9 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2019 7:43 AM by ohst8er RSS

    Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!

    ohst8er Premier Contributor

      Say what, you ask?

       

      Well, every time the subject comes up here about replying on platform, and all of the painful issues that come from it, I ALWAYS comment, DON'T RESPOND VIA THE PLATFORM!  Respond via the email that came thru to you from the potential guest.

       

      And when you break your own "rule,"  you suffer the consequences.

       

      Inquiry came in a few days ago.  No dates, just a quick question about the sleeper sofa. I replied via the email, as I always do.

       

      TODAY, I decided to follow up with my inquiries one more time before I archive the non responders.  Here's what I wrote via the Platform.

       

      "Were there any other questions I can answer for you?"

       

      Here's what was sent:

       

      Screen Shot 2019-12-26 at 12.44.24 PM.png

       

      <<Insert facepalm emoji here>>

        • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
          wildiris Senior Contributor

          I always respond on the platform using the "Custom Reply" option to avoid Vrbo's many eccentricities.

          • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
            linky17 Active Contributor

            I do as wildiris does: using the "Custom Reply" ... only after the Guest has paid/booked, do I transition to e-mail/off-platform.

             

            Grateful that you posted this.  Please clarify?  Was your "Were there any other questions [we] can answer for you?" a 'custom reply?'

            • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
              hmmmm Senior Contributor

              I have had that tooo, when my dates were available....UGH

              • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
                scowol Active Contributor

                This typically happens if a traveler inquires and you simply start typing in a free-form reply.  To prevent it, you always have to use the "Send custom reply" via the templates drop down to override it. 

                 

                P.S.  This is a known "feature" (I would tend to refer to it as an "issue" or "problem.") and has come up on this forum a few times.   I would recommend using the Feedback tab (I have when this happened to me a year ago).   db.meyer  posted a more detailed overview of this and the solution, but the original post that it links to has since been deleted.  VRBO, Stop sending "I'm sorry. My property is not available." messages to my potential guests

                  • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
                    ohst8er Premier Contributor

                    scowol, yep, this I know, which is why I always encourage people "don't reply on platform, reply via your own email system."  And the one time I didn't, I'm rewarded with that awful email response.

                     

                    But let's break this down, if you ARE on platform, and you see in the bottom of the screen "default unavailable" does EVERYONE know that that means you are going to be sending the obnoxious "sorry my property is unavailable at the dates you requested." (especially when they did not request dates, so why would the system send such a wrong headed reply?) >OR<  might an owner think "oh, I guess the default response is unavailable."

                     

                    Not everyone who uses this platform "gets it" and even those of us who think we get it, don't always, and those of us who might get it, get stumped by the ever changing changes. 

                     

                    Which, is the entire point of my post. 

                     

                    Screen Shot 2019-12-30 at 8.37.22 AM.png

                  • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
                    bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                    I NEVER respond via the platform.  If I receive an actual inquiry I respond as I always do - by sending a return email off platform that notes all the costs and critical policies.  I have to alter the reply email to remove all the VRBO graphics, etc.  It takes a bit to do that, but it works.  That way I have a copy of my response to the inquiry without having to go to the platform.  A copy is also on the platform, and that is okay too.  Recently someone inquired and I never received the inquiry. I just happened to go to the platform, got lucky and saw it 3 days late, and thus timed out.  But a few days later after corresponding with the person, they booked and arrive tomorrow. But I wonder why I never received the inquiry in the first place??? I use Safari and a Mac, so should have received the inquiry thru VRBO, but never did.

                    • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
                      bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                      I might also add that if I respond from the platform, I use the custom reply box and simply say...we are away from our office and will reply when we return.  That way I have triggered "whatever" within the system that indicates that I did indeed respond.  I then only respond via my desktop computer via my regular email. 

                       

                      But to not get the inquiry notice sent to me is very troubling.

                        • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
                          wildiris Senior Contributor

                          bobbie32 wrote:

                           

                          I then only respond via my desktop computer via my regular email. 

                           

                          How do you do this?  When I click on the "Respond to this Inquiry" tab in the inquiry email that I receive from Vrbo, it just takes me to my dashboard.  Vrbo does not provide me with the inquirer's email address to enable me to respond directly from my personal email. 

                            • Re: Breaking your own "rules" will always seem to backfire!
                              bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                              I NEVER click on anything in any email.  I just hit reply within my email system on my computer.  If you look at the actual email address you are responding to, you will see the very long code that takes you to the platform and to the specific email to which you are responding. Essentially I am responding within the VRBO system, but not having to log on, or go to the platform, to do so.  That way I get to keep records of the correspondence on my computer and not just within the system.  If I want to pre-approve, I believe I have to log on and use the system to do so.  But even if I could pre-approve by clicking on a link, I would never do so.  Like I said...I never click on ANYTHING in any email I receive, even if I know who is sending it. It has worked well since the early 2000's, when we started using the internet. Basically, I do not trust the internet and prefer to do things my way, and only my way.

                               

                              You can test the process.  Send yourself an "test" inquiry thru your listing on the platform.  When it arrives at your desktop computer, hit your normal reply key/button (not the reply to this inquiry button).  Compose your reply, but also check out the email address to which you are sending and you will see the long code.  After you send it, you will get back an acknowledgement from VRBO indicating that you did send a response, and the person (you) that also sent the "test" inquiry will also get the reply.  It is probably best to use a second email address for this test if you have one.  If not, set up another email thru GOOGLE - which is easy to do.

                               

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