13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 29, 2019 9:50 PM by fairpointpropertiesfl RSS

    HomeAway support put traveler in contact with the wrong owner; has anyone else experienced this issue?

    fairpointpropertiesfl New Member

      Here's a new one.  Traveler is booked at my property this weekend.  I sent the usual pre-arrival email to the traveler today reminding them of dates, checkin procedure, etc.  She wrote back:

       

      "I spoke with Barb/Karla this morning and she will reschedule our vacation due to Hurricane Dorian & the State of Emergency that has been declared for state & county of Escumbia. We will request to come on Saturday Oct 26."

       

      I have no idea who she talked to; it certainly wasn't me or my wife (we manage the property ourselves).  Perplexed, I called the traveler and she said she had called HomeAway support a couple of days earlier to inquire about rescheduling her stay due to the approaching hurricane.  She said they got a person that they claimed was the owner of my property on the phone and that this person seemed to know all about her reservation.  She was given a phone number (not mine) and called this "owner" again this morning regarding rescheduling and was told no problem.  I called HomeAway support and they claimed they have no record of this traveler contacting them on this issue. Basically told me they didn't believe me.

       

      Since I spoke with the traveler today, I was able to explain our cancellation and refund policy (we do not refund or reschedule inside 30 days) and that the forecast for our part of Florida (Pensacola) does not indicate any threat of severe weather during her reservation period.   Still waiting to hear if they wish to cancel given they will not get a refund and we will not reschedule.

       

      Has anyone else had a similar issue?

        • Re: HomeAway support put traveler in contact with the wrong owner; has anyone else experienced this issue?
          wildiris Active Contributor

          I suspect that your guest was speaking with different people in HomeAway customer service (even though they say they have no record of it) and was confused that she was speaking with the "owner."  I'd tell her that this is all very puzzling and you would like to find out more about how HomeAway handled this.  Ask her to please provide you with the phone number that she called to speak to the "owner" because you want to follow-up with HomeAway.  If she's telling you the truth, she shouldn't have any problem in giving you the phone number.  If she's not telling the truth, she won't give it to you. 

           

          Out of curiosity -  Do you provide your phone number and email address in other correspondence with your guests?  It seems odd that the guest called HomeAway customer service instead of contacting you directly.  All of my guests have my phone number and personal email address.  I repeat this information in every email and written correspondence with my guests.  I tell them to call or email me if they have any questions or problems - and they do.

            • Re: HomeAway support put traveler in contact with the wrong owner; has anyone else experienced this issue?
              fairpointpropertiesfl New Member

              Yes we do provide phone and email contact info to all our guests in all correspondence and in the rental agreement and booking confirmation documents.  She mentioned she called HomeAway because she thought it would be easier to deal with them.  I think it more likely she is just confused than being deliberately deceitful; she seems genuine but not too bright.

               

              I will ask her to provide the phone number.  She said the "owner" lives in Louisiana and told her she was driving to Florida to check on her other vacation rentals while they were on the phone.

                • Re: HomeAway support put traveler in contact with the wrong owner; has anyone else experienced this issue?
                  calicalling Active Contributor

                  Did you ask her for the case number given to her by CS, and the phone number for the 'owner' so you could follow up?


                  Have you called CS to ask for details from their record of the conversation?

                   

                  Surely there's some documentation at CS so that you can know the full/real story?

                   

                  Either way, I'm super curious to see what you find out.  A few years ago I would not have thought that a guest would be so devious as db.meyer suggests. But some of my guests over the last 18 months have made me start to think @db is right ... we are all too trusting and guests are sometimes impressively devious when it comes to last-minute cancel/rebook/ non-payment / refund demand issues. Alternately, based on my dealings with CS, I have no doubt that this could be a comedy of errors on their part, too.

              • Re: HomeAway support put traveler in contact with the wrong owner; has anyone else experienced this issue?
                fairpointpropertiesfl New Member

                UPDATE:  I got the phone number of the phantom "owner" and gave that info to HA support.  Turns out my traveler "mistakenly" booked another property the day before she booked with me back in early July.  She contacted HA support at the time to cancel that reservation and was told it would be cancelled and her credit card would be credited the full amount.  Turns out, it seems, that that didn't happen.  So, when she called HA support a couple of days ago, they put her in touch with the owner of the property she booked in error instead of me; since the reservation was never cancelled, the other owner thought she had booked her property and acted accordingly.  Had she just contacted me directly (we had already established email and text communication when we had her sign and return the rental agreement) this whole SNAFU could have been avoided.  In any case, I'm still confused as to why HA support would not notice that she had booked two different properties on the same dates and try to confirm which owner she needed to contact, AND why the other owner didn't follow up with her booking at all, not even to have her sign a rental agreement. 

                • Re: HomeAway support put traveler in contact with the wrong owner; has anyone else experienced this issue?
                  db.meyer Senior Contributor

                  Are you happy with the outcome - do you keep the $$$$ and is she coming or not?  That's all that matters at this point.  However, I'm still not "buying" this story!  Guest doesn't "notice" that she didn't get the CC refund for the supposed first cancelled booking? And, like you said, "Phantom" other owner didn't follow up with her to get RA, provide her contact info, check-in instructions, etc. etc.!  All's well that ends well, and in your case if you get the money and this "guest" isn't coming, that is the best of all worlds.