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66765 Views 156 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2013 2:16 PM by theotherside RSS Go to original post 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 Previous Next
  • New Member 18 posts since
    Apr 24, 2011

    Reviews are not a problem for us.  Actually they help our business.  If they do not post a review with VRBO they may post it on Trip Advisor.  My only concern is if you get a bad review and it is unjustified then there needs to be a way to appeal the review so it can be deleted from you list.  The reason for saying this is we have some friends that also run a rental for tourists and one of their clients refused to pay for the room and left without checking out.  They had him arrested by the police.  It turns out that he had done this before.  But in return,  he wrote a very bad false review against this resort because he got caught.  If a review is bad but true, then hopefully we learn from the review and become better.  We have improved our facilities just from listening to clients recommendations.  

  • bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
    May 21, 2011

    Probably 90% of renters rely on reviews.  But I think what some feel is that it is so unfair, forcing everyone to participate in the "review game".  If you like reviews and want to solicit them, then great - more power to you. But if you don't like reviews and never use them youself, why should you be forced to deal with reveiws?  Yes, it might hurt your business to opt out, but that should be your choice to make.  IMHO, the transaction should remain private.  Why is there a need to share your stay with the rest of the world?  Our guests want to keep our place a secret so that they will be able to get a reservation again and again.  Most do not want to share because we can get booked up a year in advance. Yes, I agree, that negative comments from guests might help you to improve your rental.  But what about the old fashion way - talk to each other.  We get positve comments all the time and usually the first word spoken is WOW! Why are people so hesitant to say something to your face or on the phone that might be negative - strange - you can write it, but you can't say it.  Sad...very sad...

  • New Member 5 posts since
    Sep 22, 2011

    We use reviews. Good reviews, especially when there are a number of them

    about a property will get our custom before one that does not have reviews.

    You owners use VRBO to advertise your property, who in turn have recognized

    that we the paying public have the final say as to whether or not your

    listing is rented out. Reviews help us make up our minds - some may ignore

    them, many others use them as a tool to decide which property to

    rent..Occasionally you may get a client who is not ideal and changes dates

    or complains about the slightest problem. Like all businesses you have to

    grin and bear it .  At present we are staying at a Hampton Inn in Mexico

    City. A very good hotel, with many good reviews. The complaints are trivial.

    On the check in desk there is a metal notice attached that says if we are

    not satisfied with the hotel, then the stay is free. They have recognized

    the importance of satisfied clients as they will be repeat ones that will

    encourage others to stay there. If someone wishes to check out at an earlier

    date then you have every right to charge for the entire booking - you might

    say that if you do rent it out then you will refund 85%, however the chances

    of this happening are remote, but at least you are showing some

    understanding and are trying to help save your client some money.

  • Contributor 26 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011

    Here is how my season ended.  A lady who had rented my unit last year insisted on renting it again this year for the same week, the last week of the season which ends on the Labor Day weekend.  Keep in mind they had rented the unit the previous year and it was discounted since they had rented it before.  It seems that their family has a family reunion every year at the Resort where I have several condos.  The unit was completely updated in June with new hardwood flooring, completely painted and updated vanity and lighting in the bathroom.  Also, the  furniture was just one year old.  After the rental the cleaning personnel told me it looked like pigs had stayed there and that the linens were ruined and the towels could not be reused and looked like someone "had used them to wash cars."  I just made a mental note of the situation and replaced the linens for a long term off season rental.  About two weeks later the guests sent me what looked like a professionally prepared review that they had lifted somewhere and had modified to slam my unit.  They claimed it was "outdated" and that one of the mattresses on the sleeper sofa had a spring coming through.  Mind you, they never contacted me during the time they stayed there.  It was obviously an attempt to get some money back or maybe they felt it their duty to slam the unit since they knew they had left damages behind.  My response was to tell them the truth.  They would never rent my unit again because they had destroyed the towels and the linens. 

     

    The moral of the story is that the public is not educated enough to understand what they are purchasing or how items are priced.  Many expect 5 Star service and they want it for free.  The internet makes it possible for semi-literate people to find reviews and then change them slightly to meet their need to slam someone.  It doesn't matter if the unit was good or bad, the reviews are simply reflections of their perceptions and prejudices. 

     

    Thankfully, the property was listed through another site so I didn't get slammed at VRBO or Homeaway.  I used to have several listings at Homeaway but I also let them lapse.  I just had one property lapse at VRBO and will not renew.  Next year I will have another property lapse and will not renew.  I've never gotten a negative review but there are many other outlets out there to advertise your properties and I've had some good sucess with several. 

     

    The problem is that life is too short and there are too many people who feel entitled to perfection and at rock bottom prices.  If someone has a genuine complaint then that's between the renter and the owner and not the whole world.  If someone is running a crummy unit then they will suffer with fewer renters. 

     

    This entire policy appears predicated on the fact that somehow it will keep owners on their toes and their units in perfect shape.   Most owners do that because they want the rents.  So what's the point? 

     

    It appears to be an act of intimidation simply designed to make VRBO/Homeaway look consumer driven.  They are not because they never verify whether the reviews are factual.  Because of that VRBO/Homeaway are part of the problem they pretend they are trying to resolve. 

     

    I predict that the policy will be changed at some point in the future as VRBO loses listings or another web site pops up.  It's surprisingly easy to do. 

  • New Member 4 posts since
    Oct 1, 2011

    I also am hoping VRBO will read this.  I had a review sent in that was absolutley false.  She did not even post the correct date of her visit and was off by about 8 months.  In fact I am not even open at the time this supposed visit had taken place.  The customers were drunk from morning to night and very noisy.  We advertise our place and serene and tranquil which I must say this threesome was not.  She then posted this review 1.5 years after their visit.  It was mostly lies.  I phoned VRBO and they took the stance that they believed her lies.  I have been with them for over 6 years and do not understand why they would do this.  There shoudl be some legal responsibility to their customers.  We should be able to verify facts.  They did not even care that she posted the date of her visit at a time shen we are closed.

  • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
    Feb 10, 2011

    You know, you'd think that at a minimum, a guest's comment would have to be made within, say, 30 days of their departure.  If someone really has a legitimate beef, they would be hot about it right upon their return, not 1-1/2 years later!  They should have to have the correct dates of their stay.  What you've described is totally unreasonable.  If we owners are stuck with mandatory reviews, so be it.  But can't there be ANY guidelines that protects us from something like this?

  • New Member 4 posts since
    Oct 1, 2011

    I happen to know there are owners that have false reviews put on their site.  They arrange with friends to write glowing reports and the friends have not even stayed at their place.  Yes they have had happy hour there but that does not make for a stay.  There is a lot of false information in these reviews. I may have to think about renewing next year as i find this policy unfiar and unjust to those of us that do not place false reviews on the site and have a review that is untrue and composes of basic lies of a bunch of alcholics.

  • New Member 8 posts since
    Apr 27, 2011

    I have to say in over 5 years of using VRBO I have had only 1 bad review. And they never even made it here to stay! Guests always write in the books in the 2 homes , but sometimes never go back to this site to enter a comment.

                 They come back & say you could do it for us! But I also feel that would be cheating, so I have gotten a lot from the guests themselves. I too can tell a rant & will call a owner if I am interesed in the property to hear that side of it. They like that & I have contact .

    And the GUESTS ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT!

               Mahalo

  • beachdigs New Member 2 posts since
    Oct 27, 2011

    I also object to the review process because too many readers do not know that it is so easy for a reviewer to write a falacious report and there is no policing of the reviewer.

     

    I have over 1000 positive reviews in my in-house guest book.  (No kidding).  I had one individual who tried to extort a full refund from me because my neighbors created some noise with their construction project.  (I had no knowledge of this project and I did not find out about it until three weeks after my guest left.) This guest wrote a wonderful review in my guest book because she did have a great time in my house.  I did, in fact, pay a partial refund, as well, three weeks later.  Yet the guest had three members of her party write negative reviews online that contained incredibly falacious information.  (These reviews were on a different site.)  Although the policy of the site was one review per stay, they allowed the three reviews.  They changed their policy to one reveiw per stay per person.  Since I had never solicited a single review, this other site had two positive reviews and these three negative reveiws from the same party.  As an owner, I work extremely hard to keep my home in tip top shape and I appreciate the 1000+ guests who have enjoyed our efforts.  It is a shame that this wonderful BY OWNER site is now catering to agents and to a minority of people who have nothing better to do than harm others.  I absolutely perferred it when VRBO and Homeaway worked for the owners.

  • New Member 4 posts since
    Nov 30, 2011

    We had the same experience. Our reviews have always been very positive. However, we had a guest who agreed to our terms before they took the property but complained about our terms afterwards. VRBO used to allow owners/managers to approve the reveiw before it was posted. However, now a negative review can be posted by a guest who, in this case, was entirely unreasonable and the owner/manager cannot prevent it. When I brought this to the attention of VRBO, they're response was simply "do an owner response" which I did. However, the damage is already done. I stressed with VRBO that they have a very poor policy when they allow this to happen. After all, the interaction is between the owner/manage and the guest. VRBO in not in a position to rationalize whether the review is acceptable or not. VRBO said that as long as the review meets their guidelines it will be posted. This gives no consideration whatsoever to the owner/manager's "guidelines".

    I am very unhappy with VRBO allowing a situation like this to occur. We have started using another source to advertise our properties. So far, responses from this source has been very encouraging. If VRBO does not rectify or change this very misguided policy, we will remove our properties from their site and go with the alternate vacation propety website.

  • New Member 18 posts since
    Apr 24, 2011

    Yes, we cannot control what a bad client chooses to do or say.  Especially, when we have not done anything differently and our procedures were well received by our other clients in the past.  Some people just are not nice and never will be.  Yes, VRBO needs to allow us to have some flexibility when a uncalled for bad review appears through no fault of our own.  If this continues to happen we at least have the choice to take our business somewhere else. 

     

     

     

     

    Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 13:36:51 -0600

    From: community@homeaway.com

    To: dnnswnthld3@hotmail.com

    Subject: Re: Does it bug anyone else that VRBO is mandating participation in Reviews? - Re: Does it bug anyone else that VRBO is mandating participation in Reviews?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Seek Advice. Get Answers. Optimize your Vacation Rental Business.

     

     

     

    Re: Does it bug anyone else that VRBO is mandating participation in Reviews? created by joemaher in Reviews - View the full discussion

     

     

     

    We had the same experience. Our reviews have always been very positive. However, we had a guest who agreed to our terms before they took the property but complained about our terms afterwards. VRBO used to allow owners/managers to approve the reveiw before it was posted. However, now a negative review can be posted by a guest who, in this case, was entirely unreasonable and the owner/manager cannot prevent it. When I brought this to the attention of VRBO, they're response was simply "do an owner response" which I did. However, the damage is already done. I stressed with VRBO that they have a very poor policy when they allow this to happen. After all, the interaction is between the owner/manage and the guest. VRBO in not in a position to rationalize whether the review is acceptable or not. VRBO said that as long as the review meets their guidelines it will be posted. This gives no consideration whatsoever to the owner/manager's "guidelines".

    I am very unhappy with VRBO allowing a situation like this to occur. We have started using another source to advertise our properties. So far, responses from this source has been very encouraging. If VRBO does not rectify or change this very misguided policy, we will remove our properties from their site and go with the alternate vacation propety website.

     

    Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on Community

    Start a new discussion in Reviews by email or at Community

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Contributor 34 posts since
    Apr 29, 2011

    Speaking as both a landlord & tenant who has used VRBO for years, I find the reviews helpful on both sides.Sure,there's the occasional disgruntled renter, but they're usually easy to spot.

     

    We've been fortunate to have 8 positive comments & no negatives, but I assume rhat's what the owner response button is for...

     

    As a renter, reviews really give me a good perspective as I look for new places for my vacation...

  • bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
    May 21, 2011

    We now include the following wording in our rental agreement.  If a renter violates this, he/she is in breech of the contract. 


    The owners prefer not to participate in the online review process, and do not solicit any reviews.  Therefore, the Renter (including anyone in renter’s party) agrees not to write any reviews, make any statements, written or verbal, or cause or encourage others to make any statements, written or verbal, of homeowner or rental accommodations without written approval of homeowner. The Renter acknowledges and agrees that this approval process extends to statements, written or verbal, made to anyone, including but not limited to, the news media, various online review sites & competitors.

  • New Member 5 posts since
    May 18, 2012

    VRBO must have a clause that allows the company to do as they wish. Yes travelers can write bad reviews. VBRO allows people to advertise for rent  properties that are not licensed in a city nor really allowed to rent to large groups of unrelated people or less than 30 days. VRBO does not care about this really. If they did VRBO would have less customers by requiring  the advertisers to provide proof to really protect the travelers and to maintain a business like atmosphere. VRBO postures the idea about licenses may be required.  My state,  only 150 propeties are licensed  but there are many more ads appear.  

  • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
    Dec 31, 2010

    Since the owners of the properties are paying for the listing service as advertising, I think we should have the option of allowing reviews to be posted there or not.  If we don't think that the reviews are "helping our case," we should be allowed to opt out of them if we want.  

     

    To me, it doesn't seem right for VRBO to change its policy and alienate owners who had been listed there for many years.  In the past, owners could choose if they wanted to have the reviews there or not.  Then VRBO changed its policy ... so the only choice the owners had was to either stop using VRBO completely or keep using VRBO but with reviews posted.  To me, that makes no sense ... because VRBO is basically a billboard / paid advertising (paid for by the owners), so it should only have content that has been approved by the owners.

     

    I believe a web site like AirBnB is different ... in that case, the guests pay the service fee that runs the web site. Using AirBnB is free for the owners of the properties.  So ... in the case of AirBnB, it makes sense that we don't have as much say over the content shown, because we are not paying for it.  If we don't like the reviews posted there or think it gives us bad press, we can just close down the listing, and it didn't cost us anything.

     

    What about VRBO ... if you get a bad review that makes the rental seem less appetizing, do they give you a refund on the remaining months in your yearly contract?  I doubt it.

     

    I haven't received any bad review myself, so I don't want anyone to think I'm protesting out of bitterness or anything.  I'm just commenting out of a sense of fairness, which I think is not being afforded to VRBO advertisers (the owners).  It doesn't seem fair that the owners are being forced to have info (reviews) on their listing which they may or may not want displayed.

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