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Guys, I could really use your help. I’ll try to keep it short. Any advice from someone who’s been in the same situation will be hugely appreciated. TIA.
In essence, I did not check that calendars were synced correctly. So - my fault.
An airbnb booking was made months ago so they are trumps.
Two days ago, a booking came from BDC for the same dates. Yes I know, it took me that long to realise. Again, my fault.
I called BDC and the agent said I have 24 hours to find suitable alternative accommodation. I asked about contacting the guest immediately and he suggested yes. He also said that it didn’t matter on what platform the new accommodation was, it didn’t have to be BDC.
So I contacted the guest and they are v disappointed. They have found somewhere on Airbnb that is overall £100 more expensive for the stay.
I’ve found a couple of places on BDC that are similarly priced to their original booking and will suggest them to the guest. But I have the feeling that they sense blood like sharks and want a better place.
I have no idea how it works to transfer a BDC booking to Airbnb. Does anyone know?
It is easier to switch a booking.com reservation . Are you able to identify any of the similarly priced listings by name and number? Do you have any neighbors that offer the occasional room? Send a message to the booking guest offering the alternative listings, if you can say that you talked to the owners and they welcome you …and then ask your guests to cancel their reservation on booking. That, of course, you will waive the fees. If they don’t cancel, go back to booking to request a cancellation.
The couple times that I had double bookings (mostly because a current guest wanted to stay longer) I was able to rehouse. That is when it comes in handy to have a Plan B lined up and an actual contact. I would definitely try to position myself in that way that I can insist that I have a comparable listing up lined up for them and the host is ready to receive them on short notice. For Booking that should be good enough.
Similar situation, delayed in managing calendars.
Had a conversation with the guest with in 10 minutes of her booking, found her similar accommodation at a cheaper rate than mine, she cancelled the stay with me, all was well. B.com can be brutal with fines, fees and charges. Thank god my guest was reasonable!
I have my properties also listed with a local agent, they had a place not as well located, but cheaper than mine . I asked her to hold it, got back to the homeless guest and she was understanding and booked with the agent as it was the only available place and she was grateful that I had found her the ONLY vacant place. I also said if the guest was back for the event next year that I would look after her with a direct booking.
Have you thought about using a channel manager to avoid getting double bookings there are lots out there, we manage lots of properties for owners like yourself, so we cannot ever afford to get double bookings.
We use Tokeet with software incorporated in the system to automate any messages that you wish to set up within the system there is also an additional dynamic pricing tool, again you don’t have to use this it’s an option if you wish to.
Just Google channel manager software and take a look at some of them, I believe some are free under a certain number of rentals.
Mags I would call bookings help number and talk to them directly. I’ve found them to be better to deal with than Air. Tell them you have found a suitable replacement place on booking for a similar price. Explain the guest is looking at one on Air. The phone rep should help you out as they would prefer the guest stays on their platform. They can talk directly to the guest and cancel for you. You are obliged to find an alternative which you have done.
Thanks @EVedder. I did call them and, interestingly, the guy said it didn’t matter what platform the alternative accommodation was on. Yes, he was definitely more clued up than any Air rep I’ve ever spoken to.
Anyway, I sent the guest a list of alternative places and had several exchanges with them today. They decided it was easier to cancel themselves and book a new place directly. What a relief! At least it was… that was over 3 hours ago and they still haven’t cancelled. So it might not the end of the story yet
I’m too tired now and need to go to bed! Hopefully it’s the time difference that has delayed them (they’re from China) and the cancellation will come through during the night. If not, yes I’ll call again.
I hadn’t checked that Ical was working both ways. Airbnb was synching fine but it hadn’t been implemented from Air to Booking. The owner tends to fiddle with things sometimes… seems to have hard time letting go. She changed the password once without telling me!! So I try to be vigilant but failed on this occasion.
We have our payment policy on bdc set to “full payment can be charged any time” or something similar. If we feel uncomfortable with a guest we can immediately mark their credit card as invalid. We can then cancel in 24 hours. If they submit a new card and we also mark it as invalid we can still cancel in the original 24 hour window. On the right side of the screen on the extranet next to their reservation it tells you when you are free to cancel. We have only had to do this once with a repeat guest that we had blacklisted. Blocked one of the dates and it worked without a fuss. Just a tip to have in your back pocket if needed. Lisa
So, it’s finally sorted. The guest said she would cancel but then didn’t and seemed worried that she wouldn’t be refunded. So I called BDC and got a very helpful person who did it straightaway with no penalties. Phew.
You were right @EVedder! The difference between Airbnb and BDC customer service is…well, huge. They (BDC) don’t tell you that you’re “awesome” and they actually know what they’re doing.
I’m relieved for you that it turned out ok. I have found on the couple of occasions that I’ve had to deal with BDC CS they are much better. No bullshit pandering phrases - just action. No messing about. I hate paying their fees but I prefer their Help Centre. I don’t love that they try to make you pay for a guests alternative accommodation if there is a double booking - pretty harsh, but if we can come up with an alternative and they cancel it is all good.
No hand holding for sure. The help desk is offshore for us. I’m in NZ so we get various countries. I don’t have the option yet to include the whole fee in my price on Airbnb.
I do prefer the fact the CS doesn’t waffle on on the phone blowing smoke up my butt about what a great host I am and how much they sympathize with my situation.