How to Prevent Hotel Booking Cancellations Charges?

I have a question. Are you still obliged to pay the (high) cancellation fee via even if the property did not specify how much the fee would be? The only information that was available when completing the booking was that cancellation fee depends on room type, and the cost of cancellation fee was not visible before booking completion. This is really upsetting because I changed my plans (the booking is 2 weeks away) and now I am asked to pay 110EUR. I emailed directly, they just gave a very non-specific answer and said I should talk to the property.

The property I called up was incredibly rude and I was forced into an argument with them, they told me I have to pay the fee right away. I understand they are upset as well, that’s why I called them immediately the morning after I made the booking so they won’t lose their business and they can make the room available for others. And it is the property’s responsibility to give full information on fees and everything else, which they didn’t. No matter how hard I looked, there was nothing, and I was desperate to find something on the island I’m going to while seeing almost everything else is sold out.

What would you do? Did any of you have an experience like this? If you didn’t pay the cancellation fee and didn’t show up, did you get tracked down?

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Answers ( 6 )


    Will try to give a short explanation – All the conditions are set by properties listed there (using interface). And all those apply to relationship you <-> property. is out of this, since they are basically “advertising company”. The only thing they can do is to ask property on your behalf to do some kind of exception (and you wouldn’t believe the success rate of this – I was amazed myself).

    Property gave the exact information on conditions – which you can find on your booking confirmation. It is visible also through making the booking – but have to admit, that it is not 100% super-clear, marketing sh*t :). If you would try to take this further, claim, that it wasn’t there would be definitely considered invalid, seen it many times.

    Now the decision lies on the property, whether they are willing to do an exception or somehow force you to pay. If this is somehow unclear, just ask. Or try to contact customer service via phone – they are usually really nice guys trying to help (of course you can bump to exception).

    Best answer

      What happens if you didn’t pay the cancellation fees? Bad credits? A negative score on your profile?


        That pretty much depends on whether they have your credit card details, or if you had to pay some kind of deposit upfront. If so, they can easily deduct the amount, as it is completely legal. If not, they can pursue you by the legal way (courts and stuff). But frankly, who would do so for 110 EUR?

        Since all of these issues are directly between client and property, you will not be pursued from And boy, you can imagine how often are properties pissed about this 😀


          The property itself doesn’t have my credit card details. And due to their horrible customer service over the phone, I am very discouraged to pay. The thing is it is indeed a small island and the other guys we’re now staying at know the guys we’re not staying at anymore.


    I have yet to encounter a booking that does not specify the exact amount. Usually, the last day of free cancellation (if there is one) is clearly stated, and it is the norm to pay for the first night if you cancel or not show up.


      Maybe it didn’t show the exact cancellation fee because I booked quite late (the holiday is 1.5week away).


        As I checked on, you can cancel your reservation 30 days before arrival, BUT! if you didn’t give them your CC details, simply let the hotel know (e-mail them) that you are not coming and that’s it. Nobody will track you and they still have a chance to sell that room. That is a win-win option. I cross my fingers for you!


          Yeah! They don’t have my CC details and they already know we’re not coming… I am tempted to just leave it be, as you suggest, thanks.


    I’m confused… I looked at it on and see a lot of “free prepayment! Don’t pay until you stay” messages. If you haven’t given them a deposit or CC number, you are under no obligation. Tell them to stuff it.

    “No credit card needed to hold your room – only pay if you stay!”


    Last week, I booked a room to wrong dates without free cancellation, I spoke with the Hotel, and they told me to speak with, I tried, and was not flexible about that, I just cancelled my credit card and asked for a new one, I had a loss of 21€ and one week without a credit card, instead of 216€ loss.


    Booking. com has secret fees that are difficult to see – I try to avoid them when possible. They’re great for searching and reading about places, then I try to book directly with the owner or use another platform. Sometimes it’s inevitable though!


    Be careful with booking from that website – I’m not saying don’t ever book, I use it also because of its great features if I’m 1000% sure, I won’t cancel the stay, say short notice bookings – but cancellation or modifying the booking seems to be the problem with them. If possible, try to use Hostelworld or book directly from the property website (from hostel worker point of view).

    It’s a shame you didn’t have any support from the property itself either. 110 euros sounds a bit sharp to pay if you are not gonna stay there, I would just try to negotiate/leave it as suggested before.

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