7 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2020 3:41 PM by wiser-after-50 RSS

    Does Vrbo/Expedia/HA really intend this type of search result?

    scowol Active Contributor

      I recall that some owners were frustrated that properties in other towns (or cities/states?) are being included in their search results.  I was perusing my own marketplace and entered in the name of the city with my listings.   Sure enough, included in the listings on page one were properties in other towns. But what I found further fascinating is that the intended search (top picture of swimming pool with palm trees) does not have winters that resemble the snowy cabin shown in the bottom listing.  These two listings are literally copied as presented in order on Vrbo.

       

      Does HA really think that a traveler intending to visit a year-round sunny, warm destination with year-round swimming and sunbathing would see the mountain, snow-filled cabin and change their minds?  Conversely, to be fair to the cabin owner, does the owner of the cabin in the mountains want travelers to be lured into staying at a property with palm trees and pools instead?

       

      "Hey Honey, I know we wanted to jet south to escape the Polar Vortex and get some sun, but what do you think of this snowy cabin instead?"

       

      Is this type of commingling of properties and listings frustrating travelers with "clutter" listings and driving them to look on other sites?  I think HA/Expedia should invest in some localization to make the search results more meaningful to travelers.

       

       

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        • Re: Does Vrbo/Expedia/HA really intend this type of search result?
          hickmanhideaway Contributor

          I don't find much wrong with the two photos. I have a cabin in northern Arizona and during the non-winter months I show a picture of my cabin in green trees, my patio with my umbrellas up and am looking for guests to come get out of the Phoenix heat. I have now changed my picture to a snow one as it is winter and we are all hoping to have the snow again. So it might be that the first owner hasn't updated their photo for the seasons if it is in an area that has drastic seasonal changes as my cabin in Munds Park, Arizona does.

          • Re: Does Vrbo/Expedia/HA really intend this type of search result?
            u0999 Premier Contributor

            we can plead, beg, scream, type, toll the bells, and blow the horns. The Vrbo management knows-it-all better than us peons (aka owners) and is blissfully and willfully deaf and blind to any input coming from outside of their self adulation echo chamber.

            • Re: Does Vrbo/Expedia/HA really intend this type of search result?
              wiser-after-50 Contributor

              Yes agreed, it is extremely frustrating. A search earlier this year for Grace Bay ,Turks and Caicos showed multiple properties in another country! The Dominican Republic. Haiti and the DR are 150 miles away but should not be included anywhere in the search especially when flights are already booked. When pointed out to CS, they just shrugged and said a glitch. The technology is there to do this right, its just that nobody has their ST together and only will pay less qualified dopey offshore techs to do this software. Imagine if airlines ran their bookings on planes like this. Everything would crash and burn. With this low level of competence, I expect Ex to have lower earnings next quarter. Guests and host are frustrated beyond measure.

              • Re: Does Vrbo/Expedia/HA really intend this type of search result?
                floridagirl19 Contributor

                I have noticed this same LAME search algorithm on Amazon. I recently searched for a reasonably priced lightweight beach chair on Amazon.  I sorted "Low to High" for prices but dispersed throughout my search list were "sponsored" results that were priced WAY higher than the ones in my search result list. I finally did notice that all of these results that did not seem to adhere to my "low to high" sorting were "sponsored" so I just ignored them but it was SO onerous to actually find a low priced lightweight beach chair on Amazon - I ditched it and went to the Target site where I found good ones for around $20 that were what I was looking for and I can walk in and check them out and buy them right there.

                 

                This propensity to insert what they think we want to see in our search list is stupidity on steroids and as a result, I hesitate more and more to search for things on Amazon.

                 

                Another reason I have become disgruntled more and more with Amazon is that there are many FAKE products out there using the stock images to sell them and then you receive the product and it is not what you ordered. If you have never ordered it before you might not even know it's not the real thing though and that troubles me greatly. I don't feel I can trust now - the products that are sold on Amazon - and that will spell the death of the great Amazon....

                 

                I don't use VRBO as a traveler but I suspect the same thing is going to happen if they don't fix things.  It used to be that if people wanted a vacation rental in my town - only rentals in the postal zip codes for THAT TOWN would come up. You could widen your search if you wanted to but it was clear that you were going outside the target town you initially searched for.  What was wrong with that search method?   What they are using now clutters up the search with properties that are NOT in the target location at all.  It has become so tiresome for prospective guests to slog through a cluttered list of homes that are not near the beach as they intended at all but miles inland.  I wonder how many people ended up at houses they thought were in their target location but they ended up 20 miles or more from it?  That will not be a happy VRBO customer....

                 

                The result of the cluttered search list for travelers is that they are not easily able to find my property that does fit their criteria perfectly and that is why my VRBO bookings are so much lower than they used to be. Adding competition that is not even really competition is not the behavior of a "partner"  IMHO

                  • Re: Does Vrbo/Expedia/HA really intend this type of search result?
                    wiser-after-50 Contributor

                    The comparative sets mean nothing but confusion for owners and guests. In most cases it is apples to turnips. I "lost a booking"  to a beachfront condo in a resort at 685 per night vs 469 for a whole house with pool off the beach but very close to the beach. The travelers wanted to be on the beach, simple as that and willing to pay more, but that property will increase in ranking??? BS. I can't move my flipping house. So why am I penalized?