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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.
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I found my place of stay using VRBO and it actually exceeded my expectations. The cleanliness of the condo was excellent. Everything from the furniture to appliances were modern and didn't look old. The bedrooms were large and the wrap around patio was awesome. The patio extended around the entire condo and the view was amazing. The bathroom I felt was small and the shower was outdated especially when compared to everything that was inside the condo. That was the one and only thing I didn't like. But the location was perfect as it was close enough to all the stores and yet isolated enough from all the hustle and bustle of all the traffic and vacationers. The pool and beach were steps away from condo as you exited the elevator. The price was a little for the condo was a little high but after experiencing the peacefulness, cleanliness, and convenience it was worth it. I would stay at the condo and recommend it to others as well.
Vacation Rentals By Owner or VRBO was a breath of fresh air. There was a spa/hot tub pool and pool table. Owners went out and bought a new game console so I would have something to play on the 3br 2bath home. Had a refrigerator fully stocked w/ condiments, a gas grill on back patio, restaurant menus w/ grocery store discount cards, 50 something inch screen, Cable, WiFi all across the street from Disney Land and @ $1,200 for 7days a definite change in price. D.L. was $485 per night one room, fridge didn't work, had to pay $25 per day Valet parking, doorman tips. VRBO 5???? ****D.L. 1????
We enjoyed our stay in the condo very much! It was clean, and stocked with things you would not have imagined -- like toys for playing in the sand and chairs -- little touches that just made our stay that much more pleasant. We had some minor issues along the way, but the property manager was available to us, and quite helpful every step of the way. We also had a beautiful view of the beach. Would definitely rent this condo again!
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VRBO is asking property owners and managers to offer a full credit for the amount we already paid if you are outside of your cancellation window. They are only “asking” NOT helping or requiring owners to refund money! We have asked our property manager to refund our money and she will NOT because she said she doesn’t have to through VRBO. She told me if I would have booked it through Airbnb she would have had to. This group cannot all reschedule another time to go. This is a group of high school seniors and a few chaperones! VRBO told us to “Contact the owner or property manager to discuss cancellation and refund options. Although they are not obligated to provide a refund outside of the cancellation window...“
Beaches are closed, travel restrictions are in place, the Florida governor has stopped all new rentals, put up road blocks to this destination, we have high risk people in this party, this is a group of high school kids and we are in the midst of a pandemic! Many of our friends have already received their refund but this home owner in Destin, FL WILL NOT REFUND our money, VRBO said she is not obligated to do so and there is no other time we can all go...We have no other option. We have been refunded $1212 in taxes but they are keeping the remainder of $6202!
AWFUL!!!! We booked a house at 4003 Brownstone Ct, Dallas Texas, Drew ** from 3/20 - 3/22. We had to cancel due to the virus.. we did so on 3/16.. he and VRBO will NOT get us a refund!!!! This is a terrible company and a worse human being!!!!
I cant believe some of these HOMEOWNERS are so INSENSITIVE. They think it is ok to KEEP people's money when the government is BANNING going out! and VRBO thinks its A-OK to support their HOMEOWNERS (who will probably double dip with the stimulus). Whats worse - VRBO says "THE HOMEOWNERS HAVE MORTGAGES AND SALARIES TO PAY" - WELL GUESS WHAT? That's a risk you rich people take when buying more than one house for investments - there are people who are now out of work and cant afford their rent, but VRBO thinks it's ok...Unbelievable....
Poor Experience at best; avoid all VRBO affiliated companies. Used VRBO in the past and never had an issue. Due to COVID-19, the owner mentioned that we should not come. She authorized the refund. VRBO continues to keep the money after 9 days (their term, 5-7).
Beware of VRBO. They will not refund your money or even help you get a refund if you have to cancel. We booked a stay at a home in Del Ray Beach (Property No. 7283978ha) the week of 3/31/20. Sadly we had to cancel because we cannot leave Illinois due to “Shelter In Place” plus beaches and restaurants are closed so no food and nowhere to go would be terrible. I cannot even begin to express my total disappointment with VRBO.
The owner of the rental Ann was very rude, sending many texts (before I blocked her) stating that this is not her problem, no refund, too bad! I contacted VRBO and while they claim they opened a case, I spoke with a woman yesterday who said their hands are tied and basically “so sorry!” $1,600 bucks gone, with no recourse. I’ll spend more money having my attorney draw up a complaint but it’s worth it given this company and this homeowner are so terrible and during such a stressful time for our country. Do not use vrbo. We will never ever use them again and we will tell everyone we know, whenever we have a chance to bad mouth this company and the renter who refuses to refund our money.
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