Had a renter email to say they wanted to cancel due to an illness in the family and they asked me to call. I called and returned them all their money.Then I got an email from AWAY in red ink saying I failed to respond to the renter in 48 hours. When I called and explained they couldn't do anything because they said the renter put through their request as an inquiry for a week they had already booked and their system doesn't cross reference anything. Their system and people who work there stink and I hope someone buys them out who knows how to run a company.
I'm now a buyer based solely on this vague & poorly written attempt at a hit piece. Obviously wants AirBNB to be justified, despite the cleaner cheaper business model of AWAY.
I have had two problems recently with people booking and paying to AWAY and I hit accept on my cell phone to their bookings. The next day I got an email from AWAY saying I didn't respond in time. The last person I spoke with at AWAY was very rude and accused me of not hitting the accept button. I know I hit the button and sent both parties follow up emails.
I have had other problems as well and think they need new management and better trained personnel who treat their clients with more respect. I have been thinking of taking a position in AWAY for months but from my latest experience I am not going to be buying any shares.
Continued from previous posting...
"ME: Hello, We ARE really well booked! I'm guessing our inquiry to booking rate in rather high 40% or so. Many of our future reservations were booked very far in advance- months ago! You are cheating me out of our platinum listing and dumping us from the first page onto the forth page. Thus new button should read "least popular". There are 90 or more listings ahead of us that are NOT as well booked!!! So this is bull.
We've worked really hard to get our listing up to 20th-23rd place and we PAID for a Platinum listing. Now we getting dumped to the forth page behind properties that are NOT POPULAR. "
It appears, from this two part dialogue between a HomeAway customer and "CUSTOMER" service REPRESENTATIVE , that this forced transition in sort criteria is not being embraced by many loyal and long term subscribers of HomeAway/VRBO's services.
This reporter has learned of the sentiments of current subscribers to HomeAway' s change in their principal sort criteria. This comment speaks of a Platinum member's in getting a straight answer from AWAY's customer service about this dramatic change.
"I'm really concerned: Here are some emails back and forth from homeaway on this new " Most popular": button.
ME: What is this new sort button, called "most popular'? why do I come up 96th when I'm really well booked and come up 23rd in the "homeaway sort"? Why do listings with zero reviews come up before ours with 19 reviews on the "most popular" sort? please explain the search results on the "most popular" button.
HA: I completely understand your concern and will definitely forward your feedback. As for the "Most Popular" sort option, it is an option available to travelers who want to see the properties in order of most booked. This is not a reflection of the quality of your listing and will not replace the "HomeAway Sort" option that comes up whenever a traveler initiates a search. That will still be the first option available for travelers.
ME: The problem with the most popular button is it's NOT showing in order the properties that are most booked. There are 50 properties or more that ahead of ours that are very poorly booked, have few or no reviews!!! We are one of the best booked!!!!! And therefore by your explanation should be near the top of the list not the bottom!
HA: I can certainly clear this up. The properties in the Most Popular sort are not ranked based on reviews. They are based on the booking percentage which is not information that can be evaluated by reviewing the listings. As search order is dynamic, this order has the potential to change on a daily basis based on bookings or properties that are not booked. This feature is working as designed and I have submitted feedback on your behalf but we will be unable to modify this feature at this time."
shorts are trying to talk down the stock. As if a yahoo message board could do this...haha. Fact is even if away wants everyone on automatic payment some including myself will resist. I'll never go on autopay for my 2 properties and I don't need too because they are completely booked out. If I drop in the search order it doesn't matter, I'm getting enough bookings because the site is getting tremendous traffic. Even so I'd be willing to up my annual fee as my net margins have been improving year after year if I needed to increase in the search order but I don't. This all translates to more dollars for Homeaway and its customers. This thing is a freight train that's starting to roll out of the station, eventually it will increase speed and net margins that are well below, trip, airbnb, expedia, priceline will translate to the bottom line.
100% autopay will never happen and who cares. So I can't book my property on expedia or kayak, once again who cares. Its only a goal. Goals will never be completely met and everyone with a brain knows it. So some properties can't be booked automatically....who cares. Many will be and that's all that matters.
I say chill out and enjoy the ride, any reversion to the mean when Airbnb has a 20 billion market cap will cause this stock to climb. Airbnb is likely to come down and Homeaway will revert to Airbnbs mean which is an order of magnitude higher than the current stock price. The wildcard is with Kayak competing against Expedia its just a matter of time before Priceline gets into a pricewar with Expedia over Away ownership.
this thing is undervalued at twice the price based on Private equity pricing models.
"He, Mr. Sharples, did reiterate that their goal is that all properties (on all HomeAway-owned sites) become online-bookable by the end of 2016, but didn't elaborate on how they'd get there"
Oh yes! Mr. Sharples neglected to elaborate that Homeaway's (AWAY) intent is to coerce their paid subscribers into online-bookable customers by changing their search criteria to benefit those members who are. HOW might you ask? By doing exactly what has been reported here earlier and is being done as this intent is being documented here.
As we here at "followthedirtymoney" know, when you want to know why, well just follow that dirty money.
Stock sentiment... SELL UNTIL THEY YELL!!!
NOT by telling everyone misinformation. This is an information company and not tell the whole truth will prove to be their demise... What good is a company to its customers if it is only going to provide information that serves their bottom line and not the needs of their subscribers and visitors who both rely on truth to get the most for their hard earned vacation dollars?
HomeAway (AWAY) which recently held its annual stockholders meeting when they announced a new initiative where they will direct traveler inquires to properties that pay the company the most in fees.
Previously, HomeAway gave visitors multiple search options to find the right property for their needs in any geographical location. Now, the unknowing traveller, will be directed to the property paying the most money to the company but not the best property based on actual guest reviews.
The numerous complaints to AG's offices country wide state that HomeAway is now defrauding both their subscribers, who have paid a higher fee for certain promised rankings and at the same time, telling the visitor what are the "Most Popular" location when they are not. One complaint we found also stated that this action hurts not only the visitors and subscribers but the residents of the very States HomeAway relies on to have access to its rental property inventory.
One complaint goes on to point out that by HomeAway's misinformation, they are compromising the real experience any traveller may have when they stay at a location within every State involved. " By HomeAway not telling the truth, visitors are going to get the wrong impression of the best rental location in any State and will end up with less value and a poorer impression of that State for the money they were willing to spend."
Looks like the Investment Bankers and Venture Capitalists are work hard to keep AWAY above $30. What they are not aware of is that they are buying into a powder keg that will blow up in their faces. Word on the internet is that a number of disgruntled subscribers are contacting their Senators and Congressmen to let them know of this crime being perpetrated.
As was written on one blog this morning, "This, HomeAway's, IS a theft of value on a grand scale. Not with a gun or a knife but with the premeditated efforts of a “jewel” thief, stealing our hard won jewels, with the press of a button."
Sentiment: Strong Sell
Why will any owner re-up when " It's a lose-lose spiral DOWN for all!" There are many owners and stockholders who have been planning and preparing for change since last December. 2016 may be a tough year, but many owners are not into the bondage that HA and VRBO practice. They will not continue to be used, abused, and "prostituted" by them. When in the course of poor business choices, it becomes necessary for owners to dissolve the bands which have connected them with an entity that has abused the owners, we, the owners, are impelled to throw off the entity rather than renew. They have ignored our petitions for redress too long.
Sentiment: Strong Sell
WOW BOB!!! You have hit this situation "our of the park". HomeAway told their many loyal subscribers, for many years, that guest reviews will "rank your property higher", drive awareness by Travelers and we all benefit.
NOW they have taken that documented promise and pushed all the benefit to their side of the ledger. They are taking credit for all the owners/subscribers' hard work and FORCING them to now accept less income and more risk by forcing them to accept credit cards and renting their valuable properties to unvetted travelers. Watch and see how many more unhappy owners will be getting on board because of the BIN (Buy It Now) model that only benefits HomeAway's bottom line; or so they think. BUT without good and reliable home owners, HomeAway will have less and less valuable properties to offer the wise traveler. It's a lose-lose spiral DOWN for all! It IS a very bad business strategy. Hope they haven't gone too far into this change to drag it back and rethink the real impact.
Based on the angst we see here, though many would hate to see it, a class action is building and that will really HURT everyone. Cheaters just should not prosper and HomeAway IS cheating its subscribers and the traveler also by not telling the TRUTH and ONLY THE TRUTH!
AND its stockholders AND stakeholders also!
Anything under $30 is a SCREAMING and RUN OUT THE DOOR! This stock is headed back to $25. Check out the increase in its short percentage... UP a lot!
The fundamental problem with a suscriber fee model is that its splits the interests of AWAY and its hosts. Taking a cut of rentals kept them united. But once they started to focus on extracting a fee from hosters, they moved into Herbalife territory where, rather than selling room nights, they were selling access to listings--essentially a Ponzi scheme.