Some of the most difficult calls the Bookabach Customer Service team receive relate to owner cancellations - when an owner cancels on a traveller who’s booked and paid.
Cancellations by owner typically fall into three camps: 1) A change in property ownership, where the new property owner refuses to honour existing booking commitments; 2) Genuine accidental double bookings; and 3) The breaking of commitments due to changes in family holiday plans, or when a higher value opportunity presents.
Change in property ownership
Selling a holiday home can be a long and drawn-out process, and when you do finally sell, the new owner, depending on their motivation, may or may not be willing to honour future bookings. If your property is on the market we’d recommend that you:
- Avoid taking long lead-time bookings that a new owner may not honour. We suggest you reduce your selling period to 3 months.
- Be transparent and honest with travellers. Let them know that the property is for sale. And, if they are booking way in advance, that their booking may be contingent on approval by any new owner.
- Make potential buyers aware of any rental commitments you have. Remember, they are an asset! And, do your best to see future bookings honoured.
If you have sold, and the new owners are not willing to respect the commitments you’ve already made, then work with your guests to find alternative accommodation. And, be prepared to offer compensation if they’re out of pocket.
Mistaken double bookings
Sometimes it happens: You have multiple sources for bookings, you forget to update your calendar, and a double booking results. Bookabach allows you to enter rental bookings from other sources manually. We’ll also shortly be releasing iCalendar Synchronisation (iCal) which let’s you export/import availability information from one system to/from another.
If you do mistakenly double book, then we suggest a “first come, first served” approach. Honour the first booking you committed to. We suggest you call the other traveller, explain the situation to them, and see if they’re able to move their dates. If need be, involve the Bookabach Customer Service team to assist with re-booking.
Contact Customer Service and ask to be added to the iCalendar Beta Programme (October 2017)
Willingly breaking commitments
A family member decides they want to use the bach over Christmas after all. But, there’s been a long-standing rental committed over those dates since June. Do you cancel the rental booking?
You accept a booking for a 3-night stay over a holiday weekend. Then, a day later, you get a 7-night booking request over the same dates! Do you cancel the 3-night booking and take the 7-night one?
We hope you answered a resounding NO to both of these… When you accept a booking and take payment you are entering into an agreement to supply accommodation. It’s wrong to cancel a booking because a higher value opportunity comes along - or the family changes their mind on holiday plans.
Owner cancellations are a miserable experience for travellers. We really want bach owners to understand this. We need to make them aware of the pain it causes travellers and the potential reputational damage it can bring to the Bookabach marketplace and the wider holiday rental industry. Owners that cancel on guests run the risk of being taken to the Disputes Tribunal and being removed from the Bookabach marketplace.