Cancellations - Book Then Within an Hour Cancel ???

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BTW
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We've been open about 7 months now, have seen and learned a lot.  One of the things I'm trying to understand is this "Book" and then within an hour (sometimes 10 minutes) cancel.

 

  • Did they find a better deal?
  • Did their plans change?
  • Combination of those above and more?

I guess what I'm worried about is that's it's some type of scam or a "probing" to see how our system works?   (I was an IT systems and network admin for 20 years)

 

Anyway, thoughts folks and does it happen to other folks here?

 

Cheers,

 

Rock

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Tom
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We do not accept cancellations unless they telephone and I speak with a real human.  If it's a short time, the reason is usually trying to plan a trip and needing to change, etc, and I let them off no charge.  I can see being in that situation.

I use the Golden Rule a lot.

Hillbilly's picture
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I was tired of this kinda stuff and so we fixed the issue.  We now charge a 1 night non-refundable deposit.  We will allow to move to a different date within a month of their check in date.  This solved the issue and works great.

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When folks here on the forum sold me on the idea of moving from a paper book to using Reservation Key I began charging $10 at the time of booking, not a big charge, but it allowed me to know that the credit card number worked and cut out some of the folks that just wanted to hold the first room they found while they shopped around.

Other thoughts, some couples don't talk to each other and each booked an activity for the same weekend, I think at times folks make plans, tell their friends and find the friend has bigger plans and the weekend idea takes a different shape.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Other thoughts, some couples don't talk to each other and each booked an activity for the same weekend,

I had that happen with an elopement reservation. She called the next day to cancel - when she told him about the reervation, he told her he had booked a cruise. Cruise trumps log house. It is also why I ask for 25% non-refundable CHECK to guarantee an elopement - a cashed check cannot get a chargeback if the wedding gets canceled.

Generic's picture
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I have my booking to allow a few hours for N/C cancellation. But since I now charge a non-refundable deposit, these have stopped. They were usually testing to see if a stolen card worked.

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Generic wrote:

I have my booking to allow a few hours for N/C cancellation. But since I now charge a non-refundable deposit, these have stopped. They were usually testing to see if a stolen card worked.

Bingo! 

 

BTW
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Cancellations are pretty much all OTA ......... Booking.com and Expedia

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BTW wrote:

Cancellations are pretty much all OTA ......... Booking.com and Expedia

If they're OTA reservations then they're not testing your system, they're messing with the OTA.

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Morticia's picture
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BTW wrote:

Cancellations are pretty much all OTA ......... Booking.com and Expedia

Any particular country? Have you tried checking if the phone number or address is real?

If you don't take deposits, you might start. That tends to slow down the fake reservations. Unless they are using fake credit cards as well.

PhineasSwann's picture
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We occasionally get these, but not too often (3-4 per year). It's usually someone who books and then has buyer's remorse (or thinks their spouse will love the idea and they don't). 

I always just let them cancel if they do so within 24 hours. It's not a big deal, still gives me time to re-book the room, and there's no upside to being a jerk about it. I just consider it a deposit into my karma bank account. 

 

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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People are weird.   My guess would be that they found a better offer.  Be sure to charge them a $25 cancellation fee. 

Hubby stopped taking deposits because of this move.  Too much trouble.  

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TBH

 

Morticia's picture
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Are the cancellations via phone or email? 

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Not something we are seeing. What happens in that time frame? Does the guest:

  • Get charged a deposit?
  • Get a confirmation from you?
  • Have any interaction at all with you other than the reservation?

Are these online reservations only? Phone reservations? OTA reservations? 

Do you have tracking on your website to see if the reservations are all coming from the same general area? Have these reservations done any scouting on your site prior to making the reservation?

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