Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • swhite84
    • By swhite84 11th Sep 17, 11:08 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 1Thanks
    swhite84
    Cosumer rights advice on hotel booking cancellation and debt recovering agency
    • #1
    • 11th Sep 17, 11:08 PM
    Cosumer rights advice on hotel booking cancellation and debt recovering agency 11th Sep 17 at 11:08 PM
    Hi all,

    Please help!!

    Can give me some advice on where I stand legally.

    I booked a hotel room through Booking.Com in March for a reservation on 7th September for 2 nights. The hotel and Booking.com site stated free cancellations up until 10 days prior to arrival. I didn't receieve an email confirmation from Booking.com to state a booking or reservation had been made. After a week from booking I wanted to cancel. I couldn't use Booking.com automated service (not ref no info regarding booking) so rang and spoke to advisor who stated my booking had been made and that they'd cancelled the room. Didn't receieve an email to confirm cancellation either. Nowhere on the website did it state I had to cancel through the property directly and I was never given any advice to have to do this.

    On 2nd September, I recieved an email stating the room had been confirmed. Rang Booking.com (as thought it was error) who said the booking was active, it wasn't an error, the cancellation hadn't taken place in March when I'd rung previously. They spoke with the hotel who informed them of the error and why i couldn't attend but the hotel were unwilling to cancel the reservation as the 10 day period had now passed. They couldn't take payment and told me not to update my card details, to contact my bank to inform them and that the hotel would cancel my reservation.

    The day after I should have arrived to the hotel, the hotel sent me numerous emails within a few hours stating they expected payment otherwise they would proceed with legal action. I repeatedly explained what had happened: property cancelled through booking.com 5 months prior to arrival, didn't realise a problem until 2nd, didn't receve an email confirmation initially etc and the advice I'd been given by booking.com but they weren't having any of it stating they'd put me as a no show and that I'd have to pay still.

    Two days later, I've now recieved a letter from a debt collection agency (who didn't get the amount or my title correctly) threatening payment or legal action. I've rang Booking.com again who have spoken with the property but the hotel aren't willing to budge and want payment through the debt collection agency and Booking.com aren't prepared to do any more than ring the property.

    Where do I stand legally on this matter?
Page 1
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 11th Sep 17, 11:40 PM
    • 235 Posts
    • 197 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    • #2
    • 11th Sep 17, 11:40 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Sep 17, 11:40 PM
    How do you end up in a situation where you have no record of a booking on either your booking.com account or email address??

    I suspect that you registered using a different, or completely incorrect (ie stuartio1989 instead of stuartjo1989), email address....

    Sounds like you've got next to no evidence of your cancellation. I suppose your best bet would be to request a transcript of the call in March (may cost up to £10) and that may have the answers you require?

    Aside from that, maybe their next step is court (CCJ) and allow you the opportunity to present your case.
    • swhite84
    • By swhite84 11th Sep 17, 11:44 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    swhite84
    • #3
    • 11th Sep 17, 11:44 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Sep 17, 11:44 PM
    I checked with the advisor when cancelling that my email address was correct. She read out my correct email address. I'm very careful when inputting my details and have double and triple checked they have my correct details including phone number and email address. I have received other emails from Booking.com since but not the confirmation of a reservation or cancellation. I initially presumed the confirmation of an email would come through within the next few days as it was a booking made late in the evening or a lag in IT service.

    Booking.com have said they have no record on their system of a cancellation though a cancellation did occur and it was confirmed by their advisor well within the 5 months cancellation period (booked in march and free cancellation up until 10 days to arrival in September). I usually query things like this but on this occasion only I didn't due to heavy workload.

    It appears there was either a human or IT error either by Booking.com and/ or the hotel. I appear to be taking the flack for one/ both of their errors though.

    Not sure what my legal rights are or what i can do next to resolve this matter without having to go to court?
    Last edited by swhite84; 12-09-2017 at 12:13 AM.
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 12th Sep 17, 12:23 AM
    • 235 Posts
    • 197 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:23 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:23 AM
    Well, errm 99.99% of people's booking.com account would show their recently booked hotels. Its a weird one! A phantom booking which was neither on your booking.com account or emailed over! Very strange.

    I don't really know what options you have though! They've instructed a debt collection agency to collect it. If you are in the right then it would be a case of saying "no, I'm not paying it because of XYZ" in which case they'll potentially take you to court to try and obtain a CCJ. You can present your evidence at this stage.

    You could also maybe contact booking.com politely and ask them to listen to the call in March and/or get a transcript sent to you (at a fee, which may be refunded if you are correct). The transcript may also help if they try and serve a CCJ against you...

    Another option is to simply offer a payment plan of like £15 a month and clear the whole debt off within 12 months (I hope that you didn't pick somewhere which was more than £80 a night!)
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 12th Sep 17, 12:34 AM
    • 5,417 Posts
    • 5,085 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:34 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 12:34 AM
    I guess you can confirm to the debt collection firm (and the hotel and booking.com) that you don't owe the money.

    Ultimately, all the hotel can do is take you to court. Then the hotel would give their side of the story, and you would give yours - and the court would decide on the balance of probabilities whether you owe the money.

    In the meantime, I guess you can just ignore the hotel and the debt collectors.

    The only real downside is that the hotel (and maybe booking.com) might refuse to do further business with you - which would be a bit unfair, if you've done nothing wrong.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th Sep 17, 1:07 AM
    • 4,474 Posts
    • 2,794 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:07 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:07 AM
    OP, I'd be wary of allowing this to go to court.

    At the moment, you appear to have no evidence of having cancelled the booking.
    When you cancelled the booking, what happened to the refund?

    Presumably you made this booking by card?
    So your card statement will show the purchase transaction, won't it?

    Have you checked your email spam folders for missed emails?
    • swhite84
    • By swhite84 12th Sep 17, 1:27 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    swhite84
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:27 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:27 AM
    I inputted my credit card details when making the reservation but it said payment wast taken by the hotel upon arrival. After receiving an email on 2nd sept (5 months after the initial reservation) I rang booking.com to notify them of an error, IT or human and was told the cancellation hadn't been processed and they had no record of it. After the man at booking.com called the hotel on 2nd they immediately tried to take payment. He said its common when the property thinks they won't get their money. The booking.com advisor informed me whilst I was on the phone but stated the card was invalid. I was very surprised at time (and slightly relieved) but also confused as I know I inputted the credit card details correctly. I double and tripled checked them. As a result I don't have any evidence of a refund as one wasn't necessary due to booking options.

    I've searched all email folders using the hotels name and booking.com but it's returned nothing from before 2nd September. My husband reminded me this evening that I'd screenshot the booking page when I made the booking so it states date I booked and cancellation info but I definitely didn't receive any emails regarding reservation/ confirmation until 2nd September or any regarding cancellation.

    I've looked at booking.coms advice on privacy after the comments above and it states some calls are recorded and some are live so there's a high chance mine might not have been recorded.

    I've spoken to the hotel and booking.com to say I don't owe the money as its not my error, either human error within booking.com for not processing correctly or IT or some other issue that I have no idea about. Spent 3 hours on phone this evening, 2 hours emailing hotel explaining the situation in detail on Friday and 1 1/2 hours on phone on 2nd after email sent. Then further time cancelling and querying booking as no confirmation at the start in March
    Last edited by swhite84; 12-09-2017 at 1:38 AM.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th Sep 17, 1:43 AM
    • 4,474 Posts
    • 2,794 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:43 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:43 AM
    OK, on that basis I can only repeat... be careful.

    The hotel and booking.com may well have good evidence of your booking, but without any evidence of a cancellation I can only see this going one way.
    .
    • swhite84
    • By swhite84 12th Sep 17, 1:46 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    swhite84
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:46 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:46 AM
    I have records/ names of everyone I've spoken to regarding matter from 2nd, email from two customer service advisors from booking.com. One stating that they'd advise me to contact bank, not to update card details in the highly likely event the hotel was cancel if this helps...?
    • swhite84
    • By swhite84 12th Sep 17, 1:50 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    swhite84
    Would booking.com be classed as negligent because they didn't send a reservation/ confirmation email until 2nd September 5 moths after, by which point the hotels no cancellations within 10 days policy had kicked in?
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 12th Sep 17, 7:04 AM
    • 3,354 Posts
    • 5,728 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    Do you have your phone records from the call made to cancel? If it did get to court and they don't have a transcript of your call you could at least prove that you called them and how long you spent on the phone. It may also narrow down the exact time and date of your cancellation (although some only do date and length of call not the time the call started).

    It may not be absolute proof but it does at least show that you made contact with them.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th Sep 17, 12:59 PM
    • 4,474 Posts
    • 2,794 Thanks
    KeithP
    Would booking.com be classed as negligent because they didn't send a reservation/ confirmation email until 2nd September 5 moths after, by which point the hotels no cancellations within 10 days policy had kicked in?
    Originally posted by swhite84
    I won't answer that question, but will ask another rhetorical one:

    Could you be considered negligent for not insisting on a cancellation confirmation email?

    In my opinion, both you and booking.com have shown failings.
    .
    • susancs
    • By susancs 12th Sep 17, 1:00 PM
    • 3,798 Posts
    • 3,671 Thanks
    susancs
    I was thinking along the same lines as Fosterdog in that you should consider providing your phone record showing that you made a call to Booking.com's telephone number in March. Have you checked your junk folder? The reason i say this is that I made two bookings with them around the same time as you for July and had numerous email reminders from about six weeks before my bookings, all of which went into my junk folder.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th Sep 17, 1:10 PM
    • 4,474 Posts
    • 2,794 Thanks
    KeithP
    Have you checked your junk folder? The reason i say this is that I made two bookings with them around the same time as you for July and had numerous email reminders from about six weeks before my bookings, all of which went into my junk folder.
    Originally posted by susancs
    The OP has already told us:
    I've searched all email folders using the hotels name and booking.com but it's returned nothing from before 2nd September.
    Originally posted by swhite84
    .
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,109Posts Today

9,024Users online

Martin's Twitter