I made a reservation by mistake on Booking.com website, to Dima Rooms and Apartments in Athens. The reservation was made totally by mistake and I immediately sent a request to cancel it. Booking.com contacted the accommodation provider (Dima Rooms and Apartments) who never answered my request (on purpose), and after they came back to me saying that they will keep €50 from the money I paid for the reservation. I replied that this is not right and that reservation was not wanted and made by mistake, however they did not refund me at all and took the entire amount I paid. This is rogue behavior and for that, I consider Booking.com as a rogue site and Dima Rooms and Apartments rogue business. I made a formal complaint against Booking.com and against Dima Rooms and Apartments, I am curious if there will be any outcome! In any case, I hold them responsible for false / illegal advertising, since the policies displayed for this property on Booking.com do NOT correspond AT ALL with the policies / T&C' s I received from Dima Rooms and Apartments by messaging service on Booking.cpm and by email. So they are selling a service that you discover for real AFTER YOU PAY... 😂 Typically rogue website Booking.com and Dima Rooms and Apartments are common thieves.
How did you accidently book a room? Aren't there several steps to go through before it is confirmed?
I accidentally did the same. I immediately called Booking who contacted the property and they thankfully let me cx my reservation with a return of deposit. I have no idea how it happened. The reservation required a deposit which I normally avoid. I like being able to cx and don’t mind paying the up charge.
OP. Was your reservation last minute?
Welcome to the RS forums -
It all comes down to the price you chose when you booked your room through booking.com: the free cancellation price, or the non-refundable/pay in advance price. If it was the non-refundable/pay in advance rate, it means exactly that: non-refundable. Booking.com didn't keep your money and can't be held accountable for what the property does or does not choose to refund for cancelling a booking, even for an error: it's up to the discretion of the property.
As stated on the booking.com site:
"If you have a free cancellation booking, you won't pay a cancellation fee. If your booking isn't free to cancel anymore or is non-refundable, you may incur a cancellation fee. Any cancellation fees are determined by the property, and you'll pay any additional costs to the property."
"Canceling a Non-Refundable booking usually incurs a charge. However, you might have the option to request free cancellation when managing your booking. This sends a request to the property, who may decide to waive your cancellation fee. It's not possible to change dates for a Non-Refundable booking, though it's possible to re-book for your desired dates if your waive fees request is successful."
It's unfortunate that this happened to you but this is why I've almost never selected the non-refundable rate when using the site: you have to be willing to eat the cost of the room for the date you agreed to when you book. The more flexible rates, such as for free cancellation, are usually a bit higher but worth it should you have a problem. It's definitely not a "rogue" site.
Kathy, on the other hand, I had a nonrefundable booking at the Best Western in Wells, England in March of 2020 and Booking.com contacted me and told me that the Best Western would refund the total amount, and they did, quickly!
In March of 2020 your cancellation was very likely COVID related, and my guess is that the hotel was either closed, about to close, or dealing with reservations for people who couldn't even GET there. All sorts of out-of-the-ordinary allowances happened in 2020, eh?
Wow, can't believe it was 3 years ago already!
I made the reservation simply by mistake, I wanted to choose another apartment and I made a reservation by mistake to that one. Normally as a consumer I shoul the d be protected and receive my moneyback in case of a mistake which obviously didn't happen. But what is worse is that Dima Rooms and Apartments are responsible for false advertising, together with booking.com. As I mentioned the T&C's displayed on booking.com are different from the T&C'S sent to my email and through the messaging system after I made the book. This only and it's a good enough reason to ask for my money back since the service I bought by mistake doesn't even correspond to the real one! The policies of the apartment displayed on Booking.com are different from the real ones that the host sent me,! How about that?
And as a consequence I started a chargeback procedure through VISA . From now on I will only buy services using VISA or PayPal in order to be protected from thieves and rogue sites and service provi. Why eBay and Amazon protect their customers and booking.com doesn't?
I am sorry you are having trouble and I don’t have any help for you. Hopefully your Visa will take care of it.
But if anyone in the future comes upon this thread, I just wanted to add what has worked for me.
1) I choose “free cancellation” as one of my filters in my search (along with WiFi and anything else that matters to me).
2) I check the date it can be cancelled by.
3) I never prepay.
That being said, I have made mistakes also and prepaid on a non-refundable hotel (got lucky in that it was the one I wanted and didn’t need to cancel).
I have never run across a situation where booking.com said it was refundable and the hotel didn’t, so no one would refund. If that is the case, you should have “refundable” listed in either an email from booking.com or in the records of your account at booking.com. If it is listed as non-refundable, I don’t know that you have any recourse.
I find it interesting that Booking.com appears to be almost universally accepted, and in fact encouraged on this forum, while Expedia is typically dismissed, if not vilified [but how many just love Google Flights?]. Here the message - at least so far - is "buyer beware" whereas on another recent post Expedia was blamed when the other OP bought a non-cancellable air ticket and then sought a refund due to health reasons. Both are massive companies, and by some measures Booking Holdings is larger than Expedia. Google is even larger.
We should be thankful that RS and his philosophy of "guerilla capitalism" resisted the temptation to commercialize this site - it could have very easily turned into Trip Advisor, which is now basically a platform for selling commercial travel services.
The RS mantra is to try to book directly with the property.
I find it interesting that Booking.com appears to be almost universally accepted, and in fact encouraged on this forum, while Expedia is typically dismissed, if not vilified...
I hear your message, but it seems Booking.com has less complaints such as this from some well traveled folks on this forum. Expedia may be very good. It just seems I have heard more Expedia problems than Booking.com. I don't think booking direct with the hotel would have made any difference here. Booking.com does not always take payments, sometimes they direct you to pay the hotel upon arrival and only make the reservation. I think the real lesson always is no cash deposits and be aware of making non-refundable reservations. To each his own.
I do find it troubling that the OP was given different terms and conditions by Booking and the lodging. So this is a reason to book directly with the property. Plus, doesn't Booking get their 15% commission even when prepayment not required? RS always makes the point that you put more $$ in the hands of local proprietors when you book direct.
Finally, if the OP has prepaid and it hasn't been returned, don't they have a right to the room?