Traveller Service Fee Q & A

We’ve made some changes to the way Bookabach charges for service.  In March 2017 we added a Traveller Service Fee (TSF) and reduced our owner/manager Pay Per Booking commission from 9% to 3% on bookings transacted through the website.

The move to split the cost of service between the owner/manager and the traveller is not unusual, it’s become the industry norm.  Today’s travellers expect to be able to look, book and pay online. They also expect us to step in when things go wrong.  Moving to a Traveller Service Fee model, and shifting a share of the cost onto the traveller, funds the service level and protections travellers and owners/managers now expect.  It also allows to increase our investment in marketing and product development.

Does a Traveller Service Fee discourage travellers from booking?
How is the Traveller Service Fee calculated and charged?
Will travellers incur a credit card fee in addition to Traveller Service Fee?
What happens if there is a cancellation? Will the Traveller Service Fee be refunded?
How will Bookabach incentivise online payment (OLP)?
As an Annual Subscriber why don’t I also see a cost reduction? What’s the incentive for me to use online payments and allow a TSF to be charged?


Does a Traveller Service Fee discourage travellers from booking?

Our market research tells us that travellers understand the value provided by the holiday rental marketplace and are comfortable with a nominal charge for service.  Globally, all of the main holiday rental sites now charge in this way. This article from tripping.com provides an interesting fee comparison.

How is the Traveller Service Fee calculated and charged?

Our system uses an algorithm that calculates the TSF percentage dynamically, based on a number of factors.  The percentage charged can vary by location and the total value of the booking.  It is carefully calculated, based on the total rental charged (including extras and discounts),  and maintained at a level where it does not adversely impact conversion.  It will be clearly shown to the traveller during the enquiry/booking process.  The entire TSF is collected on the first payment. We issue a Payment Receipt and Tax Invoice to the traveller for the Traveller Service Fee.

Will travellers incur a credit card fee in addition to Traveller Service Fee?

No. Before we launched Traveller Service Fee, travellers were paying a 3% credit card transaction fee (referred to as our “Safepay fee”).  This fee is no longer charged.  Likewise, there are no fees to owners/managers for using Bookabach online payments.  We want to encourage transacting through the website!

What happens if there is a cancellation? Will the Traveller Service Fee be refunded?

The traveller receives a TSF credit for any money flowing back to them.  So, in the event of a cancellation, if you instruct us to refund the traveller, we’ll also refund the appropriate amount of TSF.  Also, if the booking is changed/re-quoted then the TSF is recalculated and an appropriate refund or additional charge applied.

How will Bookabach incentivise transacting online?

TSF can only be collected when a traveller pays through Bookabach online payments (OLP) (or with a Bookabach Gift Voucher).  So, incentivising use of OLP becomes important for TSF to work effectively.  For travellers, using Bookabach online payments means:

  • The convenience of online booking.
  • Instant confirmation as soon as the owner accepts the booking (and the credit card is charged.
  • The security of Bookabach holding funds in trust, and managing cancellation refunds.
  • The protections offered by our Book with Confidence Guarantee.

 

Owners are incentivised to use Bookabach online payments because:

  • It’s free to use and convenient - especially for off-shore guests.
  • In conjunction with online booking (OLB), it brings the highest level of traveller commitment.
  • Pay Per Booking customers pay less commission.
  • All bookings booked and paid for through Bookabach are covered by our Property Damage Protection.
  • Lastly, there is a listing score/ranking benefit.  In calculating “spend points” for a listing we will be including what the traveller pays in TSF.

More info on online payments

Bach owner protections

Help: How do I set up and use online payments?

As an Annual Subscriber why don’t I also see a cost reduction? What’s the incentive for me to use online payments and support TSF?

Annual subscribers pay, on average, the equivalent of 3% of the gross booking value we deliver, around the same as what a Pay Per Booking customer will pay provided they transact through Bookabach.  Pay Per Booking customers were paying 9%, and building up a significant score/ranking advantage in Spend Points. Traveller Service Fee helps level the playing field between Annual Subscription and Pay Per Booking - which is a good thing.  We recognise traveller-side spend in our spend point calculation which will allows an OLP Annual Subscription to compete better alongside a Pay Per Booking listing.


If your question isn’t answered feel free to call the customer service team on 0800 24 44 48 (Mon-Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm).


 

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