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I have read all of the frustrated reviews... and as a property owner I totally understand how a traveler feels, we also list our home on Airbnb and about 90% of our travelers are from Airbnb not VRBO. I do not agree with withholding a travelers money during this virus, but I am sure some property owners were ill prepared for this and are desperate. We have elected to refund all paid rentals through at least May, if the travel advisories lift we will look at it case by case. But from an owners perspective I have guest trying to cancel into September???
There has to be a line drawn at some point, this is a business for us, we have 2 properties one in Alabama and one in MN and they both cater to different people, the one that offers secluded woods is fairing better than the beach draw property right now, but we are not mortgaged on our properties and we can hold on a bit longer than most. But as we have graciously offered refunds or in cases after May 30 reservation day let changes we are NOT allowing cancellation without any accountability from the guests in September, we have actually been asked for a full refund for a trip booked in December (as they are not sure if they can afford it).
There has to be a line drawn at some point, this is a business and some guests feel that they can take advantage of owners and use the Coronavirus to cancel trips that likely will not be impacted by the virus. I have cancelled and refunded 14 trips so far, even one for End of July as the woman is pregnant and just isn’t sure she should travel that soon in her condition, if it makes sense I do it, but unfortunately at some point the guest that is not comfortable traveling even after the lockdowns are lifted will have to share in the burden. We plan to continue to offer at least half refunds after May 30, and if there is a good reason someone still can’t travel due to the corona virus we will take it case by case. I really do not want angry guests staying in my homes so if they cancel early and I a can retentions the home I think it is a win.
We had an upcoming rental 2 weeks away in the Destin area, and we were already vacationing in Florida at the time, so we could have easily made it to our destination without much difficulty. We contacted the owner, Shawn Freyaldenhoven, and explained our kids and grandkids were not going to make the trip during this difficult time. Shawn readily offered to give us a full refund, which happened within a day, or so. I was so pleased with his accommodation that I immediately rebooked his place for next year at the same time.
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I am a property owner. I'm reading recent bad reviews in Consumer Affairs about VRBO.com and would like to present a point of view that I haven't yet seen in the reviews. Property owners set their refund policy and it is clearly indicated on the listing and the booking. These times of COVID-19 are not usual and customary so vrbo.com has REQUESTED owners break their normal refund policy and give refund if the cancellation is past the set refund period. Vrbo.com has also promised to refund the vrbo fees attached to the booking.
As an owner of a single beach condo I do not have endless funds to refund money. Money from bookings is used for expenses every month. I have worked with my guests to change their dates to later in the year or even next year. Most of my guests have changed their dates - fortunately. I've had a couple of cancellations. The problem that people are not taking into consideration is that a small business owner like me has to pay the expenses for the unit - whether guests are there or not. You can reach a point - with no new money coming in and 100% refunds - where there is no money left to pay the expenses for the condo to remain viable and be available later. Foreclosure!
This problem at hand is not the fault of any that are suffering through it. Not vrbo.com and not the property owner and not the booked guests. Please let us work together and try to solve this together. Each case is unique and if both sides try to do what is best for the big picture we will all be able to enjoy a well earned vacation at a later date. Owners and guests - PLEASE consider all sides to this! That's all I ask. Try.
The Rental house #694131 Madeira Beach Florida was going to be a great family vacation but we had to cancel our trip due to the nation's “State of emergency“. Carrie, the Home owner, was wonderful to work with and we plan on renting the house in the future.
We have been using VRBO, nearly exclusively for all our travels in Europe and US for the last 10 years. Anytime we stay over 3 days in a place we turn to VRBO. I would estimate 30-40 rentals over that time span. We have NEVER had a problem. The properties are usually better than presented and the owners have been responsive, kind, helpful and top rate. Again, never an issue. We are in our 60s and mid range travelers. In Europe our stays range from 3 days to 2 weeks in one property with an average of about 10 days for a trip that is 3 to 4 weeks in duration. In the US we take long weekends or week reunion getaways with families and friends. Using VRBO allows us to experience the ebb and flow of a place and often meet and make new friends. Fantastic!!
We booked a home in Florida for the week of Christmas 2020. The owner of the property, after receiving half of our funds, unilaterally altered our reservation by two months (moving it forward to October) without our consent, without consulting us, and even raised the agreed-upon price. We sought redress with VRBO, who dragged us along for months--each time siding with us, and promising action against the owner and a full refund every time we spoke on the phone. However, in January 2021 we received our first written correspondence from VRBO.
In that correspondence, VRBO grossly mischaracterized the events and sided with the owner. Specifically, they said that because we never showed up for our December rental (the rental which had already been canceled by the owner!) we were not entitled to a refund. What a scam. VRBO is utterly corrupt and dishonorable, and we strongly urge you NOT to use their service. You will have absolutely no rights, no indemnification, and no protection if you use this service. Prepare to be defrauded.
My wife and I rented a house in Orlando for 50th anniversary. Covid caused us to cancel celebration. Requested refund and were turned down. Vrbo gave us our insurance cost $200 but refused to refund our $3000 cost. We have been in quarantine since March 16, 2020.
I wished I have read the reviews before having done business with VRBO. This is so frustrating and simply unacceptable. They are not able to help with any resolution. They have this virtual chat that is not able to offer help. There is no number to talk to a live person. I would think that planning for a vacation should be a pleasant experience but dealing with VRBO...is it stress-provoking!!!
This was the worst experience I have ever had. I have never experienced a vacation where my living arrangements have been CANCELLED the DAY OF ARRIVAL. VRBO is no doubt a scam. They do not deserve any professional credibility. Genuine, prompt customer service does not exist within this company. They have taken up not only our money, but our time during this trip. They put us on hold for HOURS, shoved 7 people into one hotel room, did not provide a refund, and abandoned us after several attempts to find a solution. These are only a few of the problems we encountered with them. Might I add this went on for 6 days. We are exhausted. All we wanted was to enjoy our New Years' trip and VRBO took that away from us. Thank you for taking our money and ruining our experience. I will never book from this company again. Stick to Air BNB.
It was easy to book our trip to Florida with VRBO, however, once booked, I no longer received any responses to messages I sent on the VRBO site...due to Covid19 and with plenty of notice given, was NOT to put through the balance of payment for our reservation. It WAS put through! Whereas, in time, the VRBO site simply showed 'cancelled,' (and their policy indicated a full refund would be made due to Covid19), I have not received a refund. All my messages, about seven of them, have been wiped from my account on the VRBO site and I have been unsuccessful trying to reach them. Notable, the property manager and owner themselves have been sympathetic and helpful!
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