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As both a VRBO guest and Vrbo home owner, the number of 1-Star reviews totally shocked me, but I can understand the frustration of what people have summarized in their reviews: You make a reservation at a home with the expectation for a wonderful time only to find that the place is not as represented or is a dump or isn't available upon arrival at all. Then on top of this major disappointment, we have a hassle retrieving your deposit or even worse, your entire payment ... and Vrbo generally says that there isn't much of anything that it can do to help you resolve the mess because it's just the intermediary in matching up the home owner and the guest.
But thank heavens, it's not always this way. We, as an Owner, make a major effort in ensure that our guests receive a 5-star experience at our beach home in Santa Cruz, CA -- lots of amenities, an on-site concierge, a 5-person cleaning crew between every guest, and a deposit refund policy that has returned 100% of the payment of every guest that has had to cancel to date.
On the flip side, as a Vrbo Guest, every experience has been a delight. We never have had a complaint. At the core of our own and our guests' Vrbo experiences, are the guest reviews. If a property has a string of 5-star reviews a mile long, it's going to be a super experience -- and if it isn't, the Owner is going to make it right. On the other hand, in instances where the experience has been a revoltingly bad as those mentioned in many of the CF reviews, there's going be a pattern of 1-star guest indictments of the place. And, to the best of my knowledge, there's no way that an Owner can tinker with the reviews to bury the truth. So what I look for are great reviews -- and lots of them -- before I book anything.
I found my place of stay using VRBO and it actually exceeded my expectations. The cleanliness of the condo was excellent. Everything from the furniture to appliances were modern and didn't look old. The bedrooms were large and the wrap around patio was awesome. The patio extended around the entire condo and the view was amazing. The bathroom I felt was small and the shower was outdated especially when compared to everything that was inside the condo. That was the one and only thing I didn't like. But the location was perfect as it was close enough to all the stores and yet isolated enough from all the hustle and bustle of all the traffic and vacationers. The pool and beach were steps away from condo as you exited the elevator. The price was a little for the condo was a little high but after experiencing the peacefulness, cleanliness, and convenience it was worth it. I would stay at the condo and recommend it to others as well.
Vacation Rentals By Owner or VRBO was a breath of fresh air. There was a spa/hot tub pool and pool table. Owners went out and bought a new game console so I would have something to play on the 3br 2bath home. Had a refrigerator fully stocked w/ condiments, a gas grill on back patio, restaurant menus w/ grocery store discount cards, 50 something inch screen, Cable, WiFi all across the street from Disney Land and @ $1,200 for 7days a definite change in price. D.L. was $485 per night one room, fridge didn't work, had to pay $25 per day Valet parking, doorman tips. VRBO 5???? ****D.L. 1????
We enjoyed our stay in the condo very much! It was clean, and stocked with things you would not have imagined -- like toys for playing in the sand and chairs -- little touches that just made our stay that much more pleasant. We had some minor issues along the way, but the property manager was available to us, and quite helpful every step of the way. We also had a beautiful view of the beach. Would definitely rent this condo again!
728 Dotters Corner Rd., Kunkletown, PA... was a “Cozy” and “FUN” home for our family to share! This “SPACIOUS and STYLISH” home... provided the 8 of us with an AWESOME “Winter Weekend” experience! The “Game Room” exceeded our expectations as we relaxed and enjoyed the 3 pinball machines... pool and foosball tables... multi-genre jukebox... and simulated golf driving range! We were impressed with the “Barn doors” and decorative accents... Joe ** infused throughout the home! Well done Joe! Thank you Colleen ** for a comfortable and priceless stay in Kunkletown!
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I joined VRBO as a beach homeowner looking to rent my house over ten years ago. My listing number, which was assigned to you in numerical order of when you joined, is 47,***, which is a relatively low number. VRBO then cost me $156.00 per year, and I was able to work directly with renters, and they had all of my contact information and could contact me directly as well. I don't know how many time VRBO has been bought and sold since then, when it was just a simple mom-and-pop website started by a couple (in Texas, I think).
Now this thing is an unrecognizable monster. For my house, which is still the same, my bill is over $700.00 per year; VRBO blocks any phone number or email information from prospective renters, blocks all of my contact info as well, and has the most ridiculous, whack-a-doodle algorithm you could ever imagine that concocts the most inaccurate, fee-laden quotes you could ever imagine. They require payment through their portal, which is cumbersome and expensive FOR BOTH SIDES of the deal. I hate them. I hate what they've become.
They are simply setting themselves up to be cut-off at the knees. It would take nothing for someone to start a new VRBO-type website that mimics what they were a decade ago. The original website was so simple, it never broke. And everybody was happy. Now, it is completely unwieldy, complicated, aloof, and unreasonable. Come to think of it, maybe I will be the one to start an inexpensive, simple rental website. Watch for me.... it's coming.
We were looking for a very nice house in Maui where we wanted to celebrate a milestone. We picked one on VRBO available for our dates. We entered our credit car info and got an error message saying "sorry your dates are no longer available". It was not possible to change our dates so we tried to find another house. The process was this time successful and the place was confirmed. The down payment was immediately debited from our credit card. But at our greatest surprise the following day, we received the booking conformation of the first house as well as the debit of the another down payment. Since 5 days we are trying to resolve this double booking problem with the resolution team of VRBO. They only deny any wrong doings on their behalf and are unable to resolve our problem. We are very disappointed by VRBO. We don't recommend to use VRBO.
I will NEVER book through VRBO/Homeaway again. We were booking a home for a very busy weekend in NOLA. We entered our credit card info on our first choice property and got an error message saying “sorry, your dates are no longer available.” We quickly found another property for those dates and repeated the process - same error message followed by “try these alternative properties.” In a desperate attempt to get a place rented we attempted this one more time. FINALLY we got a place confirmed.
3 hours later I receive a phone call from a LA number. The property management company asking if I really needed two of the same condos for the same dates. No, I didn’t. After searching through my spam folders I realize - ALL the bookings that “weren’t available for our dates,“ were indeed available and to our surprise went through and charged our card!!! So $5,000 later with ZERO confirmation emails from VRBO - I call the support line.
All they do is read from a helpless script of worthless apologies and deny any wrong doings on their behalf. I finally got a case number opened - sent all documents and proof - crickets.... Email again 24 hours later looking for help/confirmation it was received - crickets.... Finally call 72 hours later and SURPRISE! Their system is down and they can’t pull up my case number. This entire experience has been a disaster and there is a lot of money on the line. They are acting very sketchy and unprofessional. We will never use this platform for our business travel again.
I made a reservation for New Zealand through VRBO. After about 30 days VRBO cancelled the reservation apparently due to sickness of the owner. 3 weeks later I am still waiting for a full refund. Hours spent on the phone and lots of promised but I'm still NZ$300 short. I received zero help from VRBO in rebooking accommodation and so far I have spent over 3 hours on the phone, mostly on hold. In addition everyone, except VRBO it seems, understands that changing money to and from foreign currency costs money, in this case I will be about Cnd$300 out of pocket. If I had cancelled I would have been upset at being treated so shabbily but it was them that cancelled so I am furious. I suggest anyone take a real hard look at VRBO before entrusting them with a whole bunch of your money, if things go wrong their "Book with Confidence" slogan is just that, a slogan.
These people have no earthly idea of what they are doing. They confirmed my reservation via email. I then learned that in fact the reservation was not confirmed and it needed to be confirmed with the listing agent. They charged a service fee of $190 without a confirmed reservation, and were unable to provide a receipt for the charges. They suggested I review my credit statement for verification. Awful, incompetent group!!!
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