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31816 Views 83 Replies Latest reply: Aug 12, 2012 11:04 AM by jennywren RSS
bobbie32 Senior Contributor 1,084 posts since
May 21, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 5, 2012 2:50 PM

"Occupy VRBO"

Express your opinion here - let everyone know how you feel about the changes that took effect on January 5th.

  • susaninrehoboth Active Contributor 886 posts since
    Sep 3, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 11:26 AM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Here's the thing-I'll be darned if I can figure out what my annual cost will be. I currently have 12 photos. I renewed for my third, and possibly last, year in December. I'm in an area with 244 listings. VRBO says I'm tier 5 although, at least for now, I'm in the same position.

     

    Does anyone know the new cost? I guess it has nothing to do with how many photos I had in my listing before today.

    • shannon.martin Contributor 221 posts since
      Feb 23, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 6, 2012 5:39 PM (in response to susaninrehoboth)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Hi Susan,

       

      Based on your level of 12 photos (which converts to the new tier 5), your annual renewal cost next December will be $558.93. This will give you 16 photos, a thumbnail, the owner profile and a video tour if you want to post one. I hope this helps!

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 5, 2012 12:03 PM (in response to bobbie32)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      12 photos puts you on Tier 5? Holy moly!!!! what in the world does it cost to get to Tier 1? a million dollars? Seriously--- I can't figure this out either.

       

      Of course, since I cannot access my account today -- again I can't do anything anyway.

    • New Member 1 posts since
      Jan 8, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 8, 2012 2:43 PM (in response to bobbie32)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Have you listed on rentalspot.com?  They are completely free.  It is certainly a good way to complement your VRBO listing.  You get a free link as well.  It is a very professional site.  They are Instant Software(Homeaway) Partners.

      • Contributor 40 posts since
        May 5, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 30, 2012 10:34 AM (in response to robynrental)
        Re: "Occupy VRBO"

        I am going to take a peak at this site, thanks for the link.  I've been VERY happy with VRBO since I joined maybe a month ago but as of today am feeling discouraged due to the fact that my inquiries are not showing up and potential guests are now getting an auto responder rather than my response.  The auto response comes some 20 minutes after they inquire where as I can do it in five minutes.  Now I'm seeing a lot of other complaints so I dont' know how my membership is going to pan out for me this  year.

  • info@stayattremblant.com Active Contributor 543 posts since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 12:15 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    I like the change.  I think it's good for potential guests ( they can see a thumbnail, a map, many pictures ).  I think it's good for owners ( we can show off our properties better ).

     

    I hate the price gouge that VRBO is doing to implement the change.  +$50 for something that should have been part of the basic system anyway.  Note: fees have increased over 120% since I joined in 2006 from $149 --> $259.

     

    I don't like the tiers.  Personally, I think we should all simply refuse to pay anything but the base rate and force VRBO to implement a better search so customers can home in on properties that meet their travel needs.

     

    Given that VRBO is a business and need to grow profits, I suggest that they implement a pricing system for their advertisments where the fee to advertise is based on the rental rate of the property.  It is unfair that a 1-bedroom condo must pay the same fee to advertise as a 6-bedroom chalet.  The ROI for them is totally different.  Don't think that can work?  Check out e-bay -- prices are tiered based on the value of goods sold.

     

    (Sorry, big property owners, I know that opinion won't be popular with you -- but VRBO is not treating us all fairly).

     

    @bobbie32 -- love the thread title.  ;o)

     

    P.

      • info@stayattremblant.com Active Contributor 543 posts since
        Aug 25, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 5, 2012 12:43 PM (in response to bobbie32)
        Re: "Occupy VRBO"

        Bobbie32,

         

        To be clear, I also do not think that the ranking should be based on size of property.

        I advocate that pricing of the advertisment should be based on rental rate (not even on property size but, rather, rental rate).

         

        >> We would hate it if everyone is put in the same box and

        >> have to structure our rates like everyone else.

         

        I don't see why you'd need to do this.  I'm sure you have a base-price / average price that could be used.  There will always be exceptions but I think what I propose is, by far, more fair to the majority.  There are obviously nuances with such a system that would need to be considered.

         

        Imagine being in my shoes and having to pay $349 to advertise my small one-bedroom condo (3% of my gross income on the property) while a large villa pays exactly the same amount that represents less than one day's rental to them.  Something seems broken.

         

        P.

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      The odd thing is I upgraded to 8 photos, from the basic 5 (from which I'd been getting very good confirmed rentals) last April, with a contract stating I'd have a thumbnail.  I did -- for abt. 2 months, then the thumbnail disappeared. 

       

      I never was able to get THAT resolved.

       

      Then, once VRBO instated their "referral changes" - pushing other island properties out to MY inquires- my reservations have fallen WAY off.

       

      I'm not afraid of competition. Our home serves a unique type of traveler, and our rates are very competative.. However, the fact I am paying more to have other homes advertised just is NOT what I signed up for. I would never has entered into such an agreement.

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 12:18 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    This change may actually back-fire on them.  I have been purchasing 16 photos and every time my renewal comes up I say to myself 12  photos if fine as I still will get a thumbnail photo....problem is it is such a hassle to call wait on the phone to finally reach customer service to help you drop the photo count.  I end up saying oh...what the heck will just order the 16 to avoid the hassle factor.  So in my case I have a few properties in locations where they only have a handful of rentals and 16 photos is crazy to be paying for.  Was actually pleased that they are making it nice and easy to drop my photo count to a minimum because I will get the thumbnail anyway. 

     

    Oh and one more thing...I did a test drive on HomeAway's new pricing scheme...had 1 month left before my listing expired so decided to see what would happen if I changed from Classic to Gold for the month.  On HomeAway's main site it performs just as they describe but on a Mobile app not one single thing changed was still back on page 5.  I have checked daily for the past 9 days and nothing has changed.  They really should have given some sort of notification that upgrading to Gold will not have any effect if travelers are using the mobile app.   

    • Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 5, 2012 12:57 PM (in response to vacationlady)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Speaking of change - for the Owners who have until recently only posted a few photos, this means that they must now spend time and money to fill in the 16 "free" photo slots.  I have always thought that 16 photos was a lot, especially for a small rental unit - after all, we are not publishing a "Home and Gardens" magazine layout...

    • New Member 22 posts since
      Jun 15, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 5, 2012 1:01 PM (in response to vacationlady)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Two days ago, on January 3, VRBO billed my credit card to the tune of $538.92 for the annual renewal of my 1 bedroom condo, with 13 photos. Today I find out that 16 photos are included in the "new" annual fee of $349! I have called to complain and demand a refund (how can this company charge me $190 more for the 13 photos rate vs today's rate of 16 photos for $349?). How many others paid their auto-renewal in the last few days, or even last few months, paying hundreds more than the new annual rate? This new rate, new 16 photos inclusion, new "tier" ranking has been very poorly handled. And no, I did not receive the email that supposedly went out to "all owners".

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 4:35 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Community Friends I just have to put in a good plug for Flipkey and tell you about my positive experience with them a few moments ago. Well recently guests have been telling me that they feel Flipkey reviews are of more value because they are part of Trip Advisor and like the ease of adding a review with Flipkey.  I noticed last night on my Flipkey listing where they had this neat feature where you can copy a code and all the reviews will post on my own personal website.  When I tried to load the code it just would not show up so I clicked on contact us and sent in a help request.  Here is the kicker....I received a message back from technical support in less than 10 minutes staying they fixed my problem.  So bottom line if I had the choice to invest in AWAY or TRIP which one do you think I would choose ?

      • info@stayattremblant.com Active Contributor 543 posts since
        Aug 25, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 5, 2012 5:07 PM (in response to bobbie32)
        Re: "Occupy VRBO"

        While it's true that there are places to go to get "fake" reviews done (e.g. fiver.com), I personally think it is not as common a problem for vacation rental properties as the media hype would lead you to believe.

         

        One only needs to be on the inside of one or two tech newstories (and know the facts) to understand how the media can blow things way out of proportion.

         

        Certainly the fakes are often not that difficult to spot.  I'm not defending TA or Flipkey in any way from an owner point of view (I have no personal experience advertising there yet) but from a guest's POV, I like that I can get a good sense of hotels, etc. from the reviews.  I do, of course, apply my own common-sense, tech-saavy & BS filters to whatever I read.

         

        Note: from what I read TA has a hotline for owners if there is a dispute about a review.  Their review form also requires the name of the person who signed the rental agreement and states:

         

        "Verify your stay: We only accept reviews of vacation rentals from people who actually stayed at that property. Guest of record and date of stay will be presented to the manager to verify your stay. We will not share the content or rating of the review with the manager."

         

        A guest phone number is also required.

         

        ref: Tripadvisor responds

        ref: Tripadvisor investigated for fake reviews

        ref: Tripadvisor's Fake Review sickness

        ref: Tripadvisor's CEO discusses fake reviews

         

        P.

         

        Note: I don’t have a FlipKey listing.  I’m not a Trip Advisor advocate.  I’m just saying that FlipKey and TA seem to be doing the right thing from what I can tell.  Full disclosure: I plan to list there in the next 12 months.

        • anja Senior Contributor 1,560 posts since
          Aug 9, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Re: "Occupy VRBO"

          Thank you for providing those links on "TripAdvisor".

      • jennywren Contributor 55 posts since
        Apr 27, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 25, 2012 5:18 PM (in response to bobbie32)
        Re: "Occupy VRBO"

        Not only that, Herein the UK a friends rental had a review sent to Trip Advisor by one of her repeat guests of many years and they were suprised to then receive an e mail from Trip Advisor promoting other rentals in the same area in competion with the place she stayed in . The guest contacted my friend to tell her this was happening and in disgust she withdrew her advertisment with them. So what you are talking about with VRBO is all news to us. I don't think people in the UK would take kindly to a firm they  are paying good money to promote their property were actively promotoing alternative's to their prospective clients. It's not Cricket!

        Home Away .co.uk  is run differently but I can tell you one thing , I have un=clicked my instant renewal button!

        We have a new Reservation Manager being introduced and I don't like the sound of it .

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 10, 2012 12:53 PM (in response to vacationlady)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      VAca- I just had the almost same experience with Flipkey. How nice it is to actually matter to those you're paying $$ to for a product.

  • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
    May 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 5:08 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Looks like VRBO (& all HA) has just tried to legalize the old " bait and switch" realty laws. Its against the law in my state- but I imagine Texas has no such laws....

     

    Lucky for me I've got the ear of several of my state"s US Congress folks, since I used to Chief of Staff for one. 

     

    I'm tired of trying to play nice.

  • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
    May 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2012 5:08 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Looks like VRBO (& all HA) has just tried to legalize the old " bait and switch" realty laws. Its against the law in my state- but I imagine Texas has no such laws....

     

    Lucky for me I've got the ear of several of my state"s US Congress folks, since I used to Chief of Staff for one. 

     

    I'm tired of trying to play nice.

  • Contributor 62 posts since
    Mar 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2012 9:08 AM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    American Greed at it's finest by HomeAway though VRBO.  All they need is strong fair competition and their (VRBO) pricing will fall!

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2012 1:13 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Interesting article posted on Yahoo Finance yesterday.  Article Headline "Stay Away From HomeAway" so obvious the only thing AWAY has going for them right now is they created a monopoly.  They no longer have customer loyalty so as soon as another solid player comes along they are going to see customers leave by the masses.  It is so odd...first rule of any well run company is customer satisfaction is number one but Away seems to think it belongs at the end of the list.  http://seekingalpha.com/article/317972-stay-away-from-homeaway?source=yahoo

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 7, 2012 3:49 PM (in response to vacationlady)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Very telling financial article- especially since they chose to focus on Homeaway..

      Thanks for the link.

       

      Are we ( real money makers for the company) sitting ducks?    Having personal experience with the Telecom boom & bust of the late 90s {hubby was an IT contractor at the time}, I think I''l really get cranking on alternatives. I wonder what would happen if HA goes bust.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2012 3:09 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    I am really happy to see the changes in VRBO, in the past since I did not have 16 pictures, my ad was a "Craigs List" style with only text and difficult to stand out.

     

    Now they have improved significantly and the ads stand out more, the new key to success is to have a great first picture to grab the renter's attention.

     

    I am glad VRBO is not converting to the airline pricing that charge for every peanut and soft drink, and now includes many freebies similar to Homeaway

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 9, 2012 11:09 AM (in response to bobbie32)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      I can't find the Auto renewal opt out option any where. Mine is set to renew in may and I want to opt out now. Any suggestions?

  • New Member 21 posts since
    Mar 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 9, 2012 12:56 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    A 17% price increase in the current ecconomic climate is untennable. For those of us earning in Euros this price increase translates into something like a 30-40% increase. Who can afford that?

     

    VRBO has been the jewel in the HA crown since it boought them a few years ago. Interestingly, we had a HA marketing manager staying here a few years back and he implied there was resentment at VRBO's success within the group and that many withing the HA HQ wanted to bully VRBO management into towing the line.

     

    Well, it looks like they've finally got their own way. They have put money before their cusomers and ruined a good product, all in the aim of homogenising their portfilio. Idiots.

     

    Everyone needs to make money, of course we do. But we don't hike prices without reason or we'll lose business. We know that: why doesn't Homeaway?

     

    There really is only one way to respond to Homeaway and that is to reduce the amount you pay to them and try alternatives. I have multiple properties and will be cutting my ads on VRBO by 1/3 this year in order to try other sites. Maybe I'll be able to find one that cares about customers as well as money.

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 11, 2012 12:53 PM (in response to bobbie32)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Bobbie- that could be the case. I recently signed up with them, and emailed them questions during the process. I got a phone call within a few hours, and follow up emails. I'd say, try again.

    • Contributor 62 posts since
      Mar 12, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 11, 2012 1:01 PM (in response to bobbie32)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      bobbie32...I may be able to help you?  I already advertise with FlipKey.  I get several rentals through FlipKey....I also get a lot of people looking 3-5 nights in the summer.  I only rent weeks or double weeks during Peak seasons.  The FlipKey ad automatically is advertised on TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals too...and they produce a very nice picture video with music on the TripAdvisor site.  It looks really good and uses the pictures you put on your ad.  I have 53 pictures on my ad....nothing extra in the pricing for the number of pictures.  In my case...TripAdvisor produces similar to VacationRentals.com as far as commits to a rental...not quite as good as VRBO.  The FlipKey Vacation Rental site is fairly new comparatively speaking compared to VRBO....I was with them when they were free and since.

        • Contributor 62 posts since
          Mar 12, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 12, 2012 11:35 AM (in response to bobbie32)
          Re: "Occupy VRBO"

          Before there were "Reviews" on these ad sites, I had no problems renting my 2 places.  I had a few Guests books that were full of compliments at both places.  Now I advertise each place on 6 different websites and wherever the guest contacted me from (the ad), I ask some of them to give us a Review at that site.  Why don't I ask all....I just don't take the time to do so.  Some who call, write or email me what a great time they had at my place and how much they enjoyed it, will not give an online review....even though no one will search them down through the Internet.  I sometimes solicit reviews for 5 of the 6 sites....1 doesn't collect reviews.  I have raving reviews but very few will put them on your ad after their vacation without a nudge.  When the vacation is over.....vacationing for most, is over until next year.  75-80% of those I ask to post a review will.....and I ask around 30% of my guests.  I can't remember reviews all the time either.  I do make sure my guests and vacation properties are very well taken care of.  Reviews do help!

          • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
            May 25, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jan 12, 2012 3:19 PM (in response to gonefishin)
            Re: "Occupy VRBO"

            Bobbie. I recently signed up for Flipkey ( free trial, so no biggie. If I

            choose to saty I can pay monthly or by the year). Once I did I've received

            nothing but great customer service.

            BTW, I went "live" there yesterday & got 2 inquiries over night- no

            bookings yet, but we'll see.

             

            As far as reviews, their system is very similar to the old VRBO one. YOU

            decide who to send a request to- and get to review it before it goes online.

             

            That all said, I've found that abt. 95% of my guests I chose to send a

            request for a review on the old VRBO system did. Of course that was the old

            system where it was simple,they didn't need to create an account,etc. (

            Flipkey has a similar "old" system. None of them seemed to mind, as they

            understood that if they like my home & wanted to return I simply HAD to be

            able to have it rented.

             

            If returning guests really like you place they know the peak seasons and

            will make sure to contact you early.

            Regards!

            Debj

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2012 3:42 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Flipkey is producing results for me across the board and on a couple of my listings I have no reviews ....so Bobbie in response to your question it has not made a difference if my listing has a review or not.  Like msdebj said Flipkey is similar to the old VRBO no junk inquires what I receive is targeted to my property.  Although I have never been a fan of reviews the fact is they are hear to say.  My guests are giving me feedback that they prefer Flipkey's review process and since they have that great widget where reviews show up on my own website I have started to use Flipkey exclusively.  I then enter the review manually in the VRBO/HA site.  I am so greatful to this community for telling me about the Free Flipkey offer....the switch has been such a positve experience! 

     

    Oh and update... we are on day 4 and still no response as yet from my help ticket with VRBO.  I guess since they went public they no longer care about if we renew or not.

    • Contributor 60 posts since
      Sep 21, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 13, 2012 12:35 AM (in response to vacationlady)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Just to clarily, on Flipkey you can approve the review, but you can't read it before its approved. All you know is that a certain person wrote it. If you dont approve it within a certain time they will just post it. Flipkey also suggests other properties to the customer. I don't find it much different than HA. Annual fee is $300.

       

      They all have the same goal - to grow their business and make money. None of the companies are out here for the sole purpose of helping us acheive our goals. Yet, they have built and provided something that produces results. There is no better option or we'd all be there.

        • Contributor 62 posts since
          Mar 12, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 13, 2012 11:54 AM (in response to bobbie32)
          Re: "Occupy VRBO"

          Quote..."FlipKey now allows guests to submit reviews directly on Flipkey.com and TripAdvisor.com.  To protect managers/owners from false reviews, we allow you to verify the review's stay prior to publishing their review.  You have 1 week to approve or deny guests from leaving reviews.  If no action has been taken after one week, the review is automatically published.  Once a review is approved, you can read and respond to reviews just like reviews you've collected through the invitation process."  They go into more Review detail on another page.

            • Contributor 62 posts since
              Mar 12, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jan 13, 2012 2:10 PM (in response to bobbie32)
              Re: "Occupy VRBO"

              No experience on that .....all 5***** to date.  Before Flipkey....TripAdvisor had reviews on many condiminums in the Myrtle Beach area....treating them like hotels at the time.  They had reviews on those complexes from vacationers and I owned 1 condo, in a complex that had 216 condos in it, in North Myrtle Beach.  Our complex had and still does have a very high average but it said nothing about the individual condos themselves.  Apples and oranges as far as individual condos or how the guests were treated.....the only common them was outside the condos.  I remember reading one lady's Review....she loved everything about the condo she was in and complex and gushed about them.  She gave it a 3 star because of the Realtor....something they did not respond to on time and the tough time at check-in.  Of those 216 condos...there is around 185 different owners and most have nothing to do with that Realtor but that Review shown for all.

          • New Member 2 posts since
            Jan 14, 2012
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jan 14, 2012 4:34 AM (in response to gonefishin)
            Re: "Occupy VRBO"

            As for TripAdvisor reviews, one of our renters submitted a rather long and glowing review.  She got a note from TA asking her to revise it.  She did and resubmitted it.  Neither I, the owner, nor she the renter ever heard from them again.  The review was never published.  It seems they arbitrarily decide which ones they would like to publish or not. 

      • info@stayattremblant.com Active Contributor 543 posts since
        Aug 25, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 13, 2012 11:13 AM (in response to drrental)
        Re: "Occupy VRBO"

        drrental>> Yet, they have built and provided something that produces results

         

        True -- but there is another spin to this statement.   Five+ years ago VRBO provided something that produced results -- in fact, better results than it does today per my personal experience.

         

        What is happening is that HomeAway group is still providing best-in-class vacation rental performance but "best-in-class" now comes with reduced performance, increased cost and increased complexity compared to years ago.

         

        I don't think they are serving us owners as well as they could be and there is definitely a focus on profits over owner services.  

         

        I wouldn't mind so much if they grow their business and make money if it wasn't negatively affecting MY business with lower ROI, higher costs and an increase to my workload since I now need to reply to low-quality "bulk" inquiries.  Also, they have purchased up much of the viable competition which leaves us with not many choices (currently) to move to.

         

        The Market will sort this out.  Since there are dollars in this industry and the barrier to entry isn't actually that high in the web-space, viable competitors are, undoubtedly, not far off.  Perhaps Flipkey will emerge as HA's primary competitor -- the next few years will be very interesting.


        P.

         


          • info@stayattremblant.com Active Contributor 543 posts since
            Aug 25, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jan 13, 2012 3:43 PM (in response to bobbie32)
            Re: "Occupy VRBO"

            >>On the other hand, if you have not seen a significant increase in competition in your area,

             

            Just speaking for myself, my property is in a resort.  There has been no significant new construction in the area that would compete with my property.  It's possible some more owners have begun renting their properties but I can see no evidence in my area to support this.  Competitiion seems to be pretty much the same as before.

             

            Note that I didn't say bookings or my property performance is down -- I said that VRBO performance is down.  Those are significantly different statements.

             

            P.

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 13, 2012 5:59 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Just for the record, I put in a help ticket 5 days ago with customer support to change my VRBO listings that are expiring from level 1 to basic and no reponse.  It would be so much easier if they would just give us the ability to down grade levels ourselves.

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Jan 14, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 4:26 AM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    I strongly dislike the new changes which are disadvantagious to the listing of our Marbella, Spain apartment.  I am thinking to not renewing my VRBO listing and am looking at alternatives.  Compared to Homelidays, VRBO is MUCH more expensive, has much worse customer service and has produced fewer rentals for us over several years.

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 11:58 AM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    I filled out a support request 6 days ago to downgrade all my listings to basic and this is what they send back to me today.  I actually had to read this over a few times because I could not belive that in order to downgrade they will not just change your account so you can make payment on line...you actually have to fill out another form requesting a phone call appointment (no joking read below).  They are making it so difficult to renew it sounds to me as if HomeAway is trying to put VRO out of business!

     

    Thank you for contacting VRBO.com Customer Support. I am sorry for the delay in my reply.

     

    There are two main changes to your VRBO listing as of January 5, 2012:

     

    1. All VRBO listings now include 16 photos, a thumbnail photo, a traveler map and a video tour including in your membership fee.
    2. Search position is now determined by subscription level rather than photos. Within each level, tenure will determine your search ranking.  The price for a classic membership is increasing from $299 to $349, with each additional level being $29.99.

     

    To learn more about how to improve your performance, visit:

    http://toolkit.vrbo.com/subscription-levels

     

    To read a blog about the VRBO changes written by HomeAway's co-founder, visit:

    http://community.homeaway.com/blogs/homeaway-insights/2012/01/03/introducing-vrbocom-subscription-levels-and-price-changes-and-how-they-impact-your-listing

     

    You must contact customer support to downgrade your subscription level. (I thought I had already done this 6 days ago).  You can contact us at your convenience using our online "Click to Call" system. This allows a customer to type his/her phone number into an online support form (located at the link below) and receive a call connecting them to a phone agent in our support center.

     

    To request a call:

    - Visit the Help page at http://help.homeaway.com/?brand=vrbo

    - Click Contact Us on the right.

    - Click the Phone tab at the top.

    - Fill out the required information on the form.

    - Enter your number and click Submit. You'll need an open phone line. We will call you immediately. Please note that the Click to Call service is available during business hours only (daily, 7am - 7pm CST).

     

    If you need further assistance, please visit our Help page at the link below to find commonly asked questions and answers.

    http://help.homeaway.com/?brand=vrbo

     

    Thank you for using VRBO.com—offering more than 150,000 rentals in 100+ countries worldwide.

     

    Best regards,

     

    Diana

    • VRBO.com Customer Support
  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 7:58 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Here is my latest saga in trying to renew multiple listings with VRBO.  I tired filling out the form and when I try to send it a message pops up that says they are closed and to try sending it during working hours (yet is says available during the times I have tired to send).  I think they are either trying to sink VRBO or only want listings with owners that are willing to pay the 1 tier pricing.  They could put the options on our dashboard if they wanted to make this easy for us to renew at the basic rate. Or so many owners are changing to basic that they are totally overwhelmed.  This is going on day 7 of trying to renew my listings....I would be willing to bet $100 bucks that they are going to report revenues down this quarter!  Not my idea of a well run company!    

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Jan 20, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2012 11:40 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    FLIPKEY they send the review to you the owner direct for your approval.  If the owner does not approve the review then it does NOT get posted this is what VRBO used to do before HOMEAWAY bought out VRBO. 

    so Now homeaway and Vrbo both owned by Homeaway post any reviews and do not allow the owner to have any say in these matters.

     

    Geranamo

    • Contributor 60 posts since
      Sep 21, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 22, 2012 12:35 AM (in response to geronimo043)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      That is not so. I advertise on FK and you only get notified that there has been a review submitted with the names of the writer. You do not see the review until after its posted.

        • Contributor 60 posts since
          Sep 21, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 22, 2012 11:03 AM (in response to bobbie32)
          Re: "Occupy VRBO"

          I don't know the answer to that, but I assume if you cancel your listing your entire ad comes down and along with it all reviews. I believe if you cancel the contract with them they no longer have any authority to use your information on any site.

            • Contributor 60 posts since
              Sep 21, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jan 22, 2012 11:06 PM (in response to bobbie32)
              Re: "Occupy VRBO"

              Oh I see...I didnt know the history of how TripAdvisor works. I guess it's the same as Yelp or any of those sites where you can just randomly post reviews. You may be right that they will stay on TA after the ending of a FK listing...thats not great.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Aug 1, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 1, 2012 2:06 PM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    Are there any current antitrust actions against VRBO and Homeaway for removing competition so they can raise prices without fear of competition?

    • sophie Senior Contributor 969 posts since
      Mar 4, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 10, 2012 8:58 PM (in response to bobbie32)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      Please read this discussion from today:

       

      http://community.homeaway.com/message/30068#30068

      • jennywren Contributor 55 posts since
        Apr 27, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 11, 2012 3:29 AM (in response to sophie)
        Re: "Occupy VRBO"

        I am in the UK and have been with HomeAway for two years. The problem you are now having with VRBO has been a bug bare for all of us all the time on our site . Customers dont bother to scroll down and we are forever getting enquiries for dates already booked. Now people are doing block enquiries its even worse . People just dont scroll down. I would say the thankfully the reviews are at the  end , if anybody gets that far .

      • jennywren Contributor 55 posts since
        Apr 27, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        Aug 12, 2012 11:04 AM (in response to sophie)
        Re: "Occupy VRBO"

        Please explain to me why we should read the discussion from today ? Its seems we have two threads on this discussion now .

        It depends which e mail you reply to as to which thread your comment ends up on.

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 865 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 11, 2012 7:07 AM (in response to bobbie32)
    Re: "Occupy VRBO"

    May something like this would work. 

     

    calendar.JPG

    • jennywren Contributor 55 posts since
      Apr 27, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 12, 2012 10:49 AM (in response to crescentbeach4u)
      Re: "Occupy VRBO"

      That's excellent Just what we need . A summery at the top in full view and perhaps a further explanation below with more detail for people that are REALLY interested in booking.  Your a Ambassador for Home Away , can't you get them to see sense. Otherwise I am afraid they are going to shoot themselves in the foot and we'll all go somewhere else to advertise , on our terms.

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