I’ve recently come across several articles where unhappy hotel managers blame Booking.com for introducing Booking.basic service with no possibility to opt-out. As I understand it, if Booking.com can find a lower rate for an hotel via a third-party platform (e.g. CTrip), they now show this rate as a non-refundable offer on Booking.com, and if a customer chooses it, then Booking.com proceeds with a reservation via CTrip on their behalf.
I understand that hotels lose a part of their income because Booking.basic interferes with their yield management. On the other hand, they don’t get to pay a fee to Booking.com (as would have been the case with direct booking), so in the end it’s really up to the customer to decide if they want to pay more and have proper support from Booking.com and get the cheapest room with no possibility to cancel or make special requests.
Is Booking.basic a safe option (considering I’m OK with a non-refundable room and have no need for special check-in times or extra bed for a baby), or should I spend my time looking for that lower price elsewhere rather than making a reservation with Booking.basic?