24 Replies Latest reply: Aug 4, 2017 1:19 PM by scottr RSS

    Where to select Free Wifi?

    Active Contributor

      I see that Free WiFi is an option that guests can use to narrow their search - where is this option in my listing?????  In my test search, if I select Free WiFi my available property is eliminated but I do have Free WiFi... WTF HA???????  Why would you add search filter criteria without telling the property owners?

        • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
          Active Contributor

          Here is a listing that lists Free WiFi in their amenities - it is a vacation rental house like mine - an awful lot of listings do NOT have this amenity but I am betting that they really do but just don't know where to specify it - anyone?

           

          FreeWiFiListing.jpg

          • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
            mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

            Go to your dashboard and select <"Edit Listing"> then select <"Amenities.">  Scroll down to <"Popular Amenities."> Check the <"Internet"> box.  VRBO doesn't give you the option of checking a further box for <"Free Wi-Fi"> but VRBO listings with <"Internet"> checked show up when the "Free Wi-Fi"> filter is checked.  There's a disconnect because an owner could have dial-up Internet and check this box and show up when a traveler filters by "Free Wi-Fi.">  It's another example of one hand of HomeAway not knowing what the other hand is doing.

            • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
              Active Contributor

              I put a call into CS about this and the rep told me that we have to add the phrase "Free WiFi" in our listing TITLE for the search filter for Free WiFi to find your listing.

               

              Rep is giving feedback to developers on this - hopefully they will add a check box in amenities for Free WiFi instead of finding it in the listing title.

               

              I will go add that to all my listings now that I know this and I suggest everyone who has this amenity do the same because I guarantee people will check this box and then your listing will be eliminated from search results without it...

                • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                  mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

                  If you add <"Free Wi-Fi"> to your listing title, please check with a search to see if the CS rep is correct and let us know.  Seems odd to me that VRBO doesn't have a box for free Wi-Fi for owners to check in their amenities section - but HomeAway's computer system is sophisticated enough to pick up the words "Free Wi-Fi" in a listing title and use that when a traveler searches with filters. 

                    • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                      Active Contributor

                      I can confirm that if you currently add the phrase "FREE WIFI" to your headline you will be found but I don't know if they will "fix" it or add a check box soon for that and then it won't work that way.

                       

                      I don't know how long it takes to update the headline in search results. You can call CS and they will force an update of your headline to happen instantly.

                       

                      Once you see your new headline with the FREE WIFI phrase you should then also find your property when you have Free WiFi search selection chosen.

                  • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                    twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                    ruthiness - I searched our neighborhood using the "Free WiFi" filter, and a lot of the properties showed up, including mine - and the listings do not have "Free WiFi" in the title.

                     

                    I do have the "Internet" box checked.

                      • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                        Active Contributor

                        Interesting - perhaps they were experimenting with the state of Florida - my sister in law has a place also in Florida and same thing applied to her listing.  *shrug*

                         

                        It's worth test searching for your listing on dates when you know you are available to see if your place is found with various search filters..

                      • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                        bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                        This is obviously a bug in the system.  The amenities that are listed for you to choose from do not match the choices when filtering.  My listing does not show when filtering from Free WIFI, yet I have chosen internet and wireless internet and even added the word "free" in the text portion.  I will not add Free WIFI to my headline - that is valuable "real estate" and should not be used for listing amenities.  Hope they get it fixed.   Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

                        • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                          rachael_ha HomeAway Employee

                          Hello!

                           

                          We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. This is actually a new feature that is working as designed. You are correct in that if you add "Free WiFi" to your listing's headline, the system will automatically add this to the list in your amenities section. However, I wanted to clarify that the system will pick this up from both your headline and your listing's description.

                           

                          To reiterate, if your listing is not showing up as offering "free wifi" but should be, simply add the phrase "free wifi" to either your listing headline or to your listing description (or both if you prefer).

                           

                          Thank you, and I hope this helps!

                           

                           

                          - Rachael, HomeAway Product Marketing Coordinator

                            • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                              mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

                              rachael_ha  - Could you please explain why HomeAway set it up this way?  Why doesn't VRBO have a specific check box for "free WiFi" in the Amenities section instead of simply "Internet?"  The instructions on the owner dashboard don't tell owners to write in "free Wi-Fi."   How are owners supposed to know about this?  Not every owner reads the Community.

                                • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                  rachael_ha HomeAway Employee

                                  Dear mtnhomehideaway,

                                   

                                  To give some additional context, deriving "free wifi" from the headline and description text allows us to quickly identify hundreds of thousands of listings that have free WiFi and test whether this filter gets used by travelers, increases booking conversion, etc. If we test and find that this is an important filter/amenity, then we can add it to the normal list of amenities and prompt property owners and managers to indicate whether they offer it.

                                   

                                  Thank you for your feedback, it is extremely valuable as we continue to test this feature.

                                   

                                   

                                  Thanks,

                                   

                                  Rachael

                                    • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                      db.meyer Senior Contributor

                                      Hi Rachael.  I am curious as to why this is being tested.  Do you have any idea of how many listings actually charge guests for wifi?  I have never seen a listing that charges for wifi.  By doing the test in the way you are, having a filter for "free wifi" that only lists 3 out of 200 homes with free wifi, this implies that the other 197 homes do not have free wifi when they likely do.  Also, I added the "free wifi" text to my listing as you suggested, which then included free wifi in my amenities, however when I "filter" by free wifi it doesn't work, and all 200 homes are returned even with the filter on.  Seems like a wasted "test" when there are so many other more important features and issues currently going on.

                                        • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                          linky17 Active Contributor

                                          BUMP

                                            • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                              mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

                                              rachael_ha this continues to be a problem.  With all due respect, your response to me on June 13th didn't explain why HomeAway is doing it this way.  Your wrote -  <"If we test and find that this is an important filter/amenity, then we can add it to the normal list of amenities and prompt property owners and managers to indicate whether they offer it.">  But - HomeAway already made the determination that it's an important filter/amenity because HomeAway allows travelers to filter for "free Wi-Fi."


                                              There's a huge disconnect about this.  Travelers can filter for "free Wi-Fi" on VRBO but owners don't have an amenity checkbox for "free Wi-Fi."    This makes no sense!  The only amenity option box for owners on VRBO is "Internet."  If an owner clicks on the little green ****** [for some reason the profanity censor has blocked this - the word is c-i-r-c-l-e] with the letter "i" he sees this explanation - <"Tell travelers what kind of internet access they’ll have at your vacation rental, such as Wi-Fi (wireless internet), high-speed, broadband or dial-up. Do you also provide a computer? If so, Mac or PC?">  No mention about the importance of including the word "free."


                                              It seems pretty simple to add an amenity option box for owners that says "free Wi-Fi" since travelers have it as a search filter.  At the very least, HomeAway should tell owners in their dashboard to make sure to say the Wi-Fi is free if they have it.


                                              rachael_ha - what about providing better explanatory information to owners?  Why can't HomeAway at least do this?  Better yet - give owners a check box for "free Wi-Fi."  Pretty please with sugar on it?

                                                • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                                  mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

                                                  Bump

                                                   

                                                  rachael_ha - any response?

                                                    • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                                      db.meyer Senior Contributor

                                                      In the meantime, did you add it somewhere in your listing so you are one of the "few" to have this amenity?  I really don't think anyone is filtering on this as my views, while still "Popular" haven't resulted in any inquiries for weeks now!

                                                        • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                                          mtnhomehideaway Senior Contributor

                                                          Yes, I did.  I'm not asking for myself.  I'm asking on behalf of other owners who I'm sure are not aware of this problem.  When I search for "free Wi-Fi" in my area, very few rentals appear out of hundreds of listings.

                                                            • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                                              db.meyer Senior Contributor

                                                              I just took a look at the "7" free wifi listings in my location.  6 have "free wifi" in the description but a recently added listing does not have it spelled out anywhere!  I wonder how that happened - she does not appear to be a PM/integrated software partner but she is instant book.  Most of the other 5 are Vacasa properties with free wifi spelled out in the description.  So, it isn't a data field/amenity option for the integrated software partners yet either.

                                                          • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                                            rachael_ha HomeAway Employee

                                                            Hey mtnhomehideaway,

                                                             

                                                            As I mentioned, this will be added to the normal list of amenities if and when our test indicates that it is a frequently used filter by travelers. We have not determined whether this is the case or not yet.

                                                             

                                                            Testing allows us to find and learn whether or not certain features will be a success and ultimately deliver more bookings to our partners before we release them. Please be patient as we test this feature. In the meantime, I have provided your feedback to the appropriate teams and we are watching this feature closely.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Thank you for your patience.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            Best,

                                                             

                                                            Rachael

                                                              • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                                                db.meyer Senior Contributor

                                                                Two+ months testing isn't enough to determine the effect on bookings?  Perhaps since only a small fraction of owners have "free wifi" that when travelers filter on this the resulting listing pool is so small (max 3% of total listings) the chance of them booking one of these homes is highly unlikely?  What a waste of HA's IT resources when, as I mentioned previously, there are actual bugs and other more important "improvements" for them to focus on.

                                                                • Re: Where to select Free Wifi?
                                                                  scottr Active Contributor

                                                                  This is the most inane thing I've ever heard.   Since you have so many resources available for flawed testing, here are some more filters you may want to test;

                                                                  1) Free shuttle to/from airport to rental

                                                                  2) Free use of car

                                                                  3) Free dinner, cooked at the rental (8 max)

                                                                  4) Free ski guide for the day (4 max)

                                                                   

                                                                  On the other hand, you could provide owners some very useful information, for each filter listed on the site, what percentage of the time is each selected?  That would let owners know what amenities are important to guests, and should be included.