32 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2019 10:56 AM by twobitrentals RSS

    VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS

    bbello121 New Member

      Maybe someone else will have experience with this as I can't get a consistent lie from the folks at VRBO.  It changes per person I speak with.  Last quarter I exceeded the requirements to be invited to the Premier Partner program.  I did not receive an invitation like my VRBO Partner Success Manager stated I should have.  So he has looked into it to a certain degree and I have been referred to at least 4 other people.  None of which can give me the same answer of why I was not invited to be a part of the program. Here are the answers I got....

      1) You exceeded the requirements, but of the properties that exceed the requirements, we randomly select some to be in the program.  When I stated that does not make sense and at the very least you make no mention of that on your website for the program...I was told they don't have to tell me that.  They can do what they want to.

      2) Then I was told "You exceeded the requirements, but of the properties that exceed the requirements, there were some that scored higher than you.  We only invited them."  Again, it does not say that in your website.  Why?  How am I supposed to play by the rules and why would you set expectations that are false?  I was told the program is too complex for me to understand.  Really?  I have written 16 technical books on enterprise networking and virtualization of call centers like they work in and have written algorithms more complex than theirs.  Then I sold my company, retired and now I have a large rental portfolio to keep me busy.  I guess I am too stupid to work customer service at VRBO.  3) Anyway, I asked to speak with someone who is an authority for the program and really knows how it works.  I was told that there is no one that is an authority in the program.  That she is very knowledgeable in it and I should take her word.  I said so VRBO heavily promotes the program and just spent money and resources to create a new tool for owners to see their progress, and it was integrated into your Owner Dashboard Tools,  but there is no one in the company spearheading this program?  It just happens magically without anyone leading the program?  Someone just decided this would be a good thing to integrate on the website without anyone else's approval. The answer I got was basically, Yes.  Anyone who has been a high level executive in a company knows that does not happen without a lot of planning.

      4) I then asked about what it stated on the VRBO website that if you have multiple properties and if more than 51% them do not meet the requirements, you won't be invited.  Since I have 4 properties, 2 that are off the charts and 2 that are rarely booked as they are $1,000 per night....that means only 50% of my rentals have the number of reviews, bookings, etc you need.  Could that be the reason?  They said they never heard of that.  I said it is on your website and I asked if they would like me to read it to them or give them the link.  They said it no longer applies.  I asked why it is on the website.  They said because updating their website is not a priority.  I stated that if you wanted to charge me more money, I bet you would update the site that day.  So I guess keeping the people who make VRBO money (the homeowners) are not important enough to be provided with current rules and regulations unless it suits VRBOs needs and bottom dollar.

      5) I was then told that I will get Premier status next quarter.  I asked how you can guarantee that?  I was then told that they can't, but they think I will( I have been told this by more than 1 rep).  Oohhhhh, that makes me feel good.

       

      I don't know why it is so hard for VRBO to be transparent.  If you only pick certain properties that make the Premier requirements...fine, just post that we everyone is on the same page and expectations are set.  It seems like VRBO would rather be deceptive, play games and not care about keeping the owners involved by updating the VRBO website.  How can that be a successful business plan before owners start migrating to other platforms.

       

      PP.jpg

        • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
          ohst8er Senior Contributor

          ok, what they are telling you makes NO sense.   homeaway_community_manager, Erinn?

          • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
            green_mango Active Contributor

            Frustrating - I know the PP rules with percentages for PMs that you are talking about, and I don't work there - so sure is frustrating that the people who work there aren't familiar with it (or say it no longer applies). 

             

            I went in similar circles last month when I lost PP status because I accept Alternative Payments - it hadn't been a requirement before, but was now, and so when CS told me that answer I thought they were wrong - but it was a new rule and I can't keep up and I was looking at all the other listings in my area with ZERO reviews, or a single ONE star review who had PP status, and I thought to myself, "Why am I so upset that I don't get this badge which is apparently meaningless?!" 

             

            VRBO sets a standard, and then they move the finish line & I'm tired of jumping through hoops. 

             

            I'm just telling myself that once guests see properties with only a one star review that have the PP badge they'll realize it's nothing special.

            • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

              I ”think” I would like to have PP status and have read the stats, but when I wasn’t chosen over the period it has been implemented I resigned myself to the same theory as this ”don’t worry about what others are doing, just keep doing the best you can do”. Do, I check my stats, yep, will I be considered some day, I hope so, but in the meantime I just want to do the best I can for my guests. New homes come on the platform every day and old ones fall off, but I just decide to take it a year at a time and then when the revenue does not meet what I need (in my own mind) to justify having it. It will be sold.

               

              It sounds like you are a very intelligent person and have had great successes in this life, why stress in your retirement? If your numbers are good and your guests are happy, just enjoy life! We only have so much of it to live!

              • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                Hi bbello121,

                 

                We've escalated this and have the appropriate team investigating. In the meantime Customer Support leadership and training teams have been alerted and the calls will be pulled and any necessary coaching will be completed. Thank you for bringing the concern to our attention.

                 

                Erinn

                HomeAway Community Manager

                • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                  edavis New Member

                  I agree with the OP. I feel their whole "ranking metrics" program is a complete failure.

                   

                  We've been VRBO members for over 5 years. We were happy with them until recently, once they decided to raise their prices. Between their much higher annual rates and service fees they now charge, I was hoping for a better product.  I feel it was better before. Our rental has been pretty much at a 4.8/4.9 since we started receiving reviews. Last year I had an issue with a prospective renter. I explained myself to VRBO (thru their chat which I hate) and even typed out an explanation (see below). I spoke with a rep on the phone that told me to wait until the next assessment for our Premiere Partner to be reinstated. According to this rep, we should have no problem being reinstated with our metric ratings. It never happened. I never sent the email to them because there isn't an address to send complaints from owners.

                   

                  I feel these metrics can be unfairly manipulated.  We have been dealing with and using VRBO for approx 5 years. We have stellar reviews across the board and have worked hard to maintain them and to provide a nice clean unit for our guests. We recently had an inquiry that I felt was fraudulent due to the questions and wording used. I wasn't comfortable with this particular person and informed them that perhaps our unit wasn't what they were looking for. Almost immediately after I responded I received a week long reservation from them, which I declined. They confirmed my suspicions by immediately placing three more reservations for different dates, which were all declined by me. By doing this it completely dropped our decline ranking metrics to the point that we haven't had much traffic at all. We hardly even show up on a search anymore. VRBO, Homeaway NEEDS to work on this. I spoke with a customer service rep and was told there is nothing they could do about it. All our hard work and diligence to provide a nice unit the past 5 years has basically gone down the drain and we need to start over because of a fraudulent attempt to compromise our place. There needs to be a way to fix this. It's too easy for outside influence to basically destroy your ranking position, and with it search traffic.

                   

                    • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                      margaret CommunityAmbassador

                      Going forward if you find yourself in a similar situation tell the traveler you will not give them access to you home. If you have not yet accepted the request they must withdraw it, if you have accept and then find there is a problem they must cancel to release their payment so that they can find another property. Do not decline the reservation request, this will damage your metrics. It is a ridiculous system but this is the way it must be done. Be very clear with the traveler that you will not give access to your home and to get a refund this is what the way it must be done. Below are the instructions for the traveler, save them so that you can forward them if.when you come up against this situation again.

                       

                       

                      Cancellation process for travelers

                       

                      To cancel your requested reservation:

                      Log into your traveler account

                      Click My Trips

                      Select the reservation that needs to be cancelled

                      Click Request Cancellation

                       

                       

                      Withdrawal process for travelers

                       

                      To withdraw your pending booking request:

                      Go to My Trips in your traveler account.

                      Select the booking request you want to withdraw.

                      Click Manage your booking.

                      Click Withdraw booking request.

                      Choose the appropriate reason code for withdrawing the request.

                      Click Submit.

                    • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                      twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                      Today is review day for all of us......I haven’t been in the PP program yet, but all my metrics show I may make it. I’ll keep you posted.

                        • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                          Well, I haven’t received an invite.......sooooo there’s that!  After reading the new info from db.meyer I would probably not get the guest info anyway, not that it really has impacted me not to have it. I have worked around it for so long, that it hasn’t been a problem (so far). I would like to think that my property is certainly one would be considered premier, but alas.....unless I hear something soon, I will assume that they passed on me again.

                        • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                          db.meyer Senior Contributor

                          Rumor has it that new PPs do NOT get access to traveler contact info prior to booking. "Benefits" language has removed this "benefit":

                           

                          Premier Partner benefits

                          As a Premier Partner, you qualify for the following benefits as long as your account meets the program criteria:

                          • Priority customer support
                          • Premier Partner badging on HomeAway websites for your qualifying properties
                          • Exclusive access to become a beta tester for new tools and features
                          • Free marketing opportunities through HomeAway, including the chance to be featured in emails and videos that reach millions of travelers
                          • Search filter to help travelers easily find Premier Partner properties

                           

                          Previous Benefits:

                           

                          What are the benefits?

                          Stand out in search: with an exclusive badge on your property, travelers will know they can expect a great stay.

                          Reach more travelers: As a top performer, these partners are eligible to be featured in traveler emails, videos, our television show, social channels and more.

                          Get exclusive access:. As a Premier Partner, you’ll receive priority customer support and access to beta versions of new tools so that you can help guide the future of our marketplace.

                          Communicate with travelers pre-booking: Since you process your bookings through HomeAway, we will provide you with more ways to communicate with travelers before they book with you.

                          • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                            bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                            Why don't you just add..."Premier Partner" to your headline? I do not understand what PP buys you.  What good is it?  Is it just a label you get on your listing? I am not a PP.  And I never call CS.  Yet, I have been featured in an ad campaign when my listing received over 7,000 unwanted views in 48 hours. Sad and pointless in my book...

                             

                            And I might add....when I am looking for a VR, I ignore such things as PP.  I go totally by the photos and response time and nothing more...no reviews...and nothing more.  Sorry...it is pointless in my book and sort of like "super host" status with ABB.  All it means is that the owner books a lot and you will be unlikely to get a reservation for a listing that has a super host status.  Believe me, I have rented homes that have a super host status and they have not been all that great. It means nothing...and is just a game that ABB plays to make the status seem important.

                              • Re: VRBO Premier Partner program is total BS
                                planthealth Active Contributor

                                I guess in theory if HA used it as incentive to owners to accept bookings etc to become PP and dole out 'perks' like advance email because the bookings show we can be 'trusted', when the site serves up a guests search results, then among those VRs who have availability for the period desired, one would think the PP ones would be at the top of the list shown to prospects.  THAT would make sense to me. But I have not heard any owner indicate this is what they are seeing when they search for their VR.