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I have been a listed vacation rental property for over 10 years, up to and including 2018 I paid a yearly fee to be represented on the VRBO and HOMEAWAY sites. I've had 3 reservations early this year with a payout to me for over $5,000 and I have yet to receive my funds. I've called 2 times a week long distance from Costa Rica and they have been very talented in giving me the runaround and I now believe that their plan is to simply try to wear me out and abscond with the funds.
As a property owner I say to the travelers please book direct with a vacation property owner as these large vacation rental sites are squeezing more from your hard earned money and robbing the property owners with all these creative service fees. HomeAway has truly become a disappointment. Letter from the rental client: Hi M...., Horrible to hear about this from the company we booked with. I will for sure contact them...repeatedly if necessary to ensure you are paid! Horrible treatment by Home Away... We were just discussing booking with you...3 weeks next year...last two weeks in Feb, first week of March....or a full month. Will be in touch!
I'm a native of Barcelona who lives there part time and in California the rest of the year. As 4 relatives were coming to visit this summer, a month ago, through VRBO, I rented a 2 bedroom apartment for a total cost of U.S.$1,217 which I paid for in full. I received confirmation of my reservation for 5/28 to 6/2/2019 in an ideal location close to other family in Barcelona. I exchanged several e-mails with the owner/property manager Aleksandra ** (VRBO #**) and was looking forward to meeting her.
Today I received an e-mail from VRBO stating that "Unfortunately the property manager had to cancel your reservation." No explanations given. How nice! I seems that they can do this capriciously on a whim probably because another renter wants to place for a longer stay. Beware, as it seems that VRBO is only interested in getting their fee without holding the owner to even a minimal standard of decency and reliability. VRBO have now fallen lower in my book than Airbnb -- quite a feat!
Afraid that if I rent another place through VRBO or HomeAway-- they all seems to belong to the same mafia-- they will cancell me again and leave me on the lurch, 3 of us will stay with relatives and 2 in a small, clean hotel in the neighborhood with concierge, rules and regulations and we'll splurge on meals with the money that I'll save. Beware! this apartment is on the San Area (on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and Urgell). It had no reviews as it seems to be new.
Rented Mar 1 thru VBRO in Nashville, TN. Had one returned email contact with owner Mar 3. Paid in full with added 500.00 deposit for damages. Property states fully refundable up till June 13, 50% after June 20. Mar 30 needed to cancel due to people in our party unable to travel. Messaged owner 6 times since Mar. 30. Sent message to phone listed. Called phone, goes to message saying voice mail full. Called VBRO twice. Get told I have a case number. Then an email saying contact owner. I have tried. Marc, owner does not respond. Makes me think is a fraud. Email says if this does not work contact your credit card. Who has my money? If VBRO still has it they should refund it per contract agreement. If they allow frauds on their site they need to be responsible! Not sure if we will ever get our refund. I have used this company before and did not have a problem. But now after this experience, I would tell people to stay clear!
Tried to rent a place off of their website paid and full. It was not a true listing. Do they check out anybody before listing their properties? Now we are trying to get refunded and they are not helping at all. This is so upsetting when you save for a vacation and they basically steal your money. What a deceiving company. DO not Trust!
I called to see why I hadn't gotten paid for a reservation. After 3 yrs of advance payments: Why would VRBO change my advance payment by a traveller to payment at time after traveller check in? The person asked if she had answered all my questions after she would not answer to the reason why I had to reapply for advance payments. Apr 8 2019. A cash grab? Should be told if time of payment is going to be changed.
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VRBO in December started to withhold taxes for states and municipalities. The problem is they have been withholding the funds but not remitting them monthly as required by the state. Have tried since March 21 (over two weeks) to get this resolved but I keep getting the runaround. Horrible call center and process that doesn't work. Frustrating!
VRBO/HomeAway has many hidden costs. Property says sleeps 10 but you're charged $10 extra per person per night as "additional guests". Also not shown are cleaning fees, service fees, and taxes all of which are charged after they tell you your reservation had been confirmed. An additional $800 refundable damage deposit is also charged on your credit cart. So it may look like your cost will be $955 for 5 nights for 10 people, but in the end the real charge is $1,844.60 (not including the $800 refundable damage deposit).
They started charging renters a fee for booking a reservation based on the amount of the reservation. I rented through a realtor so I was double charged with fees and had no idea the property was listed by the owner through VRBO until I received my credit card showing the fee. The owners are already charged a fee. I think this is unethical.
Reserved property through VRBO supposedly represented by Wendy **. Paid substantial deposit, then received a message from VRBO that property was no longer listed. Cannot get a refund. Cannot cancel. Cannot make a new reservation and my travel is two weeks away. Have tried repeatedly to contact Ms. ** for a month with no returned calls or messages. WENDY ** IS A FRAUD and VRBO takes no responsibility. Ms. ** apparently does not have the authority to represent properties for which she takes deposits. Run as fast as you can away from Wendy ** and VRBO.
Am filing complaints with all appropriate regulatory agencies in Florida where the property is located, as ** is a real estate licensee in violation of real estate statutes. My bank is tracing the payment to Ms. ** and transaction has been reported as fraudulent. Will never again make a reservation through VRBO or any HomeAway company. They do not accept responsibility when fraudulent transactions are conducted through them.
Yesterday, I booked my first reservation on VRBO, got the property confirmed, and then I received this email this morning: "Dear Traveler, It looks like you may have contacted Vrbo property 7683334 about a potential booking. While this is an uncommon issue, we believe this property to be falsely represented and have removed it from our sites.
1. Stop any conversations with the property owner or manager. 2. Contact your credit card or other payment provider immediately to stop or reverse any payments. 3. Contact us at 877-202-4291 so we can help. If you booked and paid on our platform, you may be eligible for our Book with Confidence Guarantee.
We apologize for any inconvenience. Quality control procedures like this help travelers like you have secure and memorable vacations. If you haven't made a payment for this property, we recommend searching for a different property on VRBO. Kind regards,
I called the number, and was disconnected twice, and were unsure about what this email meant. The third person I talked to was extremely condescending and when I used the words "fraudulent listing," took offense, even though the email sent to me said "falsely represented." It was very weird, and not once did she apologize about how strange this situation was.
I also asked for an immediate stop on the charge on my card, which was issued by VRBO/HOMEAWAY, but they said it would take up to a week to get it refunded on my card. I asked for a confirmation of this refund, and the operator told me it would take at least 2 days to receive a confirmation. Everything was very strange, and the customer service was horrible. First and last time ever using VRBO.
What in the heck is going on? I’m being told Airbnb backs their customers and VRBO. doesn’t? Do you think we really wanted to find a different place to stay late at night from the time we got there in Daytona Beach Florida — NO!!! Would you sleep in a bed when you pull back the covers and there’s a bunch of small black bugs jumping around? A bunch of cigarettes in an ashtray in a nonsmoking place? Somebody’s old pizza in the microwave? The owner saying he’ll fix it and go to Walmart and get clean bedding and doesn’t? I would have been so angry if I slept in that bed with bugs and got infected bug bites. The guy who owns the place was so off that we went to the hotel desk and asked for a manager to escort me and my friend up to the place to get our stuff.
We are two women in our 40’s who were just shaking from how unsafe and unpredictable the guy (Bob/Robert **) seemed. We got there around 4:15 pm on our reservation day, saw the bugs and cigarettes and texted Bob about the bed bugs and the lack of a second key he said was there. My friend and I left our stuff on the table and went for a run. When we got back Bob responded. He would do something about it. So we left our stuff still on table and went out to dinner. Bob texted us several times a variety of messages that didn’t make sense and didn’t match what he was saying he was doing.
After several back and forths we got really scared and grossed out by the whole room situation and called VRBO. We also told Bob we wanted our money refunded and in exchange we would not write a review, but he has refused and lied and sent copies of messages between him and VRBO that had nothing to do with us. They were about some other person named Rachel or something??? So we think this has probably happened before. Then we left the restaurant, went to the place we had our stuff, asked for a manager to escort us in case Bob was there, grabbed our stuff, took several pictures of the place so Bob couldn’t say we did anything, and we left.
VRBO did nothing to help, we had to rent an Airbnb down the street late at night in a place we had never been to. If we need to take this to the Better Business Bureau or court or the Attorney Generals office, then that’s what we’ll have to do. VRBO and Bob are both extremely negligent so far is this matter and we are not going to let it go. There is no reason we should be out almost $600 in this matter, everything is being handled so poorly. Property ID 1117626, HA-0HRN7X, Property Manager: Robert **, Desired outcome: FULL REFUND.
I don’t know where to begin. Rented a guest house in Scottsdale, AZ. The property was completely misrepresented even after numerous contacts with the owner of the property. It was unbelievable. After being forced to find and pay for new accommodations Attempting to work with VRBO has been a nightmare. I have never been treated so poorly in my life. It’s a crime that they are getting away with their claims of not being liable for anything.
I’m not giving up. The BBB is a great place to start. I’ve moved on to our local news channel. Continue to post my story on the media sites. Contacted the attorney generals office. Formal complaints thru my credit cards bank and the credit credit itself. I have all the photos and video of the property included it’s advertised listing. All the correspondence from the property owner. It’s become more than the money. It’s the criminal business practices of VRBO. I contact them daily and have provided several times with a detailed complaint. Good luck calling. I'm asked the same questions over and over. Put on hold forever and even been refused to be transferred to anyone who could help. I could go on for hours on how rude and disrespectful I have been treated. Patty
I have been trying for 3 months to get in touch with Jim ** who is the contact for the Villa Sete that we rented from Mar 31- April 7 2019. We cancelled because my husband (81 years old) fell in our driveway and broke ribs. He was advised not to travel for at least 6 months. I contacted Jim ** on Jan 27 2019 to let him know what happened. In the meantime we had paid £173.00 as a downpayment. I have tried 3 times to get in touch with Mr. ** but he will not reply to my emails. I would appreciate it if someone from VRBO would contact me but I won't hold my breath. Our reservation # is **. If I was you, I would think twice about using Jim ** to rent anything...
I rented a huge home in Scarborough, ME right on the beach with 10 people, for one week. The total cost was over $10,000! The list is endless of what was wrong! Let me start with this: THIS HOUSE WAS FILTHY!!! The “AC” was a joke. There was 2 wall units for this enormous home. Saying the AC was inadequate is putting it mildly. The house was as hot as an oven! The pool was NOT heated. I paid EXTRA to get it nice and warm. Many kitchen appliances were not working. The gas grill was broken. The house was overrun with ants. There was a broken window in the dining area and one day it rained and the water came in. The linens provided were a joke, as half of them didn’t fit the beds or were missing the top or bottom sheet, as well as old, worn, skimpy thin towels, ONE per person! And YES! We called over and over and were promised someone was coming to address these issues!
4 days later a man came and dropped off a used tiny gas grill, and more used, worn, skimpy towels. This house IS technically on the beach, but the property is over an acre and the house is by the road, so you can see the water in the distance, but don’t think you will sit out back and watch the kids play in the sand! UGH! I am trying to think of something that was POSITIVE! YES! We tried to get a refund to no avail afterward. THIS HOUSE IS STILL LISTED ON VRBO! And MY review was taken off! It is listed as “Oceanfront Estate” listing #**. BEWARE OF VRBO!!!
I searched VRBO for days looking and comparing rental vacation properties in Myrtle Beach. In looking at the properties I also viewed the rates that were all different. Some charged for cleaning service, some had owner finance charge, some had refundable deposits etc. The one I chose did not list a refundable deposit, it only listed the weekly rate, the VRBO service charge and the tax. I even emailed the manager to ensure there was no surprises on the cleaning fee. I was assured the cleaning fee was included in the rental fee.
After booking the property, I get an email from Carolina Resort Realty indicating there is a $500.00 refundable security deposit required. I contacted VRBO via chat and inquired about the security deposit since it was not listed on their site. The responds was the owner uses a third party to update the site and I need to contact the third party. This is VRBO website and they are responsible for the content on their website. They just passed the problem to the third party. I will never use this site again. Good luck if you use this site.
It is very rare I rate companies this low. But HomeAway/VRBO is horrible. I booked a place in Smoky Mountains NC (Like Edwards from William WA... See other negative comments). My host sent me an outrageous agreement after I had confirmed my booking through HomeAway/VRBO. She wanted my SSN, copy of my DL and PASSPORT (like hello) and credit card number. Her new terms would allow her to charge for pretty much anything! I cancelled the reservation and Robyn ** (host) will not refund my money... HomeAway/VRBO agents all add the same words "we completely understand but there is nothing we can do."
I trusted the company with my credit card and personal information and they abused it! I will do everything I can to warn people (Facebook post, LinkedIn, rating websites... Everything... BBB). (Folks - if the company has stolen your money, please inform BBB and make sure you dispute the charges.) Lastly - HA deleted my conversations with the Host in the hopes that I won't have proof.
Tried to book a rental that was supposed to be available. Property owner rejected our reservation within two hours. However we were charged $481. VRBO fee on our card. Thirty days later we still do not have our refund. The property we tried to booked is still showing available! According to VRBO the owner must initiate refund. When I first called VRBO they told me it was my credit card company fault double booking! WRONG!
My wife and I made a reservation through VRBO, and paid in full at the time of the reservation. The owner then sent us a lengthy legal document about "house rules," that was absurd in length and odious in detail. We decided that the owner was likely unreasonable and immediately cancelled the reservation, within 24 hours of making the reservation. The owner would not refund the reservation. There is no email contact for VRBO: you must call, and wait on hold. We were also disconnected 3 times in a row and VRBO staff were not helpful. We will never use VRBO again.
Bear on mind that you cannot post negative reviews unless the rental is completed and the owners can cancel with zero repercussions. I paid in full for a house rental in Savannah GA and the owner canceled with a rude text. Because she canceled I was not even able to post a review. OWNERS HAVE ABSOLUTE POWER TO CANCEL WITH NO RECOURSE FOR THE RENTERS.
I made a booking months ago ** for a cottage in Port Isaac Cornwall. I was fully paid up. Two days and a month prior to the start date I was greatly surprised by receiving an email from the owner saying they were sorry but were double booked. Yes of course I am offered a full refund but there was no offer to find another location for me with the possibility of greater expense being reimbursed. This is a huge inconvenience. I tried to find a means of complaint formally through VRBO but none could be found. I feel I have been hung out to dry!
Although I had used VRBO once in the past year without incident, my most recent experience with them has turned me into a crazed lunatic. For the past 2 weeks, I have attempted to book a particular property in London, and I kept receiving automated declination notices from VRBO stating that there were insufficient funds in my bank account and to contact my bank. I immediately contacted my bank, and the bank representative and I then called VRBO together to assure them the funds were adequate.
The VRBO operator apologized and asked that I re-request the property online as she could not book the property over the phone. I did so, and again received the same declination notice from VRBO stating I had insufficient funds. I tried several more times, using a different credit card, as well as with a VRBO booking agent on the line, but each attempt was again unsuccessful. After a week of unsuccessful attempts, I then asked the VRBO customer service agent that this issue be escalated, and I was informed that all details of my experience were documented, and that I would be contacted by their IT department. Five days later, I received an email stating that they had researched my issue and felt that there were insufficient funds in my account.
I emailed IT back and explained that my bank had already confirmed there was no problem with my credit or available funds. They responded a couple days later asking me to call customer support because my dilemma was “too complicated to address via email”. I called customer support and over the next 1.5 hours on the phone, being transferred to four separate employees, none of whom had any idea why I was calling, despite the fact that I explained the entire story to each and every one of them, and already had a “case report” with the full explanation of circumstances already documented a week prior when IT was initially notified.
In the end, I was finally told that despite the fact that IT had asked me to call to resolve the issue, that IT would be in touch with me by email with a resolution. Within the hour, I received an email from IT saying that based on their research that yes, you guessed it, that there were insufficient funds in my bank account and that I should contact my bank.
My wife had suggested early on in this process to give up on this pursuit of this property through VRBO, but I clung to the idea that such a seemingly simple problem could easily be remedied if only any employee at VRBO could be sufficiently competent to help. It turns out I should have listened to her. After speaking with probably 12 different employees, totaling about 6 hours over a 2 week span trying to book a 3 day vacation, I have finally given up. I will never use VRBO again.
VRBO is not much of a service. We had a reservation for a property in Paris we made months back and owner canceled a week before we were to arrive. Major inconvenience for us and VRBO is useless in any dispute. Site precludes leaving any public review. We are steering clear of this company. Fortunately there are other choices out there.
Four reasons NOT to rent from VRBO. First, whatever the posted rental rate per day is add an average of 50% for mandatory fees and taxes (depending on length of stay). Second, if that is not enough to sway you, the reason for #1 is they have three companies you will be contacted by about your vacation - VRBO, Vacasa, and Home Away - each of which has to get their palm greased. Third, none of them have email addresses so you must call. If you call and are lucky to get someone (usually a foreigner you can barely understand) they will know nothing and not be able to help you at all. They will send you to another number. Each of the three entities will send you to the other and you WILL be caught in RUNAROUND HELL. Fourth, there is no service. You are on your own, and good luck getting your deposit back. Use VRBO if you must but my caution is GOOD LUCK.
Shortly after we booked a home in Galena and made the downpayment we received a note from the homeowner stating that the rental prices had not been updated on the VRBO site. The true charge was triple the original amount! He cancelled our reservation because we did not want to pay his “new” price. VRBO customer service did not assist us either.
We tried to rent a condo and were given a confirmation number, 5 minutes later owner emails me saying the price went up 43%. Did I still want to rent? I called VRBO customer services to cancel and was told that even though the owner said no I would have to wait 5-7 days for a refund after the owner agrees to the cancellation. I asked why they even charged my credit card and no real answer was given. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was hung up on. I called back asking for a supervisor and they would not put me through to one. A bad company.
VRBO's accounting company Yapstone called me to say the tenant had stopped payment on his credit card SIX HOURS before the rent was due to commence - I had already given tenant access information. VRBO would not assist me at all, said to call the tenant and ask for payment, and if he refused, to "contact the authorities." Tell me VRBO, what are you charging a fee for if I am screening and and getting payment directly from the tenant?
We used VRBO for the first time believing that they are big enough to have excellent customer service. We paid $7,500 as a deposit on an apartment in Cape Town and two weeks before we arrived we discovered that the advertiser was part of a fraud gang operating in SA and the he did not own the property. We learnt that some people who had rented via VRBO arrived to find their money had been paid over to the fraud gang without proof that they owned the property and they had to return home without accommodation. According to VRBO policy we were guaranteed our money back. NOT SO. They have told us to claim via our card provider (VISA) and yet they still have our money in their account. We have been passed to several different people holding on the phone for hours and still no money back. They should be avoided like the plague!!!
WARNING! We booked a home rental in Rome with VRBO for 8 people. We now found out that the owners are nowhere to be found and VRBO already gave the owners all of our money. VRBO claim they are helpless in their ability to get our money back. This may be an isolated case but it appears that this company can’t be trusted to stand by their customers. And yes, I have used them in the past and everything turned out fine but now I know that when things go wrong they will still take their fees and leave innocent customers hanging.
Like others have mentioned, bait and switch is common. We reserved a beach house in Siesta Key, FL well in advance for March 2020. We agreed to pay the listed daily rate for a full monthly rental. The "Property Manager" (David **) even assisted us with the booking, and we paid a deposit of $6,000. That should secure the booking...but it doesn't. VRBO crows all over their website about how you can cancel at any time up to one or two months before your trip and get a full refund of your deposit. What they don't tell you is that the landlord can cancel as well. If he sees rates rising for rentals, he can pull the rug out from under you and you will be left with no rental at the last minute. Or he can publish a bogus rate (like Alberico **, the owner of our unit did) to increase traffic, then tell you when you are stuck with no place to go that your nightly rate will be double. Buyer beware.
Don't bother to call and file a complaint with VRBO/HomeAway. You will find yourself in a never-ending loop of customer (non)service hell. The reps in India follow a script that they just repeat over and over that goes something like this, "so sorry that happened. We will escalate this to our 'professional team' and they will contact you within 24 hours to resolve your complaint." Then a day later you get a canned form letter from the 'professional team' telling you to work out any issues you have with the landlord. What an insult. Someone needs to start a class action lawsuit against these low life grifting scammers. It's false advertising and downright fraud.
My friends and I (there are 12 of us) have had a house booked for MONTHS and our trip is just 12 days away. The property owner canceled our booking and left us with nowhere to stay! Absolutely unacceptable. I do not recommend this company for bookings because we are now trying to find a living space for TWELVE people.
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