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21 comments

  • Avatar
    Anton Cloete

    I am sure this is a problem most of us have encountered. The safest way to protect yourself against damages is to either require a breakages deposit, or to inspect the room (with the guests present) before they leave. None of these options are practical for us.

    If the damage is extensive or expensive, we would call the guest and diplomatically discuss the matter of replacing the broken items. We also have a lot of bookings from corporate clients, and if this direct approach does not work with the guest, we write a gentle, yet firm e-mail to the corporate office, requesting payment for breakages.

    If the guest is private and is not prepared or willing to pay for damages, there is nothing one can do, except make note (or if on Air B&B) comment on the guest's behaviour for other hosts to take note.

    One always needs to weigh up the pros and cons and expenses of damages, while taking into consideration the potential negative effect one's actions could have for the establishment's reputation. More often than not, it is better to write off damages and incorporate average annual breakage costs into the next accommodation price costing exercise.

    It would be interesting to hear how other people handle similar situations.

  • Avatar
    Victoria christensen

    Thanks for yuor comments Anton,  I will asses the damage and see if it is repairable, if not we ll have to put it down to experience and be more careful in future,  

     

  • Avatar
    Stephen Cresswell

    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.

  • Avatar
    Gus_Cooke

    We scan every guest's credit card upon check-in. It gives us peace of mind and the guest is fully aware that we do have a record of their credit card and usually are on their best behaviour. If damage is intentional, we normally contact the guests by e-mail and explain why we are charging their credit card. Sofar only had to do it twice (red wine on the carpet and a blanket damaged). We also photograph the damage as proof.

  • Avatar
    Anne Campbell

    Hoping for some advice. I’m still very new to this.

    Guests have damaged a pool table in our house. It cannot be repaired and needs to be replaced.

    The guest is not replying to any of my messages. I still have their credit card details. Is there anything I can do to recoup the cost of the replacement.

    There were other issues that the security deposit covered.

    Also is there a way on booking.com to let other owners know these people should not be allowed in their homes?

  • Avatar
    Gpearson198

    Anne in your case I would have no hesitation in charging the guests credit card with the cost of replacement or repair. If B.com charged the customer for the original cost of the stay then I would ring B.com and get them to charge the customers credit card. I had a guest who left our self catering unit in a terrible dirty condition I rang Booking.com and got them to charge the customers credit card for the extra cleaning fee. Remember always to take pictures of anything you are charging them for.

  • Avatar
    Gpearson198

    Anne in your case I would have no hesitation in charging the guests credit card with the cost of replacement or repair. If B.com charged the customer for the original cost of the stay then I would ring B.com and get them to charge the customers credit card. I had a guest who left our self catering unit in a terrible dirty condition I rang Booking.com and got them to charge the customers credit card for the extra cleaning fee. Remember always to take pictures of anything you are charging them for.

  • Avatar
    Paul Chatwin

    I am stunned at the level of "trust" that some of you seem to have in people.

    Get it written into your Booking Contracts (T&Cs) that guests should notify you of any problems with fixtures and fittings on the day of check-in or by 10am the following day.

    Insert it into your Registration Card - 

    "I explicitly agree to the Booking Terms and Conditions made available to me prior to making my booking and which form the basis of the Booking Contract entered into."

    "I specifically agree to any charges levied by the property in respect of damage caused during my stay and/or any additional room charges for late checkout, missing items, room keys not returned by 11am on the day of departure and/or additional nights booked. I am aware that I shall be informed by email prior to any monies being charged."

    That way, it is the responsibility of the guest to report any issues to you asap. They sign your Registration Card specifically agreeing to pay for x,y or z.

    Now, let us be honest, breakages and scuffs do happen to hotel rooms or rented properties and is just a cost of running this type of business.

    BUT things like excessive cleaning, vomit, smashed TVs etc are chargeable and must be charged.

    We send the guest an email detailing the charges and include photos. As soon as we send that email we process the charge within minutes.

    Some guests complain but we've never had a chargeback and are confident we have the systems in place to support our action.

    It would be nice if all guests were lovely but they aren't.

     

  • Avatar
    Manu

    What can booking.com do after we charged I guess for damage furniture and they left us a bad review just because of charging them.

  • Avatar
    Gus_Cooke

    Not sure that this is anything to do with booking.com Manu. When people leave a bad review you have the right to reply and just explain what happened. People who read the review and your reply will understand and won't hold it against you. 

  • Avatar
    monet208

    We had this issue last year and the Visit England Inspector advised  taking photographs and getting quotes for repair/replacement and then charge the card

    This is in the event of a polite request to the guest being ignored

    You must put your damage policy in your room info and mention in a blanket way your policies are available on request in your confirmation email

  • Avatar
    Manu

    Gus_cooke
    Yes it does when booking.com send a review email to the guest and the question on the their sight to to answer and it gets posted on your reviews and it doesn't let you reply. Not far for the innkeeper.

  • Avatar
    Laraine

    The Willows B n B.

     

    I was wondering if anyone else has an issue with the "anonymous" guest reviewer?

    I have written to booking.com, requesting that "anonymous no comment" reviews should not be published.

    After all if you have something to comment on or give feedback, surely you should be bold enough to add your name?

    As a host we have no right of reply to these "guests" yet they have all of our contact details and the address of our establishment.

    I cannot see any value in these reviews from either angle.

     

    Laraine

     

  • Avatar
    Gus_Cooke

    Laraine, I've be on to booking.com about this for a long time. I totally agree with you It's always the anonymous guests who leave a bad review. I say "stand up and be counted". No value what so ever.

  • Avatar
    Laraine

    Thanks Gus.

    I am a new comer to this whole booking.com arrangement with our new B n B.

    Obviously I am not the only one who thinks this then - obviously falling on "deaf ears" at booking.com.

    You would think that booking.com would like to be considered as a reputable, respected identity with integrity. Standing up and stating that no reviews will be posted unless accompanied by a name would definitely give them credibility and also give the reviews more weight and value.

     

    I am sure that my latest review was from a booker whose booking was cancelled, but booking.com had it still listed for a few days without cancelling.

    As a sort of "repayment" they have gone through and provided a 2.5 score on everything with no comment.

    All my other reviews are above 9 - so something must indicate that the review it does not add up? 

    (just a disgruntled person having a go).

     

    Thanks again Gus - I will keep sending booking.com my e-mails re this anyway.

     

  • Avatar
    monet208

    Regretfully Booking.coms review system is as bad if not worse than Tripadvisors.

    The system is heavily weighted in favour of the guests especially with guests not allowing us to leave a comment

    Not being allowed to respond is a breach of the European Court of Human Rights rulings but that is ignored

    We love booking.com and are so sad that they are so unkind to providers where anon and guest selecting no comment from the hotel are concerned

  • Avatar
    Laraine

    Yes David, I am beginning to understand re booking.com and the weightedness of the reviews towards guests.

    Do you think if all of the hosts kept writing to booking.com on this subject it might get them to re- think about their values?

     

    I am going to keep writing to them on this subject as I think it very unfair.

     

  • Avatar
    monet208

    There is a website called  find a CEO email address and  my own personal opinion is that it is the best way and is very effective if many email the CEO

    AsI said we love booking,com and live in hope

  • Avatar
    Murciafit

    I have had a lot of issues with damage and deposits. Most guests are very nice. My place is priced very cheap compared to other local properties, so maybe I am asking for a certain type of guest, not meaning to sound rude. However, the last two have either stolen or broken things, blocked plumbing or caused issues to the boiler by playing around with the gas etc. The first I have not returned a penny of their deposit as the damage and articles stolen were high and their dog left three piles of mess, one in the house. The next guest is being very threatening, and I have ended up taking less of the deposit, only 20 euros, due to this behaviour, he is a big guy and a little intimidating. They also threaten to leave bad reviews, which of course will cause a loss in business. Booking.com have been very helpful, I just think people make things up in retaliation, he even started mentioning law suits about nothing in particular, but it’s the ethos of some guests, that have zero respect for your property who can leave bad reviews if you do the correct thing and act reasonable. He said he would go on every review site and Black list muy property.

    Its a difficult one and takes the joy out of this whole process!

  • Avatar
    monet208

    if you have their card details and you find damage after they leave you can charge their card but make sure you have clear signage mentioning a charge for damage and loss of income if the room is put out of action.

    If you do not want to put this on a sign put in in the rooms information folder or sheet and on arrival point out the folder or sign to the guest

    Don't undercharge !!

  • Avatar
    Paulobastos1981

    what about doing like the car rentals abroad do, hold some money on the credit card and then release it in case there is no damage? it should make the client more damage conscious, it sure makes me conscious when i rent a car! although small accidents happen and its not practical and fair to charge for every single little scratch, as so the car rental dealers dont.

    Is that system here on Booking.com also? 

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