Nag me as many times as you want, you still didn’t pay me…
Website bookings are common. We get dozens of them a day.
What, however, some people fail to realise, is that it is a third party. As in – you book with Website A, they send the booking to us, you stay, we ask Website A for payment, they pay us.
In short, you didn’t – and won’t – pay the hotel directly.
There are two main things which come up with website bookings.
The first, is those who want a copy of their tax invoice. Look, I understand that you need this for expense purposes, that’s great, but I can’t give you an invoice. You didn’t pay the hotel, we have no money for you, I can’t give you an invoice for something you didn’t pay us for. And with our new system, once the booking has been sent to accounts receivable, there is literally no way for me to generate an invoice that isn’t to the travel agent.
Yell at me as much as you want, the truth is you received this upon booking, if you have lost it or didn’t keep your email that is a reflection on your filing skills, not me being incompetent at my job.
The main reason we don’t issue tax invoices is that the website will almost always pay us a nett rate, and depending on the website can be quite a bit less than they paid to the agent. So, understandably, there are instructions not to disclose the rate to the guest. Sadly, this logic does not seem to reach all of our guests.
The other one that comes up? People wanting to cancel or amend their website bookings.
Again, the guest hasn’t paid any money to us. Yet, they keep calling us asking to cancel the booking. We will redirect them back to the agent – or at least attempt to.
Annoyingly, some guests refuse to do so. “Why do I have to call them? I’m staying with you!”
Yes, but you didn’t pay us. You paid them. Therefore, if you want your money back, you need to speak to them. I will happily provide you the number
that is on your confirmation letter. I will let you know who to speak with. But I can’t cancel the booking for you.
For starters, speaking from experience, it is a gigantic pain to cancel a guest’s booking through an agent as a hotelier – 9 times out of 10 they will insist on speaking with the guest anyway.
Secondly, I don’t always know what the particular cancellation policy on the booking is. And to be quite honest, I have enough arguments with the guests staying with us or who have booked directly with us about their cancellation policy, I’m not arguing on behalf of the agent. That’s their job.
And lastly, and most importantly – I can cancel your booking in our system. Very easily. But all that does is release the room. It doesn’t refund you. It doesn’t advise the agent. You can’t get your money back that way – because we don’t have it.
Please, for the love of god, do everyone a favour and speak to the agent if you’ve booked through them and have any issues related to the actual basics of your booking. It saves everyone a hell of a lot of time.