VRBO.comConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
Beware everyone. VRBO will not switch your credit to another account nor will they give it back. Do not give them your credit card or pay for it upfront. They told me that I would have to wait for a manager to call me back 24-48 hours (that's just insane!). They quoted me paragraph blah blah blah some made up ** that I can't get a refund. Who do they think they are!?? They are awful! Stay far away. On top of everything they try to get renters to pay their fee if they pay upfront. I always told my renters to go through me and avoid their fees. VRBO only worries about $$$ not their customers.
The level of incompetence is overwhelming!! I have over 55 homes listed with this joke of a company and they make it so hard to work with them! They removed guest communication which was expected and common for most advertising sites, however when there is an issue I expect VRBO to call the guest because I can't and when they "won't" it is so frustrating and unacceptable. For VRBO to lie to my face and say they don't have access to the guest info as well is the biggest slap in the face! The anger I feel for this company in un-natural and quite alarming. Every time I or my team calls no one helps us and no one knows what's going on and we are lucky if they speak any English at all! I don't understand how this company is so large and incompetent! I am looking forward to a day where a new booking site launches and we can all say goodbye to this corrupt shady company! VRBO YOU ARE THE WORST!!!
I attempted to rent a place and was told there would be no charge until the rental was confirmed. They said the rental was unavailable and charged my card anyway. After 7 days it was still there and I had to have my bank retort it as fraud. 1 month later on Feb 13, they charged me again!! It's about $900 each time they charge me and I have to get a new card each time. This company is fraudulent! Buyer beware!
Yesterday I tried to send a question about availability to a property owner. The website was confusing and sent some sort of message off into a black void with no acknowledgment of anything. I assumed it didn't work. Then it asked if I would like to try and book the property. I wanted to see if they had availability - so I tried to see if the booking would work. It asked for card info and then charged me.
All along there is no mention of anything relating to how the booking works. Turns out - they charge your card for the full amount of the booking for 24 hours. They don't tell you any of this until after you try to book. Even if the owner is unresponsive and most likely didn't update the property's calendar and didn't want your booking. Even if you didn't really want to book it and try to call them to reverse it within 5 minutes of booking. Even if the owner hasn't responded to anyone it looks like ever in the entire history of the property. But there's also no way to know. If the owner accepts at the last minute you have no choice. So you can't book anything else.
When you call to try and cancel they just hang up on you. I will not use this site ever again. I feel dirty for even having talked to their customer support and having gone through the processes of trying to book a possibly fake (unresponsive) property. There's something that feels dirty about dealing with a business that relies on tricking people into clicking a button to get their sales.
VRBO just notified me that "you are no longer eligible for pay-per-booking listings." I get very few requests from their site, and a few of the requests didn't work out, so their computers determined that my "conversion ratio is low," and they bumped me from their site. They offered me the option to pay for an "annual subscription so you can continue booking your property on our site." I book so few renters from their site that it would not be profitable to do this. But they just want my $300 plus annual subscription fee! Stay away from this site. Book on Airbnb instead! Smarmy site!
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As an owner of a rental property we paid for a year subscription. VRBO canceled our listings because we refused to charge guests a service fee of $75 per rental. We felt this was unfair to our guests. As a result VRBO deactivated our listing and when we called to finalize the deletion of our listing they told us they would not refund us the year's subscription ($597) that we had paid in advance even though they deactivated our account and we only used 5 months of their service.
For what was a great site to list your property on has been taken over by the greed of VRBO. We have always paid a membership fee, $399 per year, to use their site. That fee still exists - but now they charge our customers a service fee along with us paying a credit card fee. The service fee is rather steep which looks like we increased our rates. We can no longer speak to people before they rent our condo, because VRBO wants their $$$ first before you can speak to potential renters. We have lost a lot of people to this service fee and homeowners are starting to seek alternative ways to rent their homes. This site is more geared towards hotels, motels, etc. not the individual homeowner wanted to rent their place in which they cherish!
I booked my first vacation rental through VRBO. I spent a couple weeks looking for different places and locations. When I made a selection the contract required 1/2 down with the balance due 6 weeks before my vacation dates. Seemed reasonable and I booked. Now I have 1/2 down and the balance due 2 weeks later. I am beyond angry and of course lesson learned - nonrefundable. I have trip insurance but this is not covered under trip insurance. Another scam. So disappointed in this company and the inconsistency in booking and actual contract. Never ever again.
As a client of VRBO for the past 14 years, I am very angry and disappointed at the way they changed their business model from advertising owner rentals to becoming a booking company for Expedia which bought them. It is no longer a friendly "rent from owner" company. And forget trying to speak with a VRBO manager as they will deceive you. Many of your fellow vacation homeowners have expressed my same frustration. The only way I (we) can fight the giant is not to renew with them... which I plan to do. If we keep feeding them money, they have no reason to change their onerous treatment of their clients (you and me) who provide the inventory.
One reason most of us are not receiving bookings is (among numerous other things) the fact that they have allowed rental companies with 10 or more homes/villas to put their entire inventory of properties on the VRBO site (which clearly is not renting direct from an owner). Then they give these rental properties priority in position on the search pages. Thus were are pushed lower.
Yes, these properties do belong to an individuals like us, but when a guest inquires - they speak to a reservation person at the rental company, not an owner. I, like many of you, want to continue to rent direct, vet my guests, and handle "my own money". My new approach is - with the help of a young technical college student, I am in the process of creating a business Facebook page for my two properties to help drive renters to my ad on a website I was referred to by a friend called Carolina Vacation Home Rentals. This site looks just like VRBO and I can only hope as it builds its web presence that it will not be purchased by Expedia.
Since 2003, I have been one of the original members of VRBO and Vacationrentals.com, I had 2 property listings with them, referred countless owners to them which they collected their fee in full for, and all parties were satisfied until they took my money 2 years ago and decided to try and collect the rental amount themselves plus a hefty credit card fee which was not our agreement AND charge the consumer a convenience fee. My rental business was cut by 70% and I threatened to leave and did stop my Vacationrentals account but was assured by Mary in upper management at VRBO that I could still book my own clients if I renewed for $499.00 for the year for VRBO.
As many complaints you already have, they changed the terms without consent and my 14 year relationship with them changed as they got greedy! I have received no rental bookings as the consumer thinks it is a scam especially since they cannot talk to the owner like before (me) before they pay hundreds of dollars in a "service fee".
VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner and used to be a great site for owners of rental properties and people trying to rent directly without the rip-offs from large corporations. Unfortunately they have changed their policy 180 degrees and now make it impossible to have a direct relation between tenants and the owner. Instead VRBO tries to force all clients to use their "service" for a hefty fee. VRBO collects the down payments and installments of the rent and does not forward these funds to the owner before the end of the rental period. Property owners have to pay sales and tourist development tax on this income and thus have to pre-finance these expenses out of their pocket. At the same time VRBO enjoys to work with the liquidity of their clients.
VRBO has taken away the control of owners about their listed properties by changing the Terms and Conditions. There is no more "renting by owner" through this website so the name is completely misleading. Accounts will be restricted if an owner tries to rent directly to a tenant. HomeAway owns further websites that follow the same scheme and delude clients that they would deal directly with property owners. It is even restricted and penalized if an owners talks or emails directly without using VRBO. VRBO censors all emails through their website and removes Email-addresses and telephone numbers. I have spent several hundred dollars per year and end up having nothing but trouble. I am so glad my subscription ends this April and I will for sure never deal with them again.
I just called customer service in India who told me there is not time frame after the guests have left to bill for the used electricity which makes no sense to me. The whole Service fee is a ripoff and only to create more income. Then I also have to pay the 3% to 5% for the credit card fee where before I took a check and nicely interacted with future guests, I have no choice and hope a new startup company can take this business away from VRBO/HomeAway.
We stayed at property which is located on Bay Ave. on Bonnet Island. Our stay was 7/29/17 to 8/5/17. The place was nice and we enjoyed our stay even though there was construction right outside our unit from 7:30 to about 4:30 each day. There were some small issues that needed addressed during our stay and it was difficult to reach Mr. **. At the end of the week we cleaned the unit and left it spotless. The problem was getting our security deposit of $500.00 back. When we did not receive it in 2 weeks we tried to contact Mr. ** by phone and email several times with no response. We contacted VRBO and received no help from them. They told me to try and resolve the problem with the owner or contact my bank. I filed a complaint with the bank and finally received my deposit on 12/5/17. I will never deal with Mr. ** or VRBO. This was our first experience dealing with VRBO and it was very frustrating and disappointing.
I would suggest you avoid attempting to rent any property from Kathleen ** from Oregon. My girlfriend reserved a house in Astoria in October from Kathy. She confirmed the reservation and took the deposit. In January she asked for the full payment which we immediately paid. A week later she emailed and said, "I'm sorry somebody beat you by five hours." 5 hours three months ago? We looked at her rental and it was now booked for that same weekend indefinitely.
Thinking this was really strange we dug into Kathy. She's a Christian fundamentalist. She apparently discovered that Astoria has a craft beer festival that weekend and decided since it didn't fit her values she would never rent to these types of people. Funny she had no problem taking our money and collecting interest off of it. Wonder how many people she's done that to? Religious discrimination is not ok regardless of what side you are on. So far HomeAway/VRBO has done nothing but send copy/paste responses saying basically, "You got your money back. What else do you want". How about make sure she doesn't do this again? Is she making $ of interest from collected funds from multiple people?!
I booked a trip...paid down payment...paid balance 20 days before arrival. We have had a business emergency come up and are unable to come. No one would talk to me about it or allow me to talk to the owner about possible doing a partial refund. The customer service was lacking. What really irks me the most is that if I cancel they can rebook and double the money. And even if they will not refund all of my money, I do not understand why I would still be responsible for a $450 clean up fee, 629 in taxes, another 105 in taxes again, and a 321 service fee??? On top of losing the rent I paid, they get $1505 for nothing??? I will not use these groups again. I will stick with Airbnb where I only had to cancel once but they were gracious, personable, understanding and refunded me.
2002 was the year we started using VRBO. We have several listings. Then, in 2016, everything good seem to be negated. Listings buried with the assurance that that wasn't the case. We were told to "refresh the calendar" or have a "new review" posted in order to become more "prominent". What a joke. We have several guests who weren't able to access the site well enough to give us a nice review. But the worst part? Homeowners are not allowed any contact with guests until AFTER they have paid. And they're forced to go through VRBO to do that; we've been shut out of the process. Complaints seen here are spot on. The company has become a bully of its homeowners; we feel like we're being strong armed. The COG attitude - count on greed - is alive and well with Expedia/VRBO/HomeAway... Am searching for new ways to stay in business.
I spent hours ++++ carefully narrowing down the options for a trip out to Western Canada. I asked clarifying questions through VRBO site and got answers but when it got down to booking then things went south. My card got "rejected" - though the bank didn't see any of the so-called rejections. (I trust my bank 100%). Called VRBO, same thing. Told me to communicate with the owner via the site. MIA. Has been for 2 days. Why? it's unclear. This whole thing is a scam. Completely. Now, I feel like I've exposed myself with my credit card and wished I hadn't even considered. Stay away!
I was booking a cottage, for whatever reason (they won't tell me why) they said that my credit card was rejected because of "irregularities" but they still managed to charge the card $1,500. How exactly they pulled that off is quite a feat. Even better, they aren't returning the money for 5-7 business days. Now, this cottage was for my boss, who is arriving in 2 days. So in order to make sure she has a place to stay, I am going to have to shell out even MORE money to secure her lodging. And I still have no idea why they took my money and then claim they have to return it. Unprofessional and unacceptable.
I have had property listed on VRBO for two years, despite having used it in the past and finding it extremely difficult. However, I realize that most vacation renters ARE using VRBO so tried again. We have lost so much money to them!!! This year, especially, my own parameters for rents charged, discounts, etc were "fiddled with" (no better words to describe). All of a sudden, my rental rates were lowered and included an additional $225.USD discount... (what discount???) I called and was told that "our new rate editor must have recognized a better pricing". No notification to me, nothing.
Plus, imagine when they (VRBO) represent a rental at "Payable to You" @ $4,384.00. I actually end up with $3,497.00!!! This is only a $250.00 security deposit (which they hold) and all the rest $887.00 went to VRBO. DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT USE THEM. You are much better off getting a Facebook page or even setting up your own website. Fair warning. Plus, your customers will be very grateful to save all the fees. Customer Service? When I told the guy who was "helping" me that I was "done with VRBO", the response was, "okay, have nice day".
I am very disgusted. After being a member since 2004 I'm finding it too difficult to work with this group any longer, they have taken control of my calendar, they continually make changes to control the owners and besides the large yearly fee to have our site listed. They now have found ways to take money from our patrons. They do not deserve to call themselves VRBO "Vacation Rental By Owner"... it's no longer by the owner!
Not only is VRBO and Homeaway collecting listing fees for the millions of property listings, but now they are even charging the guests a mandatory booking fee of 5 to 15%. They are doing this without even providing the property owners the right to set their own rates. We have 3 seasonal rates, In season, Off season and Holiday season. Since they only allow rates for 2 seasons, 30% of the instant quotes they give are wrong. In addition, they want property owners to give a per night rate for each additional person over 2 people. Our Villas rent by the number of bedrooms used or by the numbers 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 people etc. They want to run your business the way they tell you, not how you want to run your own business. Awful.
I have used VRBO for years to advertise my vacation property. Typically potential guests would see my ad and contact me. From there it was up to us to negotiate dates, times and costs. VRBO has changed the operating procedure so that it is now impossible for direct communications between owner and guests. They have engineered the process to make it nearly impossible for owners to vet the guests ahead of time. They also force owners to allow VRBO to handle all of the financials so that they can take a hefty chunk in fees. VRBO has become the vacation rental bully.
Frustrated and disappointed. My experience is similar; I sent messages for 2 days trying to book a place in Orlando. After 3 days of unreturned phone calls I finally reached an agent who reached out to the owner/ property manager on my behalf. Apparently, the property calendar (VRBO # **) not maintained, days were not available. The property manager responded via email to say that she had another property available (VRBO # **) she will follow-up the following morning. Surprise, no follow up! After several attempts to reach her I contact customer support again, a message was left on my behalf. It's now Friday morning January 26, 2018, still nothing.
I am disappointed with the level of service. I have rented through (HomeAway same company) twice before. Both times I dealt directly with the owner with no problems, perhaps the owners should reconsider using this agency. I would have more respect for the company if it simply communicated we prefer not to rent to you rather than play the game of changing the calendar, lack of communication and misinformation. It is hard not to take it personally, however, based on the previous comments it seems like a matter of incompetence. I booked a place directly with a homeowner (on the site). He seems competent with a willingness to help attitude. Word of mouth is the best advertisement, I will suggest to him that he end his relationship with the site. He's willing to recommend score and extraordinary customer service is enough to maintain his customers without paying a third party for poor customer support.
VRBO does nothing more than a website that hosts vacation rental homes owned and operated by owners, yet they charge a hefty fee. When we had questions on our rental and called their customer service, their reps had no idea what they talked about, and read from a script, hard to understand. The phone line got discontinued multiple times, the wait time was long. We canceled our trip and booked with Airbnb. Will never use their sites again.
VRBO is requiring homeowners to accept a process called automatic bookings. I am given 24 hours to accept or decline, but I am not allowed to see the reserving parties contact info/email or phone contact until after I accept or decline. As a homeowner of a vacation home or as a business I should have and have always taken the opportunity to be sure that the folks inquiring about staying in my home are guests that I would want and likewise my home fits the needs/requirements of the folks reserving it. I currently speak with all potential guests and find that to be the best screening process for all.
Why should VRBO/HomeAway or any other entity force an automated process on any homeowner?! These entities have a monopoly on the advertising/booking process and they are going to dictate how I communicate with potential renters. Personal Vacation Homes vacation are more personal than hotel vacations and people choose to stay in these homes for many reasons, including the home style, personal touch, personal communications! Why does any entity have the right to dictate who can stay in my home, dictate that I can not have their contact info and speak with them before reserving MY HOME?! Additionally, VRBO/HomeAway has reduced my costs for their services and placed at least an 8% fee onto the cost of renting my home - any home and tagged that into the renter/consumer. Previously, I paid a higher fee based on number of photos submitted and various other criteria that was of my choosing.
There are no choice here and I find that the way VRBO/HomeAway has changed their advertising model removes the voice homeowners have in renting their personal property/business. I am not a chain hotel and I have lost the ability to match the nuisances of my home with the needs of renters. Why should I turn all discretionary rights to an automated system? I am the owner of a single vacation home and VRBO/HomeAway has removed my rights to run my rental with direct contact to potential renters. It's virtually impossible to advertise on my own and the small entity loses all rights.
I have used VRBO in the past but my experience in Palm Desert was a disaster. I spent 4 hours reviewing multiple properties and trying to book them. Each time I was rejected by the owner with "we can't confirm your reservation". Additional attempts to contact owners went unheard. All properties said they were available when I booked and still show available a day later. I'm not sure what game these VRBO owners are playing in Palm Desert, but don't waste your time and don't expose your credit card. I booked a nice hotel in 10 minutes.
My family planned our holiday vacation in La Jolla, Ca. We secured a property owned by Kyle ** and paid upfront the entire rental amount for the 4-night stay to include New Years. I somehow came across the property on a well known real estate site and saw it was listed for sale. I called Kyle ** and asked what the listing meant for customers who had future rental agreements for the property. I was told the owner was testing the waters and the property was to be taken off of the MLS. As we got closer to the holidays, I maintained constant communication with the owner and found the house again on the market as a short sale. I told the owner to return my monies as we would need to secure another property; he told me all was good and the rental would still be available.
2 days prior to our arrival, I was told the property could not be rented because it was in contract. Our family, some whom traveled from out of state with 5 small children did not have a vacation house for the holiday. We had to rush and find another property that could accommodate 14 family members in a hurry. The owner made no effort to contact me or help with another home and has not returned my $6,725. I am sure his family had a great holiday. I researched the owner and come to find out he is a prominent financial advisor that scammed monies from his clients and inappropriately sold restricted stock. I will have to take the owner to court to recoup my monies.
I canceled a reservation through the VRBO website, for the service fee. The website is very user-unfriendly, and since I canceled I can no longer access information about the canceled reservation. After waiting 2 weeks, I emailed customer service and they explain the refund was processed but didn't actually go through. I was told it would be another 5-7 business days. Well now it's been 7 business days and I called and my refund didn't process until 5 days after the last email. I will not go through VRBO again.
Tried renting a place in Greece. (9 months in advance) Paid them rental price and their service fee. Was debited from my checking acct. Homeowners never got the monies. Called them and was on the phone with them for 2 hrs. Spoke to 4 people who kept saying, "I cant help you," and kept putting someone else on. They refuse to refund my money. (Their service fee.) They argued that they are entitled to it for their service- which they never provided! Do yourself a favor and don't use them. Putting a stop to the payment with my bank.
When we learned we had toxic mold in our house, I called VRBO. It was the best support I have ever experienced in 50 years of traveling. The five customer support people were incredibly helpful. They were kind, supportive, informative and most important had my back. I am so sad that I did not know of their small fee they charged for insurance but they could not have been better.
Even though I did not pay, they tried to call the property manager 5 different times and sent Emails. They also told me if he did not refund our money they would remove his property from VRBO. The property manager acquiesced and said he would send me a refund. The wonderful staff at VRBO said if he did not pay, they would escalate my case and go after the owner. I am so sad that I did not pay the small fee to VRBO because they would have moved us to a hotel and find us a suitable property. We would not have to lay out more money and could pay for it when I got the money from the owner.
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