A friend of mine booked a cheap lodge in Philippines through booking.com. But the day before his flight, he found a nicer hotel to stay and even found some last minute bad reviews of this cheap property and its owner. So he decided not to stay at this lodge but forgot to inform them that he will no longer stay. A few days later the lodge contacted him by text message, threatening him that they will file a case at immigration regarding this unpaid hotel bill, probably for a no show fee. My friend ignored the text but the lodge seems to be aggressive and they keep on texting him every month, not to remind, but to threaten him that they will file a case at the immigration.

Our concern is that every text message that the lodge will send my friend, they will give him a different case number with immigration, so we are not sure if this text is true or just plain scam. The last text he got was few days ago and claims that they have already filed the case and that my friend will be held at the immigration and can never leave Philippines until he settles this bill.

  • 2
    How much money did they demand, and is it actually owed, given his contract with the hotel? Sep 2 '19 at 23:00
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    2,300php that's around 50usd roughly. and one more thing, we got a confirmation email from booking.com saying "No-show fees waived, by property".
    – Joey
    Sep 2 '19 at 23:05
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    I'm not surprised the owner is being rude -- your friend was very inconsiderate, and may have cost the owner some money in turned-away custom.
    – TonyK
    Sep 2 '19 at 23:35
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    The additional data again makes a difference. Given zero notice, I would expect there to be a legitimate no-show charge, and I'm surprised at the booking.com message. Depending on the contract, it may be just one night, or it may be more. The only way to know what is actually owed is to check the booking terms. Regardless of whether there is an actual immigration hold, your friend probably owes some money, so I don't understand the failure to call the hotel to arrange to settle it. Sep 2 '19 at 23:39
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    Your friend should check on booking.com, and in the confirmation email. There are rules about no-show and cancellation, and you friend should apply such rules, so he should pay. Note: the more he delay the payment, the more the hotel could charge (because of missing payment). You said there were a lot of negative comments about the hotel, so you can expect non-professional behaviour on their side, but this is not an excuse not to pay your debts. Sep 3 '19 at 9:59

It is unlikely that he will be detained at immigration for a small amount like 50$. If he didn't give the hotel any identifying documents, such as a passport, it is unlikely they can even do anything about it because they can't prove it is him just by name.

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