35 Replies Latest reply: Sep 16, 2019 9:30 PM by hekkl5 RSS

    Why is VRBO delaying deposits?

    martyp Contributor

      Any Moderator,

       

      I have asked this question in another thread, but I did not get an answer:

       

      When I have a direct booking, my credit card processor has my money in my bank account the  very next morning.  ... even if the payment is made on Sunday evening.

       

      Why does the new VRBO plan involve a delay of our deposits for 7 to 14 days?

        • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
          feibus Senior Contributor

          This is a very good question.  Can't be a matter of "risk", the risk is no different between disbursing the next day and disbursing a week later, except if it's an eCheck that turns out to be NSF, but that's gotta be such a tiny portion of all payments that I can't believe that would be the reason to hold up all transactions.

           

          So I'm at a loss to explain it and no one at Vrbo has tried to explain it yet.

          • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
            captmarkhd Senior Contributor

            Another question is why are properties that have been on advances payments for years with Yapstone and are premier partners not being approved now for advanced payments through HomeAway? I have been on many Facebook groups and properties all over the world, not just the USA are getting approved so it’s not just because your property is in the USA. Also I have found that some people with multiple properties, the older, more established properties with a long track record  that bring in more money to HA did not get approved yet a brand new property with very little revenue and very little to no track record did!

            • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
              manuelc New Member

              Any answer yet? Why the 7 day delay when payments are to be made the day after check in

                • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                  jveseyaguilar New Member

                  My experience with the processing payments 24hrs after checkin has been all over the map! The only time Vrbo has processed on time is if the checkin is on a Monday through Wednesday, and then Thursday through Sunday are anywhere from 48hrs to 72hrs. This past weekend my Guests checked in on Friday, 30 August - - the Booking shows the Funds being Disbursed on 1 September - - I have NOT received the typical Payment Processing Notification as of this posting 10:30AM Pacific 3 September! Holidays seem to be a major disrupter of processing payments, which is absurd given everything is electronic and should be setup to run according to Terms.

                   

                  I also could not access Vrbo's website over the weekend...all in all I am completely frustrated. Adding insult to injury that we are all paying for this processing delay debacle, while they reap the benefits of the Float...

                    • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                      katie921 New Member

                      I have been calling this extra 3% charge with Yapstone a 'hostage fee'! I hope you all are with me on this. We pay $500/year to VRBO/homeaway. We pay a 3% processing fee to get OUR money. Guests pay a large fee. Now they want another 3% to give us our money when guests pay according to OUR policy? Its a hostage fee.... They hold it hostage until guests check in/out and make interest on it.

                  • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                    tnmountainmama Contributor

                    During the town hall, this was a question that was asked.  The answer was that they do this because so many guests cancel their bookings within the first week.  Therefore, they don't pay owners until a week has passed.  *This applies only to those on advanced payments.

                      • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                        hickmanhideaway Contributor

                        Strange. I have not had a guest cancel within a week, ever. I have had a couple of cancellations because of injury or illness, but in all the years of being with VRBO I can count those on one hand.

                          • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                            margaret CommunityAmbassador

                            I was thinking the same thing nor have I heard other owners complain about guests canceling within a week. I think whoever said this misspoke. 

                              • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                droptop Contributor

                                captmarkhd, margaret

                                 

                                CS moved me up the ladder (while I was on hold) and a department head confirmed that no matter your metrics, if your property is in the US and you're not, no Advanced Payment for you.  US citizenship is required, as is residency, to get AP under HA, was their affirmation.  Yapstone didn't discriminate this way, whatever their other sins were.

                                 

                                VRBO also said that when guests cancelled, Yapstone tried to pull the money out of owner accounts, but owners had already transferred it, so Yapstone had to eat the refund.  So I guess they started with owners who have a perfect record but who weren't US citizens, so presumably they can place liens on owners homes or some other scheme to recapture cancellation money.  I didn't know this was such an epidemic, but apparently, it's happening as often as bookings are, perhaps.

                                 

                                True?  Or just panic guff?   Beats me.  But in the end, it's just discrimination, really, so just as repugnant.


                                Mark me down as happy to pay the 3% to Yapstone for the funds they still hold; VRBO has done many us no favours on this one, yet.

                                  • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                    margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                    My understanding is that if Yapstone tried to pull money from an account and the funds were not available they held the funds from future payments. The only recourse for an owner would be to deactivate their listing in which case Yapstone would refer the debt to a credit collection agency. This is the information I was given by Yapstone a few years ago. I find it hard to believe this is a rampant problem.

                                    • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                      feibus Senior Contributor

                                      My understanding (from the Town Hall) is that they have to get the software in place to handle the taxes right for properties like yours.  So a little patience is needed, they decided in a hurry to roll this out before they were really ready to do that because of what Yapstone did.

                                        • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                          tnmountainmama Contributor

                                          Exactly this!  No way was this happening a lot.  If this happened at all, it was a rare occasion where someone was already canceling their account, so would be ok with it being deactivated.  This excuse is terrible!

                                          • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                            droptop Contributor

                                            feibus, per your comment, 'they have to get the taxes right to handle properties like yours.'  Maybe you can clarify what you thought you heard at the Town Hall.  Or maybe you didn't mean to respond to my post:)

                                             

                                            There's no need for new software for my situation.  My property is in the US, I'm in Canada.  Hawaii has twice rejected legislation to allow Airbnb, HA, etc, to collect the state General Excise Tax, and the Transient Accommodation Tax.  HA, ABB, etc, can't hold those taxes and submit without that legislation in place.

                                             

                                            My situation in the US is precisely the same as any domestic US resident's situation who uses instant booking:  Guest indicates desire to book.  VRBO generates an invoice charging the rates I've set and the Hawaii tax amounts entered in the appropriate fields all that's what's charged on the VRBO invoice to guests.  Guest pays money.  Money goes into my US bank account in a few days.  In my case, at month-end, an accountant accesses that account and remits state accommodation tax etc., each month.  At tax time, quite separate from HA, accountants do taxes for my companies, and make appropriate filings to Hawaii and IRS, as well as for the Canadian province and federal tax authority.  The US-Canada Income Tax Treaty ensures that I don't pay taxes twice, meaning I can pay all in Canada or in the US, but I'm not subjected to full taxation by both countries.  Americans have the same deal here, of course.

                                             

                                            I'm just not seeing what "new effort" VRBO has to take to get the "taxes right for properties like" mine that they haven't already done for any Hawaii or other US rental owner who lives in the US. If Hawaii won't allow VRBO to collect accommodation sales tax, I'm not sure VRBO can decide to collect some other kind of tax for the state or the IRS. 

                                             

                                            Could you clarify?

                                              • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                feibus Senior Contributor

                                                It's not about sales tax, that's already being handled at the booking level... when you go cross-border, my understanding is that there are issues of federal tax law and country-to-country treaties that come into play when it comes to credit card processing, as well as handling cross-border currency exchanges.  They also need data for risk related to cross-border situations, so they can determine who should get early payout.

                                                  • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                    droptop Contributor

                                                    feibus

                                                     

                                                    Nonsense.  Any US citizen, resident in the US, with a rental in the US could take any VRBO deposit into their account and after that, wire it to any country in the world, and there's not a thing VRBO could do about it.  Or should be able to do about it; it's not a government agency.

                                                     

                                                    To your second point, an owner's residency in Canada who has a property and bank account in the US has nothing to do with Yapstone credit card processing, or HA credit card processing; it all has to do with where the bank account is, and it's in the US.  And for any US citizen, or me, that's the end of the Yapstone or VRBO connection with the money. Now, if your guests or mine are from outside the US, that's where international credit card transactions come into it, sure, and currency exchange if their credit card isn;'t in US dollars, but that's not at all the issue for some of us being denied Advanced Payment under HA.  We've all had guests from around the world, for years -- it sure isn't a new thing.

                                                     

                                                    As for treaties, which I've mentioned in my posts -- the US Canada Income Tax Convention in my case -- they also have nothing to do with credit card processing. or how legal income is earned:  They have nothing to do with vacation rentals, or the whether the income comes from selling mouse traps.  They only concern themselves with earned income, and the proper declaration of it to Canadian and US governments, be they state, provincial, or federal, in the car of the US-Canada Convention.

                                                     

                                                    And your point about cross-border currency exchanges?  Vrbo has not connection to that, either, for an owner like me whose property and bank account are in the US.   

                                                     

                                                    I'm sorry Feibus, but these are big issues for us owners, and your comments simply make no sense for owners in the situation I've described.  First you were saying VRBO was trying to "get the software in place to handle the taxes right for properties like yours."  I challenged that, and and now you're saying "there are issues of federal tax law and country-to-country treaties that come into play when it comes to credit card processing, as well as handling cross-border currency exchanges."  None of that has anything to do with why an owner with a US property and a US bank account should not get AP.  Dear me, who's briefing you on this?:)

                                                     

                                                    The point is simple:  If US citizens resident in the US, with their property in the US, get AP, there's simply no difference between them or any other owner, from any other county, whose property is in the US and whose bank is in the US.  For VRBO, or Yapstone to tell you there is, if that's the case, is just an effort to enlist you in an effort to justify discrimination. 

                                              • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                mad_owner New Member

                                                I guess what you are really implying is that yapstone was (without directly admitting it) losing a serious amount of money to a racket where someone would rent and then cancel a reservation right after the money was processed via the owners account - possibly even by the same person or entity, but leaving yapstone holding the bag and likely more often internationally where the laws and recovery costs are higher, so they changed their policies to limit damage.

                                                 

                                                I can see that side of things, but why penalize the vast majority of owners where this form of theft is not an issue, and as in my case, most are domestic renters in the US?

                                                 

                                                I see this issue has been a long time slow rolling problem, but instead of holding a gun to our heads and forcing a single payment processor and terms, offering options for the advertising payments where we can manage payments via our chosen payment provider (so they lose some fees - are still getting advertising revenue). forcing me and other owners to pay an additional 3%, as well as a delay in payment is ridiculously limiting and heavy handed on the part of yapstone/vrbo/homeaway who for all purposes act as a single service provider.

                                                • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                  swwsmw New Member

                                                  Doesn't VRBO charge a payment processing fee (to the owner) as well as commission or subscription?  I think it was about 3% of the cc payment.  So that, to me, sounds like a fee to cover the credit card % charged by the processor (although I sincerely doubt that VRBO is being charged near 3%, as big a company as it is).  VRBO is out nothing to collect the guest's payments.  VRBO also charges the guest a service fee.  I don't see any reason AT ALL for VRBO to wait till AFTER check-in to pay the host.  Am I missing something here?

                                                  • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                    martyp Contributor

                                                    The risk that VRBO is taking is no different than the risk that a REAL credit card processor takes.  The credit card processor that I use for my direct bookings has the money in my bank account the very next morning.  VRBO could do that, but VRBO chooses not to.  By forcing us to use them as a credit card processor, VRBO knows that we have no choice (or say) in the matter.

                                                • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                  mad_owner New Member

                                                  I have never had this happen either. Even if something like this did occur, they would take the money back out of our accounts anyway.

                                                   

                                                  Holding deposits is a purely greedy move, and paying us after a renter is in our property is bad business for owners. Why should we charge a deposit for a reservation or 30 day advance payment -both of which encourage non cancellation -  if the entire amount isnt paid until a guest arrives or worse as some have mentioned - after their stay!?

                                                   

                                                  Homeaway/VRBO needs to offer us the option of other payment services in return for the advertising fee. I want another option than yapstone, which apparently will jack up fees until they lose a large amount customers to other services...we do have a choice

                                                • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                  martyp Contributor

                                                  Actually, they said that they were doing this to reduce their risk. The guy wearing the sports coat asked if the majority of cancellations was in the first 7 days and the other guy said, "no".

                                                   

                                                  I have been doing short term rental since Feb 2012 and I have only had one cancellation in the first 7 days. 

                                                   

                                                  I have asked the mediators on this group and I asked the town hall how VRBO's risk is any different from the risk of the credit card processor  that handles my direct bookings. 

                                                    • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                      tnmountainmama Contributor

                                                      I agree that this isn't a great reason, and I might be misremembering, but that is what I thought he said.  Could be wrong.  Hopefully, you get a better answer from someone.

                                                        • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                          martyp Contributor

                                                          I wish that they would make the video available; I see no reason why they wouldn't.  Many people missed it and others, such as you and I, would like to go back and refresh what we would like to see again.

                                                           

                                                          Actually, I don't think it is a valid or ethical reason at all.  VRBO has undertaken two businesses under one roof; a booking platform and a credit card processing service. The credit card processor that I use for direct booking does not delay payments; the money is in my bank account the very next morning.  VRBO wants to commingle the two businesses.

                                                           

                                                          Don't expect an answer.  VRBO provided three avenues for asking questions: 1. questions submitted when we registered for the town hall, 2. on-line chat during the town hall, and 3. submitting questions during the question & answer period.  I submitted the question in all three and did not get an answer; I never even got a "chat" person coming on-line. Here is the question I asked:    “I also accept direct bookings using my own credit card processor. That processor gets the payment into my bank the next morning. Isn't their risk the same as VRBO's risk?”

                                                           

                                                          I have a suspicion that the "live" town hall was prerecorded and presented to us as a live event.

                                                            • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                              mad_owner New Member

                                                              They wouldn't have limited options, discussion and given an urgent deadline like timeline if they didn't feel like they were doing something wrong or at best of questionable ethics.

                                                               

                                                              Forcing us to a non competitive payment system, where they have full control over all fees while profiting from both ends of the transaction is a recipe for a bad reputation at best and prone to abuse and greed by these companies holding us advertisers hostage. This will only grow their competition.

                                                      • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                        katyl New Member

                                                        Only 7 days?  You are lucky.  Check this out: (see that renter paid yesterday, 9/3/19, but I will not get my money until October).  It is so nice that they get to earn interest on MY money.  Don't you think?

                                                         

                                                        • Payment 2 of 2
                                                        • Guest Paid: 9/3/19 - Sue Tyburski - MasterCard
                                                        • Your payout will be disbursed on 9/30/19, and will be deposited into your account in 5-7 business days
                                                          • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                            swwsmw New Member

                                                            And mine:

                                                            • Payment 1 of 3 
                                                            • Guest Paid: 9/2/19 - xxx - American Express
                                                            • Your rental agreement was accepted on 9/2/19 at 2:08 PM by xxx from IP address:xxx
                                                            • Your payout will be disbursed on 2/17/20, and will be deposited into your account in 5-7 business days.
                                                              • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                                mad_owner New Member

                                                                This is exactly what I am afraid of! Is this withholding of deposits legal? Has anyone checked?

                                                                 

                                                                Why would we be obligated to hold a reservation without a deposit? (not that I would do that to a customer) - I almost feel like this is a cause for us owners to charge them for the use of our funds!

                                                                  • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                                    katie921 New Member

                                                                    That is EXACTLY what I was thinking. They hold our funds for SEVERAL months making interest, then still charge the normal 3% processing fee to release OUR OWN money to us after renters check in.

                                                                     

                                                                    That's why I am calling the new Advanced payment additional 3% charge the 'hostage fee'. Since they are basically holding our money hostage for months unless we pay a ransom.

                                                                     

                                                                    I keep sending HA messages asking to explain how this extortion is legal.

                                                              • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                                auntytammy Contributor

                                                                What really irks me is that the large vacation management companies are allowed to continue to do business as usual. This includes processing their own payments. It's not right.

                                                                  • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                                    martyp Contributor

                                                                    I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed; there is nothing illegal and they are getting away with it.

                                                                     

                                                                    VRBO has combined two business; vacation rental booking and credit card processing.

                                                                    I don't mind VRBO doing the credit card processing IF they follow the credit card processing "industry standard".  The credit card processor that I use does not ask me for the "check-in" date and they do not delay the deposit of MY money.

                                                                    What I do mind is when VRBO justifies deviating from the industry standard and using the booking business as their  justification.

                                                                     

                                                                    Loyal customers are built on a basis of the customer being pleased with the business.  Businesses that treat their customers (US, the owners) with disrespect will either lose business or, at the lease, they will not expand their business as much as with a loyal base. Take a look the the IBM PS2.

                                                                     

                                                                    Prior to 2016, I directed all of my outside customers to my VRBO site for booking.  Why wouldn't I?  My calendar was ONE calendar and it didn't cost me or my guest anything extra.  In 2016, I got my own credit card processor and I directed all of my outside customers to pay directly to me using my credit card processor.  I am continually looking for ways to expand my direct bookings.  Expedia and VRBO are still growing, but their rate of growth has slowed down. VRBO may continue to grow, they might become an "also-ran", or they may go the way of the PS2.  I have lost all respect for VRBO, but I really don't want them to go away; they still provide a lot of bookings for me.

                                                                      • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                                        myrtlebeachmeister New Member

                                                                        Any business model where the customers are squeezed like grapes and then squeezed again is doomed to fail.  There are other vacation site business models coming out every day.  I’ve done well with VRBO but I did well before VRBO.  I plan on reducing my relationship with VRBO to nil.

                                                                    • Re: Why is VRBO delaying deposits?
                                                                      swwsmw New Member

                                                                      So, I'm not happy waiting 5 months for the 1st payment.  Is this because I'm not a subscription owner any more?  From my reading, it appears that even hosts that have a subscription are getting this late payment.  I had a very unsatisfactory set of online chats over the past 2 days, unsatisfactory because for all 4+ attempts at getting an answer, the chat-person ended up closing the chat "The agent has disconnected from this chat session." and left me hanging.  The last time I didn't even try to get back to chat, and I came here.  Not to mention that since VRBO sent me an email saying they changed the payout rules, that was all I needed to know (per the chat-person).  Inquiring further, one chat-person said I was a Premier Partner and I should call and get a personal explanation for the late pay.  Anyway, this is just annoying as all get-out.