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OD Premium Partner

 
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Mr Cellophane



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Ovacik, Turkey

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: OD Premium Partner Reply with quote

I have just received an email congratulating me on achieving Premium Partner status. (Probably because I'm one of only a handful of owners who haven't left them!)

However, in order to reap the awesome benefits of this achievement I have to click a button that says: "Take the premium partner pledge"

Anyone know what happens when you click this button?
I am wary of just trying it to find out, in case it does something I don't like!
(It's not that I'm paranoid or anything, but this is OD we're talking about....)
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 841
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a google search and the only thing that came up was OD ad, so I clicked through and searched on their website and got this inside a property listing

Premier Partner
This partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great traveler experience.

Iím not on Od though, so unaware of anything else.
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mmg



Joined: 04 May 2016
Posts: 63
Location: Co Donegal, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same thing from HomeAway, there is a clause in there that you will not offer lower prices anywhere else and that you will honour all quotations provided by HomeAway.

I was separately asked to confirm that I would switch from Yapstone to HomeAway for payments.

I ignored the pledge but confirmed payment switchover, this was followed by an email advising me that my bank account (in Ireland) was not suitable for the changeover - no further information so I had to contact them to ask if the current system would remain in place or would I have to de-list. Confirmation from them that the current payment policy would continue, followed by another email advising me that I had successfully hidden my listing - I don't know who has hidden my listing but it certainly wasn't me. It does explain why I couldn't access my ranking metrics yesterday - it kept telling me I need to adopt online booking in order to see the metrics, I've had online booking for 18 months.

I've messaged asking why my listing is hidden, still waiting for a response. To be honest, they've only booked 29 nights for me in the last 12 months, if I have to de-list it won't be a problem.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1314
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmg wrote:
I had the same thing from HomeAway, there is a clause in there that you will not offer lower prices anywhere else and that you will honour all quotations provided by HomeAway

I think Homeaway have some smart lawyers advising them. I have noticed always that they take their contract clauses right to the brink but never overstep into the realms of the "unlawful". In the UK (well England and Wales at least) to require an owner never to offer lower prices elsewhere in a contract, would be a clause "in restraint of trade" and likely to be unenforceable or otherwise removed at the direction of a judge. However, this "partnership pledge" is NOT a contract; it's merely part of a code of practice.

mmg wrote:
I was separately asked to confirm that I would switch from Yapstone to HomeAway for payments.

Thanks for your interesting post, mmg. If switching payments from Yapstones to Homeaway, can you say if they mean Homeaway UK (as registered as a company in England), or are they talking about Homeaway in America?
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mmg



Joined: 04 May 2016
Posts: 63
Location: Co Donegal, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, the payment provider switch was from Yapstone to HomeAway UK according to the email I received.

Many thanks for your information on the pledge, as opposed to a contract clause. I've jumped through every hoop HomeAway have asked of us but bookings via their platform have nosedived (on the plus side I'm getting more bookings directly). The premier partnership should put us in front of a bigger audience but I was put off by the pricing clause.
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Mr Cellophane



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 30
Location: Ovacik, Turkey

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses.

I had already been made to agree the switch away from Yapstone some weeks ago - a dirty great pop up insisting on it plonked itself over the first screen and demanded agreement before I go any further.

I don't currently offer lower tariff prices elsewhere, but of course their 'service charge' does make it more expensive than my own website. But if someone who comes direct haggles, I do sometimes offer a discount - I am not willing to give up that flexibility.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1314
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Cellophane wrote:
I had already been made to agree the switch away from Yapstone some weeks ago - a dirty great pop up insisting on it plonked itself over the first screen and demanded agreement before I go any further.

That would be the first ransom popup I should be happy to go along with. Switching to having payments made to a company registered within the UK jurisdiction (as mmg has confirmed) brings with it some protective measures, for both owners and guests, which were not available when Yapstones/HolidayRentPayment in the Irish Republic held the money.

I am just guessing, but it may be that HA(UK) don't really want this change, but they are anticipating some new legislation wherein they will no longer be able to direct payments to a company in a different country, over which (by their own admission) they have no control.
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NeatandPicky



Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 362
Location: Pissouri Bay, Cyprus

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonder what they're planning for when the new UK/EU legislation over card charges applies from Jan 13.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 391
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeatandPicky wrote:
Wonder what they're planning for when the new UK/EU legislation over card charges applies from Jan 13.


I suspect they may put up their commission charges to cover the future losses on the cards.
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2202
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got this through HA. I will call them to get a clarification on this as it makes no sense.

"Best rental rates
Partners will offer fair and competitive pricing at all times, including when listing on other websites
Honour the total price shown to travellers at checkout
"

What does "Best rental rates" mean? Best in what context? I'm not signing up to anything that is as vague as this.
"fair and competitive pricing at all times" - as judged by who? Is it to be like AirBnB who are always suggesting I price at less than half my usual rate to get more bookings?

"Honour the total price shown to travellers at checkout"
Very concerned by this as it's perilously easy for mistakes to be made, especially in a market like mine when Xmas/NY are in huge demand and sometimes booked several years ahead. I think I have them all blocked off in advance now but who knows when HA suddenly decide that now's the time to count NY 2020 as available and show it as an off-peak week? I've had several problems like this before.

What legal obligations am I incurring by checking these? There is no link at all. This is the big one I think. So I will call them to clarify.

Update - no legal obligation to change anything, according to them. Basically the whole thing is legally toothless. I have the conversation (in chat) saved so I can refer back to it in case of any funny business. She was actually very helpful so I recommend doing this for your own specific questions.

I didn't see anything specifically about not offering lower prices elsewhere though?
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1314
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martha wrote:
I just got this through HA. I will call them to get a clarification on this as it makes no sense.

"Best rental rates
Partners will offer fair and competitive pricing at all times, including when listing on other websites
Honour the total price shown to travellers at checkout
"

What does "Best rental rates" mean? ... What legal obligations am I incurring by checking these? There is no link at all. This is the big one I think. So I will call them to clarify ...

Update - no legal obligation to change anything, according to them. Basically the whole thing is legally toothless.


Martha, what HA are saying there is just meaningless to me and to most others I should think. However, reading between the lines, I would say that HA believe they are losing out because some of their owners/customers are charging higher prices on their HA listings and lower prices on their own websites and on other listing sites (which don't charge guests a commission like a 'service charge'). So a savvy guest, could be faced with a choice of booking through the HA platform and thereby not only paying a large 'service charge' but also a higher rent. Whereas the alternative is to book directly with the owner, at a lower rent and without having to pay the 'service charge'. No marks for guessing what his/her choice will be.

Being a "Partner" and undertaking to keep a level playing field for rents across the board, does not bring an owner into some kind of contractual obligation to HA, because HA are promising nothing to the owner in return. However, this "partnership" might bring with it some unmentioned and unspecified perks at the whim of HA. Like going high up in the searches on their site, discounted subscriptions, and other stuff like that. There are no promises from HA so there is no contract, and if there is no contract an owner/partner could not be in breach.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 765
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with AndrewH.
Vague wording & ambiguous reference is the HA default and it appears they are aware that not all guests & owners are drones, so a bit more 'gentle' coercion is required Rolling Eyes
Agreeing to "honour all quotations provided by HomeAway" knowing their penchant for foot shooting would seem a dubious proposition so I can't see myself getting an invite any time soon. As a subs paying customer languishing in the murky HA netherworld of course I have preferential rates or other incentives on my own website - why on earth wouldn't I? But on the flip side, an educated holidaymaker (which are the one's I like most) would surely recognize that a fully fledged Premier Partner is likely to be the least cost effective or flexible option returned at search. We do have a few fully badged participants popping up in our region, almost all of whom are multi property agencies of one type or other.
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