How does Booking.com enforce cancellation fees when booking without a credit card?
Booking.com lets you book accommodation without a credit card in some cases:
But what happens if I cancel my reservation or simply don't show up on the day of the booking? Would they send me a bill to pay? Somehow connect my email to previous reservations made with a credit card?
Note that while most rooms do have a free cancellation grace period, there are usually fees for late cancellation or no-show (example from a random property):
Booking.com asks for pre-payment in cases where they can deduct the cancellation fees if you fail to show up on that day or cancel the ticket. In other cases where they do not ask for pre-payment, then it is a free cancellation booking.
out of my experience with Booking.com you have to pay only if the website asked you to provide your credit card number otherwise you will have the option of free cancellation
I would assume that it's simply an error of the website. As you wrote, the combination doesn't make sense.
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because we do not give advice on how to circumvent law, civil or criminal. You are breaking a contract. Your decision. We shouldn't get involved.
@chx I don't mind paying a cancellation fee. I just don't understand *how*, if the hotel doesn't have my card and doesn't accept card payments at all.
Booking.com won't charge you. The hotel might.
They would have to send you a bill using the contact information Booking.com provides and convince you to pay it.
This situation just happened to me; I called the hotel and they didn't really care much, just said "cancel through booking.com". I told them "the site wants me to pay in full, so I'm calling you to say I don't intend on paying, and to cancel." The operator didn't ask my name or anything, just said "OK, thanks!". So that's that. No worries, I guess.