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6538 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Apr 26, 2012 12:34 PM by everydayisearthday RSS
lrbaldwin Active Contributor 755 posts since
Feb 16, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 16, 2011 9:53 AM

Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

I don't normally answer surveys, but I got a request a little while ago via email to fill out a survey from VRBO.  I figured it couldn't hurt, may help if there are any questions that have any meaning to me and the company might actually listen.  I got a few questions into it, and they asked for price paid for property and estimated current value.  I entered the amounts and was not allowed to continue the survey because it said I had to enter a value other than 0.  Believe me, the numbers I entered were considerably greater than 0.  So much for the survey and my wasted time.

 

This simply enforces my opinion that HA/VRBO spend very little time considering the consequences of their actions. 

1. Requiring renters to register before leaving a review

2. Changing Vacation Rentals By Owner to rentals by agencies without changing the name of the company

3. Adding an automatically appearing page (after a potential renter sends an inquiry) that lists 10 similar properties in my area just in case they might find something they like better.

And NOW:

Wasting my time on a survey that was obviously NOT TESTED.  Normally I wouldn't complain about something like this, but they're just piling on one thing after another.

 

Harumph!

Linda

  • New Member 8 posts since
    Nov 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 16, 2011 10:48 AM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

    I was glad to see you posted something about the problem.  I got stuck at the same point and wondered if I was doing something wrong. I'll bet there's a drop-down menu that should be there that that isn't working.

     

    Marti

  • Contributor 42 posts since
    Nov 3, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 16, 2011 11:26 AM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

    Glad I checked the site for an entry regarding VRBO?HA survey. Completed the form and early on at the how many units in your community I selected the 140 and more and the message was information had to be completed... Selected it twice without a change in the message, so I said , well.shucks. you know I did.. Doesn't help the image of the company but neither does it ignoring the phishing problems either, registration for guest comments, and cross-selling others properties.

    Hope the poster regarding a new site for vacation rentals is successful.

  • Contributor 36 posts since
    Jul 6, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 16, 2011 3:31 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

    Hi Linda,

     

    I left the the value (as if that were VRBO/HA's business) of my house blank and it went to the next question. It would be nice if they asked questions regarding many homeowners recurring complaints, but of course that is not what they want to hear. I did leave some comments at the end of the survey, but they have been hearing and ignoring those forever on this forum.

     

    It's telling when a company anounces that they don't consider the owners their customers, but the people who rent from the owners, their customers. Maybe they should start collecting money from the renters instead!

     

    Sussi

    • anja Senior Contributor 1,556 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 17, 2011 12:12 AM (in response to sussi)
      Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

      Brilliant idea, 'sussi'.   Let the "renters" pay a fee to use HA/VRBO to find their ideal spots to rent.  Then, you'll see HA/VRBO jump through hoops to keep them happy.

      • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
        Dec 31, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Apr 26, 2012 12:19 AM (in response to anja)
        Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

        anja wrote:

         

        Brilliant idea, 'sussi'.   Let the "renters" pay a fee to use HA/VRBO to find their ideal spots to rent.  Then, you'll see HA/VRBO jump through hoops to keep them happy.

         

        Interestingly, there is at least one web site that I know of, where the renters pay the fees, not the owners.

         

        For example: AirBnB.

         

        At AirBnB, the guests pay a percentage price HIGHER than the posted prices listed by the owners on AirBnB.  This is the AirBnB service charge.  So let's say your rate was $300.  The guest will get charge $300 + whatever AirBnB has current selected to be their "service fee" ... for example $30. 

         

        So the guest will pay $330, even though your posted rate was $300.  Then you, the owner will receive $300 minus 3% for credit card processing (all transactions on AirBnB are thru credit card), so the owner will get $291. The 3% for credit card processing is very similar to the fees we would pay if we were processing the credit card payment ourselves.  I'm guessing AirBnB is paying similar to 2.5% for processing fees and getting a 0.5% profit ... but even so, that's very little of "our own money" going to AirBnB. 

         

        So !  Yes, there are companies such as AirBnB where it's the guest who pays for the listing service, not the owners.

         

        There are pro's and con's of either system.  All in all, I prefer the systems where the owner pays, such as FlipKey and VRBO / HomeAway.   I do agree that VRBO / HomeAway, FlipKey, etc should cater to the needs of the owners / hosts, as the owners / hosts are the ones paying for the service.

    • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
      Feb 10, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 17, 2011 5:55 AM (in response to sussi)
      Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

      Hmmm, charging owners AND potential guests/users - That's probably in their 2012 business plan....!

  • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
    Feb 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 16, 2011 4:45 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

    It would have helped if they would have shared WHY they wanted the survey information.  After they asked what it cost me to buy and what it was worth now, I left - N O Y B!!

  • New Member 2 posts since
    Nov 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 16, 2011 5:50 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

    This is the email I sent to HA/VRBO after getting stuck at the question about how many rental properties were in my area:

     

    "I was happy to assist you with your request for feedback but I will NOT research the area for you. I don't know how many places are available in my area and I am not going to spend hours on the computer doing YOUR job. I tried to skip the question and continue, but you wouldn't let me. Just one more problem with HA/VRBO. You want US to do YOUR work. Sorry."

     

    They are simply gathering info; this has no bearing on what "we" want from them.

    • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
      Feb 10, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 16, 2011 7:30 PM (in response to vegasrental)
      Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

      KUDOS TO YOU, vegasrental!   When I got to that question, I thought to myself "Jeez, every time I hit my dashboard, you tell me I'm no. 6 of 146....I guess I'll put in XS of 140 as the answer!"  They know most of the answers already - wonder what they REALLY want...??

    • kristin.r Contributor 116 posts since
      Jun 1, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 16, 2011 8:11 PM (in response to vegasrental)
      Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

      That is hysterical.  I was thinking the same thing why do you want to know how many rentals are near me in Kauai.  Well a whole lot.  Ok so I may be the only one who started it and finished it. LOL

  • meredith HomeAway Employee 384 posts since
    Nov 18, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 27, 2011 3:21 PM (in response to lrbaldwin)
    Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed this thread. I have a message for you from our Market Research department.

     

    The HomeAway Market Research team appreciates your feedback here on Community and on the survey.  While the survey was tested , we did not realize there is a glitch in the way that the survey software captures numbers; specifically, the software does not recognize “100,000” as a number, but does recognize “100000.”  We apologize for the frustration this may have caused those who took the time to take the survey and we value your time and the effort you made to provide accurate answers.  We  also recognize some of the questions are difficult to answer and, therefore,  we simply ask for your best estimate. Your answers will help us provide products and services to better serve you in the future.  If you completed the survey and provided your email address, a summary report will be sent to you. 

     

    Meredith

    Community Coordinator

    • info@stayattremblant.com Active Contributor 543 posts since
      Aug 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Dec 20, 2011 11:58 AM (in response to meredith)
      Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

      >>While the survey was thoroughly tested, we did not realize there is a glitch

      >>in the way that the survey software captures numbers- the software does

      >>not recognize “100,000” as a number, but does recognize “100000.”

       

      "... the survey was thoroughly tested ..."

       

      Sorry, I just can't help it -- this is simply condescending.  Can't HA ever be humble and admit a mistake?

      That would not have passed even basic web testing by the primary school son or daughter of a website tester who was visiting their parent's workplace for a day.

       

      How about: "We apologize for not fully testing the web form."  Now, had I read that, I would not have felt you were trying to insult my intelligence and I would have had a positive feeling from your reply.

      • everydayisearthday New Member 26 posts since
        Apr 23, 2012
        Currently Being Moderated
        Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

        To be honest, I don't understand why the homeowners on these discussion boards are so bitter.  Where is all of this anger coming from?   Why is the success of your VRBO rental entirely up to VRBO?  Why do you think VRBO is taking something away from you? I don't get it.

        • sfvacationhut Community All-Star 643 posts since
          Dec 31, 2010
          Currently Being Moderated
          Apr 26, 2012 12:30 AM (in response to everydayisearthday)
          Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

          everydayisearthday wrote:

           

          To be honest, I don't understand why the homeowners on these discussion boards are so bitter.  Where is all of this anger coming from?   Why is the success of your VRBO rental entirely up to VRBO?  Why do you think VRBO is taking something away from you? I don't get it.

          everydayisearthday,

           

          note that some people are upset because they feel that vrbo / homeaway has not always operated in the best interest of the owners / hosts, even though the owners / hosts are the ones paying for the advertising service.

           

          The main complaints I have seen are in the areas of Reviews.  VRBO / HomeAway now requires that reviews be allowed.  Some people feel that they should be allowed to opt out of reviews, as this is an advertising service that the owners are paying for.    True, reviews help travelers get a good feel for the place, and some good, positive reviews help a property stand out from the others.  But if someone wants to voluntarily opt out of this advantage, it seems that this should be able to do that.  They are only hurting themselves, and the advertising is something they are paying for.  This "opting out of reviews" used to be allowed, and then it was taken away.    No one knows why the choice was taken away, but there are lots of owners who are upset about it.

           

          There are some other similar issues that people are upset about.  I wouldn't consider myself as one of the bitter / upset owners, but I have read the posts, and I can certainly see why they are upset.  The main reason is that owners should have full control over how their advertising appears, since they are the ones paying for the advertising service.   Makes sense to me.

          • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
            Dec 10, 2010
            Currently Being Moderated
            Apr 26, 2012 12:28 PM (in response to sfvacationhut)
            Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

            everydayisearthday, there's also a deep concern among many owners who were renting VRs long before Homeaway existed, that Homeaway is monopolizing the advertising of vacation homes.  It used to be that you would list your property with 3-4 different sites that produced reasonably good results.  Now Homeaway has bought all those solid producers and put them under their wing.  Now there isn't competition so they set the price, policies and pretty much run the show.  I'm not bitter in any way toward HA but I share concerns about this perceived monopoly and how it may impact us going forward.  There are many excellent things HA has done to make things better for VR owners, but now the company's focus seems to have shifted to users (travelers) and some policies are frustrating for the owners. Reviews and continual price hikes are two big areas of concern.

            • everydayisearthday New Member 26 posts since
              Apr 23, 2012
              Currently Being Moderated
              Apr 26, 2012 12:34 PM (in response to amyg)
              Re: Annoying HomeAway/VRBO survey

              Thanks for explaining that.  Again, I don't agree.  There are SO MANY sites advertising VRs now.  All sorts, sizes, and stripes.  Even our listings are not exclusive to VRBO and HA.  It's a very diverse market and everyone seems to want a piece of it. Not a monopoly at all.

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