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Refunds and Cancellations Knowledge Base (COVID-19)

In light of the current Coronavirus situation, and its effect on holiday bookings, the articles and videos below should help you to process refunds and cancellations arising from travel restrictions and other difficulties which guests may be experiencing at present.  

refund

Agency Account specific issues:

Video- How to use an Option/Extra as a cancellation fee that you wish to split between Agency and Owner 

Including when:

- The guest has made a part payment
- The guest is not being refunded

- The owner hasn't been paid
- Commission has been taken from the paid deposit and pay the balance to the owner


Video- What to do if you need to claim funds back from the owner for cancelled bookings where the owner has already been paid. 

Including when:

- The owner has been paid
- The guest has been refunded


Video- When to use the cancellation fee.

Including when:

- When the guest is not being refunded
- When the owner is not being paid


Video- How to move a booking to another property when a property owner has already been paid.

 

How to generate vouchers in Bookings

You can issue vouchers to guests so that they can re-book future dates.  


Video: How to generate vouchers in bookings

Voucher Codes will be applied to bookings in the following way:

1. If there is a deposit payment due AND this is less than or equal to the voucher, then we will deduct from the deposit
2. If there is a deposit AND the voucher is greater than the deposit, then no deposit will be due – we zero the deposit and just take a balance
3. If there is no deposit due, then we deduct the voucher from the balance

How to stop taking Bookings for the next 1-2 months

In response to the Covid-19 situation, our developers have created a new tool, allowing you to easily block availability for a specified time period, with the option either to show as unavailable, or to display a custom message when a guest clicks on a date. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

How to remove auto scheduled emails from future Bookings

In response to the Covid-19 situation, our developers have created a new tool, allowing you to easily remove auto emails that are scheduled in existing bookings, either completely, or only for those bookings that fall within a specified range.  This article explains clearly and simply how do do this.

How do I tag or track particular Bookings?

You can use the Customer Ratings function to tag particular bookings, such as bookings where the date has been modified or where a refund has been issued- This Video explains how to do this.


We have added a function in Bookings > Search bookings allowing you to search only bookings with a specific rating. The filter results will now show all bookings with this rating, so you can pull up a list of all bookings that you have modified, so long as that rating was applied to them.

A list of all your cancelled bookings can be found under Bookings- Cancelled Bookings.

How can I send a mass email to my guests?

If you need to send a mass email to all of your guests, you have two options:

You can use the Filter Database function, explained in this article 

This involves filtering your guest database only for future bookings, and exporting that guest data into a mass emailing program such as MailChimp, in order to email all guests whose bookings fall in the coming months.


You can also send a mass email from within SuperControl- this article and video explain how.

Where do I find data to support Business Support Grants in Scotland?

The best report to provide is "Statistics > Property Performance".  For SuperControl Lite users please contact the support team and we can provide this data for you.

Video to show the report: https://youtu.be/0AWds6OkR1U

Cancellation and Refund FAQ:

How do I Cancel or move a Booking received through an integrated OTA (i.e. Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, HomeAway, etc)?

If Yes, these bookings must be cancelled or have their dates altered in the OTA account/Extranet directly, and that cancellation should then feed through to SuperControl. The simplest way is for the guest to request cancellation directly, although in line with their updated policies, the major OTA's will also allow you to request the cancellation of bookings without penalty if you contact their support teams directly.

For Airbnb, please see their own help article on this subject.
Airbnb, contact their support team through live chat within your Airbnb account.
For Booking.com, Please see their instructions on how to move or cancel a booking in the Extranet.
Booking.com
contact number: 0203 564 6725
HomeAway have provided an article on modifying bookings, to be found here.

HomeAway contact number: 0208 827 1971
TripAdvisor have an article on the same subject.

TripAdvisor contact number: 0203 701 5369 extension 3
Expedia's article about modifying bookings.
Expedia Contact number: 0203 788 0445 

If date change or cancellation does not happen within a few hours of the cancellation being confirmed by the OTA , please contact SuperControl Support. 

OTA Coronavirus Policies

Here are quick links to the current cancellation policies of the channels. These supersede the policy you chose and are subject to change.

Airbnb https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/2701/extenuating-circumstances-policy-and-the-coronavirus-covid19

Booking.com https://partner.booking.com/en-gb/help/legal-security/important-information-regarding-coronavirus

HomeAway/VRBO https://www.vrbo.com/discoveryhub/a/covid-19-emergency-policy

Expedia http://go.expediagroup.com/covid-19.html

Is the Booking cross-updated from another account or property within your account?

If yes, then the source booking which was then cross-updated to other bookings would need to be cancelled, in the account in which it originated. This should then feed through to cancel all of the connected cross updated bookings that were placed as a result of the source booking. 

If this does not happen within a few hours of the cancellation please contact SuperControl Support.

What should I do if my guest wants to cancel a Booking covered by Booking Protect?

If the guest took out Booking Protect, and now wishes to cancel their reservation, they would need to make a claim with Booking Protect directly, following these guidelines

You do not need to refund the guest at all, since the refund would be issued to the guest directly by Booking Protect, if covered for their situation. You can therefore just cancel the booking to open up the dates, retaining what the guest has paid, and Booking Protect will do the rest. 

Their terms and conditions can be found here, and their updated guidance regarding Coronavirus here

What should I do if my guest wants to cancel a Booking covered by Master Cancel?

With Master Cancel, guests can cancel their trip for any reason, between 60 and 2 days prior to arrival. Presuming that the cancellation request is within these dates, you can go ahead and cancel the reservation in SuperControl, and refund the guest in full. You would then make a claim for reimbursement directly to Master Cancel, using this link- https://mastercancel.com/claims 


If you need to cancel a provisional booking which didn't convert to a confirmed booking (i.e. the guest never paid), and are enrolled in Master Cancel, then you can remove Master Cancel so that you don't need to pay the premium.  To do this login to the RentalGuardian portal at https://manager.rentalguardian.com.  Then go to "Manage > Coverage".  Click on the relevant policy and there is an option to cancel.  Note that this should only be used for unpaid bookings.

What should I do if I want to keep the guest's deposit, but put it towards a future stay instead?

If you would like to cancel a booking but retain what the guest has already paid, in order to put this towards a future stay, you can do so using Voucher Codes:

1. Cancel the guest booking, in order to make the dates available again. This will not cancel the record of what they have already paid. 

2. Generate a voucher code to the value of the amount paid, or whatever you would like to offer them against a future booking. Make sure that you tick 'expire after one booking' when setting this up. Instructions to generate voucher codes can be found here.

3. Email the voucher code to the guest, who can then use it to book directly through your website and redeem the amount they previously paid against a new booking, up to the date that you have set the voucher to expire. 


You can also generate and send a voucher within a booking, which streamlines the above steps. A video on exactly how to do this can be found here.


Note- In order to assist clients manage their bookings during this time,  LITE users now have the facility to generate vouchers.  We will add the function to generate vouchers for three months.  After that time they will still be able to view and use vouchers that have been generated. 


If You wish to free-up the booked dates for the moment, but the guest intends to re-book shortly, you can also move the booked dates to any span of free dates in the past, then change the dates again when the guest knows when they want to re-book, and contacts you directly to do so. This retains all the original details and payments on the existing booking. This article explains how to amend the dates on a booking.

How do I transfer a payment from one Booking to another?

There are two ways to do this:

1. If the guest is the same, you can just change the dates of the booking, instructions for doing so are to be found here. This will change the dates of the booking to new dates, but preserve the existing guest information, correspondence history and any payments already received. 

2. If you do wish to create a new booking, but record the details of a payment made in a previous booking in it, you should use the 'Custom Payments' line in the customer payments section of the booking. We would recommend entering the booking number for which payment was received in the left hand box. 

When you have entered the required information, click 'Save' on the right.  This records in the new booking, a payment that was received in a previous booking.

How do I update my Terms and Conditions on my Booking Form?

To amend your Terms and Conditions, go to Admin > Terms & Conditions. When you have added your Terms and Conditions ensure to press "Update" at the bottom of the page. This article and video explain how to do this step-by-step.

We have also added a new link on the tick box for accepting terms on the booking form and payment form, so that, when a guest ticks to accept your terms, they also accept the cancellation policy, if you have one in place. If there is no cancellation policy added then the link will just display as it was before.

Note- For those clients who use the Guest Login feature, updating your terms and conditions will result in the updated terms being shown within all guest logins, even those of guests who booked prior to the amendment. We suggest that you upload a document with the previous terms and conditions to the guest login, and title or preface it along the lines of: 'For Bookings placed prior to X, the following Terms and Conditions apply'. This article explains how to upload a document to the Guest Login.

Can I hide my Terms & Conditions in the Guest Login?

Yes, you have the option to hide the terms & conditions from the guest login, using a check box under Admin- Terms & Conditions.

How do I refund a payment made via Bank Transfer, Cash or Cheque?

If you took payment for a booking via Bank transfer, Cash or Cheque, and need to record the refund of that payment,  in part or in full within the booking, please follow these steps:


1. Navigate to the booking in question, and go to the 'Customer Payments' section at the bottom. Using the grey 'Custom payments' bar, fill in the type of refund you are recording to the left, the method by which the refund was issued (i.e. Bank Transfer), and then set the right hand box to 'Refund' rather than 'Payment'.


2. A box will appear to ask what sort of refund you are recording. Select the option that applies and then 'Proceed'.


3. Press the green 'Save' button to the right of the Customer Payments area. This will then record the refund in the booking. You would of course have to actually refund the guest their money directly within your online banking, or by sending a cheque by post.

 




Will be 1% Channel fee (for those clients eligible) be applied to cancelled bookings?

The 1% channel  fee will only apply to completed bookings. If the booking is cancelled before the booked dates, the fee will not apply. If the booking is cancelled after the booked dates have passed then the fee will still be payable.

If I move the dates of a booking to next year, can I still request that the balance due be paid on the original date?

Covid-19 has resulted in SuperControl users needing to do all sorts of things that were never envisaged as being required, and this would fall into that category. It was never envisaged that individual bookings would need individual balance due settings, and therefore this has always been controlled at the level of the property, to apply to all bookings for that property. When a booking is moved to new dates, the date the balance is due therefore also moves to X number of days before the new booking date.

If you do want the guests to pay the balance  on the original date, you should set a reminder to send a balance request on the original balance due date. On that date,  manually generate the balance due email with booking summary appended. The text of the booking summary, including the balance due date can be edited manually before sending, so you can change the due date in the summary to the original one.. The guest can then pay using the payment link as normal.

Airbnb guide for Professional Hosts

Airbnb has produced a guide for software-connected hosts.  Download the Airbnb PDF to find our ways to encourage guests to book and prepare properties.  

1 Comments

Tallavey Cottages

Thank you for doing this and for reacting so quickly. It's really helpful.

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