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3304 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 20, 2012 11:55 PM by anja RSS
New Member 1 posts since
Nov 24, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 24, 2011 6:28 PM

Ongoing HA site problems--anyone else starting to lose business??

Just curious if anyone else has regular problems with the HomeAway site/reservation system. Currently I get an error when I try to send invoices, but every month there seems to be some technical issue with the site that risks lost business (e.g., I can't send my deposit invoice and lose out on guests looking to arrive in a matter of days). This would be bearable if customer service could actually do something to fix things in a timely manner, but a typical call to HA involves them telling me to use Firefox (newsflash: 9 times out of 10 that's not addressing the problem), them not being able to fix the problem, and them promising to get back to me quickly with a response. Customer service of course can't give a ballpark date for when the problem will be fixed and it typically takes a good month to hear back. In what business is that acceptable??

 

For the price of the fee I pay I expect a site that works and decent, more reliable customer service. It seems to be an issue with HA spending all of its capital on buying up other sites rather than investing in ensuring its core product actually works or it can support its customers. That's a recipe for disaster... Suffice it to say if there was a good alternative site I'd switch in a heartbeat!

  • kiawahcottage Community All-Star 374 posts since
    Jan 1, 2011

    I think HA means well and tries hard to get their webware to work flawlessly on several operating systems running several browsers on hundreds of thousands of different computers.  That is a lofty goal!   I use three computers and they all behave differently on the HA site (ie: some better than others).  If the HA interface is not working for you communicate directly with the guest through your e-mail program.

     

    By the way, you should be using Firefox anyway! (usually)

     

    Paul

  • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
    Feb 10, 2011

    I don't know if it's technical issues or not, because I don't use a lot of the HA/VRBO features.  However, my gut tells me that business/inquiries are down.  Normally, I'm rented out for Christmas holidays by this time, and I haven't heard a peep.  Not sure whether to chalk it up to the economy, the fact that HA/VRBO offers additional listings after an inquiry to my listing is made, or a technical snafu.  All I do know is that I respond quickly, provide all the information and then...nothing.  I used to get a response - something - thanks for your info; we're waiting to hear about other properties - we'll be back in touch with you....now, it nothing but air.  It's almost as if they never made the inquiry in the first place....

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,554 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011

    About the HA Site problems....I would just quit using the HA Reservation Site ...Manager System..or whatever its called, if it has so many glitches that business is lost.  I deal directly with my inquirers...handle the transactions, etc....no problems ever with  "my system". I don't lose business waiting for a strange "outsider" to follow up on "my business".   It's easier than you think to manager everything as Owner directly with the Guests.

    • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
      Nov 9, 2011

      Hi anjali

       

      What we receive from homeaway or VRBO are leads. It is up to us to sell the guest, handle the bookings and collect the money. Unless you have a huge number of properties, you should be able to handle this yourselves.

      • anja Senior Contributor 1,554 posts since
        Aug 9, 2011

        Hi marilyn.  I could not agree with you more!   That's exactly what I do.  The originator of this post was wondering, back in November, if the HA Reservation System could be problematic technically [glitches]. I don't  use it...I handle bookings, collect monies and manage all, myself.    I only have one property to deal with and I  must admit that I am impressed...awed...how people with several properties manage. My small place is a lot of work and responsibility, just the same. Perhaps, if I had several properties, I would be happy to use the Reservation Manager...I can certainly see it's benefits.

        • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
          Nov 9, 2011

          Hi Anjali

          I own seven homes and cannot see any advantage to their reservation system. It is certainly easy to open a envelope. We deposit checks electronically from our office into our bank. Our bank provided anspecial machine which scans the deposits right into our bank account.

          We still do all the negotiations. We do all the emails.with an excell spreadsheet we know what is booked, and another spread sheets shows all monies due from each tenant and on what date. Real simple system and we have total control over it.

          • anja Senior Contributor 1,554 posts since
            Aug 9, 2011

            Hi Marilyn,  I know a couple of Owners in my location that do not have the means to manage it themselves...and they find the HA Reservation System helpful....while  I agree with you.  I used to personally "consult" with one of my neighboring Owners who is a senior...and after she had a stroke...but did not want to stop her vacation rental business, I helped her. After all the years of doing it herself, she suddenly had a limited capacity to stay on top of it all for her large, multi-rental, house.   Organization skills, simple or complex as one wants to make it...are key and some people just are not able --- and some do not have the time --- can't make the time --- and do not want to do the time.  So, I can appreciate how The HA Reservation System can be beneficial to some people in some circumstances.  However....I'm hearing you...and I'm personally appreciating the importance more and more for my having the complete control over all my transactions. I'm glad I've not given over to the "system".  I've got it pretty well organized and find it easy ...the work is not real "work" for me...it's multifaceted and that's what keeps me "interested" in doing the work.  I actually enjoy the admin part - I like organizing the "back office" details as well as the "front office" communications.  {I used to be a conference organizer for a few years and those skills come easily to me...as they do for you managing seven properties...I salute you.}  As far as security is concerned, I think  that it's  becoming unnerving reading about the scams involving vacation rentals.   At least, when I have the total oversight...even if it's just my one property...I deal with all transacations....I thus know what is what....I feel more secure --- even though we're all vulnerable.  If hackers can break into the US Pentagon...they can break into any of the online reservation systems to steal personal and financial data...even The Reservation System of HA.

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