24 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2019 4:19 PM by u0999 RSS

    Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?


      So, I have a guest who submitted a booking request, and they are not answering my messages through the HA system. I now have 36 minutes to accept this booking, or I get dinged. However, her email address hasn't been verified through the system. If she typed in the wrong email, she may not be getting my messages. The only way to get her phone number so I can follow up is to accept the booking.


      Erinn homeaway_community_manager,

      Why are guests who haven't verified their email addresses allowed to submit a booking request? I can understand why HA wants us to use the messaging system, but if guests are allowed to book without first verifying their email addresses, then how can we expect that they are receiving the messages from HA? If they've typed in the wrong email address, they won't get payment reminders and other important information. Most sites with an email verification system in place don't allow users to access the site until they have clicked on the verification link, entered a code, etc. Just wondering if this is something that has been considered.



        • Re: Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?
          feibus Senior Contributor

          Accept the booking.  Just get used to accepting bookings with insufficient info, make sure your e-mail template indicates that the reservation acceptance is tentative until you get the information you need, and then working on completing the reservation once you've stopped the clock.

          • Re: Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?
            martyp Contributor

            What you are experiencing is a problem that I have with the blocked phone numbers.


            Quite some time ago, in another galaxy far far away when we could see the traveler's phone number and email address, I had a traveler that never responded to my VRBO messages.  I called the traveler and we both discovered that  he had typed his email address wrong.  Since VRBO is an email go-between, the error message stating "Address Not Found" from the Mail Delivery System went to VRBO ... and STOPPED there. 


            VRBO/HomeAway should take action on any Mail Delivery System error message. At a very bare minimum, HomeAway should forward the Mail Delivery Error messages through to the homeowner so we can call the HomeAway customer service dept.  I don't know if HomeAway has fixed the problem of "Address Not Found" messages or not.  We will never know because we can not contact the traveler via a different avenue. 

            • Re: Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?
              twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

              I Think this is referring to ”unblocked” information from a reservation with “unverified“ for both e-mail and facebook. I recently cancelled a booking that had the same thing, especially when they did NOT respond to the e-mail address or the phone number provided.  I think that if someone is booking a property the very least should be a verified e-mail address.


              If someone wants to rent my place they will provide an e-mail address that I can communicate with them, along with phone by text or voice.

                • Re: Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?

                  Yes, that's exactly my point. The email address is blocked until I accept the booking, but if it's been verified by the traveler, it will have a "verified" badge next to it. A lot of other sites do email verification, and you can't use their system until your email has been verified. That should be a "best practice" for sites like VRBO and HomeAway. I would feel more confident accepting bookings, even if I don't have my signed RA yet, if the email appeared to be verified by HA. At least we would all know that they are getting our messages, even if they aren't responding. People have lives, and they don't expect to be harassed by all of us crazy homeowners who are trying to keep our metrics up to snuff. 

                • Re: Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?
                  homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                  Hi cathio,


                  Excellent question. I have posed it to our product team. I'll let you know if we have anything further to add in response. For now though, thanks for the feedback. You have an outstanding point. Thanks.



                  HomeAway Community Manager

                  • Re: Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?
                    scowol Active Contributor

                    I suspect this stems from the fact that this aligns to the HA/VRBO strategy to secure as many bookings as possible, and as quickly as possible.  Verifying an email is an extra step, and perhaps HA feels that extra step (albeit not a major hassle) would adversely impact that strategy.  There's really no other reason that they would not want to have a verified email. 


                    P.S.  I don't favor this approach myself, and am an advocate for having a verified email requirement prior to booking. 

                    • Re: Traveler email address not verified - why are they allowed to book?

                      I know what I'm going to type is nothing new but it's the first time I've had to really deal with it since the change to remove contact info.


                      Last night I went back and forth so many times trying to communicate with a potential guest, she kept trying to send me her number thinking if it was texted or emailed it would show on my end.  She wants me to call, but I can't.  She thought it was crazy and didn't understand why she used to be able to just talk to the owners. 


                      Back then, I had a subscription so VRBO/HomeAway was paid by me for their services.  Back then, I never tried to move people out of booking thru the website.  If they asked, me if they could pay direct I would make arrangements knowing I already paid VRBO.  But, they had to ask me.  I never offered it up, giving them the chance to just pay thru VRBO/HA. 


                      Today, it takes a bunch of back and forth emails trying to convince a potential renter I can't see their number and call them unless they book.  Then they can cancel if they want to.  Really?  That just doesn't make good customer service sense to me.  I guess we shall see what she does.  I am on other sites and one with no fee so perhaps she is resourceful and will find a way to reach me. 


                      Small rant...sorry!!