no answer at all). So I wrote a second one after I had the contract read by a legal help who told me there was nothing allowing them to block my property and my payments. I didn't get any answer to the second one but I received an email to reopen my property 2 weeks later. 

From what I read in other discussions related to the same topic, saying that you have legal advice and you are about to take an action is very efficient to get reopened. 

Hope this helps!

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Haus friedrich 7 months ago

Mogie, I too had a meeting with a lawyer, I emailed and called to inform Bdc. I also emailed the CEO, I will not give his email on here but it was easy to find on Google. I got a call the next day to arrange a zoom call which we had at 9am the following day. The zoom call took 2 minutes and within 5 minutes the property was back online. We received bookings within 24hrs. All the above was instigated die to advice on this community and it appears to work for most. Good luck everyone. I am very relieved to be back.open.

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Armelle Guillot 7 months ago

From what I read in other discussions, an email to the CEO seems to be the easiest way to be reopened. 

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Mogie Govender 7 months ago

 Thank you once again Haus, I am now desperate for something to happen. We are approaching the weekend, not a single booking yet. We have the normal overheads of a fully operational establishment.

I am just glad that you are now open.

Once again, thank you for the valuable advice.

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Didem - Commun… 7 months ago

Dear all, thank you for sharing. I have made a note of your feedback and suggestions. 

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Mogie Govender 6 months ago

 Dear Armelle, Haus and Golden Crown

 

Thank you for your valuable information.

Great News!!!. We were verified at last and are now open at, Wishing you all great success in your businesses.

Kind regards

Mogie Govender

 

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Armelle Guillot 6 months ago

Great news!! It seems we have a good way to solve this issue and I hope people won't get blocked too long.

All the best in your business!

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Mogie Govender 6 months ago

 So sorry Barbara. It is seriously a long wait to have it done. Our video verification took just 5 minutes and we were then opened.

Im not sure why they are not doing this for all establishments.