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      • 45. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
        Contributor

        Sage advice thanks Ken.  I'm sure I will wish I had taken that advice but at this point its too late.  I rather not give in to blackmail or terrorism anway and just use the system against itself.    

        • 46. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
          kensilverman Contributor

          It's never too late, you'd be surprised what a phone

          call can do.  But if you want to continue to

          proceed,  Nadia is not the end all.  There are

          blogs, forums, and you can try the corporate offices

          of Homeaway and try to get someone there.  But I am

          very surprised that Nadia did not use the email you

          sent her as evidence of vindictive beahvior.  That

          email should really suffice.  Look at the Homeaway

          rules, and make your case clear to anyone you can

          get a hold of.

           

          Ken

          -


          Original message -


           

            Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2012 20:13:40 -0600

            From: squirrelly <community@homeaway.com>

            Subject: - Re: Negative Reviews as spite

            for damages - your protection from them -  and why

            VRBO won't Protect us.

            To: kensilverman <kensilverman@rcn.com>

           

           

           

                                    Seek Advice. Get Answers.

            Community from HomeAway Optimize your Vacation

                                    Rental Business.

           

           

              Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your

              protection from them - and why VRBO won't

              Protect us.

           

            created by squirrelly in Reviews - View the full

            discussion

          • 47. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
            Contributor

            I hear you but I don't think anyone over Nadia would ever over turn her decision, that would bring the flaws in their system to light.  As an owner I would always side with my business and anyone working for me becuase if I didn't then they shouldn't be working for me.  Everytime I read of someone taking their information to a higher up, it never makes a difference.  The higher up or the owner will always back up their employees decision as they should. 

            • 48. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
              tsvr Contributor

              This has not been my experience with going higher up. Sometimes it makes a

              difference.

               

              Thanks, Lin

              www.ThreeSistersVacationRentals.com

              <http://www.threesistersvacationrentals.com/>

              ThreeSistersVacationRentals@mi.rr.com

              Lin (313) 387-0690

              Sue (248) 755-1618

              • 49. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                Contributor

                That's great to hear.  Maybe you can share your experience with us?  Are you saying you were able to prove someone was blackmailing you and you were able to get the bad review removed by going to someone higher up?  Who did you end up speaking to that actually helped?  Any information would be great.

                • 50. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                  Contributor

                  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.  (Thank you to those who were involved in this discussion).

                   

                  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. I am not sure what would happen if we actually had to go to court.  We have not had one person question the clause prior to signing the contract.

                   

                  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.  It is too bad that HomeAway will not listen to us, It's paying customers. 

                   

                  HomeAway are you there? I have not seen a mediator response in any of the comment threads about Review extortion (besides the standard canned response that we can leave a reply).  Please answer our questions.  Why are you allowing us to be extoreted?

                  • 51. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                    sophie Senior Contributor

                    luxuryrentals,

                     

                    Would you mind sharing your NON~DESPARAGEMENT clause that you put in your contract?

                    • 52. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                      Contributor

                      Here is what we are currently using.  We are having our attorney review and I will post any changes needed

                       

                      Non-disparagement: The Renter (including anyone in renter’s party) agrees not to make any statements, written or verbal, or cause or encourage others to make any statements, written or verbal, of homeowner or rental accommodations without written approval of homeowner. Guests or other occupants or invitees of Guest further agree that any complaints or comments regarding the rental property shall shall not be posted on any internet website unless such comments are approved in writing by owner. The Renter acknowledges and agrees that this approval process extends to statements, written or verbal, made to anyone, including but not limited to, the news media, various online review sites & competitors. Renter accepts and is hereby notified that homeowner does not participate in reviews from websites that are not owned or controlled by homeowner and the business transaction between all parties should remain private. This Paragraph is a material provision this agreement. All communications related to this transaction shall remain private.  Specifically, renter and invited guests agree not to criticize, make any statement which disparages or post any review on any website unless requested in writing by the homeowner or agent. If any review is posted by Renter or invitee thereof, and found to contain unreasonable negative sentiment in the sole opinion of the homeowner and is not removed within 72 hours (the Review), renter agrees that a copy of this rental agreement shall serve as renter’s full authorization to request and oblige the third party or website hosting or displaying  the Review to remove it promptly upon request by homeowner or owner’s agent.   Failure to remove the Review  will be considered a breach of this Agreement, and homeowner will consider this act to have irreparably harmed by loss of business and goodwill due to violation of this provision.  In this event, homeowner will seek damages of $10,000 or more from renter and  renter agrees to pay all such damages requested by owner upon written demand.  Renter will pay any additional legal fees necessary to enforce demand should renter not comply.

                      • 55. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                        Contributor

                        Hi Ken.  Are you the Ken Silverman quoted in this article in today's Washington Post online?  Would love to get your feedback and also other owners thoughts on this subject and VRBO's negative comment about not renting from owners with a non-disparagement clause.

                        • 56. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                          New Member

                          I have to disagree with the blanket idea that a negative review kills business.  In my opinion, it adds to the credibility of the review system.  I do a great deal of online shopping and I always check out reviews of  stores and items.  I also use reviews when traveling.  All positive reviews always make me suspicious.  I almost always read the less than perfect reviews first, then I check out the higher ones.  A rotten apple of a review usually stands out in stark contrast, so much so that it discredits itself.  A well written owner's response can turn a rotten review into a superior one. 

                           

                          Now a legitimate bad review, that is a problem, but everything possible thing should have been done to try and turn that situation around before it got to that point.  That is the true purpose of the review system. 

                           

                          I personally don't think that a 100% perfect track record is necessary or even desirable because you can't please everyone all the time.

                          • 57. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                            kensilverman Contributor

                            yeah, sounds like a storybook, unfortunatley people

                            are not that way.  Withold a few dollars security

                            and suddenly, a chipped tile or a couple ants in the

                            kitchen turns into "avoid this house"  and

                            guranteed,  just mentioning a couple of ants, (who

                            cares that everyone with a house in a park-like

                            setting has had them at one point or another), if a

                            person can click another house in a heartbeat - they

                            will - and do - according to our extensive

                            research.  A small business owner just cannot

                            survive with a negative review when he has only two

                            or three positive ones and the negative is the most

                            recent.  People WANT to be objective and reasonable

                            - but they aren't - we are all human and all

                            flawed.  When we see what "looks" like perfection -

                            we go for it.  The review system is seriously flawed

                            and hurts us with the added risk more than helps

                            us.  Because people don't admit to being the

                            frivolous beings that we are.  That's our attitude.

                            Why settle for anything - even slightly negative

                            when given a choice.  There is just too much

                            competition to even think that a negative review

                            cannot destroy one's business.   For these reasons,

                            that stem from our human flaws, the review system

                            for a small business owner is not viable.  If

                            outliers are not removed by Homeaway at our own

                            discretion, there is no fair basis for the system to

                            continue.

                            -


                            Original message -


                             

                              Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 07:15:44 -0500

                              From: cayowest <community@homeaway.com>

                              Subject: - Re: Negative Reviews as spite

                              for damages - your protection from them -  and why

                              VRBO won't Protect us.

                              To: kensilverman <kensilverman@rcn.com>

                             

                             

                             

                                                      Seek Advice. Get Answers.

                              Community from HomeAway Optimize your Vacation

                                                      Rental Business.

                             

                             

                                Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your

                                protection from them - and why VRBO won't

                                Protect us.

                             

                              created by cayowest in Reviews - View the full

                              discussion

                            • 59. Re: Negative Reviews as spite for damages - your protection from them -  and why VRBO won't Protect us.
                              native7 Contributor

                              Sorry Cayo,

                               

                              Mike is right and you are wrong.  You must be new to the business and, believe me, you will change your tune when you get your first bad review and your bookings STOP.  I own many properties and that is what happens ~ PERIOD.

                               

                              Do you speak from experience as an owner? Or just from someone who reads restaurant reviews?  I would guess the second would be accurate.

                               

                              Please do not think you are imune either.  Our properties are meticulously maintained, multi~ million dollar properties.  We have a full staff that caters to every request and we still have problems from time to time.  There is always that one guest who will NEVER be happy or Damages the property and is angry because they were charged.  When this happens BAD REVIEW = NO MORE BOOKINGS. 

                               

                              Good luck!

                               

                              Sent from Paradise!

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