Here's the deal according to the phone calls with Homeaway and Yapstone.....
1) Effective yesterday (8/20), all rental payments will be held by Yapstone unless the owner agrees to a 3% advanced payment fee or agrees to wait till the "check-in" date to be paid.
2) Homeaway has been working on their own payment system, eliminating Yapstone, but is not in production yet. Owners can sign up for the new system at anytime so that when it is ready, they will be migrated at NO ADDITIONAL FEE except for the current Credit Card fee.
3) Homeaway is "trying" to come up with a process to keep the current advanced payment so that owners continue to be paid within the usual 5-7 business days but I wouldn't count on that happening.
#2 & 3 are not quite right... already 500K listings are on the new Vrbo Payments system. About 20% have been offered to be part of early payments test that started in the past week. Both of those are now being accelerated by Vrbo, although they might not have the manpower to handle this just yet, so they really hope we're more patient than usual....
Since you seem to have some accurate information, do you happen to know how owners that are currently on alternate payments will be handled at renewal time? Will we be "punished" for not getting involved with Yapstone in the first place?
ha-moderator-Christi can you also comment on this, if you have any information.
It is hard to accept the VRBO payment system for payment only at time of rental, as they have continuously lied and overcharges Texas properties for months beyond their promised resolution data. As Fiebus hypothesized earlier, I believe VRBO purposely caused this problem with YAPSTONE to get the additional free cash flow by paying at time of rental, not when they received the money at time of bookingl. That is exactly what we get by signing up with them now, and their record with Texas taxes suggest they have no desire to make changes contrary to their own financial interests, no matter what they promise. We are screeming about Yapstone, when the current VRBO contract is doing exactly the same thing. We don't have to pay Yapstone the 3% for earlier payment. I think the fact that VRBO built their initial system to increase free cash flow by keeping our money until check-out proves ill-intent on VRBO's part vis-à-vis fair treatment of unit owners. My trust in VRBO at the moment is extremely negative. Complaints on the community board are totally ignored or brushed off with trivial, misleading or incorrect explanations. I hate to reward VRBO with free cash flow for again showing their extreme greed. If owners don't vote with their feet, nothing will change Expedia's efforts to grow their share at our expense.
A/P goes away with any new renewals. That was announced months ago. You will be signed up for Vrbo Payments at renewal or you won't be allowed to renew. You will not have to deal with Yapstone. But, because you don't have any payment history through the platform, you likely won't get early payment as an option when you sign up.
Well in unexpected blessings from this horrible treatment of longtime loyal owners, I have already learned from ABB how to get super strict and advance payments with them. I hope VRBO / HA gets their act together here because I've been happy with the platform for a long time. But this abuse of longtime loyal owners is not okay.
We all need to vote with our feet.
I have two VRBO listings in different parts of the world. They are listed separately, with different email addresses, accounting systems, everything. This morning I received emails to each account about the payment changes, but the emails are radically different. Pasted in below.
It seems property #1 is stuck with Yapstone for now, but without any option for the "advanced payments" (in quotes because this designation is BS and they should hand over my money the moment it is received). None of the business of the 3% fee option. I am speculating this is because property #1 is in Europe, and there must be some law preventing Yapstone from that money grab that does not exist in the US.
Property #2 may be eligible for an invitation for "early payouts" in 45 days. No info as to what the requirements are.
Yes VRBO, payments are critical to my business.
In my case, property #2 has seasonal appeal, and I just opened the calendar for holiday bookings. I don't expect many/any bookings in fall. Between routine payment delays and this new policy (the fine print says the first payment will be disbursed 30 days after check in), realistically it looks like I may not receive any payments between now and January 2020. That's going to be extremely difficult to manage financially.
Yapstone, your payment processor, is announcing it will discontinue Advanced Payments as a free service. This feature released funds to you soon after a traveler paid. Your future payouts will be released to your bank account after a guest checks in.
We know that this is a big change for you and how you manage your business. We are coordinating with Yapstone to minimize any further disruptions to your payment experience.
Because payments are critical to your business, Vrbo and Expedia Group have built an upgraded payment option. We will notify you when you can upgrade to our new platform.
Yapstone, your payment processor, is announcing it will discontinue Advanced Payments as a free service. This feature released funds to you soon after a traveler paid. Your future payouts will be released to your bank account after a guest checks in. A better payment experience is here
Because payments are critical to your business, Vrbo and Expedia Group have built an upgraded payment option for you. Here’s how to get started:
- Sign in to your account and accept the new payment terms.
- Follow the instructions in the confirmation email to add your bank account.
Once you complete these steps, you’ll get the following benefits at no additional cost:
- A flat 3% processing fee and no surcharges
- World-class fraud prevention
- Expert 24/7 support from our team with no transfers to third parties
- New reporting tools that make tracking payouts easier
Our early payout program is in testing with thousands of owners and property managers. Eligible partners should expect an invite within 45 days. Start your upgrade now to be considered for the program.
to a monitor..... after receiving the email form HomeAway in regards to registering for the new payment plan and Town Hall meeting; I read the HomeAway Accommodation Fee Collection Agreement and noticed it has been updated since February 2019... It talks about a third party processing service still. The you want me to agree to a third party processing service terms and conditions.... So am I correct to believe that HomeAway is Not doing the processing in-house But using another third party processing service... HyperWallet?
First VRBO starts changing our guests an exorbitant booking fee, eating approximately 10% of our profit. Then they don’t allow us to collect our local 9% hotel tax. And when we do, they illegally take the 6% State of Texas on the fee we’ve put on to mitigate some of our local tax losses. Now they want to take another 3% of our profits and collect the interest on monies we used to receive. They promised their advertising and “tools” would get us more bookings. As of now, we have exactly the same number of booked nights that we had last year. But our profits are down almost $8000 this year over last, due to eating the local tax and having to lower our prices to compete due to Vrbo’s service fee. Previously Vrbo’s competitors had similar charges. This is no longer true, and it’s time we switch to one of those competitors, unless we get some satisfaction on the Texas local tax issue and this new 3% fee. Are you listening to your customers, VRBO/Homeaway?