Throughout the second half of 2014 and into 2015, vacation rental managers have been reporting a multitude of support issues with their listings on FlipKey (TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals). From customer service to technology integration flaws, inability to address reviews and pricing complaints, property managers have been struggling with listing their properties and are questioning TripAdvisor’s dedication and direction regarding professionally managed vacation rentals.
One property manager said, “I’ve talked to several other managers around the country and they all agree FlipKey’s service to property managers is absolutely horrible. When you call their office their voicemails are always full and they’re always traveling around the country. Somebody needs to bring attention to them so they can get their act together.”
In Maine, Justin Ford, owner of On the Water in Maine Vacation Rentals, said, “The biggest issue we had with FlipKey and TripAdvisor was that a property that had previously been managed by another rental company switched to us for management. We, of course, listed it on FlipKey as we have a relationship with them. FlipKey ‘identified’ that the property was the same one listed with the previous agency and not only re-attached previous negative reviews for that property to our new listing of it, but they also copied over the horrible responses to those reviews from the previous agency, and attached our logo to those responses making it out that we responded to the negative reviews.”
Annee Martin, founder of Sanctuary Vacation Rentals in Pacific Grove, CA, said, “We have been thoroughly disappointed in the fundamental lack of stability in their service and technology. Uptime is something that we have come to expect from marketplaces, and we do not have these issues with any other providers. The folks at FlipKey have developed a business model that is counter to the goals and practices of professional managers. Their current model may be better for RBOs.”
In an effort to bring to light the service and support issues, over 100 property managers representing 15,000 properties crafted and signed a formal letter of complaint to TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer.
According to the group, “Our intention is to offer feedback on the Vacation Rentals division of TripAdvisor with hopes to make TAVR executives aware that there is a serious problem that many managers are talking about with the hope that ‘mismanagement and technical issues’ will be addressed and customer communications and response time can improve.”
At the time of publication, there had been no response to the letter from TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer. Read “Letter to TripAdvisor from Vacation Rental Managers” in its entirety.