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Owners direct

Posted by wideawake-434259 - Created: 3 years ago
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8 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 8)

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Posted by firestarter-435430 - 3 years ago

When I specifically asked them the question about what the commission was they told me 10%.  You now usually go through to (I assume) an Indian based call centre judging by the people answering. 

I suspect that eventually 'Owners Direct' might disappear as they are steering it towards their parent company Home Away.

Any complaints you make will fall on deaf ears and the most you can hope for is free upgrades - the featured property upgrade, however, isn't worth having as we've been given this on a number of occasions and it makes absolutely no difference to enquiries.

The only saving grace is that they have kept the review system.  If you can get your guests to leave you a 5* review this is definitely something that travellers base their choices on.

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Posted by honeysuckle20 - 3 years ago

I advertise with OD on a subscription basis with "Book Now" enabled. I pay 2.4% fee to cover the transaction cost (1.5% if you live in the same country as the guest paying's bank). The money is paid to my bank account within 4 days of it it being paid by the guest - OD retain the damage deposit - although, I did have to ring up and ask for this to be done.

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Posted by Jo Taylor-790528 - 3 years ago

I advertised with them for the first time last year (over 20 years of letting, so I'm not a newbie).

Filled all the details in. I went to make an amendment a couple of weeks ago and found that my gite had now been blessed with a shower. (I absolutely definitely had not stipulated that on the original details - it's an important point.) Thankfully no guests have queried it; I don't know how long it had been there. Check all your details!

The method of updating the calendar has changed - OK when you've worked out how to do it, but it's not logical or instinctive.

I would never use the 'book now' system - being paid AFTER the guests arrive is out of the question. I can foresee a scenario with unscrupulous people being after a free stopover on their way to a holiday in the south (had someone try that one a couple of years ago - fabricate a complaint after the first night).

The site has been made mobile-friendly - but - as is often the case doing this, instead of making it easier to use, it has obscured the details beneath faint links to 'see more...'.. People viewing on mobiles and other devices notoriously do NOT click on those. The important information should be served on the main screen; any good designer knows that.

I object to this dumbing-down, reducing the process of booking a holiday to a few fat-fingered prods on a touch screen with money-back guarantees for the unscrupulous or those that can't be bothered to read properly. I subscribed to Owners Direct because of the clue in the title - direct contact with one's potential guests. In the main, we are individuals with a cottage to let - not part of a mega corporation.

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Posted by firestarter-435430 - 3 years ago

Everyone  knows about my gripes with OD and I totally agree but you should be easily able to update your calendar and prices although I admit I haven't done this yet for next year as we never get bookings this early for following season.

I don't know if owners have been receiving their 'special 30% or 40% off' sale offers but out of interest I looked at the 40% one to see what they were up to and they are offering a 2nd property at £149.40 instead of £249.  This has to be a mistake because we only paid £120 for the additional property!  Looks as though they have hiked the intitial price just to make the sale offer look good so if anyone has taken up this offer you have been had.

One gripe with the new site is that all replies come from and should go back through OD.  They do not supply the owners email address and have control of the content of your email.  If, however, you go to your dashboard you will be able to see the enquirer's email address so it is possible to contact them without going through the dashboard.  Having said that, how quickly you respond (through the dashboard) depends on how they rank you in their listings.

However, my main gripe is that they have made the owner's website link virtually impossible to find which prevents people going to your own site.  I would not book anything unless I had looked at both sites but the new system makes it extremely difficult. 

We complained about the price increase as it was only (I think) about £90 last year and they gave us a german upgrade free of charge.  It's worth speaking to them on the phone and making as much fuss as possible as they will offer you freebies.  For the first time ever, they actually called me about renewal as I hadn't done it.  Before they weren't bothered but I suspect that they are struggling to get renewals.

.Unfortunately, OD is where we get the majority of our enquiries so I have to stay with them for the time being but the 'book now' option will never be considered as they take a 10% commission which is extortionate.  In addition, like other 'book now' systems, you have no control over the money/deposits and have to wait until they release it - often after guest has arrived.  There is also a nasty 'chargeback' clause which is meant to protect people in case the card is stolen but having read up on chargebacks I feel that this is open to abuse and it would be possible for the money to be taken back out of your account.

Sure you are all very bored by now so will say bye bye!

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Posted by Dibbyspot - 3 years ago

 

It is interesting that you have these problems. I'm sure the company would wish to know about it.

Before I take radical action or if  I experience bad service I normally complain to the CEO explaining how lousy their business is, demand a refund, and action on the service they deliver to me. Suggest you do the same. You would not want a guess badmouthing you on social media without you first having a chance to correct the problem same applies to business.

The details of the CEO of this business is as follows

Holiday Rentals Mr Brian Sharples Chief Executive     Email bsharples@homeaway.com Telephone 020 8827 1998 Fax 020 3031 1021

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Posted by camion - 3 years ago

We stopped advertising them too, their site for owners and the cost had got far too expensive, and now since they have re-arrranged their format is very difficult as a customer to find what you are looking for- the biggest reason that I would not advertise with them again, should I still be with them!!!

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Posted by wideawake-434259 - 3 years ago

Hello Grebo,  As I have been in this business for over ten years I do think I know what I am doing, but I have had no success with this new company.  Maybe it is my computer which is not responding as it should,  and I have jus given up,with them.

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Posted by Grebo-210000 - 3 years ago

I also advertise with owners direct. 

Surely you must keep your prices up to date for next year otherwise how do you expect potential guests to know the price? Easily done by going into "rates" on the site  

The same with the calendar. It is up to you to update it on the site which is very easy to do & then when all is correct you just click on "My calendar is up to date". Quite simple really. 

I accept the site is not as good as previously but what are you suggesting as an alternative?