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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.
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!!
East Fork Cabins Greer AZ. VRBO O.K.. Neat, clean, orderly, well equipped. Great locale. Much to do. Comfortable stay. Friendly management lives on site in own cabin. Very satisfied with owner and VRBO. Reservation service was responsive. Owner was responsive and gave excellent advice and recommendations. Wonderful experience.
I rented a property in Lincoln City, OR for a trip 9/13-9/16/2020 from Charles **. Property ID: **. Lincoln City was evacuated due to the wildfires. I was told by Mr. ** I would receive a refund. It has been 3 weeks now and he will not respond to messages or phone calls from VRBO or myself. VRBO has been no help at all. They keep trying to call him (no answer). They keep telling me to message him (which I have done now 12 times.) I was not able to use the rental due to wildfires and I am the one who is penalized?
Saint Andrews Commons on HHI - Ken **’s condo was filthy upon arrival, appliances did not work, moldy, multiple lights out,unit was not as advertised (unit 1766). Owner blamed everything on either COVID or the complex. VRBO was not helpful. Stayed 4 of the 7 weeks, Received partial refund with no negotiation agreement AND he canceled the reservation on VRBO so we could not write a review.
I rented a home 15 months ago for family to stay in for my daughter's wedding. I booked early because it was a holiday weekend during prime foliage season in New England. 2 weeks out and the owner canceled on me because they "had a change in plans" and decided to stay in the house themselves. They didn't notify us earlier because they didn't know what their plans would be and the house "may" have been available. VRBO won't honor the Book with Confidence Guaranty because they feel it's "COVID" related. Now there's nothing available (even in the surrounding area) so we have a wedding and no where to stay. Beware of using them. They don't stand by their "guaranty."
I made a reservation for a beachfront condo in a location that was later impacted by a hurricane. I began to contact VRBO and the "owner" the day following the storm. I had concerns that the property was still standing or habitable. I was also concerned that my card would be charged for the entire rental amount as their normal instructions indicated that charges would occur automatically and there would be no refunds beyond 50%. Since they made no concessions for COVID cancellations, I did not expect any grace. So, it was important for me personally to cancel immediately. The "owner" I put in quotes because I really do not know who the actual owner is, only the name of the condo management company. I found that the "owner" did not answer calls and their voice mail was full. (At that point, I was worried about how bad things were for these folks.)
After several attempts, I contacted VRBO. They were no help at all, and I mean that VRBO did nothing to help at all. Customer Service is off-shore and I felt bad for the agents struggling with English and trying to provide service. I was put on hold multiple times with each call (total calls to date = 8) and cut off half of the time. Was told they had a different, direct number to the "owner" which turned out to be the same number I already had. Finally, after 4 days of calling and sending multiple e-mails (with no response), I tried their online chat which begins as an automated, virtual service. Did seem to get a person who typed the same things in the chat as I was told on the phone with the same lack of results. I was given a number for VRBO Customer Care. That was surprising since I thought that I was already talking to them.
Unfortunately the customer service agent was unable to understand my question which was, "How is Customer Care different from this chat, or from who I have spoken to before?" I was told that this number would "escalate the problem." So, called that number and it was just another line into the same Customer Service as before: same greeting, same options, same customer service agents who could not help me. Maybe the agent I interacted with on chat did not realize that asking the phone support to escalate was not an option. I had requested that twice before, was put on hold and after 5 and 7 minutes respectively; was disconnected. So, I am disputing all charges.
Their Travelers Services Fee is the one that is the most objectionable not only because they provide no services to travelers, but because it is an undisclosed fee. That means that when they say that the total bill will be inclusive of all taxes and fees, they omit the VRBO fee. It appears separately and only after you have booked with a deposit. Yes, they take their fee out of the deposit immediately. So, VRBO is not a company that I will be dealing with again.
Overall VRBO is fine in describing their property but their mileage to nearby destinations is misleading as it is done in a straight line and you can't check it because they don't give an address prior to booking.
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