11 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2012 2:48 AM by christineb RSS

    What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?

    skiandglee Active Contributor

      I had a renter tell me she tried to submit a review for my property and said it gave her an error.  I waited a couple weeks and asked if she remembered the error so I could inform VRBO.  This is what she just wrote me back:

       

      You are kidding me, that is crazy.  I know I sent at least three different postings to VRBO.  They kept on saying I was giving out the location of Cloud 10 which I never did.  This time I will resubmit then cc a copy to you and lets see what happens then and see what you think. Maybe its an automated system, that is crazy.

       

      Any VRBO/HA reps have an idea?

       

      Thanks,

      Rick

      www.vacationrentalhelper.com

        • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
          Active Contributor

          Hi Skiandglee,

           

          I've forwarded your inquiry to a couple of key HomeAway Customer Support folks. They should be back in touch early next week, if not sooner.

           

          Thanks for posting with this question!

           

          Laura

            • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
              Active Contributor

              Okay, I've just learned that this review is on its way to going live! It should post within 2 business days. Apologies for the delay, and thank you for taking the time to follow up.

               

              Laura

                • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                  skiandglee Active Contributor

                  Hi Laura,

                   

                  Thanks!  I haven't even seen the review, VRBO usually sends me an email stating a review was posted and will be online in 48 hours or something.  Can you tell me what was wrong with the 3 submissions the renter tried so that I can warn future renters not to make the same mistake?  Or have you identified the problem on VRBO's end and rectified it there?

                   

                  Thanks for your help,

                   

                  Rick

                    • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                      Active Contributor

                      Hi Rick,

                       

                      It sounds as if the problem stemmed from a misunderstanding. I believe the agent moderating this review thought that "Cloud 10" was a reference to the property's location (HomeAway rejects reviews if property locations are disclosed), thus it was repeatedly rejected.

                       

                      Again, I'm sorry for the inconvenience, and if you don't get an email from VRBO shortly letting you know you have a review pending, please let me know.

                       

                      Thanks,
                      Laura

                        • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                          skiandglee Active Contributor

                          Hi Laura,

                           

                          Haven't received any emails but maybe tomorrow.

                           

                          Will I need to worry about future issues with "Cloud 10" being mistaken for location or has the there been a note placed on my account to quell future rejections?  Just would like to know if I should give warning to future reviewers that it could happen.

                           

                          One thing that I would like to suggest is that when a review is rejected, a notification be sent to the owner notifying them that a review was rejected and it's reasoning thereby allowing them to contact vrbo and potentially alleviate some misunderstanding.

                           

                          Thanks for your help,

                          Rick

                  • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                    christineb Contributor

                    Hi Rick,

                     

                    I have also had multiple problems with this issue. The first time it happened, I received a courtesy email from HA indicating that a review was submitted but it was rejected because it listed our address. I thought the courtesy email was a tremendous customer service attribute even though the rejection was unjustified as the address was that of a coffee shop close to the condo that the guest recommended - not our condo address.

                    HA corrected this when I brought it to their attention.

                    The next time this happened, however, I didn't receive a courtesy email indicating the review was rejected, I simply inquired with HA asking about a review that a happy guest told me that they left when it hadn't shown up after two weeks time.

                    Again, I was told it was rejected because of an address. This time it was our actual address but as we are in a secured condo building, listing the address is not a concern for us as it would be for a homeowner. So, I asked them to please submit the review "as is" and they did.

                    Now, I have another guest who has tried to send a review 3 times through the system and even called HA! The customer service person couldn't tell them why it wasn't there and suggested that they put it through AGAIN. Which amazingly enough he did. BUT STILL, no review. I am flattered by his persistance but really frustrated that this is turning into such a hassle for guests to leave a review.

                     

                    It is not that it is difficult to get guests to leave a review, many want to share their experiences because they also rely on reviews to make decisions about a property. But when a guest goes through the effort to do so, it shouldn't be such a drama to get it published.

                    I realize that reading each and every review is a tedious process but it is clear that skimming the reviews looking for potential addresses and then rejecting anything that has one isn't working very well.

                    I will start adding the tip about not indicating an address in my requests for reviews but I hope that HA/VRBO are also looking at ways to make this process less time consuming for everyone involved.

                     

                    I'm off to Customer Service to try and get this latest review issue resolved....

                    Cheers!

                     

                    Message was edited by: christineb

                      • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                        Active Contributor

                        Hi Rick and Christineb,

                         

                        Here is a bit of clarification on HomeAway's current review process:

                         

                        Once a traveler submits a review, the review enters a moderation period.  A HomeAway Customer Support Representative reads the review to determine if the review meets all guidelines.  If the review is denied, the traveler will be notified, usually within 48 hours, informing the traveler why the review was rejected. 

                         

                        If the review meets all guidelines, it is placed in an Owner Grace Period and the owner is sent an email notification that a review has been received, is in Owner Grace Period, and they can write a response.  An Owner Response must also go through a moderation process, making certain the response meets all guidelines.  

                         

                        An approved 4 or 5 star review will be published within 2 business days and a 1, 2 or 3 star review will be published within 7 business days.

                         

                        When the review is approved, the traveler is notified that is has been approved and is online.

                         

                        I hope this sheds some light on the process, and Rick, I will convey your feedback about also notifying the owner when a review has been rejected.

                         

                        Best Regards,

                        Laura

                          • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                            skiandglee Active Contributor

                            Hi Laura,

                             

                            Thank you for the clarification.

                             

                            Unfortunately I still see a major disconnect in the case of a rejection.  The owner is never notified and good hearted renters submitting a review will only put forth so much effort and may just abondon the attempt to post a review if they get frustrated.  If however the owner was notified, the owner could then also add some clarification to the vrbo moderator. 

                             

                            In my case, the renter was told they were giving away the address of my property when they clearly werent and they knew they weren't.  They tried 3 times and got 3 rejections without me ever knowing.  I could have cleared that right up immediately.  I am lucky the renter submitted it a 4th time and I had you on my side to get it to go through.  I really don't look forward to that situation again so is there anyway to amend the rejection policy to also send the rejection to the owner as well as the renter?

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Rick

                              • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                                Active Contributor

                                Hi Rick,

                                 

                                Thanks for your thoughts on this and totally understand your frustration. I have passed your suggestion to the Reviews Team that the owner be notified of a review's rejection as well as the traveler.

                                 

                                I'll let you know if/when I hear any movement on this idea.

                                 

                                Thanks again,
                                Laura

                                  • Re: What's going on with the VRBO review submissions?
                                    christineb Contributor

                                    Hi Laura,

                                     

                                    I just want to place an update here. I mentioned above that a review was rejected because of our address being listed but it was forced through when I indicated that this didn't cause an issue for us as we are in a secure condo building and the condo number is not revealed. It was approved and posted but now it is missing from our reviews list again. So, is there some sort of programe that auto sweeps for this information periodically? The fact that it was showing and is now not there is really odd to me. I highly doubt that it was manually removed but I could be wrong. Any way to shed some light on this?

                                     

                                    Thanks.