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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!!
As both a VRBO guest and Vrbo home owner, the number of 1-Star reviews totally shocked me, but I can understand the frustration of what people have summarized in their reviews: You make a reservation at a home with the expectation for a wonderful time only to find that the place is not as represented or is a dump or isn't available upon arrival at all. Then on top of this major disappointment, we have a hassle retrieving your deposit or even worse, your entire payment ... and Vrbo generally says that there isn't much of anything that it can do to help you resolve the mess because it's just the intermediary in matching up the home owner and the guest.
But thank heavens, it's not always this way. We, as an Owner, make a major effort in ensure that our guests receive a 5-star experience at our beach home in Santa Cruz, CA -- lots of amenities, an on-site concierge, a 5-person cleaning crew between every guest, and a deposit refund policy that has returned 100% of the payment of every guest that has had to cancel to date.
On the flip side, as a Vrbo Guest, every experience has been a delight. We never have had a complaint. At the core of our own and our guests' Vrbo experiences, are the guest reviews. If a property has a string of 5-star reviews a mile long, it's going to be a super experience -- and if it isn't, the Owner is going to make it right. On the other hand, in instances where the experience has been a revoltingly bad as those mentioned in many of the CF reviews, there's going be a pattern of 1-star guest indictments of the place. And, to the best of my knowledge, there's no way that an Owner can tinker with the reviews to bury the truth. So what I look for are great reviews -- and lots of them -- before I book anything.
Am a villa owner who takes odd bookings from VRBO. Covid 19 outbreak I refunded every penny paid...to all pending guests. Vrbo it seems have kept refundable bonds and cleaning fee money. A guest who stayed prior to Covid is owed £250 bond money.. They are not repaying him even though he looked after our villa. A lady who had to cancel due to Covid is still awaiting £185 refund and vrbo are saying no to her request. As an owner I have done all I can to refund guests..as a website vrbo are not refunding bonds even if people have not stayed at villas.. So please do be careful. Simply do your homework. Cut out these websites and go direct with owners... We are doing our best to help guests who have not even stayed whilst this company creams off money where they are able.
Worst customer service ever. We booked a place, made all the arrangements and then come to find out they double booked us and wouldn’t offer any kind of compensation for their error. They kept blaming everyone else. Honestly the worst experience with customer service I’ve had in a long time. We will never use their service again and we would highly recommend you don’t either.
VRBO has probably the worst customer service I have ever experienced. The initial night I arrived for my stay, there were multiple issues that required me to get a hold of customer service. It took me almost 8-9 hours to get my issues addressed and at that point it was even resolved. I had to call back on the second day of my trip to speak with a different dept. If I wasnt disconnected, I was sent down a rabbit hole of wrong dept. after wrong dept. that kept transferring me. Nothing was resolved by them and they still charged me a fee. I am actually waiting to talk to them again at this very moment and it's been almost 2 hours just attempting to live chat. They wont even let you leave a negative review that I have been trying to leave for days. It's a terrible company with worse customer service.
I paid and they accepted my deposit immediately. Now they say it takes up to 4 weeks to issue my refund. They are earning interest on my money and I don't like it! I would think they would be a little more sympathetic under the current situation.
We found a beautiful cottage to rent in Huntsville from Nazbur Rahman, paid the entire amount, signed the contract, it was accepted and then he cancelled the reservation two weeks later on the basis 'the previous owner promised the cottage to someone else.' What protections are there for renters of the owner just cancelling and leaving us with no options? Because of COVID, it is impossible to book something for August and now we have to tell our children after they can't go to school and can't go to camp, that they can't have a cottage vacation this summer either. Very unprofessional and disappointing. VRBO - you need to do a MUCH better job to protect the people who are counting on you for a holiday. We work hard for our money so we can do this for our family, and to be left with nothing is so disappointing - will never use your site again.
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