I had some issues with my latest Booking.com's booking. There were certain things missing in reality against offer, but I managed to settle it out with the property owner itself. She agreed to refund me a 10% of the price that I paid. She decided to process this refund through Booking.com. That's where the horror started.
In short, sharp words -- while only about thirty seconds was needed to pay for this booking, thirty days was not enough to process a refund! I am more than certain that (after years of uninterrupted cooperation) I will never use booking.com again.
In summary, it turned out that:
- it took fifteen business days (3 weeks) to process your refund from property owner's account to a virtual card used by Booking.com instead of my real card to "protect" me,
- it took another 15 days to process it from virtual card to my real card / Revolut account,
- the process got stuck between virtual and real card and processing to real card started only after personal contact with them.
In addition, it required at least three e-mails on my side + three e-mails on property owner's side plus a total number of four phone calls on both mine and property owner's side in order to get Booking.com to start processing second step of the refund (i.e. to real card).
To summarise: If you need to pay something to or through Booking.com, processing will take a few seconds. If you need to get something from or through Booking.com, processing will take around a month.
This is easy to be explained. Booking.com intentionally keeps your money and blocks it from reaching the customer, to put it through some banks investments and get some commission on it. When it comes to one refund transaction put on hold, it seems nothing. But when you get this times estimated 100 000 refund transactions that they're blocking for millions of their customers each month, you can easily learn that by doing so, they're earning quite a huge amount of money. Nice, George, isn't it?
I won't most likely ever use booking.com ever again and I will most likely book my another property through some different company.