Fraudulent Bookings and Lost Revenue

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  • Avatar
    Trinidawson

    Yes, fraudulent bookings are painful especially the no-shows; this means we lose guests because the dates were blocked for the no-shows.  Cancellations directly from guests ahead of time mean a bit of acceptable courtesy accorded to hosts due to their change of plans.

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    Alijackson85

    Yes I have the same problem and it's sometimes so ridiculous. The same person booking 14 nights for two different rooms and sometimes for 5-7 times for the year. Maybe booking.com team can look at the name and tag them maybe ban them or better yet charge them. After all when we lose booking.com team also loses.

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    Angela

    Have you considered charging a deposit.  We find if guests have paid money, they generally turn up.  Those who don't want to pay money to confirm a booking, aren't the type of guests we want to attract anyway.  

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    Alexishooper

    I find that taking credit card details and a cvc - along with a cancellation fee within 30 days before booking - does help to reduce last minute cancellations or no shows. On top of that, you can use the details to pre-auth the cards. No guarantee of problem free ultimately (disputes and money refund requests) but I feel it pushes for greater commitment from the customer without the lockdown of a deposit.

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    Leandri Klopper

    Hi there,

    Alexishooper , I agree. 

    The only way we work is via prepayment in full and normally via credit card. If the client wants to pay via EFT then I normally advise them that if they don't pay by a certain time, I will charge the card as the policy on the booking has already given me permission. 

    I suggest doing a non-refundable policy also, this does scare away the fake-bookers.

    Best of luck!

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    Asad Chaudary

    I always verify the credit card details by doing a pre-payment for a very small amount and then cancelling the transaction. If the initial transaction goes through, i confirm the reservation with the guest.

    It also gives me the re-assurance that at the very least I stand a good chance of penalising the guest should they cancel their reservation outside the grace period, or if it's a no-show.

    As mentioned earlier, it's not guaranteed that the guest won't dispute the charge. 

     

     

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    Bluebottle

    We always take a 50% deposit. When somebody books and their card does not go through that always raises an eyebrow. We had a guest last month that booked 1 night through another similar website to booking.com and their card did not work. They arrived and paid cash for the first night and then proceeded to stay another week and left without paying. 

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    Life on 3rd Guest House

    We just recently also received a fraudulent booking. I transacted the payment for the 10 nights booking and received a phone call from the bank claiming that it was a fraudulent card, thus the money was referred back to the initial owner of the card. This is quite frustrating and I hope Booking.com is looking into this.

    Regarding no shows, we also experience the same problem. Our standard approach is to transact the full payment, but some guests do not provide the correct banking details and they also do not respond to emails or answer their phone. What can be done about this?  

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    Walndaniel

    Booking.com is our number one trouble maker.  We have a no deposit policy with everybody else except them.  If we have a no show with a bad credit card then it is a Booking.com reservation.  For Booking.com only, we take a deposit 30 days ahead.  If the credit card fails then we report on Booking.com that the credit card is invalid.  Booking.com gives the customer 24 hours to correct the problem before it allows you to cancel the reservation.  We ignore that 24 hours and cancel the reservation immediately on our POS system. The only reason we report it to Booking.com is to remove the commission charge. If customer corrects the problem then we just reinstate the reservation (small chance of that).

    Treating Booking.com this way eliminates 99 % of the problems with Booking.com.  The other times are people checking in with bad cards.  Eliminated this by asking for a credit card and ID before they can check-in like any other large lodging establishment  I actually had a group of four try to check-in with an over the telephone reservation using a credit card.  Credit card was not in their possession when they showed up and no one had an ID.  Really? 

    I do not have this problem with Hotels.com, Expedia, Trivago, Bedbreakfast.com and other various travel agents.  You can set an option for a verifiable credit card only but Booking.com says this is coming in the future.  Good luck with that.  Answer is to treat Booking.com reservation like they are radioactive and take extreme caution.

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    Varna

    How can we get guests to put in their credit card information? We get so many bookings that cancel or no show and we have a cancelation fee. We can't charge them, since there is no credit card information. Please help!

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    Leandri Klopper

    Hey Varna,

    It's actually very simple. Go to Property - Policies. 

    Under the payment policy you can ensure that clients needs to give you their credit card details. 

    Hope this helps!

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    Francocaruso

    Hello, I am new of this forum. I have had two cases of not refundable bookings being disputed by the credit card owner after one month form their stay. Has anyone succedeed in getting any assistance from booking.com with this problem? Thank you for sharing your experiences. C.P. Rome Italy

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    Asad Chaudary

    Hi Francocaruso - Booking might be able to exert pressure on the guest to pay the fee, and they might be able to send you a supporting covering letter by email, but they will expect you to sort the issue out with the guest. 

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    Leandri Klopper

    Hi Francocaruso ,

    It's very much like Angela said. Getting payment and keeping payment for bookings made at your property is your own responsibility. There is another chain that you might find helps you:

    Our Bank reversing payments for Non Refundable Bookings

    Maybe take a look there!

     

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    Francocaruso

    Thank you all.

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    Lyn Morgan

    An appeal - Booking.com must act on what is repeatedly reported here. Surely Booking.com should be checking the validity of Credit Card details sent through to accommodation establishments. We know from experience that more than 50% of bookings received have Credit Card details that are invalid when booked. We pay extremely high commissions to Booking.com; all other Online Travel Agents offer lower commissions and include checking out Credit Card details.  

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    Maged

    If all hotel partners raise this issue with their market managers and demand escalation, booking.com may be forced to change their booking practice. Measures discussed here are great but they are mainly preventative. We need booking.com to change their booking process and establish some sort of credit card verification software (like Expedia, Amazon, e-bay etc.) whereby they don't allow bookings to be completed with fraudulent/incorrect credit cards. Booking.com is very technologically capable, they need to invest the funds required to establish this. They may already have the capability to reject these bookings but they chose not to. If hotel partners miss reporting a small percentage of these bookings that never materialize, imagine the commission implication to booking.com! The amount of fraudulent bookings made through this channel is alarmingly increasing, it's not feasible for hoteliers to be expected to just work with it. Please raise this issue to your market manager in person, demand a solution ASAP.

    Thank you,

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    Rbrt Leslie

    Does Booking.com even read these comments? Do they really care? I have three units and over the past two months received a slew of fraudulent bookings and no shows. I expect another one this weekend! They are all referred by Booking.com. without credit card details. I have lost time, money and other potential guests because these units are reserved for Booking.com referrals who never show up. I can't seem to contact anyone at Booking.com to raise the matter as all my complaints are ignored. I am fast losing confidence in this service. It helps to know that there are others who are caught up in his fake booking scam and some of you have been able to do something about it.

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    Walndaniel

    Booking.com has a very serious problem.  The percentage of good reservations is rapidly going down for my Inn.  To combat this trend, we now take payment when booked.  No accepting of reservations without a valid credit card.  Last 12 reservation, 9 were bad.  No valid credit card then we remove the reservation from our system.  No 24 hour wait and no worry about them showing up.  The reservation is deleted immediately.

    Talked to a Booking.com representative who was nice but no help what so ever. There is no help to be had from Booking.com "help".  A few more screw ups from Booking.com and my account will be closed.  In case you don't knows, they also screw up your rates at odd times.  Good luck with Booking.com but I think they are becoming a liability.

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    Michellebigbear

    Anyone interested in hearing my horror story as a vacation rental owner that Booking.com refuses to pay?

    Booking.com was collecting payments for my vacation rental. Then apparently they stopped collecting them, and didn't tell me.

    Now I've had 3 different groups stay at my house already and Booking.com owes me $3500 for them. They refuse to pay me and won't return my calls.

    They are telling me through emails that I was supposed to collect the money. How was I supposed to do that when you did not give me access to the credit card data and didn't bother telling me that you weren't collecting the money?

    This is unacceptable. I'm not going away. You need to pay me for these reservations. I have already paid you your commission for them. I have paid the housekeepers, and I have paid the city taxes. So, I'm out a lot of money.

    Is this how you want to run your business?

     

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