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Domestic Hosts Waiting for Payments after Booking.com Disruption

Hungary Today 2023.07.28.

Booking.com is several weeks behind with the payment of accommodation fees. Like foreign hosts, domestic hosts are also outraged by the delayed payments, affecting them particularly painfully during the high season. The online travel agency (OTA) giant promises that the money will arrive soon – reports turizmus.com.

“Our association has been receiving more and more accounts of Booking.com not paying the accommodation fees due to hosts, and is weeks behind. No one from their finance department can provide any meaningful clarification,” the Hungarian Association of Apartment Hosts posted on its social media page recently.

The comments below the post show that Booking.com, citing maintenance of its financial system between July 1 and 11, has issued a notice in advance informing accommodation providers that payments for guests checked in between June 28 and July 19 will be made by July 24, and the normal payment schedule will be fully restored by July 27.

However, according to commentators,

Booking.com has failed to meet the deadlines indicated in the notice.

Some have expressed outrage that the maintenance was timed to coincide with the high season. Others are annoyed that the payment date promised for the end of July has been arbitrarily postponed several times, and some question the justification for the 10-day transfer deadline, as the transfers are from Hungarian bank accounts and should be made immediately.

Some businesses complain of arrears of up to €2,000, others of up to HUF 2 million (EUR 5,224). Some accommodation providers are calling their guests one by one to cancel their bookings via Booking.com because they cannot offer more nights without payment in the middle of the season.

Photo: Facebook/Good Karma Coffee

It is not only Hungarians who are in trouble, as The Sun newspaper in the UK has reported that many accommodation providers are waiting for payment from the OTA giant. Some have waited more than a month to receive their accommodation fees. The company has reportedly extended the original deadline of July 24 several times.

Balázs Schumicky, president of the Hungarian Association of Apartment Hosts, said on Wednesday that he has not received any new information from Booking.com‘s Hungarian customer service about the delayed payments, when contacted by Turizmus.com.

During the conversation, they were not able to add new, more precise information to the communication previously sent to the accommodation providers about the financial restructuring,”

the expert revealed. Nor was any information given as to whether the date given, the beginning of August, was the date of payment or whether the 10 days from that date were counted as the time for payment, he added.

Index contacted the Hungarian Competition Authority about the case, and replied that

a complaint procedure is underway, they are investigating the details of the case and will take action in the interest of Hungarian bookers and accommodation providers if warranted.

On Wednesday afternoon, the newspaper finally received a reaction from Booking.com, in which the booking site informed that payments would be received soon.

We regret that some partners have experienced difficulties and we have been working urgently to restart payments that were delayed due to planned system maintenance. We can confirm that the payments have been processed and should be with our partners shortly,”

they said in their statement.

Photo: Pexels.com

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