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Non refundable is non refundable. We don't offer this at our guest house so I believe my opinion to be impartial. These ultra low prices are only possible because accommodation providers know and calculate that there will be some cancellations and therefore some rooms are sold more than once. It's exactly what Easy Jet does for instance. We consumers can't have it both ways. The line is very clear, "non refundable". If some in the industry was to start exercising this discretion then other hotels would suffer with "Hotel ABC gave me my money back why can't you?" The responsibility lies with the booker to read the print thoroughly.
Sorry but that's my feelings on the matter.
We have a damages policy on our web site. If a guest was to damage the room or fixture or fittings I would photograph and log the damage and charge their card immediately. We've only once had this problem but the guest offered to pay which made it easier. We would possibly allow accidents to go uncharged but if a guest caused damage through stupidity or Tom foolery and I wouldn't hesitate to charge.
I became aware how some folk multi book at different establishments a long time before arrival with the intention of cancelling nearer the time when they have chose which one they would like, and just in time so they don't pay for short notice. It's a real problem. Also Booking.co told me that some folk give false card details so money can't be taken if they don't show up. We are so busy that pre-authorizing every time isn't possible.
Booking.com are very selective about posting replies when it appears slightly confrontational. Why because it considers our customers as theirs. I believe we are Booking.com's customers and not our guests.