More fake bookings than real ones

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  • Avatar
    Brjul

    Hi

    I have at small B&B in Denmark with 3 rooms.

    The last month I got 10 fake bookings. all off them have a phone nr. that do not exist and a email made over Booking.com. The name is Inglish and the country is Kina -off course the all are not shown....

    I tryed to get help from Booking.com, but they told me that they never heard about this problem before..... But following this, i can read that this is a problem many Places? and what to do?

     

  • Avatar
    John Hatchman

    Hi

     

    We run a small B&B in New Zealand (two rooms only). Recently we start to have fake bookings (in June). These fake bookings all have very smiler format:

    1) strange countries (such as Swaziland, Jersey)

    2) the customer details are not real: preferred language is Cantonese but customers all have english name, non from china, the fake phone numbers have same format/number of digits/numbers

    3) all don't answer any messages

    4) all booked at similar time of the day and week. In our case, they were all made around 10am NZ time for same day booking

    5) no any other booking details such as arrival time

    I have tried to contact booking.com, but nobody is interested in helping us to get rid of fake bookings. They say there is a department for investigating fake bookings, but no further actions ever taken and we can not contact this special department

     

    We should get together to raise the issue to a higher level if booking.com is not willing to do anything (such as internet fraud at country level)

     

    Please join the discussion if anyone else have similar experience...

     

    John

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    John Hatchman

    To continue my previous post, attached are the two fake bookings screen shot. please let know any other similar fake bookings..

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    Miami Beach HomeStay

    Anyone who wants to call or WhatsApp about this feel free to call me

    USA. 305-707-1029

  • Avatar
    Tutcoast

    John Hatchman

    I am in New Zealand too and had quite a few fake bookings over the summer months. I started now to check the Credit card numbers, if they fake, I report them to booking.com. They do  not do anything about it, but when you check the Card then at least you can cancel the booking early

  • Avatar
    John Hatchman

    Thanks Tutcoast! 

    We are thinking of getting credit card pre-authurization service from the payment provider. But it of course will add on further costs. But it seems the only way to make sure the card and bookings are genuine...

    How do you check the card from your end?

     

    Thanks

    John

  • Avatar
    Tutcoast

    Hi John

    I have Credit card facilities in my Motel. I lost quite a few bookings over the busy time, now I am checking all my bookings. That is all I can do, unless i am charging up front

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    Info

    Thank you very much for sharing all these information. I have 10 vacation properties in Montreal for rent. From March 1, 2018 to now, I have experienced over 60 fake reservations - invalid credit cards, telephones given never work or the person is not existed at that number, etc... I have always tried to charge full amount on the given credit card right after the booking. The problem I have is these reservations always happened at the busies times of the month or week and they tied up my properties for at least 24 hours while waiting for the FAKED individual(s) going and update the credit card information. By the time I'm allowed to cancel these faked reservations (as required by Booking.com that I have to wait for 24 hours), other guests who really need the place to stay have already booked with my other competitors. 

    I have called in the Booking.com partner support team to explain the situation. Some representatives were nice enough to do the cancellation right away, but many others didn't really care. From March 1 to now, I have called in to the partner support almost everyday and each time I have to spend at least 3 hours on the phone to explain the situation. I'm starting to get very frustrated with this problem and thinking about pulling all of my properties out of Booking.com just for the peace of mind. 

  • Avatar
    Info

    Are we allowed to share information or posting all faked reservations on here?

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    Gayleeade

    Seems this problem is world wide.  I run a small 3 room guest house in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The bogus bookings started three months ago.  Bookings with obvious fake name and address and of course no shows.  These bogus bookings block the room for other legitimate guests.  The last 8 out of 10 bookings received have been fake.  Booking.com dont seem to have an answer to this problem, however I am able to pick up on the fakes now but it is starting to get very annoying now.  Maybe its time for a change !!

     

  • Avatar
    Denis

    The names seem to get more realistic and the pattern seems to change, at least it has for me. Strange thing, the pattern of the bogus guests changed for me AFTER I identified the pattern on this forum. Probably just coincidence. I discussed this issue with a guest who works for a subsidiary of B.com. His opinion, maybe a competitor trying to make those impacted quit B.com. I don't know if I agree, but I keep asking myself to what end are these perps doing this? It takes effort to make these bogus reservations. And the credit card numbers are real enough that when I put them in my computer vault they pass the smell test. On the other hand, if I transpose a number when putting a legitimate credit card in the system my vault rejects it. So these credit card numbers are good fakes. Of course when I try to run them for payment I get an error message.

    Anyway, anyone have any theories on the motivation behind this.

  • Avatar
    Joymel

    Hi there - I have a small B & B in Christchurch and this week for the first time have experienced 'fake' bookings - 2 over this weekend.   We don't have credit card facility so I need to come up with a solution. B.com don't have any answers when you speak to them.   I will be checking bookings much more closely now as I can see that lack of response to my confirmation email and request for ETA plus phone numbers that don't work are a red flag.  I have also now set up to collect credit card details even though we don't process these.  For a very small business the cost is just too high.   Air B & B is very easy in this regard - however our success rate is much higher with B.com and I am not sure why.

    Joy 

  • Avatar
    Gayleeade

    Joy, sounds like you in same boat as us. We dont have c/c or eftpos. Just internet transfer or cash.  Yes air bnb very efficient with payment procedures but up until recently booking.com have sent us far more bookings.  Maybe it is one of their competitors trying to get us to pull out from booking.com  i think there must be a way booking.com can tighten up there systems because this is starting to become a big problem 

     

  • Avatar
    Rheavpajarillo

    The fake bookings started a week ago. It zeroed out my room inventory for that weekend. It was booked by Chinese nationals usually at the last minute for 3 consecutive days. Called the attention of booking.com. But received no response. It happened again this weekend. So basically, the fake bookings block the rooms for legitimate travellers to see. So I try to overbook my rooms. Well, guess what. Even that room was booked by fake bookers. So I immediately signed up for Payments by booking.com. to get rid of fake bookings. We don't have credit card facilities by the way. But the changes will be in effect next week. For now, I just have to bear with these nuisances. I am also with airbnb. Great payment facilities with them, but majority of our guests comes from booking.com.

  • Avatar
    Joymel

    I am trying to get Booking.com to tell me if our fake bookings came from the same email address as I  they will have a record of the email addresses used.  This morning I checked out my new booking method which now requests credit card - just to find that there is next to the credit card details this note from booking.com:  No credit card?   we have lots of hotels who don't request credit card details .......  This looks as though they are encouraging people away from my site and will do anything to get a booking.  

    I encourage others to keep at booking.com about fake bookings - they may finally 'hear' us.

  • Avatar
    Mirko

    We are new to Booking.com, with our two apartments, and so far we were doing fine, in our small town.

    We felt gleeful when two days ago we got 5 bookings in one day. Up to now, there have been 8, in quick succession. They are all similar:

    - 2 people

    - 1 night

    - All from the USA (one from Canada), with regular names (Rory, Kim, Ruth, Thomas, Arthur, Jay, James), and last names that are just slightly uncommon (Charette, Solis, Dawkins, Dewey, Dunn)

    - No response to messages asking about arrival time

     

    I started suspecting something today. I went online and found posts like this one.

    I sent messages to Booking.com asking about my 8 reservations that are likely to be no shows. I'll update you on what they say.

    We had one no show last week, a Japanese called Tomomi, whose preferred language was Cantonese (red flag?). We marked it as no show, and requested the 50% cancellation fee, but no word from Booking.com yet. I asked about that, too.

  • Avatar
    Vicky

    From this year, more than 60% bookings from booking.com are fake reservations.

    All don't answer any messages and the customer details are strange.

    I am wondering if these bookers can make money by making fake reservations?

    It seems booking.com doesn't try to solve such problem.

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    Spiti Tou Georgiou

    I am also getting these 'fake bookings' the so called guest is nearly always from Ukrane, Russia or Hungary. They range from a few months ahead to last minute ( which I can't accept in my situation) they all result in me being unable to cancel, or if I do manage to cancel it's a long drawn out process that takes you closer to the window where you are no longer eligible to cancel so you end up being charged the commission by Booking.com I have done some research and at the moment there is no protection for us. No way to bring booking.com in line or get them investigated. My suggestion is as a collective vote with your feet. I have two genuine bookings through them coming up ( guest has already paid) once these have been. I am cancelling my connection with thid channel and sticking to Airbnb, Tripadviser and owner's direct.

  • Avatar
    Vicky

    Remember to mark the fake reservation as a "no-show" by 24:00 of the day following the check-in date. Then you won't be charged the commission. Otherwise, a commission will be charged. And you cannot cancel before guest's arrival even the booking looks very fake. This mechanism is stupid.

  • Avatar
    Kevin

    After reading through most of this thread, I had to respond.

    You should be able to mark no shows right up until the deadline for adjusting bookings after the end of the month. You should NEVER have to pay a commission for any no show. If you are doing so, you are doing it wrong and should contact booking.com for some training on how to use the extranet to adjust your bookings before the invoicing deadline.

    One user stated that they were going to add pre-authorization to their current payment system and that doing so would create additional costs for them and asked what others do. For our small property (B&B or boutique hotel) we use Square for in person payment card processing. Square, unfortunately, does not provide for pre-authorization. However, we use Stripe for most of our card not present transactions, including website direct reservations and (importantly) pre-authorizations. There is no fee for the pre-authorization with Stripe.

    We had a problem last year because neither of our systems would permit the charge without CVV and zip code. We found out THIS year that we were mistaken and Stripe provided an answer. Often with these no shows, the zip code was in error and booking.com does not provide us with the CVV. Both the zip code (or postal code) and CVV checking *can* be turned off in Stripe for processing the pre-authorization or no show fee. Pre-authorization can be done very quickly after the reservation is received. Doing so cuts down on invalid card, no show, can't charge reservations and the last minute price drop that these can create when they are discovered late on the scheduled arrival date.

    Best practice is to pre-authorize (even if only for $1) immediately after receiving a new booking. 

  • Avatar
    Carlmantell

    We have a B&B in France and are constantly getting fake bookings from Morocco this year and when I consulted with Booking.com they were unresponsive.  We don't take credit cards and when I asked Booking.com to cancel these reservations they informed me they can't make cancellations.  My question is if they can't who can?

  • Avatar
    Cathy

    I've been with Booking.com for 6 months now. Sick of the fake bookings. When I call Booking.com to ask them to cancel these bookings as they are obviously a scam, they treat me like I'm an idiot, and question why I think a booking is a scam.  I explain the pattern is the same, and the booking details are very suspicious. The preferred language is always "Cantonese" but the person making the booking marks themselves down as being from a European country. I've had to wait to mark them as "no show". Luckily they have made the booking for that night. That's always the case. The nuisance value is starting to annoy me and now I'm debating whether I should suspend my property listing. If property owners were able to cancel bookings then we wouldn't have this problem.

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    Anna Diehr

    I have had the same issues with booking.com. About 50-75% were fake or no shows which cost a lot of money for me and now booking.com is trying to invoice me on the no shows. Should I get a lawyer to help resolve this? I keep trying to resolve the issue but every time I talk to a representative they are unhelpful and the company altogether is unprofessional.

  • Avatar
    Cathy

    You have to make sure that when you marked the "No show" you also ticked the box confirming that you were not charging the guest. If you didn't do that then booking.com can still charge a commission. If you didn't charge the guest's credit card then they cannot charge you. I would refuse to pay it and have them chase you. I agree, they are difficult to deal with as is their website, from a provider's perspective.On the other hand they make it very easy for the guest, which is part of the problem.

  • Avatar
    Info

    don't count on any help from bookingcom with fake reservations. i have reported at least 3 obviously fake reservations where the name didn't match the country ie martinez from vietnam and a web-based phone number. i was told by bookingcom to get paid in advance. how? the "guest" doesn't respond to message sent through bookingcom's message service and they won't give the guest's real email, instead they offer to contact the guest on your behalf and guess what? they still do nothing! I've since disconnected my calendar from airbnb and the others and blocked out dates on the bookingcom calendar until bookingcom decides to do the sensible thing that air, vrbo and others have done years ago and at the very least charge a deposit on every reservation as it is made! I've lost hundreds of dollars due to the intelectual laziness of bookingcom but no more!

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    Kapinove Tourism

    I am new with booking.com an I have the same issue. I manage a Hotel in Albania, and I have plans to grow the number of hotels, but it looks like its not as easy as I thought because every single reservation that I have got until now, was either fake or was canceled by booking.com or the guest.

    I hope booking.com take this problem seriously, because it is a waste of time for us. 

  • Avatar
    Qualityinnhawkesbury

    past week been getting reservation with guest with one name and second name unknown ???today I get one reservation marked sample ??? is there a new trainee at Booking ??? making reservations and not canceling  them ????

    the credit cards are invalid I have to guess if the reservation is valid or not ,why am I wasting my time with this ,these room could have been assign to real guest 

  • Avatar
    Enquiries

    We have also been getting bogus enquiries always a very odd name 4 people 3 nights and very short notice. The quickest way i found to delete the booking was to email Booking.com and they cancelled the booking within a couple of hours.If we all do it maybe Booking will get fed up and actually fix this problem. Very annoying and must be some way of stopping this happening when they register surely.

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    Marketcrossalston

    I am in UK and only have a single apartment.  90% of booking.com's are now fake.

    The fakes are changing they are now listed as from Australia rather than Cantonese speaking.

  • Avatar
    Vallepacifico18068

    When I have a booking, I immediately tell the client that the reservation is not complete until I have a deposit; otherwise the reservation will be canceled If I do not get a prompt response, I cancel right away.

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