With the governments latest announcement to avoid all unnecessary travel and increase social-distancing, it is likely that holiday let owners will be heavily impacted. At Bookalet we want to make your booking management as simple as possible for you at this stressful time.
Useful Information and Links
GOV.uk cases and risks in the UK
Dealing with Cancelations
If you are new to the Bookalet system or haven’t had to deal with cancellations before, here is a step-by-step guide.
First you will need to go into the relevant booking, where on the right side of the page under ‘Booking details’ you will find a box titled ‘Manage Booking’. Choose ‘Cancel booking’.
This will take you through to the cancel bookings screen where you can enter the cancellation details.
Here the system will display the calculated penalty as defined by your terms (set in the property edit screen in the Cancellation Terms section). However, you can then enter the actual amount charged which is down to your discretion, and specify the amount to return. Then simply record the method that you will use to return the money and record the date.
Bookalet does not automatically refund any money to the customer, some payment providers allow you to refund via their control panel or in the instance of a cheque or bank transfer you may need to contact the customer to arrange a payment.
Offering Alternative Dates
If you would like to change the dates of a booking instead of refunding, you will need to edit the booking.
To edit a booking, first navigate to the booking details page and use the 'Edit Booking' link from the 'Manage Booking' box.
This will take you through to a short edit booking screen where you can edit the booking dates or number of guests. Clicking on the 'Save and edit values' button will take you through to a second edit screen. The system calculates new values for your booking depending on the pricing that you have set for the new time period and displays boxes showing what you should be charging for these dates. You can change any of these values and the total is reflected at the bottom of the screen just above any amounts the guest has paid.
Once you are happy with the numbers, save the booking and your booking edit is complete.
Channel Cancellation Policies
Airbnb have announced a new COVID-19 specific policy.
"Reservations made on or before 14 March 2020 for stays and Airbnb Experiences, with a check-in date between 14 March 2020 and 14 April 2020, are covered by the policy and may be cancelled before check-in. Guests who cancel will receive a full refund, and hosts can cancel without charge or impact on their Superhost status. Airbnb will refund all service fees for covered cancellations."
Read more here
HomeAway have released information as follows
"We will waive all cancellations related to this event so they do not affect your ranking metrics and you can focus on what is important. To get the cancellation waived, you will need to cancel and refund the reservation in full. We will automatically waive the cancellation after you do so."
Read more here
Booking.com have published the following statement
"[Booking.com] expect you to refund any prepayment and waive any cancellation costs (fees, expenses and/or other amounts) in situations where the guests/travellers requested cancellations as a result of the Forced Circumstances (FC). Booking.com will waive the commission in these cases."
Read more here
Stripe does not return the Stripe fees from the original charge when issuing a refund. Read more here.
PayPal refund information can be found here.
For any other payment gateways, we advise visiting their websites or contacting their customer service to find out about their refund policies.
In order to protect our employees and in following government advice, the Bookalet team will now be working from home to help limit the spread of COVID-19. However, our team are of course still available to help at this stressful time for our customers. The most efficient way for our team to help you will be via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook Messenger, although we have set up a mobile phone system allowing us to help more urgent issues effectively.
Please note: as of 31.3.2020, UK government advice is DO NOT travel to holiday let homes. We will be keeping this post up to date as much as possible, but for full government advice please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-advice-for-accommodation-providers