VRBO.com
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.12/5
  • 5 stars
    4
  • 4 stars
    1
  • 3 stars
    4
  • 2 stars
    9
  • 1 star
    266
Based on 284 ratings submitted in the last year
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VRBO.com

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Last updated: Nov. 15, 2017

1281 VRBO.com Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 15, 2017

OWNERS BEWARE – For many years I listed my lakefront home on VRBO and was very happy with the site. After several years they began making changes that seriously impacted my desire to use the site. I did not allow online booking, as I believed it was important to speak with potential renters to make sure it was a good match.

My home has a deck on the second story and also a loft that some may not feel would be safe if they have young children. I would provide the information and leave it to the renter’s discretion. Also, I choose to rent to families as it is a quiet area and I did not want a group of college age kids using it as a party house. Because I did not agree to direct online rentals when potential renters would put in very specific information as to the location, homes would come up that were in other areas and other states before my listing would show. Then they began charging renters a service fee and requiring an additional large security deposit or the option to avoid the additional deposit by paying for rental insurance other than what the owner required. As a result I decided to no longer use their rental site to advertise my property.

Recently I decided to rent a property for a family vacation. We chose a home and when I attempted to book the house it would not go through. After several unsuccessful attempts I contacted VRBO rental assistance. During the first call I was told that the owner changed the price and they were unable to process the request. I sent an email to the owner and was told that they had not changed their prices.

The owner told me to contact her if I continued to have issues. I sent an email back through the encrypted system stating that I could not contact her directly as VRBO does not allow owners or renters to share phone numbers or email addresses. I then received an email from Information Control stating that the email was being held for up to 48 hours for review. After three days I called the Information Control phone number and got a recording to leave a message. Two weeks later and I still have not gotten a response.

I have made 5 other attempts to rent the property online, through Rental Assistance and Customer Service, only to have them state there was an issue with the online booking of the home and they suggested I rent a different property. As a property owner I believe it is totally inappropriate for VRBO to suggest renting another property rather than addressing to issue that prevents renters from renting a home that the owner pays to have listed on the site.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 12, 2017

We have been booking VRBO properties for years. We booked a property for Christmas and were hit with an undisclosed service charge of $129! This is a charge for using the website and is not refundable. Plus this was on top of a $60 fee from the property management company and a $500 security deposit. We are done with VRBO. Might as well pay for the resort hotel and get the extra service.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 10, 2017

Owner of a large property. I discovered this property listed for rent and available on the VRBO website last May. I complained that this had not been authorized by me. After many calls and evidence of my ownership I received an email saying that they had removed the listing. I checked again a few months later and it is still there. After numerous calls they are now asking for same paperwork again despite sending all over before. They are advertising a house they have no access to and it seems there is no way for me to get this listing off. I consider this very suspicious and would be wary of booking anything through this company.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 10, 2017

I thought it to be frustrating and ridiculous that my first attempt to use both these websites resulted in the same outcome. You are required to enter all of your personal information including credit card info only to be told the owner has never responded to your request so it is cancelled. Am I the only one here that thinks this is ridiculous???!!! And then I am told that my account will be a permanent account on HomeAway?? I can never delete or cancel the account, I can change the email address that is on file but can never cancel the account permanently??? Why anyone would ever use these websites is beyond me. Also cannot stand foreign speaking customer service reps that you can't understand and don't know what they are doing (the fleecing of America). Outsourcing as usual.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 9, 2017

I rented a cabin in May in Sevierville TN. Had a great time the cabin was not bad. Communication with owner was prompt when I had questions. However, after the trip I asked when I was going to get my deposit back. 2 Weeks I was told. That came and went. I tried to contact owner again no response to any of my attempts. When it was clear the owner was not going to give deposit back I contacted VRBO. They had a guarantee.

However, what they don't tell you is you're going to spend hours of contacting your bank credit card company to get the refund. They even told me that you will be rejected because it was past 60 days. The deposit was due more than 60 days before the trip. Then you're going to get a letter, then you have this website with a million questions and you can't make any mistakes on answering the questions and proving you did your due diligence to attempt to recover the deposit. If you mess up or forget something and you submit your request and it's denied then you don't get any more chances. When I saw all the questions and all the hoops I had to jump through and how much time it was going to take I gave up. My time is more valuable than the deposit. I think they did this by design. Puts a stink on an otherwise great vacation.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 9, 2017

On two occasions tenants have written bad reviews when all or part of their security deposits were held. This happens after the tenant tells you how wonderful everything was and then after they leave excessive damages and don’t get their deposit back they post negative reviews. VRBO will only remove these negative reviews if the property owner can provide written proof that the tenant threatened the property owner with a bad review to get their money back. Property owners that have numerous five star reviews should not have to accept excessive damages and provide full refunds in order to maintain their excellent ratings.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 8, 2017

Vacation Nightmare! - I paid 8,600 in advance to rent a property. Upon arrival the property was not as described, in very poor repair and filthy. I did not stay in the home, but lost all of the money, neither the homeowner nor VRBO were will to help me in any way.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 6, 2017

I cannot see how they can blatantly use and abuse customers and remain in business? LOOK AT THE REVIEWS!! Really doesn't matter what area you talk about, this is just a scam on several levels. The worst part is how they force you to use their mobile app., but in order to download it, they require to know all your information about you and to get your contacts list off your phone, as well as other private access. Customer service will double talk you to death trying to say they don't get your contact list, and of course the agents themselves don't, but this pathetic company can harass and abuse your friends and family, start SPAMMing them, selling your information, whatever they like!

Based on the morality and consideration I've received so far with my complaint, I would NOT trust these people as far as I could throw them! The level of consideration is so bad, these people need customers and then abuse them by stealing information. How pathetic and arrogant??!! I'm disabled and will be spending my time letting people on social media know how wrong this is.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 6, 2017

I rented a vacation unit at Papakea on Maui based on the photos the owner posted on the website. When I arrived I was given a completely different unit which was not anything like the posting and far below the standards shown in the photos. Knowing the owner lived in Las Vegas, I decided complaining would be useless and just enjoyed the time outdoors. When VRBO emailed for a review I gave a less than complimentary review, the owner then gave me, as renter, a less than complimentary review, even though I left the unit cleaner than when I arrived. I'll never book through or recommend VRBO. I learned a lesson: VRBO may sound like a good way to enjoy a vacation, but beware, not all owners are honest, ethical or dependable.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 5, 2017

Been a VRBO vacation rental owner since 2008. Right now, have 4 rentals on their site and am searching for new ones so that I can drop VRBO. Their advertising is absolutely false, as they claim they only charge service fees of 5-1/2% to 9%. So far, all of my rental service fees have ranged from 14% to 18% of the rental. My business has dropped and their site is horrible (and I'm extremely computer literate). I've had customers tell me they are avoiding VRBO because of the exorbitant fees.

I've developed my own personal website now, but it's difficult to get good search engines, as VRBO and HomeAway have pretty much locked all that up. They have created a monopoly, which I thought was illegal in this country, as they have bought just about every vacation rental site out there. I believe the hotels are behind this because Expedia does most of their business with hotels, and vacation rentals have competed with hotels with lower prices. Airbnb is just as bad, and has even worse customer service than VRBO. Another option is FlipKey and Home Escape, but I've received little response. Possibly, in time that'll change as more people refuse to use VRBO, so I'm sticking with Home Escape for now, although I have to use VRBO just to survive.

Expedia must be making billions now with the outrageous service fees and subscription fees. In fact, if they're charging my customer 14% to 17% of the rental, they are actually making more than want I end up with after all my expenses. And they haven't invested a dime in my business! They have ruined the whole concept by taking away our personal contact with the renter and continue to send ridiculous emails to my renters during the process of the rental, which only confuses my renters, as I have my own form of welcoming, instructions and thanking them for their business. My renters don't need their "generic" emails. They are crooks and don't care if they put us out of business because they have so many other avenues out there to make money. Putting us out of business will just enhance their hotel business even more.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 3, 2017

I tried renting my home through VRBO and needed to know what my guest was billed. Their support team is off-shore, and had a script they read from. If the question wasn't on the script they couldn't answer the question. They cannot forward the call to someone who can answer the question (apparently if it's not on the script - there is no answer). They ultimately forwarded me to their payment processing 3rd party contractor who agreed that VRBO was completely disorganized but they couldn't help at all because they simply take the payment, deduct 3% and forward it on to VRBO -- they have no details on what the payment is for.

THEN - out of frustration I canceled the reservation and the client now has received emails that their fees have been refunded -- but when she checked her credit card there's no refund. No customer support available for that issue! The good news is - for all those who can't get email addresses or phone numbers -- they are available after the booking is made. The bad news is - they may try to contact you to get VRBO to respond. It appears as though there are fees upon fees upon fees with this company. For my booking it looked like I was going to pay almost $100! I'd rather just go through AirBnB. The process is quick, easy, and straightforward and VERY low fees.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 1, 2017

Went from 3-4 inquiries/rentals a month down to none since the Expedia merge. What a shame - was a great company - now going to AIRBNB. They say having hotels on the site next to our listings is not damaging - that is nonsense.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 31, 2017

Terrible experience with VRBO/Home Away. I made a reservation thru them on October 1st and one month later on October 30 I received a cancellation notice. I had reserved for the Thanksgiving holidays, now the cost is higher and a new reservation for the same dates not only has increased the price but finding a place for 7 people is much harder. This company doesn't offer an additional credit like Airbnb. Last time I will use this site. Not recommended. On my own experience Airbnb is way much more responsible. The owners of the property Bryan and Daniella **, won't reserve any properties from them either. I'm just waiting to receive my money back.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 31, 2017

October 2017 booking at Property# 211771 Lil Apple Bear Cottage: The listing says to contact the owner directly for booking. Since the site allowed the owner to list the property in this manner, I thought nothing of it. The property was atrocious! There was no hygiene amenities, all of the towels under the sink were wet (NOT DAMP, WET)! As if the 'cleaning' crew (I use the term loosely) simply folded up the previous guests’ used towels and stowed them. It made me wonder if the bed linens were even changed. The refrigerator was frozen up, and non-functioning (so much for the groceries I bought)!!! The note on the central heat said I couldn't set the heater higher than 52 (that's cold). Neither television would work either.

When I finally managed to reach the owner, the owner didn't care, she simply responded that she wouldn't refund me when I told her of the problems. We left the next morning and found much better accommodations. For the benefit of future travelers, I wanted to leave a review, but was told that I couldn't by a VRBO customer service rep because the owner elected to book it directly, rather than the site where it’s listed. The rep ended up disconnecting me, and no, I wasn't ugly with him. WOW!! I won't ever use this site again. If I could give a rating less than 1, I would!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 30, 2017

They are the worst company to work with and are afraid of the tenants/ holiday people. I as property mgr really recommend never to use this site for your business or houses. They are not qualified peoples and the position of them is not to stay impartial. They just do what they want and are not listen at all. After the whole morning wasting my time to stay the situation as it is they treat to do a refund or my listing is inactive. The worst company ever.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 29, 2017

In the past week, VRBO seems to have completely changed their website from a personalized format by owners, to a structured subject format which offers only half the information about the lodging as before. Of particular frustration is the MAP, which is bare when I try to bring it up. It seems like VRBO is trying to appear like an Airbnb site, which I purposely view last, after VRBO, because that site also offers much less information, in comparison to VRBO's as of 10 days ago. PLEASE consider my complaint seriously. Your new site presentation does you no favors!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 26, 2017

This was a great site years ago, now corporate greed and incompetence has taken over. I started with a membership cost of $350.00 annually, now they collect more than $4000.00 in fees, commissions and membership. And they are like "big brother" with renters' information, I cannot correspond with potential renters until they book? It's also apparent this site was designed by "techies" as it is not at all user friendly (even my Techy friends agree). Deposits are extremely hard to track and while customer service is available their responses are all canned and not very helpful, not to mention every call is at least 25 minutes, with or without resolution. Very sad but typical of companies that go corporate!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 26, 2017

I have been using VRBO.com for approx. 4 yrs to advertise my vacation rental. Recently I feel as though my authority has been hijacked by the site. They have new policies that 1) Mandate I accept payments through credit card despite my preference for payments by check AND they charge me service fees for the payments. 2) They block my email address and phone number when I try to communicate with a potential guest. 3) They have added service fees for my guests that I believe are unfair and onerous. When I questioned these policies I was told it is for my welfare and the "have my back". I asked them to back off and I can handle it myself and they refused. I am disgusted with the service since they partnered with HomeAway. I will be looking for a new booking service.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 25, 2017

I was very disappointed using VRBO as a host and ultimately stopped using that platform. The customer support for hosts sucks. You have no one you can talk to. Most recently a woman checked out of my rental because we had a heat wave and I do not offer air conditioning (I never claimed to). VRBO sided with me and refused to refund her the money, however she reversed the charges with her CC company and so VRBO went to debit the money from my bank account. They already sided with me earlier!! Why do I pay them a fee each guest if they don't support me? That was the final straw.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 25, 2017

I've normally had great success renting homes via this site, but recently had to cancel a reservation due to medical issues. I had to bite the cost of the deposit for the house, but for some reason VRBO charged me an additional fee, even though there was no justification for it. It wasn't indicated anywhere in the reservation process or on the contract. Not only was customer service absolutely useless, but they refused to accept culpability in this matter. I would rather use Airbnb where the fees and refund policies are clearly outlined.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 25, 2017

Checked out 10 days ago. Left the place in immaculate condition. Still haven't received my $250 damage deposit back. Owner says it's VRBO, VRBO say it's the owner. Will never use this site again. The house was great. The process is broken.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 25, 2017

Their site claims that owners will respond within a certain amount of days. I had to make arrangements due to medical needs and appointments and booked over 24 hours prior to needing the property. I never heard from the owner once and we were less than three hours from the destination. I had to call VRBO and ask them to cancel and told them they shouldn't allow owners to post when they don't respond. I will never use VRBO again! At least Airbnb gives you a contact number. What a joke it is that they can hold thousands in deposit funds. I guess a few have ruined it for the rest of us. So much for affordable lodging.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 23, 2017

A few months ago, June - July I made a reservation through a well known online company for my vacation. I had to cancel my reservation, and they told me in order for me to get my money back I'd have to contact the property owner, so I did. The property owner kindly agree to a full refund. I called the company back and they told me they were going to process the full refund in parts. So I waited and waited, I got part of that money back but I'm still missing some of it. I kept calling the company and every time they tell me a different story, I contacted the property owner again not too long ago and I asked her why I haven't received my money, she replied saying that she never received that money and that I should call the company I made the reservation through so I did, they told me my money was processing and that I had to wait 7-10 days.

I never received the money so I called them back and it's just not going anywhere. The owner of the property got charge because of this problem and my bank actually took the money from my account as well. It's been going on for way too long and every time I call them they tell me the same thing. It's frustrating the situation. And if this doesn't get resolve, I am going to find another way to get my money back. Even if I have to contact my lawyer about this, something is gonna get done. I hope nobody goes through this situation.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 22, 2017

VRBO stands for vacation rental by owner not vacation rental by Expedia. You pay a yearly fee, the guest has to pay another fee when booking and now you can't even contact each other to get guests beforehand. Worst company. Go to Airbnb!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 20, 2017

We have used VRBO since 2009. In the beginning, we were very pleased with the service VRBO provided us as owners. When HomeAway partnered with VRBO, we began to see changes that we weren't comfortable with as policies were being put in place that seemed to over-step the boundaries of what VRBO was initially set up to do - create an avenue to advertise Vacation Rentals By Owner. When Expedia took over, things went from bad to worse! VRBO wants absolute control over every aspect of the rental process. It is no longer the site it was created to be. It should be called VRBGCCC = Vacation Rentals By Greedy, Controlling, Corporate Conglomerate! I am seeking another option in which to list our condo. We will not renew our listing with VRBO.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 18, 2017

First time user for North Coast Vacation Properties. Location was 1202 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA. The unit was not clean. Both bathrooms had mold on the shower curtains, floors were dirty, not enough linens, and the kitchen window and screen had so much dirt and grime on it that it distorted the view of the ocean. Bedroom window blinds needed replacing. They were missing slats, no privacy from people walking by windows from outside. One bedroom fan only worked on low. This is a great location to stay. Walking distance to restaurants and shops. Beautiful ocean view from balcony. Owners of unit need to put more linens in unit and the cleaning service they have contracted needs to be replaced.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 15, 2017

I have nothing but heartaches with my listing and trying to book. Was charged twice for a one year listing and they didn’t even try to refund. Also their service for rentals suck as I do not get to talk to the owner until I give them nonrefundable maintenance. VRBO you suck.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 14, 2017

As a VRBO advertiser and property owner I feel I have no control over the process, which includes the charging of fees to guests, which I consider exorbitant and withholding contact and personal information from owners and prospective renters which prevents me from vetting them or providing additional information. I have had wonderful guests, in large part because I have been able to contact them through emails, messages and phone calls. VRBO has now made this almost impossible until the client pays. This is totally unacceptable!!! VRBO has the time or the ability to screen, as we homeowners are accustomed to doing. I strongly object to you basing fees on deposits and sitting on deposit money. Your payment system excludes the option to pay by e-Transfer (Canada) bank drafts or cash.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 12, 2017

I booked a house on the ocean in Marshfield MA for a week. I used VRBO to book the house. During the booking procedure I was asked if I wanted travel insurance in case I needed to cancel the house rental. The only option on the VRBO site was to click yes or no. I clicked the yes button and moved on with the rental agreement process. There was no other mention of travel cancellation reasons on their website process. I have to cancel the rental because of an emergency business trip to Europe during the same week as the rental. I called the VRBO insurance company called CSA Travel Protection and they are telling me after 5+ weeks after opening a claim that I am not covered by their travel policy.

There was no mention of a list of reasons they allowed to cancel your travel plans and get your money back. Today I received an email from a Ricardo ** from CSA insurance with no reply email address informing me that I am not covered because a change in travel plans isn't covered under their travel insurance policy. The owner of the house we rented was professional and understanding but the VRBO outsourced travel insurance company completely scammed us in thinking that we could get our money back if we had to cancel for any reason. We lost almost $2000 because of this scam. Never ever use CSA Travel Insurance Company as you will never be satisfied. I will be reaching out to my home state's Attorney General to make a complaint about this.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 12, 2017

Booked an affordable place across from pricey hotel where I'd be attending a convention in Clearwater Beach, Florida, months ahead of time. Paid in full. All set. Not: When I'd heard nothing re: checking in a few days before, I sent a message to the owner, Dan **, via the VRBO website. After a couple of day with no response, I resent the message. No response. I then sent a text message to his phone, as listed on VRBO. No response. Then called VRBO and they tried to email him (cc: me) at an email address on file. No response. Finally, over the next two days leading up the conference in Clearwater, I wasted in total a good two hours over several calls with VRBO. I was told more than once not to worry: They'd find me a place to stay.

In short: They didn't. I ended up having to find -- and, for the second time, pay for my own housing (not as close to the conference site as the place I'd paid for via VRBO). But the final insult: When I called to at least get a refund, I learned that this is NOT automatic and I will have to go through what amounts to an appeals process (after I get my bank to officially say it's too late to stop payment). From talking to this last VRBO customer service rep, it didn't seem like an owner taking full payment for lodging and then simply vanishing was so unusual. For anyone reading this: If you use VRBO / Homeaway: Good luck. For me, I say: Never, ever again. A hotel might cost more and have fewer options, but a hotel won't take your money and then be unavailable to allow you access to the room you paid for!

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VRBO.com Company Information

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