Since a couple of months we're renting out private properties with the help of Airbnb and Booking.com.

On Booking.com we do have a cancellation policy, but we only accept cash payment upon arrival and thus the guest doesn't need to hand over credit card details.

Until now, we faced several "no shows" due to different reasons. Due to the lack of credit card details our only option is "cancellation without a fee" in order to open up our property again and, most important, we won't get any kind of compensation from the guest for not showing up. The only positive thing is that Booking.com won't charge the commission for this specific booking.

Besides the fact that the property has been blocked for several days and that the local host has wasted lots of time in waiting for the guest it's very annoying and utterly lacks respect.

Of course we've contacted Booking.com with this issue, but the only reply is: Yeah, we don't capture credit card details according your payment policy.

So, now we've tried to open up the option for Booking.com to capture the credit card details of the guest upon booking, but that requires the possibility for the guest to pay with credit card as well and that requires from us that we obtain a credit card terminal which implies an investment and pretty high service fees.

More and more we get the idea that some guests are booking our property in order to get a proof of an hotel booking in order to be able to obtain a visa for the country we're in.

Are there more property-managers who are facing a similar problem and how do they deal with these kind of problems?

Although Booking.com is a pleasant service to work with, I don't expect a lot of help from them, since they don't want to loose future guests or "guests"

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about hotel management, not travel. – JonathanReez Dec 17 '16 at 8:08
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    Try to ask this on reddit.com/r/TalesFromTheFrontDesk – DavChana Dec 17 '16 at 8:48
  • As a guest, I had similar situation with one property in Rome. It could be booked without credit card, and the property description stated that "the property will contact you within 48 hours to confirm the reservation". The property never contacted me, so I assumed my reservation was not confirmed, and booked another one. Then the property manager called me when I arrived, and asked why I didn't show up, said they never send confirmations and "forgot to remove this from the listing". Well, your bad - if I showed up, you'd tell me "no confirmation? you have no reservation". – George Y. Dec 17 '16 at 9:19
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    I'm not really sure how you think you're going to impose cancellation fees without accepting credit cards and getting an authorization in advance. That said, you could look into cheaper ways to process credit card payments, such as Square, that don't require a lot of expensive equipment. While there will be fees with any approach that allows you to accept cards, paying by credit card is honestly something many guests expect, and you may be losing bookings from people put off by the cash-only policy. – Zach Lipton Dec 17 '16 at 9:20
  • You can take off line card payments through PayPal without a terminal (paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/phone) and they also sell a cheap terminal (paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/credit-card-reader) so why not start taking card payments if that is the solution to your problem...? There are international versions of the above, PayPal just give me the UK pages. – Moo Dec 17 '16 at 11:28