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Do you sell rooms on Hotels.com, Expedia etc etc?

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JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Do you list any of your room inventory on Hotels.com, Expedia etc? If so can you provide some feedback for the forum?
Excerpt from John's email: Webervations users who are also BedandBreakfast.com members will also be delighted by another new feature: Webervations can now be used to manage rates and inventory, and receive reservations directly from BedandBreakfast.com, Expedia, hotels.com, Kayak, Sidestep, Nextag, and coming this fall, Travelocity! BedandBreakfast.com recently signed an agreement with Travelocity to feature BedandBreakfast.com bookable properties on Travelocity websites, moving one step closer to the goal of getting B&Bs sold on every major online travel directory through a system that is easy for innkeepers to manage. Rates and inventory automatically synchronize across all systems, and reservations show up immediately in the Webervations system. It takes only a few minutes to set up the new feature, and customers who already use the BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations program can easily switch over and use Webervations for management instead of the BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations Manager.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I did it for a year. I did get a few reservations but not too many to really make it worth it. I did not like the huge chunk of money taken out for commision. I also had a few guests who wanted to get out of their reservations who couldn't as they had to deal with Expedia directly and they wouldn't allow them to cancel because it was past the cancellation policy. This new system sounds a lot better if it is integrated with your exisiting property management system like webrevations is but I have Superinn right now so you have to run two systems at the same time and try not to overbook which is a headache. I had one room listed on Expedia for every day but for the amount of bookings I received I don't think it was really that great. I had maybe one or two bookings a month. I did not like the fact that I could not get their email or address information so I never knew if I was going to be surprised with more than two guests coming or if they had any food allergies I needed to know about. I was provided with only their name and phone number. Now I am still listed on Expedia but show no availability and guests just do a search on my website and book directly from my own online reservations system.
 

Don Draper

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We do not, we keep our rates as low as possible for everyone, so we could never afford to lose the commission fees that they take. I do see B&B's in our area participating with Expedia (I've seen this thru Trip Advisor), and from what I can see these are the same folks who have a huge list of different rates (in season, out of season, weekday, mid-week, weekend, etc.). We have one rate, year round and don't really want to change that.
 

happykeeper

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Been there- done that!
If you are a heads in beds kind of place- no problem
If you are a selected with care kind of place- no way
A high-end inn with a rate of $200 a night on a 5 night reservation forks over $300 to Expedia for the priveledge of taking in a guest who selected you for the wrong reason, who you can not contact, and who will see you as a hotel.
I have heard and read all the sales pitch stuff about how wonderful it is and I definitely think that it is NOT DESIGNED TO WORK FOR SMALL INNS.
Having said all of that- let me say that I think a system could be put in place that would correct some (most) of those issues and make the commission worth it. Instead of putting the focus on migration, money, and marketing- imagine putting the focus on matching customers with innkeepers or inns. Imagine going to a site that allows the guests to personalize their choice in way that takes advantage of the greatest assest B&B hosts have to offer- personized service and in-depth local knowledge. Imagine regional networks that give B&Bers the benefits they get from direct booking with the inn. I just mean that the model is demanding that a square peg be jammed into a round hole- when with a little work the model could be retrofitted to accept squares.
 

scrambled_eggs

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Been there- done that!
If you are a heads in beds kind of place- no problem
If you are a selected with care kind of place- no way
A high-end inn with a rate of $200 a night on a 5 night reservation forks over $300 to Expedia for the priveledge of taking in a guest who selected you for the wrong reason, who you can not contact, and who will see you as a hotel.
I have heard and read all the sales pitch stuff about how wonderful it is and I definitely think that it is NOT DESIGNED TO WORK FOR SMALL INNS.
Having said all of that- let me say that I think a system could be put in place that would correct some (most) of those issues and make the commission worth it. Instead of putting the focus on migration, money, and marketing- imagine putting the focus on matching customers with innkeepers or inns. Imagine going to a site that allows the guests to personalize their choice in way that takes advantage of the greatest assest B&B hosts have to offer- personized service and in-depth local knowledge. Imagine regional networks that give B&Bers the benefits they get from direct booking with the inn. I just mean that the model is demanding that a square peg be jammed into a round hole- when with a little work the model could be retrofitted to accept squares..
I agree with knkbnb on this!
 

Morticia

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It's tough because almost all of my neighbors have done this with varying success. Some find it very helpful, filling rooms all winter and then they take the rooms off the system in the summer. Others have found that guests show up with 4 for a room that holds 2 because they 'assumed' it was a hotel with 2 beds/room. Others have had guests show up out of the blue who say they have a rez but the innkeeper has no info about them. (We have gotten 2 rooms out of that problem as the innkeeper frantically looks for an open inn for the guests.)
Having to deal with a 3rd party that holds the rez info is tough. You can call the guest for more info if you get a phone number. But the 3rd party doesn't want to lose the booking by giving you enough info to contact the guest and convince them to rebook thru you. Heck, you could give the guest $10 off and STILL save $30.
I like knkbnb's idea of a system just for small properties that matches the amenities to the guests' needs. If one of the directories could do something like that for small properties, that would be great. But lumping B&B's in with hotels is fraught with headaches for everyone- guest, innkeeper, booking engine. Not to say it wouldn't work for a 20 room property. It certainly would. But once you're down under 10 rooms, it's a sizeable chunk of change to give up.
That said, anyone who has a place for sale wants sheer numbers. You want occ, you want $$$, you want a fat bottom line (not to be confused with ZZ Top's song). So, in that case, I'd do it.
 

muirford

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It's tough because almost all of my neighbors have done this with varying success. Some find it very helpful, filling rooms all winter and then they take the rooms off the system in the summer. Others have found that guests show up with 4 for a room that holds 2 because they 'assumed' it was a hotel with 2 beds/room. Others have had guests show up out of the blue who say they have a rez but the innkeeper has no info about them. (We have gotten 2 rooms out of that problem as the innkeeper frantically looks for an open inn for the guests.)
Having to deal with a 3rd party that holds the rez info is tough. You can call the guest for more info if you get a phone number. But the 3rd party doesn't want to lose the booking by giving you enough info to contact the guest and convince them to rebook thru you. Heck, you could give the guest $10 off and STILL save $30.
I like knkbnb's idea of a system just for small properties that matches the amenities to the guests' needs. If one of the directories could do something like that for small properties, that would be great. But lumping B&B's in with hotels is fraught with headaches for everyone- guest, innkeeper, booking engine. Not to say it wouldn't work for a 20 room property. It certainly would. But once you're down under 10 rooms, it's a sizeable chunk of change to give up.
That said, anyone who has a place for sale wants sheer numbers. You want occ, you want $$$, you want a fat bottom line (not to be confused with ZZ Top's song). So, in that case, I'd do it..
Bree said:
That said, anyone who has a place for sale wants sheer numbers. You want occ, you want $$$, you want a fat bottom line (not to be confused with ZZ Top's song). So, in that case, I'd do it.
Not me. A fat bottom line would be nice but I don't have the personality to do it that way. Can you say control freak? I would fret constantly over late arrivals, conflicts on rooms - it just is not worth it. Our bottom line is holding steady from last year - April's excess made up for March's underrun and a little more - so maybe I'm just talking out of turn at this point, but I think I'd do a lot of things before I sell my rooms that way.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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It's tough because almost all of my neighbors have done this with varying success. Some find it very helpful, filling rooms all winter and then they take the rooms off the system in the summer. Others have found that guests show up with 4 for a room that holds 2 because they 'assumed' it was a hotel with 2 beds/room. Others have had guests show up out of the blue who say they have a rez but the innkeeper has no info about them. (We have gotten 2 rooms out of that problem as the innkeeper frantically looks for an open inn for the guests.)
Having to deal with a 3rd party that holds the rez info is tough. You can call the guest for more info if you get a phone number. But the 3rd party doesn't want to lose the booking by giving you enough info to contact the guest and convince them to rebook thru you. Heck, you could give the guest $10 off and STILL save $30.
I like knkbnb's idea of a system just for small properties that matches the amenities to the guests' needs. If one of the directories could do something like that for small properties, that would be great. But lumping B&B's in with hotels is fraught with headaches for everyone- guest, innkeeper, booking engine. Not to say it wouldn't work for a 20 room property. It certainly would. But once you're down under 10 rooms, it's a sizeable chunk of change to give up.
That said, anyone who has a place for sale wants sheer numbers. You want occ, you want $$$, you want a fat bottom line (not to be confused with ZZ Top's song). So, in that case, I'd do it..
How many inns under 10 rooms would be willing to sell to the heads in beds thing? Most of us are hands on and want total control. If we were city inns then maybe we would be more apt to do this for business guests?
 

Copperhead

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Yes we are listed with some of this...expedia not one of them! I am not currently with the bandb system. The system I use does have commissions but not as deep as those with bandb. I do not get a heaping amount of business through this but it does provide some business travel I would not get otherwise as the system I use also connects with most of the travel agent systems. With many of these business travelers, once they have stayed with us they will be repeat guests and book straight through our site so in essence, the commission has been well worth the marketing costs.
I have been doing this for about 7 years now and have only had one bad experience. - which ended in our favor.
Oceans stated: I did not like the fact that I could not get their email or address information
You should have been able to get this information from Expedia - or whoever the person booked through. It is a little time consuming to do this but the info is accessible if you need it. I think the reason it is not provided with the reservation is that they do not want the hotelier to convience the guest to cancel and rebook directly.
Oceans stated: Now I am still listed on Expedia but show no availability and guests just do a search on my website and book directly.
You may get some that will do this but how many are taking the 'no availablity' at face value and moving on to another property. I had this problem as well once lanier lost the online booking contract with them. It was a big pain to get my listing removed but I mentioned this to a person at bandb.com and they helped me get removed even though I am not using their online booking system - a big thank you to them for going the extra distance!
Innsiderinfo stated: 'I do see B&B's in our area participating with Expedia (I've seen this thru Trip Advisor), and from what I can see these are the same folks who have a huge list of different rates (in season, out of season, weekday, mid-week, weekend, etc.). We have one rate, year round and don't really want to change that.'
Maybe in your area - or in the sample of inns you looked at, but I for one do not fall within this catagory. My rates are the same year round too. This should not alter your decision whether to do this or not. It is a choice each innkeeper has to make and depends on many factors.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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[COLOR= rgb(0, 0, 102)]The City Mouse and the Country Mouse [/COLOR][COLOR= rgb(0, 0, 102)]aka The City Inn vs The Country Inn analogy[/COLOR]
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There once was a mouse who liked his country house until his cousin came for a visit.
"In the city where I live," his cousin said, "we dine on cheese and fish and bread. Each night my dinner is brought to me. I eat whatever I choose. While you, country cousin, work your paws to the bone for humble crumbs in this humble home. I'm used to finery. To each his own, I see!"
Upon hearing this, the country mouse looked again at his plain brown house. Suddenly he wasn't satisfied anymore. "Why should I hunt and scrape for food to store?" he said. "Cousin, I'm coming to the city with you!"
Off they went into the fine town house of the plump and prosperous city mouse.
"Shhh! The people are in the parlor," the city mouse said. "Let's sneak into the kitchen for some cheese and bread."
The city mouse gave his wide-eyed country cousin a grand tour of the leftover food on the table. "It's the easy life," the city mouse said, and he smiled as he bit into a piece of bread.
Just as they were both about to bite into a chunk of cheddar cheese, In came the CAT!
"Run! Run!" said the city mouse. "The cat's in the house!"
Just as the country mouse scampered for his life out of the window, he said, "Cousin, I'm going back to the country! You never told me that a CAT lives here! Thank you, but I'll take my humble crumbs in comfort over all of your finery with fear!"
 

Samster

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No, never did. And since our city is still de-listed from them it would not be a good thing. There is one B&B here that still shows that they do & it always shows no availability since the city is de-listed. That can't be good.
 

Morticia

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It's tough because almost all of my neighbors have done this with varying success. Some find it very helpful, filling rooms all winter and then they take the rooms off the system in the summer. Others have found that guests show up with 4 for a room that holds 2 because they 'assumed' it was a hotel with 2 beds/room. Others have had guests show up out of the blue who say they have a rez but the innkeeper has no info about them. (We have gotten 2 rooms out of that problem as the innkeeper frantically looks for an open inn for the guests.)
Having to deal with a 3rd party that holds the rez info is tough. You can call the guest for more info if you get a phone number. But the 3rd party doesn't want to lose the booking by giving you enough info to contact the guest and convince them to rebook thru you. Heck, you could give the guest $10 off and STILL save $30.
I like knkbnb's idea of a system just for small properties that matches the amenities to the guests' needs. If one of the directories could do something like that for small properties, that would be great. But lumping B&B's in with hotels is fraught with headaches for everyone- guest, innkeeper, booking engine. Not to say it wouldn't work for a 20 room property. It certainly would. But once you're down under 10 rooms, it's a sizeable chunk of change to give up.
That said, anyone who has a place for sale wants sheer numbers. You want occ, you want $$$, you want a fat bottom line (not to be confused with ZZ Top's song). So, in that case, I'd do it..
How many inns under 10 rooms would be willing to sell to the heads in beds thing? Most of us are hands on and want total control. If we were city inns then maybe we would be more apt to do this for business guests?
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
How many inns under 10 rooms would be willing to sell to the heads in beds thing? Most of us are hands on and want total control. If we were city inns then maybe we would be more apt to do this for business guests?
I think if it was done FOR the innkeeper, not for heads in beds, it would provide both control and heads in beds. (HIB, from here on out) A system designed to get the info the innkeeper always wants and to sort the properties based on what the guest wants would be terrific. A guest looking for a pool for their 5 kids would not end up at a property that has no pool and doesn't take kids. The sort would be on 'pool' + 'children allowed'.
I wouldn't come up. You wouldn't come up. But the place down the street with the pool and playground and the family-style B&B would.
Right now a search on Expedia, et al brings up anything in the city that is queried. No one knows if this place is a B&B or if it's a small chain hotel. And anyone who finds open rooms is not necessarily understanding the difference between 'hotel/B&B/inn/other' what they see is an open room. When hotels use 'inn' in their name and a small 7 room B&B also uses 'inn' the guest may be lost.
If it were part of the fee to sign up on the directory (something you could opt out of by buying a different level) and not a 30% commission on every sale more B&B's would sign up and it would be profitable for the directory as well as the innkeeper. It's hard to give that % up in the winter when everything costs more and it's silly in the summer when there's a line out the door and no need to deal with something you can't control.
The only good I see from it is that Expedia deals with the chargebacks and no shows. But the innkeeper ALWAYS has to handle the guest in person. So, unlike a hotel, the small B&B MUST have more info upfront.
 

happykeeper

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No, never did. And since our city is still de-listed from them it would not be a good thing. There is one B&B here that still shows that they do & it always shows no availability since the city is de-listed. That can't be good..
Don't even get me started on what happens afterwards when you try to get out! It's like joining the mob- your a member for life whether you like it or not.
 

Willowpondgj

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I did it for a year. I did get a few reservations but not too many to really make it worth it. I did not like the huge chunk of money taken out for commision. I also had a few guests who wanted to get out of their reservations who couldn't as they had to deal with Expedia directly and they wouldn't allow them to cancel because it was past the cancellation policy. This new system sounds a lot better if it is integrated with your exisiting property management system like webrevations is but I have Superinn right now so you have to run two systems at the same time and try not to overbook which is a headache. I had one room listed on Expedia for every day but for the amount of bookings I received I don't think it was really that great. I had maybe one or two bookings a month. I did not like the fact that I could not get their email or address information so I never knew if I was going to be surprised with more than two guests coming or if they had any food allergies I needed to know about. I was provided with only their name and phone number. Now I am still listed on Expedia but show no availability and guests just do a search on my website and book directly from my own online reservations system..
Ditto.
 

Willowpondgj

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Been there- done that!
If you are a heads in beds kind of place- no problem
If you are a selected with care kind of place- no way
A high-end inn with a rate of $200 a night on a 5 night reservation forks over $300 to Expedia for the priveledge of taking in a guest who selected you for the wrong reason, who you can not contact, and who will see you as a hotel.
I have heard and read all the sales pitch stuff about how wonderful it is and I definitely think that it is NOT DESIGNED TO WORK FOR SMALL INNS.
Having said all of that- let me say that I think a system could be put in place that would correct some (most) of those issues and make the commission worth it. Instead of putting the focus on migration, money, and marketing- imagine putting the focus on matching customers with innkeepers or inns. Imagine going to a site that allows the guests to personalize their choice in way that takes advantage of the greatest assest B&B hosts have to offer- personized service and in-depth local knowledge. Imagine regional networks that give B&Bers the benefits they get from direct booking with the inn. I just mean that the model is demanding that a square peg be jammed into a round hole- when with a little work the model could be retrofitted to accept squares..
I agree with knkbnb on this!
.
Me too.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Question for the powers that be - aka John

Will guests be able to redeem BandB.com Gift certificates/cards on those other websites if it will be tied in with booking from webervations and BandB.com?
I am asking as it seems like that would be the end to all things holy in fees and commissions. Just wondering.
 

JBanczak

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Question for the powers that be - aka John

Will guests be able to redeem BandB.com Gift certificates/cards on those other websites if it will be tied in with booking from webervations and BandB.com?
I am asking as it seems like that would be the end to all things holy in fees and commissions. Just wondering..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
Question for the powers that be - aka John

Will guests be able to redeem BandB.com Gift certificates/cards on those other websites if it will be tied in with booking from webervations and BandB.com?
I am asking as it seems like that would be the end to all things holy in fees and commissions. Just wondering.
I think I understand the question. A guest can redeem a gift card on BedandBreakfast.com for a reservation on our site - but if that is done, there is no gift card commission to the property. A property always gets the net rate they put into our system regardless of how the reservation is paid for.
Does that make sense?
 

mooseberry

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I am a member at the moment but not sure if I will stay a member.
I paid a pretty penny for membership and never received guests from that page. I always ask my guests how did they hear about us?
Then I signed up for online rez, listings with Hotels.com, etc....
So far I had 3 bookings with one cancellation.
What I did not like is the same as everyone else...no info on the guest.
The last couple I had they thought we were a Hotel and treated us as such, including leaving masses of Garbage besides the garbage can in the kitchen...the usual garbage...pizza boxes, soda and beer boxes, etc....That was not a nice sight to come to early in the morning.
And the commission....after I pay those, I make less money with my summer rates then regular winter rates, thus I only have one room listed.
Ah, and the cancellations fee......I don't get a penny for cancellations outside the cancellation period. I charge $35.00 admin fee for undoing the booking in many ways, but trough B&B.com I can't collect that, but they get to keep their $25,00 for refunding the money to the guest.
There are many little items which I find I don't like as time goes by.
The good thing is that they finally merge webervations into one booking engine so we won't have to make x amounts of changes on different sites.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I am a member at the moment but not sure if I will stay a member.
I paid a pretty penny for membership and never received guests from that page. I always ask my guests how did they hear about us?
Then I signed up for online rez, listings with Hotels.com, etc....
So far I had 3 bookings with one cancellation.
What I did not like is the same as everyone else...no info on the guest.
The last couple I had they thought we were a Hotel and treated us as such, including leaving masses of Garbage besides the garbage can in the kitchen...the usual garbage...pizza boxes, soda and beer boxes, etc....That was not a nice sight to come to early in the morning.
And the commission....after I pay those, I make less money with my summer rates then regular winter rates, thus I only have one room listed.
Ah, and the cancellations fee......I don't get a penny for cancellations outside the cancellation period. I charge $35.00 admin fee for undoing the booking in many ways, but trough B&B.com I can't collect that, but they get to keep their $25,00 for refunding the money to the guest.
There are many little items which I find I don't like as time goes by.
The good thing is that they finally merge webervations into one booking engine so we won't have to make x amounts of changes on different sites..
Mooseberry Inn said:
The last couple I had they thought we were a Hotel and treated us as such, including leaving masses of Garbage besides the garbage can in the kitchen...the usual garbage...pizza boxes, soda and beer boxes, etc....That was not a nice sight to come to early in the morning.
And the commission....after I pay those, I make less money with my summer rates then regular winter rates, thus I only have one room listed.
Ah, and the cancellations fee......I don't get a penny for cancellations outside the cancellation period. I charge $35.00 admin fee for undoing the booking in many ways, but trough B&B.com I can't collect that, but they get to keep their $25,00 for refunding the money to the guest.
There are many little items which I find I don't like as time goes by.
The good thing is that they finally merge webervations into one booking engine so we won't have to make x amounts of changes on different sites.
The trash sounds awful. I am sorry to hear that. I haven't had many like that but I do understand how you feel. I think everyone should just try the expedia system at least once and see how it works for them and if it is a headache then drop it. Same thing with a lot of directories like iloveinns.com....if you tried them out and didn't get anywhere with them then just drop them and forget about it.
 

happykeeper

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I am a member at the moment but not sure if I will stay a member.
I paid a pretty penny for membership and never received guests from that page. I always ask my guests how did they hear about us?
Then I signed up for online rez, listings with Hotels.com, etc....
So far I had 3 bookings with one cancellation.
What I did not like is the same as everyone else...no info on the guest.
The last couple I had they thought we were a Hotel and treated us as such, including leaving masses of Garbage besides the garbage can in the kitchen...the usual garbage...pizza boxes, soda and beer boxes, etc....That was not a nice sight to come to early in the morning.
And the commission....after I pay those, I make less money with my summer rates then regular winter rates, thus I only have one room listed.
Ah, and the cancellations fee......I don't get a penny for cancellations outside the cancellation period. I charge $35.00 admin fee for undoing the booking in many ways, but trough B&B.com I can't collect that, but they get to keep their $25,00 for refunding the money to the guest.
There are many little items which I find I don't like as time goes by.
The good thing is that they finally merge webervations into one booking engine so we won't have to make x amounts of changes on different sites..
Mooseberry Inn said:
The last couple I had they thought we were a Hotel and treated us as such, including leaving masses of Garbage besides the garbage can in the kitchen...the usual garbage...pizza boxes, soda and beer boxes, etc....That was not a nice sight to come to early in the morning.
And the commission....after I pay those, I make less money with my summer rates then regular winter rates, thus I only have one room listed.
Ah, and the cancellations fee......I don't get a penny for cancellations outside the cancellation period. I charge $35.00 admin fee for undoing the booking in many ways, but trough B&B.com I can't collect that, but they get to keep their $25,00 for refunding the money to the guest.
There are many little items which I find I don't like as time goes by.
The good thing is that they finally merge webervations into one booking engine so we won't have to make x amounts of changes on different sites.
The trash sounds awful. I am sorry to hear that. I haven't had many like that but I do understand how you feel. I think everyone should just try the expedia system at least once and see how it works for them and if it is a headache then drop it. Same thing with a lot of directories like iloveinns.com....if you tried them out and didn't get anywhere with them then just drop them and forget about it.
.
Our caution about trying it is that they keep using you after you leave. Worse, they show you have no availability- which deters guests. To be honest, and I hate to say it, it's a scam. We don't like to think of a legimate company behaving this way, but if we were independently wealthy, we would have sued them (Expedia).
Although it only partly excusing the alliance, Bed & Breakfast .com has put some effort into correcting the problem, but it's apparently driven by pay per click stuff that turns it into some kind of bidding war. B&B.com gets a lot of credit for looking into it, but the fact is- Expedia is using us to make money and giving people false information about who we are and what are availability is. AND B&B.com is being treated like the sad sister.
Really - John B. is a great guy, but one guy isn't going to change this. When you go live with Expedia, you are dyed in the wool- and extraction is not possible. No one is telling you about the real consequences of doing this.
 
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