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A local property management company uses their own website to promote their VRBO rentals. I had half a dozen guests suddenly appear despite VRBO calendars showing no bookings. Each guest had the same story- they were notified while en route to a previously booked property and told that property was not available or had some problem with it. The managers offered an upgrade choice with my property. None of the bookings were recorded and none of the money deposited.
I notified VRBO/HomeAway about the irregularities. I requested a simple audit of cancellations and booking redirects. Instead, I was told they could not act upon such information. Subsequently, the VRBO managers delivered thirty notice to withdraw from managing the property (a 4.9-star rating). They continued listing my property with up to date photographs and descriptions returned by internet searches. When a searcher proceeded to book they were redirected to the VRBO managers' separate page which said my property was not available for rental. (False). Alternative properties via VRBO were offered. VRBO declines to audit the property manager I reported. This surprised me as the car's occurring would also impact negatively on VRBO's revenue.
No dialog, much less remedy, has occurred. This kind of situation is considered civil and not criminal. In other words, without funding one's own forensic accounting little legal recourse exists. Such forensic accounting would require reconciliation of the VRBO property management books and VRBO's own accounts. Obtaining these records is instructed by VRBO/HomeAway. Short version: Stay away from VRBO and all VRBO property management companies. I personally consider their acts to be fraudulent and criminal and not anywhere near poor or unresponsive service.
Having had issues in the past with less than clean VRBO rentals I proceeded with caution for our family vacation to Florida for Thanksgiving 2018. I started back in early August looking at properties and paying attention to tiny details in pictures of places for rent. After 6 weeks I landed on a property owned by ** through HomeAway. There was mold in all but one bathroom, filthy carpet that had rips and buckles. Mirrors and windows were so streaked that it was difficult to see out of them.
Cobwebs and dirt in every corner, baseboard, fan and just about every service in the home. We found long black hair in a couple of the beds and the beds were extremely old, bumpy and not comfortable to sleep on. I was planning on making a Thanksgiving meal but the pans, skillets etc. were not usable and some had a layer of grease on them. But, what bothered me the most was when I was putting sheets on the baby crib and noticed in the corner under the crib a used woman's thong. At that moment I decided it was enough and I wasn't comfortable having my family stay in that house. I quickly had to find a place for 8 adults and a baby at the last minute, something that I shouldn't have had to do.
The management company and cleaning crew told the owner that the house was clean and he believed them so no money back. I have about 30 pictures that show otherwise and 8 other people that experienced it with us. VRBO doesn't screen their owners and won't support or help their customers. So, we are out over $1000 right at the holiday season. The money that we used for a different place is the money that was supposed to be for Christmas. I won't be using VRBO ever again or work with an owner from out of the country where communication can be difficult.
In April 2018 I made a mistake of booking one month house rent (for January 2019) in Costa Rica through VRBO. In October, 2018 I became suspicious after few messages to the homeowner. She rejected to provide location details and ignored my last message. I looked on the website and the ad was gone. I decided to cancel (as I was eligible for a full refund) and book something else instead. VRBO agent processed my cancelation request on October 19th. I received a cancellation confirmation on October 23d. I was waiting for my refund 7 business days.
On November 1st I contacted VRBO again as no money was received. After many calls and emails from VRBO I received an email from them: “In order to obtain more information about your refund, you will need to contact PayPal or the property owner. You can also reach out to your payment provider.” VRBO didn’t provide any services or support in collecting my money back. I lost over $1200 with this reservation. MasterCard opened a case but I still don’t see any money. I afraid we will have to go to a small claims Court if MasterCard fails. I hope something will work out for us. I would never book anything through VRBO again and I suggest others to stay away from that website. Bring your money somewhere else. P.S. I traveled with Airbnb to France, Italy, Switzerland, USA and Canada. I didn’t have any problems with my reservations. I cancelled one stay and got my money back the next day.
Long story short - We rented a house. The AC went out the last 24 hours we were there. There were many other issues (glass tiles broken in pool, grill didn't work, the water to one the bathrooms didn't have cold water, and burned my 10 year old nephew in the shower to name a few). The owner said he'd make it right to us for that day but he did not, has ignored 3 phone calls and multiple emails from VRBO. But do you think VRBO cares? NO. VRBO continues to let him be on the site, accept rentals and make $$ & doesn't penalize the owner.
I have contacted VRBO no less than a half dozen times, and each time they tell me they will expedite it. Then after I'm off the phone they close the issue and tell me to contact the owner. That didn't work before and he ignores VRBO so why the hell would it work now? Then to add insult to injury, the last correspondence from VRBO was to tell me to try to dispute with my CC. This rental was in AUG - it's too late for that! I have all the screenshots of convos from VRBO over the last months. They are worthless and we will never use them again. If anyone wants to see them they are welcome to it. I want to spread the word about them and their terrible business practices.
Help!!! VRBO is holding my damage deposit hostage! I've been home for over a month now, and VRBO states there is a "technical issue" that is why my deposit hasn't been credited to my credit card. The owner had immediately released my damage deposit to VRBO. I'm calling every day with telling them it's been _ days that you've been holding my damage deposit hostage. And I will continue to call every day until I get my money back. It's over $400.00 that I could be using towards Christmas presents!!!
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If VRBO claims they are only an ad site, why do they advertise their "service fee" to be needed as part of our (consumer protection)? Why am I paying a fee for them to deny any responsibility for advertising a crappy listing?
BEWARE. VRBO does not refund any of your yearly owner fee to list your property if you close the account because you sell the property, even if you did not receive any future bookings. You also CANNOT transfer your account listing number or the listing itself to the new owner. Customer service is a mess if you get transferred overseas. I totally do not recommend doing business with VRBO or HOMEAWAY or any of its other subsidiaries.
I rented a home in Albuquerque that had beautiful photos indicating a clean and 5 star rental with high standards. When we arrived, the house had a mildew stench that burned our throats. The house did not have 3 usable bedrooms but two cobwebbed and empty bedrooms. The bathtub was rusted and the house/furniture had a film of dirt and dinge. The house was falsely represented on VRBO. VRBO indicated that they are NOT responsible as they are only an advertising co. However, they post the house, show photos, reserve, and take money... But they are "not responsible". I was not able to stay there as it was a health and safety issue. I was only refunded 1/2 of my reservation, despite that I needed to pay for additional lodging. I do not recommend VRBO and find their lack of responsibility appalling.
We booked a property in Asheville NC for a mini vacation around the end of October 2018. The month prior our Son was notified that he would be transferring to a different plant, with his company, and it was to occur the same week. He contacted VRBO to cancel the reservation and was instructed that he needed to communicate with the owner of the property through their app system. Which he did. The owner agreed to cancel the reservation, however, no credit has been returned and the owner will no longer communicate with us.
I contacted VRBO, on multiple occasions, via the phone and email. I was told that once it went to Trust and Security it would be taken care of, as VRBO had record of all the transactions, and could see the thread of events. To date even VRBO's Trust and Security Department is not returning any requests. It is disheartening that our credit card was charged immediately back in July 2018, but the credit is lost somewhere. $734.50 is quite a bit of money to be out. Customer service is not a priority with this company. They claim to address complaints in a timely manner. We are still waiting.
There is NO protection to you as a renter under VRBO guidelines. Landlords can charge upwards of $1000 for a "refundable damage deposit" and keep whatever they see fit without any proof that you did any damage. We rented a condo for 3 days, were NEVER in it, except to sleep and they kept $250 for a "mark" on the dining room table. Basically these landlords get away with everything and VRBO customer service does nothing except tell you to "talk to the owner". RENTERS BE AWARE. DO NOT RENT FROM THIS SITE.
I have listed a couple of properties on both Airbnb and VRBO over this past year. VRBO has better customer service and answers phone calls promptly. However, the fees are substantially higher and my biggest frustration is that owners receive payment five to six days after the guest has checked out. With Airbnb I receive payment on the day of check in. Keep in mind that both collect payment at the time the reservation has been made which can be months in advance.
I rented property #403881 August 27, 2018 for a trip that we were planning on Oct 18, 2018 to San Francisco. The homeowner pulled a bait and switch on us. The property we rented was very nice. The one they wanted us to accept as a replacement was a dump! I had contacted the property owner 3 times to make sure that all was good with our rental. He assured me that it was. 1 day before we were to arrive in San Francisco I called to get the check in information to the house. The next day the homeowner's father called back saying the property was overbooked. We had no place to stay. VRBO told us that they would get us a hotel with 2 queen sized beds for 4 people. UNACCEPTABLE.
We had to go find a place ourselves which cost us $3,000 more than the house did because of the late booking. VRBO refuses to refund the $3,000 difference because we chose not to accept the hotel room. STAY AWAY FROM VRBO! I have spend hours on the phone with them and have received acceptable resolution. In fact I have received no resolution at all!!
RATED ONE STAR ONLY BECAUSE I HAD TO CHOOSE SOMETHING!! It doesn’t deserve ANY stars! My husband and I booked this property October 2016 for our little family for Nov 17-22. The property was booked less than 30 days to vacation. I was diagnosed with breast cancer less than 2 weeks after booking said property and scheduled for surgery November 21. Very upset the day after learning I had cancer, I contacted the owner explaining our terrible situation and asked if he would please allow us to cancel and be reimbursed, he agreed but never followed through.
I contacted the VRBO site and spoke with several different people eventually speaking with a manager who was very empathetic regarding our situation, she tried to contact the owner several times via phone & email unsuccessfully. She then advised me to contact our financial institution and have them file a dispute with permission to contact her if need be. She could not do anything further until the owner agreed, she sent him all the necessary paperwork via email but he wouldn’t complete it.
We did go to our bank, file a dispute, and we received our money back in full which was $1331.88 only to have the owner do the same at his bank and get the money back. I even offered to have my Dr send him information stating what was going on so he wouldn’t think I was being dishonest. The owner stated it wasn’t necessary and every conversation my husband and I had with him, he agreed to refund our money but completely lied and stole from our family at one of the hardest times in our life. Shame on him!
We did not purchase the insurance because it was for bookings booked 30 days prior to arrival, we booked less than 3 weeks prior to arrival. Rob ** owner of property #371115 is as low as a person can be. Our family received the worst possible news, unable to go on our planned vacation, just to have this lowlife of a person take more from our family when we needed it the most. The past two years have been the hardest but we are so thankful for God’s Grace and mercy. I will never forget how this man constantly lied and stole from our family. He is as heartless and deceitful as a person can be. Please don’t give this man your business.
I rented twice from VRBO (year apart) and twice my card was used next day for purchases in other countries. Once for $12000 and once for $900. Both transactions were made same or next day I used that card in VRBO to pay deposit. Was using that card for so many years and never any theft but just after VRBO payment, card was frauded.
We rented a place in Cancun. The initial payment upfront was about half of the total cost. However the owner of said place decided to sale the place and could no longer rent it to us. There would be no problem with that however the owner did nothing to give us our refund. They should have contacted VRBO to tell them what happened and we would have gotten our money back. So we try to cancel it ourselves. The only problem with that was that in order to cancel it we have to contact the owner who will tell VRBO to cancel. See the problem? We never got a respond from the owner. So we contact VRBO.
They proceed to give us the runaround, telling us that they understand the problem and will check it out. They give us a ticket number to give to them the next time we talk to them about the problem. They do nothing for a couple days. We contact them again only to be told the same thing, "Here have a ticket. That's all we feel like doing. Your money is ours and the owners. So we don't even try again to try to talk to them." We had to call our credit card company to fix this mess. Don't ever use their service ever! I wish I would have looked up the reviews of this site beforehand.
My experience as an owner has always been exemplary. Their customer service is over and above. They will walk you through any online challenges that occur. I have always had a great to excellent travelers. The customer service staff is always helpful and professional.
The property was nothing as described. It was unclean. The smell of mildew was overpowering and since we were not provided the address until the day before arrival, we had no way of knowing it was in a very unsafe area with a high crime index, also confirmed by the South Bend, IN Police Dept. For these reasons we did not stay as we did not feel safe. We tried to work with the property owner for a refund and were refused. VRBO did nothing. We filed a formal complaint but they were useless. Needless to say, we were out $900 and had to pay more for hotels during our trip. I would never do a VRBO again. Terrible customer service. We were also unable to review the property at 1234 Miner Street, South Bend, IN because we didn't stay there. That property should not even be allowed to be rented on any site.
I made and paid upfront a reservation a year in advance for my daughter's graduation to ensure that the extended family had a place to gather and celebrate the weekend. In late Oct, the property owner sent me a note saying that they were selling the property and would have to cancel my reservation. They did offer another property but was more than double the distance away from the city and did not accommodate the same number of folks. On Nov 2nd, 2018 logged in to VRBO.com to find another property and found that the original property was re-listed but at a much higher rate. Clearly this is a case of bait & switch. VRBO reached out and said that their trust & security department was investigating but to date, nothing has come of it. Thankfully received a full refund of what I paid, but now cannot find a comparable property for the price I paid back in April. Don't waste your time or money with these jokers.
I just made a reservation for an apartment in Ireland for 2020. The calendar showed availability, the credit card charge was taken, but lo and behold, no reservation! The next day I get a message from the owner saying her 2020 calendar is not up. Not so, I just made the reservation on your calendar. Upon calling VRBO the agent tells me it is the responsibility of the owner to update their calendar. Upon emailing the owner, she tells me VRBO has not synchronized her calendar. So here I am the consumer stuck in the middle paying for an apartment in Ireland, with no reservation.
The owner tells me she is refunding my payment, but what I want is the reservation I was promised. Time will tell if my money is returned and if I end up paying the exchange fees for the transaction for no reservation! This is so wrong of VRBO. I am told it is due to their "instant booking" online. If this happening, then maybe VRBO should change their system! I have been a fan of VRBO for 30 years, but not so much anymore. What a shame!
If I could give zero stars, I would. I recently attempted to book a vacation home through VRBO. I sent the request to the owner for the dates I wanted. The property showed available and the rate was $289/night. The owner contacted me and said that rate was wrong, I need to back out and re-book with a rate of $400/night! I located the same rental on Airbnb and sent the same owner a request as on Airbnb the owner had a lower rate. The owner again denied my request. I filed a complaint with VRBO alleging bait and switch and they told me they take these complaints seriously. Obviously, they do not, they did absolutely nothing and the owner still has the property listed for rent on their website. Stay far away from renting any properties through this site, they are terrible and when there is an issue, they will side with the owner.
VRBO charged my credit card for a reservation I made in Italy and then the host responded back that the property was not available during my requested dates, even though it showed on the website that it was. After taking days to credit me back, I was credited less than I was charged due to the change in the exchange rate. After calling VRBO and speaking to a very rude agent, she indicated that the host credited me back the same amount back that I was charged in Euros and that it's not their fault that the exchange rate is different. I told her that my card should not have ever been charged as the property was not available. This happened TWICE. She told me the host gave back the same money they received. So I guess VRBO pocketed the difference?
11 woman were supposed to drive from Philadelphia to Savannah Georgia on the weekend of September 14th. Hurricane Florence was about to hit the East coast. 4 States declared state of emergency's that we would of had to drive through. With all the warnings and evacuations along the east coast we canceled. We purchased trip insurance for this reason but because Savannah was not evacuated they told us we could have gotten there. It didn't matter to them that 95 was flooded and we couldn't have gotten home and 95 was closed on the 15th. Still was told we could have gotten to our destination. So you are to risk your lives and drive through wind and rain because they say you could have gotten there. So beware of the insurance company because they don't pay and they don't care. VRBO has done nothing for us.
VRBO decides what reviews they will post to the public and what reviews you will never see. I posted an accurate and factual review about a negative booking experience I had and they refuse to post it. I was unable to stay at the location but paid my reservation in full with no refund. VRBO requested that I write a review and when I did, they denied posting it due to the fact that I did not actually stay at the property. Their policy explicitly states that I am able to review the booking and inquiry process, which is exactly what the content of my review was about, but they still refused to post it after learning that it was a negative review. The star ratings are fixed and NOT an accurate depiction of consumer sentiment. They post only what they want you to see!
I am not an owner, but have used VRBO many many times in the past when booking rentals. I noticed these new fees on my last rental in Pass-A-Grille beach Fla. I'm searching now for spring and summer 2019 rentals. After reading the comments on this thread, I will no longer be using VRBO to find accommodations. The owners I have done business with were all wonderful people. I do believe that what VRBO has done could very well impact their sites in an extremely negative fashion. Greed is a terrible thing.
Updated on 11/07/2018: We have cancelled our reservation more than a month ago. Today still received request for payment. Horrible customer support, buggy software. Morons! Amateurs! They can't test their crappy software! Their trust & security department is incapable. Don't be surprised if all your personal info is already leaked out.
Original Review: Don’t use VRBO.com, they are horrible! VRBO is just a website that connects property owners and travelers. The travelers are not protected. VRBO puts travelers at disadvantage and a great risk. VRBO is not responsible for anything. The moment you completed your booking and paid with your credit card, they send money to the owner, pocket their share and they are done. A crooked owner pockets money and never replies to your messages or calls. Another crooked owner advertises at a lower price, but as soon as you get to do a reservation the price is jacked up. There is no guarantee you actually get to enter the property on your arrival day. If you were to cancel you reservation, VRBO doesn’t hold crooked owners responsible, so you are on your own. VRBO doesn’t do vetting of the owner or property. They don’t screen the property conditions and an accuracy it is presented.
Please use a rental company that will have someone to talk to and able to refund your money if there's a problem. VRBO will NOT refund money. Money can only be refunded by the homeowner and it is at their option. The place we stayed had cockroaches and we left. The owner is stating that we didn't give him time to fix the problem, which can't be fixed in one day, so he's not refunding our money.
My experience confirms everyone else's review. VRBO's refund policy sucks and you should book your vacation somewhere else. I have booked a property in Steamboat for the end of January 2019 at the beginning of October 2018. A week later, another couple wanted to join so I cancel the existing reservation for a bigger place which I also booked through VRBO. The property charged us $100 cancellation fee and VRBO kept their service fee of $133 since the property kept $100.
VRBO said that if the property doesn't refund 100%, they don't refund their service fee either. VRBO can see we still rebooked another place, but wasn't willing to waive the second service fee either. So it cost us $233 to cancel our reservation beyond 90 days of our vacation, which 20% of our total cost and they kept it for nothing! I will use a different website to book our vacation from now on. There are many places offer a free cancellation policy. What a waste of hard earned money.
I am a homeowner. We own a $1 million home in Annapolis MD. About 100 nights for 2018. While most of the renters are satisfactory, the level of adverse selection attracted to VRBO is unacceptable, but expected. Homeowners beware and pay attention: VRBO has contempt for you, and you and your asset that generate their revenue are a one sided equation. They bend over and protect their bad actor renters, and you will be threatened frequently for defending your asset. Generally by support staff that do not speak English well. Have been well trained to not allow you to speak to supervisors or so called executives of this dying company. You will be strong armed into submission by threats that emanate from pathetic IT systems that they do not invest in that create multiple answers, always to the renter's benefit. You will be told competing answers by this staff, so rely on nothing if you find the answer you believe correct.
Trust me, you will lose and be overturned. You will invest so much of your precious time... with VRBO... just to defend your asset. And you will lose. Perhaps the other sites are equally discouraging and damaging. In any event, my advice is this: have an attorney draft a bulletproof no outs for the renter to sue you. Do not accept security deposits, or you will be harassed for damage. Mandate the insurance policy, or walk away. This is a very hard way to make a few bucks, and you can see why professional landlords are as hard nosed as they are. They/you have to be. But you are alone with VRBO, no support.
Always respond to your reviews, especially the bad ones for the sake of the other homeowners who could be in the future crosshairs of the bad actors. Turn them into VRBO, insist they start a file in lieu of this bogus review form you will given that allows not qualitative comments. Total BS, but it is telling you something. Good luck, try the other sites I guess. This one is a loser, and is deteriorating over the 5 to 6 years we have watched it and participated for 2 years. Be careful, provide feedback on VRBO and exercise your rights where we can help each other.
Do not trust VRBO reviews. Owners can reject reviews, and owners review the reviewers! Less than a ** review gets YOU rated as an unsuitable guest, and they can blacklist you from future rentals. Guess why so many VRBO reviews are 5 star!
My family booked a house rental in Europe for Christmas week, however, an older family member broke her knee and will be unable to travel. We canceled our VRBO rental reservation within the deadline for a full refund (and 2 months before our reservation date) and VRBO and the property owner kept 60% of the deposit - $800 for a $2000 deposit! We were told by VRBO that it's up to the property owner to decide how much to refund. This sounds completely illegal and like a tremendous scam. VRBO advertises their "travel with confidence" guarantee but it doesn't appear to have any meaning. VRBO offered to try to negotiate with the homeowner and sent them an email letting them know they "are able to refund 100% of our deposit." We are waiting to see if the property owner decides to do the right thing, but legal action may be the only route to take in order to get our $1200 returned.
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