- A B&B owner made multiple reservations through Booking.com
- He realized that his payment system does not work with the website
- She says she now owes £2,500 after the travel firm had the funds
- Do you have a consumer problem? Contact: [email protected]
I run a small B&B in Devon and have been using Booking.com since October 2020.
To encourage guests to book, and for hosts to earn more money, booking hosts what they call ‘opportunities’, one of which is the virtual credit card scheme.
Upon booking, the guest pays for the booking and the host is able to deposit the money a day after their arrival.
Unfortunately, I and many other hosts are unable to take payment in this manner and only got to know after the passengers booked.
A B&B owner owes Booking.com thousands because the website is on her guests’ money
I had booked eight customers through this method before I realized that I was not getting the money.
I am now owed over £2,459 by Booking.com and I can’t seem to get hold of it.
The website keeps avoiding me and now it’s been months without funds. How can I get my money? sf, via email
Grace Gosden, This Is Money consumer expert, answers: While your guests are going on a summer vacation, your experience with booking has been a bumpy ride.
You added your B&B to Bookings last year to advertise your property more widely during the pandemic.
The online travel site has set up your profile with a virtual credit card plan that is a temporary, digital MasterCard that it uses to pay hosts for bookings made by guests on its platform.
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These act like regular credit cards and Booking, he said, offer ‘host guaranteed payment’ from the company.
However, the site holds on to the money and passes it on to the hosts only a day after the guest arrives at the property.
As soon as your property went live, you got eight bookings through the website and customers paid in advance.
The total cost of these reservations came to £2,459.
The first time you try to take a payment, you’ve found that Zettle by PayPal, the payment system you use, doesn’t allow virtual credit card payments.
You contacted Booking in June and were told that it was an easy task to transfer the money Booking collected on your behalf back to you.
However, the firm said that you missed the payment date and advised that you will have to wait till July 17 to receive the money.
This date has come and gone but no money was received. Similarly, August 17th and September 17th passed and no money was transferred to you.
During this entire time you are paying a 15 percent commission for booking for these and other reservations as if you do not, you say that you have been threatened that your account has been suspended and that the guest booking are not able to.
Funds are booked from the hosts until the guest arrives at the accommodation
When you’ve tried to contact the firm, you say the emails go unanswered or are answered by automatically generated messages.
Meanwhile, when the phone is answered it is by someone who doesn’t have the power to help.
You add that you now contact them daily, updating the stats every day indicating that you have made 16 phone calls and written 15 emails in three months.
I contacted Booking to know the reason for the delay in your payment as you have not received any information from the company and you have been waiting for months for payment.
A spokesperson said: ‘At Bookings.com our primary objective is to provide an easy-to-use platform that enables our accommodation partners to seamlessly manage and grow their business with us, and we will address any potential challenges. Trying to solve it as soon as possible. As far as possible.
‘This means enabling travelers to pay for their trips with their preferred local payment methods, and in turn providing our partners with payment in a way they can easily manage.
‘All our partners have the option to manage the payments themselves, but many decide to manage it on their behalf, whether it is a reservation with an advance deposit or a payment due at the time of stay.
‘Unfortunately, due to a technical issue we were unable to process this partner’s payment in a timely manner. We have expressed regret for the inconvenience and are ensuring that they receive the dues at the earliest.
Luckily, you’ve been promised money by the end of this week and hopefully you can get more reservations – albeit in a different way – without wasting your time chasing your money.
Tui’s customers were disappointed that they would not get a full refund from the firm
Tui not returning despite cancer diagnosis
My friend whom I have booked to go abroad through Tui has just been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25.
She has to undergo chemotherapy which means she will not be able to go on leave.
I called two different lines for the travel firm but both gave conflicting information regarding refunds. One said we could have a full refund while the other said we could but lost £250 each. What is right? JM, via email
Grace Gosden, This Is Money consumer expert, answers: First of all, I’m very sorry to hear of your friend’s diagnosis and I wish her all the best.
Secondly, Tui is no stranger to this column. The two of you were originally supposed to travel to Morocco in July, but your vacation was canceled by Tui in mid-June.
You were given a 20 percent incentive to rebook, so you booked to go to Mexico on 26 January 2022, returning on 3 February.
You originally paid £601.90 each for a vacation to Morocco…