Online travel agent Booking.com has identified a "small bug" in its latest system improvement, which resulted in a number of hoteliers seeing their booking policies change without warning.
The OTA was unable to confirm exactly how many properties in the UK were affected by the system glitch on 17 December but The Caterer has discovered several hotels in Blackpool experienced problems.
The hotel owners also heard from several other hoteliers in Blackpool, who had experienced a similar problem.
Heather Bradley Tsopanoglou, who owns Gabrielle's, along with her partner Helen, said: "We're pleased that Booking.com has now found the computer glitch that caused prepayment and cancellation policies to change on their site. We're glad they are changing these back now."
Booking.com said it introduced some "additional verification procedures to help combat illegal fraudulent activity by third parties" but a system bug was responsible for the unplanned policy changes.
A spokesperson for Booking.com said: "At Booking.com, we are constantly innovating our products and tooling to be as convenient, efficient and user-friendly as possible. As such, we have recently made some enhancements to the interface of our policies tooling for partners, designed to provide them with a better user experience.
"We have identified a small bug associated with these improvements and are working to fix it as soon as possible. As always, if partners have any questions about these recent updates or are experiencing any issues whatsoever, we encourage them to reach out to their local contact directly for 24/7 support."
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