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In your extranet - finance/reservation statements. there it all shows the stayed and cancellations.
Just call the support number and ask them to cancel that for your guest, they then will get in touch with the guest to confirm and that´s it.
Oh, and the agent´s aren´t always properly trained, I actually flipped out when the third time calling about the same issue and every time talking to a different person, got different info. What I mean is, call and pester them, ask to speak to a supervisor, make sure you get heard and you get to the botteom of what exactly is their policy.
We had waited 3 months and calling them they said that we will have to wait 3 months more bec the last agent had put us back on the credit card thing and that invalidated the previous wait period. I asked to talk to a supervisor, told them that it´s total nonsense that we´re both losing money bec of their incompetence, wrote an email to the head office...generally turned the hell around. And somehow 3 days later suddenly got accepted into the program...Don´t give up!
It took me about 3 month ¨waiting time¨ to get invited to the payments by booking, went through a ton of cancellations and no shows as well. In the interim we actually asked for bank transfers from guests, as at least that way it gives you some security and people with a real intention to book didn´t have a problem doing that.
It´s *** that you can´t opt out and that they´re shady about the payments - I mean if guest reserves a long time ahead, they would only get charged immediately if its a no cancellation booking, and it only makes sense thay you get the money issued after they stay because who knows if your hotel burns down and you can´t accomodate them and then what...
Went through a similar situation, the best option is to have Booking take care of charging the clients or yourself charging their credit cards.
If that´s not an option, you can ask for a bank transfer for the reservations - update your terms and conditions to payment by bank transfer and you can then send them a message upon recieving a reservation, giving them x days to transfer the money. I f don´t recieve the transfer, get in touch with booking and ask them to cancel the reservation.
It´s a bit of a hustle, but surely more secure than just hoping people won´t be a""holes.