38 Replies Latest reply: Jul 17, 2019 10:05 PM by wildiris RSS

    New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?

    hickmanhideaway Contributor

      This morning, when checking onto the website, a request came up to upgrade to the new payment process, and accept the terms without any information about the new process What is going on? I don't just accept anything that comes across.

        • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
          kmarsh New Member

          I received the same message and "x" closed the message.  I have yet to find anything explaining recent changes searching through our site....

          I have instant booking and been on the new(?) rates editor for quite some time now.

          • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
            linky17 Active Contributor

            Please > Are you willing to post a screen shot?

             

            Also > Are you IB -- or -- otherwise?

             

            Haven't 'seen' this, but I was only just switched to the not-so 'new' Rates Editor, so I'm likely behind.

            • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
              dramsey Contributor

              We received the same popup. I went ahead and clicked on the forward button and there is about 19 pages of new terms. The main thing I see is that they will keep all monies from guests until after check-in. Not working for me. I will now need to let repeat guests book directly through me.

              • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                edubbie Contributor

                I received the same.  I "x" closed the window without upgrading to something I knew nothing about. 

                 

                Please help owners understand this Miss/Mr Community Moderator

                 

                Thanks!

                • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                  kmarsh New Member

                  After reading the prior conversations, my gripe is still the lack of advance notification by HA that "officially we are moving to new payment structure effective mm/dd/yy".  It's great having this forum for us to share our thoughts and speculations.  But our musings, and moderator input, can't make up for official notifications.

                    • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                      margaret CommunityAmbassador

                      All owners/PM are not members of this page so I agree there should be notifications on changes. I posted the original thread to ask if this was true after reading about it in a FB owners group. This was not the first time I have found important information in FB groups. Despite FBs reputation, I have gathered quite a lot of valuable information that has not yet been brought to light here, on our dashboards or by notification from HA/VRBO in FB owners groups. I always try to verify with HA/VRBO before acting on any info gathered from FB but the owners/PM have been surprisingly accurate when sharing information.

                    • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                      sheilag New Member

                      Same thing happened to me and I did not accept either for the very same reasons.

                       

                      Sheila

                      • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                        ha-moderator-christi HomeAway Employee

                        Hello,

                        I'm posting some current FAQ's for the in house payment system. There are currently two different dashboard messages about payments one is asking you to review and agree to the terms early, the other is asking owners whos current account setups can be supported by in house payments to sign up.

                         

                        I've also read lots of comments about advanced payments vs. check-in payments. From my own experience as a traveler and a member of customer service, I can say that fraud happens and life circumstances change. I have seen cases where a new property turns out to be a fraud (yes we have all kinds of systems and checks in place to avoid this), the traveler pays through the site and VRBO/HA is left holding the bag and paying out funds that have already been given to the fraudulent person. I've also seen cases where there is a death, divorce, loss of job and various other circumstance that have left a traveler stranded without a place to stay funds have been disbursed to the owner and VRBO/HA has no way over recovering the funds. With the Book With Confidence Guarantee, VRBO is now responsible for finding and paying for another place for the traveler to stay.

                         

                        From my own personal experience, I would say check-in payments are a wise choice for booking platforms. This is my personal opinion.

                         

                         

                         

                        What upgrades am I getting with my new payment account?

                        • Reduced costs
                          • A flat 3% payment fee - fully refundable if the booking is canceled
                          • No more international surcharges
                        • Better customer service
                          • Call VRBO directly for all your vacation rental questions
                          • Ability to update your bank info in your dashboard, making managing your payments even easier
                        • Enhanced reporting
                          • You’ll now be able to see our new bank deposit report that makes tracking payouts easier
                          • The payout summary report is also getting an upgrade - now you can view payouts by property and reservation for each of your listings

                         

                         

                        How do I upgrade my payment account?

                        A pop-up will appear in your dashboard and there will be a card in your activity feed asking you to accept the new payment terms. You must agree to the new terms and conditions to begin your account upgrade.

                        Once your account is ready to be upgraded, you will receive an email from us. This email will likely arrive shortly after you accept the terms.  Then click on the link in the email to log in to your account and add your bank details to ensure you receive future payouts. Depending on your country of residence, US person status, or rate currency, tax forms may be required.

                         

                        How do I change my bank account?

                        You can go to the Payment Options page for your listing. Under Deposit Account information, you will see the "Edit Information" link. This will open a form for you to select an existing eligible bank account we have on file or to create a new one. If you wish to create a new bank account for a listing, you will need to provide your current bank account number as a security measure.

                        This feature will only be available to customers who have Vrbo as their payment vendor at this time.

                         

                        How does this affect my payout or timing for disbursement?

                        When your account is ready to be migrated, you must enter your bank account details by logging in to your account to ensure that you receive future payouts. You will receive reminders in your account as well as by email.

                         

                        Why do I need to add my bank account details again?

                        To ensure the security of your account and that we have your most recent bank account, you must re-enter your bank details.

                         

                        What will happen to my existing bookings and in-flight payments?

                        All bookings that were made or payments that were scheduled prior to agreeing to the new terms will continue to go through VacationRentPayment. This includes second and third payments associated with an existing booking. New bookings will follow the new processing flow, make sure you add your bank details to receive payouts for new bookings

                         

                        How do I know who to call about payments (VacationRentPayment or Vrbo)?

                        You can check the payment information of a reservation to see who processed the payment. If the payment was processed by VacationRentPayment you will see: “Your payout was disbursed on [Date], and will be deposited into your account in 5-7 business days.” If Vrbo processed the payment, the message will also include, “Payment is being processed by our payout vendor.”

                         

                         

                        Can I change my currency when adding a new bank account?

                        No, you must keep the same currency.

                         

                        Why does Vrbo want to become merchant of record (manage my payouts)?

                        Vrbo is building a payment management tool, which will allow us to expand our eCommerce platform and become merchant of record. This will enable us to provide customers with centralize customer service, continue to provide protection against fraud, and explore additional payment methods and currencies in the future.


                        Why are you moving away from Yapstone?

                        We are continuously investing in opportunities to expand our offerings and better serve our customers. Becoming merchant of record in countries currently supported by Yapstone (VRP/HRP) enables us to provide more centralized customer service, invest in additional protections against fraud and chargebacks, and explore additional payment methods and currencies in the future.

                         

                        Does this mean you have my bank account details on file? How can you guarantee my details are secure?

                        Yes, we are PCI compliant.

                         

                        Who is Hyperwallet and why do I have to agree to their terms and conditions? I haven't given you permission to share my details with a third party.

                        All partners agree to the privacy policy during onboarding, which includes data sharing terms. Hyperwallet is a third party vendor supporting our Payment product.

                         

                        Do I have to close my account with HRP/VRP, or will you do that for me?

                        No, you do not need to close your Yapstone accounts. In fact, you should keep them open until all inflight pay-outs are complete.

                          • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                            u0999 Premier Contributor

                            Thank you for the update and your personal observation, but it is still a NO. I'd agree on post check in disbursements if VRBO agreed to pay my mortgage and utilities between the time of booking is made and time of check in, which can be several months or a year. I am getting 2020 bookings full year out - not acceptable to see no money till check in a year from now.

                             

                            The "new" listings that could be potentially fraud are already on post-check in disbursement. For established owners/listings that go back YEARS that requirement should be waived.

                             

                            We all understand that HA tries to follow Airbnb  and hotels. Please note that true vacation rentals (vs spare rooms in someone's home vs a hotel with 100 rooms) are NOT the same. Many of us take very much advance bookings (and not within 60 days as HA assumes) so holding our money for a 6 months to a year would be a deal breaker to many owners of unique and quality properties. My prediction is that if that is rolled out, calendars will get blocked for the future bookings.

                              • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                100% agree. I understand why new accounts would have a delay in payment but well established accounts that have been receiving payments when the guest pays for many years should not be lumped into the same category. I receive my payments 60 days prior to arrival from ABB so I only open dates 65 days out. I refuse to list on ABB unless I have those terms.

                                  • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                    ha-moderator-christi HomeAway Employee

                                    I get why as an owner getting funds as soon as the payment is made makes sense.

                                     

                                    Where I have seen Vrbo/HA in the biggest pickle is when Vrbo/HA has a well-established owner go dark for whatever life event has happened it's in these situations it's not just one displaced traveler but multiple. I had a boss that use to talk about "what if you got hit by a bus"  what that meant for work was had I trained my backups well enough to cover my job. What that means for an individual owner is do you have someone that can run your vacation rental business without interruption? Many owners don't have a backup.

                                     

                                    Another thing I've seen is an owner fall on hard times spend the rental amount and deposit before the no refund point and before the stay then when the traveler cancels the owner doesn't have the fund to return the money.  This also puts Vrbo/HA in the spot of having to cover. The other option is the traveler does a chargeback and because the owner doesn't have the funds in their account the payment processor is now left paying the funds. This is part of the reason I've heard VRP no longer offers advanced pay.

                                     

                                    Just food for thought on the other side.  

                                      • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                        susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

                                        Seems most points raised are what insurance is for. Even without insurance, what % of times does any of the scenarios you listed occur? Not many, I bet. So, Vrbo is punishing all honest owners for a few bad actors.

                                         

                                        BTW, all the points raised may be a concern in reverse. What if Vrbo folds? What if Vrbo is bought and new company owner doesn't honor previous contacts?

                                         

                                         

                                        If Vrbo is keeping the money til check in, why not pay interest to owner on money held? Is all this money held in a non-interest bearing account? I doubt

                                        it.

                                          • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                            ha-moderator-christi HomeAway Employee

                                            You are right it is a small percentage overall however when it does happen it can be very costly. It's not just the cost of the rental but the cost of having a full-time team that does nothing but re-book.

                                            When I  first started working for HA 99% of our calls were owners needing help with things like photos and logins. Traveler calls were rare and the only answer we could give to travelers was "talk to the owner"  as times have changed and the industry has evolved booking platforms are held to a higher rate of responsibility. Today most of the calls I hear are travelers and the expectation is they paid Vrbo, therefore, Vrbo is responsible end of story they don't want to hear anything about contacting the owner.

                                            I can say the funds are held in non-interest-bearing accounts.

                                            I can see u0999 has commented while I was writing this. We do promote travel insurance. part of what set Vrbo apart from other platforms is The Book With confidence Guarantee

                                            I am playing a bit of devil's advocate today.  Vrbo/HA/Expedia are for-profit companies. Just like property owners we are here to make money.

                                             

                                            Please do not ask me the actual statistics even if I could get them chances are it's something I wouldn't be allowed to share

                                              • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                For profit is understood. But sometimes trying to profit by a dime you lose a dollar in process. If owners like me block future calendars, HA may "save" on not having to pay for a few "bad apples", but would lose out on bookings (and fees that go with them) that would migrate elsewhere.

                                                • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                  wildiris Active Contributor

                                                  ha-moderator-christi wrote:


                                                  as times have changed and the industry has evolved booking platforms are held to a higher rate of responsibility.

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  Vrbo is held to a higher rate of responsibility because it assumed this responsibility as the result of its decision to change its business model from an advertising platform to a booking/payment platform.  I presume that it assumed this greater responsibility because it is much more profitable for it to do so. 

                                                  • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                    wildiris Active Contributor

                                                    ha-moderator-christi wrote:

                                                     

                                                    You are right it is a small percentage overall however when it does happen it can be very costly. It's not just the cost of the rental but the cost of having a full-time team that does nothing but re-book.

                                                    ...

                                                    Today most of the calls I hear are travelers and the expectation is they paid Vrbo, therefore, Vrbo is responsible end of story they don't want to hear anything about contacting the owner.

                                                    ...

                                                    I can see u0999 has commented while I was writing this. We do promote travel insurance. part of what set Vrbo apart from other platforms is The Book With confidence Guarantee

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    When HomeAway first implemented the traveler service fee, owners were told that the major reason for the traveler service fee was to cover the expenses that you have mentioned in your post.  I guess HomeAway management has forgotten the reason for the traveler service fee.

                                                • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                  u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                  again, I am sure these are statistically insignificant cases. Do they happen? of course. But it is not every other listing, also pretty sure of that. The "sell" of "service fee" was that it precisely will help to take care of such situations. Especially since it has been increased, I am sure a company as large as Expedia can use set some of it aside as "insurance fund" for such occurrences and not try to uproot the whole marketplace over a few bad apples. HA could also strongly suggest to the owners  to obtain vacation rental insurance that includes loss of income coverage, so if something were to happen to their property (hurricane?), they use insurance funds and do not have to spend deposits.

                                                  Also, as susaninrehoboth says above, a lot of these cases should be covered by TRAVEL insurance. Instead of trying to corner the owners into untenable situations, HA could promote buying travel insurance more - via banners, popups etc. It would cost HA virtually nothing and would alleviate some oif these concerns.

                                                   

                                                  personally I am NOT interested in interest paid on money held by HA. I am interested in getting deposit upfront (and in my case I only charge 25% upfront). 

                                                  • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                    margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                    I doubt that these are things that happen very often. Owners who have proven track record should not be compared to new owner. It appears that although we have been told owners who are currently paid in advance of the stay will continue to be paid on this schedule you are giving us warning that we will all at some point be move to an after check in payment. That is not going to work for many owners. There are many owners of long standing who have mortgages to pay along with other expenses that would suffer a financial burden if their funds were held. Surely, this would result in many owners blocking dates that are more than a month or two out.

                                                • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                  ashevillelookout Senior Contributor

                                                  And in some cases, guest payments and how they are held are dictated by State LAW. I am a licensed concern. I had to show the auditor where the advance payments of booked guests were.  I had to provide documentation on the account that is holding the damage deposits.  I am the one who is legally liable, not VRBO.  The more that VRBO gets in the way of my business practice, the less I am interested in continuing the relationship.

                                              • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                vivaroroatan New Member

                                                DITTO!!!!

                                                 

                                                Our luxury large group homes are in a very seasonal market with bookings into 2021 already at this point.  This new policy is not acceptable and we will move forward without VRBO if there is not a more acceptable way to process payments through their platform. 

                                                • Re: New payment deposits, supposed to accept before knowing anything?
                                                  kmarsh New Member

                                                  FYI  VRBO posted the updated payment terms in the link at the bottom of their website:

                                                  https://www.vrbo.com/legal/terms-and-conditions

                                                  Refer to Section 1.6

                                                  "1.6 Fraud and Risk Reviews and Settlement Timeline. You authorize us from time to time to collect and verify the information provided by You on the Registration Form or otherwise. We will use this information to perform customer due diligence, verify Your identity, verify Your ownership of the Property, verify You are not subject to trade sanctions, perform various fraud and risk reviews on You, and monitor the transactions through the Services to protect the integrity of our systems and business. You further authorize us (or an affiliate) to request a report on You from a consumer reporting agency. Any such consumer report will be requested and utilized in compliance with applicable law, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Based upon these reviews, we will determine whether we are able to offer You the Services, and the manner in which we will settle Payments in our sole discretion. Upon successful completion of the required screening and subject to any fraud or risk holds imposed by us, You will be offered the following settlement timeline:

                                                  We will initiate the transfer of the portion Accommodation Fees ultimately due to You to Your bank account in most cases within 1-2 business days after the scheduled check-in date for the Guest at Your Property. For the avoidance of doubt, this excludes any amounts that are not ultimately due to You, which may include any Fees (but are not limited to) any commission and other amounts You may owe to the Display Affiliate in connection with the booking, and any applicable stay tax which will be remitted by us or any affiliate to the relevant authority. However, with respect to any deposit amounts due to You, we will initiate transfer in most cases within 1-2 business days after authorization from the Display Affiliate, in its sole discretion."

                                                   

                                                  So, is it a proper expectation (and legal) for those under the old terms to expect the old terms to remain in place until / if we sign the new agreement?