Articles Your worst best friend?

December 12, 2012 4 min read

author: Your worst best friend?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In a time not so far away…

In recent years, mostly in Europe tour operators would book entire hotels to fill up with guests that would travel on the tour operator’s planes. Hoteliers loved this model, because while price was low, occupation was guaranteed and often paid upfront.

However, as service degraded or competition increased, Tour Operators would book other hotels. Hoteliers that relied solely on a few Tour Operators would struggle establish new channels, or fail and go out of business. But what does all of this have to do with’s success for independent hotels has taken Europe by storm, and is now making inroads into the US. Studies show that over 50% of all hotel nights booked in Europe are booked through

This level of market consolidation has been a bonanza for independent hotels. Without any brand recognition, has become the ideal digital marketplace to promote and sell their rooms to guests from all over the World.’s has been able to create a formidable marketplace with a large amount of inventory (many consumers consider that “all hotels are on, at least all that matter”), it does not take payments upfront, and’s increased focus on user reviews provides a one-stop-shop for consumers. now claims to be the number one online hotel reservation service in the World. From our experience with hoteliers, certainly has significant distribution power, and there is no doubt that it represents an increasingly significant portion of the income of numerous hotels throughout the World.’s obsession with price is obsessed with providing the best possible prices to consumers. J.D. Power and associates reported that has the highest customer satisfaction rate of independent travel websites, mainly due to competitiveness of pricing.

This obsession with price causes the relationship that hoteliers have with to frequently be one of love-hate. They love the reservations that brings in, but they hate it when they have to sell for low prices, preventing them from differentiating their hotel on any other factor.

To add insult to injury,’s flat commission model has been replaced by one of bidding for position on the first page of a destination. It is not infrequent that hotels pay over 20% in commission to be on the first page of the recommended properties in their city.

These issues and’s market power, make its relationship with hotels uneven. Hotels might be receiving significant revenue from the reservations that are made through the site, but if they depend on for their reservations, they have little bargaining power.

The playing field is tilted recently started taking one-sided decisions on how their system operates and forcing hotels to adapt. For example, recently reserved the right to automatically resell a room that one of its customers has canceled, apparently to protect their  commission. also changed their information policy and now blocks access to the customer’s information, e.g. by eliminating customers’ e-mail addresses apparently to prevent direct contact between hotels and customers.

Even appreciating all the revenue they get from, most hotels’ situation may be so precarious that if were to raise its commission margins there is little that they can do about it.

In a recent debate at Phocuswright Conference, hoteliers divided channels between good channels (the ones that extend reach or create new markets) and bad channels (the ones that cannibalize their natural markets, e.g. by bidding on their keywords, e.g. Hotel XYZ).

With taking all these steps, how can hoteliers really trust that has their best interest in mind and is not their worst best friend?

Balance your presence through hotel digital marketing

Hotels need understand how to use for their benefit, but not be overly dependent on it. They need to understand how to keep the reservation service at arm’s length by having a sound hotel digital marketing strategy.

It’s important to have a multi-channel digital marketing strategy that gives hotels digital presence. Achieving such online presence would include, among other factors:

  1. Great looking website– Many studies show that a large majority of consumers would prefer to book directly with the property given the same terms and conditions. To instill consumers with the trust to book, it’s important to have a stunning website that conveys to potential clients a positive feel for the hotel,;
  2. Multi-channel reservations – it is vital to diversify channels, and ensure that your hotel is present in at least 5-10 mass channels, including Expedia/,, and the ones that may be most relevant to your segment (e.g. if you have a boutique hotel, you should try to get listed on,,;
  3. Optimize for mobile devices – Mobile is the fastest growing channel in hotel bookings, especially last-minute reservations. With the increase of reservations by mobile devices, your hotel needs to have a website and booking engine optimized for mobile devices;
  4. Collecting guest information – Collecting your guests’ data so as to target the right profiles with your promotions and reward the best guests with campaigns that encourage loyalty;
  5. Presence on social platforms – a beautiful page on the major social networks can go a long way to increase an hotel’s brand exposure;


No hotelier wishes to have their hotel completely booked this year if they are to find themselves empty and helpless next year, because their reservations only came from one channel and they didn’t have any other channels established.

Hotels need to have a multi-channel digital marketing strategy, so as to avoid any kind of dependence on any one service for their online revenue. They need to have a digital presence that safeguards them from other companies having power over them. One that guarantees that they are sought out by potential clients no matter on what search engine these are conducting the search.

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  1. Markus Busch

    "Over 50% of all hotel nights booked in Europe are booked through" - you better check your facts. "50% of OTA bookings" gets closer.

  • Lucinda Von Spielburg

    I will ALWAYS book with Hoteliers Must remember they are Beggars and the GUEST chooses among the many beggars in the street which one to give her money to. The sooner you get that into your THICK skulls the better. DOn't be slumlords. Guests come FIRST YOU are The Product is PEDDLING to THE GUEST. SO take your seat in the back of the room and wait for me to decide if you are up to snuff. Princess Guest

  • Uly

    Lucinda Your comments are the ones of an uninformed guest. You are so smart by booking on Did it cross your mind who pays the 15-20% commission that hotels and serviced apartments has to pay to It's the guest, yes yourself. You have been paying inflated prices by the commissions without understanding what you're doing. In most cases you can book direct at the hotel own website for less 15%. On our own website it's always 15% less. we don't lose anything if a guest books on, the guest loses 15% to 20% in commission that they could have avoided if booked direct. We always earn the same across all channels. We are more than happy to continue to accommodate bookings from all OTA's because we have the right pricing structure in place.

  • Jonas Peterson

    Wow. 1) the relationship between a consumer and an enterprice is based on equality: you get something you want, the enterprice gets the price they want. 2) You are extremely disrespectful, I would not want and do not need your booking - stay away

  • Ion Ion

    Lucinda Von Spielburg. Jesus Christ woman, I feel the unrelenting need to push your face into a pillow and plow away. Call you princess at the end and give you a kiss. Damn.

  • I Hate Booking,com

    Bum! if we did not provide the accommodation you'd be sleeping on the street and would be out of business, hoteliers provide a service that both, you, Lucinda and your friends at need...RESPECT!!

  • Pau Ferret

    You're right. Yesterday I assisted a leading Hotel event in Madrid (HOTUSA EXPLORA) and a commercial director of a big hotel spanish chains said direct bookings in his company were 50%, of which two thirds is OTAs. Another gave the data of 48% direct bookings. Two other directors refused to answer.

  • Dorian

    We must remember,'s prices don't only come from squeezing the hotels. They also stifle their competitors through rate parity and the insistance that none of their partner properties will allow lower prices on the market. They're now under official investigation in the U.K., U.S. and Switzerland for this practice.

  • TRG

    Not only parity, but they do have preferential positioning agreements for those hotels that are in direct connect. For example , IHG is also mentioned in the law suit that @dorian mentioned. No doubt they are good, the are also the umbrella above many other OTA's

  • Chiel Nobels

    Good article. Some hotels are really blinded by's revenues that they do not see the consequences as pointed out in this article. What also happens: hotels are raising their rates to meet large OTA's demands for commissions making them less attractive for customers rate-wise. Some OTA's are even suggesting hotels to raise their rates as an outside revenue manager, for their profits and not the hotels'....

  • mezzo

    Very useful, thanks!

  • J Rodolfo Canales

    It is very important to have your facts straight before publishing something like this All OTAS are looking to offer the best prices to their travelers not just On each reservation send to their hotel partners the commission is one of the lowest on the market and even if the hotels increase the commission by choice is for the most below other OTAS standard commission The ranking on site depends on the hotel ability to participate and compromise with on 7 facts very well know from the hoteliers and not on the commission entirely. Guestcentric does not seems to be very guest focus if wants to start business trying to damage the relationship within the hotel and the top producer or one of the top producers for any hotel Facts: largest online hotel distributor Post payment model (guest pay at the hotel) One of the lowest commission % in the market Demand driven Share all the guest information with the hotel Longer booking window and travel window within the competitors. All this are basic reasons to have as one of the most important hotel partners to a successful revenue and yearly production

  • Alexandra Ainsworth

    Hello ! without any doubt, 20% commission is for hotels to much.

  • Ben Jacobson

    I see lots of debate here in the comments on the validity of the market share stats cited in the article. I'm in no way questioning what was written, but I _am_ curious as to where these figures came from, as they are surely noteworthy! Any chance you guys can link out to exactly _which_ "Studies show that over 50% of all hotel nights booked in Europe are booked through"?

  • adrian jones{owned by priceline} out of singapore(to dodge tax) are as corrupt as most of online booking companies,when you look up a hotel you might book, will say this hotel or motel was booked 5 minutes ago,there is 1 room left. This is all marketing lies,they all tell lies and as for reviews,most reviews are made by persons evicted from the hotel or persons that wanted to party and were told to shut up.If you are wanting to save money get the phone number of the hotel or motel phone up and tell the operater i saw your hotel on i will book if you can give me a better rate,all hotels will certainly give you a better deal as they won't have to pay commission.Good luck in your next hotel stay,be careful.

  • Rade is has the highest comissions among OTA-s which actualy made reservations. You have to pay comission on bruto amount - so every city, country , town ... tax , VAT and all other costs are included and you actualy pay all of them and pay comission to Expedia for instance takes comission on netto price, they return VAT and other costs so at the end they are quite cheaper than Second , cancellation rate with them is over 25% and they forced hotels to have minimal cancellation policy - 48 hours prior arrival or less, you have to put more than 30% of capacity ( rooms ) to alotman - you can not book rooms yourself as they have to be available to and there is no guaranty they will be booked, so very nice when you are left with empty room in highest season. Not to speak about lowest prices they want you to have.... All in all the worst best friend. Last few years guest do not even try to find accommodation other than over and trend is going higher and higher.

  • JAJS

    Hi Rade, If you are a revenue manager please be aware that you can ask to exclude all kind of taxes from your commissionable rates. By doing this, you will avoid paying commission on your taxes. This does not apply for VAT. Regarding allotments, you can ask a release if you think that they do not sell fast enough! Another way would be to negotiate the number of contracted rooms according to the season.

  • simonian

    I have an apartment in Blanes and want to work with so that they can take care of it how can I do that please someone tell me.



  • Rade

    Thanks I know, we are punished with paying VAT 15% more than with other OTA-s. They even not want to sent you invoice with VAT so we will be able to deduct VAT on comission payment - do not know why - they state they are europan company ????

  • hotel 3 stelle cattolica

    I'm curious to find out what blog platform you are utilizing? I'm experiencing some minor security issues with my latest site and I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any recommendations?

  • HRP

    Within and other ota's, online guests have a good choice to have the selection of hotels ranked by distance rather than a preset particular order. This gives the hotels the opportunity to have that distance feature work for them, even if they are not a preferred partner. This preferred partnership states only that the hotels apply to a numerous of demanded features, besides rate parity compliance and a higher commission. Search engines also provide a good balance between the hotels websites and the adwords campaign by ota's: the better a hotel website performs on google, on local results, the more the paid campaign of the ota shows more niching to the particular hotel rather than the general publication of all hotels in the general area. The fact remains that cannot outsell a hotel which has high conversion on They probably will by means of rate parity issuing, and believe me they've tried. The only thing they just cannot control is how the guests make their hotel selection on their website and search engines. This is where the opportunities are for hotels.

  • Charl or any other online is good for hotels in low seasons but in high season they don't need but they have to leave rooms to be bookable throught The problem with by the end it will kill the hotel own web site and if the remove the contact of the guest and the contact of the hotel this will kill the hotel personality. I can't understand as a hoteller why clients are not clever any more they can contact the hotels direct and do the bookings and save the comission . I check a hotel in Istanboul found the price of 5 nights to be 920 US$ I done the booking last minute and used but when I call to see the price of the hotel by phone I found 200US$ less. My hotel is the only hotel in town not listed with or any other online and not intend to do so I will keep working on my own web site. DO YOU THINK THIS IS CORRECT?

  • Naidu

    I am planning to start a online hotel booking website like, can anyone suggest what would be the best approach to begin with? (like commission %, web-designing cost, etc.,)

  • Michael Dee

    They are extremely bureaucratic; because you are in essence dealing with a computer it's hard to get hold of a person when things go wrong: you get 'the runaround' and whatever it is had better not be urgent! I won't use them again. They accidently booked me twice in the same hotel on the same night (in the same room!) and charged me twice over. I'll use them in future to read reviews but that's it

  • JPRB

    So if charges commissions after the fact (guests pay at the hotel), how does the hotel charges a cancellation fee? Is there a CC verification happening at and passing a method to the hotels to charge when it occurs?

  • cappadocia hotels

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

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  • "website hosting"

    When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!

  • Maureen Hawkins

    I will never use again. My room at the Travelodge Calgary Airport Hotel ended up costing $32 more than said it would. Furthermore, lies to their clients about hotels. I after I stayed there, asked me for a review & I provided one. They excerpted only 1 short phrase from my review that gave a totally false impression of the hotel. Yes, I did say the bed was OK. I also said that staying there was a total DISASTER. "Near the airport"? HA, only if you consider 25 minutes "near"! The hotel sends a shuttle to the airport only when called, so I had to wait 1/2 hour to get a shuttle & another 1/2 hour to get to the hotel after an exhausting transatlantic flight. I decided to check the TV for the next day's weather, but the remote didn't work, so I tried to call the Front Desk, but the phone button to call them didn't work. When I used the washroom, the toilet paper holder came apart in my hands. I left a wake-up call, but they called the wrong room, so I would have missed my flight if I hadn't woken, thrown on some clothes & rushed to the Front Desk to demand they hold the shuttle (it only goes once an hour; the next one would have been too late.) The hotel said they would have given me a partial rebate but they couldn't because I booked through

  • lavender81

    I have booked two nights in a hotel via Everything was fine until I had to cancel my trip. I went to the website and followed the instructions in the booking confirmation email: to cancel the reservation all you needed to do is to click the red "Cancel" button next to the booking. So I did. I have not received any confirmation about the cancellation but since they said that was all you had to do I thought everything was sorted. However a day after the cancelled trip I got phone calls from the hotel that they have charged me for one night since I did not show up. I have contacted and asked how this happened and they said there is no record of my cancellation and that I should have received a confirmation about the cancelled booking. After this we have exchanged couple of emails, they say the hotel would not pay back the money. I told them this is really a problem with their system - that it did not send me confirmation - so I asked them to compensate me whch they refused. I would advise those who are planning to book accommodation via to urgently change their mind - this is not a reputable company and they will not treat you fairly.

  • Roo

    As a hotelier, I find more like booking.con. We have simply increased our prices on as we find the commission of 15 percent extortionate. Staff costs, utility bills, rates, food , drinks have all gone up in price, yet want hoteliers to give the best price guarantee. I am also with i sometimes was a a few pounds cheaper on laterooms than immediately within 24 hours i would get a call fom telling me off like a schoolchild that there was a parity issue with amd that we needed to reduce the price to the same as late rooms as we breaching terms and conditions of the contract. If costs keep going up, and booking .com do not treat their hotel partners with respect. There will surely be another company out there who will be more compettive and understanding than and throw down the cliff, making spac for the new kid on the block. Thanks for reading!

  • Anonymous Hotelier in San Diego and New York City

    Dear whoever takes the time to read this... has the worst business and ethical practices I have ever seen. I have been a hotel operator for the past 11 years and have done business with all the major OTA's in the U.S. opened up my Manhattan and San Diego property without hesitation, then closed our listing because they "found out" I worked for a hotel provider who had wronged and their customers. I can't condone the actions of my former employer but I do know for a fact that me and my fiance (also my business partner) had no involvement in any of their doings, yet we were treated like second rate hoteliers and were even copied on emails by our Account Managers where they fallaciously called us "a fraud company". This was even after we supplied Articles of Organization which clearly showed who was in control of our new company. We have no investors, outside help nor do we take orders from any stockholders. Our company is ours and ours alone, yet they "labeled" us guilty with no merit or proper explanation. The New York City account manager had the audacity to ask my fiance, who's the legal owner of the company, and I quote, "How did you get your start up money?" Is the account manager insane? Who asks a question to an owner of a company? Who cares where our start up money came from, quite frankly, it's none of anyone's business. I was shocked that we were asked this. I'm sure they would not have the gumption to ask the CEO of Hilton or Holiday Inn where they got their start up money from. This is just one of the many ways in which we as professional hotel operators were singled out and made to feel inferior. Not to mention customers are notorious for filing charge backs with their credit card companies because they know will protect them. cares nothing about their partnerships with hotels, only about protecting their image and reputation. Their lower-level account managers and "supervisors" are nothing more than reservation robots who are crossed-trained in the art of stalling and showing off their lack of tact and professionalism. Their legal team is no better. My company hired a lawyer so we can fight to prove our "innocence" that we had no affiliation with my former employer and despite showing evidence that my company is independent, it still fell on deaf ears. I escalated this to my legal team and it took nearly 1 month for's legal department to even acknowledge our lawyer's emails! Unprofessional to say the least... A word to the wise...if you are a new company looking to get ahead in the hotel industry, stay FAR away from Booking.scam and their fly-by-night clientele and bottom-feeding employees. You will be better off in the long run my friends, take my advice! I'm so glad I live in America where my 1st Amendment Rights are in tact, even if's moral and ethical compass are not. If anyone has any questions or has a similar story to share, I would love to hear about other's horror stories. Til you see us on TV...

  • paula

    Naidu, please think twice.. give one finger to the devil, it will take your whole hand. And so much more inconvenience with them. You give them rooms to sell -ok.. if you close the rooms for them, they advertise you "fully booked"

  • Dorian Harris

    Guys, I thought you might like this interpretation of the cost of rate parity:

  • morne du toit

    Booked a room, no problem. Cancelled room inside of agreed period. Got charged full price of my stay. will not deal with me as they say the hotel has charged me and they "just handle booking". Hotel wont deal with my booking as they say handles the booking. Neither will take ownership and they have all my money and the room that they rent out again. What a joke! Daylight robbery. DO NOT USE!! Contact hotel directly.

  • Cornelis

    I've come a lot. There's a nice new alternative: which I heard about today.

  • steves

    My experience with was not good..worst experience

  • Joel Cohen

    On October 10, day of an air controllers' strike in Paris, my flight to Saragossa was cancelled, just four hours before departure. I immediately contacted to cancel my reservation with the Saragossa hotel. The hotel management refused to cancel my room reservation, and this morning I received an email notice that my credit card was being charged 70 euros. will take no responsibility, and has left me holding the liability. Needless to say, I am very unhappy, and think poorly (understatement) of both the hotel and the booking service.

  • dan

    FYI's prices ARE NOT CHEAPER than booking direct with the hotelier. They squeeze the hotel's margins for their benefit (commission). The customer gets no benefit other than being able to compare hotels & prices on one site. Book direct not through these middlemen, that are in fact driving up prices.

  • Gigi

    It baffles me after several years in a small independent hotel (London), how bookings have reached 50% via OTAs? Yes, the world is better connected, we can book through our mobiles now, etc. Is it just pure laziness to simply call/email direct?! Not only for the better rates but also for availability. Many smaller hotels are now waking up to their own online booking systems/PMS, on their official websites, seen as this "instant booking" is so popular. I believe is the face of corporate greed and malpractice in the hotel industry. Due to this rising booking culture via OTAs like them, the bigger picture for the hotel industry worldwide is that room rates are already higher than they should be (to cover commissions). The traveller loses in the long run. The traditional travel agent has always been around, but they have made way for these extortionate giant agencies. I cannot believe how some hotels in our area have been completely taken over by them. One example of "squeezing the hotelier", as mentioned already, is this: pay search engine listings to have their "hotel partner's" own name come up on top, to direct even regular guests of the hotel to book via them. Try this for yourselves. Guests who do not know any better (and who can blame them, we are not all net/tech savy), believe they are booking on the hotel's website. Is this fair? People need to somehow be made aware of this, and the rest of the misconceptions. Great article btw. More balanced than my rant!

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  • Zuzana

    I agree on the fact that hoteliers should keep a balance and use multi-level distribution channels. has its pros and cons as well. For those who once got dissappointed with, will find an other ways to book a room. For those who got dissappointed with direct booking, may be seems ideal. I personally thing that hotels should go direct and guarantee the best rate when travelers book direct. I am running a project for this purpose. I would like to promote hotels direct contact and give travelers an opportunity to find their hotel on The purpose is to connect visitors with hotels directly. I will definetly share your post to all hoteliers I am in contact with, because you are pointing out what is important. I totally agree with you and you did a good job. Beeing dependent on is not enough anymore. If a hotel would like to present itself on the web, it has to be with a great and amazing website. I think the way to satisfy travelers, hotels need to do their best with what they have. Why is booking so succesfull? they have good photos, proper information and guest reviews. Can we say the same about the hotels website? many of them were created years ago, and noone cares. brings them booking and they think its enough. How about to change this, and sell what you have, on your own? Show your best photos, best deals, best reviews on your own website and build up a good online reputation without paying a commission. What hoteliers could save on commission fees, they can rather invest on online marketing. I will end my thoughts with this: Hoteliers should take a responsibility for their online marketing, and shouldnt be depended just on booking. Even booking means a secure revenue from bookings.

  • Cherie Brownless are all about making it easy for the guest to book and they don't care a jot about the hotel. We are a small 5 roomed B&B and have had nothing but problems with We have contacted our property manager many times both by e-mail and phone and we have NEVER even had a reply. We have even had fake reviews that are STILL on our page. As for their ranking system? Well that remains a complete mystery - and as for the 7 R's that is complete rubbish. In my mind they are crooks and I hope and pray that they will be taken off the web. All hoteliers should have the courage to come off en-mass so they don't have any properties to sell! I'm game are you???

  • Mary Kassandra Boulder

    Hello, I have the following concern: I have a Bed & Breakfast in the site and two clients left a very bad review. The first one due to not having read the B&B information, thought he was staying at a hotel, did his check in and left a bad comment and the second one left a bad comment after her two children trashed their suite at the B&B, these two situation were reported to but they did not act upon either situation nor gave us any satisfactory answer while two other positive comments were removed which showed me that they do control the comments posted on the hotel page. What laws protect the hotel owner regarding this type of situation? as this is considered slander on the part of the client and did not do anything about it but actually defended the customer whom was wrong! Thank you. Mary

  • Ayesh

    I read the article but not all the comments. I made a reservation thru, and another reservation (another hotel) via I first through is giving so much to customers ripping hotel owners but it turns out is giving the best to customers AND friendly with hotels. First, I must say that has a much better sorting and searching system (being a senior web developer myself, I know how costly that is). I could find the best hotel for my requirements in few minutes and I was like, "wait... I don't have to pay now!".'spay later model is great for the customers but I think worse for hotel owners. The reservation is guaranteed but they don't get any upfront. However, I made the reservation a day before, so there was no problem for the hotel IMO. I am going to stay 6 total days in the hotel and now that the staff is friendly, I realised has the exact same rate as (correct to the last Baht). takes some commission but the getting exposed to people in anywhere in the world is worth that commission. Other online hotel booking sites tend to rip of the customer, and the sad truth is that, when you can talk in native language and make some human communication, you can get same price or an even lower price.

  • Michael

    read the article as well. I think it explains very well that handles multi channel marketing at its best in comparison to their competitive set. Though, I doubt that has a MS of above 50% in Europe already. Would be interested to read more about the the actual market share figure and where it comes their any other sort of information that beside from that deals with those figures? I agree to many of you guys saying that does a great job in the OTA marketplace. Especially the user friendliness - thumbs up.... exited to hear your statements.....

  • John Brew

    I have read several comments above arguing about calling the hotels directly to have guaranteed lower prices. Unfortunately, this strategy works rarely (especially at international chain properties). I have tried it in Rome (at Sheraton and Waldorf) and in Dresden (at the Quality Plaza) and they could not beat the price. That is not to say that I advise using In fact, there are many OTAs which provide lower prices. Not to speak also about wholesalers which are unbeatable (it's true that for non-refundable rates). From a guest perspective, I would always advise to search several websites before booking (,,,, but also look at the big players, using their promo codes (,,,, then try the opaque websites (hotwire, priceline, lastminute's top secret hotels) and, finally, trying to call your preferred hotel in that location directly (knowing already which is the best price you can get online).

  • Anne

    Hi, I am currently writing my bachelor thesis about online booking sites like, and I think your blog post here are really interesting. I Would like to know what your sources of information is? Where did you get these facts? It would help me a lot, in my research and finding litterature on the subject, if you could share? :) Thanks!

  • obsidian8

    the problem with is that THEY DO NOT ENSURE that the details they display about the hotels are TRUE. Hotels simply submit censored photos & description which do not validate in any way (as I assume this will hit the revue they receive from the volume of bookings through their website). I used tem for Utrect, Holland and ended up in nothing more than a potential death trap should an emergency occurred.

  • Darmien

    The Costs are not as Splendid as Marketed. Before booking it all looks like affordable, but as you proceed to transaction directly it goes upward. The pricing wouldn't remain the similar as taxes and other charges are added, that might be the equal or more than the price of booking on site; and that's a key worry.

  • Stephen

    I am a hotel owner just leaving who are trying to sue me through NY now Cyprus for reasons I don't know. Bully? Much more than that and am willing to give you more information. Best Regards Stephen Skinner Owner of 2 hotels in Morroco

  • MR ME

    I have been working at the same hotel for four years now. We always have people coming in claiming they have a reservation with our hotel when they don't. I have to explain it to them like this; They have a reservation with , NOT with our hotel, we do not have any affiliation with, and what that website is doing is technically fraud, and that if they wanted a room with our hotel, they should have contacted us, not some Jo Blow company based out of lord knows where. Online companies such as or are they biggest annoyance I have to deal with in my day, because they do not perform their duty, they don't book ANYTHING they just tell the customer they have a reservation and then take it on faith that these hotels actually have a spare room available. Its horrible, having to watch people leave with no room to stay in because we're fully occupied, and had no reservation for these random people.

  • Boquete Panama Hotel

    Great article. For all of the negative comments about, I am a new boutique hotel owner who was able to achieve an 87% occupancy rate for the first 4 months of operation almost exclusively through While I understand the need to build our own web presence (working on it), this takes time and the truth is I am more than happy to write a commission check to at the end of every month. Perhaps I will feel differently a few years into the relationship.

  • Rachel

    For any hoteliers, Squishotel is launching in Jan 2015 and we charge 0% commission. What's the catch? Well there isn't one, we want hotels to pass on the discount to the booker rather than the OTA, by using Squishotel, you add value to the guests stay and in return, have a better chance of them coming back to the hotel directly. Email for more information.

  • Joe Blogggs

    I run my own Motel. have increased our occupancy from 60% to 90% based on our excellent review scores which run into the 100's. has given the power back to the hands of the consumer and the hotels and motels are not happy because they have to pay the price for this. I can't wait to retire and start using - i will never have to stay in a bad hotel/motel again (by making sure I don't book a motel with a low review score). I do however see taking over the marketplace, forcing up the standard rate of commission which will in turn force up the price of motel/hotel stays. They have however on their part got there business modele exactly right. I also predict that will takeover trip advisor. In my town, i know that about 25% of the reviews are fake. With maybe lucky if 1% are fake as it is too costly for hotels/motels to be writing a fake review for their property. For this reason i never touch trip advisor....and i work in the industry!! you should probably do the same to anyone who actually reads this far down!

  • escort bayan

    We generally have individuals coming in guaranteeing they have a reservation with our lodging when they don't. I need to illustrate it to them like this; They have a reservation with , NOT with our inn, we don't have any connection with, and what that site is doing is actually duplicity, and that in the event that they needed a room with our inn, they ought to have reached us, not some Jo Blow organization based out of ruler knows where. Online organizations, for example, or are they greatest irritation I need to manage in my day, in light of the fact that they don't perform their obligation, they don't book ANYTHING they simply tell the client they have a reservation and afterward undertake confidence that these lodgings really have an extra room accessible. Its frightful, needing to watch individuals leave with no room to stay in light of the fact that we're completely involved, and had no booking for these irregular individuals.

  • FOM

    When I joined the hotel as FOM in-charge of revenue, I was shocked by the huge portion of in the average occupancy for a month, 64%, 15 days later I had one of my agents forgot to cxl a fraud booking of 30 days in the extra-net, guess what! I had to pay the commission of nearly 1K USD, on overbooking situation, u will never be able to reach some1 to help you out especially when your hotel is set in Auto replenish, means the moment you cxl a booking it gets replaced by another on the spot, 2 months later I got pissed from this guys, and implemented my own way to fill up my receptionists pockets with cash rather than paying huge amounts from 20% commission to, today I managed to drug down their percentage to 12% only .... I don't mind to NULL it ..

  • Mike

    I dont mind, if you stay on top of it it can be a easy source of recenue. The one thing i hate is the reviews and how they cannot be disputed

  • Martyn have recently left the UK and are now based in Amsterdam. Their commission charges of 15% originally included UK they don't pay that and the effective cost to us as a small hotel has gone up.( we can't reclaim the VAT we used to be able to do). Also in the UK swamp the first page of the search engine with their own, paid for site plus numerous satellite sites, all purporting to be our hotel -we actually appear 5 or 6 down from the top. The unenlightened will not have noticed that the page they are going to is not actually our URL. On top of that several of these sites are using info from the previous owner -4 years ago!! If only I could afford to dump them......

  • Steve does give a lot of reservations to a hotel or someone in the accommodation business, but they are terrible. There customer service is god-awful and they are extremely rude on the phone to hoteliers. They only care about their reputation from the customers side and never look into to the best interest of the business. We have had many issues with them and anytime we do you can bet that you will receive a plethora of calls from their service department in some voice commanding that you obey them or else. As this article suggests and many other comments above, if we didn't receive a decent amount of bookings from them, we'd drop them in an instant.

  • thetravelbug

    Also just leaving I was using it for just a small apartment and had nothing but trouble. Awful system, very poor description that says nothing about the apartment except bland details. Constantly had to request policy changes and these never got done. Parts of back office never worked. Then one of my first bookings was what appeared to be a scam booking - for one night from someone coming half way round the world. I contacted to ask them to check into it - nothing. I got nothing from the client and again asked them to cancel it. I travel a lot and cannot always be online to login and cancel a booking that was a complete scam anyway so they are now trying to charge me commission on that. Then there was a situation where I received two bookings within minutes of each other, one from and one from another site. The one from was for only a short stay compared to a much more lucrative booking from elsewhere. I contacted and was told I had to honour the booking or book the client into a similar place, which I could not do. Therefore I opted to honour the reservation. The client later cancelled but insist this was an overbooking and want commission for it. They have constantly told me how I can accept money from my guests, what I can and cannot do with my own apartment. The customer service is non-existant. The people you deal with are useless and often do not respond, except to copy and paste the terms and conditions or other notes. I have now cancelled my listing with them and am still trying to sort out the commissions issue. If you can get bookings another way I would avoid at all costs.

  • Peter

    I am a long time and frequent user of I have found no other site comparable to the advantages offer. I spend on average 6 months each year staying in hotels. There are no fees : no booking fee, no cancellation fee and no credit card fees. Thier website allows selection of what I am seeking. In my case : transparent pricing ( mostly ), free wifi, good location, good price, aircon, a review score above 7.5, no cash upfront and free cancellation up to 3 days before arrival. The booking conditions are clear. And no worries about credit card fraud should I book direct with a hotel. If I should find that the hotel is offering a cheaper price direct, I can claim a credit back from I have only done once over some 250 bookings. Their nearest competitor in the regions I travel ( Asia/Pacific ), Agoda, never have transparent pricing, charges fees for cancellations and as you pay before arrival, credit card fees when you would rather pay cash. My only complaint is with thier site design. Frequent pop-ups are annoying and of no value. If hotels are paying extra to be first on the list....fools....and underestimate the intelligence of their customers. You go to a website like to SEARCH. To hotels who complain, no one has forced you to use Did they hold a knife to your back? In my experience, most hotels, except the big chains have terrible websites that are difficult to navigate and don't have all the relevant information a user would normally require. So many don't reply to emails within a reasonable time frame ( 1 day ). With, I have most of my booking all on one site and listed for easy review. I am in Japan now and have used Rakuten and Japanican when I found that occasionally they offered better pricing than Just some ramblings from a humble hotel customer. Maybe someday someone in the hotel industry will build a better mousetrap!! Until that time, I am a happy user.

  • Polo

    Hi Travelbug, I own a property and they were taking out money as they mistook my place for somewhere else. I had to do all the work at proving their errors and then they said that I need to deduct what they me from future bookings. I had someone book and blocked my place for a week and that person never got back to me, I lost a week of potential business as booking were toeing and froing with emails. Then the last booking was a huge error, about 80 % of the normal price. I have spent hours now.I found replacements but they were not good enough and now booking says they will deduct the commission from me. Their people call everyday and they don't do anything. In fact I said I would try again if they give me a list of requirements that need to be fulfilled . Now they have changed the number of guests and even the dates. I told them that I was not a travel agent. If you have a villa or small property there are much better websites and a lot less complicated. I added their commission on top of my normal price, so they were not the cheapest site advertising my property.

  • Polo

    Hi, Guess what? If you can't honour a reservation from Booking and you find alternative accommodation on another website they still charge you the commission> Yes it's in the contract and also if the alternative accommodation is more expensive you get to pay the difference. Way to go or is it LIKETOFYOU.COM

  • Hotel Booking

    Hotel Booking is not a problem with but you have to fixed your mind and stick on your target .If hotels are paying extra to be first on the list….fools….and underestimate the intelligence of their customers. You go to a website like to SEARCH.

  • Nathalie

    Hello everyone, I am an hostel owner (6 rooms) in Belize. We started the process to be register by but at the last minute we decided not too. The perspective of having more booking looks great, but wait a minute, 20% comission and they don t do anything. But the hotel owner who has to deal with the real work (cleaning, customers service, hiring more staff, so more expenses), just get more work with a lower profite. So at the end of the day the hotel owner and staff are the one having more work, and on top we give 20% to a corporation. It looks like modern corporate slavery to me. More work to be able to pay our dim to the corporation. I like the previous post talking about dependency, that all is about, once they have you in control cause they provide all your booking, they can do anything they want. So we told them we are not intressted anymore, and they have been calling us for a year to try to get us, I could feel the greed. I prefer to work less and have a quality life and enjoy other acivities like farming and playing music. If I would have be with booking, I couldn t refuse to work extra for lower money. I prefer to make less money and have more time, be less stressed so I can take care of my guets, enjoy time in they company insted of being squizzed by a corporation. Freedom is very importante to me and I don t want to have a big corporation as a boss, treating me like a slave. All the post I have red here and what I heard about other hotel owners in Belize just confirme what I thought, it is a big corporation trying to enslave us by getting us dependent. We are lucky to have our own network, great website, travel guide books, social media, and the most important, guests who don t make reservation and just walk in without booking, and those always have a room, whitch couldn t be possible with holding room for them. Hotel owers be strong and independant, your spirit and your soul will feel better on the long run.

  • Eveline

    I noticed, reading through this, that were under investigation in 2012 about their rate parity policy. I can't find what happened to that. I know that it is still in their contract, but should it not be illegal?

  • Mark

    "When I joined the hotel as FOM in-charge of revenue, I was shocked by the huge portion of in the average occupancy for a month, 64%, 15 days later I had one of my agents forgot to cxl a fraud booking of 30 days in the extra-net, guess what! I had to pay the commission of nearly 1K USD, on overbooking situation, u will never be able to reach some1 to help you out especially when your hotel is set in Auto replenish, means the moment you cxl a booking it gets replaced by another on the spot, 2 months later I got pissed from this guys, and implemented my own way to fill up my receptionists pockets with cash rather than paying huge amounts from 20% commission to, today I managed to drug down their percentage to 12% only …. I don’t mind to NULL it .." Hello FOM: Could you please tell explain more to learn about your approach Thank you very much for sharing

  • Abba

    I have a small hotel and dealing with last 4-5 years and I pay 20% commission. I also pay rent to the real owner of the property. So, I think earns more than me from my hotel while I do all the dirty job. I work at least 12 hours a day for 7 days a week. Maybe I can give a small advice to other hotel owners. I changed my contract with and now all my reservations are "non refundable". Of course it scare many of the customers but whoever reserve a room definitely coming to the hotel. And most importantly, I charge credit cards just after they make reservation. So, I don't have to wait for the clients to check-in to the hotel to get the money. If clients don't accept this, they don't make reservation (everything is legal and written clearly on our hotel page on I charge full amount of the reservation immediately. And I don't have to pay back even if they want to cancel it. Because it is a non refundable reservation, they can not cancel. If I can not charge full amount from the customers credit card, I have right to mark the reservation as "invalid" and if client can not give a new credit card in 24 hours, I have right to cancel this reservation. All legal and correct. Sorry about my English, but hoteliers, don't lower yourselves. Get less reservations but get real ones. Before I was getting 10 reservations with many problems, cancellations etc. Now I get 3-4 reservations but with no problems. Oh, one more thing; I have a fine website (professional SEO done) and I didn't put any price at all. It is just clearly written on the front page mentions with large size fonts that customers will get %5 discount (from the lowest amount they can find on internet) if they call and make their reservation directly to the hotel. And I get lots of direct reservations. What will happen if finds out? I don't know, lets wait and see. ;)

  • John Bolton

    Searched the web for complaints about booking agencies and found this web site, no point in searching, complaints as you get, book here. Ok, as a Guest House involved so to speak with BC I am not treated as a customer, which I am as I pay them commission. We get reviews on BC which in the main are good but ocassionally we get malicious and unfair reviews which we are unable to respond to as the Guest prevents this, for obvious reasons. Will BC change their policies regarding this, in no way will they do this. In the UK you can not survive without booking agencies but their philosophy is totally wrong and they have forgotten basic marketing philosophy as they see the Guests as their customers whereas the Guests are their prioduct they are selling to the customers they have forgotten, the hospitality industry, a reckioning is in the making.

  • Jay Krishnan does not publish all reviews. Recently I stayed in a hotel and had bad experience of having to wait an hour for checking in. I wrote about this in detail, but it did not appear in the site. This hotel is still listed as very nice and charming, while it is an average one. I did not even receive a mail from saying why they have not published my review. So I suspect that they are even selling the negative reviews back to the hotel and pasting only the good ones on their site. There are some negative reviews - to balance it out. But I feel they are hiding most of the negative ones.

  • Enis Ektem

    Hi everyone, I run a boutique hotel with 10 rooms in Istanbul. I work with for 5 years. Let me tell you: It is hoteliers' worst best friend. And they are strong. Always remember those. If you know how to deal with that giant, you make good money. If you don't know their rules, they make you pay for it or they keep you out of the pitch. So you better learn their rules. I don't think guests prefer to contact to hotel directly. At least, "professional tourists" prefer because they also know how to use it. Most of the guests prefer to make reservations by because they think it's safer than dealing with the hotel. Informations like "Last sale was 30 minutes ago" and "2 rooms left" are true informations. And I have never seen a fake comment on my or my neighbours' hotel's page. They are reliable than TripAdvisor's comments. Lastly, if there were another OTA that big and strong as, I d leave and work with that OTA immediately. When I say good things about it doesn't mean that they are an angel. What I'm saying is, You can trust as a guest or an hotelier; only if you know well about their rules.

  • Joe used to be very profesional and the most reliable site for online bookings. I believe it is still one of the top but Expedia is threatening hard, especially in the profesional and truthfull way. When I say this I mean that has recently did one thing which compromises this site very seriously. I am talking about that little "thumb up" mark next to the name of certain motels/hotels, etc. When you hover over this mark with your mouse you get an information, roughly: this object participates in the most prefered program and is recommended from for its great service, prices and ratings. You would think that objects with thumbs up mark are really special and that they offer more compared to the accommodations which don't have the same mark. I mean guarantee for this, right? Well, actually no! Properties gets this "special" thumbs up mark by paying for it to the Owners of the properties pay 15% commission for every reservation instead of default 12% and they always have to keep one room available for site. This means that properties with thumbs up mark did not deserve this mark of excellence but they have bought it. So is actually laying and deceiving potential guests in the way that they guarantee for this object as a prefered one. This is a big disgrace and a huge disappointment for us, long time loyal users of! Thanks for reading and please excuse my English.

  • bookings111 owns agoda

  • Marija is big, no doubt about that, but quality is very poor. Unprofessional and unsafe. They do not stick to their side of the contract therefore no one is safe. Good companies and private renters are removing their listings from this site as they prefer to have 10% less bookings if necessary but without the stress and problems that brings into business so the medium or poor quality will stay on this site, but good ones will rely on something else rather than

  • Leah

    So, can someone make a list of decent booking sites that don't try to rip off hoteliers? with short comments on each one? I've worked with for a year now, i'd much rather take my business somewhere else.

  • thetravelbug

    Can anyone who has had problems with get in touch with me. I am still, many months later, being threatened with legal action by them for non paid commissions, commissions that are not due. I have written twice to head office and nothing. Not even the decency of a reply. There seems many disgruntled hoteliers out there (as well as guests) so maybe we should take our stories to the media? Or at least have our own facebook group?

  • Pamela Barnhill

    Great blog. Suggest checking out as both the guest and the hotel save. The commission is back to the old school 10% and the guest earn free nights worldwide. It's a win-win for everyone.

  • Hugo Camarillo

    How can I find out what is the commission booking charges to a hotel? I have a small property and I am still deciding if advertise my property on Booking . com. Thank you!

  • Ànnie

    Don't use I had to find the hard way how they proceed. Their website states upon making the reservation the hotel/car rental,etc. would charge your card on the day of the reservation made. Well that is not the case. I book a hotel through for 2nights in Athens. Not only I did not get charged on the day I made the reservation, but I got charged 1 month after, or a day after I checked out. To top it off I got charged for international transaction fee. The whole purpose on booking my hotels prior from the states was to avoid the international transaction fee. And not only that but now it gets really hard for me to find out how much more I got charged. The exchange currency trade changes every day.... How stupid is that?!?!?! Not only that but you enter your card information for and they release that information to the hotel...... Don't book thorugh priceline nor booking. Pricilene is now actually Better go to a different website if you want to save yourself hassle. My best bet now is when I call my bank to be reimbursed for the additional charges. I regret so much using!

  • jorge

    I hace to say that booking is reallu nice and flexible I work in a small hotel Booking is our number one seller and you decide the amount of comition 20% is tour choicw abd of course they will sello more like any good vendor

  • Dublin B&B

    I run a small bed and breakfast in Dublin and have worked with for the past 3 years. I'm a big fan at this stage as my revenue and occupancy rate have grown each year. Why? Because we are very highly rated in their user reviews and that's what many of the end users of their site values. I have been able to up my rates because my product is excellent and the reviews reflect it. It's a marvellous marketing platform for a small business. I pay 15% and have never had a bad experience with their support. Like a previous poster said about your best worst enemy. Follow the rules and understand the policies and then you can have a mutually beneficial relationship.

  • DL Mhan

    I just pulled out of after they cost me more than $2600.00 in bookings in a little more than one month. They don't verify these so-called "guests" and every last one was a no show or very last minute cancel. When we receive a reservation we block out the rooms on other booking sites and our own reservation calendar to prevent overbooking. They don't care that they cost us a tremendous amount of money over two holiday periods but are only looking for their commissions - they can pound sand. When we first started using they were great, but are nothing but sloppy now. I could no longer afford to due business with a company that send us frauds for customers. Worst of all they attempt to hide behind Dutch Law although they are doing business in US. We now offer incentives for our repeat guests and since we don't have to pay their commissions we can turn those savings over to our customers and they are the one's that truly matter. I booked a reservation at my own establishment with using all very ridiculous information and it was never picked up on. As a guest looking for a hotel using I would be very worried about just where they are sending me and whether it is real or more importantly safe, based on my personal experiences. Be sure you do your due diligence when using either as the hotel owner or the hotel guest.

  • Joao

    Just booked rooms through them, thought I had read everything about the hotel. Booking confirmation has come through stating they do not accept 'Stag Parties' tried to phone the hotel straight away, no answer but message left. The hotel policy states you will be charged the full amount of one of the two nights if you cancel. If they don't accept us as a stag party can they really still charge me if I tried to cancel straight away?

  • Roberto

    I would NEVER I mean NEVER use these guys again for anything. I booked a hotel in Hawaii and had to change my check out date to one day earlier because of flight issues. Well would not even try to accommodate me. I am checking out of hotel a day earlier but they are charging me for the extra day claiming that the Hotel will not accommodate me. I contacted the hotel and they blame As far as I am concerned took my application for the room and my credit card info and I hold them accountable. Bad company to deal with. I travel a lot in USA and Canada but can assure you I will NEVER use these guys again.

  • Wiltrud

    We made a booking for my son through last year when he was going to participate in the powerlifting world championships at Iguazu. We eventually decided that he would not take part last year and we cancelled. I still have the cancellation e-mail confirmation from them and had no problem with it whatsoever. We have booked again for the championship later this year in Vegas, again through I use them because they do not require upfront payment; we're still in the process of arranging funding for this purpose.

  • Max Lewenhaupt

    I never will trust on any longer they promess to do not take money on advance but i get 2 times on problems with my bank for unplanned overdraft. I pay but i promess fight again Booking as long as i can. I strongly recommend to use other ways to book.

  • Henrywilliamsonn

    I personally use nd trust on which is one of the leading hotel booking websites nowadays and is helping you find the right hotel at the right price.

  • Atno Smith is a scam operation posting false photos of the Empress Hotel in New Orleans and them charging your credit card three months in advance. We wanted to cancel when We found out how much of a dump the establishment was from previously traveled visitors photos. I have no problem supporting the small Mom and Pop operations, but don't scam people with photo shopped photos.

  • Colleen Margaretson

    We own a bed and breakfast in New Zealand but do not get many bookings through They top up our occupancy. I am not a great fan for several reasons, but will stick with them for awhile longer. The instant confirmation to guests is a problem for us, being a small operation and with no recourse to using a Channel manager as they do not cover all the sites we are listed with. Unless I IMMEDIATELY update a booking from another source onto the booking.Com site, there is a very real chance of an over booking from them and to get that reversed is a nightmare. The reviews can help other guests , but they can easily damage your reputation with one guest review from someone who was just not a happy soul. As a guest who has also booked through this medium, I would rather contact the hotel or b&b directly because the rooms we have been allocated in various hotels in the past have definitely been the smallest and cheapest the hotel could offer, even though the photos showed things differently.

  • monir hossain

    Power and associates reported that has the highest customer satisfaction rate of independent travel websites, mainly due to competitiveness of pricing.

  • Thomas

    BE AWARE OF BOOKING.COM - They re the biggest cheater in this planet and it has to be forbidden immediately. They share credit card information of the guests with some extra income.. BE AWARE!!! Terrible events.

  • Kay

    So glad I read these reviews before booking..I rang hotel direct asked for the same place as & they were more than happy to do so..Thanks Adrian Jones for the tip :-)

  • Andrew

    As a customer, what I want the most are good prices, review system and easy/flexible booking process. does that well enough. It's true that they share CC info, as in most cases they employ post-payment where I am charged at the hotel so they need that in order to allow the hotel to charge cancellation penalties. If you're not there, they still need to be able to charge you somehow. I would rather give that info to over a secure standard channel (that is PCI-compliant) rather than directly to a hotel that may not employ a certified platform (smaller hotels may not afford audits for a PCI-certification or developers to integrate their systems with PCI-certified providers directly). Personally I'd love to book directly with hotels if they would directly match what I can get through I *always* directly check their websites only to find that: - usability is awful and/or not supporting newer browsers - no ability to have bookings recognized by scheduling apps (google calendar, triptit) - sorry but I'm a techie and as such why would I manually build my trip schedule when I can do it with two simple email forwards to tripit (one for flights and one for hotel confirmations)? - higher prices (sometimes I find out to my shock that the hotel simply forgot to update their own online prices - reasons invoked usually come down to blaming an old management platform that was custom built back in the day but they don't want to pay an outsourcing company to update it nor do they want in-hous developers). what impression does that leave? Yeah, I could call (once I did) and find out they could offer the same (no up-front charges, pay on checkin, etc) and did so (missing out on scheduling) but I'm probably not going to do that again. The article above is just as valid today: if you don't want to be prisoner of a system, expand. Associate with other small hotels, beef up your booking system (get certified if you want to handle CC data), do some average SEO, go mobile ffs (mobile website, some mobile booking features). It's expensive to ensure you won't stay a victim of hawks like, but as long as their system has more to offer, then that's how it's gonna be! I've worked with booking systems before as a developers so I know what I'm talking about. makes money from doing the things you (as a hotel) don't want to invest in. Invest in those things and you won't be reliant on them.

  • hhbva

    My experience with was not pleasant. I booked 5 nights at a hotel in Puerto Ayora, Isla Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos Islands through The advertised price per night was $213.12. Thus, the total credit card payment I authorized was $1,065.60. There was a notation (in fine print) that a 10% service charge and 12% VAT were not included. The next things I knew was that I received notification from that the hotel had informed them that my credit card had been declined, which left me, to put it mildly, stunned. I immediately contacted my credit card issuer only to find out that two separate attempts, in apparently rapid succession, had been made to charge my card, one for $1,065.60, which I had authorized in my booking, and a second for $1,300.03, which I had not authorized as part of the booking process. I recognized that the higher charge included the so-called "service" charge of 10& and the 12% VAT, both of which I had assumed would be collected separately by the hotel on check-out, as I believe is the norm, especially since the VAT is typically refundable at the airport prior to home-bound departure. What possible justification is there for collecting a "service" charge for services not yet rendered or a VAT for value not yet added? Nowhere was it disclosed on the booking site that these taxes would, separately from the original booking through, and immediately, be added by the hotel itself to the "booked" amount of $1,065.60. Nor was it even disclosed that and were one and the same company, or at least affiliates of the same enterprise, i.e., It should also be noted that an earlier rebuttal comment, above, on behalf of that the site uses "post-payment," i.e., payment at the hotel. That is not true, as my credit card was charged immediately upon booking. Thus, mine was a typical advance payment in full, to which I have no objection in and of itself, but I merely want to take exception to an the aforementioned comment. My principal complaint here is that Agoda/ uses less than completely and readily transparent advertised rates and fails to make complete and candid disclosure regarding the payment process in efforts to lure customers into using their site rather than the many others that are out there. To add insult to injury, when I complained about my experience to what I thought was the "customer service" e-mail address, I received successive evasive non-replies that never acknowledged the real issues here. I am done with both and whatever their affiliation.

  • Peter Orr

    I operate a small hotel and we have been listed with for a year and a half. I'm generally pleased with the boost in occupancy and my dealings with -- with one exception. A earlier post complained that did not vet its guests and the poster complained about his loss resulting from no-shows. We attempt to protect ourselves from such losses by a 25% deposit requirement which is paid through Paypal. It works pretty well to weed out the reservations by clients that are not committed to coming. When it becomes clear that the guest will not respond to the deposit request, the hotel has to notify customer service to request that they cancel the reservation. Other examples of when the hotel has to request the cancellation of a particular reservation is when the guest makes a request on the reservation that indicates they haven't bothered to read the room description, such as requesting two beds for a room that has only one, or cooking facilities when the chose a room that does not have a kitchenette. If the guest does not respond to the hotel after being informed that their request is not possible to satisfy with the room they reserved, the hotel needs to convince customer service to record a cancellation. Then there is the situation where the guest notifies the hotel of a cancellation but does no bother to notify None of this would be a problem if customer service was as responsive to the cancellation requests from the hotel as they presumably are to communications from guests. But it can take a week or more and several e-mails to get customer service to finally agree to agree to record the reservation as cancelled, even when all the proof necessary is provided by the hotel. In the meantime the room is not bookable. A couple of months ago I wrote the CEO and complained that the hotel was losing revenue and was losing commissions because customer service was not geared to responding to cancellation requests by hotels. I am impressed that the CEO was quick to respond. He responded by saying that reservation cancellation was a guest driven process, so he wasn't clear why a hotel would be involved in that process. The only mechanism provides to hotels to readily cancel a reservation is the no show button that only appears on the hotel's extranet next to the reservation at midnight on the day the guest was supposed to arrive. As we don't have experience with any other online booking service, I can't say whether this is a common failing with such services.

  • Jane Walke

    As a hotel owner can you confirm if we are able to claim back VAT from the commission invoice. If not and because they are no longer in the UK please can you confirm when they left the UK. And when they were in the UK were we able to claim back the VAT then.

  • Lee Rivers

    We have been with B.Com for 4 years, being a large corporate its hard to talk to customer services and often find them quite rude in their approach to the so called hotel partners. There is no flexibility even when it's questionable who's at fault they want their commissions, if it's a double booking they win 2 sets of commisions. We have recently installed a new reservations system linked to a channel manager, a result of this is it seems to be driving bookings through our website which is free of commissions. We are now going to remove the different room type options from B.Com and keep the superior rooms for sale on our website only. Let's use them to sell the worst rooms at a lower commision. In truth though it's made easy with B.Com who have a ready made supply of customers, we can all be a victim of being lazy by becoming reliant on B.Com who in time will take over your business.

  • kevin sean

    i ask for a hotel in ho chi minh city the one i booked with them it said was 6.5 kms away from the city center but was over 20kms away been 3 weeks now and still trying to get the money back they stole from my bank account because i didn't take up the booking

  • Chris from Perth

    Thanks for the article and comments. I have used for many years to book rooms and am now retired and looking at villas in Bali for (a) when I am not using mine and (b) a couple I intend to built and rent. Usual horror stories in the responses and for customers a lot of it reading the fine print. Many hotels, etc on have different prices for free cancellation n- if your travel insurance will not cover a cancellation (e.g. you changed your mind or got a better deal elsewhere), pay the extra for free cancellation so you can cancel the booking. If cancelling, try to help the hotel out by doing it asap - I am sure they appreciate the notice and the ability to re-let the room. Another handy hint, if not sure if the photos are up to spec or something else regarding the hotel or room, contact the hotel direct with an email. You can then ask your question, if not satisfied, you can then click on the free cancellation button. This can also be ammo for a dispute - e.g. you think the room you have booked looks photoshopped. Ask them to send you a photo of the room you are staying in and then if it in reality is not the room you get, you have email evidence from them. No free cancellation button? Use a different hotel. The posting above mine from kevin sean: why didn't you check the hotel google maps? I always check google maps - I find the map on is basically poor due to the small size - much rather just open a page on google maps and have a look (one reason I do not use their mobile app when booking somewhere I haven't been before). I use my PC or Surface Pro 3 (both with nice big screens and you can click directions from the hotel to the city centre. I also like many posters have made a mistake and booked a room without cancel options and had to forfeit the room price. Booked Roosendaal in Holland last year - much cheaper than Amsterdam and train tickets are very cheap in Holland with good rail connections. The strikes by GDL on Deutche Bahn were coming out of the blue and we were stuck in Hungary with no way to get to Holland in time. The booking was non cancellable (my bad) and we lost about 90 Euros (wasn't worth claiming on travel insurance which had an excess higher. My first mistake in 10 years of 3 trips a year to Europe!! I have never had the problem of double booking the same room on I have had a poor net connection and not been able to confirm if a booking went through. I suspect those who have been billed twice are clicking twice on confirmation because they didn't think it had gone through (net connection is a bug bear of mine). Always wait 24 hours if something seems to go wrong with a booking - don't just click confirm twice. Within 24 hours you will get the confirmation email - if you have net coverage :) If nothing comes through, check you credit card if paid up front and if nothing, then OK go ahead again. I have just booked 4 hotel bookings today - 3 with and one with Accor/IBIS as I like their hotels and have a Gold Rating with them (Genius rating with IBIS booked and paid up front for Linz in June - got a good rate with a special on the emails and that one is locked as it is first point of call for the trip so if problems getting their including flights, I will have lots to claim on insurance. Also checked for same hotel (more expensive and I don't get the status credits with IBIS. Booked Koln in Germany on for 2 days at a place I haven't been before - checked the reviews and selected free cancellation extra 10% cost. (those GDL strikes on DB are on again all this week and who knows if they will be working when I get there!!). Booked my regular hotel in Bali for next week for 6 days on the pay now rate- price online at their website was more expensive. Again if a problem getting to Bali from Perth, it is probably claimable with the flight. Booked another 4 days at another hotel on as a free cancellation for extra 10% - not sure if staying at a friend's villa for those days or if I need the hotel. Will know when he finishes transit in a couple of days and can then cancel (early) if needed. NB: As I am Genius rated on, all 3 bookings got a 10% extra discount :) I am happy but not sure if this is a straight extra reduction to the hotel (on which they still pay the flat commission rate for the lower room rental receipt) or if take a lower commission? I suspect the answer is leaning more to the first!! Conclusions on being a customer: 1. Read the conditions and don't assume 2. Use the free cancellation option where possible - yes it costs more but it gives you flexibility (especially where travel insurance will not cover (again read your travel insurance wording on exclusions, inclusions, excesses, etc). 3. Take good travel insurance out - I have an annual policy through Amex but there are plenty of good quality ones (don't get sucked in on the cheap ones available on the web - too many horror stories and by far the highest level of complaints to the Australian ombudsman on insurances claims is travel insurance. Also book the travel insurance as soon as you book the first flight or accommodation - my wife broke her elbow 2 weeks ago and was due to fly to Canada to see our daughter this week before heading to Europe - she has a single trip travel insurance policy she took out 2 days before she did her elbow - has saved a fortune as she can now postpone and fly direct to Europe at the end of the month. 4. Check other website and trip advisor - if raises questions, email the hotel. 5. If going to use the same hotel a lot, when there have a chat with the manager to see if special discounts on booking direct (may have to give up free cancellation flexibility but can usually negotiate this). 6. Book early. I plan my trips months advance, keep an eye out for specials (IBIS, UK Travelodge, Hilton, etc by registering for their emails). Flying from Perth (and soon Bali) costs an arm and a leg if you don't book your flights and accom when you get good rates. I have a diary on outlook I use only for trios. I set the dates and start filling the locations and then link the bookings as I fill them. Usually save 50% if I can book 3 months out or longer. This European trip is a bit ad-hoc as I just retired but I am still saving 25%+ Right, that is my thoughts from a regular travellers point of view. On to being a supplier of accommodation (hopefully next year). Up to 3 villas to rent in Bali and never having done this before, I was looking for some info (did a google and came up with this excellent article). Probably if go ahead would use the affiliate which I presume has the same commission rates - people have bandied around 20%, 15% and 12% - all a bit high but I know some retirees in Bali who just rely on their own website and don't get much business. Probably will check it out - not sure what their fine print is in regards their rules (some very negative and quite positive comments on's rules here so will have to find out and see if I can make head or tails of them. Thinking of either no cancellation option or more than the standard 2 days cancellation notice they show on - do they allow longer? I can see the early bookings being a risk if they cancel at the last minute and leave me high and dry (and empty). A late cancellation can really be a problem with little chance to fill the gap as early books block the room. Staff costs in Bali are ridiculously cheap but they are still a cost as having people on standby and late cancellation will eat into revenue. Another thought is to get a driver to pick up and drop off at the airport - can you tailor the site so people can ask (and pay for this and so you have an option to find out the flight details and how many need to be picked up?). Will also want to get a map reference added (road signage is poor in Bali and house/ villa numbers almost no existent, so they will need good directions if getting their own transport). Would also like to link to my own website (doubt they will let that happen), so I can lay out some options for them (driver availability, tourist trips, internet usage, computer usage, shops for food, meal options, phone chips, maps, housekeeper options, etc). I would rather they have this info before they arrive - many people take short trips in Bali (week or less). Having to sort all that out when they arrive with hard copies will be a pain (especially if I am travelling and having to rely on a manager). Does the and allow you the booking guest's email address? Would be easier as all this can be pre-planned before they arrive. Lots of questions and if anyone wants to help, please answer on here. Will be interesting exercise and see if I can learn from some of the issues others have had - appreciate the comments to date. Keep them rolling :) Chris

  • Joni scam the user - they gave me a final price and promised no additional fees and no payment till yet charged me a non refundable fee for using my credit card when there is no other option to pay. Then they asked for multiple pieces of evidence to prove we were charged a fee we shouldn't have been and after all that did nothing. they also mention that they want your CC details only to secure the booking yet immediately charged my card. They cost significantly more than other hotels in the area so we cancelled, only to find we had lost the 2 % already charged to our CC despite promises they don't do this. Wish we'd read the 100 odd other unhappy customers reviews first on other sites! Wouldn't use them again.

  • steve

    As a hotelier myself i can comment on the (NONE) performance of I have been trying to register my property with them since Jan this year and have been given the runaround. This week i finally got a reply to assist with going on line only to be told that as the property is for sale they would not accept my application. THIS IS AFTER FILLING IN COUNTLESS FORMS, nowhere are you asked that question. Having left my previous service i have now lost several thousand pounds and not a word of apology from I will certainly not recommend them to anyone.

  • hula

    The worst is the new email policy. All emails go thru them. Occasionally they will forward an email to me but I usually have to actually be ON's site to receive emails from my customers. Not only am I not on my computer all the time (after all, I run a hotel), but I certainly do not have their site up all the time when I am on my computer.

  • hula

    Thought the email policy was bad, Now it seems will no longer be sharing credit card info either. They will collect the funds and then charge the hotels a percentage to access the funds, in addition to their commission. Feed the Beast!

  • Jeff Fergueon

    Hi All, As a villa Owner, am listed on as many sites as possible. However, we also list on world Skies Holidays. They offer commission free bookings. They then charge a small booking fee to the guest so that the hotels can maximize their profits.

  • Tomas M.

    I have to write about this in case anyone would like to start doing business with Out small inn in the middle of Europe is one of the keenest places to stay, about half hour from Prague. The stay is so great that we rarely get a rating below 9.0 on any servers. Until now. has done it. A guest stayed at our inn and although it is a non-smoking inn and all the guests are informed about this on, vouchers and here upon arrival, this guest chose to smoke in our room. My colleague saw him and he tried to hide. We kindly asked him to stop, even though we would normally ask such a guest to leave. We had to clean up the room and the wall outside of the guests window to remove the ashes from when he put out the cigarette. Upon review, this guest gave us such a low grade that it moved our overall review by a whole point. This has lowered our business quite a bit. When I called asking them to remove the unfair review or allow us to comment on it, they refused. I feel this is a very unfair practice from this company. If you are considering working with them you should think twice.

  • Anne Marie Abraham

    During July and August 2015, I had 2 reservations at hotels made through 1) Reservation at One King West Hotel and Residence, Toronto, Canada - Reservation was confirmed by to include laundry facilities. When I arrived at the hotel I was told the room and the rate quoted by would not be honored by the hotel. I was charged extra for a room with laundry facilities. 2) Reservation at Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, Canada. This was originally booked for single occupancy one bed, but was changed for double occupancy for 2 beds. I received and have the confirmation for 2 beds, double occupancy at the same rate. When my husband and 29 year old daughter arrived at the hotel, they were told the room was single occupancy, one bed and the hotel was fully booked. This necessitated my husband and daughter sharing a bed in a very small room.

  • selina

    I have used as a host for 10 months now. We can't accept card payments in the townhouse as we don't have a card machine installed into our home. So we ask guests to either pay deposit through Paypal or bank transfer, or pay cash on the day. We have had guests not responding to their emails (through system) and not paying deposit, then not cancelling their booking and not even turning up! But won't open up the days of 'guest didn't show' so we could have a booking replaced. We lost out money, time, cleaners, waiting around for hours for guests who didn't bother turning up or letting us know, and not paying for it. Most of all was the lack of help from Last straw was when a guest booked a weekend stay of £400+. Didn't pay deposit, didn't pick up calls or emails, and finally didn't turn up on the day. I called helpline and after 5 hours they simply wrote back 'guest says he did not make the booking' then another replied 'guest apologises for not being able to cancel prior to checking in date' - our policy was non-refundable. The calendar still showed we were fully booked so no one could book with us. is an absolute nightmare. They are rude and have never shown any interest in helping hosts get through their unusable booking system. It is not user friendly to us and their commission is way over priced for what their service is. Bottom line, =

  • Tim Frenklin

    I have used & I extremely satisfied with its services.

  • Gary Smith

    I totally agree with Selina's post above. customer service is not fit for purpose in my eaperience. Customers booking on the website can hold rooms open, not pay the deposit and do nothing about it. I have resorted to complaining on Twitter to name and shame, but even struggle to get a response via this route. .Reservation ID: 336698391 is the latest problem. Customer presses the booking button, promises to pay a deposit, but nothing materialises. I ask for help to secure the deposit or release the room and nothing in reply. Previous guests have told me the website is ambiguous suggesting no credit card is required, to secure the booking, when we dont actually take credit cards but clearly ask for a deposit by bank transfer. We have asked repeatedly to honestly portray the facts to avoid confusion but they wont do anything. All owners have a choice whether to use and accept their format, but unless things improve dramatically we will be leaving the site. Meanwhile hopefully someone replies to our query on Reservation ID: 336698391

  • An affiliate

    Of course with 98% satisfaction comes the 2% who will scream and post about it online. We've all done it. As for the opaqueness of the situation for affiliates, will not reveal the hotel commission to me, so I do not know if I am getting 25-40% of 12%, 15%, 18%, 20%, etc… I suppose the thought it an affiliate is too small to matter…at this point there's enough type-in and organic traffic. Probably correct. As with everything else these days, find a small untapped niche and exploit that.

  • Hermien Brittnell

    Thanks for this great article. I can SO relate to this... Excited every time a booking is made via, but then when the bill arrives I feel quite depressed paying Booking.Com that huge amount for commission while me and my husband is doing all the hard work! With a small 6-bedroom guesthouse and a lot of "competition" in town, we cannot survive without being listed on! I am definitely going to explore all the great tips for other marketing channels. We did get a great looking website live about two months ago, especially with the intension to draw more direct bookings and hopefully pay less commission to Regards Hermien, Karoo Sun Guesthouse, Oudtshoorn, South Africa

  • Alex

    I will totally not recommend for the following reason. I booked a hotel for Marseille in October 2015. The room booked (Hotel le Vieux port) was indicated as a 2 adults + 2 children room. But, when I arrived, the room was only for 2 adults and one child! I contacted by phone about that issue and their agent admitted the responsibility of She ensured me I would be refund and found me another hotel (for which I paid again). After a few months I checked my statements and saw no refund. I contacted the customer service, but is now refusing to refund me pretexting that the hotel does not want to refund them! Since did not honor the agreement we had, I am sharing this story in order to prevent other people from having the same issue !

  • Phil

    Re. "J.D. Power and associates reported that has the highest customer satisfaction rate of independent travel websites," -- This is nonsense. I've just checked reviews on multiple websites, and has the lowest reviews of any travel website, by a LARGE margin. I think it has the lowest average reviews of any website of any type that I've ever seen; nearly all reviewers gave it the lowest rating possible and accused it of fraud.

  • Oliver

    Thank you for this really interesting and informative article, found it really useful. Thank you, Regards, -Oliver

  • johnhenny

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  • Sara O'Dowd

    Today I contacted Booking.Com to ask if they would remove a review from a group who had so underscored my small B & B that it had knocked down a point, based on several issues the group had not bothered to read on the site. Booking.Com declined to remove it so I asked if they felt it was fair for me to have to pick up the flack for a group of people who had not read the site prior to booking. said they didn't feel it was fair but still refused to take the review off. This is the second time this has happened. I have a new business and am really looking forward to removing my listing from this agency who most certainly is not working in my favour. They have bought me in business but I am wondering if hanging around will also lose me business. It appears customers can say anything and all is allowed without challenge, even when the evidence is in front of Booking.Com. What a farcical situation. They need us, the hoteliers, to supply their business yet play a one sided hand. This is not smart business and nor currently it would appear, is staying with them.

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    I am always surprised when I meet with a business owner who expresses that they can’t afford to do any marketing or advertising in this slow economy. My response is always the same, “How can you afford not to?

  • Natalia

    As many ppl said do not create reservation, they only send us client details include credit card information (I may have your card details as well and who knows if one of my employee will use it to purchase something in internet? It's not safe for clients at all!) . I manage one villa in bali, let's say I have only one room. I can not charge credit card of the guest directly. I ask guest to pay deposit to me to confirm reservation. It works out with 30% of clients who understand situation. Other clients start to tell me that they booked already, they have confirmation. They even arrive to my villa, call police, show them confirmation and it take hours to connect to customer service and get explanation from their managers. So now I just offer my guests discount and offer them to cancel and pay deposit through my website. For myself as traveller I use to find better place to stay (on map) but always book directly with hotel. Ian's honestly, description of most hotels made by robot and not informative at all. I may use also Agoda as they are responsible for reservations as they hold my payment.

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  • eHolidays

    Exactly as most of you said, is good but not everything works out fine for everyone. And when something goes wrong hotels and booking have a way to dispute your claims, even in some situations when you stay without money because of someone else`s fault. Would stay away and try to book through local travel agencies or directly with hotels.

  • Tetje Van der Woude

    did really expect a senior. grandson and his mom expect us to sleep in one big huge bed? we said two nights, two BEDS. they were offering us a cot, but where are you going to put it? high tourist season and we run around late at night in Banff to find something! what a ruined holiday all the way through. then the next year, we didn't know it was automatically directed to you or we would have cancelled, but why do you charge the 10$ for a pet? you don't have to put up with it. and wrong again. 2 BEDS, ONE NIGHT. ITS THAT SIMPLE BUT YOU CANT MAKE IT SIMPLE. where's my daughter-in-law's review. one mad human you made out of her. TWICE. not booking .com. its booking .bleep

  • Philippa Tarling

    I have been with for 12 long years. yes, I have had many thousands of GB pounds of bookings but there is no reduction in the commission we pay ever. There is a disconnect between what a guest pays and what the hotelier has to work with. I.E. a guest pays GBP100 for a room for 2 people, VAT is 20%, commission is 15% so 35% of the room price has gone before the hotelier has even put a pillowcase on the bed or toilet paper in the bathroom. Every time something goes wrong will ask and expect the hotelier to "recompense" the guest even if it is their mistake, we are always asked to foot the bill for errors, there is never any give and take from Guests seem totally unaware that we pay commission, in fact they are often stunned that we have paid 15% for their stay, they are very careful in keeping how they make money a secret from the guest or "our mutual guest" as they like to call them. ONE DAY hopefully guests will realise that they are just a search engine. Slowly we are educating our guests but it only works if the guests are repeat bookers and learn to ring us direct the next time. are slowly trying to prevent any direct contact between us and "OUR" guests to protect their commission revenue. Guest reviews are also so slanted away from us, we have no right to challenge a review, it can not be taken off. many times I have messaged them about the location aspect of the review score - I mean if someone books my Inn which is in a quiet village location how can they complain that I am 6 miles from another town which they wanted to be closer to, I can hardly pick up my Inn and move it to another village. Their replies are absolutely meaningless and a waste of time. I point out that as we are the ones who pay then we are their customers but they just don't get it. The guest who pays no commission is all that matters we are just the powerless mugs caught in their larger corporate web. I hate them but as an independent I am powerless to fight against them. The internet has made people lazy and the advertising that these companies put out we the hapless small hoteliers have paid for. One day guests will rediscover the telephone and use as just a search engine and then ring direct to speak to real people, well I hope so!

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  • SH

    After reading your article I wanted to share my experience with BC. I have a small rental complex of 2 beautiful holiday cottages on the riverside, and work with BC for 3 seasons now. I am also located near the sea coast (outside the capital city) and my BC commission is the lowest mentioned in this thread. We do really a very hard work to get our name recognized. My BC review rate is 9.7 (out of 100 reviews and we are to be found in the first page by customer rating in our country. My host and cleanliness rate is 9.9. In the first season (we work during the summer season only) all bookings came exclusively through the BC. We were almost fully sold and the first booking came in after 10 minutes our rental was made active on BC site. In the first season we had only good experience with BC although the total bill of the season we had to pay was quite a costly. In the second season I discovered many other options to diversify my independence from BC and started to work with Air B&B and some other alternatives which reduced my BC dependency to 80% of all received bookings. In the third season we made our own website and Facebook page and add again some new reservation partners and thus reduced our BC dependency to 70%. Prices are about the same for each booking site but we got different customers who do not use BC at all, e.g. 80% of our German speaking guests booked through Air B&B and their local German sites for holiday homes. We will continue to diversify our availability through different engines and will experiment with BC reservation terms (with those which we can set ourselves). By putting min. 2 days stay we will drop local guests who come only for Saturdays thus allowing foreign guests who book longer periods have also weekends available. And local guests will contact us directly to make one night bookings. What is worth to mention is that you must carefully read all BC rules and fully understand that BC is only a search engine and their customer service is a team of mechanic robots which will explain you their rules on phone or via email and nothing more. All what they do is based on their own researches (they think they know better what the guests want) and they do not interfere in anything. Also those standard/automatized stupid descriptions of accommodations which are made by robots sound really stupid if I read them as a potential guest. When I tried to customize mine, I could only add some fine print telling that loud behavior and parties are prohibited at my property. And thanks to this fine print I do not get bookings from people who want to come to party. If I receive booking from 4 adults (max. occupancy per cottage) I always send them polite reminder telling that we are located in very quiet residential area and they will not have any trouble caused by their neighbors in other cottage as parties are prohibited here. This works perfectly and if the intention was to party they cancel immediately after my email or phone message and room is bookable again. In the first season I got some lower scores (all without comments) only because I had to ask some guests to quiet down after 11 p.m. Now this situation is solved. Also possibility to add your own description of your place can help a lot. I have also had some funny moments with BC. I received same day arrival 2 nights booking from far away country located in the Pacific ocean. Guest did not show up and at 2 a.m. I went to sleep. At 5 p.m. I received a call from BC reservation service that customer is standing at my door and nobody lets him in. I wake up and came down to meet the guest but there was nobody. After 1 hour BC reservation service called me again and insisted I have to let my guest in. i told them I have no guest so I cannot let him in. They asked me once more my address details and called back after 30 minutes. They insisted that guest has arrived and stands at check in desk but nobody wants to check him in telling that he has not valid reservation number. I started to laugh and told them I have no check in desk at all and asked if the guest arrived at the right place. Yes, they said, guest is AT YOUR PLACE. I told them I will go downstairs again to look where he is. After another 30 minutes the reservation service called me again willing to personally thank me that everything went through and guest was checked in. I asked how it is possible and they told me that guest is checked in room 214. I told them I have 2 holiday cottages and there is no room 214. The reservation service girl asked me to hold the line and after quit a long waiting she apologized for the trouble she caused to me telling that guest was checked in the 3 stars hotel with the same name I have for my accommodation but in different country (in the same country from where the booking came)....The most interesting was the fact that I could see guest credit card details even if I was accepting cash only. Neither BC nor guest pay me for my inconveniences - heating was on all the night long, I did not sleep at night and they were bombing me with calls. They later explained me that guest made booking via and occasionally booked my place instead of his homeland place. Guest did not speak English at all. So the good thing is that with BC you are everywhere. The bad thing is that if you accept bookings without credit card details (cash only) then you can loose lot of money due to false and cancelled bookings. I am using cash only and I have no possibility to charge no show fee, guests simply do not react on it and more often their address details are incorrect. E.g. yesterday I got booking from one country (with non existent address), phone number was from another country (also non existent number) and guest language was again different. I reached BC customer service to cancel this fake booking for 2 weeks period and Customer service confessed that details given by guest are fake indeed but they cannot cancel the booking anyway. The only thing I can do now is to wait till no show button appears and make this guest no show. Since I have not find any other place to share host opinions about BC I shared my experience here. I suggest anyone who reads this to share their experience, too.

  • Jeffrey Tedford

    I've used for years. Recently I've had two bad experiences. The first was when I booked a room for 3 nights in Chiang Mai.. I received two bookings back, one for the one a wanted and the other for a resort I've never heard of before..I was charged $156 for the erroneous booking. It took me 1 week to get my money back. Recently I booked a hotel for what I thought was 2 different nights. I received a confirmation for 2 rooms on the same night!! I am a solo traveler, I do not need 2 rooms!!! I have been fighting with them for about a month. They charged me for the other room!! No more business with them. Travelers beware, you have no rights a forget their customer service and you cannot phone them, believe me I have tried.

  • Rachel Robinson

    Anyone know how to actually get a reply in regards to cancelling a listing? I can't bear to work with this company a second longer. I only list two rooms with them - but even that is a nightmare. Only one third of clients prove to be genuine, so I waste time trying to work out which will actually turn up. I was managing to do that by asking for a deposit - which after two months they suddenly tell me I can not do. Despite numerous requests and conversations the most noticable part of my listing isn't my great location or decor etc - but the no deposit, free cancellation etc rubbish they insist in putting all over it. It just invites timewasters and scams. Even the bookings I get I find the guests unrealistic as to what to expect from us (we're a small 3 room family run place, not a big hotel). I get a different answer from them each time I ask the same question. They refuse to cancel bookings made 10 months ahead when the clients have not responded to me. I'm now mailing to say I'll honor the bookings I've accepted for this year - but I won't accept any more and to please cancel my listing. I've blocked the calendar to ensure this - but I'm getting no official response. Anyone managed it? :-(

  • Sona

    Booking.Com are crocks. When they book rooms in hotels they pick the worse rooms to give to customers. Also, there is always is something hidden between the lines you never find out till you get to the hotel, so you end up paying more. They are liars and the problem their is no one to stop them. I wish someone will stand and close them down. People please help me to find away to close them down.

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  • Sarah Gilbert has nearly bankrupted me in that last 2 months. I am a small holiday flat rental business in London. They won't allow me to take card details in advance, customers can cancel or "no Show" without penalty. My days are blocked on the claendar with non arrivals and non-payment. They are impossible to contact. A shocking organisation.

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  • Gunther Schadow

    This is an excellent article to learn about the issues and a good discussion thread to get some more depth of experiences and ideas. It perfectly demonstrates the love-hate relationship that hoteliers find themselves in. has a huge market capture among customers and you will be hard pressed to find an alternative that gets more traffic than I am a very small part time operator of a place with less than 10 units, and stuck between AirBnB and On AirBnB the commission is just 3% and on it's 15%. That's a huge difference. On the other hand, on AirBnB it is hard to manage a place with multiple rooms as they are more about home sharing. And now comes I as a customer of telling you that I love This is the crux you are all in, and I am now in too, as I swallow hard over their fees! But I tell you is here to stay and the only alternative to it must be a total gaime-changer tecnology. Otherwise the market will just increase. I can tell you why. As a hotel guest who travels frequently around the world, and who hates making long term plans, is perfect. I am computer literate, and I tell you NONE of the people who complain here as guests have any clue. It is bogus to claim that the rating system and feedback is useless. They are good, and have outdone TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is going down IMO, I don't use them, they are making my life too hard. And I never managed to use them to list my property either, as they only work with established businesses not with small part time hosts like me. Ratings on are very useful. The map feature is useful. Their mobile app rocks! When I come into a city at night ready to retire, I zap on the app and find a place near me, list by price (20% for the "preferred listing" position is b/s, I don't fall for that as a guest, I go by location and price. I'm a map guy, so the map is my thing. I tell you why I do not contact the hotels. I travel in all the world and I find telephone calls difficult to make, you never know if your cellphone credits will last the whole conversation but I know I have a day of Internet, or I am on some wacky WiFi while stopped at a gas station / cafe. Also, the phone quality and language barrier is too annoying. So I won't even try. Email? Forget that! I want an answer right now and I won't even find my answer in 48 hours in my inbox. Forget email. And more, you probably hate me for that. To me a hotel is a necessity. I do not really care much about "the experience". And I think most users think that way. I care about the bed and I like to have breakfast included. But what I like most is the ability to book and cancel on short notice, because I can't and don't like to plan my life months ahead. I feel your pain on the commission, and your worst fears are probably right. They will soon not even list your phone numbers any more (not that they are useful to begin with, see above). Your ability to make side deals with the guests are limited. You won't be able to include their higher markup in your rates, and poor you if you are in high tax jurisdictions (did you know: Taxation is Theft! Now you have it. Think about that before you ask the government to do things.) Move to a low tax area. Guests wisen up too. Most people I know hate New York City for example. The problem is has the customers because they are a great site. I don't use or anything else, except perhaps, sometimes, which might be the only place where you can offer lower rates than because your name won't be shown, but most customers won't like that surprise factor on hotwire. The problem with internet presence is that the customer market is the key. And that is the value that sells to us as hoteliers. It is the way it is. No whining and hoping will change that. To the customer another site does not help much. The only alternative might be Google because of their Google Maps integration. But I as a customer do not use Google maps hotels so much because in the end they throw me back to "contact hotel for price" which is an instant fail for me (like I said, I don't like to call and I don't have time for email). I don't mess with hotel's booking pages, they are usually dinky and inaccurate and don't tell me a price and nothing for last minute. So again it is back to Someone here said they want to open a competitor site to Forget it. If you need to ask how to do that, you will never compete, and I as a customer won't use you if you have no market. You are most likely too late. Now you Hotels, if you were to make your own coop site, I guarantee you that I as a customer would feel suspicious, because I would suspect you big boys would protect your market and lock out small competitors that I would prefer for location or price or both. So, forget the co-op model,. There is ONE hope. Like I said above, and that would be a technological game changer. A free open source app which would work in some peer to peer way and would be connected to a map and would create a market in which supply and demand negotiates efficiently and all peer to peer with no man in the middle. It could integrate with credit card somehow as a 3rd party, may be pay pal, or even with crypto-curency I am in the IT business and you can contact me if you want to develop some ideas. I tell you, I bet 100% that unless hoteliers build up a game changing technology, that cuts out the middle man (and the greedy hand of the tax man too, preferably) you will forever be stuck with

  • jasson

    Not everyone agrees it’s all doom and gloom for brick-and-mortar stores, but challenges certainly exist. Major retailers have announced plans to close thousands of locations in the U.S., and the final tally for 2017 could number around 9,500 stores, according to projections from Fung Global Retail & Technology, an industry think tank. But just because a store turns out its lights doesn’t mean the end is also nigh for your store credit card. Its fate depends on the retailer’s business plans and decisions made by the bank that issues the card. The better you understand the process, the better you can manage your credit and keep it in good standing. WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN The impact of a retail closure on store credit cards may vary by situation and issuer, according to David Boone, head of U.S. partnerships at TD Bank. TD Retail Card Services issues private-label credit cards, which can be used only at a particular store, as well as co-branded credit cards, which have a Visa or MasterCard logo and are widely accepted visit for more

  • Hi there it's me, I am also visiting this web page on a regular basis, this website is truly nice and the people are in fact sharing nice thoughts.

  • Linda Pankhurst

    ANONYMOUS REVIEWS that CANNOT be ANSWERED... It is most unprofessional and unfair for to be protecting Guests more than they protect their Partners. It is understandable that the Guest supplies Revenue to both and the Hotel ... However, if ALL Hotels were to avoid, there would be very little accommodation available. Does this fact get overlooked bcause is in a position of Power? The gripe here is that Anonymous Reviews are accepted on where the guest can choose not to allow the hotel to respond or to defend themselves. THIS IS MOST UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNFAIR - don't you think!?

  • otel temizlik

    This info is worth everyone's attention. Where can I find out more?

  • Unknown

    fantastic issues altogether, you just won a emblem new reader. What might you suggest about your put up that you simply made a few days in the past? Any positive?

  • pedro


  • Brian Woodford

    My very limited experience with is not good. We booked a hotel room for one night through but circumstances required us to cancel the reservation within 24 hours. We received a cancellation notice from Booking telling us that the room had been cancelled and there would be no charge. When our credit car bill arrived there was a charge for the room. We called Bookings but were essentially told that we would have to take up the issue with the hotel in question.. We booked through Bookings and felt that they should have been responsible for following up on the bad charge since we had not contact with the hotel in the [process. Emails to bookings have gone unanswered and they have essentially washed their hands of the matter. We have subsequently called the hotel which says they have no record of Bookings cancelling the reservation despite the fact with have Bookings cancellation number. As of yet the problem is unresolved. Regardless of how the issue turns out we will not use again. We understand that in any business dealing problems occur but their total lack of any kind of basic customer service precludes any desire on our part to ever use their services again.

  • Sam Mendonça are complete and utter thieves, they prey on unsuspecting victims, us the consumers, beware they will keep all your money if you decide to cancel a booking for any reason, they are thieves, it has happened to me, do not use their services under any circumstance, you will loose all your money in case you have to cancel even though they advertise otherwise. Because you pay upfront you have no recourse, the courts will pity you and laugh in your face as they did to me when I tried to sue these thieves, beware, scammers of the absolute worst kind, they are even worse than ponzi schemes, at least with ponzi people you know what you're getting into. These people put on a honest face but are unscrupulous thieves and they will do anything to part you from your hard earned money. I know I sound like one of these pathetic online losers that moan about anything but it is the truth and these people should be put out of business by simply not using them at all because they are thieves, don't know if I mentioned that already. I'm getting a bit repetitive about calling them thieves, okay robbers, crooks, criminals, low lifes, scum of the earth, candy stealers, unholy bastards are other synonyms for these buggers. People will wake up to their thievery and will day stop using them, what do people have to lose by not using them, precisely, nothing, because the less you use them the less you will lose because criminals as they are they cannot go out and get a honest job because all they know is to steal from working people that save up to go on holiday and then can't cancel because they are so desperate to steal from you that they cannot wait for you to cancel for any reason to then take your money for themselves because, you've got it by now, they are absolute, untrustworthy, thieving, lying, dishonest, scum sucking, moronic, yellow, hiding behind call centre, thieves.

  • Carina

    DO NOT USE BOOKING.COM! I had such terrible experience with them. Booked a hotel on their website and then cancelled within the free cancellation deadline due to change of plan. Later when I checked my bank account statements I found out the hotel had charged me full amount without my knowledge. Neither the nor the hotel had ever informed me of this. I had to call the 3 times in order to get a refund. Finally the refund came through after more than 4 months since the cancellation was made, but the amount was less than what the hotel had charged. Called the the 4th and 5th time about the shortage and was told the shortage was because of currency exchange and they won't do anything about it. One of their customer service staff with American accent called S** was rude too! She did not admit I was charged wrongly and even said the hotel had every right to charge me! If you provide them with bank card details you will never know if and when you are being charged unless you are checking at your bank account statements every day! Even though they'd say the card details are for guarantee only and won't be charged when you make the booking, or your booking has been cancelled for free, DON’T believe it! I have never come across such problem with other booking platforms and will not again.

  • emporioescort

    Hello its really amazing article thanks for sharing.

  • domescort

    Great blog! you have such a great information.

  • FrontDesk Manager

    Lucinda Von Spielburg, you seem like an exceedingly unpleasant individual in every single comment you've made in this thread. As a front desk clerk at a hotel that offers the best value per dollar spent out of anyone in this small town, I would not want you (or others with your sense of smug superiority) at my hotel.

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