Freeing the calandar from a guest who can't provide ID
Hi – I’m new (this week) to hosting and hoping someone can help me!
I have a guest who wants to book but my bookings require guests to have completed their government ID verification. She messaged me to say that her passport is with the home office and she doesn’t have anything else and would I accept the booking. I didn’t want to accept but there is no obvious facility for me to decline the booking. I messaged her to say I wouldn’t accept. Do I have to wait out the 12 hour window she has to provide her ID or wait for her to cancel?
The odd thing is I never accepted her in the first place and at no point in her process was there the opportunity for me to accept or decline. I only switched on ‘Identity verification as a requirement yesterday and my other bookings had all already been verified and I’ve always had the option to accept or decline.
I have another guest who also wants the same dates and she couldn’t book until this lady cancels or the 12 hours expire as the calendar is showing as booked!!
Fortunately, the lady has now cancelled but potentially I could have lost the other guest. I’m currently waiting to hear back from her.
I’m asking the question as I’d like to understand how it works and avoid in the future if possible.
Hoping someone can help….
Re: Freeing the calandar from a guest who can't provide ID
If you have chosen identity verification as a requirement, that means you have Instant Booking turned on. It's only with IB that you can have this requirement, which is why the guest was able to book your listing without you accepting her first. Then again, she shouldn't have been able to book if her ID wasn't verified, so I find that a bit concerning. Are you sure she didn't book before you turned on that requirement?
Anyway, if you want to always have the option to accept or decline, which it sounds like you do, turn off Instant Booking in your settings. Just be aware that this could affect your position in the search results as listings with IB get a bit of a boost. This might not be an issue in your area. It depends entirely on the competition.
Also, just so you know, the way it works when more than guest wants to book:
- A guest sends an enquiry. You can either just reply, but that is not a booking. You can also send a special offer and you can send a pre-approval, which allows the guest to go ahead and book.
- A booking request is the one you have to accept or decline within 24 hours. In the meantime, it will show on your calendar, and you will not be able to offer the room to any other guests who enquire unless you decline the request. The system prioritises booking request over enquiries.
- Instant Book trumps all. The system will give guests who book this way priority. Once they do, the booking is made and no one else can book those dates unless you or the guest cancels.