Support Center

Cancel a Reservation

Last Updated: May 23, 2018 04:38PM EDT
When a customer calls or emails to let you know that they need to cancel, there are some steps that need to be taken in ThinkReservations, in the proper order. Canceling a reservation makes the rooms available again for those dates. You can reinstate a cancelled a reservation if you need to.
 
NOTE: If the customer booked through an Online Travel Agent (OTA) like Booking.com, the best thing to do is have the customer cancel their reservation with that OTA. Cancellations made with the OTA are then updated in ThinkReservations automatically.
 
NOTE: If a customer needs to modify the reservation, you can edit it for them. For example, a guest needs to check out a day early. For this instance, you don't need to cancel the reservation. To edit the reservation, click the small triangle to the right of where it normally says "Check In", and choose Edit from the menu. Within that pop-up window make any necessary changes and click Update to save.
 

To cancel the reservation, follow these steps:

 
1) Cancel the reservation.
2) Charge the customer a cancellation fee, if needed.
3) Bring the remaining balance to $0.
4) Update the customer with an email.
 

Step 1: Cancel the reservation.

In the bill of the guests' reservation, click the gear icon  and choose Cancel Bill.
This will remove all charges including items that have been added to all rooms on this bill.
 

Step 2: Charge the customer a cancellation fee.

The amount you charge, if any, depends on when the customer cancels, and what your cancellation policy is. If you need to add a cancellation fee, click ADD ITEM in the Purchases section, just above Subtotal. Choose your Cancellation Fee Item (names may vary) from the drop-down. Enter the amount you need to charge the customer, and click Save.

Cancellation Fee - A non-taxable item for a flat fee. No taxes will be added to this item.

Last-Minute Cancellation Fee - Taxed the same as your room charges. Taxes will be added to this item so you can add a fee equal to the total room charges being cancelled.
 

Step 3: Bring the Remaining Balance to $0.00.

Depending on your situation, the remaining balance may show a negative amount -- as if you owe the customer, or a balance due -- and, in these cases, you'll need to charge the customer.
 

Related: How to Charge a Customer
               How to Refund a Customer

If the customer paid outside of ThinkReservations or through a "Third Party Credit Card Processor" then you should use that system to refund the customer. Otherwise, you will need to credit the customer another way.
 

Step 4: Update the customer with an email.


It is a best practice to contact the customer via email to let them know that their reservation has been successfully cancelled. You can also communicate in this email if they owed any money, if you charged their card, or if you have refunded them.

  • Click inside the drop-down selector on the bottom left to change the email template. Choose "Reservation Canceled" or equivalent.
  • Click the green Customize button just below.
  • Add any additional text to the email, overlook the bill if your email template includes one, and make any changes as you see fit.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click Send when you are ready to email the customer.

Related: How to Undo a Cancellation

 

Many of our clients issue a gift certificate in place of a refund in some circumstances, as part of the process of cancelling the guest's bill...

 

To Issue a Gift Certificate in Place of a Refund:


You can also credit the customer with a credit or voucher by utilizing the ThinkReservations gift certificate functionality. Think of this Gift Certificate also as a 'Room Credit', or a 'Voucher'.
 
1) Either in addition to or in place of the cancellation fee, click ADD ITEM and choose Gift Certificate from the drop-down.

2) Enter the amount you would like the certificate to be valid for, and click Save.

3) Click on the orange certificate number to go to the certificate.

4) Click Edit on the top right of the certificate page (next to Print) to edit the details. When you add a gift certificate to a cancelled reservation, we recommend you edit the Notes for Staff field to include details reference how it was created due to a cancelled reservation. At the bottom, click Save. 

5) At the top of the gift certificate page next to "This gift certificate is attached to a bill", click on Open Bill to go back to the cancelled reservation.

6) Email the customer. You don't necessarily need to send the customer the gift certificate, but instead, we recommend sending the customer an email stating that the voucher or credit (certificate) number must be mentioned when they rebook. Note the certificate number. Choose an email template such as the "Reservation Canceled" template from the drop down on the bottom left and click the green Customize button.

7) Include text to communicate with the customer that they need to reference the special room credit or voucher number (the Gift Certificate number noted in the last step) when they call to rebook within the discussed time period.

8) Review the email, and click Send at the bottom.

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