Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I've been a loyal customer of VRBO for years now, booking my vacation rentals through them in various parts of the world. Now I see that the "poor" Expedia decided to go with an additional cash grab they call "service fee". I'm sure it is all because of the goodness of hearts of the "poor" Expedia owners. Only because of their desire to "provide better service". Right. It's like they hadn't already been charging the owners for using VRBO/HomeAway, but now they decided to ding the renters too. OK, there is a point where more greed becomes too much greed. From now on I will stop using VRBO and all Expedia products altogether. And I would recommend other travelers to do the same. When a company becomes too greedy, it's time to say to them, "enough is enough!" - by stopping using their services altogether.
This company is running a scam. It appears to be owned by Expedia and "HomeAway". It is run out of some kind of Philippine call center. There is no customer service. The contract does not disclose the fee structure. They steal your money. They charge fee after fee without telling you. They lock you out of your account. This company needs to be sued and shut down. This has been my experience. My profile was not approved, then my credit card was charged for the yearly fee, and my account was "locked". I called and called, and could not get through to anyone for longer than a few minutes, and I was always put on hold. I have reported their unauthorized charges to my bank.
I am a vacation property owner (3 properties) and have been using VRBO for 14 years. I was extremely happy with the VRBO business model in the early years. In the last two years they have made some draconian changes that seem to only benefit VRBO and very little to benefit either the property owners or the rental customers. Originally, VRBO ran a business to bring property owners and renters together. VRBO charged a token fee for that service that was reasonable. Over the years, their charges began to increase each year to the point that it was getting my attention. In the last two years, they seem to have changed their business model from one who brought owners and renters together to one where they have inserted themselves into the rental process by adding fees to both the customer and the owner.
I was shocked when they first put out the notice of this change. They tried to tell me that this was for my benefit. I noticed immediately that the potential renters expected me to rebate their fees back to them out of my rental rate. VRBO also wanted to make themselves the banker by encouraging owners to allow VRBO to collect the money from the customer and skim 3% off the top. Needless to say, for the last several years I've been deeply concerned as to where this was going and that the current policies was forcing me to look around for other options.
One of my properties is in a prime location in Surfside Beach, SC and normally (last 14 yrs) gets completely booked for the summer by the middle of the booking season. This was primarily due to the excellent location and property amenities. This season things have changed. I've hardly gotten any hits at all. Today I logged onto the VRBO site and discovered I couldn't even find my property. I called VRBO and waited about 15 min trying to get answers. When I finally got a service rep, he tried to explain to me that my property was listed and tried to help me find it on the map. He made all sorts of excuses and said that I needed to enter a bunch of filters into the inquiry. I told him I was looking on the map and it wasn't there. We went round and round before he finally said that I had to scroll thru a list of properties and once I clicked on one, it would show on the map.
I did that and it worked. However, I asked him why about 25 other properties were showing up at the same time. Again he went round and round trying to explain it. I finally told him that if I couldn't find my own property on their site, how could any potential customer find my property. He told me there were things I could do that would make my property more visible to customers. I asked him what I needed to do and he told me that if I would allow VRBO to take over my booking (allowing them to collect a 3% fee from me and an additional 5-12% service fee to the customer, that my property would be put up higher on the list so that potential customers could more easily find my property.
I was incredulous. What a bait and switch approach. I am furious. I have been a customer (paying owner fees to VRBO) for 14 yrs. I am angry that VRBO is starting to strong arm their long term customers into agreeing to their new business model. Needless to say, I will allow my current contract to expire and seek a different method to market my property. I highly encourage other property to drop their VRBO business.
I have been w/ VRBO, for 5+ years w/ excellent ratings on my Sarasota property. I just renewed w/ a new condo and am horrified by their new procedures & tactics!! It is no longer a vacation rental by OWNER! I paid my fee & choose to manage & work w/ my guests for a pleasant stay. My website has been taken over. They insist on quoting fees, sending quotes, expiring my contacts, charging service fees on top of what I've paid. The site, as an owner is impossible to manage. It's time to find another owner's venue!! I am being misrepresented by this company... My guests want to hear from me, not a computer.
Saturday, March 18, 2017. The vacation rental property at 913 Palmetto St., New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32168; sometimes referred to as Cozy Cottage; owned by (**) from (The Villages, FL) and controlled by a live-in property manager, (**) is not a good choice! ** is a self righteous Mafia style hypocrite who imposes unrealistic expectations for his used furniture and appliances and takes advantage of everyone he rents to. ** is a meddlesome bad copy of ** and interferes with renters constantly like a mother hen with an idiot complex. Together these two cause heartache and grief and will screw you out of vacation time, money, pleasure and well being with little more than a thought!
The house is livable but is not even close to the mansion ** and ** believe or project it to be. The property was built in 1947 and has had pieces built on over the years by inept handymen with little or no ability. Nothing is up to codes and would be condemned if a quality building inspector reviewed it. Termites, bed bugs and roaches are a few of the other pests you will encounter! Currently for sale by owner as Snowbird Dream Home is a NIGHTMARE and is not worth the time to look at!
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For over 4 years I've listed my Blue Ridge Mountain Stone Chalet on Vrbo.com. Now my chalet is shunted to the end of their listings -- despite all 5 star ratings -- because I don't use their BOOK NOW option. This policy fails to meet my expectation of establishing a strong and positive presence for my single rental home after years as a loyal owner-customer. Trying to get a straight answer from them on the phone has become impossible. Guests might be smart to go to the end of the listings where no BOOK NOW button is displayed and contact the homeowner directly. I certainly have never cheated or confused any one, and we work out payment usually by check.
I first signed up with them as a host and canceled after only two weeks. My every experience with them was poor. Their customer service was horrible and they behave like the Seinfeld Soup Nazi like they are the only show in town. I moved to Air B&B and have been happy with them. Service is way too expensive for nothing. Air B&B is free. They say you only pay for the membership then all other fees are waived... well except for the credit card transaction fee for every reservation made and oh year their taxes charged. Those fees are higher than the Air B&B nominal booking fee. "5% commission charged for the rental amount, any fees (such as cleaning or pet fees), and any additional payments. 3% credit card processing fee charged on the total payment amount you receive from your traveler, including taxes and refundable damage deposits." That is outrageous!
They charge you $399 membership fee (Ridiculous). They charge you credit card fees and taxes after you are a member (Ridiculous)! Their customer service is terrible! It's a joke. I spoke to several representatives and two managers over the course of several days and they would not make a simple change in a reservation record to remove their commission fee on a prior and pending reservation that was a month away since I joined and paid the fee for the membership. I asked this for a prior reservation that was made before I was a member and gave them hundreds of dollars to join. Instead they told me to call the traveler, have them cancel and rebook with me so that now that I'm a member they won't charge me the commission fee, only the credit card fee and the tax.
I asked them why would I inconvenience the traveler by asking them to cancel the reservation and inconvenience me as well, thus creating all this work when all they had to do was to adjust it in their computer system? Ridiculous and totally not customer service oriented! They told me it's against their policy. Against their policy? To do what accommodate two customers? All I wanted was their commission refunded since there are no commission fees for members and now I was a member at the tune of $399. They said, "No! It's against policy." The manager of the customer experience department told me, "You must call the traveler, tell them to cancel the reservation, then have them rebook again because now there will be no charge to you because you're a member."
I called back and told them, "Cancel my membership," and I called the traveler and asked them to cancel. Now I do all my bookings with Air B&B. I canceled my VRBO membership and will never use them again. So they lost me as a customer and any of the people that booked with me all because they just would not do a simple task. Plus VRBO is so expensive and you get nothing for it. It's for the best as they are a horrible company, too expensive and they treat their customers (Hosts and travelers) poorly.
I rented my property with VRBO VACATION RENTALS BY OWNER. I was told my first guest payment would take 30 days to post. I check 40 days in to see it never posted. I was lied to and told it posted, however when I checked my bank it had not posted. After several calls of being on hold for 45 minutes, I was referred to the Payment Center. Each time I called the Payment Center it was another 45 minute call on hold. Customer Service would put me on hold, say they would resolve the issue in 7 to 10 days, and send me an email. Each time I call they tell me the same thing but never post the payment. I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what course of action I may take.
Well first, I purchased a property from friends and first was told I could transfer their account to my name. We just had to update the banking information. That was not true. We had to open a totally new account and by doing this, lost all the reviews on our property. My second complaint is every time I call customer service I'm put on hold for a long period of time. Sometimes 20 minutes. The same employee answers the telephone almost every time I call. This is the Texas office, do they only have 2-3 employees?
A potential customer called me yesterday telling me she couldn't get on the site. I have been trying to get on the site for almost 24 hours unsuccessfully. A message keeps coming up saying error we are trying to resolve the situation. 24 hours, really?? Also, a customer contacted me with a question as to why my rental had one price for a certain date on VRBO and a higher price on HomeAway. I checked and she was right, the price was different. I called customer service and of course was put on hold. While on hold the higher price on HomeAway actually adjusted before my eyes. I also think their service fee charged to customers is way out of line!!! Unfortunately I don't know of any alternatives yet but I'm sure there will be in the future. Thank god.
As a property manager, I have been with VRBO for about 13 years and have listed nearly 25 homes on this site during that time. It was a great site to advertise properties on and has incorporated enhancements over the years. My homes were always full. But since Expedia has bought the site as well as many other sites, they no longer care about the owners or guests. They have now become a site based on fees to earn them additional income.
I love the emails I get with the propaganda on how they are working for us to make bookings easier to more easily manage the process, when we all know those "make bookings easier" are ways for them to earn more fees. We now have the booking fee which allows VRBO to get approximately 9% of the rental price from the guest in addition to rent they owe. There are insurance fees that offer consumers additional protection. These fees only add to the cost of the consumers' vacation. There is the forced credit card fee of approximately 3% they now charge to the owners because they have it set up where the customer goes through their booking buttons which will give them the control to capture their fees from the renter. That credit card fee is passed onto the owner. In all the years I have been doing this I have never used credit cards and have never lost a client because of it.
As a property manager I was told that eventually the site would require me using the automatic booking feature but it could be disabled for right now. I paid the increased site fee of $499 to not have automatic booking, a higher yearly fee than if I did go the automatic booking route. I was okay with this, but then they changed the site to not show bookings in individual cities but incorporate all rentals with about 5 or 6 other cities.
Gold Canyon is a very isolated area and the people that want to stay here ask for it specifically. So to punish me for not using their automatic booking feature, my listings were placed around 540 out of 640. If you used Gold Canyon in the search engine and in your title, it would not bring my listings up, only the homes with the automatic booking feature. I was not told this when I renewed my listings. Because of this, I had empty homes in January. Luckily, I have built up a following over the years and local real estate agents refer renters to me.
Based on the above, it would appear that rather than have loyalty to long-standing clients and increase our business, VRBO's main focus is based on clients that will earn them additional fees. However VRBO, you can't raise fees if you don't have the properties to offer travelers. Most of my subscriptions have expired or are due to expire. I will no longer be listing my properties on this site. I will have a website designed that will be specific to Gold Canyon where my customers can easily view homes and only be charged rent and not an additional booking fee. They will have direct access to me without having our communication monitored.
Used to be where they would share the email of the customer with us, but now they eliminate or withhold that information in an effort to control the process. They say it is for the protection of the user, but not one renter I have talked to has a problem with me having their email or their phone number. Too bad that money took the priority over the consumer. I am all for capitalism, but the site was able to exist and grow without it gouging the owners and travelers.
Travelers' beware! VRBO charges a hefty "service" charge to use their website. For innocently agreeing to the terms and conditions when booking, I was charged $238 for a $5600 vacation. For those of you who actually read all the fine print, the service fee agreement is on page 5 of 14. A service fee is mentioned in paragraph 9, but no amount or percentage is proposed. Nowhere else on this website, was I made aware or given the choice to accept this service charge. If VRBO feels that they deserve this "service" fee why are they hiding it in the fine print? VRBO should be more transparent and tell their unsuspecting victims that they are being charged to use this service. They won't get any more of our business!!
We rented a unit with VRBO in Palm Springs at the Ocotillo Lodge & Resort. It was also listed as an Onyx Hotels property and was definitely NOT as advertised. We had 2 pages of 'issues' like no sink stopper in the kitchen, the 2 bathroom sinks did not hold water, no can opener etc.. We chatted with the Onyx rep who was hoping we might outfit the kitchen if we needed things! We even had to take the gas tank from the barbecue to have it filled at our own expense! We sent an email to VRBO and there was only an automated response - no follow up. Onyx Hotels rep said, 'too bad you weren't happy, at least I was nicer than you'... Photo is of the closet that you couldn't hang anything longer than a shirt in as it was so full of vacuum, bedding, mops, buckets etc.. I'm thinking it's a first and last for VRBO or Onyx! Good luck y'all.
The owner of a Rome, Italy rental advertised the property on Via Cerchi and when we booked it, she sent out a confirmation with a different address. In addition, in Italy it is a law that leases over 30 days must be registered (even vacation rentals). Our contract was for 42 days. Also, she asked for the second half of payment in cash. When we learned of all this, we attempted to cancel (less than 24 hours later). The owner refuses to refund our $3033.17 deposit and VRBO will not cooperate with us or our credit card company. They claim they have no control. Funny thing is that the charge on my credit card statement doesn't say Vera ** (the owner). It says VRBO.
Then I get a call from VRBO several days ago saying they want to help but the owner is having "technical difficulties" refunding and they cannot say how long it will take to rectify the situation. Really? I know I got this call only because I complained on their community website and is probably an attempt to put me off. At any rate, days later, no refund or news of it. Apparently, VRBO is fine with the misrepresentation, the Italian tax evasion (in failing to register the lease) of their "owner" client AND the fact that she is asking for cash payment, not to mention outright stealing of deposit money based upon all of the above. AND there is no way to comment or review on the actual property to warn people on the VRBO website.
My property is not yet listed, yet I received an email notification from VRBO that a party they named was interested in making a reservation. First I tried to log into my account to learn more but my password was not accepted. I went through the reset password routine four times but in every case the VRBO website would never accept the new (or old) password. So I called customer service and held 39 minutes without connecting to a live person. I sent an email explaining what happened and 3 days later there's no response. I called customer service again today and hung up after holding for 10 minutes. All I can say is that I feel very lucky to have learned how bad the service is before my listing went live.
We own a condo in Lake Tahoe that we live at during the summer but rent during Holidays and ski season. We never had any problems with VRBO until this past year. They now charge our renters $45 to book online as well as MY yearly fee and want you to use THEIR credit card system. However, I have a management company that handles all my rentals including payment, cleaning, parking passes, etc. as I live out of state.
First, they accused me of having more than one place because if my condo was already rented, the management company said they had other places. We removed that verbiage. But that was not enough apparently. Now they tell me I cannot even have potential renters contact my management company to book the place - why, because they want renters to use THEIR credit card service instead of booking through my management company. So the only way you can really use VRBO is if you yourself does the booking, get the cleaning, etc. This does me no good living out of state.
Why these rules have changed to ban management companies from handling rentals for the owners is only to add more fees for VRBO. If you are thinking of using VRBO for your rental property, think again. They make it nearly impossible for out of state owners. This is very disappointing as we have always worked through our management company with no problems, but VRBO has changed their rules to benefit themselves not their customers. I have asked for a 6-month refund as I am not due for renewal until mid-September but VRBO refuses to give me a refund even if they block me for making it impossible to get renters through them.
I recently booked a condo in Arizona and was surprised to see the rental cost, cost for cleaning, tax and then a service fee. I did not realize they charged a service fee to travelers. I think this is outrageous and unethical and would like to file a complaint against VRBO.
I am a property owner with several properties listed in VRBO for more than a decade. Recently we discovered that the Damage Protection option for one of our properties was changed to "automatic refund" without our consent. When we called them to have it removed, they indicated that the change is not reversible. After an hour and a half on the phone with five different representatives, they could not explain how this option was changed for just one of our properties, but they refused to reverse it. I would like to know if anybody else has gone through this. It appears that VRBO is implementing this procedure to all new customers but randomly switching some of the long term customer's properties without previous notification and in a way that indicates that they hope that you would not notice.
I have been booking my vacation rentals with VRBO for over 7 years and always had a good experience until now. Since being bought by Expedia, VRBO now charges a separate fee for booking through their site. I was charged $305 on my recent rental. When I emailed to question the fee, I was told that the fee was supposed to be $78.03 and is now the new norm of booking through the site. I proved that I was charged $305 with my credit card statement, and then was told "oh yeah, your fee is $305 and it can't refunded back to $78.03 or remove it from the booking." I am outraged. I already have the trip booked and it is a multi-family trip where flights have already been planned, so I can't cancel at this point. And even if I did, I'd probably lose my rental and STILL wouldn't get my $305 back. This will be my last rental with VRBO.
August 2016 we booked and gave a deposit for a property in Santorini, Greece for 6/2017. VRBO e-mailed us 2/2017 and said the owner no longer is renting/they broke their contract and told us there was nothing they could do. We immediately called and were told they would refund the full amount of our deposit. 2 weeks later upon calling VRBO told us we are not receiving the full amount due to the exchange rate!!! We have been on the phone a total of 4 hours and talked to 7 people and they are refusing to give us the full amount back that we paid. Not only did they not give us comparable priced substitute accommodations they are telling us to contact the owner directly to see if he will pay the $140- $150 difference in the exchange rate!!! Of course he paid back the deposit in full Euros but because of the difference in the exchange from August 2016 to February 2017 - we basically are out $150 for NOTHING!!!
When I called VRBO/HomeAway to ask once again WHY WE are the people that are eating this fee even though they received $1806 from us and charged our credit card that full amount and they are only refunding $1710 AND THEY are the people that brokered the accommodations and we actually did nothing wrong, THEY kept transferring me to their HomeAway Customer Service, then to their Accounting Dept. and then to their "Chargeback team", and so on... I never got anywhere with any of them and it was clear that none of these people were even the least bit interested in paying back the full amount charged to our credit card.
To sum up - They charged full deposit. They cancelled. They refuse to repay full amount of deposit even though they are the organization that left us without accommodations, without a replacement accommodations and with our airline tickets, etc... fully paid so that without also incurring other penalties we cannot change dates/plans. This organization was fine to deal with until Expedia bought them - now it is full-on runaround, atrocious Customer Service, constant passing the buck and NO SOLUTION or even the least bit helpful!!!
So, I again this year booked a condo through VRBO like I have done for the past 10 to 15 years with no issue. However, this year, in addition to my deposit, I find a separate charge on my credit card for $99 to HomeAway. After investigating, I find out that this is a VRBO charge and it wasn't even mentioned online prior to my booking the condo. I now have paid an add'l 40% in fees and I haven't even purchased vacation insurance. The advertised room rate of $146/nt. is now up to $210/night. What a bunch of BS! I will NEVER BOOK via VRBO again! I am probably cancelling this condo rental. It is a shame for condo owners... What a major rip off. Staying in a hotel is starting to look way better for a short get away!!!
I made the mistake of inadvertently booking an apartment in London instead of just making an inquiry about the date availability. He took all the money for the three night booking and will not refund any of it, even the refundable damage deposit. This has been a nightmare as neither the UK based Homeaway or the VRBO in the US will help me. They in fact work for the owners not the hapless travellers. I would exercise extreme caution in using this website if at all. The no cancellation no refund notice was hidden within the page and not obvious despite being unusual in the places for rent. I have used VRBO on other occasions and always the owner had a payment schedule which was fair business practice.
I rented a house for my niece's wedding and I will NEVER rent from VRBO again. Their system was not functioning properly, I guess... Who knows. I tried to make payment and the system was not working. I sent ELEVEN emails and got no reply. It took forever to find a phone number to call - there is not one on the help page. When I found the phone number, the wait was over 40 minutes. I had no choice since my deadline was fast approaching. I have NEVER worked so hard to try to pay someone and been treated so badly. It added unnecessary stress to my trip and the people at VRBO were NOT helpful. In fact, they were dismissive. I want to warn anybody considering renting from VRBO to BEWARE!!! I would stay away!!
When VRBO recently asked if I wanted to join their pilot "instant book" program I said yes. What a mistake! The only booking we got with it was 1 day notice. They smoked in the house (and smelled like marijuana). Then to put icing on the cake VRBO's payment processor, Vacation Rent Payments about a month later snatched the booking money out of our account plus a fee claiming the card holder said she did not stay there. The burden of proof was on me they said and I needed to contact VRBO to get information on the booking including who booked it, etc. Hello! They were the ones who did everything with the booking! I just allowed this party into my home based on VRBO's promise they had paid and that VRBO would have their credit card processor pass along a portion to me. I told VRBO they should be responsible for the lost money. All they had to say was I could have checked the person's ID after they booked.
Needless to say I cancelled the instant book option. I also raised my rates and made $1000 deposit mandatory. This is because I got notice from the deposit insurance company that the guest had gotten their money back there too so there was no insurance on the trip that already happened! Thank goodness we were able to easily get the smoke smell out. Now it's been an additional month and Vacation Rent Payments contacted us to let us know the other party would get to keep their money. If we want to continue to fight it through them in arbitration it will cost hundreds more in fees. Tried to file a police report but they said no crime, suggested we file a lawsuit. Hosts beware. On a side note, it's been almost 2 months since I changed my listing to be more strict and with higher rates. I've had a few inquiries but no bookings. The other site, Airbnb, has given me several bookings in the same time frame.
We rent out a property through VRBO. We pay a half a thousand dollars a year to list through them yet they are audacious to bill service charges on top of that even though they have no skin in the game, just people answering the phones who have no understanding of what is going on! The worst part about VRBO is how they rate the cabins' popularity. Incredibly, it's not the reviews which is the only way to reflect popularity. We are rated 6th in the Cloudcroft, NM area, yet we rate out higher than the cabins' above us! There is one cabin third from the bottom that has nothing but 5 star reviews! VRBO is greedy and includes amounts of bookings! Yep, they want the dough!
Another knock on VRBO which is also Homeaway is how they calculate the average nightly rental cost. These knuckleheads actually include the weekly and monthly rates! You should have seen how they did it before I really got after them! I'm thinking UT drag worms work at this place. Whatever it is, since don't rent out weekly or nightly, we have to post a low price while we're shut down in the winter to reflect low prices like the other ones.
I have been with VRBO for over 5 years. My Reviews rank 4.7- 5 Stars in the beautiful US state of Arizona. As an owner VRBO has made changes for Owners almost every year. Since Day 1 they have used the power of where they will rank an Owner's listing as blackmail to agree to options that put more $ in VRBO coffers. However, most recently the removal of easy access to guest information - and penalties by higher rates for owners to stay off Online booking (which VRBO gets their % from Booking) and charging Guests a nonsense almost 10% of Rental Rate SERVICE FEE - of which 100% goes to VRBO has broken the system and taken its toll on me in managing my property.
VRBO informed me at time of renewal Guests prefer the Online Booking feature - I never used for almost 5 years and had no problem booking. I used for 6 months and nothing but problems, over-miscalculations of Rental Rates to Guests, extra Fees/Charges to Guests and related Ranking issues. Add to that potential bookings I lost after Savvy guests emailed me angry noting the miscalculated rates and insane Service fee on the VRBO calculated Quote of which when I tried to explain/fix the damage had already been done - so no booking. I cannot blame them for being disgruntled.
VRBO has over past few recent years has also limited Owner control and bookings with guests by removing easy access to guests' contact information such as emails/phone #s. I used to be able to respond directly and quickly to potential Guests, now it is painful and sometimes does not even work. I have apologized to a few potential guests for late reply due to site malfunctions which would not work to reply, which also affected my ranking as it looked like I did not reply in a timely manner.
****NOTE - If you are a Guest and see a ranking at the bottom and there is no Service Fee attached it is because the Owner paid MORE to VRBO to be able to not charge their guests an extra Fees and book guests in a fair way that they can manage and not have to deal with Rental Rate miscalculations and unfortunate program glitches that occur when guests send a Query. VRBO cannot appear to explain this even when you send them screenshots of Quotes generated by VRBO. Owners that stay on Online booking may benefit by accident or intention (if they do not see it and fix Quote before accepting the booking) as the Rental Rates to Guests are typically over-miscalculated (at least in my case) and VRBO benefits as they charge those guests almost 10% of miscalculated Rental fee as well.
The Guest 'Service Fee' essentially provides Guests nothing as an owner I do not already take care of, as well as most any other good owners. Look at the REVIEWS - this is the most important information you need for booking as a Guest, not the ability to use Online Booking Tools. Good owners book guests regardless - we book, direct and save Guests all the extra fees so those that need a holiday can better afford one.
On the Owner's side VRBO policy warns owners of penalty if their Guests utilize VRBO for any services as described in Service Fee...big catch 22! The devils in the details and now the Owners and Guests are paying for all the small fees and percentages VRBO has thrown into the mix and only VRBO comes out smiling like a Cheshire Cat. No good reasoning for all these changes except to tell me as an Owner they are trying to protect me and come in line with the Industry standards. I thought VRBO was #1 so I am not certain who they compare themselves to? Should they not 'set the bar' and make it better for Owner and Guest?
VRBO blackmail annual registration fee has gone up again this year to $549 US (it was $499 last year). It is only $399 if you do accept Online bookings - which as indicated for myself has perpetually MISCALCULATED Rental Rates, charge UNSUSPECTING Guests a VRBO cash grab Service Fee. If I do not accept my listing goes to the bottom of the Ranking so Guests may not see my property I was warned by VRBO... If Online booking is so successful they do not need to blackmail Owners to accept it. It should cost more to opt in not out?
In my most recent experience if I did accept it would have charged the Guest a miscalculated Rental Rate and extremely high VRBO Service fee. Coincidentally the times when the ability to respond and only option given to myself as an Owner is to Accept a booking is when VRBO stood to gain a significant Service Fee? I would love to be a fly on the wall at VRBO in Corporate to see how they brainstorm decisions on how to control almost everything at a cost to VRBO's benefit. Sorry for the repetition on my points and absolute frustration - I do hope this is helpful..
We have listed our private cottage rental with VRBO for 11 years. As of the last 2 years, when they were bought up and became part of the "HomeAway" corporation, everything changed for the worst. When that happened the best "listing.com" for us became a nightmare. We no longer have the ability to showcase our property as we have not signed up for VRBO's online booking and so, have virtually been abandoned by the company. As a result, our listing under the VRBO.com site is almost impossible to find on their site, posing as a potential renter. Getting any reasonable response from the company is also very unsatisfactory. To anyone who might think about listing your rental property with VRBO, keep searching for a company who cares about and represents its rentals and the people who own them, their values and concerns and the ability to communicate with each other with respect. Good luck.
Problem with listing and service fees. I had been with VRBO for 5 years and had been happy. Then when they were bought out by Expedia everything changed. They now charge our renters an extra 10% in fees that offer no added value. The customer service is horrible. I was put on hold for 20 minutes then told they were backlogged up to 2 weeks to help us the customer. My listing at one point showed up in the correct area and now it does not and that affects my listing and rentals.
Everything they have done since buying VRBO/HomeAway has been driven by greed. They made plenty of money before. They are now just exploiting both owners and guests. I am cancelling my service and moving to their competitors. Such a shame.
I requested to book a vacation house in Tucson and realized I'd sent it to the wrong party. Within 25 minutes, I canceled my request by emailing both the homeowner and VRBO customer support through the VRBO booking system. That means my offer was canceled and my authorization to charge my card was obviously rescinded. Or so you'd think. Four hours later, the homeowner, Juanita ** of Star Homes LLC, went ahead and charged my card anyway. She never responded to my emails. Within two sentences of trying to talk to her on the phone, she was yelling at me and literally telling me to shut up (about 10 times).
After about 8 hours' worth of emails and phone calls to both VRBO and the homeowner, both of those parties claim they're entitled to keep my $800. They have absolutely no response to the question, "Is this even ethically right?" They have no detailed response to the question, "Is this even legal?" Because it's not; they simply repeat that their policy lets them steal from their customers in this fashion. I believe this is called theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Fortunately, my bank agreed, returned all the money to my account, and is taking the matter up with them. The lack of conscience is mind blowing.
My sisters and I rented a condo in Nuevo Vallarta through VRBO.com. We thought it was a safe way to rent a condo. Boy we were so wrong. 5 weeks before our travel date, the owner of the condo cancelled our reservation. We paid half of the rental at this point. We tried to get our money back by contacting him like VRBO said we had to do. To no avail. Then VRBO would not do anything to help us get our money. They told me on the phone that it's not their fault that the owner is not responding to emails and phone calls, but he was still on the VRBO site advertising his condo.
They told us that they were sorry that we were going through this, but they said we have to get our money back from our bank now. This process will take 3 months. We are leaving in 30 days, but we can book with them again and they will be happy to help us find another place. Seriously? I need to cough up another 2000$ to rent another place but you won't even help me get my money back? Do they really think we can trust them again. They did nothing to help us. Absolutely nothing but leaving a message to the owner and send him emails. What a joke they are. While this guy was still on there site to rip off other people. I had to complain 3 times before they removed him from their website.
VRBO cannot be trusted at all. Their safe book guaranty is a joke. They will not lift a finger to help you at all. I don't even know what we are going to do now since we are out that money. And while this was happening, that we were cancelled, they kept sending us emails to pay the balance for the condo. Seriously they need to be investigated for fraud as they will not help at all when you get ripped off by an owner under their banner. I cannot even give them 1 star but I have to do it anyway. They need to be banned from this kind of business because they will not honor anything they say. Do not book anything through VRBO ever. They will not help you if an owner runs off with your money. Stay away from them.
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