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Owners Direct ultimatum arrived today
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 421
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Owners Direct ultimatum arrived today Reply with quote

So its happened - Email today from OD forcing those not on on-line booking to either sign up or F**k *ff
The end of an good website once and for all - RIP Owners Direct
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1206
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Owners Direct ultimatum arrived today Reply with quote

bornintheuk wrote:
So its happened - Email today from OD forcing those not on on-line booking to either sign up or F**k *ff
The end of an good website once and for all - RIP Owners Direct

I would be interested to know what the exact wording of the email was please, bornintheuk?

Of the two choices, mine would be F**k *ff and the same to OD too.Exclamation
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2760
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even those who have signed up for months to come on subscription, on the basis they didn't have to? I ask because I have a subscription (with VRBO) expiring next month but I paid for the next subscription in advance for another year, together with the extra charge for the opt out.
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 421
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Below you will find the copy of the email I received today.
Mostly marketing bullsh1t, but mostly I love the options. Where is the leave OD option ?


"Online booking has long been the most important feature for a listing’s success on Owners Direct®. And looking at our data about millions of travellers, one trend is clearly visible: travellers prefer having the option to book online. For this reason, we've decided that from now on online booking must be enabled before you renew your subscription.
We know this impacts your business, and we wanted to notify you far in advance and answer any questions as soon as possible.

So, what are my options?
Online booking comes in 2 options to help you manage travellers' booking requests:

Option 1: 24-Hour Review Ask and answer any questions for up to 24 hours before accepting or declining a booking enquiry.

Option 2: Instant Booking Booking requests are instantly confirmed and automatically added to your calendar.
When you activate online booking, you will be enrolled by default on to the 24-Hour Review option. You can decide to enable or disable Instant Booking at any time.

How does it work?
Online booking is as easy to activate as it is to use:

Travellers who are ready to book send you a booking request.

You can ask and answer any questions for up to 24 hours before accepting or declining a booking request. Can't respond in 24 hours? The system will automatically decline it on your behalf.

Accepted booking requests are automatically added to your calendar. Continue to exchange messages with your guests to clarify any open questions.
Remember, once you enable online booking, all bookings must go through the Owners Direct checkout.

Unlocking more features for you
Enabling online booking and taking your bookings online also unlocks more features for you:

House Rules: define your own house rules, e.g. for pets or specific events, or simply general rules. Travellers must accept your rules before booking with you.

Traveller Reviews: provide feedback about your guests and access your potential next guests' reviews from past hosts.

Analytics: each booking processed through our platform helps us provide sharper analytics to give you an edge on your competition.

Added protection: we’ve added $1M Liability Insurance protection to cover our owners and property managers for stays booked through Owners Direct, at no extra cost."
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 421
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought, maybe under "House Rules " as part of the "unlocking more features for you ..." I could give my email address/phone number and say that one of the rules is to book direct ?
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1206
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bornintheuk wrote:
Below you will find the copy of the email I received today.
Mostly marketing bullsh1t, but mostly I love the options. Where is the leave OD option ? ...

Thanks for that, bornintheuk. Option 1: Booking requests. Option 2: Instant bookings, and, as you say, the unmentioned Option 3: Don't renew your owner's subscription to OD when the time comes.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 658
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless I’m mistaken that is just a list of things that most of us already have or are able to do quite simply.
I haven’t had the email yet (subbed til May) but seeing as they’ve been totally ineffective in our area for a long time I will consign it to the junk folder & move on. Better still if there’s a reply option, then things could get interesting! Shocked
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 421
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately for us OD brings in about 70% of our annual business.
So do we stay with them and "suck-it-up" or do we take a chance and hope that our other portals will take up the slack because previously the weeks were already reserved through OD ?
Decisions decisions Mad
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2164
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having been through all this with HA (which now has become OD effectively) we eventually decided to suck it up.

I wish it were otherwise as well but bookings were went through the floor when I was on subscription with HA. After going back to commission based and online booking (not instant!) things improved hugely. Oddly enough so did our direct bookings.

I think some of the more switched on customers search for the name and then book direct. No doubt HA will try to prevent names on their listing soon enough. : /
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3930
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martha wrote:
No doubt HA will try to prevent names on their listing soon enough. : /

I'm sure that is coming next. I also wonder how long it will be until we are complaining about being forced to go from online booking to instant booking. Maybe a year?
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 328
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paolo wrote:
being forced to


Really??
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bornintheuk



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 421
Location: Southern Charente

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
paolo wrote:
being forced to


Really??


I'm not sure what you mean ?
Something to do with your signature website ?
Please explain.
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 328
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bornintheuk wrote:

Please explain.


I'm not sure we're being forced to do anything. The market moves and we make conscious or unconscious decisions in response - (or we move the market, I suppose).

They'll keep inflicting pain on us until we elect to do something different. Apart from the occasional harrumphing, I guess it's not so painful. Rolling Eyes

I read an article this morning, from the hotel and serviced apartment sector, which predicts the future of accommodation pricing. It's coming our way. Think airline pricing, small print, non-refundable cancellations, flexible pricing, flexible terms. Resulting in the kind of non-relationship most of us, as travellers, have with the airlines. Independent owners? Suck it up, or make something different happen.

But 'forced'? I don't think so.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 658
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
Independent owners? Suck it up, or make something different happen.

But 'forced'? I don't think so.


+1 Couldn’t agree more
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1206
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
paolo wrote:
being forced to

Really??

Yes, really. I think paolo means that at some point in the near future HA/OD will offer their owner-customers just the one option of accepting instant bookings and nothing else. I also believe that to be a strong possibility. I suspect that 'instant booking' does have an appeal to a certain age group and to a certain type of guest.

This is how I read the "mind" of Expedia. From the start they have regarded their owner-customers as foolish and malleable and know that many still rely on their sites to keep in business. If they introduced the changes they want to make all at once, it would produce a knee jerk reaction in their customers who might leave in droves. But introducing their planned changes little by little (as they do) it makes what was once unacceptable to customers say 6 months ago now acceptable for a good many.
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