Consumer Complaints and Reviews
NEVER again -- after more than 10 years of rentals thru VRBO, and now HA, I will never use their "service" again. I tried to receive my damage deposit refund from Italian owner via credit card instead of a bank transfer and neither the owner or I received any help or assistance. Made 3 calls, filed 2 property complaints, asked to speak with supervisor, wrote numerous e-mails... all to no avail. This company assumes no responsibility for customer service, merely using non-English speaking customer service reps who have no authority; no follow up if requesting to speak with supervisor; no help, NO MORE.
I have been advertising with first HomeAway then cancelled and switched to vacation rentals only for them to join VRBO which is also horrible. I had to call them to add Loon Mountain area to Lincoln, NH. I have been renting for 10 years and have one bad review which comes up first when searching. They will not move it to bottom or delete it and the follow-up review from the next renter which is awesome but because it does not have stars doesn't come up at all. Over the weekend I needed a password reset... No email response or phone number to call over the weekend. I started using Airbnb and so much better.
Condo was ready on time and clerk was very friendly and knowledgeable. Condo equipped with broken plastic dishes but did have glass dishes. Patio furniture was ripped in two chairs to where we could not use them. Carpet needs replacing, fraying at adjoining seams to tile. Shower head in master bedroom very little pressure, shower head not complex. Also shower curtain hung so far in on rod that it kept clinging to your skin when you turned around. Dishwasher, washer and dryer worked okay.
I have stayed with my friend Elizabeth ** about three four other times in Crystal Shores and have never had a condo like this one. I did not stay with her the last time. She stayed in 402 and she did not mention these items and when I booked it. I was told by the booking clerk that it was a great condo. Probably will rent through an owner next time.
After growing frustrated with VRBO I attempted to book a vacation rental on this site, only to have it rejected. The reason given was that I was trying to book with less than 48 hours prior to check-in. However, I was booking a place for 7 weeks from now! The phone numbers I was given to call all go to voicemail.
When I first joined Vacationhomerentals.com I received only a handful of inquiries. So I didn't think much of it when my inquires slowed down. After getting an email after 3 months of no inquiries, I was elated. So I logged into my account to find not one inquiry but 32 over the last 5 months. This company is supposed to email me when I receive any inquiries. I had to take the painstaking task of writing each of these people to explain why I didn't communicate with them sooner. I wrote the company and they simply told me to check my spam folder. I did do this before I wrote them. And besides, why was I notified at the beginning of some individuals interest in my place and not the others if they were going in my spam folder. I will not do business with this company again. I paid them a lot of money and have not gotten 1 booking.
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We believed we were renting a sanitary, air-conditioned condo when we spent roughly $2,000 for 13 days. $165 a day plus additional fees and taxes. We were only going to be on the big island for 10 days and Vacation Rentals wouldn't rent this condo out for less than 13 days so we paid for 3 extra days that we would (thankfully) never enjoy. What we got was not what we expected. The living room, kitchen, hallway and bathroom are all as hot inside as it is outside. What passes for "air-conditioning" is essentially a small, portable swamp cooler, a discontinued model.
Now, I have lived in 2,000 square foot homes that were adequately cooled by a window-mounted swamp cooler in the hot summer months of Colorado. But this thing won't even cool down the bedroom. It's on a timer too and won't run longer than 4 hours, which means my husband and I had to take turns during the night turning the "air-conditioner" back on. Also, because this swamp cooler is a dehumidifier, it fills up full of water long before the timer runs out; when it fills up, the unit shuts off until someone drains the water into a tray positioned on the floor. Alternately, a person can open the valve on the end of the drain hose and allow the tray on the floor to automatically fill up. But four hours later, when the timer shuts off, that tray will have overflowed, resulting in water on the floor.
The heat from this unit's exhaust exits the unit and goes out the bedroom window via a drier hose. The owner/manager did not run the hose outside through the wall: it's out the window! A six inch hole saw was used to drill through the window blinds, since it is obviously cheaper to replace a window blind than plug a six-inch hole in the wall once the owner/manager figures out a real solution to the heat and need for air-conditioning. Meanwhile, an unsightly drier hose runs out the bedroom window.
We wanted a condo ONLY to save money on food by buying our meals from a local Costco and cooking ourselves. If we had no intention of cooking, we would have paid far less money and got a hotel. The condo does have a stove, a microwave, some pots and pans, and a dishwasher. However, everything in the kitchen has been trampled on by cockroaches! Cockroaches are all over condo unit 4104 of the Sea Village condos in Kailua-Kona, rented out to us by Vacation Rentals. In the cupboards, where cups, plates, pots and pans are stored, on the floors, on the walls, and cockroaches are even in the dishwasher! Cockroaches seem to be most at home in the bathroom, which is pervaded by a dank, moldy smell.
The owner/manager states in the rental agreement that we are free to take full advantage of amenities like spices... so long as they are replaced. But there are no spices other than a salt and pepper shaker. There are no condiments in the fridge either. This means we have to buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars of groceries in order to utilize this cockroach-infested kitchen. Again, had we known that, we would have gone to a hotel, and simply dined out at local restaurants for every meal. For the same cost, except dining out would be far more sanitary and of course we would have enjoyed not having to cook or clean.
Speaking of the dank, moldy smell in unit 4104 of the Sea Village condo in Kona, Hawaii, it is PROFOUND when the front door and back patio door is closed. The owner/manager states that electricity is sooooo expensive and thus we are told not to run the "air-conditioner" when we are not in the condo. Yet, the owner/manager also says to leave the ceiling fan in the bedroom and the ceiling fan in the living room on even when we aren't inside... and to leave the back patio door open too. So electricity isn't the issue. The issue is keeping air flow through the condo so we won't notice the dank stench of mold!
An individual near this condo unit informed us that a year or two ago a water or sewage pipe broke in the Sea Village condominiums, and mold grew behind the walls. Several units had to undergo mold remediation. Apparently unit 4104 did not get remediated, or the remediation was as inadequate as the air-conditioning. The odor is nauseating. That aside, the condo IS on the oceanside, as advertised. It is also nicely furnished and decorated with tile-work and art consistent with Hawaiian culture. I say that out of fairness. Even though we paid for an extra 3 days that we will not stay in this condo unit, we nevertheless even paid to stay at a hotel on the Hilo side of the island for $106 a night. We slept better in the hotel than we did the entire time in this condo. The hotel room really WAS air-conditioned! Unlike this condo unit.
We are very, very dissatisfied with unit number 4104 of the Sea Village condos in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We saved our money for a long time to visit this beautiful island. Our housing accommodations were worse than a total waste of money. We will NEVER... EVER... stay here again, not in a million years! There is absolutely no way that the owner/manager could be unaware of the mold, the cockroaches, and the sauna-like heat in unit 4104. Like other unsatisfied customers of vacationrentals.com, we saw no place to post a review on vacationrentals.com. So here is our review of Sea Village in Kona, Hawaii, as rented to us by vacationrentals.com.
At least we did not go through with the rental. We called about a property that was listed as being in Prescott Valley, Arizona. We gave a debit card to be run as credit to authorize a rental of 17 days. Instead of authorizing a small amount, they took the entire amount, well $1450.00 out of our bank account. When they sent the contract by email that same afternoon for us to sign, my husband printed it out and thankfully, looked over the paperwork carefully. It turns out this property is actually in Dewey, Arizona, about 15 miles from where we want to be. Very misleading. I can report that we did receive a credit for the $1450.00 in a timely manner.
Trusting that we would receive a clean air conditioning. Not so. They lied about the time this was going to be fixed. Then found out through credit card that they had charged my credit card the full amount of 2,732.00, but never addressed our distress. Left immediately and was harassed by agent. Still disputing charged.
We rented a house at 15311 SE River Forest Rd, Portland Or for 12 days over the 4th of July Holiday. The house has 20 foot glass floor to ceiling window with no shades. It was in the mid to high 90's all week and the air conditioning in the house does not work. The owner knew it didn't and offered to give us a small discount. But at the end of our stay he decided to keep our deposit for no reason. We paid for an accidental damage policy to offset any damage that he claimed we caused (which we did not) but the owner refused to go through the policy to collect on this bogus damage claims and just kept our deposit.
We took great care to be sure we left the house in better condition than we found it. The owner is rude and if you do decide to rent this house be sure to take pictures before you rent and ask for a walk thru before and after as the owner will keep your deposit and it will became a fight between you the owner and an unknown house keeper... Stay away for this hassle!!
I rented this house through VRBO -- http://www.vrbo.com/599469 -- Waleska, GA, Lake Arrowhead. This is the review will not show up on VRBO, vacationrentals.com or other sites where this property is listed because they protect the owners and not the traveller. So be careful when renting a property from one of these sites and do not believe all the reviews you read -- property # **. Aug. 6, 2014 - Aug. 11, 2014. BEWARE OF THIS rental property. Although the owners are extremely nice I wanted to warn others that this property has hidden cameras on the deck that are installed on the railing of the deck and post. They have cameras pointed at the hot tub and a camera pointed directly at the back of the house where you would go to sit on one of the lounge chairs. I think they should disclose where these cameras are hidden and allow the person renting the property to cover up the cameras.
I have felt guilty for writing this review because as everyone has said, the owner is such a "nice person" but I feel others should be warned. I would have appreciated someone warning me because I wasted $1725 and they would not offer a refund. I could list several other things that were wrong with this rental but I think just the top 2 items were the hidden cameras and no cell coverage -- no privacy. I won't go into the other complaints with this rental experience. The hidden cameras and some other odd things that happened (neighbors unexpectedly showing up as soon as I discovered the cameras) -- I felt this was a complete invasion of privacy. Please just be aware when you're renting this property or any other private rental property to ask if they have cameras hidden anywhere.
As soon as we discovered the cameras we felt extremely uncomfortable and left. My mother also died the 2nd day we were renting this property and I had no cell phone service (using both Verizon and T-Mobile). Thank God we left because since we didn't have signals on our phone we would never have received the call that my mother only had hours to live. Again, the owner would not give a refund and only offered to let us stay there for free on another date but of course I declined.
A friend just brought to my attention that my home is currently listed for rent on this site. I verified that it is, and have contacted them to have it removed. I have never rented my home, nor have I heard of this company before. Be careful.
I have been an advertiser / property owner with Vacationrentals.com for several years. At some point within the past year or so they were bought out or merged with HomeAway. Since then there have been changes made in their handling of accounts and in how owners can login to their accounts. I recently tried to login to update my calendar, only to discover they have added a new layer of “security”. Instead of 2-factor identity verification, they have instituted 3-factor. This would not be a bad thing at all if it was a reasonable method. In order to login, I must enter my user id and password… which is considered industry standard.
After that – every time I login, they will text me or telephone me with a verification code, which I would have to wait for and then enter. I don’t text – it a feature have had deactivated on my cell phone. And I am only home after 9 and on some weekends… and other members of my family are in bed at that hour, so I don’t want my telephone ringing to wake them up. That limits me to available hours on the weekends. I find that to be exceptionally inconvenient and annoying! We are not protecting a rocket fuel formula! Since I haven't been able to update my calendar, potential renters cannot see what is available and what isn't, so I am in effect not getting what I am paying for from this site.
More annoying than that, I’ve discovered that they strip email information from all communications. This forces me and my rental clients to communicate via email only through their website dashboard, where all communication can be monitored. We could communicate by telephone, but given my work schedule, that isn't feasible. While I don’t anticipate communicating anything embarrassing, illegal, or immoral via email, I find this to be extremely invasive of my rights and privacy.
Their explanation for this change involves a lecture in security wisdom. I have worked in the computer security field for over 30 years, which I communicated to them in my original email of complaint. I don’t need a lecture in what they call 2-factor security, which is really 3-factor. I get it. I teach it. But of all the possible choices for the 3rd layer, they have chosen the silliest and most annoying one. The explanation for forcing clients and owners to communicate only through the website dashboard involves protecting us from ourselves.
Apparently they think having our email addresses sent to one another will cause phishing attacks, which we may be stupid enough to fall for. So they are actually protecting us from each other. Really??? Like my email address isn't available all over the internet already? I will NOT be renewing my account with them. There are too many other vacation ad groups to advertise with that do NOT do silly and annoying stuff like this.
After renting through the website, I began talking directly to the owner. After sending him a $1500 deposit through PayPal, I started get suspicious. I did my own research and found out through county tax records that he did not own the property. After months of trying, I can not get ANY response from VacationRentals. I submitted their online complaint form and have emailed them since. They do not answer their phone. They refer you to the website. They have a serious security issue and are ignoring their responsibility to insure renters are not subjected to loss. This cost me money and lots of time, and ruined my vacation.
I had been a subscriber with vacationrentals.com for 7 years since 2007. In March 2014, I renewed my subscription as usual and all of the parameters were fine on my ad. In April of 2014, Vacationsrentals.com made some changes to its website and caused my property to be inadvertently moved the geographical location of my property on the site from a tourist area to a slum area. I thus received no inquiries from this website for about six months until I caught the error. Once I notified the company, they were willing to offer me an extension of two months which I of course refused. The company makes it clear that THEY DO NOT PROVIDE COMPENSATION TO SUBSCRIBERS WHEN THE COMPANY MAKES ERRORS on the subscriber's listing. Of course I cancelled the listing.
We stayed at a property managed by firstname.lastname@example.org listed on vacationrentals.com. Property is in Davenport, Florida. The property was located in a development where the entryway facade was crumbling (literally, there were pieces of it in the entry drive when we left). Most homes were covered with mildew or mold, this home had fire hazards, a pest problem, window and door locks that did not work properly. Front door lock looked like it has been forced open and then replaced. Company and property owner were unresponsive.
I had a listing on this website for one year. I did get inquiries. I decided not to renew list after the 1 year term expired. Immediately after the expiry date I got a lot of emails asking me to renew. Also I started getting almost daily rental inquiries which you can only view after renewal. Really? It seems hugely unlikely to me that in the one month period since my listing expired I have received almost twice as many inquiries (which I cannot view) as I did during the whole term of my listing. I do not know what is going on but my review is posted because it seems suspicious to me. I will not renew.
I have been with VacationRentals.com for several years with great luck. Recently, they have either merged or were bought out by Home Away. Since this time, the product and service has deteriorated. I use them to advertise my vacation property in Florida. This year we experienced a 25% price increase for the same product, and functionality that we used to have as property owners, we no longer have. In the most recent incident, I looked at my site online, and my "availability calendar" would not show up. Users get a message that my calendar had not been updated in 2 months and should look at other properties. I wish there was another site I could use to advertise.
I rented a home and paid the entire amount via Western Union because the owner requested it that way. I sent the money because the website offered insurance. When I sent the money the property listing mysteriously had expired and I couldn't purchase the insurance. I have tried to contact vacationhomerentals.com with my concerns and no one will answer my calls or return my emails. Tripadvisor seemed to be in partners with them and they gave me the contact information but are unwilling to help me either. Looks like I lost my money and now have no vacation home for my family either. I drained my savings to pay for the rental. Don't use this site whatever you do. I wish I had researched.
I am posting this because I cannot actually write a review of this rental since we canceled our reservation prior to our rental date. And this is why:
In June, I found Listing #7726 on VacationRentals.com. "Waterfront Home in the Heart of Downtown in Delray Beach". There is a lovely photo looking out onto Marine Way in the old marina section of town and past that is the Intracoastal. Wording in the ad states, "There is a fenced-in yard and a screened-in front porch which overlooks the City Marina. Sit with your coffee or at Happy Hour and watch the yachts and sailboats slowly go by." This sounded great, and after a few emails back and forth with the owner, we placed our deposit.
Now, stupid me, I should have checked the street address on the lease when I got it back in June, but I guess up here in Maine and having rented "waterfront" homes before, I'm used to people being truthful. This is not the case. Listing #7726 is actually 1 block back on a well-traveled street corner (approx. 275') from the Intracoastal with a partially obstructed view (obstructed by homes, trees, telephone poles, etc.). It is not a "waterfront" home, nor is it even overlooking the Intracoastal. When I asked the owner about this in an email and her wording of "watch the yachts and sailboats", her response what that "You can see them from the porch". Well, yes, I suppose you can. The same as I can see Mt. Washington in New Hampshire standing on the roof of my house on a really clear day with the help of a telescope. Had we not been specifically looking for a waterfront rental, this would not be a big deal, but this is the ONLY reason we rented this home over others. Otherwise, it's nothing really special to look at from the outside (do a google maps street view of the area). You might classify it as "waterfront district" or "distant water view".
In fact, we also had a local realtor friend go and look the house after we realized we'd been scammed, and she took a video of the home and the street and confirmed that, no, this is definitely NOT a waterfront home. We advised the landlord of this and she refused to refund our $750 deposit (okay, fine), but in 2 separate emails did not address the topic of misrepresentation or deceptive advertising using "waterfront" wording. I also noted that even though this rental has been on the site since 2004, there are no reviews whatsoever. Funny. I also noted that you can only review a place if you stayed there and even then the owner has to verify that you stayed there. So... if there is a negative review all an owner needs to do is deny that you stayed there, I am guessing. Hence, no reviews on this property over a 10-year period. Hmm. Anyway, at least we figured it out before we spent the rest of our money and then got down there to a house that is looking at other houses and no water.
We booked an apartment via vacationrentals.com. We had frequent contact with the owner and received a rental agreement, and made the payments for our stay. However, after the last payment, the owner vanished and we have not been able to get in touch neither on phone nor email. We did pay $2600 for the apartment which we expect was lost.
We rented a cabin thru Vacationhomerentals.com from Shirley M. who claimed to own the property. When we arrived there was no cabin at the address given. When we finally got a hold of her by phone and told her that the key code she had given us worked in another cabin that we found by matching the picture on the internet site, she said that she had made a mistake and that we were at the correct cabin now, though the cabin was dirty and not made up. The day we checked in two other families also showed up saying they had booked the cabin for the same dates that we had--also through Shirley M. and also paid in full.
Shirley never answered any of our phone calls after that and police reports were filed reporting it as a possible scam. We have never been able to reach Shirley M. as she does not answer her phone and she has not returned our money. The cabin is now being listed on other rental sites still by Shirley M. We were not able to get our money back for the deposit of about $375.00. We also ended up having to stay at several hotels costing us an additional $600.00.
On 12/17/2009, I visited the website vacationhomerentals.com. I sent a request for listing 45432 for more information on renting. On 12/17/2009 at 5:10PM, I received an email from Shirley ** saying that the cabin was available for the dates that we needed (12/26/2009-12/31/2009). I contacted Shirley by phone. She asked for a deposit of $300 to be sent through PayPal to Lynda ** and requested a credit card number to be held for security. She gave me a reservation number to include with the PayPal transaction.
I sent the Paypal payment of $300 on 12/18/2009. She requested we pay our balance by 12/21/2009 as a wire transfer to a bank. I said I was uncomfortable wiring money but she insisted that it cost them money to do Paypal, so they preferred that did a wire transfer. I sent the wire transfer of $309.98. On 12/23/2009, I emailed Shirley to confirm she had received our payment. On 12/24/2009, I received an email from her stating that she received our balance and we would receive our packet later that day. I never received anything. I called Shirley and left a voicemail several times saying that we weren't sure where we were going so we needed the address. We were scheduled to leave at 11AM on 12/26/2009. At 10:30AM, I finally received a call from Shirley giving us the address and key code.
We arrived at the cabin at approximately 7:30PM on 12/26/2009. There were cars in the driveway so my husband went up and looked inside. There was another family there. We went to leave and they came out and asked if we had rented the cabin for the night. We said we had. The family said that they had also booked the cabin for that week. They said that we were the second family to come by and say we had booked the cabin. All of us had paid in full, either wiring money or PayPal.
We called the Sevier County Sheriff's Department and filed a report. Upon leaving the cabin, I called Shirley ** and left a voicemail. I also emailed her stating the situation. I received an email on 12/27/2009 stating that there was a mix-up and we would receive a refund in 7-10 business days. This is the last contact I have had with Shirley. I have called and emailed several times with no response. I filed complaints with vacationhomerentals.com, my bank and Paypal. None have been able to refund my money. The cabin is no longer listed at vacationhomerentals.com. It is now listed with Shirley **.
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