Home Business Booking.com owes hosts in Scotland thousands in room payments

Booking.com owes hosts in Scotland thousands in room payments

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Travel website Booking.com has been accused of leaving accommodation hosts in Scotland thousands of pounds out of pocket because of payment delays.
The online platform allows people to book rooms that hotels and individual homeowners advertise on its site.
However, two Scottish hosts said they have not been paid in months for accommodating guests.
Booking.com said some payments were delayed as a result of planned IT system maintenance.
The company blamed "unforeseen technical issues" and said it was urgently working to resume payments for a small number of hosts.
Accommodation owners in other parts of the UK and Europe have also been affected by the issue with one man claiming he is owed about £50,000.
The row comes weeks after online marketplace Etsy came under fire from sellers for withholding their money.
Booking.com takes payment from the customer and then pays the host once it has deducted fees and commission.
But hosts have told BBC Scotland they are out of pocket after the Amsterdam-based firm carried out some planned system maintenance.
Emma Audain, who rents out a flat in Glasgow, said she is owed £3,000 by Booking.com having not received any payments since June, and is now considering legal action against the company.
She said: "We have a situation where the company is accepting money from customers, and in one case we had been able to issue refunds to them, but somehow is unable to issue payments to the host.
"It doesn't add up. We knew there was going to be a slight delay with the maintenance period but they last paid me in June and have been consistently offering conflicting messages such as we will receive a payment in x days, only not to receive it.
"Guests have paid and I'm not sure they will be entirely comfortable to find out this money has been swallowed by Booking.com.
"This is money we use to pay our bills, the cleaners, management fees and the like. We don't want to pass the impact of this on to guests."
Karen Bancroft manages five short-term let properties in the Nairn area, one of which she owns, and is chasing £3,000 in payments.
She said: "It has been a total nightmare, none of the hosts in my situation are huge corporations so going this long without these payment is really hurting their business.
"Dealing with Booking.com has been really challenging, just trying to get a straight answer has been near impossible.
"This is the guests' money, what have they done with it? I don't think guests will be aware of what is going on and I really don't think they would be comfortable knowing that their hosts have not been paid for the stay."
A spokesperson for Booking.com said: "We always strive to support our accommodation partners in the best way possible, and fully understand the importance of processing payments on time.
"We have been urgently working to resume payments, which were delayed as a result of a planned system maintenance, which we notified our accommodation partners of ahead of time, and can confirm that payments have now been processed and the majority of our partners have now received payment.
"In a small number of cases, there have been unforeseen technical issues that are being quickly resolved by our team."
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