Most of the people who follow this blog are already well aware of the new service fees that HomeAway has imposed on travelers.
Large media outlets are beginning to pick up on the story. From the Chicago Tribune:
Online travel giant Expedia purchased HomeAway last year for $3.9 billion, and the new fee is widely seen as a means of squeezing profit from the deal
Make your voices be heard, folks!
What can I do?
Search around and find communities that are protesting. Even if you don't want to blog or write openly about it, you can join the community and like/vote/encourage them to keep at it.
The Consumer Affairs website has a very active discussion about the situation.
There is a "Just Say No to VRBO" group on Facebook you can join.
What other protest websites or forums have you found? Add them to the comments below.
2 Comments (add yours)
Homeaway Communities has some pretty active forum threads. They have allowed them to remain on the site, but I believe they do delete some of the comments.
There is a class action suit filed by one gentleman, filed in Texas where HomeAway is based.
There's a lot of scuttlebutt about starting up owner-owned and operated sites for listings. Also a lot of little startups are appearing. I personally don't think any of these will gain any traction in the short run. My hope is that a bigger player steps in soon and just creates a mega-classifieds service and is satisfied with taking in subscription fees. To me the guest fee wasn't the most egregious problem, it was the gradual and incessant need for Homeaway/VRBO to control and micromanage the owners' business. The stick vs. the carrot approach is also not working for them. The first good high profile alternative that appears in the marketplace, and you'll see a mass exodus of homeowners. In the meantime, many of us are beefing up our websites, using social media, and diversifying as much as we can.
I agree with Nancy. And I've been told about HomeEscape.com as an owner-centric alternative. I just put my listings up there, we'll see what happens.