Earlier today I was reading an excellent post by Gary Walters waiting for his Zillow subscription to expire and that led me to this post.
As many of you probable know I own some beachfront rental condos in Destin,Florida. When I first purchased my first beachfront condo(6 years ago) I started advertising on VRBO and knew to make money I had to spend money.
Things went well and 1.5 years ago I purchased my second unit and signed up for a second vrbo account.
Early this year vrbo was acquired by Expedia and the rest of the HomeAway companies. The purchase price was a whopping 3.9 billion dollars.
A couple of months ago the "new and soon to be improved" vrbo decided to start double dipping. Not only are they charging the owners but they are also going to start tacking on a surcharge on each rental that the vacationer pays. I am still getting inquiries asking if they have to pay the extra fee and I tell them not with me. If you allow vrbo to collect the money for you they are automatically charging that extra fee already and by the end of the year every renter or owner will pay that extra fee.
On my website with them they have a block of text strongly encouraging me to change over to the new model. I called and talked to them and told them I am not interested and please remove that text from my screen so I can do business the old fashion way(fairly). One of my accounts expires in October and that has me excited to have this all finally end(at least on one account). I cannot even edit my information without that text box popping up and stopping me from the edit. It is hard for me to adjust my calendar or do any other editing. I guess they think they will wear me out and I will give in but I will not!
Needless to say, there are other vacation advertising sites still doing business fairly including Vacation Home Rentals and Home Escape to just name a couple(many more out there). I have a trial membership with VHR and the inquiries are really pouring in.
I for one am not going to help Expedia finance their purchase and thousands of other owners and vacationers are not either. Thanks for letting me vent!