False Resevations and Cancellations

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34 commentaires

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    I have similar situation happened to me , looking for advice On how to recognize real booking. I can't deal with fake bookings , waste of time and potential customers.

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    We have had many of those to.  What Hubby and I have decided is that should the guest wish to stay with us on short term or long term to request for a deposit within 48 hours of the booking or cancel the booking after the 48 hours deadline.  With all the other websites where you can book accommodation you have to pay when you book.  Why is booking.com different?

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    Agreed we have the same situation and BOOKING.com is not very cooperative in this regards. They never go out of their way to assist their real partner US not the customers. We need BC as much as they need us and in my country PAKISTAN i am not even allowed to ask for prepayment to confirm the booking. There are a lot of wrong people on the net as well who abuse our booking policy from BC. hope BC will lookinto this sincerely and seriously


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    Same is happening to me. I have booking.com collect all payments for me and the longest time I can set before 'free cancellation' is no longer possible is 12 weeks. But I've had at least 4 long bookings for August which is the busiest period and where prices are highest and then after days or weeks the 'guest' cancels. They are locking up rooms for me which otherwise would be available for real customers. I don't know what to do as I don't collect payments myself and booking.com requests payment for me from the client 12 weeks (I set it at the maximum) before the actual commencement of the stay. 


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    Saldanha7395  How do you request payment of a deposit within 48 hours? Do you handle payments yourself? I am still relatively new to booking.com and let them collect payment from clients themselves then they pass them on to me 15 days after the end of the month.

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    Hi Joey, we had to wait almost a year before we could requests for deposits and receive payments.  Booking.com never collected on our behalf.  We had many cancellations and no shows.  You lucky that you have booking.com collecting your funds, less stress for you.  If you new they first want you to go through an "assessment period" or "waiting period" if you can call it that, see if your property has any complaints from guest etc.  Your Policies will change once booking.com has given you the final approval, which there consultants don't explain when you sign on. Then only can you requests for deposits in 48hrs, cancellation will not be for free.  We have had many of those bookings, clients booking in advance and long term.  Close off your accommodation only open your accommodation three or four months in advance. Lilly and Salie

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    Hello everyone.

    My post may be lengthy but i encourage everyone to read through as I will be explaining potentially why you are getting fake booking and how to eliminate them. I own and manage a number of properties all in one city. They all are in different class, price and location. I live in the other continent and proactively manage my properties.

    For the past few years i've worked as IT analyst and have managed a number of projects including Fraud detection and Prevention systems. Besides considering booking.com as a channel for leads and sales for my properties I also treat it like a SYSTEM, a piece of technology per se.

    I too deal with constant fake bookings and no shows but I made a bit of progress in eliminating bookings that are not legit by a large percentage. 

    Here are my observations and causes of fake bookings: Types:

    1) Unhealthy competition. Owner/s of properties hire people that sit and book apartments that are either in the same area or somehow create competition to their properties. These bookings most of the time are for weekends or if your weekends are booked the reservations are for days leading towards the weekend (Wed-Fri)

    2) Credit Card Fraud(carding) - Advanced. Individuals purchase stolen credit card information online and need a way to check the card. By booking your apartment(applies only to those that ask for credit card info) the individuals wait until you preauthorize the card and act upon it if its not working or the information they purchased is wrong.

    3) Credit Card Fraud(carding) - Rookie. A person books your property with hope the booking process will ask for credit card information. The individuals are new and do not know that the property with no credit card required has a sign next to it ("no credit card required"). Credit card fraud is global and very often individuals buying/selling credit cards speak little or no english

    Keep in mind that only in case of 2) will a person most likely have a valid email address and valid phone number to compact through. Please do not be surprised, there are online fraud services that offer phone services such as "Phone-in","Phone-out" and Instant Messaging service such as Viber - in other words these guys act like they are the owners of the credit card info.

    Enough about technical stuff, let me show you show real world case scenarios i've been through over the last 2-3 weeks but before I go into that it is important I explain basic checks I conduct for every booking.

    1. Check name vs location. For example a visitor from Poland will most likely never have an Indian or African name. I am well aware of most european countries, nationalities residing within those countries and possible names the nationals may carry. Not everyone will know this but this an item that adds a fraud point to my checklist.

    2. Check address on google maps. Some bookings have bogus addresses, most of them are type 1) explained above

    3. Add phone to Viber/What's app and send a confirmation message. A valid booking will ALWAYS return with a message and confirmation of arrival etc. This step 90% distinguishes fake from legit, the remaining 10% belong to type 2) fake bookings.

    4. Preauthorize $1 on properties that need credit card(I use STRIPE)

    Now to the scenario.

    Booking 1(fake booking, belongs to type 2 above).
    Someone books one of the properties(credit card required) for 14 days(red flag!). I conduct all my basic checks but there are 2 red flags: I have never had a visitor from India and the booking is for more than 7 days. All checks are passed except check #4. I right away click on "Mark credit card as invalid" which gives the client 24 to come back with new credit. As you probably guesses, that never happened to I got rid of the fake booking in 24h

    Booking 2(fake booking, belongs to either type 1) or 2))

    Someone books one of the properties(no credit card needed) for a weekend. Basic checks conducted. Pre-auth is NOT applicable and WhatsApp message has been sitting unanswered for 48h. I then send a note to client over Extranet that the booking is canceled due to no communication/confirmation. Here is a messy part: you can not cancel the booking on your own, you can only request cancelation of booking and a client needs to approve your request in order for booking to be canceled. Since this won't happen I simply do +1 on availability for those days opening up the booking days. IMPORTANT: once you received a booking for those dates you have 2 bookings: 1 fake and 1 legit. You will report NO SHOW shortly after midnight for fake booking but you quickly need to set available rooms back to 0 since cancelation of NO SHOW will result in +1 to your room's availability. I did have legit double bookings because i took longer then needed to set availability to 0 and had to refuse to one client.


    PLEASE UNDERSTAND that these are my observations and processes that help me with fake bookings. It may not necessarily work or apply to you but I hope you can somehow benefit from my findings.

    You are probably thinking that this is too much work but believe me that once you get the hang of it this is done systematically and will not take much of an effort to do. It get's a bit complicated with multiple rooms or if you have a lot of properties but so far booking.com failed to protect me and you from these fake bookings.

    I've noticed that booking.com has rolled out a policy option to have phone number verified, accept bookings from clients with at least 1 booking etc but this hasn't helped me much.

    I wish we as the partners and  consumer of booking.com services had an ability to collectively influence the speed of enhancements to booking processes to eliminate fake bookings. 

    Good luck!

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    Long but good advises, I'm new to this with 1 property , keeping notes on future bookings. Thanks for your time @ Limiteddy. 🙏

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    There many bookings done to get a visa. Once it's done it's cancellation or no show. The only way to protect yourself to pre-authorise card week before. There no point to do it earlier as pre-authorisation will expired. At least you will win a time to resale rooms. It's work for us but unfortunately we cannot stop cancellations but get protected from no show.

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    Same lots of no-shows or cancelled bookings, really makes me feel annoyed already/ We have only 1 apartment in booking com now and it gets ridiculous. Why they can't just use the same system as Airbnb has?? I don't want to buy this credit card pay machine ( especially after as I read here there are also some frauds with it), and also because why bother buying it for 1 apartment. 

    I don't really know what to do, as soon as I asked some guests for pre-payment on bank account/paypal some of them just cancelled bookings and I don't understand why people don't want to make payments in advance. 

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    Thanks.I only just joined and have asked my account closed after first booking.Don't need the hassle.Either booking take all the payments or otherwise not interested.With other wbsites we have no problems with cancellations or fraud.

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    Hubby and I are also thinking in closing our account with Booking.com, if booking.com does not change there policies and collect the money on behalf of the establishments.  If other international companies, like airbnb, lekker slaap etc, then surely booking.com can.  

    This is the only way that they can eliminate bogus bookings and stop wasting Owners time.   



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    Saldanha7395 and  Qldrooms  As I said earlier booking.com does collect the money for me and I have set it so the guest must pay in full 60 days before check in (I made a mistake previously and said 12 weeks). 60 days is the maximum that booking.com allows me. I get bogus and cancelled bookings for August especially because it is still too far away. For the one long booking I have in August I sent a WhatsApp message and the guest did reply and he seemed genuine. But as I've said - I have counted and I've had 5 cancellations for long stays in August. Now what I will do is for every booking in August (as that is the month they seem to be targeting)  - I will send a WhatsApp message - I don't ask them if it is a real booking of course but ask something like whether they want transport from the airport etc.

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    One other tip I've found kind of helpful is to join the genius;  program. For a guest to get the ' genius'  badge they must have used booking .com many times. The drawback to this is that they get an automatic 10% discount so when I am setting prices I feel at a loss because about 50% of my guests are not ' genius'  guests but I must also think of the other guests and 10% is quite a lot when you consider that booking.com also takes 18% commission. 


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    Exactly. Lately, I've seen fake reservations with hispanic names, U.S. address and german phone number and credit card info according to binlist. And they're doing it during the weekend when we're sold out.

    Yesterday, I had two fake reservations from Booking.com, one was automatically reported because of the fake credit card number so I could cancel the reservation 24 hours later, but the second one was not caught by their system and it resulted in a no show.

    Seriously, these reservations must be made through an automated system. They could just add a reCAPTCHA and be done with it.

    The simple answer is that they don't want to act because they don't lose anything when there's a no show. And just in case 1 out of 20 reservations flagged as a fake shows up, they get their commission!

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    I have had 6 reservations that were fake and no shows in the past 10 days.  All have been from other countries than US, and have questionable or false credit card info.  Since BC does not collect enough information on the card holder (zip and CVV), and they do not handle US based pre payments, we are stuck with rooms that are unavailable to the real guests.  BC says this is not the case with other clients, but these posts show a different picture. I don't have this with other booking companies.  I hate to leave BC because I've had some great guests through them.

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    We are small property. We have prepayment policy, but don't take credit card details at the time of booking. After getting booking we contact the guest through message, telephone, give a deadline for prepayment. Many persons make fake/mischievous bookings or are un-interested.

    At last, we request for cancellation to Booking.com on Pulse. Send reminders through their message service. But Booking.com many a times just gives do's and don'ts in their reply. The bookings are not cancelled by the Booking.com for many many days.

    Wastage of time and great hassle for the hotelier. Why they don't make the cancellation process easier for the hotelier. 

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    This is getting beyond ridiculous - all the long stays are in August and then they cancel. B.com have been no help. The last message they sent me is that since they will not allow more than 60 days 'grace'  I can mark the room as 'non-refundable' but that ' I MAY INCUR EXTRA CHARGES AND CHANGES IN COMMISSION'. I asked them via extranet what these changes in commision were but I went ahead and marked all free August dates as non-refundable. That was 2 days ago and they have not told me what they mean. But what is preposterous is that after I had marked all free dates in August as non-refundable another long booking came in (including the weekend of course) and I see that b.com did not charge his credit card and it says they will charge it in June. It is like talking to a brick wall. 

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    Incidentally, even if a credit card is valid, BEFORE the host or booking.com charge it the guest has several sneaky ways to get out of paying. I will not go into them here. Better not spread some of the tricks which can be used.

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    I would prefer BDC to adopt one of their sister companies payment booking/payment methods.

    Pre-payment is the way to go, then your cancellation policies actually work! Although BDC do sort-of offer this, the payment to us partners is only via virtual card payment. Due to a quirky banking law here, we are too small to qualify for an off-line EDC. Therefore, we had to opt out BDC's pre-payment facility.

    Why can't they use a physical card like their sister company does? We could then make ALL offers as pre-payment only. Less cancellations and dodgy card proof!

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    this kind of action is impacted  to our room allotment and lose chance /revenue . Especially small hotel.

    may be jealous character from  neighbor.  in solving the problem we have action fast by call and email them and  ask for deposit us within the limit time. otherwise cancellation will be made. That's it. 


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    Since January 2018, our guesthouse had experienced five suspicious bookings that were cancelled.  These bookings all had the following in common:  All made by Ghanaian nationals, made for 30 days and none of them responded to any email correspondence after the initial booking.  We had to request cancellation.  Here are the names of the people who made these (bogus) reservations 1. *********, 2. ***********, 3. ************* 4. ***********, 5. ************.  I have three questions about this.


    1. Do other institutions experience similar trends? 

    2. Can I block certain nationals to make reservations? 

    3. Are these suspicious activities i.e. non-human (“BOT”) transactions that Booking.com could eliminate?


    Whispering Trees



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    I just got my 10th reservation (from outside the US- China, Australia, Germany) that will probably be another "no show".for the month of May.  If the address is not complete, the phone number is wrong and there is incomplete credit card information, how is the booking client verified as real?  If it is a real person, why don't they respond to the emails, saying they did not make the reservation.  BC did check on some of the above mentioned 10, saying they were real clients.  I will cancel my BC registration with this last false reservation.

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    Yesterday received yet another bogus booking.  Being a last minute booking and I was on other side of town, came back early and had room ready.  Once booking sheet printed out I noticed address in Germany and Berlin had been typed in three times.  Alarm bells and of course it was a no show.  Very very annoying, when you turn heating on, have milk etc in room all ready.  These bookings are becoming very tedious, cant see the sense in anyone wasting time making these bogus bookings, we are a small operation and do not have credit card facilities, so makes no sense to me.  Only thing I can see is that it is a competitor of B.Com.  i have had more bogus bookings in last month than legitimate ones. Soooo frustrating.


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    Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences regarding false reservations and cancellations.

    Even though I have been on Booking.com for over 3 years, I just joined the Partner Forum.  I thought I would check out any information on bogus reservations and/or cancellations, because I seem to be experiencing them a lot more lately! 

    REALLY NOT impressed with how BCD handles these situations, or should I say doesn't handle them!

    I had a reservation last night, that I was suspicious of.  When receiving the booking, I sent my usual Welcome letter and Policies & Procedures document.  No response.  Checked the address, which was suspicious, then sent a text message to the phone number provided.  Again no response, and big surprise, they were a no show!

    I also received a reservation tonight for next week.   Checked the address, which was false, so decided to call the phone number provided, which upon calling, got the message that this number is no longer in service.  Sent all this information to BCD and this is their response.

    Dear Partner,

    Thank you for contacting us about reservation .. . . . . . . .  for . . . . . . . . . As you are unable to process the credit card details, you now have the option to mark the credit card as invalid.

    You can do this in the Extranet:

    • Open Reservations and locate reservation . . . . . . . . . . .
    • Click ‘More details’
    • Under the heading ‘Update reservation’, click ‘Mark credit card as invalid’
    • Click ‘Yes, mark credit card as invalid’
    • Fill in credit card number, expiration date, and the card holder’s name
    • Select reason you are reporting card as invalid from the drop-down menu

    The guest will then be asked to accept the cancellation or update their payment information.

    Kind regards,
    Booking.com Customer Service Team


    My response:

    That is all well and good, if there was a credit card number entered, but because I only take cash at the moment, there is no credit card  to mark as invalid!  Please just cancel this booking. You will be unable to contact this person, because the contact information is fraudulent!!!!!!!!


    I'm very frustrated with this whole thing!!!  Doesn't BCD realize or care that this costs me and them time and money!!!

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    Oh, and I have been working on another bogus booking from Iran.  'They' have reserved both rooms for 8 days in September.  Sent BCD a request to cancel, but no response yet.

    Had another one like this from Africa for 20 days, which I knew was bogus and again had a majorly frustrating time, trying to get this reservation cancelled.


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    Just a thought, maybe big hotels are behind all this , trying to discourage small businesses to continue with Booking.com! Since I made my place harder on Resvesations , I no longer have any bookings,no business at all. I’m patiently waiting for a serious change from the company. AIRBNB is actually a better organized Chanel.

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    All was great until recently.  Since October we have been receiving numerous, one 1week to 4 week long bookings with Names in CAPS from places like Algeria.   It is November 2018 at time of writing to this thread and we have fake bookings until end 2019.  I have been sending the suspected Bogus fraudulent bookings reservation numbers to Booking.com to verify and cancel but very little is done. I see 1 or two of them get cancelled but the majority do not get removed.   As I get new ones, I forward them to Booking.com, but they are coming in faster than I can deal with the real business calls and bookings over the phone. We cant manually fight back by cancelling a single reservation at a time when automation is FILLING our calendars across all months, daily.   I changed my cancellation policy to make is stricter. We used to have a no fee cancellation policy which worked great for us, until these automated fraudulent bookings started.

    Booking.com has to implement a safety to ensure a real person is behind the booking  and is truly reachable via booking.com.    We need to be able to review our guests too, the way they do on Airbnb.com.


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    Debby Besseling

    Dear all,

    We have been in business with BDC for three years now and actually until recently all went well. Since the beginning of this year we have received bookings from Iraq and Algeria.

    Our B&B attracts most people from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. So I wondered where these came from. But I am always trustworthy. Could well be that people come over for holiday of family. We received a reservation for 5 nights from Indonesia, all was ready, fridge full with food, room ready and we waited and waited....a no show. Well that can happen. No response from guests at all.

    Than a reservation from Iraq for 7 nights. We have send multiple messages, no response. So customer service made a phonecall three days upon arrival. Very sorry but visum was refused. He was not able to come. 

    Yesterday I received another booking from Algeria for 7 nights. Phone number incorrect and also half the details of an address. Customer services opted to send the guests a message. 

    I received a message that they will arrive between 7 and 10. I replied asking for full details and a downpayment of 30%. No reaction.....

    All of these reservations were genius mebers.

    I came to understand that BCD cannot cancel the reservation and that the guests have to do that....so if the don't and do no show up, we just lose the entire week. I am actually a bit puzzled of how to handle this now.

    We did ask BDC to handle our payments from now on, perhaps this might work better.

     I must say that the people of Customer Service here in the Netherlands are very friendly and helpful. Any ideas or other experience here at the forum? Like to hear them from you 


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    Aaltje B.

    Yes, super frustrating these false bookings. Did you see Limiteddy's comment of 9 months ago? 

    This could be helpful advice. 

    Whatever the situation, keep asking for help (which you did) so B.C gets a clear picture of what is happening and they will try to tackle it since they want to be on the ball and be the number one channel. After all these false bookings everywhere B.C will try to do anything to solve it on a global base. 

    I also work with a Channel Manager and they also have good advice. 

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