16 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2019 4:16 PM by bobbie32 RSS

    no longer receiving copy of messages

    dbcondo204 Contributor

      Received two instant booking in the past few days.  Upon receipt, I always send a note on the VRBO website telling the renter that I'm delighted they will be staying at our condo and enclosing a copy of the condo rules for renters.  In the past,  I have always received a copy via email.  Per customer service they are no longer going to do so.  Hope that if the renter sends another note that we are emailed a copy!

        • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
          wildiris Senior Contributor

          Presumably, a copy of your message to the guest will be on the Vrbo platform.  That said, I don't like being dependent on the Vrbo platform.  After I receive a booking, I send the guest a message via the platform that all future correspondence with me should be through my personal email address.  I also immediately send an email to the guest (with the rental agreement, among other things) from my personal email account.

            • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
              bonesxxx Active Contributor

              That doesn't sound like the advice that's been given here (from what my admittedly aged brain recalls anyway)...

               

              I thought the collected wisdom of the group was to keep the comms on platform so that CS and others could read all the exchanges in the event of a damage claim, etc... (i.e. you decline a request for added guests or a late check-out, etc).

               

              Color me confused.

                • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                  wildiris Senior Contributor

                  Yes, I've seen this advice, but I'm not sure that I'd refer to it as "the collected wisdom."  I've also seen posts from other Community members who do as I do and move communications to their own email after the booking is accepted.  As I understand it, there is no way to send a guest a rental agreement for them to sign via the Vrbo platform.  Personally, I think that it would be very confusing to have some communications on the platform and others on email.  I'd rather have them all in one place.  Fortunately, I've never had a guest threaten to leave a bad review unless I issued him a refund.  If that were to happen, I don't see why I couldn't forward copies of the email correspondence between me and the guest to Vrbo Customer Service. 

                   

                  Plus, color me cynical.  I just don't trust Vrbo.

                    • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                      bonesxxx Active Contributor

                      I do the RA off platform via my e-mail and many times begin texting dialogues with my guests but I keep the majority of the conversations in the platform and it's helped my a few times with CS.

                       

                      Once when a guest claimed she was a solo traveller and brought 8 family members.  And another time when a guest made a no-pet reservation and brought 2 dogs. 


                      In both cases I kept 100% of the DD and CS had my back because they could see the convos in their system. 

                       

                      To each his (or her) own.  FWIW I think this is the first time we haven't been two bodies, one mind

                        • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                          scowol Active Contributor

                          wildiris wrote:

                          Personally, I think that it would be very confusing to have some communications on the platform and others on email. 

                           

                          That would be ideal, but even when we email from our personal accounts, the guests still receive lots of messages from Vrbo.  I just stayed at a VR that I booked through Vrbo that was managed by the owner and received a lot of Vrbo emails:

                           

                          • Booking confirmation emails
                          • Payment request emails from Vrbo (note that these emails are still written as though the owner wrote them, and are even signed by the owner with no choice to opt out),
                          • Hospitality emails from Vrbo
                          • Damage deposit refund notification emails from Vrbo
                          • Reservation changes (dates, # in party, etc.) generates an auto-email
                          • Review requests (day of check-out and a reminder) auto emails (no choice to opt-out)
                          • Traveler review notification (occurs when an owner rates a traveler) emails from Vrbo
                          • Much more...

                           

                          So the guests already get lots of emails from Vrbo.  The owner also wrote to me "off-platform" but I still got a mix of emails from Vrbo. In fact, more emails came from Vrbo than the owner.   Many of the Vrbo emails had a subject line that said  "((Owner name) has replied to your message") which I knew were auto-generated based on my experience of being an owner.


                          There's no way to stop the Vrbo messages that are regularly emailed to guests--some signed by the owner.   The only separate email my guests receive is from SignNow with a link to e-sign the RA, which I tell them about.  Otherwise, I similarly keep it all on platform to provide a consistent guest experience.  However, when I author my emails to the guests sent on platform, the first sentence is "Hi Guest name, it's Scott here writing to you...."

                            • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                              wildiris Senior Contributor

                              I appreciate that Vrbo sends my guests lots of emails that I have no control over.  When I said that it would be confusing to have some communications on the platform and others on email, I was referring to it being confusing for me as an owner to be communicating with some of my guests via the Vrbo platform and to be communicating by personal email with the guests who book direct with me.    We all have different styles and systems of organization.  What works well for one owner may not work well for another.

                        • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                          margaret CommunityAmbassador

                          This exchange between bonesxxx and wildiris highlights how this site has changed over the years. When I joined this group, "collected wisdom" was to keep all communication through your own email to maintain a record. CS wasn't consulted in the decision to retain a DD. I've rarely had to withhold from a DD, on those rare occasions when I did retain a part of the DD, I made a decision, notified the guest and deducted from the refundable deposit. CS wasn't involved, it was handled between owner and guest. 

                            • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                              wildiris Senior Contributor

                              "Ditto" for me.  I have only withheld money two times from a guest's damage deposit in more than 10 years of vacation rentals.  Vrbo was not involved in either situation.  The bookings either occurred prior to my use of HomeAway Payments or were a direct booking with me.  I don't look forward to having to justify my withholding money from a guest's damage deposit to a Vrbo CS agent.  But, if it arises, I'll email copies of my correspondence, photos of the damage, and receipts for repairs/replacements to CS.

                               

                              Half of my 2019 bookings were through Vrbo.  The other half were direct bookings.  For simplicity, I like keeping all of my correspondence with all of my guests in the same place.  For me, this means my personal email account, not the Vrbo platform. 

                        • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                          haleloli'i New Member

                          Having the same issue.  Guest initiated inquiries, bookings, & messages coming thru, but not any of our replies to them. After contacting CS, they said it was a system issue.  Assigned a case number & referred it to tech.  Not heard back yet.

                          • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                            haleloli'i New Member

                            I’m pretty sure  the guest is getting the replies on VRBO. The replies show up in the VRBO message thread.   But getting  the email verification that it’s been posted was a convenience & also a comfort that in fact the reply was sent.  The VRBO website is so buggy.  Never positive everything's getting through. 

                            • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                              haleloli'i New Member

                              I guess it’s official.   Another fail. 

                               

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                              • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                                haleloli'i New Member

                                A Feature that would help immensely would be a verification the guest has seen/read a reply. 

                                  • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                                    wiser-after-50 Contributor

                                    The technology is there, it is not their priority. For my direct bookings I uses Freshbooks, it dates stamps when I send an invoice, when they open and read it, when they print it. Easy peasy, everything is documented. Freshbooks has had 10,000,000 customers with fabulous customer services, here is hoping HA can get it together. one of the small features that would make people happy.

                                  • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                                    bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                                    IMHO they are basically trying to cut direct communication between the owner and guest and this is one way to do so. They want people to use the VRBO platform for all communication.  But once each participant has each other's email address and a phone number, you no longer have to use the platform to communicate. But each owner needs to encourage guests to go off platform. As an owner we need email addresses and phone numbers for emergency purposes, as well as legal purposes, etc., etc., etc. We need photo IDs and signed hard copies of the guest agreement. IMHO it will be the death of the site if they continue to encourage, if not block, direct communication. 

                                    • Re: no longer receiving copy of messages
                                      bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                                      We have guests that are arriving today.  But I warned them not to use the VRBO platform for communication and to email or call us directly.  We will see.  I fear they will arrive without 4WD with M & S tires as well as carrying chains.  If that happens they will be sent on their way.  We cannot take the chance of them getting stuck atop the mountain as weather conditions change.

                                       

                                      That said…there is little to no internet service in our area.  If someone wants to access the VRBO platform to send a message, forget it.  VRBO simply cannot put all vacation rentals into the same basket.  We are all different, have different ways and need to be able to address needs and concerns for our area and our rental.

                                       

                                      I refuse to use ABB now, because most owners have no clue as to the benefit of direct communication. I will take my business to the nearest hotel before ever using ABB again.