14 Replies Latest reply: Oct 30, 2017 10:45 AM by green_mango RSS

    Inquirers being told to book through HA even though we have a subscription

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      We have a subscription, which doesn't expire until May 2018.  HA is now including the following verbiage in its response to inquirers: "Your payment will not be protected by the HomeAway Book with Confidence Guarantee™unless you book through the HomeAway checkout. Please report this listing if the owner/manager has requested that you pay outside of the HomeAway checkout."  Our problem is that since we have a subscription, we are not required to book through HA or take HA payments.  Are other owners with subscriptions seeing this verbiage being sent to their inquirers?

        • Re: Inquirers being told to book through HA even though we have a subscription
          captmarkhd Senior Contributor

          That verbiage has been there for months and months and months...Everyone has it across the board regardless of subscription type.

          • Re: Inquirers being told to book through HA even though we have a subscription
            mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

            As captmarkhd said, this warning banner has been in place for a long time.  HomeAway's been doing this for a year and a half - since April 2016.  I'm in the same boat as you.  I have a subscription that isn't online bookable and I paid $150 a year more for it to not be OLB.  For HomeAway to permit owners to buy a non-OLB subscription (at a higher price) and then cast aspersions on those listings says a lot about the company's ethics.

             

            Edited to correct a typographical error.

            • Re: Inquirers being told to book through HA even though we have a subscription
              edapostle Contributor

              I had a horrible conversation today about the fact they keep punishing me by making my listing inactive without my permission or notifying me because I screen my renters and dont allow underage kids. They just said because they send me business I have to abide by the rules. I should just deny then rather than let the request expire. I then pointed out that If i deny requests they lower my ranking, which is also punishing me. Funniest part is they think they send US the business...... news flash HA, you dont own any houses. WE, the owners send YOU the business. without us, you have nothing to sell and dont make any money. Ive been on HA since 2011..... the new investors have taken  this site for all the $$$ then can and made it horribly unfriendly to use.

              • Re: Inquirers being told to book through HA even though we have a subscription
                green_mango Active Contributor

                Yep, that's been around for awhile.  Having a subscription doesn't mean inquiries can book directly.  Any inquiry that comes through VRBO is supposed to be booked via VRBO - whether you have a sub or PPB.  I have a subscription with alternative payments - I'll get in trouble if I direct inquiries to book direct, so my (few) inquiries pay the service fee to VRBO upon booking, and then pay the rental amount due to me.  I can't remember the details, but as long as the guest has paid the service fee, they are eligible for the guarantee, even with APs (just a lower limit) - at least that's how I remember it awhile back, but so many changes it's hard to keep up with.  I do find it frustrating that I can be "reported" for accepting payments outside the system when I have approved alternative payments - so, in my listing I explain how the process works so that guests don't think they're being hoodwinked by me when I request payment via Square. 

                • Re: Inquirers being told to book through HA even though we have a subscription
                  mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

                  There are currently two different types of subscriptions:  1)  A subscription where the owner signed up to participate in HomeAway Payments and/or Alternate Payments and received a discounted subscription price; or 2)  A subscription for which the owner paid an additional $150/year to not be required to use either HomeAway Payments or Alternate Payments.  The first type of subscription (with either HomeAway Payments and/or Alternate Payments) is referred to as "online bookable" ("OLB" for short) because the traveler books his reservation on the HomeAway platform and HomeAway charges the traveler a service fee.  For this type of subscription, it is a violation of HomeAway's "Marketplace Standards" to book a guest outside of the HomeAway platform so the guest doesn't pay HomeAway's service fee.

                   

                  I (and several others in the Community) still have a non-OLB subscription.  I never signed up to use HomeAway Payments or Alternate Payments and it's actually impossible for a traveler to book my vacation rental on the HomeAway platform.  I can still book a reservation with a traveler and have him pay me outside the HomeAway platform and not violate HomeAway's Marketplace Standards.  HomeAway has the warning you quoted in your original post on all non-OLB listings even though we are not violating the Marketplace Standards.  (It also buries our listings after all the listings that are OLB and makes it very hard for travelers to find our rentals when they search.)

                   

                  HomeAway is no longer offering non-OLB subscriptions.  Listings that are non-OLB will not be renewed by HomeAway unless the owner signs up for HomeAway Payments (thereby generating service fees for HomeAway).

                  • Re: Inquirers being told to book through HA even though we have a subscription
                    green_mango Active Contributor

                    Beantowner2 - there are 2 types of subscriptions.  1 has either OLB or HA payments enabled.  The other subscription has neither - and those are at the bottom of the search results - those subs may take direct bookings and still have contact info, although those subs are being phased out.  Most subscriptions are obligated by the T&C to book via the platform.  Which subscription do you have? 

                     

                    I have OLB with Alternative Payments - to answer your question, in the listing info I explain that the service fee is paid to VRBO and I accept payments via Square - putting this info out there to guests ahead of time helps them understand the booking process since there aren't many subs with OLB and AP. 

                     

                    Basically, simply having a subscription isn't a free pass to book direct - you have to be one of the few remaining subs without OLB or HA payments - if you're in that group I'd add that info to your listing to avoid guests reporting you for asking to pay outside of the HA checkout - as a fellow owner with APs I'm not a fan of the warning either.