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First off, the answer to the customer concern is not BUY INSURANCE
The answer IS that HA has done their due diligence to prove that the owner is REAL.
How about starting with the FACT that HA review’s Ads. That many owners have been listed several years.
This statement starts off with fear in order to sell inferior insurance!*
Who wrote this? Not an owner! You are scaring potential guests rather than giving them confidence! Tell them what HomeAway does to protect against fraud – you know, the things that Craigslist and AirBNB don’t do!
Only a verified owner should obtain the carefree guarantee.
HA has been vigilant about the legitimacy of the owners. But, you are telling travelers to remain fearful in order to sell insurance, reduce security and waste owners time.
*When insurance covers malicious damage, misrepresentation and theft I will buy in
I agree with you about requesting references from previous guests and giving out the exact address of my home.
I thought guest reviews serve as references on owners and their properties, n'est ce pas? Asking previous guests to accept emails and/or tel calls from potential guests is not appropriate. After all, an already prepared reference would be of little value. Are previous guests to become part of the ongoing rental process? This isn't very well thought out.
I do not give out the exact address of my home until a lease is being signed. If a potential guest is sufficiently curious they will likely use the few details provided during communication, including my name and partial address information, to access on line property records and other such information. After all, I research potential guests - there is a treasure trove of information about employment, property owned, schools attended, family, etc. While I don't give out my information I expect many of my guests are well acquainted with the internet and research me. (Luckily I don't have anything to hide - not an embarrassing photo or rant to be found!)
I agree that the tone used in describing the product is designed to induce uncertainty, if not fear, in guests.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention; if I get requests for references I'll know why. (And I'll say no.)
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I wanted to let you know I've passed your post to the appropriate HomeAway teams, and they are chewing on this now.
I should have a more detailed update for you next week.
Thank you (again) for the feedback!
All the best,
Thank you. The main issue is that if people follow these instructions (and they have) it makes the more fearful, takes more of the OWNERS time, makes the guest seem like scammers and then they don't book.
I'm a vacation rental owner, so I appreciate very much what Victor is saying and don't see any clarification here as promised by HomeAway, but maybe it came in a separate area, so I'll look for it. At this moment, I actually got here because I'm on the guest side, looking for a property for a family vacation, and the property that looks best to us shows it has been listed for six years but has only one review posted. I came here to see if there were some ideas about what to ask the owner to provide as further verification that they are reputable before we send money. It may be unfair to stereotype, but we looking in a country that has plenty of scam artists in other types of dealings, so I'm a little nervous.
I have to agree with Victor that asking for more photos wouldn't reassure me, as there are lots posted, but he gives some better ideas of ways to confirm a listing is real. For this property I'm considering, I just sent the owner an e-mail asking him to help me verify that he is legit (used nicer words than that), so I think if he sends a business license number or a Chamber of Commerce type membership, if there is such a thing, then I'll feel okay about it. Being on the other side now, I see how scary it can be to think of sending someone several thousand dollars, paying thousands for airfare and then wondering if you'll find you don't have a place when you get there. For myself on my listings, I send people the websites of the local businesses we own (which are also on Facebook) and it seems to help them accept us as real owners and legitimate people. I'll see what comes back on my inquiry to this owner and how it makes me feel. Is very interesting to be on the other side of this transaction!