5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2018 7:21 AM by twomoreyears RSS

    No refunds policy

    rinaldomoon Senior Contributor

      I recall there were a few discussions a while back on owner's who opted for the "no refunds" category on their listings.

       

      Do those who opted for this explain something in "description" part (or somewhere else) of their listing in addition to the Terms and Conditions which is sent out to be signed before accepting a booking?

       

      Can anyone share the wording used or can give an example by a listing number on either VRBO or HomeAway?

       

      I also remember some owners saying it did not affect their inquiries and bookings. Is that still the case today? Are there many owners who decided to go the "no refunds" route recently or are there others who went the other way (possibility of refunds)?

        • Re: No refunds policy
          feibus CommunityAmbassador

          Still the case.  Booked 75%+ this year, which is about average and because I pushed my rates up, I actually made more than last year when I was 80%+ booked.

            • Re: No refunds policy
              scowol Active Contributor

              I have feibus to thank for sharing the booking results with a "No Refunds" policy.  I decided to switch and have had ZERO questions and no impact to my bookings.  In fact, bookings are actually UP over last year.  But considering that (in my experience) travelers don't read the house rules, and don't read the RA, it's not surprising that they are not reading that there's no refunds.  Instead they seem to look at pics, click IB and book.  

               

              You can always test it out temporarily.  If you're extra worried, test it out during a time of year when you typically get a lot of bookings.  I found that it was unfounded fear that was keeping me from making the switch.

            • Re: No refunds policy
              thaxterlane Premier Contributor

              My property is not listed at present on vrbo/homeaway but I do have a no refunds policy.

               

              I do not list my no refunds policy in my listings (regional sites and start up sites). 

               

              I have a no refunds clause in my rental agreement, followed by a clause which recommends my guests purchase travel insurance.  I email my guests about two sources which I have researched and found to offer a range of insurance options, and are reputable.  I do not put this information in my rental agreement. 

               

              My rental agreement wording is very plain and to the point  . . .

               

              1. 4.           Cancellation:  Cancellations are subject to no refund. 

               

              1. 5.           Refund:   Rental payments are nonrefundable for any reason.  GUEST is encouraged to purchase vacation travel insurance.  It is the responsibility of the GUEST to determine appropriate insurance.  LANDLORD will not be held responsible for policies and terms of vacation travel insurance purchased by GUEST.

               

              That's all. 

                 

              • Re: No refunds policy
                swlinphx Premier Contributor

                Booking.com has a "No Refunds" policy for a discount, like hotels.  So I offer a 10% discount for bookings made at least two months in advance (or longer).  It's a trade-off I am testing to see if I can make more money by keeping cancellation penalties.

                  • Re: No refunds policy
                    twomoreyears Senior Contributor

                    I did an experiment last year.  I had a direct booking for about a year out, and I offered a 5% discount for a non-refundable rate vs a 60-day 100%, then non-refundable rate. Travel insurance would have cost about the same price, and protected her past the 60-day mark.  She choose the fully-refundable rate.  (Happy ending for us - she did not cancel.) 


                    I suspect there are a few things at play here - it's too much hassle to buy insurance and to file a claim compared to a simple cancellation, people assume their credit cards cover them so they don't check, and it's rather expensive - but no more expensive than the service fee and less in most cases.


                    I did hear HA say in the November Summit that they are "working on refunds" in the context of owner feedback that we want a policy where the guest has "a little skin in the game".  I'm not holding my breath, but I'm guardedly optimistic they are actually working on something.  I'm sure it's not at the top of their priority list, though.  Whatever they do will have to be easy to apply since Yapstone will have to implement it.