I have been trying to get answers to a bogus website that copied owners direct and Holiday rentals site, then charged unexpected guests over 2000 for a week at our villa, my complaints and requests to warn customer is being ignored , they are very poor , avoid
I was unsure if I had completed all the steps of putting my property on to Reservations Manager Pay-on-Line system successfully. I phoned the HomeAway Customer Services department and was lead through, efficiently, politely and patiently, every step of the way. At each step, everything was double checked, so no stone was left unturned to ensure that not only the issues I was concerned about were correct but also all the other issues of the system were correct. I was then shown the "Green Badge" of successful completion on my HomeAway site to prove that the system was up and running properly. Thank you very much HomeAway.
I've been listed my property to HomeAway.co.uk since 2010 and I do not regret it at all.
From the very first moment I created my listing my property received so many enquiries where I had filled it at no time. On a yearly basis I receive many enquiries and by 85% of the total bookings I do are because of HomeAway!
HomeAway gets a 5-star rating not only because it is the path of success in terms of your business but also because of the excellent and very helpful team that is surrounded by where they will do anything to help you and advise you properly.
I do recommend HomeAway to everybody that wishes to suceed with his property and in fact I have recommended to about 15 fellow owners from my region and everytime they see me they congratulate me for my recommendation.
It goes without saying that HomeAway is the key factor that connects us with all the world...
Took the family to florida for a beach wedding. And we rented a villa through homeaway. The no,. of our villa was 411322 morning star drive florida. As we walked into this villa our reaction was WOW!! It was absolutely brilliant, great location, private, and not that far from all the parks, about 20min, all highways less than 5min from our villa.The villa itself was very spacious, openplan kitchen diner/lounge. two double bedrooms with on suite bathrooms,. The other two bedrooms were also roomy and comfortable. The swimming pool, was just fantastic, there were eight of us staying in this villa, and we all sat around the pool with ease, very spacious indeed. Everyone one of us said that they would come back to this villa to stay, it was very well kept and peaceful location. As for I, and my wife, we are already planning another visit in nov/dec.2013 we cant imagine staying in another villa, as the one we had felt like a second home. Many thanks to Jane, we will be in touch soon. Robat and Colleen Thomas. Isle of Anglesey.
Rented a flat in London -(way out as it turns out) from this site. This is after trying to contact 46 owners and not getting any replies. Finally after much hassle got a place booked. Had to pay 10% via paypal - (just a note - doing it this way is VERY risky), When I showed up I had to pay the balance in cash and could not get a receipt - as they do this without claiming any income from this transaction. The flat is terrible. VERY dirty and filthy. Nowhere else to stay so I spent a day cleaning it. There are more problems with this flat than there is room to explain, but the review I made and attempted to post on homeaway.co.uk would not be posted as they do not like negitive reviews. It is bad for their business.
Owners who leave critical comment about HomeAway must be seriously upset, especially when they know that such comments have the potential to damage visitor flow to the web-site, and ultimately to their own rental income.
But I am an owner who feels these things must be said. Just read the Community pages to get a feel for the frustration and anger amongst the owners. HA were without doubt, the very best at what they did. Proactive owners were rewarded with genuine enquiry flow, and bookings resulted from that flow. But HA changed the dynamics in a way that resulted in some 80% of owners suffering large drops in enquiries, because HA have targeted 20% to pay more to feature higher on the results page. And with reason, many of them aren't happy either!. Some have paid and seen no improvement, there is no explanation of why owners appear where they do in the results, and queries and problems go unanswered. There is also the strong feeling that money is being made on the back of owners. Insurance selling, additional cost for guests using the new payment system, data collection, and the forcing of guests to create accounts with HA in order to leave reviews.
And remember, potential guests who search the site don't necessarily get to see the best properties in the search results. They will though, see properties that have simply paid to be there.
Since Holiday Rentals became Home Away their customer service to their advertisers is absolutely appalling. I have phoned, emailed and written to them without a reply. My enquiries and bookings have plummeted since they took over. They are only interested in advertising revenue, they certainly have no interest in their advertisers who create and maintain their revenue stream. If they would revert to the Holiday Lettings way of doing business, it would be wonderful but I'm afraid as they are now American owned, their way of doing business is "if we don't like what the advertisers are saying, we will ignore them".
When their revenue stream plummets the way our revenue has, then just maybe they will listen, until then, NO Home Away are not a good company to work with.
I've been advertising with HomeAway since 2003 and other websites.
HomeAway is the website that sends me the most booking confirmations.
The yearly fee o host my property is very expensive.
With the global crisis, taxes got higher, I had to low the rates and increase/improve amenities. HomeAway fees are not in accordance with the global economic situation.
I only advertise my villa on two websites and for the cost of the advert I believe I get really great value for money. Over 80% of my enquiries come from the site.
Easy to use, love the SMS feature as soon as I get an enquiry I'm on to it!
The key to it working well is to update your calendar every week, even just blocking out a day of creating a phantom booking, next week delete it.
I've been advertising with them since 2005 and they have always been the most the most expensive but have bought me plenty of bookings every year.
They have always been ahead of the other companies which I advertise with (Chez Nous & French Connections). All 3 for me personally are a great combination.
The change of the website was a disaster as is the owner dashboard or whatever it's called. It's slow and does too much which you don't need. The secure payments was a good idea but I find PayPal much simpler to use.
As a renter I now find Homelidays better and quicker to use.
I've been advertising with the HomeAway network since the start. I'm one of their first customers when they first started online with ownersdirect.co.uk and holiday-rentals.co.uk.
I love the fact that I can now have one listing on HomeAway.co.uk and access travellers from all over the globe! No other website offers this!
My property in Italy is advertised on HomeAway.co.uk where I update all my details, availability, reviews and it is automatically added to VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, ownersdirect.co.uk, Fewo-Direkt.de, Abritel.fr, HomeAway.es, HomeAway.it, HomeAway.nl, HomeAway.com.au, HomeAway.pt... the list goes on
I'm sorry to see so many complaints, this will affect the number of enquiries we all receive since travellers who check the reputation of HomeAway will see our comments. You guys are just shooting yourselves in the foot by negatively reviewing the site you rely on for your bookings!
I inherited my advert from the previous owner of my properties nearly two years ago. The first year was good as far as a I could tell, being new to the world of holiday lets.
Since they have changed to sending enquiries to similar properties my number of enquiries have increased but most of them have not be relevant to my property at all. This is time consuming and pointless as well as frustrating. My adverts are getting less page views, despite having paid for an upgrade to the Abritel site. I object to having to pay more to get my advert higher in the listings. I don't like the new dashboard and from what I have seen on their own forum they ignore negative feedback from their customers.
If I knew of an alternative advertiser that was focused on their customers I would change but they all seem to be going the same way as far as I can tell.
I've only listed my property since last year with Home Away but in this time it has really gone downhill fast. It used to be great, easy to use and I got quite a healthy number of enquiries but since they were taken over by another company, they have introduced extra subscription levels and other 'improvements' which actually diminish the service to users, but make the company more money. I actually tried an experiment and upgraded to a higher level of subscription only to find that a few weeks later, my property had slipped back down the list as other people also upgraded. It's a zero sum game which only Home Away will win - although when they have lost the majority of their listings, they will also lose out, and maybe then they will reconsider their catastrophic strategy towards owners, who pay for the site to keep operating.
Home Away UK is a recently New Name for a well established site, Holiday Rentals, unfortunately they did not only change the name but virtually everything inside as well, effectively ruining a very good Property Listing Site. From the travelling public's side, most probably would not be aware of the radical changes made behind the scenes but the Property Owners have noticed the differences and they don't like it.
It appears thru their own company forum that a sizeable amount of Owners are not renewing subscriptions to this site and therefore the choice of properties will diminish as the Owners find new listing sites to advertise their properties.
The new owners need to re focus on what is the life's blood of this site which is the property owners because if you don't have them on your side you effectively have nothing.
At this moment in time they have put the cart before the horse and as everyone would tell you it needs to be the other way round if you are to get anywhere.
Even Trust Pilot Have got it wrong as I am not allowed to give Home Away a true evaluation as I have to give them at least 1 star which is 1 more than they deserve.
This year we had less referrals, almost all from the UK. In prior years we had more Germans and Scandinavians. Despite the fact we bought all the extensions. Also they do not cover the Eastern European markets.
I suspect that not all the enquires reach me.
Also it is too difficult to reach someone by telephone, when you finally do then they are very helpful, professional and competent.
I have used this site since 2007. Great response and enquiries up to last year. Enquiries fell off and I had to seriously reduce rental rates. I don't know if this is a result of the new website or of the global financial situation. The new site layout and owner facilities are driving me crazy. I am not a big business owner with loads of time to navigate through all their emails and upgrades and this new possibility of taking commission is a step too far.Please can anyone recommend any other easier sites.
Kate Kirby found this review useful
I'm afraid that HomeAway have turned from a very good company looking to provide a really good service to the owners who provide them with the resources to sell into a very greedy, profit at all cost organisation. There has been complaints and negative comments on forums both on Home Aways and others and I've not seen any evidence that they react to them. Yes they listen, and yes they respond, but often with fluffy marketing speak responses that are aimed to diffuse issues rather than taking anything onboard. Owners are the life blood, listen to them. No one wanted this tiered service for example except management to maximise profit, the vast majority of owners didn't. And why do you insist on using Facebook all the time, some people actively try and keep away from Facebook, it's so annoying.
I am really disappointed with the company. I once gave it 5 stars but since the change about a year ago it has become clumpy and user unfriendly. Before you could reply directly to a potential client with personalised attachments and the threads were easy to follow. Now not only is the design weak and corporate looking but you need to cut and paste in order to leave extra information and the thread becomes lost. It claims to make the business more efficient but in fact needlessly complicates things. What a backwards step. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!
Kate Kirby found this review useful
In short I agree with almost all who claim that the service and value is NOT WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN
I have advertised with HomeAway for many years with a break in between, At first it was Holiday rentals and gave reasonable service certainly value for money, but then it became HomeAway and it has changed and not for the good, an owner needs to have familiarity but a "dash board" was introduced adding unnecessary complications and the need to relearn how to change and up date, but by far my biggest gripe is that at one time as long as you kept your calendar up to date you would find yourself higher in the listings this meant that anyone who was willing to put the effort in could keep themselves in view on the ratings, but now you need to pay to be found early in searches, then pay again for all other services that you may want, already they are one of the more expensive company’s about. In summing up I strongly agree that they are fast becoming too expensive to use, I keep records of conversion rate across all of the enquiries and lets, this gives me the ability to ensure that this company is still viable but HomeAway is becoming more expensive each year to get lets with a cost of about £50.00 per conversion of an enquiry into a let against three years ago a cost of about £25.00 per let, if this trend continues I will be moving as we the owners are not here for HomeAway but rather the reverse they are here to work on our behalf and help us get lets without adding additional costs all the time.
Kate Kirby found this review useful
After reading through these reviews I can't believe they are about Home Away, I completely disagree. I have advertised my three Florida Villas with Holiday-Rentals for eleven years and for ten of those years I have been absolutely delighted with them until they became Home Away. Since then I have been very dissatisfied with almost every aspect of my ads. The price is very expensive, the dashboard is time consuming and irrelevant, the calendar cannot be upgraded beyond March 2014, guests have to be registered with Facebook to add a review, other villas pop up when a customer enquires for my villa, very difficult to upload photographs, HA are more intent on trying to sell travel insurance and for guests to pay them direct, they now have a standard letter to tell guests our villa is booked or available using bad grammer and completely try and take over the running of our homes. People booking my villas tell me that they like a personal service and they certainly are not getting it with HA. I could go on but the biggest complaint I have is the lack of enquiries compared to how many I used to receive when holiday-rentals were involved and for this reason I will not be renewing my three ads with Home Away.
I am now 2 years advertising my holiday home with homeaway.co.uk. Since the restructure of the site and the change of name (before holiday-rentals.co.uk) everything came worse. Many enquiries was not forwarded to me, I checked this by sending test enquiries for my holiday rental (by myself and through friend using different mail addresses and networks). A customer which didn't got a response after enquiring on homeaway.co.uk was call me and asked why I didn't answer his mail which made me to check about that matter. Worse is that the customers (and me when I send the test enquiries) got a confirmation mail from homeaway that the enquiry has been forwarded to the owner (me). Because of not receiving this enquiries I couldn't response. This is a big loss for me, because this customers wont enquire again for my holiday rental (even on other sites) because of not getting a reply. I complained to the customer service and I forwarded to them all test enquiries which hasn't been forwarded to me. The customer service just said this happens because of their spam filter system which block mails from 'non trusted countries!! and non trusted networks!!! --- In short words this system is blocking mails which are send from specific countries and/or through specific network operators to be send to the holiday rental owner!!! I guess the only trusted countries for them is the US and UK. Other bad changes after changing the website name are that no enquiries been forwarded per sms notification (which worked before with any problems), Google rank has been removed from the adverts ( before page rank 1 or 2 now no ranking). Since the changes on the homeaway/holiday-rentals website it looks like the homeaway company is not interested in providing best service for the high advertisement fees anymore, they are just looking for more profit with saving money in less investing in customer service and seo services. Myself I got no booking since the last renewal of my advert (that time the changes of their website started -June 2012-). Other sites, including my own homepage, where I advertise are just bringing the same amount of good enquiries and bookings as before.
I have been advertising my single holiday house in Cornwall with homeaway and previously holiday rentals since the beginning of such advertising. For a very long time indeed I was absolutely delighted with the response and received an impressively large number of sensible enquiries; my ad with them really worked well. I recommended HR/Homeaway far and wide, several of my personal recommendations also took up advertising with the firm.
Now sadly all it appears that this service has altered, not for the better. I only rarely get a sensible enquiry these days despite having the most expensive global package available and directing google ad words to my page on the site. I get weird, incomplete, enquiries from people with odd email addresses, who never get back to my polite and careful replies. I bit the bullet and signed up for the payment arrangement, against my better judgement, when I believed the spin, which said people who accepted on line payments received twice as many enquiries. For the several weeks I had it set up I had no enquiries at all. I had to dismantle it as the system required a per night price which as a holiday house which aims to let weeks or at least three night breaks, comes out as a nonsense. I don't want to display a nightly rate, it won't ever make sense and the computer stubbornly altered the weekly rate, making it come out as far too expensive. I spent a lot of time trying to sort this and asked for help several times, in the end the only way to make my ad look right was to stop the payment facility. When I eventually got through to a member of staff they were as bemused as me as to what to do but always tried to help.
I wish that the firm would go back to basics, to the job they once did really well, that of attracting visitors to the site and directing them to owner managed properties in special locations. It went downhill from the day they allowed agencies to block book several or even dozens of properties without keeping up charts etc, changing the ethos of the firm from direct bookings for owners who care about their lovely places to a more cynical, let’s get everything we can out of this, commercial operation.
I am really sorry not to be able to give a better review, I should be fair and say I like the look of the pages I have made and enjoy the chance to be part of the tip top properties that advertise alongside me in my area. I once wrote a short piece about where we are and that was accepted and published at the bottom of the page. I won a featured listing for taking that trouble and was pleased to help. I have had several conversations with staff, who are always pleasant, thoughtful and patient.
I truly do want Homeaway to be a big success, I feel personally attached to it because of our long association, I just think that recently it has lost its way.
I am keeping faith and staying on the site in the hope that all the extra stuff will wither away, gold, bronze, platinum what have you, all designed to make our ads ever more costly with the scaremongering that if you don't go along with the escalation you will lose out. Accepting card payments through Paypal works fine but really everyone should be able to make a bank transfer these days. Getting Homeaway involved in banking ‘our’ money seems to lower the credibility of the firm rather than improve it.
I don’t want to appear rude or unreasonable, I’m just trying to give a balanced view of how it now feels to be an owner advertising with you. I appreciate that times have changed very fast, there are so many places to choose from nowadays, every house in Cornwall seems to boats a self catering annex/barn/cottage or the chance to build one when sold. Guests are far more direct about their requirements, aware that they have the upper hand in a market where bookings are harder to get than ever before. I look forward to better times and meanwhile have continued to work away at and add on to a back to basics programme – fostering the best possible relationship with guests past and new, making sure everything goes really well for their holiday, and creating my own unique and attractive website. Two thirds of my bookings this year are repeats or recommendations. Holiday Rentals was great Homeaway has (hopefully temporarily) lost the plot.
Since HomeAway swallowed up both Holiday Rentals and Owners Direct in the UK we have lost the best villa rental companies in exchange for a vast monolith that simply does not serve the owner. OK, it may provide the person searching for a holiday because of the thousands of properties but even then it is simply too big to make it easy. I used HomeAway to find a property to rent in California to see how well it worked and it was very noticeable that even when you had settled on a property, the system was still suggesting that you should look for at least another 3. Of course this helps them to make it look as if the tens of thousands of owners are getting enquiries but, as all owners now know, HomeAway have come up with only one way to get noticed - by spending even more for a 'special' position.
I have battled with HomeAway over my Owners Direct subscription. Their site offered a reduced rate to renew through what I considered to be the Holiday Rentals site so I asked if this reduced the visibility via Owners Direct and was told that it did not and just that the advert had to be identical, so I accepted. They took the money and I heard no more even how I should look up my advert as it was to be a new one in so far as OD were concerned. Eventually I telephoned and was assured that the advert was live and was given a new reference number. I asked if OD had been informed and was told that it was the same office and they all answered for either company. Since then I don't think I have received any enquiries from OD but I have received numerous reminders from OD that I have not renewed my subscription and rubbing in the fact that I was missing out on valuable enquiries!
I have tried replying and I have telephoned without any effect. After one particularly pointed email from me I did get a call from a very well trained lady who said she had set up a 3 month special position for me because of the aggravation. Unfortunately I have seen nothing of this and have not received any enquiries. When I asked about this 'special position' I was told that it was booked but that these positions rotate with the others. I am glad I didn't pay for it as it is clearly another HomeAway money spinner in which advertisers are not guaranteed the extra exposure that they might well think they will get whilst the business is trying to persuade as many advertisers as possible to spend more money.
Finally - perhaps - our property is now one of tens of thousands in our small part of France. I have fewer bookings than I have had in 10 years - so HomeAway simply does not work for advertisers. Don't waste your money.
The only positive thing I have to say is that it's pretty brave asking for my opinion!
This site is great, lots of advertising done to keep it fresh in peoples minds. Easy to use and great backup should you need it with patient and understanding staff. I would definitely recommend it.
We've been advertising with HomeAway for some years now, since its earlier guise as Holiday Rentals. The site has never delivered the bulk of our business, but has always done just enough to justify the expense and the time to maintain the adverts.
However, over the last couple of years, the level of enquiries has dropped and the price has increased quite considerably. Visibility on the site increasingly seems to depend on paying considerably more for a "premium" listing. HomeAway seem to be increasingly keen on moving to a commission based model in which they collect money from holiday makers and delay passing it on to the property owners until the traveller actually arrives at the holiday property, something that will do wonders for their cashflow but nothing at all for ours. This, they claim, will improve security for the holiday maker, though it is hard to see how, since the rental contract will remain between the owner and the traveller and the level of recourse to HA by either seems a bit hazy, to me at least.
Of the enquiries we do get, an increasing number are fake, mostly concerned, at the moment, with gathering email addresses from property owners for follow-up phishing attempts to conduct an identity theft. These run along the lines of " I just tried to pay for my sister's holiday, but I couldn't, so could you send your bank details again. Oh, and a scanned copy of your passport, because my bank need proof of identity." Obvious, but irritating.
The site is not particularly easy to use, either as an owner or as a traveller. I tend to find my own holiday rentals on other, less confusing, sites - just because an owner has paid to have a premium listing doesn't make their property the most suitable for my wants, and I like to have a direct contact with the owner, so, personally, I will not be handing over my cash to a third party for "safekeeping."
Overall, HomeAway might do well to remember two things:
Firstly, they are the broker in a deal between a traveller and an owner and a successful broker works hard to keep both principals in the deal happy. They should forget about imposing conditions themselves, and;
Second, the internet is a big place. They are not the only show in town, even if they are the biggest at the moment.
I started advertisng with Holiday Rentals in 2006. At first I received lots of enquiries and bookings but in the last two years bookings are enquiries are down. As i am now retired (I had hoped to be living in Cyprus by now) I am still letting our apartment out but I have had to put my prices up to cover the high cost of electricity. This is the thin edge of the wedge when I am being asked to pay more for my advertising and yet not getting any bookings.
I advertise with another web site which is cheaper and I have had bookings from them but not from Home and Away, so it is not my rental increase stopping people booking. I find the other web site much easier to use and more user friendly.
My subscription is coming up for renewal and I am seriously thinking about paying for this again.
Jan Koncewicz found this review useful
We have been with HomeAway.co.uk since 2009 now and have advertised our property Paradise Palms Jamaica Villa http://www.paradisepalmsjamaica.com with them ever since. In fact we just recently renewed our subscription and has a large option of how much advertising our villa needed.
We found the staff at HomeAway very helpful and are able to resolve any issue concerning the property quite efficiently. The rate is reasonable as we make it back anyway. Just one suggestion we are limited with the numbers of photos we can use, this should be at least 50.
I highly recommend Homeaway for all you villa or vacation Rental needs,
Owner Paradise Palms Jamaica Villa, Montego Bay Jamaica
If you want to get any results be prepared to give away your arm and leg. Each year they come with a new way to screw their customers. By amalgamating a number of independent websites under one umbrella of HomeAway they created a monopoly which they use for price gouging. I miss the times when the services on internet were mostly free. There are still some sites like that (e.g. ExchangeZones ) but they have hard time competing with these corporate giants.
The latest alteration to the website makes me despair and seriously to question whether I shall renew my subscription after 12 years. Why change what was a user-friendly website to an ultra-sophisticated one which looks and is confusing. Why on earth is Facebook involved unless possibly money is changing hands? Does HomeAway read these reviews and, if so, does it act on them? And I am writing not only as a renter but as someone who tried today to find a holiday let for my family in other countries and locations.
If you want to advertise a holiday home look no further---I have tried many sites and still find Home and Away gives me the most bookings.
Easy to use, professional and all questions dealt with quickly.
Pay on line is useful--I feel they want you to do well.
Unless you are willing to pay for prime placement of your advert then the level of enquiries are poor. There are many properties listed which means lots of competition and often leads to hard negotiation of prices etc.
If you ever have an issue with HomeAway don't expect it to be resolved quickly and certainly don't exepect a fair response.
HomeAway does seem to deliver. I am more than satisfied with this company. I would like to extend my exposure with them but find the prices a little too steep. Still, I can't complain with the return I get from my investment on this site. I have been with them for many years and intend to stay with them. I would recommend them without any hesitation to anyone starting out with a holiday rental.
I have been advertising with Holiday-Rentals for over 3 years. They have recently changed and are now Home Away. Their prices increase every year, the booking enquiries have gone down and the new owner Dashboard is terrible! Something as simple as loading photos, updating calendar is a task and a half. I advertise with 2 other websites who are cheaper, easier to contact, I get more enquiries and a 'User Friendly' owners page.
I will NOT be renewing my 2 advertisements with them again.
I have been with holiday rental for 9 years now, and every year the price goes up. But for the last 2 years the booking have gone down.
I had a problem setting up cutomer online payments. I emailed holiday rentals about this weeks ago and am still waiting for a reply.
We've tried 3 or 4 alternative online web sites but we feel that HomeAway are far and away the best for us.
I like the email contact, advice and feel part of the whole team project of providing a really enjoyable holiday but being able to keep "in charge" and able to respond very quickly to new trends and ideas, update photos etc.
We have used the European sites this year and thank goodness we have - we are not full but over 90% of our business so far has been through the french sister site.
Don't over-reach yourselves otherwise you will lose "normal" people like us - let the new payment systems bed-in before coming up with another marketing ploy.
Would recommend your organisation - we are very pleased to be part of the team!!
Jan Koncewicz found this review useful
I have used Homeaway.co.uk to advertise our villa for several years. The response we get has always meant that we normally let our villa for all of the time that we want to. The new pay on line service seems to be a very good idea altohugh only one client has booked with it so far. The level of service is very good and it is easy to review our advert. My only critism is the disproportinate rise in cost. Even though we have paid more this year we have not had the same level of exposure. having said that we have let our villa so nothing lost.
Jan Koncewicz found this review useful
a good level of enquiries which of course is the most important thing but don't try contacting customer services unless you have lot of time - i currently have 3 problems with the website regarding our location map (which can't be amended without contacting customer services, the reply to enquiries draft response (which you can't send without adding a quote) and the quote (which doesn't total correctly). Having emailed twice i have now spent one hour 10 minutes waiting for someone to pick up the phone - i am giving up!!!
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