“We urge you to hold hearings on the duopolistic practices of Expedia and Trip Advisor,” states the petition. “Since Expedia bought the host of vacation home rental website of Vacation Rentals by Owners (VRBO), they have bullied the small businesses of vacation home renters. They have sought to take over the control of our properties, and they have imposed a 9% to 12% booking fee on our renters.”
The petition was initiated by a group of vacation home owners who list on Expedia-owned HomeAway and TripAdvisor Vacation Rental sites and is led by Bunnie Riedel who wrote, “Not only does the petition call for the treatment of homeowners to be investigated but also the treatment of travelers.”
Directed at the Senate Judiciary Committee and its Chair, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the petition urges the committee to hold hearings on the issue of collusion, bullying and antitrust tactics of these two companies toward vacation home owners.
Airbnb was not included in the petition, even though its fees and policies mirror TripAdvisor and Expedia.
Clearly, the answer is to remove properties from these companies. If they have no listings they have no business. The problem is people will complain, publically, but not do the obvious.
These companies have no hold over owners other than their laziness and the easy way to get bookings. They are not forcing you to list your rentals with them so, in reality, they can do what they like and impose their conditions. If you don’t like it walk away.
There is a difference between Airbnb and HomeAway.
Although I would prefer not to use them – Airbnb gets me bookings for which I pay a fee. But I pay nothing for an entry.
In contrast HomeAway charge me a lot of money for a yearly entry and then have the audacity to charge my visitors a huge “service fee” for dubious “benefits” on top of the amount they have taken from me. Actually I refuse to have Online booking through them and take my bookings privately so my customers don’t pay the fee. However they are squeezing us – its only a matter of time before they hide the enquirer’s email address. I think that would be illegal because we are paying them to advertise our property – NOT act as an agent.
And an even greater Sage replied “I ain’t got time for that.” If you’re smart, you’ll read the comments below the petition and realize that Expedia, Trip Advisor, and AirBnB have stepped in it big time.
People can walk with their feet and they are.
Good luck to ya on that new business model.
This is not like firing your poor gardner…….it will take time for these metasearch types to destroy each other with intense price competition…..the more metaserch, the cheaper prices will become….does anyone believe travel property pros at market risk will continue to pay up to 20% to those in skivies in mom’ s basement….be patient the hammer is coming-
Biggest change in our area…last year 94 vacation rentals, this year 296 vacation rentals. Many rentals have misleading locations and amenities. True long term professionals buried in the morass consumers face…296 rentals makes for blood shot eyes and carpal syndrome from shucking mouses.
The shakeout will be a historic real estate segment balloon, those with debt service will be gone, those who survive face intense regulation and dramatic increase in operating costs ala marketing and faux amenity chasing-
Travel marketing is also very lucrative. Especially if you extract payments from both the property owner and the traveler.
A Sage once say, “no tickee no laundry.
Travel marketing is expensive……..