Preserve pricing when modifying existing bookings (i.e. adding guests or additional nights)
We're noticed a flaw in the way Hostfully handles modification of an existing booking that we'd like to see corrected as it has the potential to overcharge guests.
Essentially, when you make a change to an existing booking (adding guests, or adding nights), if the price of the lodging has changed since the guest booked, Hostfully applies the new price to their entire stay, rather than simply applying any new charges.
Let's say a party of four books three nights in on of our lodgings at a rate of $100/night.
The lodging is capable of housing six, but we charge an additional fee of $10 per guest, per night over four guests.
After the guest books their stay, we decide to rase the base rate for the lodging from $100 to $125.
One week before check in, the guest calls and asks to add two people to their reservation.
This should simply add $60 to their bill, $10 per guest, per night.
However, because we have adjusted the price of the lodging, Hostfully recalculates the entire booking, based on the current base rate.
So rather than add $60, Hostfully adds an additional $135. $60 for the extra guests and $25 per night to bring the nightly rate up to the new rate.
The same scenario plays out if a guest wishes to extend their reservation, rather than simply add an additional night at our new nightly rate, it recalculates the entire reservation to whatever the current rate is.
This is especially problematic because Hostfully lacks any kind of change-log or history feature, so once an adjustment has been made, catching the issue and correcting it is nearly impossible.
While the pricing can be manually corrected that requires a lot for training & foresight and is ripe to crate a bad customer experience.
Our recommendation is that once a stay is confirmed as booked, the date and guest sections of the Reservation modal should become non-editable.
Tow buttons should be added to the UI: “add of remove guests” an “add or remove nights.”
Clicking one of those buttons would allow you to modify the reservation, while preserving the existing pricing.
If it needed to be broke out for this to function programmatically, this feature could even just create separate line items for the modifications.
Interestingly enough, even if you do an alteration on airbnb, they don't maintain the current pricing.
a 7 night stay booked with a 20% off promotion. if the guest extends to 8 nights, they price it at the non-discounted rate for the entire stay.
I think the challenge is figuring out "why" the current price is what it is and mathematically computing the correct pricing.
$100/night for 2 people with $10/night for each additional guest.
you offer the guest 2 extra people for free so charge them $100/night.
Now they want to add a night? that should be easy it's $100
What if they they say only 3 are staying.
The price should still be 100, but mathematically is that $80/night + 2 * $10 extra person fees so the new price is $90? or is it $100 and waived extra person fees.
Because the only data is the existing price there's no good way to understand why it differs from the price one would pay if they booked the same stay right now.
if all the component parts are stored somewhere (i.e. 4 people and extra person fee is set to 0) then computing delta's is easier. but you want to charge for a 5th person.. is it the current published extra person fee or is it the $0 extra person fee associated with the current reservation?
I'd love to see a solution to this problem, but I suspect part of why even airbnb with all their engineering haven't is because here probably isn't a way that will be universally understandable so you can only solve the problem for a percentage of the time.
Wendy Pogni commented
Yes this is tricky for me when guest add nights.
David Soper commented
Agree. This should not even be an issue. Guests are not happy that they are being overcharged when they initially don't put a guest count and then i update it it when they fill out the pre-arrival form
Michael Clarke commented
I agree 1000% with this. The system should preserve the rates as at the date of agreement. We have left another admin system recently and there was a checkbox on the Modify Reservation form "Lock Rates" and if you unchecked it, the system would re-price the modification based on the NEW rates. It can be different for various use-cases so we need to decide if the historical prices or the current price should be used.
This one is so dangerous for us. It is causing quite a bit of pain. As a secondary moan, the system does not maintain history that is visible to us so it is difficult to know what has happened. Also it would be good if we could reverse the state of a reservation to a previous state, make the correction then go from there.
Rachelle Wilson commented
Please address and implement the above suggestion; current process almost guarantees a bad customer experience.