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How Booking.com bruised customer lets you down

observe Undisturbed in a deck chair watching the sunset and a private hour in the outdoor hot tub – so had Heiko F. presented the first joint vacation with his new girlfriend. He booked on Booking.com a small, idyllic holiday home on lake Garda with great views of the mountains and, above all, quite a lot of privacy. However, as the couple in the middle of June arrived in Italy, turned out to be the “casa caberlon” as a small attic apartment in a three party house. Ground floor and basement were occupied by the owner and their parents, who quarreled during the day, loud in the garden.

The use of the hot tub it was promised at the time of Handover of the apartment key. “The children of the last tenants could have peed into the water, so the Pool was closed for guests,” says Heiko, “but even if he was in the middle of the terrace, the landlord, we would be ducks in front of your living room window bathed.” Around the house rubbish was piling up. It was a nightmare. As Heiko F. was looking for a clarifying conversation with the landlord family, the Situation escalated, and threatened to call the police.

market share in Germany: a minimum of 60 percent of

as Heiko thousands of holidaymakers book this summer, your holiday accommodation on Booking.com. The company is based in Amsterdam, has developed since the establishment in 1996 of a small Start-up to one of the world’s largest E-Commerce company in the travel industry – with over 17,000 employees in 70 countries. On the Website vacation rentals, Hotels, family run guesthouses, Five-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos to be found, and a total of more than 29 million entries. And in the future, also excursions and adventure tours will be added.

Not a fair competition

hotel search in the Internet for booking portals, stand in the pillory

Every day, well-booked one and a half million overnight Stays on the Portal. Booking.com is the most widely used online intermediaries for hotel bookings and according to the information provided by the Federal cartel office has a market share in Germany of at least 60 percent. The company itself is understood only as a marketplace that brings landlords and tenants together. That usually works well. But if not Woe. Problems arise, represents the company as a pure link, making alone is in contact with the actual contractual partner, but otherwise take no responsibility. “From the time of your trip reservation, we act solely as an intermediary between you and the travel provider,” writes the company in its terms and conditions.

Deutsche Hotline Booking.com: chronically

What this means in the case of an emergency, in addition to Heiko F. – how many other customers had probably hardly thought. The project Manager had already booked often holiday homes, always without difficulty. “And this Time it was such a mess and I was not progressing with the landlady, I thought, quite naively, I get the help and support of Booking.com” he says.


Heiko F. and his girlfriend, Dikoma in your summer holidays on lake Garda in Italy. The booked accommodation was “a total letdown”


Wrong. First of all, it was a test of patience to even get someone on the phone. The German Hotline was chronically overloaded, and he gave way to the English-language line. There, he came through, but was fobbed off with rather vague statements, we’ll examine the case. You asked him to send all the evidence photos and videos taken by Heiko meticulously by a Smartphone. Then nothing happened for the first time.

For Sabine Fischer-people, travel law expert at the Verbraucherzentrale Brandenburg, it is not a Surprise, she has heard of such cases before. Also in online forums, you do not need to look far to angry Booking.com to push customers. The well-known recommendation portal trust pilot, more than 15,000 customers gave their voice to the travel platform. A third of them gave the grade ‘unsatisfactory’.

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users of Franz wrote a few days ago: “solution from the customer service there is not. It is played with only E-Mails ping-pong, and done, finally, as if the Booking would have nothing to do.” And Booking.com-customer Müller complains: “complaints to the incompetent, hardly German-speaking ,Service’were dismissed. On subsequent Mail for clarification was not responded.” So it goes on and on.

Booking.com offers no compensation

“We, as German consumer centres can help relatively little,” says Sabine Fischer-people. The booking of individual services, such as a Bed, does not fall under the special protection of the package travel law. Instead, the tenancy law of the country in which the landlord of the property resides is.

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In the case of Heiko F. this is Italy. His claims to compensation or partial refund of the travel price to enforce, he would have to seek a procedure abroad. Due to the high costs, the language barrier and the relatively low value for him, this is not an Option.

But he would, at least, not yet, more travelers are falling on the offer of the “casa caberlon” in. In addition, he documented his experiences and Booking.com sent. The lapidary’s standard response was: “We apologize that you have made such a bad experience with the accommodation, and we very much hope that you will not need to repeat such an experience.” Further, it was said in the Mail: “We have submitted your case to our legal position and have discussed your concerns. Unfortunately, we can offer from our side, no compensation.”

The little den under the roof offered by Booking.com as the idyllic holiday home.

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