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I also don't live onsite, however I have a couple that manage my property and they collect the fees upon check-in. The breakage fee is refunded when the guests check-out again, and after a quick screening of the house for breakages etc. The only issue is that sometimes they only find issues once the guests have checked out. It happens seldom, so at this stage I can still cover those losses. My operation runs pretty smoothly, albeit only one property, however I would love to be more hands-on, but it's a bit difficult not living in the same country :).
The above is mostly for B.com guests, for other guests, they have to pay the balance of their accounts one week before arrival, via EFT etc. Reason being that the other platforms only take 50% deposit, then subtract their comms, and pay the rest to me. I send them a separate invoice from my accounting system.
Hope this helps.
I fixed this issue by removing the cleaning fees from my listing, and then to mention it on the automated email which all guests receive when completing a booking. I manage the breakage fee this way, so no issue to also manage the cleaning fee in this manner. It's the way I manage both additional fees on all the other platforms as well. Many ways to skin a cat.... Maybe Booking.com need to reap back the advertising costs for the Cricket World Cup currently on the go....
I agree 150% with Moira's concerns. I also received the email notifying us of the "more consistent" pricing wrt additional fees and I am so p-ed off about it. Exactly like you Moira, I do not make ANY profit AT ALL on the cleaning fee, which is also per stay, not per night. I pay one part to a laundry company for cleaning the linen etc, and the rest of the fee goes to the cleaners. I did enjoy the fact that B.com take this fee, and don't charge me any commission on it, but this latest stunt really doesn't make any sense at all. They have no right to ask for commission on these fees on top of the 18% comms, plus the Genius discounts and whatever else they decide to throw on. It also doesn't make any sense to incorporate this fee into my daily rate. A self-catering house is just not the same as a hotel.
The other issue I have is that I cannot remove this fee from my listing. If I choose to say No to the cleaning fee, the guests will say they were not informed, even though they receive the automated email once the make a reservation. As much as I appreciate the additional bookings through B.com, they are at times unresponsive and utterly inflexible. I listed on them a number of years back, and then removed my listing for reasons I couldn't remember, but now it's all coming back to me and I'm starting to have thoughts of moving away from them again.
And don't even get me started on the fact that we had no communication at all a couple of months ago about the late payments. When I eventually had to phone them to find out when we are getting paid, I was told they had to start adding VAT to our comms. No communication from them whatsoever. None. Zero. Zilch.
I wonder sometimes if Booking.com think they are too big to fail.
@pibomarco - this guest booked in August already. I agree with Reception....
I haven't read through all of the postings above, but it seems that most owners have the same issue. My concern though is if the Cancellation policy on the reservation states the following: "Cancellation The guest will be charged the total price if they cancel after reservation", but now that the guest has indeed cancelled, the following message is displayed: "The cancellation policy of this reservation means you won't receive a payout for this booking." How ambiguous is that and why don't I receive feedback as to why the guest cancelled? I really don't understand that and further more, why is there no direct channel with which I can communicate with B.com?? Is it a case of becoming too big and not caring anymore about their actual income generators?? I can understand why so many owners de-list of their platform.
We are completely pet-friendly and I must say we have not had any real issues so far. I do not charge for pets, but do ask owners to clean up after their pets outside, that pets are not allowed on couches, beds etc, and that big dogs especially are not allowed inside the house. Most rules are probably ignored so it is a gamble, however I have managed to live with this, as I would rather have a booking, than turn someone away due to a no-pet policy. Like I said, we haven't had many (or any) problems as yet. We have a long stay in December (19 nights) for 3 couples with 6 dogs.....I'll update again in January about my no-pet policy!!
At Beach House on Fairway, our self-catering house is both child-friendly and we allow pets to come along as well. We obviously have a pool (with safety net) which is a must for those hot summer days in Langebaan, however, by pure chance the pool was not built too deep, which allows smaller children to enjoy it as well. We also have a trampoline (with the safety sides) for the younger kids to enjoy. We do have to replace the trampoline every now and again, but I think it's really worth it. Staying on the outside, we also have a jungle gym which my wife and I built with our own hands. Inside the house, we have a pool table, and tv's in all the rooms with DSTV family channels finish off our family friendly house. We also have two mountain bikes which guests can use free of charge.
If the commission rate is stated on the contract, why does it alter (in my case) between 15 and 16% for some of my bookings? I've tried to understand why the rate changes for certain bookings, i.e. booking values above a certain amount etc, as for some of the other platforms. Why is it so difficult to have this basic information available??? You'd think a company like Booking.com would be pretty transparent with this information.