16 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2019 1:11 PM by floridarob RSS

    Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking

    wishing4wind Contributor

      When I call and a customer service rep imediately sends me a text - that costs me money! VRBO should reimburse me for the expense!

      I called CS yesterday and got very upset when he sent a text to my phone, again costing me money. I called today and got the same person and as soon as I gave my listing number, he immediately sent a text. Then said, "I sent a text to your phone..." If he got a call the day before and knows that it upsets customers to send a text without asking first, then why did he do it again the next day? Case number   19854365

        • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
          ohst8er Senior Contributor

          IS there some sort of setting you have turned on?  I’ve never gotten a text from CS.

          • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
            susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

            I finally admitted defeat and got a cell plan that includes text. More and more, it is how businesses verify you as the authorized person for an account. Are you in US? If so, unlimited text plan is the way to go.

            • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
              hmmmm Senior Contributor

              Better yet, still have a land line......for certain calls...

               

               

              • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                homeaway_community_manager HomeAway Employee

                Hi wishing4wind,

                 

                We researched your account and see that the two text messages you are referring to were actually requested by you.  They were requests for verification codes for two-factor authentication to log into your account. You can choose a text or an automated phone call to receive the code. Generally texts are going to be cheaper than a phone call, but you can choose whichever you prefer. Customer Support Reps can send a text if it's requested, but would not do so unless that's what you were calling for help with.

                 

                Here is more information:

                 

                What is two-factor authentication?

                How does two-factor authentication work?

                 

                Thank you.

                 

                Erinn

                HomeAway Community Manager

                  • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                    wishing4wind Contributor

                    Hi Erinn, I appreciate you looking into this, but if the two text messages you found in your research are not the text messages I am referring to. I have over 16 text messages that I did not request. You say "Customer Service Reps can send a text if it's requested" but I did not request any of these text messages. You say, "but would not do so unless that's what you were calling for help with." but I'm telling you that's not true, they send a text regardless of what the call is about and they do it often, I would say 20% of the time without even asking. It's not unreasonable for you to train your reps to not take actions that incur expense on your customers without their consent.

                    IMG_9812.PNGIMG_9813.PNGIMG_9814.PNGIMG_9815.PNGIMG_9816.PNG

                      • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                        wildiris Active Contributor

                        I believe that these texts are sent to you as part of VRBO's two-factor authentication process.  By texting a code to the cell phone number that VRBO has on file for your account, VRBO is helping to keep your account safe from hackers.  I get these types of texts from a lot of different businesses, even when I'm just doing something online and not talking to a live person.  Many companies now have two-factor authentication that happens automatically before you can login to your account.  It's actually a good thing (even if you have to pay text charges).  I consider it to be a "necessary evil" to protect ourselves from Internet fraud.

                         

                        I don't know the particulars of when you received these verification code texts, but I'll give an example of why businesses use a two-factor authentication system.  Let's say someone hacks into your computer (or physically steals it) and has your VRBO account number and password.  The hacker wants to change the bank account information for where VRBO deposits your guests' payments from your bank account to the hacker's bank account.  As part of the login process, VRBO texts the verification code to the cell phone number that VRBO has on file for your account.  But, the hacker doesn't have your cell phone so he can't provide VRBO with the verification code.  Your VRBO account is protected.  If VRBO only sent verification confirmation texts when requested, it would defeat the whole purpose of the two-factor authentication.

                    • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                      ohst8er Senior Contributor

                      wishing4wind, ah, I see what the "issue" is.   Just like wildiris is saying, you absolutely WILL get these codes every time you try to log in from your device, it is a security thing. 

                       

                      Here's how to solve it.  DON'T LOG OUT.  I was looking at this, reading iris's advice, and scratching my head as to why I never get these.  Then I realized, I never ever log out of my app. 

                       

                      So you have choices:

                      Log out of the app every time, and every time you log in you will get these texts (as you should).

                      Never ever log out, which means you never have to log in (that's how I roll)

                      Stop using the app altogether. 

                      • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                        bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                        If you care about your privacy, you are out of luck.  Sadly the multiple step verification process is here to stay.  I delete cookies regularly which forces this process over and over again.  I do not typically use a cell phone so text is non-existent where we live In the middle of nowhere. There is really nothing you can do to avoid what is now a standard procedure.  What is even worse is that ABB requires a real time photo to book as one of the multiple step processes.   You can not even download a photo.. You must use a real-time photo taken within minutes, when attempting to book.  You must use a smart phone, tablet or computer that has a camera to complete the booking.  Sad...for those of us that do not use the latest equipment or care about our privacy.

                         

                        We also live in an area where we lose power frequently, so I kill the modem every night.  By doing so, it requires loging in every morning, since I choose not to store passwords.  Bummer....

                        • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                          feibus CommunityAmbassador

                          Another alternative we've implemented here: the phone number on our account is a google voice number.

                           

                          Free SMS sending/receiving and received SMS messages turn into emails.

                          Phone calls from anywhere (you tell it the number you want to call and what phone number to call you at to do the connection and Google Voice handles everything for you).

                          Voice mails convert to email transcripts (and text-to-speech errors lighten up my day every time!) along with an MP3 file to listen to.

                           

                          It's limited to certain countries (definitely USA), so check with it to see if it's available in your area, but it really cuts down on guests calling me directly... I can call them back using Google voice and it'll look like it's coming from my GV number without having to reveal my cell or home number.

                          • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                            wishing4wind Contributor

                            I made a call to a customer service rep, and she asked me, "Do you mind if I send a text to your phone?" and I was pleased to be asked before sending. I said, "Yes,... " and while I was saying "I do mind" the text came in. Another $5 down the hole. I've had dozens of unauthorized texts to my phone since I last posted on this issue and I appreciate the attempt at making progress on this issue, but asking me If I mind and then ignoring my answer is just as infuriating. I said to her, "You sent me a text when I said I mind and I'm very unhappy with that" and she said, "but I heard you say "yes". So she was not really paying attention or understanding what she just asked me. This is so frustrating!

                              • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                                ohst8er Senior Contributor

                                wishing4wind, I'm really confused as to why you are getting a text every time you call in.  I have never ever gotten these.  perhaps as soon as they ask for your listing # you say, before I give you that, I need to tell you, please do not send any texts to my phone, or some way of letting them know you do not authorize. 

                                • Re: Can we have Customer Service PLEASE STOP sending text messages without asking
                                  floridarob Active Contributor

                                  You have to act like you are dealing with a child with a limited ability to think. The correct answer to "Do you mind if I send a text to your phone?" is "DO NOT SEND ANY TEXTS! EVER!"

                                   

                                  I am curious... I have a security question on my account that was set up a long time ago. Whenever I call in, the CS asks me my security question "Where is the xxxxxx?"  Now, when I call in, I say "Hello, I'm so-and-s-o, my property number is 1234567 and the XXXXX is at XXXXX." And they say "Before we get started I have to ask... Oh... okay then.... Well, what I can do for you?"

                                   

                                  It is fun, in my sadistic kind of way to be so far ahead of them. Perhaps it is set up in your preferences not to ask you a security question but to send you a text? I have no idea if my question is a good one or not. It is just an idea that occurred to me today. Do you have security questions set up on your account, or a preference set for receiving text messages for authentication? Might be worth checking into...