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Thanks for your feedback everyone, it’s great to see that you are taking the time to share your experience with us. We love hearing when you’re successful on Booking.com, but it’s equally as important to us when you take the time to share your pain points. This gives us an opportunity to continue to listen to your needs and improve what we offer you.
I have reviewed all of your questions and tried to select at least one from each of you. Since some questions were on similar topics I have combined a few in my responses below. A couple of times you’ve made suggestions that are particularly relevant for our team of developers, so I have collected them and forwarded them to our Tech department so they can take action.
It is great to see how passionate our partners are about their business and getting critical (a strong) feedback like we received as part of this activity is incredibly important for us so we can keep improving our offering to you. Thank you for participating in this conversation and keep challenging us!
I am listed on multiple listing sites and I am getting double bookings. How can I avoid this?
First of all, I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this issue on our platform. Clearly a double booking is a very unpleasant experience for everyone involved so making sure that your availability is correctly updated across different platforms is a very important step in preventing such issues.
For this reason, we offer a number of options to enable you to make this synchronization as smooth as possible. Depending on how you choose to connect with us you can either check out this article on how to import or export a calendar via iCal, or have a look at this section of our Knowledge Base in case you are using a Channel Manager Software.
If you are connected via a Channel Manager it’s very important that everything is set up correctly on both sides. If that’s the case it might be worth for you to get in touch with the Channel Manager as well to get their perspective. Of course if you would like to speak with one of our advisors with the actual details of your individual case you can do so at any time as we offer 24/7 support lines. You can find instructions on how to contact us here. I hope this will get resolved soon!
How can I make sure my booking restrictions are correctly set?
Once you’ve set up your restrictions a very quick way to check if they work correctly would be to go on our website and try to book it as a guest. You’ll be able to find out how things work ‘on the other side’ and maybe also spot something else that might be in need of a quick improvement, such as that old picture from before the renovation that really needs changing.
It’s also worth considering that setting up special rules can limit your visibility on our platform and therefore might impact the number of bookings you get. For this reason, it’s a good idea to try to strike a balance between offering enough freedom to your guests, while respecting your booking policies.
More information how to set up any restrictions (we offer many different types) can be found here.
How can I set up my local tax settings?
Depending on how you choose to set it up, city tax can be displayed as either included or excluded in the price guests see during the booking process. You can change your tax settings using these instructions.
We currently do not offer different local tax rates for different age groups, however this is an important topic, so we will explore how we can make this easier for you in the future.
How can I import/export/synchronise the calendar of individual private rooms with other listing sites?
You can read about the many different ways to synchronize calendars on our platform here.
Not all of them, however, are currently available for all property types. The ability to import calendars, for example, is not available to partners with multiple rooms. As we’re always looking at ways to improve, I will pass this feedback on to our product development teams.
The Group Extranet only shows 5 of my properties at once. Can I change this?
Our product teams and developers are currently working on a resolving this, so we hope to be sharing an update soon. Thanks for being patient with us as we perfect this new product!
What are you doing to improve guest payments and cancellations?
We know these topics can be a source of serious frustration for our partners, so we are working hard at resolving the issues around it. I’m happy to share that we now have a tech team dedicated to solving some of your biggest pain points with cancellations – two of them actually did a presentation about this at Click, our global partner event in Amsterdam, so some of you may have seen them there. The team has conducted research and added new features on our website designed to reduce harmful cancellations – such as checking more credit cards and making it harder for guests make overlapping bookings. We’ll be sharing more details soon, so please keep an eye in your inbox. I really hope your business will feel the impact of these innovations and cancellations will be less of an issue soon.
As far as payments, I know this is also a frustrating topic, and one that can get very complicated. My colleague Morten Larsen just did an Ask Me Anything on payments, you can check it out here.
Can I flag guests that have damaged one or more of my properties?
Yes! I am happy to share that we have recently introduced a Reporting Guest Misconduct feature which allows you to block a particular guest after their stay from booking any of the properties in your portfolio.
As a host myself, I share your concerns here. Opening your properties for business poses some inherent risks. Thankfully, the vast majority of reservations proceed with no issues at all. But I’m happy we can offer you tools like the Reporting Guest Misconduct feature when problems do arise. If you have any more feedback on this, we’d love to hear it! Please share it with us via your property Inbox.
Why can we only collect Damage Deposits no earlier than 14 days in advance?
Many travellers – particularly international guests – book their trips months in advance. Therefore, requesting a damage deposit too far ahead of their stay can sometimes put people off making a booking, or cause them to cancel if they’ve already booked.That’s why properties can only collect damage deposits a maximum of two weeks ahead of time. Our thinking is not to make things more complicated for you, we just don’t want this feature to impact property performance – and our research shows that collecting deposits too far in advance can impact your bookings.
We believe this feature can improve guests’ overall experience of your property, help you attract more international guests, and potentially reduce cancellations.
I feel the new Trust & Safety features do not add a lot of value to me.
Thanks for your feedback. I’m sorry to hear that these new features don’t feel useful for your property.
To give the full context, we developed all of the Trust and Safety features based on interviews, surveys, and workshops with real partners. We used these insights to tailor the new features to partner needs. I can of course understand that the same solution might be perceived differently by different partners, so I appreciate your feedback that these new features might not be the best for your particular property. We’re always trying to improve our products, and that’s exactly why we are glad to be having this conversation. Please share more of your thoughts on these features via your property inbox – that way we can get more insights into what can be improved.
If you want any more info our Trust & Safety features, check out the Knowledge Base here and here.
When I call Customer Service, I feel like they only know the hotel business.
I’m sorry to hear about this experience with our Customer Service. Please be assured that we are continuously updating our teams with new knowledge about our partners, their properties and the feedback that we get from them. That includes making sure our Customer Service agents are knowledgeable about different property types and able to support your particular needs.
With thousands of people dedicated to answering calls and messages from partners like you, there is definitely room for improvement in educating each of these colleagues on the needs of non-hotel properties. I assure you we will take this feedback on board and continually monitor the quality of our services. I hope your next experience is a better one!
Is there a reason why I cannot change my description?
I understand the desire to add a personal touch to your listings. Maybe I can shed some light on why we set property descriptions and clarify that the intention is help your property get more bookings – not to restrict you in any way.
At Booking.com we strongly believe in the power of experimentation to optimize our product. For this reason we run daily over 1000 ‘experiments’ on our platforms, with the purpose of making sure its performance is the best that it can be. We have done the same for property descriptions, and over the years have found the ideal version for attracting potential guests.
Following this logic, property descriptions are created to perfect the booker experience on our platform and to ensure the most relevant audience will find your listing. This means, for example, that your properties will show up in search results because of certain keywords that are used in your description. Similarly, we will translate your property description in over 40 languages based on where your guests are coming from.
I hope this explanation shows that you can trust that the current version of your page has been scientifically engineered to be optimal for attracting the most guests. There is still room for personalisation of course, so please check out this article where you can find out more about, for example, how to make use of our new Host Profile feature. There are multiple teams in the organization working on improving the exposure of Host Profiles during several steps of customer journey, beyond just your property listing page.
I report to multiple owners, are there any plans to introduce an invoicing structure where individual properties are shown? Can we introduce property specific codes for use in such communication?
Thanks for your suggestion! Feedback like this is exactly why we recently introduced a number of bulk actions that allow you to make changes to all the properties at the same time. You can read more about these here. Great idea around invoicing structure, I will make sure the right team sees it.