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8945 Views 24 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2012 3:15 PM by rbeachrental RSS Branched to a new discussion.
lrbaldwin Active Contributor 757 posts since
Feb 16, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 14, 2012 2:16 PM

What's going on with position in tier?

Since Aug of 2010 I faithfully paid the top amount for 16 pictures.  I was of course placed at the bottom of the others with 16 pictures in Duck, NC, which I believe was #16. I was assured that anybody else signing up after I did with 16 pictures would go beneath me in the listings, Now I am at #25!  How can this happen?  The only thing I can think of is that those people who upgraded, those who were paying $300 for their 5 pictures or at least obviously less than I did, while I was paying $600, and their original sign up date was before mine, GOT PLACED AHEAD OF ME IN TIER 1.

 

What are they doing to us?  I hope I'm wrong, but it appears that if you're staying in the bottom tier and some of those in your tier upgraded, the your position in your tier will go higher in the list.  Those of us who paid for a lot of pictures will be going down in the tier list due to lower tiers upgrading.

 

Will somebody at HA PLEASE explain to me what is going on?

 

Thanks,

Linda

  • Contributor 233 posts since
    Dec 26, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2012 5:02 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    Since HA/VRBO hasn't yet answered your question, I suggest you read the information on sort order I found on Home Away's website http://toolkit.homeaway.com/homeaway-sort.  You will not be happy with what you read, especially since those owners who are using VRBO's payment system are ranked higher.

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,359 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 15, 2012 5:26 PM (in response to dbmeyer)
      Re: What's going on with position in tier?

      Not sure anyone can explain. It gets weirder as the days go on.

       

      I'm 18 out of 30 in my area (I only had 8 pics before all the changes) . Now the next listing below me has NO pictures- but they are a property management company lising. They have a higher # than those below them. 

       

      So very sad...... a good concept has become a train wreck.

       

      I don't think the moderators on the forums can answer these types of questions.  And I highly doubt Customer Service can either. Boy, I wouldn't want to a small wage Help Desk employee of HA!

      Debj

      vrbo 295832

  • kristin.r Contributor 116 posts since
    Jun 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2012 10:46 AM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    Well just another painfull day of HOMEAWAY.  I have always been the #1 spot for my condo.  NOT ANYMORE.  I have become so disgusted with homeaway.  I find it interesting that the person now in the number one spot is a management company.  They do have a lower number but of course never paid for the 16 pictures like I did.  I am SPEACHLESS.

  • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
    May 2, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2012 1:21 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    Hi Linda,

    I understand your concerns and I apologize for any inconveniences this has caused you. You can learn more about VRBO.com’s new subscription levels and sort order in the VRBO Toolkit. The link suggested by dbmeyer is the HomeAway Toolkit. Your number of photos does not determine search ranking anymore. Your subscription level and your tenure on VRBO.com will now determine search ranking.

    You’re currently at Level 1, which is the highest subscription level. Other listings ranking above you must have a longer tenure than you. If you log in to your Owner Dashboard, you can see how many other rentals are located in your area and where you currently rank.

    I hope this information is useful and please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Travis

      • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
        May 2, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 18, 2012 2:54 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
        Re: What's going on with position in tier?

        I apologize for any miscommunication. Your search ranking within your level will depend on your tenure. If a listing with a longer tenure than yours upgrades to Level 1, then they will rank above you. This hasn’t changed. In the past if a listing with a longer tenure upgraded to 16 photos, they would then rank above you. Your listing will rank higher than newer listings that purchase the Level 1 subscription.

        I hope this information helps.

        Travis

        • New Member 4 posts since
          Jan 8, 2012
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 22, 2012 9:44 PM (in response to travis)
          Re: What's going on with position in tier?

          Travis...what you are stating is not so. Explain to me why I've been in the #3 spot on the Rehoboth Beach, DE listings for almost 8 years and am currently listed as being in the Level 1 spot as #3, but on Friday night (January 20, 2012) and again tonight (January 22, 2012) VRBO has rearranged the listings and I am now in the #51 position. Properties that haven't been on VRBO for more than a year are above me with less pictures. I've paid for 16 pictures since I started in 2004 and you are giving people who aren't willing to pay full price a highter level? I'd love to hear your reasoning for this.

      • New Member 14 posts since
        Mar 9, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 3, 2012 3:15 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
        Re: What's going on with position in tier?

        Linda...here's a new one that just happened to me! Like you, I have been with VRBO for a long time (8 going on 9 years) and have always paid top dollar to have my listing at the top. In the past, I've paid for the 16 photos. This year, with all the changes and especially, with VRBO sending 10 other properties to my inquiries, I decided to not pay the full price. My subscription is up on May 16, 2012 and I opted out of auto-renewal a few years ago. This year, as last, I sent VRBO a check for my renewal and dropped to Tier Level 12. So, what does VRBO do? They got my check almost a month before my previous subscription ended and dropped me to the lower level immediately. Therefore, they short-changed me on last year's subscription that I paid over $600. for advertising. I called Customer Support to complain and they won't fix the problem. Instead, they offered me an additional 30 days for Tier Level 12. I told them I didn't want it. I want what I paid for last year....a full year's subscription. Not to be cut short on it. So, they opened a case with billing, but I have not heard one word from them. They have my money and they just don't care. The best part...I read the Terms and Conditions of their agreement and it says the following. When you read it below, this means they should have kept my Tier Level 1 until May 16, 2012, but they didn't. I'm so disgusted with VRBO that I could scream!

        Upon any such turning off auto-renewal, your subscription will remain active through the expiration of  your then-current subscription term; however your subscription will  not be automatically renewed upon the expiration of your then current term.
    • terirusso Contributor 101 posts since
      Mar 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 18, 2012 6:04 PM (in response to travis)
      Re: What's going on with position in tier?

      Please see my reply at bottom. Get your act together, please before  you respond again. The rankings are a luck of the draw, and it doesn't matter how much you paid or how long you have been on VRBO.

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Jan 18, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2012 3:33 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    Hi Linda and Paul (&VRBO)

    I sympathise with you, and am also in the same position. I'm new to vrbo (in Australia, accidentally left default of US when I just signed up to communities).

    I only heard about VRBO 6 weeks ago and was really hesitant to pay my $300 when I wasn't getting a thumbnail photo on the search page for my area, but I listed and waited about a week and then decided I would have to pay the additional $225 (??) to add another 5 photo's to be seen on the search page and also to rank 4/11.

    My position then changed to 4/11 and it worked, prospective guests could find me and view my property, I was a happy camper.

    I checked my dashboard when I was notified of the new system and thought that the new system was fair and equitable as I still ranked 4/11 (apparently!). I've now just gone to the 'Cairns' area page only to discover that whilst my dashboard says I'm number 4, the reality is I'm the last listing on that page.

    This isn't fair.

    Can someone from VRBO please look into this. I just read a reply to your query Paul and VRBO or Homeaway said that there appeared to be a bug in the ranking sort order.

    I'm just hoping they will look into what's happened with mine. Many of the listings higher up the page only have the original 5 photos (or 6, 7) and it really isn't equitable to give these listings a higher ranking.

    It appears I should have just stayed on the basic listing, as I couldn't do worse than being 'last' on the page.

    It also would have been a lot fairer when I went to purchase the new photo's (5) for VRBO to explain that I was wasting my money, and would be good to hold off for the 2 or 3 weeks until they changed to the new system.

    Not fair VRBO and I'm hoping you can fix the 'Bug' with my ranking too and put my listing at 4/11 which is apparently where it should be ranked.

    Cheers

    Pip

    • terirusso Contributor 101 posts since
      Mar 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 18, 2012 6:00 PM (in response to pip)
      Re: What's going on with position in tier?

      Travis- I think you are all full of you know what. I spoke to someone today who claims this is a glich that started yesterday afternoon (Jan 17) but this thread was started on Jan 15. Lord knows how long it really has been going on that we just noticed. Last week my listing wasn't on the list for a few hours. I thought the site was down because I couldnt log on to the dashboard, but I think we are all being duped. I'm supposed to be #3 and I am 16/44 and was charged $478 on auto pay. And my neighbor who has 5 pictures is #2 and only paid $329.

      • skiandglee Active Contributor 509 posts since
        Apr 27, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 18, 2012 6:13 PM (in response to terirusso)
        Re: What's going on with position in tier?

        Guys/Gals,

         

        Calm down!  Don't shoot Travis the messenger, you are all lucky any representatives even monitor and reply on this board.  Definitely not all companies even allow this.  Telling Travis he is full of it isn't holding yourself to high enough standards...sorry, my opinion.

         

        As for search order.  Do any of you really think that you are being DUPED and MISTREATED etc if you don't have a higher search ranking in the default city search?  How many of you really think a prospective renter isn't going to search by bedrooms which will eliminate quite a few homes.  How many are going to plop down their money and their families happiness on the first pretty listing they see?  I say NONE.  They will spend a half hour looking at all the applicable listings before confirming any reservation!  You WILL be seen.

         

        Now if he says they have found a bug and are fixing it, let them fix it and then revisit the issue with a mature tone.

         

        Rick

        www.vacationrentalhelper.com

        • terirusso Contributor 101 posts since
          Mar 30, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Jan 19, 2012 6:12 AM (in response to skiandglee)
          Re: What's going on with position in tier?

          Rick, I know it is bug, or so they say. But when I called yesterday, they said it had just started the afternoon before, and this thread was started on the 15th, 2 days before. I know a renter is going to look according to their requirements, price bedrooms etc. The point is that they have more than doubled in price in the last few years, I started out paying around $220/ ad 6 years ago, this year my ad cost me $478, because I was on auto pay with 11 pictures. They charged me the base charge with 5 pictures plus $29/picture  for 6 extra pictures when they changed the policy on how many pictures you could have, then changed the rules again by allowing 16 pictures. They  changed the rules with out giving us ample notification, and with out asking the advertisers their opinion about potential changes.

          BTW- how much does VRBO/HomeAway pay you to advertise their business on your website?

          • skiandglee Active Contributor 509 posts since
            Apr 27, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jan 19, 2012 6:18 AM (in response to terirusso)
            Re: What's going on with position in tier?

            "BTW- how much does VRBO/HomeAway pay you to advertise their business on your website?"

             

            answer: $0.  The only advertising you could be referring to is the vrbo banner button at the bottom of my site which I put there because that was in the requirements a while back if you were going to link your site or something.

             

            Rick

            www.vacationrentalhelper.com

            • terirusso Contributor 101 posts since
              Mar 30, 2011
              Currently Being Moderated
              Jan 19, 2012 7:42 AM (in response to skiandglee)
              Re: What's going on with position in tier?

              In quite a few areas of your website, you "suggest" advertising with VRBO?HomeAway. In the advertising section under How to Self Manage, under reservation Management Software, and  Advertising Accounts under Services.   If you are trying to sell your services to build websites for people, you seem to be pushing theirs, which is so easy for anyone to put together them self. I understand that we need to put our advertising out there as much as possible, and the more links and websites we can provide, the more business we will get. The problem is, VRBO and HomeAway used to be an inexpensive way to advertise, with great returns. VRBO was developed for the Owner to advertise, HomeAway was always for both owners and Management companies. Since HomeAway has taken over VRBO, the change in VRBO has caused price increases and website changes that cater more to the renters and the owners are not happy. This latest "bug" is just the straw.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jan 22, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2012 3:22 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    I spoke with "customer service" and there is a "glitch" in the system that is putting the search results not in the order they are supposed to be.  I was told (contrary to what it appears others were told) that it started Friday the 20th in the afternoon.  It seems it has been going on longer, and they're either deliberately giving out misinformation or just incompetent.  I was essentially told "too bad" that I had paid for a higher ranking but am not getting what I paid for, and that they are working on the problem.  We have a dozen listings, and they were ranked 1-12 in searches, now they are all towards the bottom, and it's not because anyone paid for a higher subscription level.

     

    It is a clear case of not testing prior to implementing changes to the website, similar to what happened a few months ago when the calendars were showing availability when there was none.  I've only been advertising for a year or so, and can't imagine these severe problems have been going on as long as vrbo has been around.

    • New Member 2 posts since
      Jan 18, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 22, 2012 3:28 PM (in response to jchock3)
      Re: What's going on with position in tier?

      I emailed support and also posted here, and VRBO has fixed my ranking, which I'm very grateful for. I hope they sort this problem out for the rest of you. Cheers Pip

      • Contributor 233 posts since
        Dec 26, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Jan 22, 2012 4:01 PM (in response to pip)
        Re: What's going on with position in tier?

        The sort order for my listing has once again been incorrect since Saturday the 21st.  It seemed to occur at the same time that I noticed they now have an "ad" for Volkswagon directly below the City and above the first listing for that city.  There does not seem to be any logical explanation for the listing order now, but it is random.  It is really unbelievable that they do not fully test their changes before going live.  Who knows what business we might be missing out on during these times?  Is anyone else experiencing the Volkwagon ad and/or incorrect sort order?

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jan 22, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2012 4:45 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    I have been with VRBO for 7 years with a listing number of 5 digits, I  have paid the top amount every year to have a great rating. I have 16 photos and have always been on of top listings. I logged on today to find several homes now above me that have listings over 160000. What is going on. VRBO should be taking care of their long term clients!!!!!

     

    WHAT IS GOING ON VRBO

  • New Member 4 posts since
    Jan 8, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2012 9:39 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    I don't know if anyone has noticed this new development on VRBO and the tier levels. On Friday night (January 21, 2012), I searched in my area (Rehoboth Beach, DE) on VRBO and found that I was no longer in the #3 position, which I have dearly paid for over the past 8 years. Instead, I was pushed to the #51 spot. What really had my blood boiling, was that my neighbor, who has only been with VRBO for 2 years and paid their minimum amount was above me in the #43 position. Also, there were many other who have only been with VRBO for a year or so above me. NOW, make sense of that one! I've paid for 16 photos for 8 years and I'm getting this kind of treatment???

     

    The next day (Saturday, January 21, 2012), I tried it again and I'm back in the #3 position. But, this afternoon (Sunday, January 22, 2012), I tried it again and I'm back in the #51 position. So, I've written a complaint to VRBO on Friday night and again this evening. Of course, I'll probably wait days until I hear from them.

     

    This whole situation is getting out of hand. I've been in marketing and advertising for over 30 years and never experienced anything as underhanded as the tactics being used on VRBO.

  • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
    May 2, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 23, 2012 11:04 AM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: What's going on with position in tier?

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for letting us know about the issues going on with the sort order on VRBO.com. It appears to be similar to what was described in the VRBO Sort Order Bug thread. Our technical support team is already working on solving this issue.

    The original question from this thread was not about incorrect sort order but about a change in the default search ranking due to other vacation rental owners upgrading their tier.

    I’ll update this thread when the bug has been fixed and I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

    Travis

    • New Member 4 posts since
      Jan 8, 2012
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 23, 2012 11:21 AM (in response to travis)
      Re: What's going on with position in tier?

      Travis, I appreciate your getting back to us. Please understand, in my area, this is our prime time for securing rentals. So, paying to be at the top of the list and finding you are in almost half way down the page is upsetting. It seems to happen on weekends, when most people are looking. I hope correcting this problem is a priority for VRBO.

    • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
      May 2, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 23, 2012 5:35 PM (in response to travis)
      Re: What's going on with position in tier?

      Hi everyone,

      We discovered some changes made to the site last Wednesday evening uncovered an error that led to search results appearing incorrectly. The issue has been resolved as of 11AM CST this morning.

      If you have any questions about your specific listing and search position, please contact our Customer Support.

      Again, I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

      Travis

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