16 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2012 11:23 AM by mlbmaine RSS

    Reviews

    New Member

      I just had my first bad review after renting for 6 years.   If the review was justify, I would accept it and fixed the issue, however, I firmly beleive it unjustify and the guest is looking to get some money back.

       

      I have a bar at the villa, that provide guest with the option to purchase alcohol or they can buy their own and bring it back to the villa (The option is there). This guest choose to drink my liquors and do not want to pay for it. thought, since she rented the villa it would be free.

       

       

      The site the review is placed on is  the one with most of my bookings, Any suggestions?, I am thinking of cancelling my listing if the review is placed.

        • Reviews
          Contributor

          I would not cancel the listing due to one bad review. Not sure where the site that it's reviewed at, but generally you can put an owner's reply. Now if you have several bad reviews, then you should probably remove it. But if you have have several good reviews and one bad reviews, I would continue to maintain the listing. Also, if you want to cancel the listing due to comments, you can turn them off. 

          • Reviews
            New Member

            I have just received my first bad review and I could just throw up!!! 2/5 rating and 54 previous positive notes from the guest book I leave at the cabin.  It will post in 6 more days and I'm seriously thinking about removing my listing from VRBO because of this.  I take huge pride it offering what I feel is an amazing vacation rental.  I spoke to a support person at vrbo and they just said "sorry" and although they will not remove the review, they were more than happy to immediately help me cancel my listing!!!  Wow.  I am subject to a guy who made bad decisions and got in his own way.  Not sure where to go from here.  Where is the button where I get to review the guest so that I can save other owners from getting this guy from the low end of the gene pool in their rental????? 

              • Re: Reviews
                New Member

                Stacey;

                 

                I understand exactly how you feel. I think there has to be a better way for these companies to deal with reviews. I know we can respond, but the negative review is the first thing customers see.  They won't worry to read the response.  There should be an option for owners to  indicate if they wish have a review shown or not.

              • Reviews
                Contributor

                 

                Unfortunately this new policy is devastating to owners.  We never received an email from VRBO letting us know about this new policy and only found out about it when we couldn't to stop a bad review from posting.   We've been with VRBO for almost 7 years now and never received a negative comment.  We took comfort in the fact we had control over what people could post. I don't see how we can maintain the privacy of our property when any traveler can list information like our address and VRBO will do nothing about it.

                 

                So here we are with a bad review from a guest that didn't receive their security deposit quick enough, got angry, and left a review with negative information about our property.  We understand their frustration and did everything possible could to appease them short of showing up at their door with the cash.  Now our property has 1 star review that has brought our rental inquiries to halt, we haven't received one inquiry since the review posted a week ago, we averaged 5 a day.   If an angry traveler can say anything they want, true or not, and have this much affect on our business and tarnish our name then I won't be renewing my subscription.

                 

                After reading all the issues others are having with this new review system, I wonder how clear the VRBO notification email was.    If anything is going to change or improve we need to voice our concerns in a positive constructive way to everyone we can.   I understand where VRBO is coming from, they have to protect their name and reputation and be fair to everyone but I hope they listen to us and understand that they will need to moderate the reviews a little more closely to protect the small businesses and private customers that got them here.

                • Re: Reviews
                  New Member

                  hi sorry to hear that.  i would definately not cancel the listing. since you have been for a long time listing your property , it is not an issue now cancel off the listing because of a bad review.  however  i believe a good review will paint away the bad one smoothly.  I rent my properties now getting in my 3rd year.  i have very good reviews but when one bad comes in i reply the matter in a relaxed way ( depending on the matter).  Happy christmas to all at the community! - Jane, owner of properties in Malta

                   

                  Message was edited by: jancar

                    • Re: Reviews
                      Senior Contributor

                      WHOA! Does VRBO or HA allow those writing reviews to post the address of the property?

                       

                      If so, I'm done.  They ( HA/VRBO) do not allow names, addresses  of renters on these forums. If they are allowing this is reviews they surely have a problem- quite possibly a legal one.

                       

                      My proprty address goes ONLY to those I've vetted and received monies from, as stated in my contract.

                       

                      Please, could someone from HA verify if you  allow guests to post the address of the property they are reviewing?

                      Debj

                    • Re: Reviews
                      Contributor

                      I saw an article in the local paper written by Frommer's the other day discussing a new contract clause some VRBO owner's were adding to their contract.  The clause is an anti-defamation clause and states that in the event the renter posts a negative or defamatory review on any web site about the property, they will be charged $500 (or name the amount) against their security deposit or credit card.  Frommer's author thought this was grossly unfair as it negated the value of customer reviews.  The article implied that this practice was rapidly spreading.  To be honest, I hadn't heard of it before but I can see why it might be appealing.

                       

                      What do some of you think of this idea?  If VRBO treated owners more fairly I would be opposed to this practice but given the horror stories from owners on this forum and the lack of responsiveness from VRBO/HA, this may be the only option to protect a home owner from abuse.  You can deduct the amount from their deposit or charge their credit card (that is why I prefer credit card payment) becasue you might have already refunded a deposit, unless they rescind the negatie review and site the clause in the contract.  If they insist, it costs them.  Very few people would be willing to part with $500 or $1,000 just to write a negatvie review.

                       

                      I am looking at drafting such a clause to add to my own contract but I have mixed feelings.  A renter seeing that in the contract might then assume that all of the positive reviews were bogus and that he couldn't trust the reviews negating their value in helping to rent the property.

                        • Re: Reviews
                          anja Senior Contributor

                          Hi spoonbill,  There was a recent thread about this very topic where views were expressed.  Some Owners have been using a  "non-disparagment clause"  {I have not} since HA/VRBO mandated reviews.  So, you can first go to the top of this page, and use the Search Field, and type in the term  - non disparagement clause -  to see what has already been said.  I'm sitting on the fence about this, right now.   I'm not sure that it's a "healthy" marketing strategy for me to use.  I don't believe there is enough "feedback data" from Travellers on how they would respond to seeing such a clause in the contract.  Some, certainly, could become suspicious of the property, not trust the {only} positive reviews that are published, ....but for others it may not have an impact, at all.    Perhaps we should do a Poll on the Traveller Community section here for a response?

                            • Re: Reviews
                              Contributor

                              Anja, thank you for the update.  I somehow missed this discussion.  Some of us list on multiple sites.  I know I am on three different sites.  Unfortunately two of them, Homeaway and VRBO are owned by the same company and have the same policies.  If VRBO/HA acted as honest brokers taking a more impartial position and refusing to post a negative review when an owner presented evidence that the review was false or being used to avoid a having their security deposit held for damage or breach of contract then I would be opposed to such a clause.  If owners, like me that use multiple sites put such a clause in but only made it applicable to VRBO/HA and enough owners did it, maybe it would encourage VRBO/HA to change their policy to have owner's not single them out.

                               

                              Another option would be that the disparagement clause would be in effect unless:

                               

                              1. The guest notified the owner at check in or during their stay via email of any problems/issues and

                              2. The owner, having been given an opportunity to make corrections failed to make the corrections within 24 hours of being notified or failed to make an   accommodation to the renter  in the event that it was not possible to correct the issue within the 24 hour period.

                               

                              For example, a guest that checks in and finds the place is not as clean as he expected, he can let the owner know by phone and by email and the owner can send the cleaning company to clean to the guest's satisfaction.  If the owner fails to take such action, the renter is free to write a disparaging review.  The clause would not be in effect.

                               

                              Of course, there are many more complexities that need to be looked at but it is an idea.

                                • Re: Reviews
                                  anja Senior Contributor

                                  I believe that you could be right... there could be some acceptable conditions for travellers, that we clearly state in our contracts, to render  such a non-disparagment clause to be more "palatable" and effective....without damaging our initial marketing, e.g. without creating blantant suspicion, up front.

                                   

                                  I admit that, I only read through the previous posts of others and a couple of articles on the Internet about this non-disparagment clause being used now....but, I have not given it much thought about how to include such as clause in the most effective way for me.   I like your suggestions...food for thought.

                                   

                                  Generally, I do a lot to create a good rapport between myself and guests to encourage them to be "frank" and straightforward during their stay if anything is not as I promoted it would be.  I use an approach that fosters "etiquette"....between myself and the guests....and I'm easy to reach...and easy to approach.  It usually works.  Some folks have needed my help from time to time with something that doesn't work correctly ...but, it's a bit easy for me  to manage because I live very near my rental and am sort of  "on call" for anything that is needed during the stays.  But, certainly, I can still get a "chronic complainer" who is unreasonable and complains online in a review instead of contacting me, first.

                                   

                                  I'm going to consider your points and look at the "non-disparagment clauses" that some owners are using.

                            • Re: Reviews
                              susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

                              An Aside To Providing Liquor,

                               

                              Obviously, you have a very upscale VR. Do similar rentals in the area stock liquor? If not and it were my VR, I wouldn't stock anything that contains alcohol for a few reasons:

                               

                              If it's not provided, the problem of a tenant thinking it is included is eliminated.

                              Unless it's locked up, there is the temptation for underage drinking.

                              Some people, either for religious reasons or previous problems with alcohol, do not want alcohol around.

                                • Re: Reviews
                                  Senior Contributor

                                  Another reason to not provide liquor to renters (for sale or for free) is to avoid possible "dram shop" liability.  Most states have what are referred to as "dram shop" laws that make a commercial establishment legally liable to a third party who is injured by a minor or intoxicated customer who was served liquor by the commercial establishment.