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8461 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2012 12:01 AM by sfvacationhut RSS
msdebj Senior Contributor 1,350 posts since
May 25, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 23, 2011 12:41 PM

Can you stand 1 more discussion on reviews?

I'm trying to get some clarity on the VRBO (only) review process. 

 

I've recently requested (via VRBO's online process) reviews from 2 renters. One never responded and one did ( 50% seems pretty good in my experience).   When the review was made I was notified - as in the past- by VRBO.  I can't recall if I had a right to deny the review- as in the past. But, since I'd talked with the renter (I alway try to make an exit interview call or email), I didn't worry.

 

Does VRBO automatically send my renters a request for a review, or do they (renter) only receive a request if I initiate it?

thanks

Deb

  • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
    Dec 31, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 1:05 PM (in response to msdebj)
    Re: Can you stand 1 more discussion on reviews?

    I recently stayed at a VRBO .. beautiful Watercolor Cottage in Santa Cruz.

     

    http://www.vrbo.com/87502

     

    Much to my surprise, a few days after my stay, I (the traveler) received a message from VRBO in my inbox. I had sent inquiries to a couple of properties, and I guess VRBO didn't know which one I had stayed at (or if I had stayed at any of them) .... however, VRBO sent me a message with pictures of the properties I had inquired about ... and it was asking me if I had stayed there, and would I like to submit a review?

     

    I must say, that made it very easy for me to submit a review.

    So, it's a very handy thing, from the traveler's perspective.

     

    But ... this answers an important question for property owners ... Is VRBO directly soliciting guests for reviews? Answer: YES, they are. 

     

    Just so you know!

     

    VRBO has no way of knowing if I (the traveler) had a positive or a negative experience, so ... for the home owners, please be aware of that.  You may decide not to specifically ask the guest to write a review, if the guest happened to have been one of those fussy complainers ... but most likely the guest will receive a review request directly from VRBO anyway.

  • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
    May 2, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 2:16 PM (in response to msdebj)
    Can you stand 1 more discussion on reviews?

    Hi msdebj,

    As sfvacationhut experienced firsthand, yes VRBO.com  does send out an automated email with a list of properties that a  traveler has inquired on, asking them to review any property they stayed  at. Travelers receive this email about one week after the travel dates  they indicated in their inquiry.

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

    Travis

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 9:52 PM (in response to msdebj)
    Can you stand 1 more discussion on reviews?

    I am shocked to hear what Travis has confirmed. I have chosen to Opt out of Reviews so to accomplish this we have incorporated a Non-Disparagement Clause into our rental agreement. I cannot believe this advertiser is placing my guests in a compromising situation by going behind my back and asking a guest to write a review when we have specifically told them that they cannot write a review Good or Bad. HomeAway/VRBO is interfering with the business arrangement by sending these emails out as they are causing confusion with the guest as the terms of my rental contact states the business relationship is to remain private.   What on earth is the HomeAway Emprie thinking not every guest is going to be a perfect guest.  Sending an email to a guest that I may have blacklisted and told them they are not welcome back to my home is really bad business practice!

    • Currently Being Moderated
      Aug 24, 2011 5:41 AM (in response to vacationlady)
      Can you stand 1 more discussion on reviews?

      The "new and improved VRBO" has been guilty of making many decisions without including us, the Owners, in the process.  That is an extremely poor business practice.  Change is one thing.  Covert operations is quite another. Transparency is not a negative issue, unless one has something to hide.  What does VRBO gain by not keeping its Owners informed of any and all changes pertaining to their paid listings?  Surely VRBO has the wherewithal to spend a few moments on "Owners' Updates to System".  Our having to negotiate the system and find out about the changes by default is not acceptable.

       

      I think I am not alone in requesting that VRBO institute such an update system, effective immediately.

  • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
    Feb 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 6:24 AM (in response to msdebj)
    Can you stand 1 more discussion on reviews?

    Wow - I'm surprised too! I thought there were essentially three prongs to the review process - that owners could submit reviews; that we could ask our guests to submit reviews, or that guests who actually stayed at our homes could submit reviews.  This fourth method sort of irks me, and that has totally been my beef all along - that we have lost control over the review process.  I understand that a guest may take the initiative to do so, but it really seems more than a bit intrusive for VRBO to seek them out on its own, with no input from the owner....

  • Contributor 26 posts since
    Nov 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2012 10:32 AM (in response to msdebj)
    Re: Can you stand 1 more discussion on reviews?

    Having many rentals, we too are put into the position of extortion several time a year by renter who have damaged the property and then write a bad review if we try to withhold cost of damage from their deposit.  Our properties are all high end and all are valued at several million dollars.  We employ a full time property manager and cleaning staff who reply immediatly to any and all problems and requests.  Despite this, We too have added a NON~DESPARAGEMENT clause to our contracts. 

     

    We have used it successfully twice now when a guest threatend a bad review for no valid reason other than they were angry about being charged for damage.  We send them a freindly reminder of the clause in the contract and also remind them that any litigation would take place in our county. (Typically quited a distance from where they reside). 

     

    Both times the guest decided not to post a negative review.

     

    We are currently working with an attorney to tighten up our contracts, but we are still shocked to find that the HomeAway family is soliciting reviews on our properties when our contracts disallow them without written approval from us.  It seems that this is direct interferance in our business model and   I would like Someone from HomeAway to explain this.  HomeAway is an advertizing venue and I pay to advertise.  I am not sure why they feel that they have the right to solicit anything from MY customers.

     


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