Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I have used VRBO for years and have recommended it to others. Just used it again this month for a getaway with family and found an extra $105.48. I was originally told it would not be charged, but after spending an hour today on the phone, being transferred several times and put on hold each time... I guess that isn't true. They are now charging a transaction fee, but I couldn't find anywhere in the fine print that let me know this was going to happen.
They charged my card $399.00 and never confirmed the reservation. A week later I called and found out the rental was not available. No one called to let me know that the rental was already booked. And no one credited my card the $399.00. I had to call and complain to get my money back. Sorry way to do business.
Beware of using VBRO - Homeaway. It was extremely difficult to get a refund when we canceled a booking that guaranteed a full refund. It required hours on the phone and finally filing a dispute with our credit card. I will NEVER book with them again.
VRBO will not address problem with listing. 4 phone calls to report and resolve issue and get no support, call back or resolution. Very very poor customer support. If you have a problem after you have paid and gone live there is no help.
We asked for their help because the apartment we rented out was full of mildew everywhere - the obtrusive smell and the living fungi on the walls all around the flat was evident. We have paid out the full amount in advance, and the owner refused to talk about it ("Das ist normal!"). We would have needed to move out immediately, e.g. because we had a 6-month-old just about to recover from obstructive bronchitis, and we couldn't sleep during the night because of the penetrant air.
When we contacted them, and asked for assistance in finding another flat and refund, they refused it, saying they have nothing to do with these kind of issues. Later on I found their terms and conditions, and it was clearly stated there that we would have been eligible for that - so demanded for recompensation again. They just kept on saying that mildew is a matter of cleanliness, and we shouldn't expect any kind of help or recompensation from them regarding this.
So if you think you pay the service fee for some kind of protection or service, be prepared that if you have any kind of issue, they just shake you off despite all the evidence! The only motivation and policy in their customer relations is to get rid of the complaining customer, without paying anything or providing help, no matter what. Look at the photos: Do you think it's a matter of cleaning? Would you have your baby (who even has a respiratory disease) stay under these conditions? Would you let down a baby with a severe respiratory disease like this?
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I have been listing with HomeAway for six years. They have steadily gotten worse and worse until I am actively looking for a different company. First they tried increasing their fees dramatically and suppressing listings that were on the lower tier. Now, even though I pay them an annual fee, they changed their terms and also started charging my guests a fee. They continually bug prospective guests to book and they now tell guests they have up to seven days to pay for a booking request, when my terms are 24 hours! I was not asked about this.
Rumor has it they next want to remove phone numbers. Since my STR is attached to my home, I always vet my prospective guests, yet if I don't book someone, it hurts my ratings on HomeAway. They also are charging the same guest fee even for those guests booking for a month or three, which makes the price go up for my guests considerably. It is so sad, because it was such a good company in the beginning.
I, too, have been using vrbo for my vacation rental for more than 8 years for one rental and 2 years for 4 others, and business has decreased since the Expedia purchase. I'm not using their direct payment and, therefore, am put way down in the list of rentals, which is extortion. If they are charging 10% to 20% to my renters, I will have to lower my rates to compete. I've not raised my rates for over 8 years, yet my expenses have increased. I used to pay a much higher subscription rate to be at the top, which was not a problem.
My hope is that other companies will pop up and do business the way vrbo used to. VRBO is charging what property managers charge, yet they are doing very little to earn that money. I wonder if the millions of rental dollars they're collecting are earning interest. Being that they are also in the business of advertising hotels, I believe this is a conflict of business, and wonder if hotels have pushed this new format. I will start searching other companies to list my property, as I don't believe vrbo will be good for my business much longer.
I rented a condo in Austin Texas through VRBO. The specs of the condo were accurate, but the quality and the posted pictures were not accurate and very misleading. When I booked the condo I was shocked at the price (More than $100/night was added, exclusive of deposit and cleaning fees). I went ahead anyway, expecting a luxury condo which would delight us. The condo was disappointing with shabby furnishings and inadequate amenities. Everything was done on the cheap, chipped dishes, frayed bedding, mismatched furniture, no decor. I was embarrassed that I had booked a condo that fell so short of expectations.
When I tried to provide a review, I received the following: "Thank you for submitting your review. Unfortunately, it needs a little bit of work before we can post it to our site. The reason we are currently unable to approve it is listed below. Please revise your review so that it meets our content guidelines, which you can see here. When you're done you can resubmit it by clicking the button below. Your submission contains questionable or inappropriate content." After 3 attempts, it was clear they would not post a 2* review, no matter the content. VRBO is not what it used to be. After many good rental experiences, this convinced me that VRBO should be avoided in the future.
We've booked our summer vacation on VRBO online probably 15 of the past 20 years. This year when we booked, we were charged $175 "Service Fee", which has never been charged in the past. Immediately upon booking, we were contacted by phone by the realty agency that managed the property and had to provide all booking and payment info again. My card was billed the service charge by VRBO and a deposit from the realty company. All other are to be made directly to the realty company. I called VRBO to find out why we paid $175 for them to basically email the realty company and let them know we wanted to book a property. They did not have an answer. VRBO was always such great company that provided valuable discounts. The best lessons learned are those that cost something... live and learn.
Had a reservation for 3 couple for a vacation to Okoboji Iowa. No response after getting Credit Card. Waited a day per their process... which is asinine to confirm a reservation if they have a booking system. Dinosaur of business model and I will never do business with them or their HomeAway service. Spent over an hour trying to discuss with someone on Cust Serv line but kept getting transferred and then hung up. All this a day before we are to leave on a snowmobile trip. Went with AirBnB and what a great service. Wish there was a zero star... One is too good for this messed up company.
Having taken advantage of a Sandcastle II opportunity for several years and being long overdue in recommending the location, this is an attempt to make up for past lack of action. If you are looking for an enjoyable vacation on the Gulf Coast, take a look at Sandcastle II, PH2, the penthouse at the 10th floor level. Our first vacation at this location was in 2000 and except for a couple of scheduling conflicts, we have been annual vacationers there since.
While you can choose from many Gulf Coast locations where you will see the same sand and the same sunsets, you will not see them from a condo which has been maintained and furnished any better than PH2. While perhaps not unique, PH2 is inspected and updated by Pam, the owner, not through an agency. The equipped kitchen is modern as is the washer/dryer combination. Furniture has been updated regularly, bathrooms have been redone and even beach towels are available. Venturing outside the condo, we have also enjoyed the well-maintained pool and hot tub as well as burgers or steaks on the gas grills which are cleaned each day.
Pam has gone above and beyond for us and I'm sure that she would do the same for others. About five years ago a medical situation required that we remain in the Largo area for an extended period of time. We found Pam to be most cooperative and helpful in making sure that we had "a place to stay." During that time we were able to spend a week at her Villa Madeira #207 unit and found it also to be well-appointed. I have little doubt that her other locations are equally well kept. This April, we will have the opportunity to stay our first week in 2404, Pam's 4th floor condo in Sandcastle II and then move up to PH2 for a second week. An additional advantage to Sandcastle: the Pub restaurant, directly across the street. I have no reservations with respect to a 5-star rating for PH2 and Madeira Beach 207.
We have been listing on VRBO for the last 9 or 10 years. We continued this year because there doesn't seem to be an alternative. The charges that have been added for both the renter and the owner are outrageous. They want to set up a reservation without input from the owner, among other things. Personally, I have done really well speaking with potential renters telling them what is nearby, all that is included in our condo, and answer any other questions. I prefer not to use credit cards because of extra charges. Besides, I like the personal touch.
What are we to do? If anyone has a suggestion or a plan, please let me know! We need to make sure we are in control of our own properties. I believe the website was no longer VRBO when they permitted realtors to take the first places in the line of rentals. What about the "by owner" isn't understood? Someone, let's get together to protect our rentals.
I actually was with VacationRentals.com prior to VRBO; each were purchased by HomeAway and then Expedia purchased HomeAway and a steady decline in how I can do business has evolved. VRBO - Vacation Rentals BY OWNER... not by corporate. My 2 ads with ~50 5 star reviews each has continually slid down the network's advertising hill... from the very top to near the very bottom. Why, because I'm only looking to advertise 2 very nice places to vacation and enjoy; I'm not looking to let Expedia charge my guests for doing nothing. I pay for the advertising as I have for years. Who is going to look after my guests if there is a need? I am and my caretakers are... not Expedia!!!! If a toilet or stove or TV quits... I'm the person that takes care of it, along with my caretakers. If something is not cleaned to my standards and a guest calls... I look after it (should that happen), not Expedia.
I was with VRBO when a couple in CO owned it and it has gone downhill since with HomeAway and now Expedia looking to charge guests for actually doing nothing that VRBO did not do in 2006. That couple may not agree with me now because they made a mint on the sale and they now are on the board. Millions of condos, houses, cottages, chalets owned by individuals and looked after by them and/or their caretakers and Expedia keeps trying to find ways to get their hands on the money that vacationers spend.... = higher costs to those vacationers.
I was today looking at the network where I own a house on the island of Hatteras, in one of those villages and I particularly looked for places to stay in the one village I own in. The site came up with 189 houses of which about 25 were actually in that village and my ad was placed around place #175 because I don't let Expedia take money from my guests and increase what they would pay (~6-10% more... higher for peak season). ~160 houses not in the village I searched for and many of them were a 1 hour boat ride plus a 20 minute drive away and some were 3.5 villages away and a 40 minute drive... listed ahead of my 5 star property as reviewed on this very site and I'm in said village. Money Hungry, Expedia, (HomeAway, VRBO, VacationRentals.com) and you're paying for it.
Just paid $500 for annual subscription to Homeaway. Because I do not accept anonymous bookings through online booking and Homeaway recently changed policy to charge outrageous booking fees to owners, my listing did not appear and after several calls from me, was canceled without a refund of $500 fee paid for annual subscription a week prior.
The reviews listed on VRBO website are NOT reliable and should not be trusted. They will only publish favorable reviews. We rented the property ID #:VRBO Listing #836805 Summer Breeze Galveston, TX Property Manager -Ryson Real Estate & Vacation Rentals and had a very poor experience so we filed the following complaint as well as tried to review the property of VRBO website. After getting the run around from VRBO, providing our rental agreement, proof of payment, photos inside the home and numerous other documents they refuse to publish our review of the property.
Description of situation and desired outcome: The house is not very well maintained. After our first night there (Thursday, December 1, 2016) we phoned Ryson to report that there was very little hot water. After one bath or shower there was no hot water for the rest of our family to shower. After one night of cold showers we phoned to report the issue along with a few other small issues. They said they would sent someone out that day. But again on Friday night we did not have hot water. That night it rained. Rain was pouring into the master bedroom on the east side of the house. We used the bath towels to protect the laminate flooring and on Saturday morning we again made a phone report to Ryson reporting the rain pouring into the house and again stated no hot water.
A very nice maintenance man did come out to try and caulk the window (but said the whole window would need to be replaced) and offered to adjust the temp on the hot water heater but he did not have a key to the hot water heater closet so he was unable to help with the hot water issue. He said he needed to take our towels because he had gotten caulk on them but he reported both towels and hot water to housekeeping and maintenance and we should expect to receive towel from housekeeping that day as well as a visit from Javier to adjust the hot water heater but neither housekeeping or maintenance arrived as promised.
After our trip I again phoned Ryson to report our experience and have not received a callback. On the VRBO website I wrote a review of our experience but it does not appear on your website. How are vacationers suppose to know about previous experiences if the reviews are screened. I am very disappointed with this whole experience.
WOW, I really miss the older VRBO where guests and hosts were important. Ever since Expedia bought them out about 2 years ago, they have practiced marginal business practices, have offered no resolutions, understanding or compassion. In 3 words: I don't trust them. I am looking for ways to get out from under their thumb as a host. Any ideas?
Please do not list your vacation home with this company. They are charging consumers an outlandish price to book their vacations. If you list your vacation property with them and pay the 1 time fee of $399.00 your home will not be seen in the search engine costing you money and no bookings. They actually took my ad down and it was down for weeks before I noticed. When I contacted them to ask why the listing was down they said I was working with interested families on the side in order to help families avoid the booking fee. See it's not enough to pay the $399.00, VRBO adds on a booking fee to your potential guests and pockets ALL that money. If you don't allow enough bookings for their liking they will take your ad down or put your home so far down in the search engine no one will see it anyways. Look into another way to rent your home.
Since EXPEDIA now owns this company they are controlling ALL your bookings and making a profit off the bookings that you do accept costing your guests much more money, I plan on using WeNeedaVacation because fortunately I own a home on the CAPE and we need a vacation deals directly with vacations on Martha's Vineyard and CAPE COD. Also, before we knew of all these changes our ad was suppose to run again. They charged my card the $399.00 and when I put the property ID number into the search engine to view my vacation home there was another home in FRANCE that showed with my vacation rental ID number. My home isn't even being advertised but they charged my card $399.00. I am currently disputing the charge. These people who answer the phone will also LIE and say whatever you want to hear to get you to advertise your home with them as they work on COMMISSION! STAY AWAY, TRUST ME.
I submitted an honest review to VRBO and they would not post it. I continuously got these emails. "Thank you for submitting your review. Unfortunately, it needs a little bit of work before we can post it to our site. The reason we are currently unable to approve it is listed below. Please revise your review so that it meets our content guidelines, which you can see here. When you're done you can resubmit it by clicking the button below. Your submission contains questionable or inappropriate content."
As a longtime customer of VRBO I am dismayed that they will charge our guests an additional fee of 4 to 9 percent based on whatever their "system" decides. We as homeowners already pay a fee of around 500 per year and the practice of charging for on-line bookings fees is appalling. VRBO's greed is extraordinary. Our potential customers are backing out as a result of additional costs. We just renewed our service and there is no alternative to on-line booking with VRBO unless you are willing to pay an additional $150.00. Their "take-it-or-leave-it" attitude on the phone is impertinent, condescending and rude. Over the past 15 years this company has gone from bad to worse to worst.
I have been using VRBO for the past 8 years for advertising our timeshare in Cabo and had decent results over the years, but last year was an absolute DUD after paying an outrageous $399 annual fee. What a rip-off! So, they put me on "auto-renew" without being aware of it and when I call to cancel the subscription, a smug guy named "Vincent" gives me the runaround and tries to arrange for monthly payments instead of canceling my subscription! After this little encounter, I asked him to send me a simple confirmation email that the auto-renew had been cancelled per the telephone conversation at which point he chuckles and says, "that's not the way it works"... and goes on to explain that he will enter the cancellation in his system.
I explained that I have no proof of this call to cancel, so I need confirmation instead of blind trust in his statement of "how things work". So he abruptly (rudely) says, "I'll transfer you to where they can do that"... and next thing I know I hear a few clicks, and I am hung up on! I call back to him and HE IS THE ONLY AGENT apparently operating this VRBO helpline, so I tell him he hung up on me and that I will be making a customer complaint online if something doesn't start happening. He doesn't even wait again... and abruptly transfers me again, this time to a 10-minute queue for some other Customer Service (I think it was HomeAway service that owns VRBO jointly).
They did send me an email eventually... all at the cost of 40 minutes of my time from all the waiting online. BUYER BEWARE... VRBO is horrible and is a dying dinosaur. Go with other rental agencies if you are considering listing your property. VRBO charges outrageous amounts and has little results and Customer Disservice rather Customer Service.
I had this service for 15 years, paid an annual fee, and was all good. I didn't like to use PayPal or credit cards because of the fees, and I generally do not cash damage deposit checks, freeing up vacation dollars for the renters. Looks like Expedia paid BILLIONS for the site and is trying all sorts of scams to generate revenue. They want the renter to book immediately, before the owner has a chance to learn if it is a senior couple or a frat party, then the credit card costs 3%. Plus they add their own fee, raising the rent by 4 to 10 %. The CEO is on a video, calmly explaining that "It's all to enhance the experience, trust me it will be good for you."
They monitor your correspondence and if you tell the renters to mail you the check, cancel the account. They just did it to me. Oh if I want to join back up, they have tripled the annual fee. Goodbye HomeAway. For the $590 annual fee, plus the estimated $3000 in annual fees I will go in with my fellow owners and create our own website for our area.
We recently rented a vacation home through VRBO. What gets me is their service fee and $59 protection (insurance). We had a family emergency and had to cancel our trip and the owner did not respond for days. The owner then stated they would give us a refund minus a few days. We paid 1420.00 total for the rental for a month and the owner refunded us 550.00. We called the owner and they agreed to refund the entire amount. The refund was submitted through VRBO and then the owner canceled it stating it was a system error and they never agreed to it. We called VRBO, no help. They told us to settle with owner. I asked what the service fee and $59 fee was for and they said the service fee went to the owner. If you read the description of the service fee when booking it states it is for 24/7 customer support and assurance of protection. THEY LIE! The owner gets that money too as they told me when I called about refund.
VRBO told me the owner needs to refund it. They should be sued for false statements! VRBO also told me I would get back the $59 but now says that since refund was not totally done I lose that. No one notified us the owner canceled the refund. VRBO told us for a week it was processed. After 10 days we called after not seeing the money and then they said it was canceled. They claim they could not see it was canceled. They provided no help in assisting with the return of our money. Their security department told us to write a complaint and they would send it to owner. Other than that it is our problem to recover our money. They said they have nothing to do with that. I had to do a chargeback on credit card which could take 45 days. VRBO states everything is between you and the owner and they do not get involved. They let you get ripped off!
I have subscribed to VRBO in order to promote my home in Keystone, Colorado and when I search for it as a guest might do with a fairly strict criteria I start seeing homes in Utah, California, etc. Mine does not come up so unlikely I will be getting any rental bookings through this site. They of course do not have a refund policy so I can say goodbye to my $800 USD and look forward to an empty house. It turns out if you do not pick their online booking system as an option you are relegated to a listing deep deep down in their website, however if you opt for the online booking system anyone can book it including a young group of students who play beer ping pong in your great room and punch holes in the walls plus they charge you and the guest separately for the pleasure of booking through them. Beware. Use Evolve, Airbnb or Lodgify. Don't get scammed like I have.
Available properties for rental, never seem to be available. Have requested bookings, which never are available. My credit card has pending charges, which take too long to clear. Bad experience, but VRBO gets 1 star because I've made a contact with a responsible rental owner, that I will rent from independently. I do not recommend VRBO.
I have been using VRBO for many years and wondered why my inquiries dropped off dramatically in the past several months. I normally have my house booked at least a year ahead and insist on having a conversation with the potential renter to get a feel for our compatibility. It has worked out well with no problems. Because of the drop off in inquiries I spent $300 to have a professional photographer provide better pictures. VRBO is charging a premium now to NOT book online which takes this interaction away. I cancelled my account yesterday without any real resistance so I give them credit for making it easy. Now I am left to find new venues to advertise the house. I will go back to Air BNB and Craigslist. If anyone has recommendations I'd be interested. I've had a bunch of fly by night companies call me but when you do a search looking for houses to rent they don't show up.
Don't let anyone book on short notice. These guys will take a payment for you without vetting the source. I had someone stay at my house and I don't know if that person disputed the charges or if it was actual fraud. VRBO's charge back service wouldn't provide much information on the person disputing the charge. They literally withdrew the entire funds plus 2 $50 fee charges for the taking back the deposit and the rental fees. No one would talk to me, only got generic email responses for about 60 days, only to be told I wouldn't get my money back. Don't do instant bookings. Make sure payment is made at least 2 weeks in advance so that if there is fraud, the charges will have had time to be "seen". And get a copy of driver's license of the person renting. If they don't provide that, don't rent to them.
We rented a vacation home in Rim Village near Moab. After staying 3 nights and getting home to receive an email stating that we had broke furniture and left stains on furniture in the living room. We had stayed in the kitchen and bedrooms to eat and sleep and went out playing in Moab. Upon leaving I did a final check. Everything was left as we found it minus the dirty towels. I've demanded before and after pictures that they don't have. These people made comments not to worry because we had "purchased the insurance". They are making claims to insurance that should not be paid. These are not honest people. Do not recommend staying here.
Review of 57476 in San Miguel de Allende. My cousin and I stayed at this 2BR, 2 Bath apt. December 10-17, 2016 and we found it to be very centrally located - only a short walk up Mesones, right on Hidalgo where you will continue to the Jardin. The apt. is located in a very safe area and is beautifully furnished, decorated by famous artist Toller Cranston. You will find bookshelves full of books. This is a second floor apt. with stairs up to the apt. and another set of stairs to the 2nd BR and bath. Older folks with mobility or knee problems need to be aware of this. The owner had a bottle of champagne, red and white wines awaiting us upon arrival, as well as bananas, oranges, and apples. There is a wonderful bakery across the street and they make the most delicious almond croissants and cappuccino you have ever tasted. There are several other sweets available. I highly recommend this apt. for its location and decor.
The VRBO listing 3573121ha lies to the customer. It says everywhere on the site West bay and it does not mention that is Keyhole bay and I am going on a family trip (28 of us) and everybody else is in West bay, for a family vacation that doesn't make sense. I am very, very very annoyed. I have rented VRBO for the past 15 years and I had never being lied by omission of the facts in the VRBO site before, this is a first. Very disappointed and sad the day before my vacation. This is not fair. If I write keyhole beach on the internet shows some very different pictures as the ones in the listing. FIX IT BECAUSE THIS IS A LIE TO THE RENTERS. I booked everything with advanced and I feel betrayed. I arrive tomorrow and I just can't believe it.
I was trying to find a rental in Flamingo beach and the search results gave me locations as far north as Playa de Coco and as far south as Janquillal. Both are 25 or more miles away from Flamingo. After going through some 15-25 properties I found a few for the location I wanted. They also try to push you to Potrero which is no Flamingo with its ugly brown sand beach. They are trying to force properties on us on some criteria other than where we want to go. Do some owners pay more commissions and thus VRBO/Home Away force the visitor to pay more and go where they do not want to go? This seem dishonest and unethical to me. I wanted help and not to be lead by the nose to somewhere I really did not want to go.
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