We recently got a bad review on flipkey about our cancellation policy.
With hindsight though, we arguably have the best cancellation policy in the Rome vacation rental market!
Let me go into details. Our cancellation policy works (as I copy and paste from Roman Reference Q&A) like this:
1- You cancel your booking and your dates are rented to another party. You will be refunded in full.
2- You cancel your booking two weeks or longer prior to your arrival and your dates remain vacant. You lose your down payment (15 to 29% depending on the apartment).
3- You cancel your booking last minute and your dates remain vacant. You lose 30% of the total rental fee.
Ok, since somebody is complaining let's take the issue and compare it to the competition.
To choose the best competitors let's take the most visited keyword attending google keyword tool
'apartments rome' (traffic last may 74,000) and do a search
#1 is RomeCityApartments
They claim a full refund to you, minus 100€ expenses, if you cancel 30days prior to arrival. You pay ca 20% in advance (FYI: the average cost for a vacation rental is 760 euro, so those 100 euro refund means that in roughly 60% of cases the advance will be lost entirely). Attention (this info is not included in the FAQ): if you cancel 30 to 15 days prior to arrival you'll be charged 50%(!!!) of the entire rental fee. If you cancel 15days or less prior to arrival you're charged 100%(!!!) of your rental fee.
#2 is RentalinRome, I copy and paste from their terms:
With at least 30 days notice before the first day of the reservation the deposit will be fully returned, except €50 that will be forfeit to cover the reservation fees.
In case of cancellation with less than 30 days notice before the arrival the client will have to pay the full amount of the booked stay.
#3 is our website
#4 is accomodationsrome I copy and paste
Part payment due for reservation is lost in any case of cancellation.
If cancellation is less than 2 weeks before arrival, then is requested full amount and only refunded if a re-sale is possible
#5 is leisureinrome, I copy and paste
Cancellation penalities are set out in the table below:
a) recess from confirmation up to 120 days prior to arrival - 30% of the entire rental
b) recess from 119 to 40 days prior to arrival - 65% of the entire rental
c) recess from 39 up to arrival - 100% of the entire rental
#6 is romanhomes I copy and paste
Cancellation by you: If you cancel all or any part of your booking, you will not be entitled to reimbursement of the deposit by the proprietors or the agency, as it is an earnest (in Italian "caparra"), which is not reimbursed by the Italian law.
Ok I think 5 is enough to give an idea. Also I don't seem to be able to find FAQ and/or terms on holidayvelvet and hotels-rome which are the following ones.
You're the judge, after reading the above please tell us which is the best cancellation policy. With us you have a worst scenario of 30% cancellation fee if you cancel last minute and a best scenario (83.5% of not-lastminute cancellations got the best scenario in 2009) where you get it all back in case of re-sale. The calendars are public so there is no trick on the apartment availability. The other five don't seem so soft to me on their cancellation policy.
Competitors and prospective clients come forth, you're very welcome to comment on this post.