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Owners Direct
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1610
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have online everything on subscription so I can reply via OD and their personal email giving them the choice to book direct or via OD, some never reply, some book with OD some book direct, some become repeat bookings.
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www.algarvevillatrinity.co.uk
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2773
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse wrote:
newtimber wrote:
I think all new subscriptions and renewed ones now have to have online booking and the service fee applied. OD have changed their terms and conditions.


From when newtimber? I renewed end of Jan and had no problem with keeping to subscription without online anything.

Mouse
x


They brought that in on April 25th, Mouse. I had renewed my two properties until May '18 and December '18 (on VRBO) this time last year before the T and C's changed as I was afraid it would be suddenly mandatory to have OLB and would have renewed again until the following year if they only gave me a renew button. Even ringing them (which had been successful with some people getting right through 2019) I couldn't find an agent who would do this for me so I guess I will be leaving them next year when these subscriptions are up. Meanwhile I am putting my faith in TA but it seems that nobody is seeing my well hidden listings at the moment on either site (subscription and no payments through the sites) as I am not earning them megadollars. One property has had just 2 views in May on VRBO (I am on the last page, if I feature at all) and those were probably me! At this time, I would normally be full for the summer and have Christmas and New Year booked. As it is I still have 5 weeks available before October.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7104
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good grief! I imagine that it wasn't announced as I didn't know that....thank god this thread was started!

So they will now want a huge subscription and online booking is non negotiable Crying or Very sad oh dear.....I think I will do what you do Sam. After all we have the ability to accept payment on cc through wave so why would anyone want to book online and pay a commission?

Baffled Mousie
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Stewart



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 83
Location: Fife, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Owners Direct - Not Brilliant Reply with quote

Spent money with these guys over the years with poor booking results. Worryingly their "geography algorithm" placed the let location a full 20 miles away from the actualitie. OD help desk didn't give a flying feck. I suspect the Trip Advisor dementors are sucking them to death. Cheery regards, Stewpot
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 659
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FelicityA wrote:
Mouse wrote:
newtimber wrote:
I think all new subscriptions and renewed ones now have to have online booking and the service fee applied. OD have changed their terms and conditions.


From when newtimber? I renewed end of Jan and had no problem with keeping to subscription without online anything.

Mouse
x


They brought that in on April 25th, Mouse. I had renewed my two properties until May '18 and December '18 (on VRBO) this time last year before the T and C's changed as I was afraid it would be suddenly mandatory to have OLB and would have renewed again until the following year if they only gave me a renew button. Even ringing them (which had been successful with some people getting right through 2019) I couldn't find an agent who would do this for me so I guess I will be leaving them next year when these subscriptions are up. Meanwhile I am putting my faith in TA but it seems that nobody is seeing my well hidden listings at the moment on either site (subscription and no payments through the sites) as I am not earning them megadollars. One property has had just 2 views in May on VRBO (I am on the last page, if I feature at all) and those were probably me! At this time, I would normally be full for the summer and have Christmas and New Year booked. As it is I still have 5 weeks available before October.


It would appear not if this email is honest & accurate (& that's by no means a given!) It's from today 10/5 copy/paste & my bold

"Important information about your listing
On 11 July 2016, we removed multiple subscription levels. Instead we now offer one annual subscription with the flat cost of 249 excl. VAT for listings with Online Booking, and 399 excl. VAT for listings that don't have this feature activated.
All listings include regional and international exposure on our international family of 25 sites.
Please ensure Online Booking is enabled for your listing before you renew your subscription in order to take advantage of the lower price and to improve your listing's performance."

No OLB or OP = No service fee for your potential guests.
That is of course IF you are able to drum up any potential guests from the nether regions of OD's naughty step.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2773
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mistake then. Sorry! It must only have applied to VRBO and Homeaway.com from April 25th - I get all my information from the Facebook site as they never seem to send me any emails of changes. I thought it would be across the board in the Expedia family. I wrongly assumed that.
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 498
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Jonathan

At present I want to continue with OD! My last subscription payment was 178.80 (with a discount spotted by a very helpful LMH member)

I have online booking enabled but not instant booking...

Like others I have found that some guests have seen my cottage on OD then booked directly..

55% of my bookings from early April this year were through direct contact Happy about this!

27% were through Owners Direct.

I advertise through AirBnb - just one booking Apr 16 - 17 .. none since .. and also through Holiday Lettings - one booking from April '17 (out of 22)
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7104
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks COYS. That is as I thought.....but things change seemingly overnight with these characters, so nothing surprises me.

Sam.....do you have the lower subscription? I paid the higher one to keep total control but I like your way of thinking; giving people the option. Of course it's only worthwhile to me if it helps our place to be more visible.

Mousie
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chipiechoo



Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Posts: 126
Location: SW France

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully somebody can offer advice regarding our current situation with OD.
Our subscription is due to expire after 8 years in July. We have NOTHING enabled and over past years have had excellent results. This year all our booking bar 2 have come through our own website except 1 through 'Gitelink" and 2 via OD, 1 of these found us there and came direct, the other went through OD but we got them to book direct.
Had intended not renewing with OD. Just this evening we have had a phone call from OD offering us renewel for 249 + vat, instead off 399 + vat quoted on our renewel info. They have assured us nothing will change as we are existing clients, payments as we require and contact will remain unchanged. The only difference will be that guests pay a service charge of 4% but the control will remain with us. And they didn't argue when I asked if we would still remain bottom of the pile and almost invisible.
Having said all this we still feel the exposure on OD and the rest of that family is probably more worthwhile than going with whom? We won't entertain ABB or Booking.com, so would appreciate any words of wisdom regarding staying with OD for a further year because frankly we don't trust their word.
Many thanks LMH'ers
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 659
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly chipiechoo, I wouldn't trust a single word spoken by sales staff on the phone, as once you have signed up you will have little or no recourse without written confirmation if it turns out you have been misled or ill advised.
Ask yourself a simple question - if you want to continue taking your own bookings & payments (i.e not enabling OLB or OP) as you have previously done, then HOW do they propose to levy their 4% (minimum) + vat charge to your customers? And why would you want them to? If neither you or your clients are using any additional 'services' there is no value in the additional fee whatsoever.
I have been with them from almost day one, so my status as an existing client would not be in question but I have heard or read nothing to suggest that I would be afforded preferential treatment (as you suggest) outside of their current renewal policy (see previous email excerpt) when my subscription ends shortly.
Whether you feel the 'exposure' is warranted or likely to continue seems to be the biggest bone of contention & I think that may simply boil down to a strictly personal choice for many.
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1610
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouse wrote:
Thanks COYS. That is as I thought.....but things change seemingly overnight with these characters, so nothing surprises me.

Sam.....do you have the lower subscription? I paid the higher one to keep total control but I like your way of thinking; giving people the option. Of course it's only worthwhile to me if it helps our place to be more visible.

Mousie
x


I paid the lower rate, but no discount was available at the time. I have everything enabled. The majority of my bookings are still
via OD, and without verifying, most bookings are direct. I have however noticed a marked drop in enquiries and responses Jan-May '16 15 enqs= 5 bookings, 2017: 8 enqs= 3 bookings. I had my first enquiry from Airbnb for two years this week for available dates but asking for dates that are booked in the calendar. Before I was booted by TripAdvisor late last year I only ever had four bookings, all booked online, and my account with them was from their take over of HL.
_________________
TA lurkers walk among us; the LMH Walking Dead

dont mess in the affairs of cats for they are subtle and will p on your computer.

www.algarvevillatrinity.co.uk
www.facebook.com/villatrinity
www.gardenerscottage.promotemyplace.com
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chipiechoo



Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Posts: 126
Location: SW France

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Coys for your opinion, did help clarify matters in our mind. Didn't for a second think we were being offered preferential treatment, it was they who suggested but deliberately refused to acknowledge the OB proviso. That was where the confusion lay, I had stated in the first sentence we would not consider it and they said okay, but as you point out how else can they levy their 4%.
As you point out they cannot be trusted and once they got our money we would still be invisible and ignored.
Incidently you mention your subscription is due to expire shortly, are you intending to renew?
Rock and a hard place springs to mind.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2773
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So on Owner's Direct a guest only pays a service charge of 4%??!! I say 'only' advisedly as I don't think they should have to pay anything, but that is another story.

I am amazed that OD have apparently managed to keep some independence and different conditions to the rest of the Homeaway/Expedia family (at least VRBO and Homeaway.com to my certain knowledge) where the guest is levied a fee of anything up to 12% - a figure which changes daily apparently as they are 'seeing what works'.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 659
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chipiechoo wrote:

Incidently you mention your subscription is due to expire shortly, are you intending to renew?
Rock and a hard place springs to mind.


I have considered it chipiechoo, but will almost certainly not be continuing with it. I wondered about just maintaining a presence but I have friends & neighbours who have succumbed to or completely embraced the future model & they are no better off (& in some cases far worse) in terms of enquiries or bookings than me so it appears that OLB & OP have little or no positive effect on increased enquiries and bookings. Since the market changes, these have simply tanked in our region so it would appear a pointless waste of money.
I will invest more time in promoting my own website, engage more with social media & support alternative listing sites & other development instead.

BTW FelicityA, I believe that 4%+vat is their base (from) rate & as far as I'm aware there is no published scale of charges so no way of knowing what % they will levy on a particular property or price band unless you send a test enquiry. Classic 'keep them in the dark' behaviour.
As for "seeing what works" who wants to bet that it'll be a figure at the top end of the scale because their research says that's what travellers want?
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1211
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

COYS wrote:
...so it appears that OLB & OP have little or no positive effect on increased enquiries and bookings. Since the market changes, these have simply tanked in our region so it would appear a pointless waste of money.

Having been on OD's OLB & OP since early days, my experience is that these have no positive effect whatsoever. In fact it is probably the reverse. The watershed came on the day last June when the travellers' service fee for subscription customers came into force and, in consequence, enquiries through them have also tanked in our region.

I am still with Owners Direct, but get virtually nothing through them - just one and she regrets not booking direct. However my OD advert. is a useful billboard and guests have searched, found and booked my property in ways that hasn't cost them a penny extra in travellers' commissions.
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