18 Replies Latest reply: Jul 8, 2018 10:03 PM by bobbie32 RSS

    Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts

    ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

      I used to receive either phone calls or emails from my guests. 

       

      Now I am getting text messages from my guests. 

       

      I AM NOT A TEXT CAPABLE PERSON (shouting intentional).  I can use a land line phone, a computer, and I can email.  I hate text messages because it could be days or weeks before I know that a text message is there.  I would love to be able to put on the website that I am text-handicapped -- call me or email me, please do not text.  But guests do not read.

       

      I also do not like the fact that the texts sent by the guests do not display in the dashboard where I can track communication/conversations.  When I get a text, I am manually typing it into the reservation notes or I send the guest an email with the contents of the text typed in so that I have a record of what they asked with my reply.  I never text back.

       

      How can I turn off the texting?  I was forced by the two factor authentication to purchase a smart phone (which I DID NOT want) and now I have texts?

       

      HELP.  Suggestions as to how to limit texting from HomeAway/VRBO guests will be welcomed.

        • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
          feibus Senior Contributor

          Put Google Voice between you and your phone.

           

          Instead of posting your cell phone for communications with guests, use the Google Voice number.  With their app, you can control when you get voice calls and voicemails are converted to text and e-mailed to you along with an audio attachment.  Any SMS messages are forwarded to your e-mail.  It's free and it's very nice for those times when you're overseas and cannot get phone calls (or just not available), but you can have all voicemails and SMS messages sent to you via e-mail and then figure out the best way to respond.

           

          And you didn't need a smart phone for 2-factor authentication... GV will send you the SMS message for authentication fast enough that the request doesn't time out.

          • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
            bobbie32 Premier Contributor

            Glad to know that I am not alone.   I also do not text, mainly because of cell phone coverage in our area.  I don't even turn on my cell phone where we are.  So what I do is also include my landline number and note "landline" after it.  I include that in all correspondence with a guest.  I hope that most people know that you cannot text to a landline, although I know people have tried it.  Oh well...  It is because of this that I also don't do the hospitality app, let alone other apps.

             

            The only person/company that is able to text my cell phone is Verizon.  And I could care less if it goes a week before I see it.  I do not give out my cell phone number, because I know it will be used for texts. 

             

            Edited...

              • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                I just went to my dashboard even though I do not have an active listing, and see that my primary phone number is noted, but it does not say it is a landline.  Perhaps this could be added with a suggestion to the powers that be. I do not even list my cell phone number.  So if you don't want texting, it might be best to list only your landline, and then in all correspondence note the number and say that it is a landline. 

              • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                scowol Active Contributor

                Perhaps in your contact preferences you have the radio button selected to allow texting from guests/travelers?

                 

                Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 12.57.24 PM.png

                I have only SMS notification selected, and I never receive texts from travelers/guests.

                  • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                    bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                    Bingo...since I do not have a cell phone listed I have no SMS noted, thus really never receive texts.  These choices do not even show on my dashboard.


                    BUT, what prevents a guest from texting you off platform?  If you give them any number off platform they might use it to text, even if you only have a landline. I take everything off platform after the booking, and I cannot believe that I am alone in that regard.   


                    Edited...

                    • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                      feibus Senior Contributor

                      That's only for notifications from the system.  OP is saying she's been using this phone number in all her communications to guest (i.e., outside the system).

                      • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                        ohst8er Premier Contributor

                        scowol, where did you find those options you show?

                          • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                            scowol Active Contributor

                            ohst8er   sure, to get to these options from the dashboard:

                             

                            Property > Edit Property > Contacts tab

                             

                            Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

                              • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                                ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                scowol  Thanks!  I initially thought I'd LIKE to enable "send me all travelers messages with the ability to apply via text", so I went online to click it.  But when I saw the pop up that provides more info I'm hesitant.  Do you think that pop up means that  a 10 digit phone number is created, that isn't actually mine?  Not sure I would want that.  I don't have our phone number on our listing on purpose, but once a traveler IB's I call them directly, and then they have my number, and I encourage them to call, text or email me with any questions.  Many do.  We also ask for the number they can be reached at during their stay, which is always a cell #, and  I always reach out to them via that number to welcome them. 

                                 

                                 

                                Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 7.49.22 PM.png

                                  • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                                    scowol Active Contributor

                                    Per the HomeAway Help article, the number is randomized; i.e., it's not the traveler's actual cell phone number: 

                                     

                                    Bookings and inquiries

                                    • You can now receive and respond to inquiries, booking requests, and other traveler messages by SMS. The messages you receive come from a randomized, secure 10-digit number and are divided into separate conversations for each traveler to which you can reply directly by text. Learn more about responding by SMS.
                            • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                              margaret CommunityAmbassador

                              Preventing guests from texting is going to be tough, even one of my LT tenants who is well in her 70's contacts me by text. You can try telling them in your initial correspondence and again in your welcome letter that you do not use text messaging.

                                • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                                  bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                                  I agree...texting is now a way of life.  But you typically have to have cell phone reception to do it.  People don't understand about no having cell phone reception, as it a foreign concept.  Interesting that travelers are even willing to go places with no cell service. Most of the rentals in our area do not have cell phone reception, yet people keep visiting the area since the draw is a national park. Of course HA doesn't get it either and so it can get very frustrating when they push apps, etc.  Oh well...

                                • Re: Want Emails or Voice - Not Texts
                                  planthealth Active Contributor

                                  My husband has some software on his computer that allows him to use his computer to text our guests and cleaner. So he has a regular keyboard and sees the text on his computer screen and when he hits enter it goes to them as a text.