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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.
VRBO took a house we rented down from their site (reason unknown) and never notified us. They claimed to have sent an email but could not produce it when pressed. I would think an $12,000 deposit would deserve a phone call but they're the worst company ever so... Then they were no help in either getting the deposit back or finding a new place two months before the holidays. They're making so much money and have no customer service so what can a consumer do? We need more owner managed sites to compete and take this monster down.
I believe they don’t post negative reviews about rental properties. There were no reviews posted for my rental. I didn’t notice until after the vacation that the property had been on the site for years. This should have been a red flag. The condo we rented had dirty, stained bedding. The description of the area had some inaccuracies. I wrote a review. But it was not posted.
VRBO and HomeAway were advertising sites. Now they bill themselves as booking sites. They charge us (the homeowners) an annual fee. Then they charge every booking a fee to the renter. on top of that, they also charge a credit card or ACH fee that further reduces the payment to the owners. If we offer alternative solutions for payment (our own credit card company is cheaper than theirs) then they threaten to remove us from the site for "language against alternative contacts or payments." They have hit the last straw with NO WAY for a renter to contact us unless they put down money NOR for owners to reach out to a renter before approving the booking. As this is our second home we want a say in who rents and who doesn't before the site takes their money plus their fees. They were smart in how they rolled this out on the anniversary of your renewal. It is terrible in how they treat owners of properties which make up their business model.
After using realty companies to plan vacations for over 20 years, we decided to try VRBO. We saved several hundred dollars by renting directly from the owner. This resulted in the creepiest vacation ever. The owner had night vision cameras outside of the rental. OK... so maybe he was monitoring for security reasons... I get it. When the temperature inside the rental rose to 78 degrees we could not understand. We had set the thermostat at 70. After the members of our party accused each other of tampering with the thermostat, we soon realized the owner was controlling the thermostat remotely. If we lowered the temperature it would “mysteriously” be raised. Hmmmmmm... Made us wonder if there were cameras inside. Worst vacation ever. Will go back to using realty companies.
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THEY DESERVE NO STARS. They take your payment, then don't pay the homeowner. They use a Payment processor called YAPSTONE. I used my Canadian VISA card to book a property in California. They took my payment but still after 60 days they haven't paid the homeowner. The homeowner had a wonderful property, but they keep giving excuses. They are afraid of a "CHARGEBACK". Why? Because it's a foreign credit card. NONSENSE. If they were concerned about fraud, they should have DECLINED MY CARD, not authorized it. STAY FAR AWAY FROM VRBO. SCAM SCAM SCAM. Airbnb is their competition EVERYONE.
VRBO Ruined my 1st father-son weekend with my toddler... VRBO cancelled my reservation while I was on my way to the house with no explanation. I had a car full of stuff for the weekend and my one and a half year old son. This left us with nowhere to sleep and scrambling to figure out other plans. When I called all I got was rudeness and the run around, I'll never use VRBO again.
ZERO customer service. Requests information they will not give. Argumentative, condescending, disrespectful, arrogant... I could go on but hopefully, the message is received. You have a problem with this outfit and you are in for a very nasty surprise. You are blocked from communicating directly with the property owner until you put your non-refundable money down. Good luck.
I recently booked a home on VRBO and unfortunately had to cancel due to a family member being diagnosed with cancer. We moved her into our home and could not take our vacation. The vacation date is still one month away and when I notified VRBO they said the owner has a "No Refund" policy. How is that even possible? They refunded less than 50% of a 2 night stay that was almost $450 and I'm was told by VRBO to be grateful that I received anything at all. Their site says that you can book with confidence since you're protected when making reservations them. What an outright lie! The homeowner should be ashamed of themselves for this as they have more than adequate time to rent out their property. If this was a last minute cancellation I would expect some of my payment not to be refunded, but again this is over a month away.
When I contacted VRBO they said they "can't take sides and I can beg the owner for my money back." REALLY? What a complete lack of support for their clients. This is just so wrong on so many levels. What goes around, comes around and in this case these people have a lot coming to them. Just do yourself a favor and don't use VRBO. What an infuriating experience, this type of behavior should be criminal.
This is a response to Vacation Rentals concerning taxes. I think it is disgusting that a company as large as yours does not have a way to collect the Florida State Tax of 7%. You manage to collect the county tax of 6%. Before Oct 1, you had the ability for owners to impose a percentage of tax on a line item that needed to be collect, this option worked very well. You also had a line item to incorporate your service fee. Now you say it is our responsibility to collect the Florida State Tax, HOW?
1. Increase our weekly rate to include the state tax, this will also increase the service fee to my renters, not a well thought out solution unless of course this was the plan all along. It’s bad enough that they have to pay a service fee. 2. Tell the renters that an additional tax will be due after they made their booking, again, I will lose more renters and you will lose a service fee. 3. I cannot charge a set fee without knowing how long of a stay they will have and the fee would be different depending on the seasonal rate. Stupid idea of whoever coded your system, no forethought, unless of course that was your plan (see number 1).
This can be an easy fix, remove my coding for Pinellas County and continue to let me set a tax percentage just like the other counties you are not collecting from, I have my own Pinellas County Tax ID and Florida State Tax ID. I will then remit the funds to the county and state like I always do. I won’t need you to do it for me. This is the way they manage to conceal additional charges to the renters to benefit their pocket book and not let the owners give them a true cost for their vacation cost.
I can't say enough about our experience at 241 2nd Street Key Colony Beach, Florida. From the time we arrived the house felt like it was our home. We were greeted shortly after arrival by a person from the management company to make sure we were able to gain entrance and we were asked if we needed anything. The house was exceptionally clean and both bathrooms and the kitchen are updated. The baths are equipped with clean towels, soap, shampoo and there are extra towels in the laundry room that is equipped with a stacked washer and dryer. The kitchen is equipped with newer glassware, dishware, pots, pans and a cabinet of spices.
The A.C worked perfectly and we were all comfortable day and night. This house comes with a membership to the Cabana Club which is just a block and 1/2 away. The Cabana Club features a large pool, access to the sandy beach and a restaurant with great food and service and drinks. The Key Colony Inn is also within walking distance with excellent seafood along with steaks for dinner. We didn't eat other meals there. There are many other great restaurants just a short drive away. I was able to eat Grouper, Hogfish, Yellowtail Snapper and Mahi mahi. You will enjoy your stay at this home.
VRBO's stated advertising on their site that you can book with confidence and that your charges are 100% refundable conceals the fact that each owner can list a contract (found only through following a link) that allows the owner to keep a substantial deposit. I made a reservation and cancelled the next day and the owner kept $200. I was sure that was a mistake and contacted VRBO... 5 different times. Their position is that I should have clicked a link to see if there were other conditions by the owner. I'm out $200 and very disappointed in the way they conduct their business. NO TRANSPARENCY in the way they conduct business.
I'm in the middle of an audit with the Taxation Department and they want back records of payments received from VRBO for 2017. I have spent 4 hours being bounced from one department to the next... First no-one can find my property... Next I'm in the "wrong department" "Let me transfer you"... I've been through 6 departments, lost 4 hours of my valuable time, and still have no answers. I would NOT recommend working with VRBO/HomeAway. It's not the first time I've had problems getting questions answered regarding payments - but it's definitely the MOST frustrating experience I've had.
I cannot express to you how unhappy I am with this company. I am a superhost on Airbnb and the experience is like night and day! VRBO has a separate company that processes all payments. They do not live up to their rental agreement or payment policies. They charge you fees that are hidden. There is virtually no host support at all. It is difficult to even find a phone number an a rep that can actually do anything to help. Even their customer service staff agrees with how terrible their customer service is but their "hands are tied". PLEASE - spare yourself the pain and just use AIRBNB.
When VRBO first opened, tenants made their rental arrangements directly with the owners. Contracts were not consistent. I was nervous. Eventually, I found myself renting several units a year. It is significant to this VRBO review, that I never had a bad experience with an owner. I have never had to contact customer service - so I am NOT reviewing VRBO's customer service department. VRBO evolved with every new parent company, and I thought I would hate the last change... the one where tenants were charged a fee for booking their stays. I almost switched to another site. So far I am glad that I did not change. I was used to dealing directly with the owner, and the new system brought back all the insecurities from before. But now that I have done several rentals for which I have paid a fee, I have formed a new opinion of the VRBO platform. I actually like it, and I don't mind paying the fee.
In addition to advertising, the VRBO platform now assists in scheduling, communicating between tenants and owners, funds transfers, etc. I have tried out the new platform, and I like it despite the fee. As I said before, I cannot comment on VRBO's customer service - because I have never needed it. But as I skim-read other reviews on this website, it seemed to me that the complaint was really about the owners, rather than the VRBO platform. People, please understand that the platform is a bridge between owners and renters. The platform cannot control the owner, or the management company.
Example: one reviewer wrote of a short notice cancellation: the owner could not clean the unit and feared a bad review. I had an owner contact me to cancel because of unexpected construction next door. I begged her to let me stay, assuring her that the construction would not trouble us. (We work in the construction trade.) The owner was really reluctant, until I suggested she give us a 35% discount. Bingo! Happy owner. Happy tenant. (The construction was really not a problem, and I got a discount.)
Most of my rentals have been in the US and in Mexico, but I just returned from Italy where I rented two units, for one week each. Yes, bad experiences with owners have happened, but usually owners take your rental experience seriously, and want you have a good experience. I am super proactive about planning very far ahead, reading reviews with a cynical eye and establishing a relationship with owners. Those are not services VRBO can perform for you. Despite what I thought a couple of years ago, I haven't been given reason to leave VRBO. Now that I've learned how to make the most of the platform, I don't mind paying the fee. TO OWNERS OUT THERE: a short notice cancellation hurts everybody. If you're not committed to responsibly use the platform and provide a clean and professional rental, then STAY AWAY. We don't want you.
I have rented my properties on VRBO for years. One could easily set up properties and pay a yearly fee for their service which was excellent overall for years. Then, they decided, apparently out of greed, to emulate Airbnb. They added the pay per booking option. However, owners could still choose the yearly pay option. Then, they added Vacation Rental Payments. BEWARE!! They now force every owner to apply to this company and funnel all funds through such. Also, they take a full 30 days to "decide" if the owner is approved while your ad is NOT LIVE!!! For the second year in a row they did not renew my ads "pending approval" and could care less that the ads were down. After I call, they then tell you it will be a few more days, up to 30! My advice: If you have other options through which to rent your units, I would recommend taking them!
I rented out a condo through this company for 4 night that and charge me $923.00, all I got was an email stating my reservation was ready. They never once gave me an address or the hotel name. If you want to safe your frustration don't use this company because you will also end up paying for a $89.00 service fee through VRBO which I'm assuming it for customer service and if you need to do any changes or want specific information they will tell you they can't help you. And you have to call another company and again you will have to give out all your information to get a different reservation number and they too will not give you the exact address or name to your hotel. This reservation process was a COMPLETE HASSLE. I have wasted a whole day to get reservations and 1 hour just to check in at my hotel. RESERVATIONS ONLINE AND THROUGH THIS WEBSITE (COMPANY) IS POINTLESS.
We rented what we thought was a private cabin in Drake, Colorado. The “property manager” was actually the owner and lives there with his wife. We essentially were renting rooms in someone’s house. They claimed we broke a window handle which was broken when we got there and kept my $150.00 deposit. The owner yelled at us (2 45 year old couples) and very creepily let me know he was watching me from his window. Their neighbor was screaming and shot a gun late at night. Creepiest trip ever. And they gave me a bad review. I will never use VRBO again. Ever. I have 3 witnesses to all of this.
I had booked a 3 bedroom condo for a family reunion and we reserved dinner reservations, a walking tour and more for our weekend. 3 days before we were to go, the owner canceled our reservation. No explanation whatsoever. The VRBO customer service was the worst. They barely speak English, their phone service is terrible, and one of the many calls I tried to make, the person hung up on me! My sister also called them multiple times to argue with them about the deposit refund. After hours of trying to find another place to stay, we had to cancel our weekend. SO disappointing. I WILL NEVER USE VRBO AGAIN. AWFUL BUSINESS.
I used VRBO a few years back to rent out our beach house. It had good customer service at that time. I decided to use the VRBO.com website again and what a mistake! They now have awful customer service. They have outsourced both the customer service as well as the payment company to what appears to be the Philippines. They now are charging the customer and the renter exorbitant fees as well as not releasing the funds to the owner of the home until after the rental period begins. They are holding thousands of dollars probably millions nationwide, of other people's money for months and collecting the interest.
This is not how they operated a few years ago. I would pull my accounts and never associate with this company again if it were not for the tenants whom would ultimately be the loser. I feel an obligation to the tenants at this point. They have paid for half of the rental period not knowing that the VRBO company is not releasing the funds to the property owner. I would never do business this way. My home is tied up & their company is holding the funds for 5 months. RIDICULOUS! Never again! I will fulfill these two bookings and I am done using VRBO.
What they are doing is holding rent moneys form owners in their accounts and collecting millions in interest. Screwing both tenant and homeowners at the same time. Plus charging exorbitant fees for basically swindling the interest off of moneys that are not rightfully theirs. I could see them taking their fees, but to hold all the funds paid by the tenant that should be the landlords is basically theft of interest that is not theirs. I am blocking off my home for the rental periods that were open and I am finished dealing with this unscrupulous company. I will handle rentals on my own from now on. P.S. Use Americans for your customer service!
Lesson Learned and We Were Burned – Sept 2018 I had reserved lodging for my vacation before leaving on my vacation. However, within the first several days of my vacation, one of my lodging confirmations cancelled. I had to quickly locate new lodging within two days. I go to VRBO and requested a property and felt relieved to have found something on such short notice. My wife and I go to dinner and on our return, VRBO sent a splash screen to our phone telling us the property was not available on the dates requested. Back to the drawing board!
We locate another less desirable property, but at this point feel we have no choice. We request a reservation and go to bed thinking we have dodged a disaster. On waking the next day, we have two messages from VRBO both of which say they are confirming lodging in Vancouver, BC on the same dates at two different properties. Our credit card has been charged for both properties! Imagine our confusion.
We contact VRBO, they essentially tell us: Yes, they know about the splash screen and can see how that might be confusing but we should not have hit enter more than once (do not recall doing this) as that is what caused the splash screen to appear, and Yes, this splash screen goes even to the person who is requesting the property - there is no safeguard in place even though they know about it, and Yes, VRBO will reserve two different properties on the same dates for the same person – there is no safeguard in place to prevent such an error, and No, even though the property was requested less than 24 hours ago and clearly an error, VRBO will not cancel. Take it up with the owner. Thank you for using VRBO.
We contacted the property owner and his cancellation policy allows him to refund 50% of the total since we were canceling less than 7 days prior to arrival (we made the request within 2 days of arrival and tried to cancel as soon as we were made aware of the error – not really harming this property owners listing as it was less than 10 hours off market). The property owner was not willing to take on the monetary loss of VRBO inadequate software. The property owner did agree to return all of our money if his property were to lease during those exact same dates or if VRBO would agree they were the cause of this problem.
In the end, VRBO did not agree they caused this problem. The owner did not lease his property for those exact dates (or at least he never replied to our inquiry) and therefore, we are having to pay for VRBO’s technical deficiencies. I suspect our money will go to the property owner and not toward fixing the problem. Beware of these circumstances and the end cost to you. We spent way too much of our vacation on VRBO problem solving. Lesson learned and we were burned.
But most importantly, know that VRBO makes contacting them difficult, long periods of being on “hold”, and long pauses between answering questions when you do finally get them on the phone. It’s as if when you ask a question they put you on hold (without saying so) to ask someone for the answer and then they come back to the phone. We were constantly asking “are you there?”, because there would be no response to the conversation.
In the end, if you have a dispute, VRBO will send you canned text responses through their system platform, letting you know how much they care, but the reality is they take no responsibility and leave disputes to be resolved between you and the property owner… “you can reach out to the property owner” is the best they can do. I will no longer use VRBO. I am taking the time to let you know, you should go elsewhere for your reservation.
Let me add to all of the negative reviews. I used VRBO for beach trip rentals for years without a problem. When I booked this trip, I was charged so many fees that were not explained. I was shocked by this because it was very strange. I then realized that HomeAway was affiliated and I thought maybe that was the problem. We did not get any fees back either. Luckily we got to use our rental and they returned their $400 deposit that we paid. The bad part was that the kitchen in the apartment was all torn up with 2 guys replacing the boiler. We were told that it would take 2 hours to fix, but that turned into 2 days without hot water. We had other issues too, but I won't bring up all of them here.
The thing that bothers me the most now is that I cannot write a review of the property on VRBO. I have attempted to enter my 1 star review a couple of times and it will not post. The only reviews are 4 or 5 stars and are very positive ones. This is how I was lured into the property. I thought it would be wonderful. I WILL NO LONGER USE VRBO. I think all property owners should leave them too!!!
I recently (tried) to stay at a VRBO listed property for a friend's wedding in New Hampshire. The owner canceled the reservation the day of my arrival. She didn't even have the decency to call, text, or send an email. I turned on my phone after my flight touched down to see that my funds had been returned. I finally got in touch with her, and the reason for the cancellation was that she didn't have time to clean the place. (!) She was so rude - it was completely disheartening. I told her I would just wash the sheets because I really needed somewhere to stay, but she said no (because I might give her a bad review).
It really put me in a bind. I ended up in a hotel approximately one hour away, which really limited my ability to participate in the wedding activities. VRBO did help cover expenses, which I appreciated because the hotel cost nearly double given the last second booking. However, I had mice in my room - so it wasn't the best place. The biggest bummer about VRBO, however, is that they said there was no way for me to review the property since I didn't actually stay there. Knowing that there is no way for travelers to flag experiences like this for other travelers will ensure I do not stay at a VRBO property again.
I used VRBO to book a weekend stay in cabin to see the waterfalls in Georgia. I booked the first one, paid, got insurance, got confirmation number, good to go! NOT! About 10 min later, I received an email from that property owner stating he had already booked the unit for that weekend so it was not available. I finally received a partial refund weeks later. New story... I went back to the VRBO website (silly me) that same day and booked another cabin, paid for rental, cancellation insurance again and got confirmation number. The week before the scheduled trip, a storm came up from the Gulf of Mexico so there was rain and lots of it coming in so we decided to cancel our trip. We had cancellation insurance, right? Wrong. That was 5 months ago and I’ve still not received anything from VRBO, HomeAway, property owner or anyone else. Will NEVER use this site again.
I had to cancel our vacation rental with VRBO. We cancelled within the 60 day time frame for full refund. They refuse to pay us the full refund saying we had to contact the owner directly. Did that and he stated that they didn't give him any money and are keeping my 400.00. This messaging went back and forth so many times and they are trying to tell me that I was 59 days. Wrong??!!! I just want people to know that if you cancel you pretty much won't get a full refund. VRBO keeps your money and will argue with you to no avail. Was so frustrated we finally gave up and they sit with my money. Just greed is what I feel about them and will never book again with VRBO!!
Terrible experience with VRBO/HomeAway customer support while trying to get refund for cancelation that is well within cancelation policy. VRBO is practically useless in their attempts to resolve the matter as they have no way to contact the owner. They allowed listing with no contact information and provided zero protection from fraud. Their "Book with Confidence Guarantee" policy is a clear misnomer. Stay away from this business.
Before my VRBO reservation was made, the homeowner told me he'd give me $100 off the rental, which was documented in VRBO messaging. I chatted with VRBO customer service to ensure that this was possible and was told it was. After the rental fund's disbursement I received the $99 damage deposit refund, but not the extra $100. I messaged the owner multiple times but received no response. I called VRBO customer service and was told they would have to "escalate" my complaint and they had me fill out a formal complaint form.
A week later, no one had even looked at my complaint. In the end, they said they can only "document" complaints and not "interfere" with the transaction. "Please accept our sincere apologies that this dispute and the unfortunate situation has not yet reached a resolution." So I may as well have just rented from someone on Craigslist. For the fees paid to VRBO for each rental, there should be better customer support.
We have used VRBO before and were very pleased. We had not needed to use the cancellation policy. I would encourage any travelers to read all the print in this policy. 60 days or less cancelation forfeits 100% of your payment minus the deposit. The owner was willing to work with us. The VRBO was not helpful at all. We will not use them again. Live and learn. God Bless them and pray they take better care of their customers.
One day, I began receiving e-mails from VRBO about an account being opened. When I went to VRBO.com, an account had been opened using my e-mail address with the username of "PREMIYA SCHASTLIVIY EMAIL PODHODIT K KONCU ** ZABERITE VIYGRISH DO 20 AUGUST." That is literally the username, I copied it directly from said e-mails. For those who don't know Russian, it's claiming that I won some kind of prize, and that to claim it I need to go to the link by August 20th. Obviously, it's some kind of scam.
I contacted VRBO via chat, and told the representative about this. I asked for the account to be deleted. It has not been, it is only disabled. The rep told me that there would be an investigation into this. As far as I can tell, there hasn't been. I have heard nothing about any investigation, no apology for the lack of security measures on their website, nothing other than now being subscribed to their newsletters. This is not a secure website to use. No username should be able to contain that many characters, let alone a link to another website! User beware.
We have used VRBO in the past with no problems. We were looking forward to a vacation, booked an available property two months in advance. Got a confirmation, money was exchanged. While driving to vacation destination, we realized we haven't received the lockbox code. Attempt to contact owner to no avail. Three hours into the drive with three children under four, we finally get a hold of a VRBO agent. Put on hold, lost call, three separate times. We then get a text that said, "Contact us immediately, your reservation has been canceled."
Another forty minute phone call, they say they'll attempt to relocate us. They cannot find comparable accommodations, in fact they are not able to find any accommodations for the duration of our trip. They finally find one hotel room for one night, for four adults and three small children. The next night we had to find ourselves a room in a neighboring city. They have not once contacted us to rectify the situation. We were out the full amount paid to them, as well as for the hotel we had to rebook ourselves. Unbelievable.
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