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Oh and here's the kicker.. .I was told that it was my responsibility to make sure that the property was listed, not Home Aways....their only responsibility is to take your money . Even though your property is listed as active doesn't mean that it is active. Come on guys, you screwed up and you're not taking any responsibility in the matter? You should do the right thing like any other ethical business would do.....but will they?
I'm sure they won't do anything about it. I do agree with them that 10 months lapsed and it wasn't caught by you. We as owners have to do our due diligence to make sure our listings are showing up correctly. You really never checked in 10 months the other rentals in your area or how your listing looked live? You never noticed in 10 months on your edit page that you hadn't received 1 inquiry? I do a check at least 1x per week on all my properties on all my websites and unfortunately you have had to learn the hard way that you need to check also.
It is unfortunate for you that they took your money and I'd probably be upset also but, I do agree that ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure everything is as you paid for. Sorry
Wow, I can't imagine not checking your listings for 10 months! I check each of my sites at least weekly, searching for other houses in my town, looking at the default search order, finding new listings, checking on the calendars of my competitors' houses compared to my house, comparing rates and specials ... There's so much to learn by doing that search frequently. I noticed in December that my house was filling up faster than my competitors, and their rates were higher than mine -- so I raised my rates a few hundred dollars per week. The bookings still flowed in and I'm almost all booked now for high season -- so checking frequently meant hundreds of dollars extra income for me this summer.
Carol, that's a good point.
That's great that you were able to look at the competition and increase your revenues. I do the same thing, in terms of checking the other listings, seeing who's booked up and what they are charging, and seeing if I can up my prices. In fact, we are thinking of upping our prices for July, August, and September, since those are our peak months. And thankfully they are not booked yet, so we still have time to increase the prices and increase our revenue.
But ... back to the matter at hand ... you know what, bananabob says that he DID check his listing. He says it always showed up as active, and it always looked "live." It just didn't show up in searches.
To me, that's all that anyone would EXPECT bananabob to do. He says he's got a zillion other listings, so I can imagine he doesn't have time to go in doing fake searches on every single online listing that he has.
For example, I find it hard to "find myself" on AirBnB .. there are just too many listings in San Francisco, and since I don't have any reviews (because ... up until this past week, we have never had an AirBnB booking), my property doesn't rank highly AT ALL. So I can never find it. The only way I can see the listing is by going to my "dashboard" in AirBnB or by typing in the URL (direct web page link) for the AirBnB page that comes with my listing. It says it's "live" so I assume it is.
It sounds to me like bananabob's experience with HomeAway is very similar to my experience with AirBnB.
It turns out my AirBnB listing really was live because I did get like 2 inquiries per year (practically zero), and I finally did get a bona fide booking. But ... if the listing hadn't been live, I don't think I would have been remiss in not knowing that. Everything about it, from the owner's page, said it was live. (In my case, the listing actually WAS live, and in bananabob's case, it wasn't ... but how can we be EXPECTED to know the difference?)
Personally, I think HomeAway should offer bananabob a refund or an extension of 10 months, if they have it in their records that they made a mistake and failed to make bananabob's listing available to the public. Having a public listing, available in the searches, is what bananabob paid for. If they made a mistake, I don't see why they wouldn't want to extend the listing so that bananabob will see the value in HomeAway and want to continue his subscription year after year, etc.
So even if you restrict your search using other factors like number of bedrooms or other amenities you still can't see your listing? I had no idea! I guess I'm lucky there are only about 40 listings in my town.
I do agree with you that Homeaway should extend the listing for 10 months -- that would be the right thing to do.
I think that a corporation like HA should always make it right. At this point, I don't know what our agreement says - it keep changing (and HA has reserved the right to do so!), however, I can't imagine that a year of advertising would put a dent in their finances - and think of the good will it would bring to this situation...!
I have my property listed with 6 other sites and normally , yes, I do check my listings regularly, but unfortunately last year I was in and out of the hospital and had a series of surguries that made it difficult for me to function, however, that's beside the point. I paid for a service that wasn't given. HA is without a doubt in the wrong. If you had paid for ad time on the radio or tv and were unable to physically view or listen to your ads for whatever reason, that doesn't mean that the station is off the hook for airing ads that you paid for. In the end, their unethical business practices will cost them millions. There's too many other vacation sites popping up that offer better services .....
I agree with you that if they didn't have your property in the search results then they didn't provide the service you did pay for and they accepted the money for. I don't think it's your responsibility to ensure they provide what they accepted your money for and if going into your dashboard showed it Active then you had every reason to feel you HAD checked your listing. I hope that they not only extend your listing for 10 months bur for the hassle, I'd hope they'd just reup you for a year. After all, it's just a web page sitting on their servers, not like they are sending you a product that cost them money to produce.
Good luck and hope they make things right for you.
We're taking a deeper look at what happened to your listing - our CS manager should be giving you a call today!