29 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2019 9:31 AM by floridagirl19 RSS

    vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?

    sdanville Contributor

      Accept by November 1st 2019.   Or what ?   I'm off the web again.  It wont be the first time I missed a rule and was hidden.

      My Concern of course is how much will this cost me saying I read it.  I don't have a free day to read and comprehend. this new mega agreement.

        • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
          ohst8er Premier Contributor

          I remember years ago laboring over the fine details at the closing of our dream home.  The guy at the title company said to me, "take your time and read it of course, if that's what you choose to do, but just know that if you see anything you don't like it just means you walk away from the deal and the house."  

           

          I wanted the house. 

           

          I'm not saying that you shouldn't bother with reading it, but unless you are planning on walking away completely from VRBO, what's the point of torturing yourself?  You either agree to all of their TOC's regardless of what they say and how you feel about them, OR, you are moving on to a different platform.  

          • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
            sdanville Contributor

            ohst8    good point.  thank you for the LOL.   a few years ago i was on steroids for asthma...  and had roid rage.  that day before I could log into my Flagstar bank account I had to agree to 12 pages of very small print that would have taken me an hour to read..so i drove to the bank branch and asked the Manager if he read the agreement or knew anyone that had.  He answered no and no. I explained it was the steroids that wouldnt let me let it go. 

            • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
              martyp Contributor

              I read it; it is BS.  It clearly states that the transaction is between the guest and the homeowner.  If that were actually the case, then VRBO would not be holding on to our money.

              • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                sdanville Contributor

                Now the message to agree to the new payment terms is stronger.    AGREE or Listing will be Hidden Novermber 1st. 2019.  Ok. Hide my property again. Im use to it.  Once I had a photo of my cottage that showed my address.  Once I had my cell number in my script.  Maybe over the winter I will read it. Like Ohst8er Stated... Accept it or try and find another site.     However,  VRBO/homeaway... bought them up.  . ( vacationrentals.com  is my site ).  

                • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                  hickmanhideaway Contributor

                  I have not received any such thing. Are you on "advanced payments?" I am so maybe I won't get that long agreement?

                  • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                    db.meyer Senior Contributor

                    Are you serious ha-moderator-macy? Can you please let us know who at HA told you that?  It would be highly unusual (not to mention stupid) as a business model to not use the "float" of owner payments being held by HA to invest and/or earn interest on, especially considering that time period of holding our funds prior to disbursement can now exceed 12 months.  If HA doesn't invest those funds there is no reason for you/HA to not disburse to owners upon booking/guest payment.  Did you know that is a main reason that AirBnb has been able to amass such fortunes prior to going public, even creating a hedge fund for investing owner funds they are holding until the guests check in+ 24 hours? Previous early 2018 reports indicated Air was earning $5 million/month by holding owner payments, likely an understatement near the end of 2019.

                    • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                      edz New Member

                      Those of you who have NOT read this new agreement and not agreed to it, I strongly suggest you read it closely. Those of you who already agreed to it, you're out of luck.

                       

                      I was stunned when I read Homeaway would keep all monies until after a guest checked in. I called support to see if this was indeed true, it is, and not only that, if you don't agree to it, your listing will be hidden!!

                       

                      Some of us own luxury rentals in high value markets where people rent for a month minimum or for the entire season. They book a year or sometimes 2 in advance. I require a 1/3 non-refundable deposit, because once I have the deposit, the property is off the market and no longer viewable or marketable to anyone else. Its not always the case, but sometimes a propective renter will put down a deposit to secure your property, until they can find a less expensive one, then cancel their agreement with you. Hence my deposit being non-refundable. Being expensive properties, there are big property tax bills, association fees, maintenance costs, and other expenses that need paying. With this new agreement, Homeaway can keep $25K of MY MONEY which someone has already paid, thinking they paid me, for a year or possibly TWO until the person actually checks in! How many of you have an extra $25K or more laying around that you don't need to cover all the monthly and yearly expenses of the property?

                       

                      If you are not happy with the idea of Homeaway hanging on to millions and millions of our dollars for months of years, earning interest on it, and negatively affecting your life and cash-flow, I strongly suggest you contact Homeaway immediately to express your displeasure. Since the parent company has bought up most of the competition, they have us hostage.

                        • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                          ohst8er Premier Contributor

                          edz, I didn't read it.  I skimmed it.  But didn't read it in it's entirety.  Why?  Because I knew I wasn't leaving the platform to go off on my own.  I've done too well on it.  I also knew that if I stuck with it long enough (with the change to HA), that I'd be moved to advance payments, and I was moved to advance payments, pretty much immediately.  I also knew that we were ALL eventually going to be moved to HA payments whether we wanted to or not, so the only two choices were a)leave HA/VRBO entirely, b)go along with the program.  I knew I wasn't going to do a), so I did b). 

                            • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                              edz New Member

                              I respect your decision.

                               

                              My warning was to people who are not happy that money that is legally owed to them, which previously would have been received immediately, can now be withheld from them for 6 months, a year, 2 years, and you have no recourse.

                               

                              Also, they can further change this agreement anytime they want. The agreement actually states, it is up to YOU to keep checking the website to see what the terms are and if they have changed. Wow.

                               

                              Again, if anyone is concerned about this heavy-handed approach, basically "we've bought all the competition so we make the rules and you can leave if you don't like them", then I suggest you quickly and vehemently express your displeasure to HA/VRBO. These new changes are bad enough, what come next? The agreement can and will get worse and worse unless people speak up.

                               

                              If enough of us express express our concern and displeasure, perhaps management will reconsider this unreasonable agreement.

                            • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                              floridagirl19 Contributor

                              You are spot on - I also am in a seasonal rental business - however the property taxes, insurance and all the other myriad expenses are YEAR ROUND. I cannot afford to allow someone to book my place for season 2021 on VRBO and have VRBO hold my money until 2021. NO WAY JOSE.

                               

                              So I reduced my booking window from 24 MONTHS to 6 MONTHS.  I am pretty sure others like me have done the same thing. So VRBO is actually hurting themselves by doing this to owners - their available rentals beyond 6-12 months has likely dropped considerably.  But I advertise in other places so guests will find my places for 2021 there and book directly with me - just more lost revenue for VRBO.

                               

                              I am also on Airbnb but I restrict those to 3 months out only because of their crappy policy of holding my money. I have a 60 day STRICT policy with Airbnb - so Airbnb pays me 100% if within the 60 day period and if at 90 days - I just have to wait one month for my money at the worst.  I have had people contact me on Airbnb about future reservations and I tell them no I cannot take your future reservation at this time.

                               

                              I also do not list with booking.com because they also hold my money till guest check in and it didn't seem there was any way to control how far out my listings appeared - so - no thanks!  Same with Flipkey/TripAdvisor - I only pay for a subscription there and any inquiries from Flipkey I handle by booking them directly.  I have been told by Flipkey off-shore support that at some point they are going to FORCE me to do online booking with them. I have told them I don't like to be FORCED so if they do that - I will remove my listings.

                               

                              It seems to me there should be some sort of regulation that does not allow these third party agents TO HOLD OUR MONEY FOR LONGER THAN MAYBE ONE WEEK AT MOST. What if a credit card processor decided to hold the money for products purchased until the customer received the product or some other "reason" to hold money???

                               

                              The worst part is - VRBO acts like a credit card processor by charging us 3% for the "transaction" but they are not acting in good faith when they take money for reserving our properties and then do not pass it on to the owners who bear all the expenses and risks of owning that property.

                               

                              Yes I have called CS many times about this. Yes I have accepted the new HomeAway payments back in August. And YES I am still very angry about this because it seems VRBO is totally clueless about the vacation rental market that includes many SEASONAL PROPERTIES.

                            • Re: vacationrentals.com 13,000 word new payment agreement. anyone read it ?
                              sdanville Contributor

                              NOVEMBER UPDATE.  So I accepted the new payment Company / Plan.

                              Forced to agree to the new payment format to make my property visable on the site...  I quickly received a tax form to fill out the W-9 in order to actually receive future rent payments.

                               

                              Years ago I ran the numbers by my Accountant.   My  CPA  told me to consider it a HOBBY.  $10,000 a year turns into nothing after taxes, insurance, utilities,  mileage, maintenance costs let alone depreciation.   

                               

                              It Appears to me I am forced to fill out the tax forms to get my rent.        Oh I miss the good ol days of vacationrentals.com.....

                              $200 a year and worked the the guests directly.