VRBO.comConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
This is a review regarding working with a property owner who was unfair and communicated poorly. I booked a condo through VRBO/HomeAway and paid a cleaning fee, a service fee, and a refundable $200 deposit. It is a long story but suffice it to say that the property owner of this condo did everything in the book not be pay me back my deposit.
In addition, she wanted ANOTHER $200 in cash (Pesos in Mexico) as a deposit for any electricity usage. I offered willingly PROVIDED I have documentation that I paid her condo manager. Since he gave me no documentation, I would not pay the cash. Instead, I asked that she take some dollars out of my refundable deposit at the end of my stay. I expected her to take out about $20 for 9 days of usage. Instead, she took out $100. There was another woman who lives in this condo complex (Puesto del Sol in Puerto Vallarta) and said that this condo owner was rude and unfair to many people. I learned my lesson. I will never give another $200 refundable deposit again. VRBO/HomeAway has not gotten back to me regarding my complaint. I am very disappointed.
I would NEVER recommend VRBO or any of its partners to anyone! Their customer service is horrible! I prepaid $399 for a year's worth of bookings and I wish I hadn't! For that kind of money upfront they still FORCE people to book through them at significant added cost to the customer! When people contact you with an inquiry and you try to provide them with contact information such as an e-mail address or phone number they edit that information out FORCING people to pay extra money to book through them!
VRBO reversed the fees paid for a week stay claiming charges on a stolen credit card. They showed the renter was verified and I was never given nor asked to verify the renter's credit card number. I emailed them the proof the guest stayed and even showed evidence the guest stayed an entire week. VRBO reversed the charges as a stolen credit card yet they are the only ones who take the credit card. How can I as an owner verify a credit card when the number is never even shared with me. They are no pro owners nor guests and have increased annual fees yet are inferior to Airbnb accounting, apps and websites. Their IT Department is a joke and their system crashes all the time. This is a poorly run company with terrible service to their customers.
I began working with VRBO in 2010. They were great. All they did was advertise my vacation rental property in Coos Bay, Oregon. They allowed me to contact my guests and answer any questions they had. It was a good experience until VRBO sold to Expedia. I am now held captive by their rules, without being informed of changes before, and they are now the owners of my property. I would suggest to any potential renter out there to go elsewhere. You are not getting the best service, and definitely not being regarded as a guest but a cash cow. Owners are not happy and booked guests are not happy.
Here we go again VRBO getting their fingers into my profits. Now you cannot book on VRBO without giving them a credit card. I am a property owner and just got my first booking since my renewal "1 day ago". They have charged this renter a 9-10% fee just to book with me - for what nothing. The only way to avoid this and get to the owner is use the "ask the owner a question" button, then I do everything outside the system. Which is fine but now renters cannot just inquire about my property without giving their credit care or playing the "ASK THE OWNER" trick question process. They say it's to assist renters if they have a problem - I said "HAVE YOU EVER CALLED YOU" good luck. I am sick of everyone trying to get a piece of my profit for doing ZERO. Posting how to go around the system in my description - until I can figure out another service that works for me. Oh and by the way I pay them $499.00 already each year - for posting on the site.
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We signed up with VRBO to rent out our property and it has been the worst experience ever!! They have lost our payments for all our VRBO bookings...we have called and emailed over and over with no luck, their customer service has been nonexistent! We have spent hours on the phone and no one seems to be able to tell us where our nearly $2000 is! And to top it all off we have paid them almost $500 in service fees! We are seriously disgusted with this company, we will never rent our property thru them again and I strongly encourage others to not use them as well, unless you like to pass off your money to a large company that doesn’t care!! Where does one go from here??? What a scam...
I just found out that Expedia purchased VRBO. The level of service, fees and payment system are disgusting. Would love to hear suggestions on other safe and reputable home rental services. I am in a battle with them right now as their payment service provider continues to attempt to withdraw money from my account placing me in overdraft and incurring fees. I tried talking to them and they basically said "Sucks to be you", "Talk to your bank". FRUSTRATED.
Since being purchased by Expedia, the HomeAway companies, including VRBO have eroded the rights of owners to run their business as they wish in order to gouge owners and renters alike. Now VRBO has informed its rental owners that they will be required to provided online booking or they will not be allowed to renew membership. This is a move to extract more money from owners and renters. We already pay a large sum to be listed but now VRBO wants to make money off of each rental. We use a management company to handle the money from our listings because they also professionally manage the condo since we live 3 hours away. This is going to force us to sell our property.
For years we have rented monthly vacation properties in the Hawaiian Islands through VRBO. I was shocked this year at the exorbitant booking fees. This year we split our island stay and paid $444.00 in two booking fees! This is in the "details" under the reservation receipt, I guess the devil is in the details. What happened to the OWNER part of the VRBO? Never again will I use this service and I will use the local rental services and speak to an owner.
We started renting out our guest house with VRBO close to 2 months ago (went active Jan. 26, 2018). Since then we have had 3 separate renters which came to a total amount owed to us of $1925.12. The first renters arrived on Jan. 29 2018. After about 2 weeks we inquired about when we would actually be receiving our money. They informed us that it would likely be up to 30 days as they hold funds for first disbursement to make sure it’s secure? So they're really just using your money to earn interest for themselves. The 30 day window rolled by and we still hadn't receive any money.
We contacted them again and they finally said that they had sent the money to our bank account on Feb. 27th, 2018. We showed them this was not deposited by sending screenshots of our account for a range of dates before and after the 27th. We also talked to our bank to make sure we were not missing anything. We also sent another picture of the void check we originally provided so they could confirm they got the correct numbers. Since then we have spent hours waiting on hold and called numerous times. Most of the calls went nowhere, all they would say is it was being looked into and they would get back to us in 24 to 48 hours. We never heard anything until we contacted them and demanded answers. It is now Mar. 14 and we still have not received our money!
The most recent email we've received told us once again to check our bank account because the funds were sent. They can see that the funds are not in our account and they continue to deny it. They are hoping we just get frustrated and forget about the $2000 that we're owed. We basically gave our home away for the last 6 weeks for free! I have never dealt with such an incompetent company! They state they transfer billions of dollars a year and they won't even make good on a measly $2000, which is a very minor amount to them. I'm hoping for any advice on how to further pursue this and also to warn others. We live in Canada and I believe they’re based in Ireland so it’s not like I can go to their office and demand answers.
I and 3 other girls rented a property in Charleston off of VRBO. Although the home was remodeled, the property ended up being in an extremely unsafe area of town, with half of the homes on the street posted with eviction notices and broken windows. Due to the condition of the area, we didn't feel safe enough to eve exit the car let alone stay at the home. After reaching out to VRBO they did nothing to assist us or offer a refund, have not posted our review to let others know of the danger of the home, and informed us we need to work with the property renter who has refused to speak with us. I am appalled by the horrible customer service and never plan on using their business again.
Vacation Renters beware. Don't waste your time with this agency. We just tried to rent a Mission Beach, California house for July and read all the information. We thought we were renting from VRBO and a homeowner but the property was really represented by Pacific Sands Vacations, which we have come to find out from the Yelp ads is not very ethical in their negotiations. We sent word on the VRBO website that we wanted to rent the advertised home on 742 Windemere Ct. Pacific Sands Vacations sent us the rental agreement which I signed, they took my credit card information and they made me send my driver's license. I just got word from a Nicole, with the Pacific Sands company that they are passing on us because we might have visitors.
This restriction was not mentioned in the Advertising. It was mentioned that guests would have to be OK'd in the Rental Agreement, which I got only after giving my credit card. Nicole did not identify herself so I am not sure of her position with the company. Pacific Sands Vacations/VRBO has charged my credit card. I have called there twice and they do not return my calls. We have been renting at the same wonderful place for 19 years, and are GREAT renters but it is under renovation and not available this summer. Not sure of the outcome here, but do not give PACIFIC SANDS VACATIONS or VRBO your information. I will be reporting Fraud to the proper agency and to the State of California Attorney General.
My wife and I have been advertising our rental properties since 2011. Since then we have watched VRBO take the vacation rental industry to a all time low. We have been forced as homeowners by VRBO to accept their terms and rental policies as if they owned my properties. We had two rentals booked on February 18th, 2018 in the amount of $3,800.00. It is now March 09, 2018 and we still have not seen our rental money from VRBO. We have tried everyday since the bookings and have not received a dime. When we call we get different answers as to why and none of the answers make one bit of sense. We have asked to speak to a manager and none are to be found. We are getting ready to take legal action against VRBO.
I rented a house in Big Bear CA. for my family. The owner nor manager never contacted me. I waited months and sent several e-mails. I complained to VRBO with no response. When I found the Mgr local she said the owner fired her and cancelled the cleaning service. I threatened small claims, she gave me the owner's name and number and I contacted.
The owner claimed we smoked in the unit - stole something and had other damage. We did damage the screen when child walked into it and I had called the insurance Co to advise and found that she made several other claims for this stay as well. I wrote the Insurance Commissioner to advise of fraudulent claim and the contact told me they were investigating this issue on a larger scale. The owner's daughter called me and advised me to have respect etc and since she would not hear me out I did tell her to ** off and hung up. The manager said she had no control. VRBO never contacted me. I was ripped off and will never use VRBO or Home Away again.
We rented a property, always sight unseen, only to discover it was a mobile home in a trailer park. The owner described her property as being "in a manufactured community". That means 'trailer park' in VRBO listing speak, I guess. When I tried to cancel and get back my money, the owner wrote a scathing email accusing me of taking up her time. She also told me she would NOT rent her property to me! I called VRBO and opened a case to get a full refund. VRBO's agent told me that her term, manufactured community, is fair and that I should have understood. The agent further told me that VRBO cannot get involved as they have no authorization. Really? Then why did they offer to open a case us? Essentially, VRBO says they are just a vehicle for listings. Don't ever use VRBO as they will not help you settle a dispute.
First they started masking email addresses so that we couldn't use PayPal. Then they added a new payment system so that we have to pay 3% on all reservations AND VRBO keeps all the money until the renters show up. I don't care about having cash sit in my account those extra months between payment and rental dates (I wasn't investing it anyhow) but it burns me up that they are now sitting on (and surely investing) piles of cash. Last insult is that I just took my first booking thru their sucky new system and the renter also has to pay $185 service fee!!! That's new, expensive and possible deters rentals! They are constantly looking for a new way to make money and we are hostage because some moron somewhere let VRBO and HomeAway merge so that there is now no competition (Apol’s to Airbnb).
And finally, their website sucks. In so many ways. And, boy, when they want you to do something (like sign up for their new payment system - or now to add the square footage, which I don't know and can't even guess at), they put popups on EVERYTHING and will even remove any x to close them or allow ESC or anything. If you hold down three secret keys and nod your head, you might be able to get rid of it. This is one company that does not care about "delighting customers".
I would give VRBO/Home Away negative stars if possible. I reserved a property through VRBO the beginning of November 2017, for March 8 - March 11, 2018. I had a reservation confirmation and had paid the amount in full. On March 6th I contacted the owner through the VRBO site to obtain the house code and check in instructions. Shortly after emailing him I was called by the owner who informed me that he was sorry, but I did not have a reservation anymore. He said that VRBO had blocked him out of his account and that since he did not have access to the calendar anymore and was no longer using VRBO for reservations, he had booked someone else during the same time I had. He also said that he assumed that VRBO would be contacting renters since he did not have access to that information anymore.
I do find fault with the property owner for not pursuing contact with VRBO to make sure reservations already on the books could still be honored if VRBO would pass along information on his renters, but I also find fault with VRBO. There is something wrong with VRBO policies if they block an owner out of their account and do not provide them with information on all reservations already on the books. And if there is a reason for blocking a property owner, there should be a protocol that all renters are contacted and informed that VRBO is no longer handling the property. When I attempted to call VRBO customer service, there was a recorded message and then a beep and then the call was disconnected. This happened over and over again for several hours.
When I contacted the reservation number I was told that "I am happy to help you, but I am only able to look up one reservation for you." Are you kidding me - my reservation gets screwed up, I have one day to find a new place during one of the busiest times in Palm Desert, and even though the first property we looked at would not work for my check in dates, they would not help me look at other options. I will NEVER rent through VRBO or Home Away again. And I would like to spread the news so that other renters don't have to go through what I have gone through.
OMG... We have been with VRBO as property owners for many, many years and we have 3 beach properties. Since combining the AirBnB the service with VRBO is so horrible it is almost unbearable. One department transfers you to another department because no one knows who is supposed to do what. I have to call them at least once a week for clarification. They make reservations and transfer strange amounts of money into our accounts and no one can even tell me who the guest is that is paying. You are supposed to get an email giving you the breakdown of the payment. I have 2 mystery payments right now and no one can supply the breakdown. The Payment Department just told me that HomeAway/VRBO is to email the breakdown, so they transferred me to them.
What do you think happened next??? HomeAway/VRBO says the Payment Department is responsible for sending the emails!!! Now get this... I called two weeks ago and asked to speak to a Supervisor after the person I had been talking to had no answers for me. She told me the Supervisor's office closed as of 2/22 and was closed indefinitely. Really? That is not how you run a business. So I just now asked for a Supervisor and was told the same thing -- the Supervisor's office is closed. Wow - this is the most unorganized organization I have seen.
We are so very frustrated with all of this -- who has time to be placed on hold forever weekly, and once you get a live person they don't even know the answers. At this point we are interviewing local property managers to see if we can find another way to handle our properties. I told the customer service rep when he was off work to Google VRBO reviews so he could see all the negative reviews. As I read all the reviews I see that I am not the only person who is so very dissatisfied with this and having the same problems I am. Good Luck with HomeAway/VRBO.
Attempted to book a vacation rental online. Availability and rate were confirmed. 8 hours later the owner states that the unit is not available at the stated rate and the reservation was cancelled. Called VRBO. After a 20 minute wait, was connected to a customer service agent whose English was at best marginal. After a lengthy interchange, was told VRBO fees would be refunded in 7-14 days. As of today, the same unit is still listed at the same price. Use this site at your own risk. No quality control and very marginal customer service.
VRBO/HomeAway/Expedia have quadrupled their income and to an equal extent diminished their service. Owners used to pay an annual fee which had several tiers of membership. The higher the fee the better and more prominent the listing. After the HomeAway purchase of VRBO that changed into a flat annual fee of $499 and a "service fee" charged to the traveler of 10% to 12% of the rental price. So, in my case for instance, VRBO went from annual revenue of about $350 to last year's $2387.25.
You might think that increase would bring some level of increase service to the guest or owner, but you'd be wrong. Customer service is non-existent and is provided by some offshore service in India or some other difficult to understand nationality. Their web platform, which was to be enhanced through the increase fees, is lousy. Threads of the correspondence between the owner and guest often disappears so that the owner doesn't know if the guest received their messages. I only wish there was an alternative for owners and I'd be gone from this overpriced undervalue service.
My first experience using VRBO was a total disaster. I do not recommend this website to anyone. I found a booking, created an account, got verified, and booked a reservation. Soon an email stated that my reservation was accepted... Minutes later the property owner emailed to say the booking would be refunded due to a "booking error". First problem: The refund was not in full! It was $143 short! No explanation! Second problem: The quote/end quote "booking error" was a change of the price! The owner would not honor the previously advertised and confirmed reservation price! The owner claims that the VRBO system is at fault. VRBO blames the property owner. WHAT A SCAM! DO NOT BOOK WITH VRBO.
Most of the online booking sites of VRBO charge booking fees, and some are very high (i.e. VRBO charges an extra 10 - 12%). Sometimes these fees are hidden from the renters.
I am a property management company that has utilized the VRBO advertising product since 2008 with great success. We average around 30 rental properties advertised on VRBO. A couple of years ago we were even able to integrate our software with VRBO which made keeping calendars and rates up to date in real time and at a Property Management discounted affordable annual subscription per property (average cost is around $12,000 per year). It was a great B2B relationship.
Once VRBO was purchased by Expedia we started to see changes to the process all of which we succumbed to because the bookings were significant; such as adding the service fee to the guest on top of the rental amounts we charged, taking away access to guest information during email communication, disallowing us to show website, phone number or any other links to the guests in our communications, and raising the annual booking fee to $499 per rental (no bulk discount). Now we have been told that we will be charged another fee for guests that DO NOT book directly through their website that have contacted us!
"HomeAway will begin charging a fee for every off-platform booking, which will amount to 10% of the pre-tax total to be charged to the traveler for the stay." Outrageous business ethics. The only "Partner" for VRBO/HA/Expedia group is themselves. It is not the guest and definitely not the homeowner or management company. Shame on them.
I own a vacation property and have been using VRBO to rent it since 2011. For the first 4 years it was great. I booked my entire summer season. For the past 2 or 3 years I can't get a booking. The entire website has been changed and they are taking over the bookings. The website has become almost impossible to navigate. They want you to use their credit service - for a fee, of course. I haven't because I can't get a booking. Today I discovered that they have my property listed in the wrong section so I am not even being advertised where my property is located!!
I called 2 days ago to ask a question of customer service and got voicemail. I said it was rather urgent and would someone get back to me asap. I never got a callback. I tried to call them now about this issue on their "24 hour helpline". I was holding for over 20 minutes and no one picked up my call. I am paying them $399/year for this? No more. They're just collecting my money. What a shame.
I have been using VRBO for years to rent out my condos. Since HomeAway and VRBO combined, it has been nothing but headaches. Because of something that is their fault... Which they have admitted to. I cannot, nor have I been able to rent out my condo for weeks. Plus, every time you call, they tell me it has been taken care of... It has not. I am so disgusted with them. I asked to speak to a supervisor today. Guess what? The supervisors are gone!! I want my money back... But they won't do it! Totally disgusting!
I attempted to book a property and the request was accepted and VRBO took a $151 fee. I then went to complete the transaction with the owner and they requested an email transfer of cash rather than using the payment option through the site. This is highly risky as transferring cash has no recourse if something goes wrong. VRBO's own website advises against this as do tons of consumer protection sites, Airbnb, etc. I contacted VRBO to confirm that they would reimburse me if I discovered the owner wasn't legit. Their response was maybe, and it's probably ok. That was not reassuring enough for me and I requested to cancel. The owner was snippy but agreed to cancel. This was all within 2 hrs of the request so no revenue lost for them, but it is now my understanding that they could have refused.
I had been promised by the VRBO rep that I'd get the booking fee back within 5-7 days. 2 weeks later I had not been refunded. I contacted them again, they promised again, still nothing. I had to contact them a 3rd time and this time threaten to dispute the charge with VISA, and only then was I finally reimbursed. VRBO allows shady practices, and is a hassle to deal with. I've never had this trouble with Airbnb. Would never touch VRBO again.
I own beachfront condos that I rent out. Although we get lots of inquiries from HomeAway/VRBO (same company), they provide little support for homeowners and property managers. I've spent the 4.5 hours over the last 2 days trying to add 5 condo listings. I get transferred from one department to another, disconnected 4 times, and spent more than 2 hours on hold. I still don't have my problem fixed and after a few minutes talking with me, most of the customer support people get sarcastic and condescending. I've called and written emails and can't get support. I relisted yesterday for $499 annual subscription and when I tried to cancel it today based on the lack of support I was told I couldn't cancel. So now I have a listing that I can't get to go live, no one will call me back, no one will help me with my problem and I'm out $499. Terrible way to run a company.
We, like all of the other vacation rental owners that have been with VRBO (or HomeAway or VacationRentals - they're all one now...) for a long time, this new format and business model is atrocious! We already pay a hefty (very hefty) fee to have our property on the site and they've now started charging guests an additional booking fee and us a percentage of every payment they accept "for" us - we don't have a choice. If we don't simply hit the Accept reservation button, we have no access to their email or phone number. And if we try to reply to their inquiry and include our email or phone number, VRBO blocks it so the guest cannot see it.
We've begun sharing this with guests and are phonetically spelling out our email to encourage them to contact us directly - ridiculous that we have to do that. Oh, and if we don't accept reservations, our position in the search drops. I can't reiterate how awful this company is to deal with and sadly we will not be renewing. We're going to give vacationhomerentals.com a try since they are affiliated with Trip Advisor and allow communication between homeowner and guests directly. Sad... VRBO used to be such a wonderful site...
I sent a reservation request for property id 4850733 in Sevierville, TN. On the website it stated the rate was $500 per night and minimum stay was 2 nights. Which the website still says 2 nights minimum but the property manager Tara ** declined my reservation saying it was a 3 night minimum. And told me to "Go ** yourself!", of which I still have the email and a screenshot showing the property listed for 2 night minimum. Very unprofessional and nasty response. When I told her I was going to report her behavior, she then replied that I cannot report her, which I have found to be somewhat true when trying to contact VRBO to report this issue. So I've turned to the ConsumerAffairs to warn others about this property listing.
NEVER AGAIN! I can't add much beyond what other owners have posted below, but this company is flat out greedy. Once VRBO realized or decided they could double dip on the fee structure and then basically extort the owners, was the last straw for me. When I signed up in 2017, I was given the option to renew with the automatic bookings ($399) or remain independent ($599)... I chose to stay independent and incur the additional cost so I could screen my renters. Next thing you know, my booking requests basically disappear... and lo and behold, VRBO has buried my listing.
Customer service? Not so much... as my call was greeted by a rude and unhelpful agent, who explained that because I opted out of automatic bookings my listing was bumped. But, wait... I paid you extra $$ for my listing to get buried? Well, this year we don't have an option with automatic booking... it's mandatory. And you know what VRBO? After almost 10 years of my customer loyalty, I'm saying screw you!
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