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Cancelling a Booking

Nobody wants to see a booking get cancelled, but sometimes life happens!  That's when you go looking for the "Cancel Booking" button.

And there is one, right at the top of the page for that Booking:

Not so fast though!  You shouldn't just click "Cancel" and move on - because, what happens to the money?

  • Does the guest get back all the money they paid?  Not usually.
  • Does the guest get back nothing?  But maybe they still owed you money.
  • Does the guest get back a percentage?  If so, what?
  • Or maybe you give a refund only if you can rebook the dates, and otherwise, not.

OwnerRez supports all these options, but it isn't smart enough to know which one applies in any given case, and money is too important to guess with.

So, before hitting that tempting "Cancel Booking", first go into Charges.  Note that we're not worried about what the guest paid yet, just what the total charges are.  That's what we need to change.

What we want to do, is to enter a Cancellation Credit to the charge sheet.  Click the green "plus" button next to the first tax entry:

This creates a blank line immediately above the taxes, but below everything else.  Make an entry, and for the amount, include what the guest should get back as a negative.  Usually this is a percentage, such as -100% or -50%, but can be a specific amount, whatever is correct.

Save your changes.  You'll notice that the taxes automatically recalculate - no need to collect taxes on money you refunded!

Now go to the Transactions tab.  Look down for the guest balance, and see if it is negative.  If it isn't, no refund is due.

If a negative balance is due, the guest needs a refund.  Click the Refund menu drop-down and select Send Refund.  Follow the instructions, which depend on the way the guest paid.

Once that's finished, you can click "Cancel Booking" and you're done.

Don't know the proper amount yet?

But what about those conditional situations where you promise the guest a refund if, and only if, you can rebook the dates?  In those cases, cancel the booking now to free up the calendar so someone else could book.

You can search for the cancelled booking later by searching by its booking number, if you need to find it later to give the refund.

What about platform bookings?

Normally, cancelling a booking in OwnerRez will also cancel the booking on the various listing platform channels.  However, that can affect your rating if done improperly.  If the booking was made through a major channel like VRBO, it is often best to have the guest perform the cancellation from their end, using that plaform's tools for doing so.  Then the cancellation will be updated in OwnerRez via calendar update, Channel Bridge, or API as appropriate.  Depending on your configuration, this may also correctly update the charge statement so you don't have to do it manually.