We booked for a hotel in the Netherlands. The agreed amount was to be paid on the spot. Unfortunately, we didn't get a visa, so we never had a chance to go to the Netherlands and to stay at the hotel. Also, we didn't cancel the hotel booking.

Now the hotel is sending us emails, demanding we pay the full amount and threatening to sue us. Please guide.

  • 1
    You should have canceled the booking on time. If the hotel has a Lawyer in you home country then they can sue you.
    – N Randhawa
    Apr 23, 2018 at 6:57
  • 3
    The hotel is in its rights to blacklist you, and this may include other hotels from the same chain (if applicable). E.g. Hilton may blacklist you globally. And if you booked via a website, that site may also refuse further bookings. This can be done without suing you.
    – MSalters
    Apr 23, 2018 at 13:22
  • 2
    Are you asking if you can avoid paying this bill that you actually do owe? That's a breach of contract and unethical. Are you asking how you could have avoided owing it, or avoided owing as much? That, we can help you with. Apr 23, 2018 at 16:20
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because avoiding legal responsibility for a debt is not within the mandate of this Stack. Apr 23, 2018 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


Can they? Yes, probably. Will they? No

Although you should have cancelled in time but one single room booking is not going to be enough for them to take the claim to a court for an international tourist who never got a permission to come to their country in the first place.

Since you agreed to pay in cash, there is no hold on your credit/debit card. At this point this is more of an ethical concern than a financial one.

No lawsuit is headed your way. Ignore the communication.

  • 7
    I'd be very careful with such advices. A hotel might get an agreement with bulk-debt collector in OPs country, so runaway-without-paying option might be not so safe as many thought.
    – user45851
    Apr 23, 2018 at 7:47
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    There are hundreds of such instances everyday. When a hotel decides to accept pay at property they do assume that some of the travelers will not reach there and they will not be paid. Its not that big of a deal as a debt after using their services. They don't have any incentive of spending money on legal procedures to extract a small promised sum from an alien. Its not worth it. Apr 23, 2018 at 8:05
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    @9ilsdx9rvj0lo: Not sure about OP's country, but in USA, such a collector also can't justify time and expense to go to court for a small amount. They rely on harassing the target until he/she pays out of fear (sometimes when they actually owe nothing). And often the mere mention of "FDCPA" is sufficient to never hear from them again.
    – WGroleau
    Apr 23, 2018 at 9:49
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    @9ilsdx9rvj0lo: Considering the hotel is in the Netherlands, and thus subject to GDPR reguation, selling a debt outside the EU is a virtual impossibility. They'd get cents on the euro, while retaining full responsibility for the data protection requirements. And while the Netherlands does allow charging for debt reminders, the first reminder is free of extra costs and beyond that the costs are capped.
    – MSalters
    Apr 23, 2018 at 13:20
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    @9ilsdx9rvj0lo: For a typical hotel stay, that cap would be 40 euros. Mind you, that's for "administrative costs" beyond the first reminder. Courts will charge their own fees.
    – MSalters
    Apr 23, 2018 at 17:57

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