Show and Tell: Cancellation policies. What’s yours?

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  • Avatar
    Corner1955

    I would like to thank Booking.com for helping us grow our establishments. We have done several  over the years. The policy of cancelation is sticky , for Booking .Com  it has to be frustrating also ,please note there revenue stream is also directly affected.

    As I stated yesterday those that  cancel due to booking ten places or credit card fraud have effects to both of our bottom lines. Nine out of ten times we get re booked and usually with a stronger stay.

    The Tourist industry is tough and very competitive , in life we can only do our very best .

    I would like to say once again Saludos to Booking .Com we appreciate all the good things you do for us all.

    Myoli Bed and Breakfast has been in the industry for many many years in Southern Africa and Mexico.  Booking .Com has been the very best provider for all our booking needs. Remember the client always has the last say. I wish you all a very Lovely Christmas..

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    M Adamopoulou

    Corner1955 many thanks for your Christmas wishes. At this very moment together with my best friend I’m making kourambiedes a traditional Greek Christmas sweet. The whole house smells so great!!!

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    Mcgregorbackpackers

    My husband and I own a small backpackers in Western Cape South Africa.  When I set up our booking.com account I did not really understand how to set up "policies"  Subsequently we lost a fair amount of revenue due to "no shows" where we could not claim or last minute cancellations.  We have now set up our policies to state, when you book, a 50% deposit is immediately payable and I send the booker banking details and amount.  We do not deal with credit cards due to all the issues listed above.  If the person is a genuine booker there is no trouble paying the deposit directly into our bank.  If they are fraudulent or "rogue" they  almost immediately cancel.  A guest has 14 days to cancel prior to arrival and then penalties kick in.  This is one way of sorting out the genuine from the nonsense bookers. 

    If a booker does not pay their deposit by due date we ask them to cancel their booking on Booking . com.  It is better for us to do this then sit with a no show and we have at least 14 days in which to find another booker.

    In our direct business this is what we do. On non payment by due date of deposit I send the potential guest a note stating their booking is about to expire, sometimes people just forget and appreciate the reminder and pay, if we do not hear back from them we cancel the booking without any further notice.  This system works well for us as then we can go ahead and find another guest.

    At the end of the day we must set policies to suite our businesses

     

     

  • Avatar
    Steve

    Hello all

     

    My name is Chap. 

     

    25 years ago I would have thought nothing about booking 3/4 villas and not bothering to contact the others when I had made my mind up.

    Now I know  how wrong it is to do that. The amount of grief and financial loss it can cause people trying to earn a living.

    With wide eyes I set my villas to be book now and pay on arrival.. We got a rake of cancellations and no-shows. How many I did not report I can not say. We would have been charged for them.

    We adjusted our terms to be reasonable and bookings have not subsided.  A number of cans and no shows have been picked up and billed according to stated terms .Not one has paid as yet despite us invoicing correctly.We are a small business and need support from our agents in these matters I find it almost impossible to achieve and maintain support in these matters. Are we doing something wrong ? 

    A 1 week booking can make a 1month enquiry look unavailable. That it the risk we take; All of us. But to have that booking cancel, or just don't turn up, with no follow up from B.com to collect money ??????

    Booking.com also lose 15/18 %. or more on every cancellation by not following up.Plus disgruntled clients looking elsewhere.

    50% pre-payment is great but...........?????     When I opened my desktop after changing  policy to 50% to book; None the bookings appeared to have taken deposit.

     

    Best regards

     

    Chap

     

    HHPD

    236 Moo 1

    Nongpranpuk

    Tub Tai

    Hua Hin

    Thailand

     

    77110

    Tel. +66 847 177 205

  • Avatar
    Jan Christian Severin

    Thanks Leandri for your comments. I was not talking about the cancelation after the guests have booked one of my Condos. Here I have the same terms as u. Probably different to all others and using BC, I am not allowed by local Thai law to rent my properties for less than 30 days. U can imagine how many holiday makers I will get when adhering to this regulation, almost zero, except retired persons or freelancers. So for me any booking is important and I don‘t accept a short term cancelation. I have to keep the rooms permanently clean. If I have no guests during 1-2 month I have to send someone to clean/refresh the rooms. This is why I have opted for a strict cancelation of 30 days, to allow me eventually to find new guests.

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    Mcgregorbackpackers

    Hello Chap,

    Asking a deposit is essential, it sorts out the genuine guests from those that are just booking all over the show and then never cancel the bookings they don't need.  At the end of the day this prevents a lot of irritation and lost revenue.  Yes. your numbers may drop but those that book with you will be paying guests and those are the ones you want.  By the way, you have to ask for the deposit yourself.  Unless you have an arrangement with Booking.com in which case they should do the necessary for you but then you will only get your payments once every 30 days and that can play havoc with cash flow.

    We have to ask ourselves "in whose interest are we hosting?  for our own not booking .com or any other.

  • Avatar
    k2u

    Hello everyone

    I have to say a huge Thank you to BDC they have done extremely well for us. In the first few months we had issues with BDC agents allowing a cancellation waiving our fee when guest was within our cancellation policy.. that was unacceptable. I contacted BDC explaining it was not up to them at all to allow this without contacting us first. So, fixed very quickly. We ended up with loss of revenue, however it has not happened since. We are going on our 3rd year with them.

    I am not sure what arrangements you have with BDC. For me as a Motel, I believe it may be completely different then B&B's, AB&B's, homes/rooms. Maybe different payment policies with BDC ? We have in place where we the "Property/Motel" collects all payments. We as I've stated above, do not take deposits or prepayments at all because of the possibility of cancellations, then there will be refunds. We have the cancellation policy, again as stated above, and it seems to work very well for us. Don't get me wrong we have had cancellations.. but more guests not cancelling. We are on a personal level with our guests, they like that because they feel more welcome. 

    Corner1955 a lovely Christmas to you as well ! 

    M Adamopoulou, What is Kourambiedes ? 

     

     

  • Avatar
    Info

    Cut all the rubbish going on. After reading all these comments and seeing as there are so many hoaxters out there. We all go for 100% deposit paid directly to Bookings.com and they simply transfer what is owed to us, into our banking account. This business of having to refund and go to all the trouble of quoting, booking out rooms which are not real, is rubbish. The world should take cognisance of fraudsters and fake news happening on a daily basis. I say, if anyone wants to secure a booking, pay the full amount upfront or take a hike. 

  • Avatar
    Corner1955

    I dont know how long the gentleman has been in business ... processing deposits and partial refunds is a huge headache.. If you try the 100% deposit plan you will have a  10% booking rate. 

  • Avatar
    k2u

    Info

    So tell me how many cancellations have you had then ? I have possibly no more than 8-9 this past year. Why, because we do not charge them at all until day of arrival, at that point there is no refund because of our cancellation policy. It works extremely well for us. The guests pay us directly so we see payment the following day, not 30 days later as I noticed someone else stating. And as I said, that may very well be the policy of BDC with B&B's, AB&B's, homes/apt. and rooms. 

    I am, again, as stated above extremely happy and grateful for joining BDC !

     

  • Avatar
    Bumblebees

    Good day,

    Booking.com call us partners,but as far as I am concerned they look after themselves and the client who pays the money to enable them to receive commission, and very little assistance to the establishment.

    Since 1 Jan 2018 to date we have had over 50% cancellations / no shows and after 10 years of trading our first 2 bad debts, both from Booking.com clients. This rate of cancellation is unacceptable.

    Regarding credit cards, we give our credit card payment service provider details of the client in the form of name, tel number, email address and amount who then sends an email to the client to complete card details, This is totally secure for the client whose card never leaves his side .

    Although Booking.com give us the card details  a pin number is  required to authenticate the transaction which is sent to the clients phone, giving the prospective client all the initiative and none to the establishment.

    Your comments appreciated.  

  • Avatar
    pibomarco

    Going hard the second year now!

    Cancellation policy:
    The guest will be charged the first night if they cancel after reservation
    and the total price if they cancel in the 30 days before arrival.

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Kourambiedes is a delicious traditional Christmas Greek treat, packed with the aromas of fresh butter and roasted almonds and garnished with luscious layers of icing sugar.. The ultimate Christmas cookie! Once put in the oven, the aromas permeate the house and brings back childhood memories.. Homemade kourambiedes is a must for all Greek homes. There is no home with no kourambiedes. The treat every home has before and after Christmas. Come and taste....

  • Avatar
    k2u

    Thank you !!!

    Oh yum that sounds delicious.. I sure wish I could come and taste. Quite a travel for me. I will need to make some for the holidays !! I love the smell of almond and butter

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    I can send you the recipe if you want to make them. Its very easy.

    Take care....

  • Avatar
    Steve

    Hi all

    Thanks for your feedback.

     

    I am responsible for the marketing  in Thailand and internationally for a family B.com group of properties and associated business . We have been using B.com, Expedia, Tripadvisor,  Airbnb.

    Expedia limited success and very complex.

    TripAdvisor we really have not put much effort into

    Airbnb takes full payment up front..3 working days after arrival . A few long winded conversations but not many canx

    B.com I had set at COA with no problems until this year then many. I set 50% non refundable and 7 days 100%...Of course we will discuss each case individually but limited excuses that can be verified. We have not been able to contact the vast majority of these canx

    I believe that some of these may be competitors booking to block prime dates as below.....

    We have a number of pool villas in Hua Hin. 0-3900 Thb.   If you search   POOL. VILLA HUA HIN  in this price range we come up first 3 on page 1. Great. Some how to competitors knock us off the rankings ? Easy. Book a few dates, appear to be genuine and either cancel later or just do not show up.

     

    We can not cancel without penalty. There has to be a way for B.com to verify clients. If B.com does not have CC details or deposit then they get screwed as well. We all lose ???????  No sense ????

    Mine have been English with false addresses lately. B.com should be easier to to contact and following through on can and false bookings. 50% of January wiped out because of this.

     

    Not at all happy. Where is our backup to collect cans fees ?????

     

    Steve

     

    Marketing manager

    HHPD

     

    Tel  +66 847 177 205

  • Avatar
    pibomarco

    Steve

    - Payments by BDC
    or
    - Online payments (BDC virtual card)

    With one of these methods you don't have to worry about being paid for no-shows or cancelation fees acording to your policies ect..

  • Avatar
    k2u

    M Adamopoulou

    Oh yes please !!! 

    Thank you :)

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    k2u This is a site for Greek kourambiedes. If you want  mine send me your e-mail and I will be glad to send it to you. 

    https://theculturetrip.com/europe/greece/articles/traditional-greek-desserts-to-try/.

    Mine has little changes  in instructions and has no eggs.

     

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    pibomarco I agree with you. My payments are handled by BDC and have no problems so far.  Maybe less bookings but safer and paid.

    Have a nice evening.

  • Avatar
    k2u

    M Adamopoulou

    Thank you so much ! I think I've had these before.. but called something else here, they are one of my favorite Christmas cookies. 

    I am not sure how to send you my email, so I hope this is ok through here. If I am not allowed to please tell me how I can : )

    Here is my email: manager@holidayhousemotel.com

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Ok k2u I will send you the recipe as soon as I translate it in English.
    Have a nice evening...

  • Avatar
    Info

    We have a small bed & breakfast hotel (7 rooms) recently i changed our cancellations policy to 14 Days prior arrival from 7 that it was Before and i started to charge the guests as soon as the free cancellation period is over, i had to do this because i had many last minute cancellations and no shows ,

    our biggest problem is the last minute reservations , our reception is not open all day and the guests receive accesscode sent to them by sms , when a last minute reservation comes after 15.00 , we can not charge those same day because we are not there , next morning when we get to the hotel at 06.00 the guests already left the room without paying and the credit card is not working . That is a very big problem and Booking.com did not help us to find a solution, they suggested  that we could ask the guests to make a bank transfer Before we give out the access code , but that does not work either because any banktransactions after 13.00 goes next day and they can cancell them any time Before that . 

    does anyone else experince the same same problem ?/ if yes how did you solve it ?

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi again Jan Christian Severin,

    Oh I see! Now I understand. Makes sense what you're doing then. 

    I see on the Ask me Anything that they did about a month ago, some big changes are coming in 2019 and hopefully we will feel it when it comes to Payments and guaranteed bookings (or as they say, the instantly confirmed model). 

    Best of luck to everyone

  • Avatar
    Milinmpatel

    Hello,

    Our policy is 24 hour prio to the day of arrival, which is a standard for hotels. My main concern is, hotels should be provided a valid credit card with the booking. It is booking.com's responsibility to make sure, it a valid method of payment. Booking.com is paid way more than standard 10% commission to support this extra cost, to make sure the validity of card while making a reservation. Other thing is, any cancellation from OTA should have 50% charge, irrespective of reason of cancallation. They booked the room and sometimes, we loose revenue beacause of that hold up room. It is not fair for the hotels to loose revenue, due to guest's issue. Cancalltion do happen, but it should come with a cost. Or they book direct with hotel to avoid that.

  • Avatar
    Bridgewatermotel

    Our cancellation policy for busy seasons is 48 hours from time of check-in.  If they are not within this time frame our policy is the guest will be charged 50% and up to the full amount of their reservation.  This policy is stated in our confirmation emails, or with a phone reservation verbally added as well.   Our weekly stays are required to give a 72 hour cancellation policy and the monthly guests require at least a full month before check-in, particularly administered during our heavy event days.  We do allow some flexibility on a case-by-case basis so that we can assess the "emergency" possibility.

  • Avatar
    Edelweissinn

    Hi;

    i have been reading the comments by other partners and I found that we have a lot in common with others partners. My main issues is that we also get a lot of charge backs. It is impossible for us to inform you of the state of the reservation because we are not aware of it for an average of 6-8 weeks. This is how long it takes to receive the paperwork from the processing company. By this time I have already payed your commission. I appreciate any constructive advice.

    I

     

     

     

     

  • Avatar
    Gm Mcism

    Honestly, I can take a cancellation a lot better than people making reservations with an invalid credit card.  That is what our biggest issue.  Booking.com should be running an authorization, even for a $1 just to see if the actual card is invalid at the time of booking.  Marriott is doing this now and it has helped tremendously.  Please consider this option.

  • Avatar
    Edelweissinn

    This would be helpful . If they checked on the day of reservation. Before then some customers will not have it in there account.

  • Avatar
    pibomarco

    If you are able to charge credit cards you should activate >Online Payments<
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsag1uYMySU

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