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Booking.com - How do you?

PacViewLodging
Feb 11, 2023 6:27 PM
Joined Sep, 2019 79 posts

We are having enough issues with Booking.com that we are considering terminating our listings on their sites...   Questions I have for you all...

1.  How do you deal with the bookings where they have your property listed on sites like - GETAROOM.COM (and others) where when the booking is created the guest information comes in with the listing sites address and phone number not the guests and it has a a guest booking.com email.    We find we have absolutely zero way to contact the guest.  Email messages enter into a black hole because the guest doesn't have a booking.com account that they get email from.  Phone number is a customer service line and they will provide zero information you have to go through booking.com...  Booking.com support has to reach out to the partner website and they won't give them emails or phone numbers either.     We've had guest show up at a self check-in property with zero information and of course it is our fault!  What do you do with these strange bookings and more importantly how are you identifying them and addressing them before the issue becomes an issue?

2.  BDC payments come in various forms... they can send you the full card number they can send you a virtual card.. Payments probably 50% of the time fail because BDC did not send over to us the CVV for a card or the correct address information.   We can force the payments through but it circumvents all fraud detection and we end up paying a higher credit card rate because we didn't collect this information.   We've talked to every level of support and our account rep about this and they tell us our account is setup correctly and we should be getting all information and yet it still just doesn't happen.   How are you managing the processing of payments with BDC?  

Love to hear some suggestions... other than drop BDC.

Patricia Knight
Feb 21, 2023 4:34 PM
Joined Jan, 2020 20 posts

I was having the issue with payments and I called up Booking.com and they walked me through the process of setting to pre-authorize cards.  It solved the problem I just don't remember where that setting was.  I have to say that since then, Booking.com sent me an offer to have it where BDC processes all payments and I implemented this as it made my job much easier to not have to deal with the payments, just make sure the deposits come through.  ;-)

Ash
Oct 25, 2023 4:00 PM
Joined May, 2022 6 posts

I am on the point of dropping BDC until OwnerRez has a full API connection. This limited connection does nothing for me personally:

1. I have to create a convoluted 95% listing in BDC anyway. They import pics from Airbnb! When I asked why there was no answer but a complained that the pics from Airbnb were low resolution! So why import from Airbnb in the first place

2. They do not want us to have credit cards and prefer to take payment themselves but have no real viable solution when we need to add in extra costs like pool heat, extra clean.

3. Rates have to be uploaded on BDC, not vis OwnerRez

4. My rep was not helpful, just apologetic.

5. Dud bookings coming thru blocking my dates, but no credit card holds or payment taken by BDC

6. They are already charging me commission for dud reservations which I then have to spend time disputing

7. Instead of a seamless time saving channel, BDC has turned into a nightmare.

I could go on, but I'll stop here. OwnerRez should not be promoting BDC as a channel until there is a full API integration

Adria H
Oct 25, 2023 8:44 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2022 123 posts

OwnerRez is working, now, with Booking.com (BDC) to create a more robust API. It's my understanding that the messaging will be released first and listing content sync later:

1. I have to create a convoluted 95% listing in BDC anyway. They import pics from Airbnb! When I asked why there was no answer but a complained that the pics from Airbnb were low resolution! So why import from Airbnb in the first place
True & frustrating! This is controlled by BDC, not OwnerRez. You'll want to upload high resolution directly to GDC and mark/label them to a room/amenity. This only needs to be done once.

2. They do not want us to have credit cards and prefer to take payment themselves but have no real viable solution when we need to add in extra costs like pool heat, extra clean.
Whether or not a property (not just your account, but approval can be property by property) is eligible for credit card details depends on BDC's computer evaluation. You should be able to require a Security Deposit Hold, bringing in the credit card info for your records.

To add post-booking extra costs, like pool heat, you'd need to go into the OwnerRez booking > Charges > Convert to manual charges > edit to add your new charge before tax (make sure the taxes are applied) & save. If you have the guest's credit card for the security deposit, communicate with the guest and get their OK to run that payment.  

It's a good idea to add a mention of the security deposit and extra charges in your Property > Your Profile > Descriptions on Booking.com Extranet.

3. Rates have to be uploaded on BDC, not vis OwnerRez
For API connected properties, the rates sync. However, they only sync to one pricing model. When you begin adding all the extra plans BDC suggests, it does get messy & complicated.


5. Dud bookings coming thru blocking my dates, but no credit card holds or payment taken by BDC
This seems to be a common complaint for US based guests. This is not something that can be controlled, with or without OwnerRez. You can reduce the number of cancellations by setting your Property > Policies > Cancellation Policy to 60 days & the same for Property > Policies > Advanced Cancellation > Cancellation exceptions > 8 weeks. If you reduce your booking window to 90 days, most cancellations can be prevented.
 

 

OwnerRez should not be promoting BDC as a channel until there is a full API integration
There will be a full API integration released in 2024, however, BDC will still have some of the same issues.



PacViewLodging
Oct 25, 2023 9:44 PM
Joined Sep, 2019 79 posts

We have all but stopped using BDC because of all of the issues we have with their partner websites (GetARoom, Agoda and others) not sending information along to the guests.  Guests show up with no clue of where they are going, no arrival instructions, no door codes, no way to contact them... We went from 10s of thousands of dollars in bookings per year to just a few thousand...our direct rep with BDC basically said there is nothing that can be done.  Fortunately the bookings have been picked up by other channels at a lesser commission rate

 

Ken T
Oct 25, 2023 10:59 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1692 posts

I would like to add to what Adria said above.  We are actively working on a vastly improved API connection with Booking.com, which will indeed assist greatly with many, though not all, of the issues mentioned above.  At the same time, we are in discussions with Booking.com as to what changes can be made at their end to make the entire connection smoother and more suitable for vacation rental owners.  We don't have an ETA or specific knowledge of precisely where that will lead, but, this is a very significant change and I have high hopes for the near and medium term.  So, I would encourage you to have patience if possible and not give up on Booking.com - help is on the way.

If you have specific issues and/or problems with an existing connection to Booking.com, please write in to our Helpdesk, and we will provide assistance.  While this may not always be fast or entirely successful at first, the examples and knowledge of problems of this sort will be helpful as we work with Booking.com staff to improve overall.

PacViewLodging
Oct 25, 2023 11:25 PM
Joined Sep, 2019 79 posts

Ken there are a lot of examples that we have not corrected on our account from prior  to our delisting with them... search for Address

3010 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy
Dallas, TX 75234-7770

or Phone: +1 (469) 675-9003

That is the GETAROOM address/phone provided for every booking through BDC with them as a partner of BDC.   In virtually all of these cases we waited until the guest showed up at the property and called us   They never receive any email messages for text messages because the email is a BDC email and the guest has no clue what this is and never receives anything forwarded to their email... and the phone number for text messages just cost us $$ for sending texts to a phone that sends them nowhere.

Many of them you will find on our account have had corrections to the phone and will have an updated email because when the guest shows up and calls us we correct the information.   We use electronic door locks so we no longer allow 9003 as a door lock code because all of these bookings were getting the same door lock code which created a security risk.  Since we had no way to contact the guest we had to wait for them to call us to get a new phone number to create a door code that would allow them into the property.

Rex C
Nov 1, 2023 9:54 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2021 49 posts

We have reached out to our BDC contact with this specific scenario, he will be requesting his team to look into this and work with GetARoom regarding proper contact information being passed through.