Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I used VRBO to list a vacation rental from 2011-2013 and had no complaints. At the time they offered tiered flat-rate listing prices from which property owners could choose from. My property was frequently booked and renters signed an agreement, which I sent via email, and they paid by check. VRBO has since changed their policies and are doing everything they can to collect fees from owners, renters and, apparently, as the credit card processor.
Recently, I have had problems with our listing's visibility and with potential renters being able to contact us. As we own an historic, high-end property, it is imperative that we are able to connect with potential renters prior to accepting a reservation. VRBO appears to now be using algorithms that prevent the easy booking process we used to enjoy. I have been documenting my issues and contacting other owners who have shared similar frustrations. Yesterday I contacted customer service and, after being on hold for 15 minutes, I was put on hold by an agent who never returned to the call.
Have been a client of VRBO/HomeAway for over 10 years, and advertise 5 rental properties on their site. They have become dishonest and possibly fraudulent in the last 2 years: Now when we renew our subscription, our guests are being FORCED to book through VRBO/HomeAway and are no longer allowed to book directly through us, or even call us to discuss the property. Nor can we call them. All owner information, including our own website address, is hidden. When guests are FORCED to book through VRBO they pay substantially more for the property as VRBO adds a hefty service fee, AND we also get hit with a service fee on our end (It's not enough that they charge us a yearly subscription fee!). PLUS their credit card processor charges a higher commission than our own credit card processor.
Their credit card processor is located in EASTERN Europe and is also dishonest. I have had payments of $4300, $1300 and $4175 all go missing. It took multiple phone calls for each in order to get my money. Their complaint centre is in IRELAND, but I was bounced to India and to the Phillippines. The last amount that was missing, I was on the phone for almost 2 hours, and got conflicting information. They gave me 2 completely different accounts where they thought the payment was deposited to, then they thought "Maybe it is on hold for a chargeback" (It wasn't, there have been absolutely NO complaints or chargebacks). It was a nightmare fighting for almost $10,000 that would NOT have been deposited to my account over a 6 month period had I not been persistent and fought for it.
The fourth complaint I am still livid over. Recently, VRBO made a change to their online calendar from the owner's side. I took a booking myself on my property, through my OWN website, nothing to do with VRBO or HomeAway. But I went to the VRBO calendar to update it, so it would show it was not available for that week. I entered the arrival & departure date, plus the first & last name of the guest and hit "SAVE". Nothing happened.
It was asking me for the email address of the guest, and I thought, that's strange, it's my own client. So I put in my own personal email address, suspicious of why they were asking. Sure enough, I get an email congratulating me on Booking "Cayman [Property name]" with a big banner saying "VRBO" across the top. They attempted to STEAL MY GUEST!!! I am quite sure my guest would have been totally confused if they had received this email, as they did NOT book it through VRBO. Nor would they appreciate VRBO Spamming them. This is a SERIOUS BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY!!!!
Also on that page where you update the calendar, right about the "SAVE" button is a button that says "Request Payment from your Guest". Well, it would be VERY easy to hit that button by mistake. And they would hijack your guest's payment and charge a fee AND a higher commission rate. This has to be FRAUD, I don't know what else you could call it. They've grown so big, first it was VRBO, then HomeAway bought them, and now they have been bought out by EXPEDIA. But they are the most DISHONEST and Sneaky company I have EVER dealt with.
VRBO Credit Card Requirement for Homeowners - I'm beyond angry!!! VRBO can keep their new credit card policy as I will not be renewing my subscription while this policy is active. Homeowners have other options on where to advertise and I'm taking my business elsewhere. Sorry to see VRBO be so careless and reckless in how they care for their customers.
I have been a customer of HomeAway/VRBO (sister companies) for 7 years and up till March 2017 it was a good and fair way for Owners/Property Mgrs and short term renters to come together. Now, upon trying to renew one of 5 properties that I manage I am told that to renew I MUST sign on for online Billing and agree to accept them charging prospective renters a fee anywhere from 3-7% based on the rental amount. Basically inserting themselves into the rental process, where they have no business being - I refused and did not renew that listing and I was about to add another property and changed my mind.
Now, as to my other properties that are not up for renewal this is what they did - they took my properties and put them on the last page of a search, along w/ the other people that didn't want to give in to them. You might ask what is so bad about the last page, well this is the punishment and I am calling it a punishment, although I have paid $549 per listing, they put all the properties that have signed up for online billing in the town that I am in before my properties. Then all the neighboring town's properties and then they go back and list the properties that have not signed up for online billing - last on eight pages.
If you were looking for a property, look through 3 pages and then the properties switch to another town. Would you not think that those were all the properties in the first town that were available? Of course you would. Who would think to go to the eighth page and pick up more properties that were in your original search which is why properties that I usually have rented by March are still not rented. People are being fooled by this underhanded tactic - they should be prosecuted and I am interested in joining anyone in a class action suit against these people. I have read all the other complaints - I am certainly not alone and we are justified in doing something to stop this. Also stop using Expedia - it is all their fault that this is happening.
I have been reading the reviews about VRBO and am disappointed at all the negativity out there. Our experience has been extremely positive. We bought a condo in Myrtle Beach and started renting on VRBO. We got a lot of requests and bookings. We respond to requests within a hour and follow up directly with the renters. VRBO provides a platform for homeowners. As with any thing, it's up to the homeowners to provide a good experience for the users. We have received 5 star reviews from everyone who rented from us. VRBO continues to introduce new features and functions on the website. I check the website weekly for the new features. I understand the issue with VRBO Fees and they seem to be high. But, every company needs to cover their operating costs and expand for new services. I hope the VRBO website continues to grow and expand and they continue to enhance their services.
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I started with VRBO when it first launched. It was a cheap way to advertise your vacation rental. Over the years the website got better and the price skyrocketed. Over the last several years the website has created too many issues for our guests. Incorrect pricing, mandatory formatting of your ad that doesn't reflect the market. For example, during the summer we only accept weekly rentals. The website forces you to place a daily rate. When someone books for 3 or 4 nights, they get one price. When the owner gets the inquiry and prices it for the week, the customer gets upset.
VRBO should have kept the KISS method in place. A great simple way to convey a vacation rental for rent. Now it is a crazy convoluted process and I have found it to be totally useless. I have so many friends that have units for rent as well and everyone is leaving VRBO. I think it is a shame, but this is what happens when companies stop listening to their customers and putting their needs first. We need another company to replace them.
We went to New Orleans in January of 2016 and decided to get a house for the 9 of us. We found one that was just a couple doors down from Bourbon Street so we booked it about 5 months ahead of time. The place looks awesome, great pics, good reviews and it was just remodeled. A couple days before we left I decided to do some research on the house so I knew exactly where the house was so I pulled up Google street view and I was surprised to find out that the building did not look like it existed. So my wife called the guy that she rented it off of and sure enough the day before they had a lot of rain and he said they had a leak in the roof so they would find us another rental and they did, a lot smaller and farther away from where we wanted to be. When we arrived in NOLA we went over to Bourbon Street and sure enough there are no walls for this building.
Doing some more research I found out that 7 months earlier the builder took down a 200+ year old wall (this is a no-no in NOLA without permission) so there were fines assessed. Apparently this building use to be where the oldest Muffuletta (the sandwich with olives on it) in the US sat, kind of cool being that the oldest pub in the US is just a few doors down. Well let's fast forward to May 2 of 2017, the place is still for rent. When you look at VRBO's website when it comes to issues about things like this they basically say it's up to you to do your checking on the property by asking questions to the property owner. Like ask for previously rental referrals (they just received one in March 2017, but the place does not exist?). Also contact the Property Manager, well he is the Manager. I tried to contact VRBO about it but there is no way to do this to get a response back. I think I will stick talking to a travel agent from now on.
I have successfully used VRBO.com for many years to rent out my vacation property. I have also recommended and referred many other owners to use them. I liked the freedom of booking the guests myself and not using their online service for quite a few reasons. First and foremost is the inquiring guests have lots of questions they want answered before committing and paying for the reservations. Many times I have multiple people inquiring about the same dates and need to decide who is the right fit not just who enters the credit card first? Also I know that VRBO immediately charges the inquiring person and if they change their mind VRBO will hold their funds for a week or more before refunding them! It's not a good business practice. Now they are trying to force owners into using their online payments and booking. So they can make more money. I will be leaving them and going to their competitors.
I went to renew my rental property owner's account with VRBO and found out they have instituted mandatory requirements all owners must agree to prior to renewing/enrolling their vacation property on VRBO's site. They now require owners to agree that all consumers contracting for vacation rentals with individual property owners will now have to use what they refer to as online booking under the stated premise that this is what their research shows vacation renters want.
The real reason is by requiring this type of booking they also require payment by credit card from the consumer which then forces the property owner to pay VRBO a 3% service as owners/lessors and consumers/lessee can no longer have the choice to conduct business by credit card, check, money order, cash or any other method agreed to between the lessor and consumers. This in turn will require the owners to increase their rental rates to the consumer to compensate for the new expense.
Even more sinister is VRBO's forced requirement that the lessee/consumer agree to a 6% "service fee" which is then added on top of the property owner's rental rate. Many of the consumers from what I have been told from talking to them and seen from blogs are unaware or confused about the existence of this fee until they are just ready to check out or it shows up on their credit card bill. I doubt very much that the consumers desire for online booking would be in the VRBO's claimed 92% range had they been informed that online booking would include a 6% service fee to be paid by the consumer.
This smacks of nothing more than then a play by a huge corporation that has achieved a monopolistic position in the online rental market place through loyalty from both property owners and consumers alike, suddenly using that dominance and turning on both in what appears to be nothing more than another display of unbridled corporate greed. I find this particularly disheartening as I have had my rental property listed for rent through the VRBO/Homeaway/Vacationrentals family of companies since 2006 in what until now had been a positive business relationship.
HomeAway and VRBO have notified me that I will no longer have control of my properties. I will have to allow them to control the communications with my guests and they will not allow direct payment to me from the guest. They will force the guest and me to pay a service fee. I have listed on their website since 2004 and I have NEVER had a guest contact them with an issue. This is just a way to hold property owners hostage and squeeze us for money.
I used VRBO for many years until around 18 months ago when the property owners were permitted to NOT block out dates until AFTER you selected them. You didn't use to have to enter all your credit card information to reserve a room but, I'm ok doing that. Except that after doing all my research and booking the space, entering my personal information, the owner says "Oh, it's not available at that time..." Now, I've just tried to book a space and I enter all my personal info, etc and the owner comes back and says: "Oh... the rate isn't right, it's actually WAY more than that"?!? This happened TWICE back-to-back, two different owners. I've COMPLETELY wasted my time researching these properties which aren't really available on the dates they say they are and aren't available for the price they say they are. Went to Airbnb... easily found a great place to stay, entered my personal info and I'm confirmed. LOVE IT! RECOMMEND AIRBNB.
Within 5 minutes of making a reservation request for a VRBO property, I realized I made a mistake with dates selected. I phoned VRBO immediately to cancel the reservation request. Despite the cancellation, VRBO charged my credit card for the reservation. I phoned to have the charge refunded, but after 30 minutes talking with a customer service rep whose command of the English language was marginal at best, I was unable to secure an immediate refund. I was told I had to wait several business days for the property owner to officially cancel the reservation.
Since it was my reservation request, my reservation cancellation, and my credit card, it seems ridiculous that they could not cancel the charge at my request. WARNING -- GETTING A REFUND FROM VRBO FOR A CANCELLED RESERVATION REQUEST IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT! Not nearly as easy or customer friendly as Airbnb. As a satisfied Airbnb customer, I am greatly disappointed in VRBO and will never stray from Airbnb again.
I have been documenting my experiences as an owner who uses both Airbnb and VRBO (HomeAway - or whatever they call themselves). The customer service is horrible. The fees they charge 5-12% are unclear and there is no place to find where this fee break occurs pricewise... Do they just make it up? It is extremely difficult to locate exactly what I am being paid out of the total fee. The owner dashboard is unclear. I do not know exactly WHEN I will be paid. VRBO-HomeAway uses a third party to make payments and to find out anything from them is like pulling teeth. CSA Insurance just refused half of my claim for damages by a college student who invited nearly 50 people to my house and lied to CSA about it... Seriously??? That was the last straw!!! I will be using Airbnb from now on. I'm also about to check out a site called Travelers Haven and Booking.com.
I stayed at an apartment in Ocean City, NJ based on the good reviews this apartment had. Ends up we had a very disappointing experience, unlike all the reviews about the property. Shower water temperature was constantly changing. My two toddlers literally cried every time taking a shower. The description states it sleeps 4, which we know one was a sofa bed. However, the sofa bed was sagging, squeaky and very uncomfortable. There was cracker crumbs and dust when we pull out the bed. Towel bar was broken without fixing, just simply placed back in place. It dropped but thankfully no one was hurt. The way to the yard was full of urine smell. I posted the negative review not once but twice. One few months after the trip and one just recently. They filter out bad reviews. It didn't appear anywhere in that property's review. It was my first time using VRBO and I will not use it again.
VRBO WAS a good company until taken over by HomeAway and whomever else. My listing, 155129 has been listed since mid 2007 and until the transition I was getting 2-3 inquiries per week, filling my place up to the limits I set. Since the transition and my renewal this past August I have received a total of 5 inquiries. Of those 5 inquiries I received 2 rentals that have been brought with confusion, difficulties, erroneous fees and so much more negatives. As an owner who is very proud of my property showing better than 50 5 star reviews, VRBO has now tainted the system by making the renter aware that I should be asking for a review in return for me giving the renter a review thus tainting the review system. So now a prospective renter really doesn't know if the review is factual or some reciprocal arrangement for the owner to get a good review.
This thing about fees, etc. is only part of the problem as one never knows what will happen once they push the button--I know I don't. Then there is the customer service where no matter who you talk with the company line is always the same BS that takes every bit of my imagination and education to cipher. No matter the complaint NOTHING ever changes. Anyhow, terrible model and I expect I will not be renewing my subscription come August. 1 star is much too high a rating for this terrible, terrible service.
VRBO went from $399 to $549 to advertise and now they have BOOK IT NOW and booking fees for the rental guest and fees to the owner for guest using their credit card to VRBO. 3.5%... Come on! You'd think VRBO would have gotten a better rate than that from credit card companies? My calendar is usually booked full for the following year but it's wide open and I am only getting 75% of the inquiries I have gotten in the past. If anyone reading this who has a better solution for advertising, PLEASE post a review to let me and others know. Thanks.
On March 31, 2017 someone posted a complaint similar to mine: I attempted to book a vacation rental through VRBO on March 21. I have contacted VRBO by phone twice and by email. The property manager never replied to my request to book. VRBO website showed it as pending. VRBO, however, did charge my credit card for the trip. Fast forward 17 days. I called customer service twice, I have emailed the property owner and telephoned the property owner. In short I had a problem with the fact that VRBO took my payment before the owner approved my stay, and then when my stay was not approved and my card was charged, VRBO is telling me I have to resolve this with the owner.
So buyer beware. I am out $345 and VRBO was VERY UNRESPONSIVE. Also, I believe VRBO customer service is outside of North America as the line was very poor, and both times I spoke with someone in customer service, English did not appear to be the customer service representative's first language. This made the entire conversation more difficult.
I have never used VRBO before and attempted to rent VRBO.com #3996296. I was quoted a price of $950.00 for 3 nights and submitted my request to the Owner. The Owner came back with a cost of $1,350.00. That is a huge price difference between the two. By the time all taxes and fees on top of fees, a 3 night HomeAway stay was going to cost me over $2,000.00+. Upon filling out the request to stay there was an option of $59.00 Property Damage Protection or pay the Owner $1,500.00 (which states in small print may or may not be refundable). Then there is a $250.00 refundable damage deposit, service fee, cleaning fee and taxes. I have used "LakeHouseVacations.com" in the past and absolutely love this website and will go back to this home in Sturgis, Michigan for my 3 day weekend that will cost me 1/2 this cost and comes with a Pontoon boat and just as nice of a house. Huge disappointment.
I gave them a HUGE chance - I tried using this site as a supplement to Airbnb. The listing process is overly lengthy and after adding my number like 4 different times and check in instructions. My guests still had no info as to how to get in contact with me or how to get in. They couldn't seem to call me either and one guest had to find another place to stay. Their calendar SUCKS and is hard to use. Tried synchronizing with airbnb's calendar and just got error messages so I was forced to just turn people down if it coincided with a airbnb booking and was suspended for that.
Their app SUCKS and doesn't work. It's just so much extra time wasted trying to keep up with the constant issues of this slap together site. I can't even list them all. It's about every time I try to use it it's such a pain. Then I log in to a red error message that tells me I am restricted and to contact customer service. Of course no reason given and no link to customer service. After 40 minutes waiting to hear a customer rep she tells me I need to pay $399 big ones just for the privilege of using this pathetic site. I was like "ARE YOU KIDDING ME??" I of course didn't pay and my life has been easier without this site. It is a thorn in my side and a pain in my **. Airbnb has its issues believe me. But despite all of their weakness, they are WORLDS better than this crap. AVOID AND SAVE YOURSELF MONEY AND HOURS OF FRUSTRATION.
VRBO - Long Time Customer/Owner Review and COMPLAINT. Below is my experience with VRBO customer support regarding their unfair business practices, as communicated to both Carrie in the VRBO office (on 04.10.17 at 3:17pm PST) and Shawn (on 04.11.17 at 9:04am PST). An untrue review of my property was posted by a guest on VRBO. The guest located my property on VRBO and then went to a VRBO competitor to book so they could avoid VRBO's fees. Carrie communicated to me that the review should not have been posted if it came from another site. Perhaps VRBO recorded this conversation and can verify this statement.
When I called on 04.11.17 and spoke with Shawn, he stated to me that the review would not be taken off, and VRBO allows reviews from other sites to be displayed with a rating on the VRBO site. I pointed out to him that VRBO does not allow me to post rated reviews on the VRBO site from other sites, so why are guests allowed to do so? Shawn replied to me that that was just "too bad. This is clearly an unfair business practice as I'm sure any attorney will verify. Shawn was quite rude, uninformed, contentious, and refused to answer several questions posed to him about the reviewing guest meeting the requirements clearly stated the Eligibility Guidelines of VRBO's Content Guidelines page. He also stated that the review would remain on my site until this matter is resolved.
I have been a VRBO customer since 2005 and have two properties on the VRBO site. The property in question has 82 reviews of which 72 are 5 Star and a few 4 Star. Over the years, I have paid VRBO many tens of thousands of dollars. VRBO's employee, Shawn, gave no regard to this. He is an extremely poor example of your customer service. Carrie, on the other hand, was quite helpful and understanding.
I am hereby informing VRBO that unless the review is removed from my site immediately while this matter is being resolved, I intend to hold VRBO responsible for any loss of revenue that results from this review. I have also notified my attorney of this situation and assure VRBO that if this matter is not handled promptly by them, he will be contacting VRBO's legal department and filing whatever necessary to make VRBO spend a great deal of time and money resolving this.
The reviewer from Flip Key left my property a complete mess, broke several things and whined constantly to my caretaker. I attached the pictures of the damage and sent them to her. There are over 36 emails with this guest, some of which border on her illiteracy. The guest also threatened to write a bad review if their security deposit ($1000) was not returned. A deduction of $120 was made from their security deposit and the remainder returned, yet they STILL wrote a negative review and posted it on the (VRBO) site.
I am expecting this matter to be resolved quickly by VRBO with the removal of the review from my site. As I am 67 and a retired professor of architecture, my Vacation Rentals are my retirement income. Understand therefore, that I have nothing better to do than to pursue the removal of this review by whatever means necessary for as long as it takes.
I hope other owners and potential customers of VRBO read this and learn to beware of the horrible and non-responsive customer support VRBO offers to property owners. VRBO's review posting policies for property owners are archaic. I see that VRBO already has class-action lawsuits filed against them and I intend to join them.
I have had a vacation rental property since 2010. All of our reviews have been 5 stars because we speak with each guest prior to them completing a reservation. We intentionally chose to pay higher ad fees to allow us to discuss each booking in advance with potential guests. With the new plan to require online bookings, and no way to avoid it, the guest will believe they have completed the reservation and it will be up to the homeowner to disappoint them if their stay will not be accepted or allowed.
In our property we are limited in the number of reservations we can accept because the lady who cleans our property has other employment and as such we schedule the reservations based upon not only our vacancies, but also based upon when she can clean. With the advent of the new practice, I would not have the opportunity to discuss what days were available or explain the reason a particular day was unavailable. Sure I could mark out dates that were unavailable but because of her flexible schedule I will not know until the week before preventing us from booking many dates.
VRBO/HomeAway was a great site when we began. I suspect previous success of the site was what attracted Expedia to purchase the company. Now that they own the business, they are trying to recoup the money they spent in buying it by forcing guests to pay their booking fees and forcing property owners to use the system that guarantees the company revenue based upon each booking. Wasn't it enough to obtain fees to maintain a website. Do they really believe they provide a service to justify collecting 5%-9% of a reservation just for hosting a site? I object and will be converting to Constant Contact for my ads along with LakeHouseVacations, which remains a wonderful company to deal with. Isn't it surprising that the company that made its success simply by representing us, the property owners, now find it necessary to mandate how we will run our businesses. Shame on them. Shame on them.
My family and I booked a rental in Hawaii for the holidays on VRBO staying December 23, 2016 - January 3, 2017. As the site required, 100% payment for the booking $10,500 plus another $1,000 security deposit was made on my Citibank credit card. On the day we checked in, we were horrified to see the condition the rental was in. It smelled of mold and mildew, there was feces OUTSIDE in the bottom part of the toilet bowl of one of the bathrooms, there was paint peeling off the rooms of the house, the bed sheets and the towels were stained and evidently unwashed, the lock for the house wouldn't work, there were huge cracks in the tub and the shower head was dangerously just about to fall off, the washing machine wasn't working, and the house turned out to be in a really economically disadvantaged neighborhood, so safety was a big issue.
To make a long story short, the house was falsely advertised, in poor condition, and in disarray. As much as we wanted to reject the property outright, since we didn't buy insurance for the rental (this would have cost us an extra $500-$600 on VRBO). We weren't sure what we could do and couldn't do - our family was arriving from different parts of the US in a matter of hours and we didn't want to pay for hotel bookings for everyone without knowing whether or not VRBO would give us our money back.
We called VRBO straightaway. All their representative could do for us was offer us $100 to hire a cleaning service for the rental. But obviously that would do nothing to solve the chronic mold and mildew problem which was a huge health hazard and no cleaning service provider in the area (yes, we tried) would clean a whole house (3 bedroom, 2 bath) during the holidays for a mere $100. We had no choice but to clean the house ourselves, buy new sheets and towels at Target and Walmart. We also bought air beds because the beds/mattresses at the rental were filthy. To make matters worse, our property manager was of absolute NO HELP. All they cared about was our payment for the rental and once they got that, they didn't care about our issues we had with the place.
So, after having wasted our precious vacation time and money on the horrible rental, I write an honest account of our experience on VRBO and in response, the property manager who does nothing but give a 1-star (no write up/review/ no explanation) in response, WRONGFULLY WITHHOLDS our $1,000 security deposit (in its entirety) WITHOUT AN EXPLANATION.
Now here is my beef with VRBO - yes, unscrupulous people exist and advertise on their site, but they offer us consumers ZERO protection. From the falsely advertised booking to the wrongfully withheld security deposit, they side with the property manager. After having complained to VRBO they gave us the run around. They told me to contact Citibank to ask that the $1,000 security deposit be refunded.
This is a runaround which will get you nowhere (I learned this the hard way) because banks can only do this 60-days after the transaction was made. So, having fully paid in September 2016 for a booking Dec - January 2017, this was an impossible feat to begin with. And then immediately after I send Citibank's letter thumbing down the request (which took 2 months to get) VRBO sends a brief email with no explanation saying they cannot give a refund and that they will no longer respond to requests on the matter.
So, $11,500 down the drain plus precious vacation time with family that we will never ever get back. Please don't be fooled by the ease of using the VRBO website. They really just want your money. Once you fork it over to them, don't expect anything from them. They are unhelpful and they don't care about their consumers. It was my first time with VRBO and I will NEVER use them again. In contrast, we've had much better experiences with AIRBNB.
I recently attempted to book a vacation rental through VRBO. The property manager would not accept the days I requested because he had someone else checking-in the day we were to leave, even though his calendar showed these days as available. VRBO, however, did charge my credit card for the trip before it was approved and said that upon denial (or in my case lack of approval) the money would be refunded to my account in 1-3 business days. EIGHT business days later and the 1000$ for the rental was not refunded. I called customer service to find out what was going on and was helped by an incredibly rude customer service representative. Spoke to someone in another country who was difficult to understand. They then gave me these authorization numbers and told me to take those to my bank to get the money refunded.
I did exactly that; went to my bank and showed them the authorization numbers. They said that there was nothing they could do with these numbers because the charge was still processing. In short I had a problem with the fact that VRBO expects you to pay in full before the owner even approves the rental request, they are ridiculously slow at refunding the money, and their customer service representatives were beyond rude. I would suggest finding another travel group to book through! Used AirBnB and even though I WAS initially charged for a rental, the owner was unable to accommodate us, the pending charges were taken off IMMEDIATELY!!! FYI - the AirBnB property was almost half the cost of the other one.
One star rating for VRBO is way too high a rating for the service I'm receiving. When I started out with VRBO years ago they charged a reasonable rate for my rental ad, and my rental was easy to find on the site. Things have changed since. The rate for my ad is now 3 times what it was and now they have let me know that I no longer have control over how renters interact with me or how they pay. Along with the inflated rate to advertise on VRBO, extra fees are being charged per booking. I can no longer call directly to get important changes made, but must give notice to the programmers who cannot be called directly, and they just make the changes that weren't exactly what I wanted, then email me and I have to go through the process again. This is not acceptable. Definitely looking for another company that will serve my needs.
I have to suggest to anyone using HomeAway/VRBO to list their home for rental that you avoid fees recently added by HomeAway by dealing with the renters directly through either the email or phone number provided with the inquiry and be sure to use the "24 hour" delay booking option so that you have a chance to vet your potential customer. You should always request direct payment of a deposit by major credit card and balance payment by personal check or "e-check" to avoid 3.5% credit card charges against the balance.
Rented a condo through VRBO and received an additional charge of $155 on my credit card. Above and beyond the price of the rental and associated fees. This was a complete surprise and way more than one should pay to make a reservation. Very deceptive. Posted after everything has gone through and there's no way to get a refund. I feel like we have been ripped off!
I am displeased with VRBO and their decision to tack on a 'service fee' to rentals. The fees can vary - supposedly depending on the length of one's stay. We have a VRBO account and have to pay an annual fee. So why do our renters now have to also pay a service fee in addition to all the other fees? We are likely going to have to rent our units on our own without VRBO. They are discouraging business. VRBO is getting greedy just like eBay did. :-(
I have listed my vacation rental on VRBO for a number of years for an annual fee of $399, and been very satisfied with the service, UNTIL NOW. To renew my subscription Expedia (bought VRBO/HomeAway) now requires on-line booking. In addition to paying a booking fee, Expedia charges the renter an exorbitant percentage of the rental amount that is an added financial burden to the renter. To be competitive, that would require me to reduce my rent. I don't want to handle the payments, but prefer to have my management company do so rather than be the go-between. When calling customer service, I get someone who has a strong accent making it difficult to understand plus who put me on hold for ten minutes while trying to find an answer to "is there any other option to on-line booking". Too bad Expedia ruined a good business model for people who want to advertise their rentals. Will explore other options.
We began advertising rental property in the Outer Banks about 2002 on VRBO. Our property's changed over the years and we continued to advertise because we had a good return for the amount we paid. The cost to advertise was high when we wanted to be at the top of the list. The $1,000.00 we paid per year paid for itself many times over. As the years passed the customer service was inferior, the site would have problems, and VRBO merged with one company after the other.
We purchased a condo in North Myrtle Beach, SC and immediately began working on a VRBO/Home Away listing. This process began in November while work was getting completed. Once done and pictures could be taken, the ad was complete. Or so we thought. In order for the condo to be published we had to accept online payments. I inquired on the process to bypass the book it now or to pay an additional fee to bypass the book it now. A week later I received a reply and had nothing to do with my question. I sent the question again and 10 days later I still do not have an answer to my question. Calling is a wait of 15 minutes or more and each time I have called (11 times) after a long wait, I was disconnected.
As a traveler, we have booked on VRBO many times. For the most part, we have been pleased and felt the properties we rented were portrayed accurately. We traveled to three islands in Hawaii in January and when we booked through 3 different owners, there is now a fee charged by VRBO to those booking a property. As an owner and traveler using VRBO for over 14 years we have seen a rapid decline in VRBO/HomeAway. The problem is no competition. They are the only game in town. We will continue to fight for the listing paid for and not published, but will not renew. As a frequent traveler we will stay in a hotel or book a place through a rental company. Very sad a concept that was great for bringing owners and traveler together, is now failing both.
I recently attempted to book a vacation rental through VRBO. The property manager never replied to my request to book (which is fine, I understand people have busy lives). VRBO, however, did charge my credit card for the trip before it was approved and said that upon denial (or in my case lack of approval) the money would be refunded to my account in 1-3 business days. Fast forward 5 business days and the 900$ for the rental was not refunded. I called customer service to find out what was going on and was helped by an incredibly rude customer service representative. This representative actually yelled at me on the phone because I could not understand some of the words she was trying to say. They then gave me these authorization numbers and told me to take those to my bank to get the money refunded.
I did exactly that; went to my bank and showed them the authorization numbers. They said that there was nothing they could do with these numbers because the charge was still processing. In short I had a problem with the fact that VRBO expects you to pay in full before the owner even approves the rental request, they are ridiculously slow at refunding the money, and their customer service representatives were beyond rude. I would suggest finding another travel group to book through! Do not waste your time with VRBO.
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