How our online booking service works | Accommodation

Booking.com's intermediation service

"Booking.com" refers to Booking.com B.V., a limited liability company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands, with its registered address at Herengracht 597, 1017 CE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Booking.com is a Booking Holdings Inc. wholly-owned subsidiary.

Booking.com owns the website www.booking.com and app (together the “Platform”).

Through the Platform, Booking.com provides an online booking service through which—among others—accommodation providers, such as hoteliers and other providers (“Provider”), can offer their products and booking services, and which users of the Platform can use to make reservations.

Booking.com B.V. does not buy or (re-)sell booking products or services. You pay the Provider directly (Booking.com may have a facilitating role in this respect).

When you make a booking via the Platform, you are committed in a direct contractual relationship to the Provider with whom you made the reservation, unless specifically stated otherwise. Booking.com communicates your booking details to the relevant Provider(s) and sends you a confirmation email in the name and on behalf of the Provider, unless specifically stated otherwise.

Our booking service is free for you.

Booking.com may make certain payment methods available on the Platform for the (pre-/down-)payment of the reservation amount by guests, pursuant to which (as available) bank transfer, credit card payments, or other forms of online payments can be made and processed for and on behalf of the Provider. Booking.com may allow a third-party payment processor to operate through the Platform for the purposes of enabling this facilitated payment. This facilitation of payments by Booking.com to the Provider does not prejudice the legal relationship between the Provider and the guest in any way.

The Providers

The Providers authorized to offer their booking products or services and whose deals are displayed on the Platform are in a contractual relationship with Booking.com. Booking.com doesn't have a capitalistic link with the Providers.

As part of this contractual relationship, Providers pay a commission (being a percentage of the product price (e.g. room price)) to Booking.com after the end-user has consumed the service or product of the Provider (e.g. after the guest has stayed at (and paid) the Provider).

A breach of the Provider's obligations to Booking.com can lead to its delisting.

Exhaustiveness

The bookable products and services available on the Platform may not be exhaustive. The listed Providers don't necessarily offer all their booking products or services on the Platform.

Booking.com doesn't list similar products and services offered by professionals or non-professionals who don't have a contractual relationship with Booking.com.

On the Platform, you will find the number of worldwide available booking products or services that are bookable on the Platform.

On the search results page, you'll find the number of Providers in the country, region, or city where the service and/or the product is sought.

Updates

All Provider info displayed on the Platform is based on info given by Providers who update prices, availability, and options at their sole discretion and at their own pace through the Extranet site to which they have access.

Booking.com endeavors to update the Platform in real-time. However, content updates (e.g. text descriptions, the list of facilities of the Provider) might take a few hours.

Provider rankings (accommodation)

  • Our top picks (default ranking):

    Booking.com aims to display search results that are relevant for each specific guest, by providing a personalized default ranking of Providers on our Platform. Guests can scroll through this default ranking, use filters, and sort by alternative ranking orders, and thus have the ability to influence the presentation of search results to receive a ranking order based on other criteria. Booking.com uses multiple algorithms to produce default ranking results, which is a constantly evolving process.

    Booking.com has identified the following parameters to be most closely correlated with a guest finding a suitable Provider, and thus prioritizes such parameters in the algorithms ("main parameters"): The guest’s personal search history, the rate of "click through" from the search page to the hotel page ("CTR"), the number of bookings related to the number of visits to the relevant Providers page on the Platform ("Conversion"), gross (including cancellations), and net (excluding cancellations) bookings of a Provider. Conversion and CTR are affected by various factors including review scores (both aggregated scores and components), availability, policies, (competitive) pricing, quality of content, and certain features of the Provider. The commission percentage paid by Providers or other benefits to Booking.com (e.g. through commercial arrangements with the Provider or strategic partners) may also impact the default ranking, as well as the Provider’s record on timely payment.

    The Provider may also influence its ranking by participating in certain programs, which may be updated from time to time, such as the Genius program, deals, the Preferred Partner Program, and the visibility booster (the latter two involve the Provider paying a higher commission to Booking.com). The Preferred Providers are marked with a “thumbs-up” symbol. Only Providers that meet and maintain certain qualification criteria can be listed as Preferred.

  • Show homes first:

    Providers with a property that is qualified by Booking.com as a home property are displayed first.

  • Price (lowest first):

    Providers will be displayed from lower to higher prices.

  • Review score and price:

    Providers will be displayed from the best value for money to the lowest with a view to review score and price.

  • Stars and other quality ratings:

    Deals are shown on the basis of the number of stars (low to high or high to low) that Providers provide to Booking.com. Depending on (local) regulations, the star classifications either are assigned by an (independent) third party (e.g. an (official) hotel rating organization), or are based on the opinion of the Providers themselves, regardless of objective criteria. Providers' star ratings displayed on the Platform are not determined by Booking.com. Booking.com doesn't impose formal obligations on star ratings nor reviews them. Overall, the star classification is a representation of how the Provider compares to the legal requirements (if applicable) or, if not regulated, the sector or (customary) industry standards in terms of price, facilities, and available services (these requirements and standards can vary between different countries and organizations). The quality ratings used for non-hotel Providers (e.g. bed & breakfast) may not correspond to the star classification system applicable to hotels. In case we receive info that a Provider may have a misleading star classification on our Platform, we'll verify this info with the Provider and ask they either adjust their star classification or to declare it accurate and not misleading.

    When filtering by star rating, the results may also include other applicable quality ratings used on the Platform, such as vacation rentals. This quality rating is awarded by Booking.com to home and apartment-like properties alike (e.g. apartments, villas, vacation homes). This quality rating is based on many factors including facilities, size, photos, review score, location, and service. When filtering by star rating, the user has the option to show "hotels only" to remove the vacation rentals.

  • Star rating and price:

    Providers will be displayed from the best value for money to the lowest with a view of star ratings (including other quality ratings) and price.

  • Genius:

    Providers with Genius rates will be displayed first.

  • Top reviewed:

    Providers who received the best scores from guests will be displayed first (from high to low).

  • Distance from city center:

    Providers closest to the city center will be displayed first (from the closest to the farthest).

Rate components and potential additional fees

The rates displayed on the Platform are set and communicated by the Providers. However, Booking.com may give a credit/benefit to guests at its own cost.

The rates are displayed for the various options or combinations of options offered by the Provider. An option, unless stated otherwise, is a combination of check-in date, check-out date, room type, occupancy, meal-plan (if any), and cancellation policy. In some specific cases, a few more aspects may define an option.

The price displayed on the Platform includes all mandatory/unavoidable charges and fees to the extent such charges and fees are known to us and reasonably calculable. The potential taxes and additional fees may vary according to the country, the Provider, the selected room type, and the number of guests. Each price description specifies which taxes are included and which are excluded, if applicable. More info about the components included in the rate can often be found through breakdowns/tooltips shown next to the price. These breakdowns—though helpful in better understanding the price components—may not be exhaustive in detail. This info is also displayed in your confirmation email. Note: Taxes may vary according to decisions made by local authorities.

The Platform displays the equipment and facilities offered by the Provider (to the extent communicated by the Provider to Booking.com). To view them, click the Provider name to open the deal breakdown. Additional fees may apply for some services or equipment, such as breakfast, cleaning services, or internet. To know if the services and/or equipment offered are included in the rate, hover over the question mark in the "Your choices" column.

The currency converter on our Platform is for info purposes only and should not be relied upon as accurate and effective at the time of booking; actual rates may vary.

Method for settling disputes

The contractual relationship is established between the Provider and the guest. Therefore, any claims regarding the stay policy or the performance of services shall be addressed directly to the Provider.

The provision of our service shall be governed by Dutch law, and the Dutch court has exclusive jurisdiction. However, consumers can rely on any applicable mandatory consumer law provisions as relevant to law and forum. For guests in the European Economic Area, we recommend first notifying Booking.com of any complaints by contacting our Customer Service. If this doesn't resolve the complaint, the guest can upload the complaint via the European Commission's ODR platform. This platform for online dispute resolution can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/odr.

Overbooking

All reservations with instant confirmation on Booking.com are confirmed directly to the Provider according to their availability registered online. Booking.com provides guidelines and supports accommodation providers in order to quickly resolve overbookings. Accommodation providers are required to honor all reservations made on the website and are solely responsible for the management of overbookings. If an accommodation provider overbooks and can't offer a suitable alternative accommodation, the guest has the option to cancel their booking at no cost (with a full refund of any prepayment), or choose a similar accommodation with the same price, if available.

Refund times depend on the type of payment. For reservations with payment facilitated by Booking.com, we refund the guest. In 90% of cases, the refund is processed within 5 business days after:

  • a) the cancellation of the reservation due to confirmed overbooking; or

  • b) the reception and validation of the proof of charge after the stay, in cases of possible reimbursement of a difference in rates due to relocation.

For all other reservations with payments managed by the accommodation provider, they're responsible for processing the refund. In this case, we'll do our best to make sure the overbooked accommodation reimburses the guest as soon as possible. In case of relocation, the guest must send the Invoice of the alternative accommodation to our Customer Service in order to start the refund process.

Complaint management

We have multiple channels available for you to submit a query or complaint to our Customer Service team. Our Help Center page has our most frequently asked questions and support info to help manage your booking. There you can also get in touch with Customer Service and be routed to our fastest available channels: Live chat, messaging, email, or telephone. Alternatively, you can send our Customer Service team a message directly via the reservation page or mobile app. All complaints are registered and will be worked on based on the request's priority and urgency. Generally, 75% of complaints get a response within 72 hours, and 95% within 10 business days.

In case of discrepancies in the accommodation's description, we'll verify the alleged discrepancies, ask our partner to modify the info displayed on the platform if necessary, and—if the issue is repeated and not actioned—we reserve the right to suspend the accommodation provider from our platform. In case of incorrectly loaded rates, the provider must contact the guest within a reasonable time before the booked dates. We'll do our best to intervene and negotiate between providers and customers to reach a favorable agreement.

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