Hundreds of Booking.com landlords “from Japan to Mexico” are still waiting to be paid because of “back end problems” at the holiday rental platform, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.
Some 200 Danish hotels are waiting for cash, leading the Danish economic affairs minister Morten Bødskov to describe the situation as “unacceptable” and “brutal”. Scottish B&B operators have taken their stories to the media as have hosts in Spain, Hungary and Brazil. The Guardian too has reported extensively on the problem.
The problems seem to affect small hosts, not big chains, and have been ongoing for several months.
“We are busy upgrading our back end systems and we’ve found more problems than we expected,” a spokesman told the Volkskrant. “It is terrible that we can’t deliver the service we want to our partners and we have teams working round the clock to fix things.”
Booking.com takes between 15% and 18% commission on every booking. Holidaymakers pay the company which then sends the remaining amount, after commission, to the host. This normally takes place two weeks after the stay.
“First they told us I would be paid in August, then September, and now I’ve been told it will be early November, said Anita Vogh, who owns a B&B in Denmark and is owed €7,800.
“They keep coming up with different excuses,” the owner of an Indonesian villa told the paper. “And in the meantime, I can’t get hold of anyone at Booking.com who is able to help me.”
Some 3,000 hosts have now joined a special Facebook group ‘Booking.com is not paying its hosts’ to share their experiences and theories about what is going wrong.
The Amsterdam-based company booked sales of €5.2 billion and profit of €1.2 million in the second quarter of this year, up 27% and 51% respectively on 2022. It also earned €566 million selling its new headquarters near central station and leasing it back.
Booking.com was also “official online travel sponsor” for the women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July.
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