17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 20, 2019 11:00 AM by green_mango RSS

    Alternative Payment Listings....

    green_mango Active Contributor

      Just wondering if anyone else is still left on Alternative Payments and has gotten a "Final Notice" (actually 1st one I've gotten) that their listing may be hidden if they don't update payment account?  My subscription with APs goes until the end of the month, so it wouldn't be fair to remove my listing early.  From the email it sounds as though they've confused my listing with one that was with Yapstone (never signed up with Yapstone).

      Any moderators have any info on APs?  When I call and ask CS rarely knows those still exist in dwindling numbers.  It's my understanding that at the end of my subscription I will have the option to accept the new terms upon renewal if I'd like my listing to remain on VRBO.

       

       

      You must accept the new payment terms by December 12, 2019 or your listing will be removed until you update your payment account. After December 12, new bookings will no longer be processed with Yapstone. 

       

      We’ve been trying to reach you over the past few months to make you aware that listings with payment accounts that haven’t migrated to the new Vrbo payment platform will be removed. You must accept the payment terms and complete your payment account details in order to continue to receive new bookings.

        • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
          scowol Active Contributor

          As I've learned from many owners on this forum, the T&C's that we all agreed to when signing up states that HA/Expedia/Vrbo may change, cancel, suspend, discontinue any aspect at any time.  That simple, yet crucial clause, provides no choices if you want to continue listing.

          • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
            green_mango Active Contributor

            I understand the T&C are very favorable towards VRBO, but it's been my understanding that with a subscription a major change like payments would be effective at renewal - I bought "A" and they're saying they're going to take it back before the time that I paid for is up.  I honestly don't think that APs are supposed to be included in this threat until our renewals come up - I think the "final notice" they sent is assuming I use Yapstone, so they've forgotten about the handful of us who still process payments ourselves. Hoping a moderator will chime in....

              • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                wildiris Active Contributor

                I agree with you in principle, but that's not how HomeAway does business.  When HomeAway first instituted HomeAway Payments and Alternate Payments, they offered owners the option to pay $100 more for an annual subscription that allowed the owner to continue to have the guest pay the owner directly and avoid the traveler service fee.  So, I paid the additional $100.  Guess what HomeAway did?  They buried my listing in a search.  My listing went from being on the first page for my town to being in the 900s.  (Yes, I really did scroll through all those listings to find it.)  Even if a traveler searched by number of guest reviews, they didn't show my listing (which dozens of all 5-star reviews) until after all the other listings with HomeAway Payments, even listings with ZERO reviews.  IMO, this was false advertising for both me as an owner who had paid more money for my subscription and for travelers searching by number of reviews.  But HomeAway did it. 

              • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                ha-moderator-amanda HomeAway Employee

                Hi green_mango, if the new payment terms are not accepted by tomorrow, December 12th, then you will be de-listed. Your offline or alternative payments will be disabled upon acceptance of the payment terms and you will need to add a bank account to remain on the platform, regardless of when your subscription expires.

                  • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                    green_mango Active Contributor

                    Thank you for the follow up ha-moderator-amanda - Unfortunately that just doesn't jibe with what JK said when I was on the CAB - the folks at VRBO said owners with Alternative Payments would be able to keep them until the end of our subscription & at renewal we would need to transfer to whatever payment processor was in place.  Giving me two days notice of a substantial material change in my subscription isn't acceptable.  I find it odd that this was a "final notice" and it said I'd received several before, but I haven't - since I've never been with Yapstone I haven't received a single email saying I needed to change or be removed. 

                     

                    Will owners whose listings are removed before the end of their subscriptions be receiving a prorated refund?  I'll take a wild guess at the answer.

                    • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                      lakensea Contributor

                      ha-moderator-amanda

                       

                      Why December 12th rather than December 31st?

                    • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                      green_mango Active Contributor

                      ha-moderator-amanda When you have a chance can you (or any moderator) please follow up on my follow up question above?  I was told by leadership upon renewal over a year ago that I'd be able to keep my Alternative Payments for the length of my subscription.  My listing was hidden today, because it "has no active payment account" - yet, it's simply working as intended - I don't have a payment account because I have Alternative Payments until my renewal later this month & I've never had Yapstone as incorrectly mentioned in the email notification of removal.  I trust JK more than I trust an automated email or entry level CS, but if it really is the case that I am not getting the full benefit of my subscription then I'll follow up on that issue.

                       

                      Also, this is incorrect - "We’ve been trying to reach you over the past few months" - the first time my account was given the Dec 12 deadline or be removed was Dec 10. Can anyone explain what these multiple attempts to reach me over the past few months were?  My "final notice" was my first notice.  Naturally, I've been aware of the migration for several months, but as an account with Alternative Payments I never received any information.  I find the strong-arm tactics to be unprofessional & unethical.  Or, if you watch Silicon Valley, "untethical" (a mix of tech & lack of ethics).

                        • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                          green_mango Active Contributor

                          ha-moderator-amanda It's been a few days, and I still don't have an answer.  I know you can't answer specific account questions here, but can you please provide some general assistance?

                           

                          -For Owners with Alternative Payments, what were the "multiple attempts" to reach us over the past few months to tell us that our listings would be removed Dec 12 even if we paid for a subscription?  The only one I show is a "final notice" on Dec 10.

                           

                          -Why does the email notification explaining removal of listings include verbiage about switching from Yapstone? 

                          Those of us with APs never had Yapstone, which is the whole point that's being overlooked.

                            • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                              ha-moderator-amanda HomeAway Employee

                              Hi green_mango, I'm sorry that your questions weren't answered previously.

                               

                              • Prorated refunds for de-listed properties with time remaining on a subscription will be considered on a case-by-case basis and we encourage you to contact Customer Support for assistance.
                              • In October we started sending emails regarding the requirement to accept the new payment terms and additional reminder emails were sent in early and late November. In addition to the emails, the pop-up in the dashboard about accepting the payment terms became un-dismissable to encourage acceptance before the deadline. Our system prevents me from seeing any content related to an email you received if it was sent over 30 days ago, but I would recommend going back to late October, as well as early and late November, to find emails related to removal notices.
                              • The email that notified owners about the removal of their listings was sent to all affected owners, whether they had Yapstone for payments or not.
                                • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                                  green_mango Active Contributor

                                  Thank you ha-moderator-amanda.  I searched my inbox and trash folder and do NOT have a single email from VRBO about accepting new payment terms or reminders until my 'final notice' on Dec 10.  I've not had any pop ups on my dashboard either.  Again, I surmise this is because I have Alternative Payments and it appears information didn't come directly to me until the final round.  I'm very active in the owner community, so I have been aware of the payment processor changes, and would know if I got an email saying that even though I had a sub with APs that I needed to switch early.  All I've located in my emails are a couple renewal reminders & invitation to turn on auto-renewal.  If you can't go back over 30 days, you should be able to show me the emails that were sent to my listing in late November at the very least - I see nothing on my end.  This sudden and abrupt change in T&C doesn't leave me with ample time to tackle this right now - I had it on my list of things to do end after the holidays, when my subscription is expired, as I've said over & over that JK said I could keep APs until the end of my subscription - that's literally the whole reason I renewed early.  Like many owners, I am tired of being steam rolled by policy changes being presented as "upgrades" and if an owner can't trust what the CEO of a company personally tells them then I'm not sure why an owner would continue to do business with such a company.

                            • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                              green_mango Active Contributor

                              ha-moderator-amanda I followed your advice and just spent 30 minutes on the phone with Vrbo customer service.  The 1st CS agent said I was not eligible for a prorated refund because it's been more than 30 days since I renewed.  The supervisor also said I was not eligible for a prorated refund because it's been more than 90 days since I renewed.  They both insisted there is no "case by case" basis as you said.

                               

                              My feedback is this - if Vrbo is going to remove listings with paid subscriptions for not accepting a major change in T&C, then refunds need to be made.  Vrbo can't have it both ways - Vrbo can't get paid and deactivate listings at the same time.  The ability to refund needs to catch up with the policy to unilaterally remove listings. 

                               

                              Both agents repeatedly informed me that the only way to enable my listing was to simply update my bank account information. 

                               

                              It's a shame that Vrbo treats owners this way - keeping money and removing listings.

                                • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                                  db.meyer Senior Contributor

                                  Many of us who have previously been negatively affected by changes in the T&Cs (without much sympathy/empathy) can understand your frustration. Two things - JK is no longer in power so what he said no longer carries weight, and if I calculate it correctly (?), your pro-rated refund would be $28.71 for the remaining 21 days of your subscription?  Have you decided to re-renew your subscription or go PPB or are you leaving Verbo entirely?

                                    • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                                      green_mango Active Contributor

                                      Thanks db - even though JK isn't the CEO, he is still there so it would be nice if he stepped up, but I totally understand that in the grand scheme of things this doesn't matter to them (and it was on CAB calls that this was said, with plenty of other people who are still there).  It's also not worth my time for a pro-rated refund, but I'm a stubborn person and have a tendency to stand up for myself or others when wronged, whether it's a small or large issue.  It's a measly couple weeks off my sub, but in the big picture it's a company selling one thing and then taking it back.  I was planning on switching to ppb when my subscription ends, as a sub is no longer worth it (I'm down to 1/4 of my bookings from VRBO this year), however I may not list at all - I am undecided.

                                       

                                      If I treated my guests in any way, shape, or form similar to how VRBO treats owners then I'd be out of business. 

                                        • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                                          georgygirl1955 Senior Contributor

                                          It is sad and heartbreaking that you have been "pushed out".

                                          You have been one of the most engaged, intelligent, and committed owners I knew.

                                          This is a jolt to my reality and another wake up call.

                                            • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                                              green_mango Active Contributor

                                              Thanks georgygirl1955 - no response from Tina, JK etc...  I miss Erinn!  She was great at recognizing when there was a miscommunication and helping escalate valid issues to the right teams.  She was so good I helped hook her up with her new job via an Austin friend in HR - they are thrilled to have her! 

                                               

                                              This has been a wake up call for me too - I've always had success getting glitches fixed etc.,, but no dice with this because it's not a glitch - just straight up dishonest.

                                      • Re: Alternative Payment Listings....
                                        green_mango Active Contributor

                                        Still just hanging out waiting for VRBO to get back to me about solving this issue...   ha-moderator-amanda?  I've been in touch via email but no update.

                                         

                                        In the meantime, since VRBO disabled my listing I've gotten a direct booking and an Airbnb booking...  2 fewer service fees to VRBO.

                                        Chump change in the big picture, but I imagine it all adds up.

                                         

                                        Editing to add - #3 reservation this week came through last night #bookdirect. 

                                        Maybe instead of complaining I should thank VRBO for disabling the payment option on my listing?