Channel Service Fee

Channel bookings handled through SuperControl have grown by an average of 44% year-on-year over the last three years.  Also a quarter of all guest bookings managed in SuperControl now come through OTAs (Online Travel Agents), a trend which seems to be on the increase.

Around 30% of our developer capacity is spent on developing the functionality of OTA integrations and 50% of our infrastructure is dedicated to supporting these.   Yet this channel management service, which ensures that your listings with OTAs remain effective has, to date, been provided to you at no extra cost.   

We at SuperControl are committed to your financial stability, which requires us to invest further in  developing and supporting our channel integrations.  This  channel service fee is being introduced to ensure that this service to you remains sustainable.   

When will the channel service fee be implemented?

The Channel Service Fee applies to bookings placed on or after 10 February 2020 through Booking.com, Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor or Expedia.

It will be implemented for your account the day after the period that you have paid for in advance ends.

For example, if you have already paid your next monthly, quarterly or annual licence fee invoice up to 1st December 2020, the Channel Service Fee will only apply to bookings taken following this date.

You can view the actual date when the Channel Service Fee becomes payable for your account, along with the amount payable by [date range] in Bookings>Charts & Reports>Channel Service Fee report. This report also shows the forward view for bookings already placed.

We won't invoice for the fee until each booking has departed. We will invoice you monthly in arrears for any channel service fees that were applicable in the immediately preceding month.

 

How much is the channel service fee?

The channel service fee is 1% + VAT on the total accommodation value of bookings received via OTAs.

The channel fee will be charged on the net accommodation value.  So, if you charge VAT on your accommodation our fee will be calculated on the net value.

We do not charge the fee on itemised extras, such as Booking or Cleaning Fees.

 

Which OTA bookings will it be applied to?

It will only apply to bookings through the following OTAs: 

  • Booking.com
  • Airbnb
  • HomeAway
  • TripAdvisor
  • Expedia

These are the sites that are constantly evolving and therefore require the vast majority of resourcing, infrastructure, development, knowledge and servicing.  

There will be no channel service fee on bookings from niche or regional channels such as membership organisations and associations. 

 

What about bookings through regional channels, niche websites and membership organisations?

There will be no channel service fee on bookings from niche or regional channels such as membership organisations and associations. 

The channel service fee applies ONLY to bookings through Booking.com, Airbnb, HomeAway, TripAdvisor and Expedia.  

 

Will it apply to direct bookings?

Absolutely not.  We are committed to facilitating direct bookings without a fee and will do all we can to help you get more direct bookings. 

 

How is the channel service fee calculated?

The channel service fee is calculated from the net rental value of the booking e.g. before booking extras and excluding VAT. 

Here are two examples to explain how the fee would be calculated with and without a channel uplift:

Example 1: No channel uplift applied

Net value sent to channel = £600

Booking extra e.g. cleaning fee = £50

Guest pays = £650

You receive = £644

SuperControl receives = £6

Example 2: Channel Uplift applied

Net value = £600

Net value sent to channel plus 10% uplift = £660

Booking extra e.g. cleaning fee = £50

Guest pays = £710

You receive = £703.40

SuperControl receives = £6.60

You can find more information on covering your costs by going to the following help guides: Booking.com Airbnb  HomeAway TripAdvisor. For Expedia, please send a ticket to support@supercontrol.co.uk

 

Why didn’t you just increase the SuperControl licence fee?

Not all SuperControllers use OTAs, so rather than increase the licence fee, a channel service fee is being brought in.  This booking fee will be contributing towards the further development of, and support, of these integrations and our clients who use them.

 

How will the channel service fee be invoiced?

SuperControl will invoice you monthly for bookings that have departed in the previous month.  This will only be relevant to bookings made on or after 11 February 2020.

We suggest that a direct debit is set up for ease of accounting for all parties.

Channel Service Fee invoices will be sent monthly, even if your normal payment terms are annual or quarterly.  Invoices will have a 30 day due date.

 

How do I set up a direct debit arrangement with SuperControl?

You can set up a Direct Debit via the ‘pay now’ link on your invoice. 

Click ‘pay now’

Choose ‘Direct Debit’

Click ‘Set up Direct Debit’ and complete the form.

 

Where's the reporting for my channel service fees?

Within your account you can view a report of channel service fees by period.   

Go to Bookings > Charts & reports > Channel service fee report

Channel Service Fees are also clearly identified in each booking.

 

Can I pass the channel service fee on to the guest?

Here are 3 examples of how the channel service fee can be applied:

a) Should you choose to you will be able to incorporate the 1% channel service fee as an uplift to the rental price paid by the guest. 

Net value (uplifted to cover channel service fee) = £606

Net value sent to channel plus 1% channel service fee = £612.06

Guest pays = £612.06

You receive = £606.06

SuperControl receives = £6

b) Agencies may prefer to factor the channel service fee into a booking fee (percentage or fixed fee) as this will be easier for your owners to understand. 

Note that we will be upgraded Booking Extras so that you can specify different fees for each channel.

c) Another option is that you cover the cost as a business overhead. 

Net value = £600

Net value sent to channel plus 1% channel service fee = £606

Guest pays = £606

You receive = £600

SuperControl receives = £6

 

Will the guest be able to see this fee?

No, the guest will not be able to see this fee.   When each booking is made, we will record the channel service fee as an “agent” fee in the booking.  This will be itemised but only viewable to you, the client company.  

 

What if a booking is cancelled?

The 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 the fee will still be payable. 

 

What if I am uplifting my prices to an OTA?

The fee will be based on the property rental value of the booking, so if the price has been uplifted, it will be based on the uplifted price.  

Net value = £600

Net value sent to channel plus 10% uplift = £660

Booking extra e.g. cleaning fee = £50

Guest pays = £710

You receive = £703.40

SuperControl receives = £6.60

You can find more information on covering your costs by going to the following help guides: Booking.com Airbnb  HomeAway TripAdvisor.  For Expedia, please sent a ticket to support@supercontrol.co.uk

 

Will there be OTA commission on the channel service fee?

Yes, the price sent over to the channel will include the 1% channel service fee and will therefore be charged commission.  There is no way for us to separate out the channel service fee as a non-commissionable element of the booking. 

 

Can I do a bulk uplift of my prices to the OTAs for all my properties?

Yes, you can.  Contact support@supercontrol.co.uk to request for this to be done on your behalf, stating the new uplift percentage and the channel(s) to which it applies.

 

Can I still integrate with these OTAs if I don’t want to be charged the channel service fee?

Yes, you can.  You can use an iCal integration, which only sends and blocks out availability. You can find the help centre articles here

If you need more than one iCal feed per property you can use a third-party tool such as Teamup. Instructions here.  

Full integrations are always better than an iCal as they are more reliable and allow you full control of all your bookings through SuperControl. 

 

 

2 Comments

Gareth David Tuckwell

I guess the majority of us already have a DD for our quarterly payment in place. I'm not clear why a second Direct Debit needs to be set up.

Tobias Parker

The Channel Service fee should be set-up as a separate direct debit because it needs to be kept separate for accounting purposes, and allows both you and us to keep better track of the figures. If you have any further queries about this, please just get in touch with the SuperControl support team.

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