A recent change in Owners Direct’s (HomeAway) pricing policy has meant that all guests are now charged an additional 12% on top of the owners prices. A move not only effecting us, but every other listing on their site. This is another in a long string of changes that have made Owners Direct, in our opinion, significantly worse for owners and guests alike since it became part of the Home Away group.
As a result we have taken the decision to stop listing our lovely villa with them and only take bookings exclusively through our own website. You can be guaranteed that you are getting the best prices and dealing directly with us, an not an agent, when you book here or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In short, Owners Direct previously offered various pricing structures for owners, but the main differences were the cheaper “variable rate”packages only allowed you to do bookings through owners direct, they took payments and took a cut of any rental income, or more expensive “fixed price” options where you could manage the bookings yourself and you could be sure that all the money you spent on your holiday came directly to us as we had paid for the advertising up front (you could still ask owners direct to take payment for you but again, they took a cut).
Despite the fact that we were still paying the higher rate to advertise with owners direct, a recent change in their policies means that you new have to book through their site and cant deal directly with the owners. Any attempt to exchange contact information is also blanked out. This would be fine, but then we noticed that all our prices had gone up by 12%, so not only were Owners Direct charging us the same premium rate they did before, they were inflating the prices of every single listing on the old “fixed price” system and creaming this bit off the top for themselves. This was not clearly circulated to owners and, as far as we are concerned, snuck in under the radar.
We didn’t think this was fair that Owners Direct were now asking all our new guests and returning friends to pay an additional 12% when we have already paid their advertising fees up front. As such, we are no longer listed on their site and will be looking at alternative advertising streams in the near future.