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Booking.com Property

Booking.com

I recently posted about a negative experience we’d had with Sharif Miah of Trustee Property and Oracle Estates in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

One of the many unscrupulous things Sharif was doing was advertising our property on sites like Booking.com when, due to having dissolved his company when the accounts were due, he had no right to do so.

He claimed to have signed a shorthold tenancy agreement that prevented us from taking the property back, but Booking.com was showing verified reviews of the property from guests who had stayed there during a period when it was claimed the property was inhabited by that tenant.

Clearly something wasn’t right here, and if Sharif was continuing to let out the property to paying guests with the assistance of an accomplice who was claiming to be a tenant, while not in contract with us and while not paying rent, then clearly this was something that had to come to an immediate end.

With that in mind, I contacted Booking.com to report the listing and to ask them to remove it. The email included all the necessary details including a link to the listing, evidence of the dissolved company, and assurances that I could provide them with whatever evidence they needed that I was the legal owner of the property.

This post documents our experience.

Hi

Thank you for choosing Booking.com.

In response to your recent email in regards to changing ownership for the accommodation.

We are happy to further assist you with your inquiry. If you could please contact us by sending us a message through the Extranet (Partner Page).

Thank you again for choosing Booking.com and your Partnership with us.

Anonymous Booking.com representative

I was clearly off to a bad start here as this anonymous representative seemed to think “I want to report a fraudulent listing on your website” meant “I want to transfer ownership of my property”.

I replied and re-stated the reason for my email, only to receive the below shortly afterwards.

Dear partner,

Thank you for reaching out to us.

We’re happy to help you with your request, but unfortunately we’re not able to proceed without some additional information from you.

Please follow these steps to make sure your message reaches the right person or team in a timely manner:

• Go to your Extranet Inbox page
• Create a new message
• Choose a subject (e.g. ‘reservations’ for reservation related queries)
• Click ‘Send message’

We will do our best to come back to you within 24 hours.

If your request is urgent and you need immediate assistance, please call our 24-hour support line. The local phone numbers are listed in the Extranet and on the Booking.com webpage: http://www.booking.com/content/offices.en-gb.html.

Thank you again for partnering with Booking.com, and we look forward to continuing working with you.

Fetra Nirina R.

The instructions that Fetra provided could only be followed by the listing’s owner – Sharif Miah in this case – the guy that I was reporting for creating a fraudulent listing.

Was I expected to illegally hack into Sharif’s account and perform these actions myself, or to ask him to log into his account and report his own listing as fraudulent?

The 24-hour phone number that Fetra referred to insisted on a booking reference before I was able to get through to a human, which I obviously didn’t have.

I took a deep breath and replied, pointing out that I obviously did not have access to the property’s Extranet as I was not the listing’s owner and that the whole point of the email was to report a fraudulent listing. I also asked for the matter to be forwarded to someone who had a better understanding of such matters.

Hi there,

We need a bit more information to help you faster and better. Please reply to this email with the following details:

• ID number:
• Accommodation name and location:
• Check-in and check-out dates:

We hope to hear from you again very soon.

Darko J.

If anyone has any idea why Booking.com asked me for check-in and check-out dates when trying to report a listing as fraudulent, feel free to post in the comments section below.

Don’t worry, Darko, you will indeed hear from me again very soon…

I responded and asked them to actually read what I was sending to them, and this time asked that the matter be forwarded to someone who wasn’t incompetent.

Finally, I received a response that looked a little more promising, setting aside the fact that I had already provided a link to the property listing which should have included the ID they wanted.

Dear Partner,

Thank you for working with Booking.com.

We are kindly asking you to provide us a property name or property ID to check the information.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Arina V.

I responded by once again sending a link to the listing, the full address of the property and a link to Trustee Property Ltd.’s page on Companies House showing its dissolved status.

Four hours later I had received no response, which given the quick-fire nature of the above seemed a little unexpected. So I emailed again to chase up and was unfortunately disappointed by the response.

Hi there,

We need a bit more information to help you faster and better. Please reply to this email with the following details:

We are kindly asking you to provide us a property name or link to the property to check the information.

We hope to hear from you again very soon.

Halyna K.

Booking.com’s incompetent staff had me feeling like I was living a real-life Groundhog Day here.

I replied with the same information that had now been sent twice already.

Hi there,

We need a bit more information to help you faster and better. Please reply to this email with the following details:

• Confirmation number:
• PIN number:
• Email address used to make the reservation:
• Accommodation name and location:
• Check-in and check-out dates:

We hope to hear from you again very soon.

Domineque D.

… Yeah. I was back to being asked for a confirmation number and check-in/check-out dates.

Just where does Booking.com find its employees?

By now I was getting annoyed and I responded by explaining how many times we had already gone over this, reiterating the reason for the enquiry and asking for someone competent to get involved.

The stupidity barrier was about to be obliterated though by Miguel C.

Dear Partner,

Thank you for reaching out to us. Since the company that was managing the reservation has the access to the Extranet, you should request the access to them, otherwise we recommend you to call our Partner Support, so we can help you with this issue.

If you have access to the Extranet, please follow these steps to make sure your message reaches the right person or team in a timely manner:

• Go to your Extranet Inbox page
• Create a new message
• Choose a subject (e.g. ‘reservations’ for reservation related queries)
• Click ‘Send message’

We will do our best to come back to you within 24 hours.

If your request is urgent and you need immediate assistance, please call our 24-hour support line. The local phone numbers are listed in the Extranet and on the Booking.com webpage, or if you are in the UK you can call us at 0203 564 6725.

Thank you again for partnering with Booking.com, and we look forward to continuing working with you.

Miguel C.

So once again, despite a significant thread where I had repeatedly stated the reason for my enquiry was to report a fraudulent listing from our former property management company, Booking.com were suggesting I ask Sharif to contact them about his own listing.

Right.

Or as an alternative I could illegally log into his account and open the Extranet page to send them a message.

OK.

Of course I sent the expected response – pointing out how neither of these were possible and asking for someone who was not as high as a fucking kite to reply to me instead.

And this is what I received.

Hi there,

If you can provide us with proof of the fake listing we can reach out to our internal department and escalate this issue.

Kindly provide us with the name of the listing if possible.

We hope to hear from you again very soon.

Jose C.

I mean, it started out quite promising – possibly the most promising response of all.

But asking me for the name of the listing when I’d already provided the link to it 3 times…? Honestly?

I responded and once again provided the link – now for the 4th time.

Three days have since passed and I have received no further response from Booking.com.

I’m about to chase up the issue once again. This time I’ll include a link to this article and ask the recipient if they’d like to have their response added to the page. Wish me luck!

Here’s my message:

Hello

I have been trying for many days to explain a very simple problem to your staff. Unfortunately no-one seems to have the sense to understand it, and yet it really is very simple.

Someone has created a fraudulent listing of my property on your site. I have provided all the details many times. I have documented your responses now on a website to show the world how useless your staff are: http://www.publicshaming.co.uk/2020/05/15/booking-com/.

Please take the time to read the article so that you can hopefully send me a response that is not as stupid as all the others.

Once again, for the 5th time, the link to the property is [link removed].

Please look through the email chain for all the other details.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Update

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

Hi there,

We need a bit more information to help you faster and better. Please reply to this email with the following details:

• Confirmation number:
• PIN number:
• Email address used to make the reservation:
• Accommodation name and location:
• Check-in and check-out dates:

We hope to hear from you again very soon.

Allan Jereme R.

I mean, just what can I say? They’re all morons. All of them.

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