18 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2018 3:38 PM by kand325 RSS

    HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?

    Senior Contributor

      I am one of the few remaining VR owners (aka "hosts") here with subscriptions that were extended under the HomeAway Terms and Conditions that were in effect in late 2016 - early 2017.  Those terms and conditions, and the functionality of the HomeAway/VRBO sites at that time provided subscription owners like us with complete contact information (email address and phone numbers) throughout the duration of our subscription. 

       

      In June of 2017, HomeAway unilaterally and without warning withdrew that information from our dashboard, in clear violation of those terms and conditions.  But thankfully they realized their mistake and later that month they reinstated my access to that information.  I am grateful to HomeAway for that.

       

      Today, as I went to reply to a new inquiry, I find that once again HomeAway has reneged on our agreement and removed my access to this critically important information, before my subscription established under those terms and conditions has expired. 

       

      I assume that as was the case last June, this must be a programming error of some sort.  I am sure that HomeAway would not want to develop a reputation with its partners (aka "hosts") for arbitrarily reneging on its contractual obligations in the middle of the contract term.  So I look forward to HomeAway's prompt reinstatement of my access to this information for the remainder of my contracts with them. 

       

      Anyone else have this happen to them recently?

        • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
          timthek Active Contributor

          There are numerous reports on Facebook of the same thing. I had mine taken away this past summer and was unable to get it returned. HA knows they have most owners trapped so they don't really care. Unhappy owners who could afford to lose HA's advertising platform have left. Many people are sticking it out and dealing with the increased fees and decreased control because they can't YET afford to do without. Gradually other platforms, Facebook, Craigslist and repeat renters will fill people's calendars and they will also move on.

          • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
            rinaldomoon Senior Contributor

            I am reading similar comments... curious to what "spin" will come out on this. 

            • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
              captmarkhd Senior Contributor

              Yesterday I had contact information and now I don’t.  A few days ago I got this email from VRBO.  I can’t complain to much as I knew  it was coming and  it was just a matter of time before it was gone and I had contact information much longer then most owners. I am hoping to make the PPP on the next round so that I can have the contact information back again.

               

              If this email does not display correctly, please click here .
              VRBO
              VRBO
              Dear Mark,
              Last year, we announced that, eventually, all communications on VRBO will be facilitated through our secure messaging platform.
              As we continue with this update for all listings on our platform, you'll soon notice that the contact details usually displayed are hidden. Phone numbers and email addresses will become available in your dashboard as soon as a booking is confirmed.
              To help improve the quality of inquiries and requests you receive, follow our 3 top tips:
              • Keep your calendar up to date — if you’re using another platform, make sure you sync the calendars.
              • Set up your house rules, cancellation policy and rental agreement in your settings — these are presented to travellers before they can submit a booking request.
              • Download our Owner App to manage inquiries, requests and bookings on the go, and to securely communicate with your guests.
              Find more info about this update — how it works, and how to make it work for you — by watching the recording of the webinar we hosted on July 25.
              Warm regards,
              The VRBO team
              © 2018 HomeAway.com, Inc.
              All rights reserved. VRBO and the VRBO logos are trademarks of HomeAway.com, Inc. HomeAway.com, Inc. is located at 1011 West Fifth Street, Suite 300, Austin, Texas, 78703.
              Please add us to your address book to ensure that you continue receiving VRBO emails. This message may include advertisements.

              • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
                Senior Contributor

                Thanks for the replies.  That is interesting; I haven't seen reports of this on FB, etc, but then again I'm searching for it either.  And to my knowledge I haven't received a notice like the one above.

                 

                I too am curious as to the "spin" and whether or not HA will again honor their contractual agreement with us, or unilaterally breach it.  Of course I have reviewed the contract language in effect at the time of my renewal, and it is clear to me that this change does breach that agreement.  Apparently HomeAway agreed last June, when they moved to reinstate our access to that contact information after first removing it.   I sincerely hope that they still agree, and that they will quickly restore access to that contact information for those of us still covered by those contract terms and conditions.

                 

                Perhaps Erinn the homeaway_community_manager can look into this?  Thanks in advance!

                • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
                  homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                  Hi bobcat,

                   

                  You were not supposed to have contact information removed as you have no form of payments on your listing. We're working to resolve quickly. That being said, once your current subscriptions expire, you're be required to be online bookable and will therefore no longer be able to see contact information prior to booking. I am pretty sure you're aware of all that, but wanted to share just to cover bases. Thank you for letting us know this happened, we'll get it resolved ASAP. Thank you.

                   

                  Erinn

                  HomeAway Community Manager

                  • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
                    jdgreggor Active Contributor

                    So is everybody swimming in the deep end of the pool now? Was that the last of the metallic renewals jumping into the pool with the rest of us?

                      • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
                        georgygirl1955 Senior Contributor

                        Nope I am still metallic....my time has not yet run out....terrified though when it does

                          • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
                            jdgreggor Active Contributor

                            You are fortunate to not have been previously duped into believing that the new classic subscription model would work equally as well for you. That was a lie! You have also done well to extend your metallic into 2018.

                             

                            Fortunately, the reduced number of bookings we experienced coincided with keeping the home available to show to potential buyers. After the sale of our home, we felt as if the pressure was lifted and that we only have a small rental remaining. It is as if HA has no residual power over us as we can have a take it or leave it approach to renting. needless to say, we will switch to a PPB approach on this remaining rental and only give HA money when they produce actual results in the form of bookings. If they fail to produce any bookings, we will totally extricate ourselves from HA completely.

                          • Re: HomeAway is once again reneging on their contractual agreement with us?
                            Senior Contributor

                            We haven't let go of our HomeAway kickboard yet; our subscriptions still have some months left on them.  But every day we get more inquiries from other sources, and our calendars are already half-filled for 2018.

                             

                            The biggest (or only?)  lever HA has to use against homeowners is their (carefully cultivated) perception that 1) HA's listing service is the only way to be visible, and 2) ranking highly with HA's metrics is the only way to be visible within HomeAway's listing.  Neither of these perceptions are true.

                             

                            I remain convinced that the VR market is strong and still growing stronger every day.  This is not because of any value that HA may or may not be adding to that market.  Rather it is because of the essential truth that staying in a vacation rental is fundamentally different than staying in a hotel. And  when given the choice, the vast majority of travelers do prefer a VR over a hotel.

                             

                            We owners control the asset that travelers want. We take virtually 100% of the risk of renting those assets to travelers.  All of the OTAs, including HA, AirBnb and TripAdvisor control absolutely none of those assets and take virtually zero of the risk.  Their current value-added to us is tenuous at best, and transient.  It is only a matter of time before travelers will learn how to find the VR they want without having to use the big OTAs.  It is already happening today.

                             

                            The real value in this industry is caring, professional VR owners who are committed to giving travelers a quality VR rental experience.  If OTAs like HA, AirBnb and TripAdvisor don't offer products that attract that value, then their listings will not be able to offer that value.  Travelers will learn.  They will go elsewhere to find the real value they want.

                             

                            Conversely, if the OTAs are honest with themselves (and their investors) they will acknowledge that caring, professional VR owners are essential to their business and do the simple, obvious thing to attract and retain those caring, professional VR owners: offer them products that those owners want, instead of products that the OTAs want the owners to have.  Only by doing this will the OTAs be able to add real value to the market, and maintain the quality of their brand. 

                             

                            The choice is simple and obvious.  All they need is the will to make it.