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We went on their website and picked out a villa; the "property manager" that picked up our email "David **" property owner "Jullian Design LTD" was a fraud!!! We got a contract. All looked ok; wired the deposit; never received a "welcome packet" and became suspicious; when we questioned David **; he said the villa was rented by the owner and he will return our deposit; we have been chasing him for 10 days and he keeps pushing us off.... FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD.... do not use this thief!!!
I signed up Oct 21 2019, I just sold my house. Moved to bnb in the area for 2 weeks while looking for a place, I have 2 kids that still go to school in the same area. The bnb I was in wasn’t available for longer so I found a property in VRBO that is comfortable enough and close to the school with enough rooms and parking. I submitted the request. Wrote the letter to the owner about us and that I needed for 11 days total cost 2,614.00$. They accepted. I was charged, money withdrawn and then right after the owner texted that oops the driveway was just fine and I won’t be able to park, so I asked will street parking be an issue, she was honest and said yes and we had 2 vehicles and possibly my older son vehicle, so looking for parking every time we come back wasn’t an option.
Owner canceled but the refund won’t come back till 5-7 days. I need a place in 4 days. I was on the phone for few calls. As expected, absolutely no compensation. No solution. I asked them to book me something and charge me in few days. I asked them to stop the refund Anything because not everyone can replace 2,614.84 in a minute, but nope nothing. The one of the representatives literally said I have to figure it out on my own. All they can do is refund. I did everything right and when they messed up no compensation whatsoever. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE.
We had a wedding in Spring Lake and wanted a nice location to stay during the event. We rented the “great Gadsby” because of it being in Spring Lake and thinking it would be nice to stay along the lake close to the church. We thought it might suit our needs. The first bit of concern about the rental I received was when I asked for the address so I might drive by and look at the place, but the rental person wouldn’t give it to me. I ignored this and decided “how bad could it be?”. It’s advertised as a nice house on the lake after all.
We finally got the information on how to get to the house a week before we were to arrive. Much too late to change our minds. I believe this was intentional and it peeves me that as old as I am, I could be taken in like that. Anyway, we finally found the house and driving down the extremely narrow and almost impossible-to-find lane going back to the property I narrowly missed a huge hole in the asphalt that would have broken an axle if I’d hit it at any speed. Fortunately, I didn’t but I think my son-in-law or daughter did because my car came home with a distinct shudder in the front end.
When we arrived at the house at our appointed time, the cleaning person was there. Frantically cleaning. I thought this was quite fortunate because we would have had to get on our phone and look up the lock box code otherwise. I hadn’t written it down and I was at that point happy to not have that hassle. The cleaning person was quite nice but was there for quite some time after we arrived, and we had to leave to drive to Grand Rapids to pick up people at the airport. Finally, we just told her that we had to leave, and she gave us the keys so we could get back in when we returned. She was still cleaning when we left. When we returned, it was dark, the cleaning person had finally left, and I was glad to have the keys. Lucky me.
I unlocked the door and attempted to push it open, but it wouldn’t budge. Finally, I gave it a huge shove and it popped open. From that point on, we had to fight that front door constantly. It reminded me of a dungeon door leading to a castle. It was at least 2 inches think of heavy wood and poorly fit to the door frame due to swelling of the wood. I did like the looks of it though. But that door bested the weaker of us and I was constantly having to open it for someone during the visit. A hassle. I would NOT recommend this house for the weaker person.
After opening the door, we entered the house and what hit me in the face was a distinct odorous funk which reminded me of old mold mixed with horse dung. It wasn’t extreme but it was noticeable and I noticed it each time we entered the house. Not a pleasant first impression. My daughter who has asthma had to use her inhaler throughout the visit. I would NOT recommend anyone renting this place with breathing problems or who are offended by vague unpleasant smells. As we began to get acquainted with the place, my daughter started screaming at a huge spider on the wall. I killed it but that was the first of several during our visit. This was October but there was a steady supply of spiders and stink bugs for me to kill. Fortunately, the weather was cold. I imagine that during the summer, the bugs would come out in droves, including mosquitos.
I would NOT recommend renting this property for anyone put off by insects. I wouldn’t have wanted to rent the place in the summer anyway because it has no air conditioning. There’s an old portable air conditioner upstairs but I doubt it would do much good. And, since all the bedrooms are upstairs, sleeping in the heat would be unbearable for my family since we’re used to air. To jury rig the place, cheap plastic fans are placed around the house. The owners obviously don’t want to put out for central air. I would NOT recommend renting this place in any kind of warm weather. Our 90-year old mother came with us and she’s in a wheelchair. Because the bedrooms are all upstairs, she had to sleep on a sofa downstairs.
I would NOT recommend renting this by anyone who has difficulty climbing or who cannot climb stairs. The bathtub/showers are very difficult to get into and slippery as ice with no handholds installed. I doubt this is to code and I was very concerned someone would slip and fall while taking a shower. I would NOT recommend renting this place by anyone who has balance issues. The quality of the place leaves much to be desired. The showers were low-flow and I came home with a case of dandruff. Not only is there no air conditioning, the living room furniture appears to be a hodge-podge of much-used cast-offs. The front room has an old desk in it but is otherwise empty so we couldn’t make use of it.
The cable tv is the cheapest available and we were continually frustrated by a screen of “unavailable” channels. There is linen for the bathrooms, but the quantity is very stingy and the same goes for the dishes in the kitchen. I would NOT recommend renting this property unless one enjoys having to do daily laundry and dishwashing. Especially since the washer and dryer are down a very steep and narrow stairway to a dank basement with an inconveniently burned out light and a galvanized pipe for a handrail. Several lights around the house were burned out. It was hard to tell which ones however since the electrical switches were extremely confusing. We never did figure out which switches turned what on since some apparently went to nothing at all.
My wife and I chose the “master” bedroom since it had a half-bath in it. It had an old iron rail bed in it against the wall. And on the other side of the wall in the adjacent bedroom was another old iron rail bed. Both bed frames were quite loose and any movement during the night caused the bed frames to bump the wall from both sides.
I would NOT recommend renting this property for the amorous who wish a bit of privacy. There is a motion detector light on the garage out front which constantly comes on when the wind is blowing and shines into the bedroom we used, even when the blinds are closed. I ended up sleeping on the floor. I would NOT recommend renting this property for a light sleeper. Outside the house, there is an immaculate dock and landing on the lake. However, it turned out to be the neighbor’s dock and landing. The dock and landing advertised with the property was submerged and in such rotten rickety condition we were afraid to use it for fear of our safety. The rental agent’s excuse for the unusable condition of the dock and landing was that the lake was high. However, all the docks and landings surrounding the property were in pristine condition. Clearly, the property hasn’t been maintained.
I would NOT recommend this property for boaters who wish to access the lake. Included in neglect of the property was the downstairs toilet, which we noticed was leaking. So, I contacted the rental agent who sent over a handyman who said he couldn’t fix it. Next, a plumber showed up who tinkered with it. Leaving several times to “get parts”. Finally, he said he couldn’t fix it either and we’d just have to “make do”. Hardly a pleasant thing for our 90-year old mother. I would NOT recommend this property to anyone wishing modern bathroom amenities.
Inside and out, the property was in a state of disrepair and neglect. What happened next illustrates exactly how much disrepair and neglect we encountered. We had parked a car at the front door to better get our 90-year old mother into the house and came out to find that a large tree branch had come down, smashing out the back window of the car and doing damage to the car’s trunk, etc. I once again contacted the rental agent and they did say they’d pay for it. We’ll see. However, it was raining so we had to get the car boarded and taped up to drive it back to Wisconsin with mother. So, we were stuck with hurrying to Home Depot and purchasing board and tape that would survive the trip. Not what I wanted to be doing on our vacation.
As we were taping the car, it occurred to us we might back the car into the garage out of the rain while we did what repairs we could. However, the garage hadn’t been used in years and was full of trash, so we decided we’d have to make do in the rain after inspecting the inside of the garage (it was unlocked and not posted as “private”). As we exited the garage, someone happened to push the garage door opener. With spectacular results. The garage door came up a foot or so…then literally came apart and fell back into the garage. Fortunately, none of us were injured.
Again, I had to contact the rental agent which was becoming tiresome. This time, she informed me we weren’t allowed to use the garage and refused to refund our deposit. Again, we’ll see. I would NOT recommend this property if anyone values their safety, money and sanity. From what I experienced; the place is a liability deathtrap that is being rented only because it can’t be sold. VRBO apparently does not inspect their rentals and its "buyer beware".
Our rental was beautiful and we truly enjoyed our week in Georgia... that is, once we were able to get into the home. Our party of 6 adults and 4 young children were stranded in Georgia’s summer heat while we waited more than 5 hours for a homeowner overseas to respond to our messages. We needed a code to the lock box. No response. We tried to go through VRBO customer service, thinking they would have a way in... What a waste of time. The representatives were tired, rude, blatantly wrong and unwilling to actually listen. Did I check the website? Was my email correct? Of course they had no code.
They had no way of getting us into the home we had paid thousands of dollars to rent, which had been paid in full at the time of booking, months before our actual vacation. They actually hung up on me several times or transferred me to endless holds. They offered my party of 10 rooms at the “closest” hotel — except the closest hotel was the Ritz Carlton and they knew that but instead tried to trick us into taking rooms somewhere farther away, but of course cheaper. I spoke with Lucy, a belligerent customer service representative who showed no understanding and no empathy.
The only person who eventually made it right was the homeowner, who responded to my family once he finally received the messages and reimbursed our first night’s rent. VRBO is a joke of a middle man company, whose inability to help us was only outshone by the rudeness and ignorance of its customer service representatives. Never again.
We vacation in the outer banks every year and decided to try a VRBO this time. What a mistake!! The house had several annoying maintenance issues like the door knob falling off, broken bed frame, broken storm door and inoperable gas fireplace. The more concerning issue was the gas oven that would only function in broiler mode and occasionally shot surges of fire. This was not only a huge inconvenience but posed a safety issue as well.
We contacted the management company Surf or Sound Realty numerous times for the fireplace and oven but received their daily mantra “someone will be out today or tomorrow”. Finally an appliance repairman came the sixth day of our seven day vacation and told us the oven would not be fixed, then promptly left. No one ever came for the fireplace.
When we expressed our anger about not having a working oven for our entire stay the service manager, Chris said she could pick up our dinner that night, take it to her house, bake it and bring it back to us. I was a bit shocked at this ludicrous solution. We paid a lot of money for this vacation property with the expectation that it had working appliances.
All of the maintenance issues were present when we arrived and should have been addressed after the previous renters and prior to our entry. If a necessary appliance is not working and could not be repaired in a reasonable time, we should have received an apology and some sort of compensation for the inconvenience. Instead, they did not seem to care at all.
With a beach rental property it is important to have a good management company handling things. This is vital from the owner’s and renter’s perspectives. As a renter, I would never waste my money on a property managed by Surf or Sound Realty again. If I owned this property, I would be looking for another management company immediately.
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We rented property ** for a girls week in La Cruz Mexico. I was a long standing fan of VRBO, but this property was a huge disappointment. No working AC, pool didn’t work. The property owner refused to work with us so we called VRBO and we were told it was between us and property owner. No help at all but we were also not allowed to post a bad review of the property to warn others not to rent. If VRBO doesn’t want to mediate for their clients, that is their call. But not allowing a bad review for a bad stay means I can’t trust their business to be fair.
I had already read a bad review about VRBO, but thought it was an isolated case. I booked a home for Christmas and got it cancelled saying that there were no discounts for the holidays. I didn't get any discount, I booked at the full listing price. As a customer, I have no way to file a claim and get my reservation honored.
Beware, this could happen the day before your trip and there's nothing you could do about it.
Updated on 10/19/2019: Listing Property # 1800259 is now live on VRBO. It is the SAME property that I inquired about (different listing # taken down form website). DO NOT inquire as this property, I'm told by VRBO too late, is in FRANCE, not Gatlinburg TN. Somebody has to stop this scammer.
Original Review: How is it that the home I liked is a scam? Feeling it to be such, I contacted VRBO first with the listing and listing number information. I asked for authenticity and could they verify the home. They recommended I contact the owner. HUH? This is why I'm calling you. Turns out that it was in France not Knoxville TN area. By the time I went back to review the property online again, it was removed from VRBO. I called again to show my displeasure and was told not much they could do. I saved my emails to the listing jerk and had the property.
VRBO needs to do a better job vetting the properties being listed and have an ACTUAL protocol when someone like me calls ahead to determine if it's legitimate. I had the dang listing number and first agent on the phone could probably have found out quickly that it was out of the country and not Knoxville. This was to be a Christmas rental so imagine the outcome if we had paid. Do a better job.
I recently had a bad experience with a property manager and reached out to VRBO for support. They have been no help at all. The manager was able to make up false accusations with no evidence while I had pictures and facts to back my story. It has been 3 months of frustration and delays on VRBO's part. I will never rent from this company again. Basically, when you rent from their website, you are on your own if you have a problem. Their customer service is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
With the taxes, resort fees, host cleaning fees, etc., it's not uncommon for the price per night for a stay to triple before you've ever even made it to the cart to pay.
This is massively misleading. Don't give a per night price and then inflate that cost. It's poor customer service.
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