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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.
I am both a renter and an owner on VRBO until today. My son has had to postpone his wedding and I have had to rearrange my rental twice! I rented a lovely house on VRBO. The wedding is now the 4th of July weekend next year. A very busy time. The management company from the house called and informed me I could not at any time have anyone at the house who was not staying there. This is a destination wedding. There are relatives coming from all over the country. We both decided that this house would not meet my needs. They refunded the money immediately.
VRBO charged $499 as a service fee. They will NOT refund their fee, although the website indicated that the rental is 100% refundable. I spent hours on the phone with them. They simply keep repeating that their fee is NOT refundable. They did not perform a service for their fee, they do not care about you. Try to avoid them at all costs. I also cancelled my property from their website today which is paid until next February. It has been “ hidden” since March. Guess what? They are not returning any of that money either! Somebody should go after them.
They are of no assistance when trying to cancel and get refund from an owner. Cancellation policy said 30 day and 15 day cancellation, we canceled 23 days prior to due to surgery and have documentation. This was in March and still not getting anywhere. I would not use VRBO ever again or this place in TN, Property # 7918847ha.
VRBO will threaten owners who have canceled their Reservations with their guests by moving their viewing page to the back. They don’t want to repay or refund guests for canceling reservations. They want us to rebook them. And simply will not respond to emails or return calls from owners with concerns. Stay away from this company and use other rental companies. This is first hand experience with them as an owner of a rental property. It’s a shame how they treat us and our guests.
I am giving this a one star based on this experience! It has been four weeks and despite numerous text messages that the owner never replied to, we had not yet received our deposit back. We left the condo in pristine condition. Today we finally received the deposit back in our account. The owner seems a little shady like they were trying to make it hard for us to get our deposit back. Absolutely no reason why this was not taken care of right away.
This was my first and last experience with VRBO. After I had booked travel, the state I was travelling to was added to our states travel ban list. I immediately contacted the owner to discuss options. She basically told me "Oh well not my problem." I asked if I could apply what I had paid to a future travel date and she refused.
I then contacted VRBO directly, as they specifically state on their site that they have advised all owners to give refund or credits as a result of COVID. However - they have no plans to enforce this at all. The rep for VRBO told me that there is nothing he can do, as it's ultimately up to the owner and that my options were to lose my entire payment (Almost $3000) or travel. I continually asked to speak to his supervisor but he refused saying that no one would give me a different answer. This company is a platform for greedy property owners to gouge you and steal your money with no ramifications. VRBO will allow this seedy behavior and not help the travelers at all.
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