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Booking.com "risk-free" program not worth the both

 
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craven24



Joined: 20 Aug 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Barnoldswick

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:34 pm    Post subject: Booking.com "risk-free" program not worth the both Reply with quote

Hi all. I'm a newbie to FHLs, having started up in May 2019. Things took off really well and bookings for 2019 have been almost 130 nights May-December.

We've had an annoying rash of cancellations recently, the last one the day after booking, and just a few days before check-in. It was made through B.com and randomly under their "risk-free" scheme. The idea was that they offer free cancellation and B.com pays out if they can't find a replacement booking.

I was quite happy as I knew I'd be getting paid anyway. However, I'm only getting one of the three nights because I made it impossible for B.com to find another guest. I removed the 24-hour advance notice requirement but came unstuck by leaving the three-night minimum in place. Trouble is, any booking for fewer than three nights is unprofitable, and one night makes a big loss - especially at this time of year. So I'm wondering what the point of it is for someone in my position.

Anyone else had this?
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4254
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to LHM.
Answer is always take a deposit.
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Never try to out-stubborn your guests.
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craven24



Joined: 20 Aug 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Barnoldswick

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good suggestion thanks.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1180
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only take a deposit, but have tight terms and conditions about what is refunded (or not) depending upon the date they cancel.

Take a decent amount as your deposit too. Some people state 25 - 30%, i have a fixed fee for short breaks and full week bookings. All balance payments are due 8 weeks before the start of the holiday. So if they book within that timeframe, the booking is not confirmed until I have all the money.

I would suggest within 12 weeks of the booking they are liable for the whole cost.
When making your mind up about this, remember the TCs will apply consistently to all your bookings which means to peak week bookings. If people cancel before paying their balance payment then that can be very painful for you.


Saying that, you should try and get another booking if anyone ever cancels, and refund what you have managed to take in lieu of their booking (eg, they may cancel a week and you manage to get a 3 night replacement booking).

You are also entitled to deduct an admin charge for your efforts, say 25 - 30.

I state in my TCs that guests are strongly recommended to take out insurance. Many people get insurance already with bank accounts, or you can get UK travel insurance via comparison sites for a couple of . I also say I will offer any paperwork to support an insurance claim. But all of this is only relevant if you have taken at least a deposit as it only applies when they are asking for their money back.

Unfortunately we see a lot of guests in the mindset of hotel bookings with cancellations free right up to the last minute and it is our task to disabuse them when they try and treat a SC property booking in the same way.
Best wishes with your property.
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craven24



Joined: 20 Aug 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Barnoldswick

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Risk-free Reply with quote

Thanks. I've tightened up my requirements with the booking sites. I have yet to actually get a single booking from my own site as it doesn't show up well in search engines and I'm a little suspicious of SEO outfits. So it's all through the other sites for now. We've had plenty of bookings but their fees can be a little hard to stomach!
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KAB-Dennis



Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 617
Location: Beaches of the East Coast

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find the Booking.com site a bit difficult to figure out when listing a property. Never mind trying to figure out cancellation policies.

Does anyone have any tips for using Booking.com and their cancellation policies.
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Kate
USA
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 486
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAB-USA wrote:
I find the Booking.com site a bit difficult to figure out when listing a property. Never mind trying to figure out cancellation policies.

Does anyone have any tips for using Booking.com and their cancellation policies.


Yes - make all your dates non refundable.
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Caro
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whirlybird



Joined: 01 Oct 2014
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that as soon as i tightened up on the deposit part and minimum stay the bookings started to dry up. Sad
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Moorparks Holiday Cottages Moorparks, Beaford, Winkleigh EX19 8NA 07850 356627


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