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!
Despite being pestered regularly by competitors I stick with CEWE Photoworld as I like being able to work on my projects 'at home' in my own time and not be pressured into completing the job on line.
If I had any criticism it would be that there is insufficient discount for multiple purchases. If you can occasionally provide special deals on a second - not necessarily the same - album wouldn't it be better to offer a regular deal on more than one identical?
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