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we take a one night deposit on reservation and have a 14 day cancellation period. You may not be aware but Booking.com actually contacts guests and reminds them when they can cancel and get their deposit back! This does not help us!
We do get some cancellations just on the 14 days (I suspect because of this reminder) but at least it is not only one or two days and we have some chance of recovering and getting a new guest.
Taking a deposit also shows that people at least have some intention of coming and it is not so easy for them to book many places and then cancel. One person even told us he always books four places for the same dates and decides at the last minute which ones to cancel. What a waste of everyones time and likely lost revenue as other guests will have been turned away. Sadly Booking.com advertising encourages this behaviour.
Agree Airbnb is better about this as people pay the whole thing up front and people rarely cancel BUT it is difficult to get airbnb bookings unless we bring the price right down so neither site is perfect.
M Adamopoulou yes it is interesting how "creative " some guests can be. Sorry straying from the theme a bit but we have a huge spreadsheet of weird things that have happened that you could not make up.One example some other people thought it was OK to try and take our coffee table to the park to use as a stand for their portable bbq... Luckily we spotted them loading it into their car and asked what they were doing.....Our list of rules would look ridiculous if I put everything that has happened on it! Linen stains are the easy part although sometimes what my husband calls "unwanted dna samples" can be somewhat stomach churning... We have tried coloured sheets but find they are more difficult to clean and tend to become patchy where stains have been so have switched to all white which works well. Happily it is only a small percentage of guests who cause any real problems .....
Some guests are just lovely aren't they? Have just had people who thought it was fine to take one of our best blankets to use as a picnic rug-now have to try and get grass and food stains out without ruining it. Suspect it will be another replacement needed. You have to wonder......
K2u what an experience with spray tan! This is the best argument yet for taking a deposit. I am now adding this to my list of rules for guests. It has not happened to us yet thankfully although we have had a few problems with hair dye which we thought were bad enough. Thanks for the warning.
Napisan works a treat- one cupful in every wash as well as regular soap powder-gets rid of most stains and keeps the linen white. Severe stains come out if soaked first-rarely have a stain that hasn't come out.
We find buying linen with a small percentage of polyester is better and longer lasting that pure cotton.Easier to dry and needs less ironing. Still feels like cotton if you get the right mix.
Also I buy spares whenever there are sales on so keep a few ready but don't need to replace items very often.
We do replace pillows regularly (despite always using pillow protectors) but again buy them up when sales are on and get medium price ones. Better to replace with fresh pillows more often than buy the most expensive ones and keep them for too long.
Agree with the above comments.
It is not just the UK franchise that has this problem, as far as I can see it is the same everywhere at least regarding allowing anonymous reviews with no comments- just plain wrong!
I am in Australia. I have been beating this drum about the unfairness of anonymous reviews with no comments for over a year -getting nowhere - hopefully if more people join the discussion it might make a difference.
Brooke are you listening-are you still there?
These conversations about the unfair and sometimes malicious anonymous views have been going on for over a year yet nothing has changed.
The argument about 'legality' is rubbish as booking.com is not legally obliged to offer the option of anonymous reviews and it most certainly is not 'legally obliged' to publish anonymous reviews to the world.
When someone is taken to court with a complaint they get to face their accuser, the accuser is not allowed to hide their identity-this is no different and yes it can be that serious. Anonymous reviews can ruin a business.
Can you please advise us if we are wasting our time on this forum.
Is anyone at booking.com listening to us or even reading these?
It is a small easy change to advise reviewers that if they choose to be anonymous their review will only go to the owner not to the world - a few extra lines of code at most. We have to wonder why there would be any delay in sorting this issue out-who benefits by not making the change?
Exactly Angela! Owners do their best to make everything right for guests and it is distressing and unfair when someone gives a low rating with no explanation and worst of all when we cannot reply in any way. We have also had positive anonymous reviews so it is not always bad but it is still confusing and quite simply wrong.