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Finally went off-line with FlipKey and TravelAdvisor after 3 weeks of being bullied!


#1

Well I finally did it this morning - went off-line with Tripadvisor and FlipKey and the final straw was them accusing me of rebooking my property and not returning a rightfully earned, in accordance with my cancellation policy, cancellation fee. So here is the irony, I didn’t rebook the property at all, I just blocked the dates so I wouldn’t have to deal with TripAdvisor or FlipKey suggesting that I take this nasty guest anyway.After being threaten by the the guest - here is what she wrote to me " You tried to gouge me and my attorney feels the same way you declined my booking for the original stated price. If I do not receive the rest of my deposit, it will end up costing you more than the original deposit. Your choice." By the way, I never declined the booking. Then TripAdvisor and FlipKey threaten to suspend my listing “If you are unwilling to resolve this amicably with the guest [which according to FlipKey mean return the cancellation fee], we may consider suspension from our website.” Soooo after 14 emails and NO SUPPORT from FlipKey I have gone off-line with this booking service. Fortunately, I have only had 5 bookings from them in the past almost 2 years and I think it is basically that the platform is so hard to decipher and that they charge so much for booking. Anyway I am DONE!!:anguished:
Thanks of listening and this experience has really turned me away from short term rentals since every time I received a threatening email from the guest or FlipKey I feel physically sick - :pensive:


#2

Hi Helen,

I recently saw someone post this phone number that reaches the office in Boston. It is for vacationhomerental.com but they are a part of flipkey/trip advisor. 844-866-3782

The person said they were finally able to receive assistance after overseas people wouldn’t help. I took note of it in case I have another issue with them.

I think it is ridiculous that Flipkey just doesn’t give the traveler her money back if they want to appease her. For one - it was their system screw up that added the extra cleaning fee and didn’t calculate extra guests. So instead of just paying the traveler to go away, they would rather threaten to suspend your account if you don’t. Isn’t that extortion from a multi million/billion dollar company?

Helen,
This could be your chance to win a big lawsuit. Get BBM and others to join - who have had their livelihoods threatened over not accepting unqualified travelers. Am I crazy or is that also not extortion? I mean…you can’t force someone to accept travelers when those travelers do not meet the requirments to stay.


#4

Well that’s interesting. I booked through Expedia (or tried to) and they also charged me a double cleaning fee. I fought with them and finally had to fight to just cancel the booking entirely. Flipkey and Expedia are acting badly. It’s too bad. I always book my flights through Expedia, although now I’m wondering if I should be moving on…


#6

They are HORRIBLE!!! Sorry Helen… I only have my listing active to “advertise,” then I try to steer inquiries over to Air.


#7

NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER use Travelocity for flights! They are a nightmare!


#8

Only when rum is added to the eggnog!!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


#9

hahahahahahahah :slight_smile: I’ll have to try this one!

Have you tried steering them to Air? I say, “Look me up on that other site. I’m called the same name and everything, that site is easier to use, and cheaper.”

Sometimes it gets blocked, sometimes not. But more often than not I never hear anything from the inquiring guests. I really hate FrickKey. Awful platform, punitive toward hosts and rips off guests. AWFUL.


#10

How can they get you to pay that? Do they have access and authorization to charge your card?
Scary, bullying behavior on the part of FK.


#12

Yes you need to move on to skyscanner and kayak and make sure you have incognito turned on. Trust me -I’m the cheap flight finding queen lol …


#13

Thanks for these comments and I am concerned about FlipKey going into my accounts without my permission and retrieving the the cancellation fee but I think that would be stepping WAY over the line and illegal since they have already admitted in many emails that I have acted properly and within the terms of my cancellation policy. I have repeatedly told FlipKey to “deal with the guest” and that is why I use and on-line booking service and that is what THEY get paid to do and they should pay the cancellation fee if they feel this guest should get it back. Anyway since the site is turned off I am hoping they will get the message that I do not care if the “suspend” my listing and that they need to LEAVE ME ALONE!


#14

Thanks so much for the phone number and if this isn’t ended, which I sincerely hope it is since my listing is shut down, I will call and see if I can get some assistance. I have kept all of the emails from TripAdvisor and FlipKey and the guest in a separate document to use as evidence in case there is any further action against me. Your comments are most reassuring since I have felt so abused by FlipKey.


#15

My sons alerted me also to skiplagged. But it doesn’t work well for us because Kona can never be a “hidden” city, haha! Also it’s our location that makes finding bargain flights a challenge. Because of how far we are located in the middle of the boonies of the Pacific Ocean (the most isolated archipelago in the world) it’s really hard to use those cheap flight sites. They give a zillion flight options sure, but most of them have 20 stops and will take you five days to reach the East coast of the US. For example. You have no choice but to take an overnight from Kona to the East, unless you want to be flying several days and overnighting at airports. Our choices from here are quite limited.


#16

This is a super confusing feature of their site. I have not been sending quotes now for exactly the reasons you have been informing us of… And I probably don’t get enough inquiries to get suspended. But are you saying it doesn’t count if you “reply” right away? I also hate their messaging platform which seems to default into sending their “quote.” It’s confusing and I never realized that was a pre approval in disguise! Again very confusing to the user!

By the way, can you also answer this? It will say for the quote: “Guest pays $900, you earn $500” and that is because they collect the full security deposit in cash up front, whereas I believe Air just places a “hold” on their cc for the deposit? They also take something like 14 days to refund that amount to the guest. That’s why Air is so much cheaper and easier to use for the guest if this is true,

Gawd how I hate frackkey.

Well I’m just curious…I’m not going to use them again anyway… :slight_smile:


#17

It is just absolutely crazy reading that Flopkey says host has cancelled if another reservation is accepted first. Esp. them claiming “cancellation” when it is a quote. This really has to take the cake of all the idiot policies of all the listing sites. Their policy is never going to work as they are going to end up getting rid of most of their listings. Like you said the rental world is first come, first serve.


#18

I have noticed that as well since my booking stated the guest was paying $698.00 and I would earn $509.00. When I have had FlipKey/TravelAdvisor guests they have contacted me for their security deposit return and I have told them to contact FlipKey since I do not hold it or release the security deposit.
Also if the guest cancels they have to pay the booking fees which in this case was $69.00 so I am wondering if FlipKey refunded that amount to my potential guests.- I would guess not but they expect me to return the cancellation fee. HA!
By the way, HomeAway and VRBO collect the security deposit up front as well but I then I refund it after I check my property. It works very well since I sometimes use it for other fees or extra guests that may have stayed in the apartment and do not have to go through a separate billing request. I hope this answers your question and confirms your experience.


#20

Yes! my experience too! they hang on to it for an excessively long two week period!


#21

This is what it looks like: Very innocent:


#22

Ok here is the latest that I have received from FlopKey - thanks for the new appropriate name - Unbelieveable that they are threatening ME when the guest cancelled and then FlopKey, in accordance with the recommended cancellation policy which is moderate by the way - they sent me the cancellation fee - said I had every right to it and now they want it back, REALLY! So I am not responding to this threat and I am going to contact the Consumer Protection Agency and the Attorney General’s office to complain about this harassment. Also, I have already shut down the listing therefore most of this is bogus.

Hello Helen,

Call us urgently to avoid losing your listing and reservations

We’ve now made several attempts to contact you about the outstanding complaint from ______ regarding their refund on the booking cancellation . The terms and conditions of our site require you to respond when you’re contacted by either us or a traveler.

This matter is now extremely urgent. Please call us on 1-877-FLIPKEY within 24hrs of this email being sent.

If you don’t contact us, we’ll have no choice but to:

Remove your listing(s) from our site
Cancel all your existing reservations and refund payments to travelers in full
Refer this matter to our legal department

By not responding to the traveler about this complaint, you’re failing to comply with your obligations under the Advertiser Agreement.

We look forward to resolving this matter with you.

Regards,

Fabio

The Flipkeyr Team


#23

This is unbelievable!!! Do you have any future reservations with them?

And if you did have future bookings would Flipkey actually follow through and cancel guest reservations?? Hardly the reputation I would want if I was the owner of Flipkey. Then guests will be reluctant to use their site in the future and post all over the internet about how their reservation was cancelled, and the site cannot be trusted!!


#24

Okay, more bad news about Flopkey. I was out at a coffee shop–was taking away a sandwich, donut and coffee–when my cell went. Because the voice on the other end was so bad and I was finishing up, I went outside, forgetting my donut inside, and then, crossing the street, still holding the phone, I recognized the voice as the man who had called me earlier to join up with Flop.

The first time he called, he gave me so much fawning BS, that I just filled out the Flop form without him and while he was talking. When I told him I’d done so, and asked him why I needed his help/intervention, he asked me to change the email address because he said he was working on commission. I’m like, right. Like I want you, a complete stranger, to get a cut of my rental profit. So I hung up. This time, he said he was calling on behalf of a couple who wanted to book right then and there, so he was clearly using the carrot/stick method.

I was really angry. There was the 044 prefix, which is the UK, and I only answered because a friend’s husband there is waiting for the all clear from a cancer op and I thought it was her phoning. So I get to the other end of the crossing and wipe out. My phone goes spinning away, my sandwich falls (wrapped tho) and luckily my coffee is fine.

I know that the falling part was my fault, but fck, I wouldn’t have answered if I’d known it was these idiots again–the ones who got my phone number from VRBO. And fck VRBO. Why the hell do they insist on my putting my phone number out there. I kept getting messages saying I would get more bookings if I did so.

Sorry, but i really took a tumble and all over a distracting BS call from people who sound like idiots anyway.


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