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I just reserved a room at the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Berchtesgaden, Germany. I went through the booking website and provided all of my info, but they never asked for payment information. I didn't initially receive a confirmation, so I emailed the hotel to ask if the booking had been successful or if I needed to try again. After that, I did receive an email confirmation with all of the correct information.

It seems odd that I could reserve this room without providing a credit card, especially since their cancellation policy says they will charge for one night after a certain date. Should I be worried about the validity of this reservation, or is this practice fairly normal in Germany?

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    This is Germany. They trust you. – gerrit Apr 24 '18 at 15:20
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    A reservation made online is a valid contract. If their terms and services require you to pay even if you cancel later, that's totally legal even if there was no payment data exchanged. German businesses (mostly, hopefully) operate on the principle of collecting as little data as possible, so why bother? They can legally invoice you if you cancel. That might be a letter, and you have a binding contract. The fact that you are overseas is inconvenient, but not a show-stopper. They will prefer you to pay in person, as that is likely considerable cheaper for them, be it by card or in cash. – simbabque May 2 '18 at 12:58
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To be honest, it doesn't look like a very well made booking service and they probably have no online payment procedure in place.

Even when you go to make a booking, at the end where you are presented to agree with the "terms of services", if you click "read terms of service" it's a blank document saying "these are the terms of service"...

Call them up and explain your concern about there being no card reservation and I'm sure you'll have your answer. The hotel seems very busy this time of year, they probably aren't that bothered if someone cancelled the day before, and they may even be hopeful of cash payment on arrival or charge more for a card (if places still even do that).

I know with small family ran places no card details are usually asked for, and for big chains they can allow cancellation same day upto 1pm.

They are on booking.com and are part of a hotel group, so if they confirm the booking you should be fine - just call them about the lack of a card reservation if you want to put your mind to rest.

  • Since this is international I don't want to spend the money on an international call, but I can email them. – David K Apr 24 '18 at 14:56
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    Handling credit card on internet is complex (a lot of requirements) and costly, so for them, probably few no-shows are better than putting in place the whole procedure. [If it is a chain, they have a good reservation system, if you use third party site for reservation, it is similar]. – Giacomo Catenazzi Apr 24 '18 at 15:01
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    @DavidK calling Germany from Skype cost 2.3c a minute or you can use these guys for even less money deutschlandanrufen.com. Put $2 on your account and you can yack for almost two hours – Hilmar Apr 24 '18 at 17:27

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