Exp edia/bb.com etc cancelations

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birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

Im just the Innkeeper and the owner makes most of the business decisions-no problem I can deal with that, but if you as an owner (not doing the Innkeepeing at all) should at least tell your empolyees if you will increase or decrease the prices of your rooms. We have b&b. you know what...for the expedia, hotels.com etc to fill up the rooms, so if the "guest" or the middle company calls to cancel the reservation we can only say that we will or we won't, now the first company (that has  contracted with the bed and breakfast) should send you a cancelation right? and insists that we CALL THEM and not the guest to resolve any cancelation or disputes-but as all of you know its the weekend right? ARE THEY THERE? no they are not so what do we do in the meantime about a guest that called here first to see if we had two rooms, no i say to the guest, we only have one but because its not my responsibility (or the owner said its not) to make sure that the first company that the b&b made the contract with has no rooms available. The guest in turn goes to that site and books the two rooms I SAID I DIDNT HAVE, so i try and call the first company and because its a Sunday they are CLOSED, so it leaves me no choice but to call the guest, then the middle company calls and asks the same crappy question -NO we say we only have one room and we are not going to honor this reservation-PERIOD.

So Monday comes and YOU KNOW WHICH COMPANY calls us and tells us NOT TO CALL THE GUEST-but i say you are closed! so now we have the same problem today, we know that the middle company has called several times to cancel this reservation, we tell them we cannot really cancel the reservation without an e-mail from the first company to cancel it and we would be happy to send a gift certificate to the guest but we cannot cancel the reservation (now this has been going on for a week now). We are now waiting to see if this guests shows up which we know they wont and we did not receive a written cancelation and the big gorilla is closed...so WHY!?! doesnt the big gorilla have an emergency number for their client that PAYS to be serviced? Ok-thanks for letting me vent....if i were the owner i would not give this big gorilla 20 or 30% of my reservation and not be able to talk to anyone when weekends are the busiest times... UGGGGHHHH Sad

fsconsult's picture
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03/19/2012

 If your property is tied into Expedia directly, it's generally only a one-way street from my experience. Expedia reservations will get pulled down into your system automatically and take it away from the inventory, but if you sell out your property in another way (calls, walkins, etc) that inventory isn't sent up to Expedia. 

Expedia has its own extranet to control the inventory that you need to close off as need be. Depending on the scale of your property, it can be quite tedious, but this is what I usually recommend people do:

  1. Limit the inventory available on Expedia to only 1-2 rooms. You get email notifications when you're sold out, so you can always go in and increase it. 
  2. Make it so people have to book X days in advance. I usually do 7 days for a weekday, 3 for weekends. 
  3. Make people stay 2-3 nights minimum. It helps compensate for the cheaper rates people expect online. 

In the case of the owner not communicating changes, that's a difficult problem to solve without talking things through, but I would suggest having separate user accounts for all the services you're using so each of you can monitor what the other is doing - ie if the owner raises the rates, you can see it happening, or they can ensure you didn't sell the rooms online for $20, etc. Most of the sites allow multiple users with different functions available (Type A can change rates, but Type B can only see reservations).

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Joey Camb's picture
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this is why we bought property management softwear which manages this for us ie you log all your channels into it and one rooms sells say on Booking.com it closes out laterooms straight away. Saves me a ton of grief when it works!

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I use rezo and it's supposed to be "live" and still bb.com screwed it up, twice. Cost me a lot of money to get it fixed and they took no real responsibility. They played a game between the two different divisions. Difference today is, the next time they do that to me, is the last. And of course, they are blocked all summer long in any case.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Expedia has a number for hotels/B&Bs to call to directly deal with them. I'm in Brazil at the moment, but you can go to http://www.expediapartnercentral.com for help to talk to them directly without bb.com's help. If bb.com is open, dump it on them. Expedia must have a phone number for bb.com on file that they can reach 24 hours a day, even if we don't. 

And don't waive cancellation fees, or allow the guests to change dates to a date outside of the cancellation policy. Send it back to bb.com to do it and if they call you, refuse. They may seem like they are pressuring you, but they simply want a way out, if you say no, they have to say no, and it goes back to your cancellation policy being enforced.

birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

thanks copperhead-I  called them yesterday about the no show and they were closed, i will look on-line again. the thing is that most of the time we didnt do that, now we are doing that cause the owner did not do it.

Expedia will call us if they cancel although they are the middle of B&B.com-i think, we are trying to control this. So we have to look at the reservations very carefuly on our end and if it gets to be that we only have one room we have to go to b&b.com and take our rooms out of inventory-we just didnt do this. No they don't call and ask if we have the room available, the guest goes through b&b.com. Its a cluster-cause its just one more thing you know? The owner used to take care of this and sometimes it slips as it would us as well; but its just frustrating you know?

Generic's picture
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Of the owner insists on going this route, why not just take all your reservations via Rezo and then let it manage the inventory? You don't have to update it for Expedia at all, it's done automatically. The percentages aren't great, but you get paid net. (Two caveats, they have had double bookings twice in my history, both caused by their live link going down. You must check that you get all your payments from BB.COM and you still need to go into bb.com to indicate that the guest has arrived.)

birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

Now thats a thought-I will bring that up to owner maybe she just needs to change the reservation venue.

The only contract she has got is with bb.com she has two rooms in the inventory but she needs to change this once we get those rooms taken and sometimes she does not. We will bring up this problem with this and see maybe she will just change the reservation system,doubt it though...but its worth a try.

Thanks all for such good advise, there are pros and cons to  being an innkeeper and not an owner sometimes when you have no control over some things is the con-our boss is pretty open to discussions though so thats good.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We block of bb.com for many times of the year when we know we can book the rooms without their help, in fact, most of the summer, witht he exception of orphan nights. But you can choose to open or close rooms automatically and since all your rezovations are online, they can book directly and not overbook.

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06/24/2008

birdwatcher wrote:

our boss is pretty open to discussions though so thats good.

Well that's better than your last location.  Hope you can get to a good compromise.  Over booking is not good for business.  (while it sounds like business is good!)

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birdwatcher wrote:

thanks copperhead-I  called them yesterday about the no show and they were closed, i will look on-line again. the thing is that most of the time we didnt do that, now we are doing that cause the owner did not do it.

Expedia will call us if they cancel although they are the middle of B&B.com-i think, we are trying to control this. So we have to look at the reservations very carefuly on our end and if it gets to be that we only have one room we have to go to b&b.com and take our rooms out of inventory-we just didnt do this. No they don't call and ask if we have the room available, the guest goes through b&b.com. Its a cluster-cause its just one more thing you know? The owner used to take care of this and sometimes it slips as it would us as well; but its just frustrating you know?

 

I went to B&B.com and went to a listing with the Book It on their site and started a reservation, at the bottom there is this info:  Questions? We'll be happy to hear from you:

  • Call 800-GO-B-AND-B (1-800-462-2632), 24/7

But again if they booked through Exp edi a, B&B.com can not help you handle this situation.  You use them to supply your inventory to GDS but that is where it stops, any reservations you recieve from any booking system other than B&B.com, you have to deal with that booking system. 

And it is going to be very time consuming trying to keep your inventory up on two systems (assuming that this is what is happening) and add into the mix the fact that you take phone reservation and walk-ins.  You may want to rethink how much inventory you keep open on GDS.  Think this through and discuss with the owner, you may want to list GDS inventory in more general terms like a standard or deluxe room and only keep 1 of each on GDS at any given time.  Once you are limited on either of these type of rooms, remove them from GDS inventory and hope to fill the remaining one through your own website or walk-in.  GDS can help fill empty rooms but it can also cause extra headaches if not handled and watched closely.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

If you have multiple booking lines and multiple people taking care of keeping the inventory up to date then it is a disaster waiting to happen.

You should get a clear picture of who is supposed to be responsible for what. If you are responsible for making sure there are no double bookings, then the owner should butt out. If it is the other way around, then you need to butt out. But, if you are the one facing the irate guest who shows at the door because Expedia showed you had rooms when you didn't, then you need to hash it out with the owner that because they are not on site to deal with the problems, they will need to let you handle reservations.

THEY can change the prices all they want. But you need to control the inventory so this doesn't happen again.

You could get walk-in. If you can't control the online inventory without contacting the owners that's no good.

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06/24/2008

This is a problem if you are using 2 reservation calendars or there are several handling the system, you must keep these up to date as you never know when a reservation will be made. 

B&B does have a 24/7 number for their online bookings.  I have called it myself when a customer had booked the wrong room (booked 3 in a room for 2).  BUT if they used ex ped ia, you must call THEM, B&B can not help you with that reservation.  You must have the booking number etc. 

I know it is trying your patience.  It did me as well.  But I got it corrected in one day, once I was told the procedure. 

FYI, when there are issues on YOUR end, YOU need to contact the booking company, when the guest wants to cancel and calls you, you must tell them to call the company they booked through.  You can not cancel for them. 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

If the owner is making the financial decisions on rates and using GDS, let them call the companies to sort it out. Or at least keep them in the loop when you EMAIL the companies to tell them the rez is cancelled.

 

MANY companies have someone checking emails and voicemails even on the weeknd.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

this may sound like a dumb question and a bit off the point but why was expedia showing two rooms when you only had 1? I mean don't get me wrong when I worked in big hotels you would get a call from expedia saying did you have a room for XYZ? you would say no. Then 10 seconds later there would be a booking for that date comming out of the fax machine!!!! however in the UK they are 7 days a week so at least you have someone to shout at!

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