12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2012 9:11 AM by whosails RSS

    Reservation Etiquette

    New Member

      Thank you for the lively debate. 

        • Re: Reservation Etiquette
          sophie Senior Contributor

          Wow! I am shocked that you tried a leave a bad review and I am very glad that vrbo has put in place requirements that renters MUST have stayed in the property before leaving a review.

           

          In no way do I think that her actions were unprofessional.. She got someone else that was interested, they paid the money and she booked them.  She hadn't even sent you a quote yet and unless you gave her a deposit and signed contract she was under no obligation to you whatsoever to hold the property. It was nice of her to even tell you she had booked someone else.

           

          My policy is the first who pays is the first one who gets the property.

            • Re: Reservation Etiquette
              New Member

              Yes - I now have a new understanding of the kind of reviews I am getting as a consumer when looking at VRBO. It is really disconcerning to me that VRBO would not include honest feedback from their users. Makes me wonder what other reviews have been denied in VRBOs best interest.

               

              And thank you for letting me know that there are other owners at VRBO that threat their customers as poorly as my encounter today. In the future I will be much more leary of working directly with owners when renting property. I now see there is a value in working only with properties have PROFESSIONAL property managers handling their affairs.

               

              Thank you for the information and in turn - advise as I asked.

            • Re: Reservation Etiquette
              kiawahcottage Community All-Star

              amyvrbo,

               

              Sorry about your experience and can't help you with a Minneapolis rental but here is my take on this.

               

              It would seem very likley she was already negotiating with another party when you started trying to contact her.  That is probably why she was avoiding responding to you.  After she did repond to you the other party came through and she had to abrogate your inquiry. 

               

              Occasionaly owners find themselves fielding multiple inquiries for the same dates.  Believe me, it's as stressfull to us as it is for you.

               

              As to you reviewing a property you never stayed at, apparently HA / VRBO does not allow that, it has nothing to do with the owner.

               

              Good luck with your search.

               

              Paul

                • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                  New Member

                  Thanks Paul.

                   

                  Had she given me any indication that she had other inquiries on the hook for this property on the phone, I would have happily put a deposit down immediately. Rather she told me that she needed to send me the quote information via email and that I should respond that way. My own dumb mistake for not pushing to get every last detail settled when I had her on the phone, but again, I have never had an owner drop the ball like this. I just really hate complete disregard for the customer. I posted this message as a way of 1) venting because I was really mad and 2) maybe someone else could try to step up their own game when it comes to customer service.

                   

                  Anyway, thanks again for the advise.

                    • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                      wiffle Contributor

                      You can feel free to get "every last detail settled while on the phone" but until the payment is made, that is worth nothing.

                       

                      I did a little google search, and the original post is still available in the cache. Looks like there are two rentals in the location where amyvrbo wanted to rent, and the one she is complaining about costs about 25% of the other (but is also bigger, although sleeps about the same). Maybe that is why amyvrbo is so bent out of shape. She wants the cheap place, in spite of no photos or reviews.

                       

                      This owner probably gets a ton of inquiries, given that there are so few listings and this one is cheaper.

                       

                      There is always the possibility that the owner did a little internet research and chose someone else. Maybe the owner looks at Facebook pages of renters, who knows?

                      • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                        Contributor

                        I don't even send a contract unless someone requests it. Can't take a deposit without a signed contract.

                    • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                      New Member

                      I ran across this area by accident and was amazed about this.  I am both an vacation rental owner and a 'traveler' through VRBO and I have to say that unless you have provided your required payment to an owner (much more personal and personally felt like 'just a number' as I have experienced with property managers ~ no personal touch but that is just me) ~ you never should assume that your dates are 'secured'!!  Vacation rental owners are receiveing multuple inquiries daily and I have 'respectfully declined' many inquiring guests after talking to them as it is PROPERTY OWNER'S CHOICE to pick and choose their guests...  There is ALWAYS two sides to every story and the fact that this lady seemed to not even let a few hours go by and she was on here tip tapping her fingers away to try and give this hard working property owner, that is willing to share her property with others in which is a labor of love, a bad reputation in which could affect her livelihood is so very disturbing.  I am so proud of VRBO for not allowing her to write a bad review since she did not stay in the property but she still searched for another place to bad mouth this owner.  It makes me wonder if there is not more to this.  C'mon people ~ can't we all just get along.. There are soooooo many other properties on here with many other owners that would be happy to take your money and have you as their guest.  I understand if something  traumatic happened here but it is a lady that did not take a few moments to 'relax' about the situation and jumped on here and bad mouth someone else.  I am embarrassed for even taking the time to write this but I really felt bad for this owner as she is a new owner, or so it seems by the published dates on here, and this is the way she starts off by a negative thing that would not happen very often. (OR it may with some really busy owners with multiple properties as I know many other owners that are so busy plus then you seem too pushy and the renter may think that you are being too pushy and trying to get them to pay.)  Always two sides to every story and property is not yours until required payment is made and secured~ plain and simple.   Play NICE ~ Life is too short to fret over the little things.

                      • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                        Contributor

                        Amy, On behalf of all VR owners I must apologize for your bad experience.The good news is that this does not happen often. In defense of the owner its simply a rookie mistake. In the listing it states that the photos will be posted when the rental is ready. I did not see any photos, so this rental is not ready. What happen when you made contact is that they had to check with someone else as to when the property would be ready, when the manager spoke to the owner or owner spoke to the contractor they were most likely told that the place would not be ready by the dates you requested. Instead of being honest with you and telling you they were not ready, they came up with the story about another booking. Are they in their rights to take another booking had that occured? Sure they are. But most will contact you first. I myself would have let you know I have someone else ready to book but you have first crack if you want it. On the other end I would tell the potential booker that I have you interested and I will give you a courtesy call and get right back to them. This has worked out good and bad for me but It's just normal customer service as far as I am concerned. When you look at the rental you will see that all of July and half of June are booked. Those are whats known in the VR world as phantom bookings. So in the end its just growing pains. In the future this rental may very well be a quality vacation rental. At least they did not try to book you before they were ready because that would be far worse.

                          • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                            anja Senior Contributor

                            Personally,  I would hesistate apologizing on behalf of ALL owners.   I'm an Owner.  It was too bad it happened, but I do not agree with this OP.   I do not agree with this OP's behaviour on an open forum.

                             

                            MODERATOR: why is this permitted to be posted with the Owner's Property # visible?

                             

                            The Owner has the right to decide whom to rent to...and why...without being harrassed.

                             

                            I consider this OP as a rant which is intentionally slanderous;  it includes the VRBO Property #.  Why do this if not to hurt this Owner!

                             

                            So, now, I'm asking myself - who is the one with the "poor etiquette"?

                             

                            This incident would qualify as a "Terrible Encounter" if the Owner had *committed* to the OP and then dropped her for a "better deal".

                             

                            This OP had a phone conversation with the Owner expressing interest.  Whether the OP had to call several times and email several times is not even relevant! The Owner was not immediately available.... perhaps very busy...might have a job...probably not seeing every inquiry as they come in.  The Owner could even have been away for a day or more. Private property Owners spread themselves thin, and do the best they can with limited resources.

                             

                            So, the Owner did not send an offer with a quote, yet. Not before the Owner looked into (at least) one other inquiry.  So, there was no agreement on the price, no decided method of payment or the forwarding of a contract.

                             

                            Therefore, no *commitment*, yet.

                             

                            The Owner had two {at least} competing inquiries within a couple of hours. The fact that the Owner responded to another inquiry before following up with the first inquiry indicates to me that the Owner was more interested in the second one...and there are reasons for that decision -- reasons that we do not know, nor is it our or anyone else's business to know.  It's the Owner's  business!  The Owner *chose* the other rental opportunity because ...whatever!

                             

                            By not hearing directly from the Owner, we can only make assumptions.

                             

                            But, instead, the OP harshly judges, condems and the punishment is to slander in public.        Awful.  Worse than what "happened to the OP"!  The OP has the chance to rent any other property!   And, now the Owner is being victimized by this person who is knows nothing about the Owner's --- who is another woman--- situation, challenges, personal hardships, other commitments, obligations...etc..    But, OP has a quick draw, aims and fires!   And, we only have one side of the story, here.

                             

                            When an Owner sometimes has a "good day" with multiple inquiries for a time frame, then it's their perogative to rent to whom they wish...and we Owners have specific  reasons -- sometimes dire reasons --  to go with one renter over another.  Again,  it's business...it's not personal.  {Actually, sometimes it is personal but that's a different topic deserving of its own thread}.

                             

                            The Owner could have been presented with a longer stay opportunity, which would equal a better income. {Renovations are expensive and it seems that this property is under extensive reno}.   The Owner went with the best match for her --- the best deal for both parties.   Owners *choose* according to criteria.

                             

                            We only know that this property is in extensive "renovation" ...according to the VRBO Listing information....there are not even photos of the place online --- so the OP didn't even know what she would have been renting,  it appears. Maybe not relevant here. But, honestly....this is an over reaction --- with revengful attempt to hurt the Owner.

                             

                            Should the Owner have phoned the OP to tell her the place was no longer available? Yes --- but she probably was going to...or perhaps she was going to send an email. We have no idea of what the Owner had to do...at the time...and how  many other people the Owner had to attend  to, hat day.  Perhaps she had ongoing other business to do first.     Self-managing Owners wear many hats...and are often pulled in different directions. I know that I am.  Perhaps she had been called away for some other reason....perhaps....perhaps.  We do not know.  But, this does not warrent a public flogging.  This does not warrant warnings to other interested people. This does not warrent ruining a person's potential future business.

                             

                            The reason the OP did not get the booking was, most likely, not because the Owner was negligent, rude, uncaring or unprofessional. The Owner was having a busy day!  The Owner was deciding whom to rent to!  The Owner was within her right to do so, and should do so.

                             

                            Hanging her out in public for this is not acceptable.

                             

                            I had one  inquiry yesterday...and sent details out...didn't hear back, quickly. Today, I had 2 more inquiries for the same time frame that I have open in May -- so three people asking for the same time period {not the same exact dates...but within the same time period}. One of these I really was warm  for...a longer stay!  It's about income!  It's not personal...it's business!   I then spoke to the two new ones today. I managed to send one other *offer* out tailoring to the person's needs--- and before I could even get the third *offer* tailored and sent, my phone rang with a verbal *agreement* from the second person.  BUT...STILL, there was no "confirmation of reservation"...there is no *confirmation* until  a deposit is received.    This means an Owner:

                             

                            - May continue to keep the calendar *open* and continue to speak to other inquirers --- until receipt of deposit / contract.

                            - More competing inquirers could still challenge to get the time frame.

                             

                            I *chose* to book with one of them today --- and it was the one for a longer stay that I wanted {needed}...and she was also the best "fit" for my accommodations {size of party + reason for the visit to my area was very agreeable to my rental criteria}.

                             

                            So, here's the thing:  Owners *choose* who to rent to for a number of reasons, and if we have more than one competing for the same time frame --- we're lucky...we can "choose".

                             

                            Today, the one who lost out on my opportunity was disappointed. But, she took it like "a real Woman"! No outburst.  No attack on me.  No insults.  No threats to ruin my relations with future inquirers.  She's already expressed an interest for a quote for a week in September --- which I will be happy to help her with.

                             

                            I consider this post a shameful rant by supposedly a "fellow Owner" --- designed to harm another Owner.  This was not such a serious offense.  It does not warrent writing a "bad review"...or "destroying her reputation".    I'm not ready to judge and condemn the Owner....we haven't both sides.  But, I can see that this OP's behaviour on this forum is wrong behaviour. .

                              • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                                marilyn Active Contributor

                                I aggree 150%. Please do not speak on behalf of all VR owners. I would have done the same thing. No money, no reservation.

                                 

                                I recently had a similar occurance . I must answer 4-6 inquies a day, and that is in the slow season. My season is short, Memorial Day thru Labor Day and many people inquire about the same dates. I tell all inquiries that:

                                 

                                1. I answer many inquiries per day

                                2. rentals are not confirmed until I receive a deposit

                                3. Fell free to ask all the questions you wish

                                4. BUT, keep in mind that why you are deciding, another might get the house.

                                 

                                Yes, I have many disappointed people who inquire and feel they have all the time in the world to confirm. Some ask me to call them before we book with someone else. My time is extremely limited, mom with daughter in college, running three companies and handling my 7 vacation rental homes "on the side". I certainly do not have the time to be calling one inquiry to tell them about another. As a newbie I did this. Many inquirers didn't even return my calls.

                                 

                                You speak about customer service. What about all the people who inquire, ask questions for two weeks and then say they have had a change of plans? What about all the people who do research as four other members of the same family all with different last names do the research as well? So now I, the owner answered the same questions four times.

                                 

                                For every disappointed inquirer, I am sure there are just as many home owners who do lots of customer service work and are disappointed by not getting th rental.

                                 

                                Marilyn

                                www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

                            • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                              susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

                              amyVRBO,

                               

                              Considering how you over reacted by trying to write a bad review & posting the information you did, perhaps the owner sensed something in your tone  Owners do have lives outside of their vacation rental.You seem like someone I would not want to rent to.

                               

                              VRBO moderators should, at the very least, remove the listing #.

                              • Re: Reservation Etiquette
                                wiffle Contributor

                                Wow, I didn't see the original post before the OP took it down, but the replies are enough to tell the gist of the story.

                                 

                                I always find it interesting when someone writes a post/starts a smear campaign, and when the conversation doesn't go their way, they delete it. That seems a tad immature.

                                 

                                You say you were venting because you were really mad. Looks like it was a tantrum. Please think about what you are doing before you type it and post it on the internet. I don't think you influenced any owners to "step up their own game when it comes to customer service". You probably caused a few owners to think "gosh, I hope amyvrbo doesn't ever try to rent from me!"

                                 

                                You weren't even harmed, and you went off the deep end. Just move on, find someone who communicates in a way that makes you more comfortable.

                                 

                                Not sure why you were so intent on renting a home that was not ready yet. Was it new to the market and had no photos or reviews? Was the price way lower than others in the area? Were there no other places available? Photos and reviews are really important to me when I am picking a place.

                                 

                                To address some other points:

                                 

                                "Nightskyveiw", it isn't really possible to apologize on behalf of others. Also, why do you assume in the "VR world" that the owner has "phantom bookings"? My first rental was for five weeks. Not sure where that insider knowledge comes from.

                                 

                                Amyvrbo, it is simply not a deal until the rental agreement and payment has changed hands. I really hesitate to tell people if I have multiple inquiries for the same time period. I've learned that too many "done deals" are all talk and no action, and I don't like to sound like I am rushing someone to make their decision. I will, however, let a second or third inquirer know if I have actually extended an agreement and am awaiting payment (three days hold) and I will start a "waiting list" in case the agreement/payment doesn't show up in time.

                                 

                                To address a couple of lines from your post:

                                "I just really hate complete disregard for the customer. I posted this message as a way of 1) venting because I was really mad and 2) maybe someone else could try to step up their own game when it comes to customer service."

                                 

                                I suppose you could call what we do "customer service" but you aren't buying a blouse from a smiling sales pro at Nordstrom. You are trying to rent a house from an individual. You might not be selected when there are multiple inquiries for your dates. Some owners (and renters) are better than others at organization, communication, and the art of saying "no". Some owners (and renters) don't have the best logic skills. That's why it's best to move on., find someone who gives the "customer service" you expect.