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AA taking over Visit England Quality Assessments
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1504
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:

"Would that be the beginning or end of September?" Said I. "Probably near the end" said Vicky.... "it's a complex project".



As the AA already has a website listing their inspected properties, why can't they just use copy the code from that one? Why is the VE scheme so much more expensive than the AA's anyway?
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Jonathan



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 66
Location: Warwickshire

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newtimber wrote:
zebedee wrote:

"Would that be the beginning or end of September?" Said I. "Probably near the end" said Vicky.... "it's a complex project".



As the AA already has a website listing their inspected properties, why can't they just use copy the code from that one? Why is the VE scheme so much more expensive than the AA's anyway?


We had our VE inspection yesterday. They are being run as two separate businesses but none of the staff have a clue as to what is going on.

Jonathan
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5873
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:


So to all members of the VE scheme, can we please keep some pressure up on this. It really is unacceptable as has been stated previously, that members who pay a decent amount of money to be in a quality scheme have had there existence wiped off the VE websites and potential guests have no way of searching and verifying accommodation providers. I have actually received both bookings and enquiries from the VE website previously.


Iíve just sent another email, this time headed ďIs Visit England abandoning self-catering owners?" to the generic VisitEnglandAssessmentServices@ TheAA.com email address; last time I drew a stock response from an admin assistant.

Trying to find alternative ways to get through to someone who might take notice, I eventually decided to copy in the CEO of Visit Britain sally.balcombe@ visitbritain.org
Somebody might reply, but I doubt Iíll get any answers.
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1504
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was interested in seeing whether VE has actually got a website yet and they have. It's http://selfcatering.visitor-guides.co.uk.

It's one of the worst websites I've seen. If you search for self-catering in the whole of the South East of England for one week from 8 December in one unit, I am shown 15 properties. Can this be right? Is everyone booked up in this week? Not only that, there is no website details or any details whatsoever, just a phone number and address and a pin on a map. Trying to find out more, I deleted the date and redid the search and the map shows up with a property in the middle of the sea off Ghana! And some of the properties now have a smart red "details and book" button though to understand how this works is a challenge and I gave up. It appears to use Guestlink. I'm wondering whether some property owners are updating Guestlink calendars and if not whether their properties are automatically marked unavailable?

Does anyone who has renewed their subscription know what is going on and what the plans are and whether it's worthwhile renewing?
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Joanna



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 834
Location: Chester, North West England & Sidmouth, East Devon

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely that's not the official site? It's terrible! We've been toying with the idea if getting graded for ages but are really not sure it's worth it if we can't link to a credible official listing to prove it.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 721
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newtimber wrote
Quote:

I was interested in seeing whether VE has actually got a website yet and they have. It's http://selfcatering.visitor-guides.co.uk.


I tried this link and was pretty appalled at the errors for my property, including price, and the fact that I was listed after numerous other properties which were not actually in my village, often pages down the list. Also, I disappeared altogether when the filters were applied eg Wifi

I rang the Visit England@the AA leaving messages. today, I managed to get hold of Laura (tel 01256 491111) who is responsible for the Visit England@AA website .
After a long discussion to clarify which website I was talking about, she was able to tell me that the above link is nothing to do with the AA, but the website belongs to Hudson's media.

Hudson's media tried several times some years ago to sell me advertising space when changes at Visit England resulted in Hudsons being established to provide advertising for members - oh but at an additional huge cost. The fact that I declined to participate and pay to be with Hudson's is probably why I am listed so low with so many inaccuracies on their site.

Laura said that Visit England @AA have now got a test site up and running, but not one available for the public to view. I was quite firm and said I had heard all this before. She said there had been technical problems and delays,although they had expected the site to be live by the end of September it will now be November (I was tempted to ask her to confirm the year, but held back on that one).
she said communication will go out to al of us members when the site is live, and we will be given opportunity to submit comments.
when I asked if there would be a link to our websites, she said "no, not in phase one, that would come as a result of members feedback".

I know I struggled to keep my voice calm at this point, as I explained to her that a link to our websites is essential, and why would a member of the public have to log out to do a search on every property name that they think is marginally of interest to them. I furthermore cannot believe that they have waited so long to undertake a consultation that could have happened in April. I also said I cannot believe that the phase 2 completion can possibly be live before the end of march, so we will have lost a whole year of a service that we have paid for and are not getting.

I got the impression that the decisions are made by someone higher up the food chain than Laura, so can I ask LMHatters to also ring and try and find out who we really need to speak with an influence, as this is a dreadful service.
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Tournesol



Joined: 18 May 2017
Posts: 44
Location: Charente

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tried searching for a room in Chester, different critera several times, and just get a blue square and "your search has been unsuccessful".
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kyreniagirl



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 2306

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newtimber wrote:
I was interested in seeing whether VE has actually got a website yet and they have. It's http://selfcatering.visitor-guides.co.uk.

It's one of the worst websites I've seen. If you search for self-catering in the whole of the South East of England for one week from 8 December in one unit, I am shown 15 properties. Can this be right? Is everyone booked up in this week? Not only that, there is no website details or any details whatsoever, just a phone number and address and a pin on a map. Trying to find out more, I deleted the date and redid the search and the map shows up with a property in the middle of the sea off Ghana! And some of the properties now have a smart red "details and book" button though to understand how this works is a challenge and I gave up. It appears to use Guestlink. I'm wondering whether some property owners are updating Guestlink calendars and if not whether their properties are automatically marked unavailable?

Does anyone who has renewed their subscription know what is going on and what the plans are and whether it's worthwhile renewing?


If they use Guestlink then Iím not surprised tís not up to date. Itís a nightmare to use for self catering. Ok for hotels and b n bs.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 308
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:

when I asked if there would be a link to our websites, she said "no,


These restrictive practices are doomed.
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Orsonthecat



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 164
Location: Vale of Belvoir, East Midlands

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This all sound hopeless. I must admit I held back my renewal VE annual membership payment this year a student hadnít heard anything from anyone about the inspection and worried that in the swap over the the AA for this role itnwoud all fall apart. Well I did pay up eventually but only as I wanted to use the VE last star rating and gold award for a regional awards application). Iíve heard nothing at all and canít imagine they will get around to inspecting me this year now... Rolling Eyes
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