You deal with the home owner and homeaway you just pay to put the vacation home on. (in 104 reviews)
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I am very disappointed with this company!
We rented this flat via the HomeAway site. It was a total fraud and HomeAway has not been at all helpful and they still allow the owner to advertise on this site.
The photographs that were sent me were a compilation of photos of a variety of apt and villas rented by this agent.
The apartment was not clean and light bulbs were out in the master shower room.
The door to the shower room was broken.
The stove/hob was broken.
The kitchen was not as advertised, fully equipped. It did not have a cooker or a kettle or a coffee maker. The BBQ was dangerous and broken.
There were no sea views as advertised and the private beach access did not exist.
Most importantly, the master bedroom external door was broken and would not lock.
The handy men who arrived to look at the glass door did not have tools nor the parts required to make the door secure. Neither man was interested in looking at the hob as they were not electricians. Nothing further could be done until Monday. We arrived on a Friday and our flight home was on Weds.
I told Clara, one of Julio’s employees, that we would be leaving and moving into a hotel as we could not stay in a flat that was not secure. She indicated that she understood.
In terms of unauthorised payments on my card there were three. Two for 235 Euros and a further for 200 euros but I would like a full refund as the property was not as advertised at all.
I have forwarded HomeAway the emails where Mr Terry and Julio have agreed to transfer funds into my account, and request my details but as of today no monies have arrived.
I have used homeaway, vrbo and holidayrentals for about 10 years now. We travel for four to six months a year and use these sites for most of our accomodations, translating to our having booked and stayed in upwards of 30 different properties over the years in the US, Canada and Europe.
My best advice is to CAREFULLY read the reviews. If they are positive and plentiful and reflect a place that sounds good for you, go for it. If you get any funny feelings about the rental from the description or review, simply move on. There are usually so many rentals you have no need to "settle." In every case where we've had a less than positive experience (though no absolute horror stories) we've realized we should have reviewed the listing more critically. Either there were too few reviews or the reviews were old and we could have "read between the lines" a bit more carefully.
If the place looks good and there are no recent reviews, or none at all, it's often possible to negotiate better terms (a lower cost is the most common) using lack of reviews as a bargaining chip. If they give you the low price and the place is good, write the positive review.
All that being said, I have noticed a tendency for people to rate a property down after having a situation the owner could have resolved if they'd been notified. The renter will say something like "this problem was annoying, but not bad enough to notify the owner," yet they rate the property lower--be brave and let the owner know when he/she has a chance to fix it! Also, if a property is highly rated with a small percentage of lower ratings, the lower ratings will often mention that there was bad weather during their stay. Although I'm sure that bad weather affects one's impressions of a property (or a location), and also sure it's simply unfair to use that as a factor in your rating.
Just had to reflect my more positive experiences. Using these sites has allowed us to stay in places and homes I would never have dreamed I could experience and I recommend them all of the time. I'm putting together some information for a "newbie" right now, which is how I ran across this site and felt compelled to offer this conflicting opinion.
I have been with using Home Away & VRBO for over 7 years. I have 3 properties listed with each, i.e. 6 listing at the highest levels offered. Last year I paid them over $7,000, but I won't b renewing my subscriptions because I am getting no bookings. That's because my listing priority is so low. For example, on Home Away using all applicable filters, my 2 BR cabins are # 54 & 55 out of 150. Without filters, & on VRBO it's even lower. The problem is that they keep changing priority criteria so they can get more $ & some recent priority requirements are things I don't control. When I 1st started years ago, the only priority was length of time someone has been with them. Then they added priority based on the # of listings we had. Then they added subscription levels & then more subscription levels. Then it was whether or not we paid more $ for a "featured listing." Even though the cost kept increasing, I could understand that, i.e. priority based on longevity, # of listings, & amount paid. However, they then added priority based on reviews. I have no control over whether or not someone writes a review, what they consider a "good" review, or when someone is using a review as coercion. I've had guests write a good review, but give a 3 star rating. I asked them about it & they said they thought 3 stars was a "good" rating. I've also had people stay in a cabin for a week or so with no complaints, but a month later contact me & complain, making it clear that they were going to write a bad review unless I did something to compensate for their "bad experience," i.e. unless I gave them a refund, they would write a bad review. Last year, Home Away said priority was based on whether or not we OFFERED on line booking, so I added on line booking. The problem is that if a guest uses on line booking, funds go directly into my account, but I don't know who the funds are from nor which cabin it's for (as I said, I have 3 cabins listed on Home Away & VRBO). Therefore, I don't use on line booking. This year, Home Away has changed again & has made priority based on whether on not we USE on line booking. As I said, last year I paid Home Away/VRBO over $7,000, but I'm not getting any bookings. All my bookings are coming from Vacation Home Rentals (not Vacation Rentals) or Flip Key & paying less than 1/2 what I paid Home Away/VRBO. Both of those are on Trip Advisor. In other words, I paid over $7,000 to Home Away/VRBO & I have gotten nothing for it, so that money was just wasted.
The ad lists 10 day minimum and also lists a weekly rental rate ($1500). When I contacted the owner he said the minimum stay is one month year round. Since the website only accepts reviews from people who have stayed at the property I found no way to post a review there.
I entered a search on HomeAway for Ocean Beach, Fire Island for Memorial Day weekend (5/22-5/25/15). The house I chose stated "Minimum Stay ~ 2 nights", was given an Instant Quote of approximately $1800 & sent a message stating my interest. My jaw totally hit the floor when I received an email in return that stated a Rental Amount of $4250! I promptly sent a return email stating the price I was quoted & a reply email was sent stating that the house has weekly rentals & they were 'giving me Monday-Thursday free'! How is it free if I am paying for days/nights that I will not be there?! My final email which has yet to be answered states that as well as it is false advertising if the page clearly says "Minimum Stay ~ 2 nights" when it is actually weekly. I had looked at other houses that required a weekly stay or sometimes even 4 nights which, of course, I did not choose because that was not what I was looking for. I told them that I would not be renting from them.
I booked a property through VRBO / Home Away with their online payment system and paid full price of the property with damage deposit 3 months ahead. The owner did not send me a confirmation or details. The booking stated that if cancelled within 60 days, the traveler will get a 100% refund. I asked the owner to cancel, he did but did not refund me. I am now in my second week of deliberations with the owner and Home Away. My credit card charges say 'Home Away' but they state that they are not responsible for the money. The owner refuses to issue the refund (states the money is with Home Away and he has not seen a penny of it). So far, I have not been refunded the money and Home Away refuses to help. It's a huge scam. Don't use the site.
We stayed at Estero Beach and Tennis Club, Unit 901A, Ft. Myers Beach Florida for 2 weeks in March. Our condo had all the amenities. The kitchen was stocked with dishes and glass, etc. Everything was very clean. It was nicely furnished. Location to the beach, mall and grocery store was excellent. We already have plans to return next year.
Just had a ridiculous experience with these guys. Have been advertising properties on a pay per booking base but their system is definitely not as advanced as other platforms as airbnb, trip advisor or others.
I have been receiving threatening emails from Homeaway that they were going to take my adverts offline because they suspected me of taking bookings outside their system. The reason of the suspicion was that my conversion rate was below average.
When people leave an enquiry and you send a customer a quote the dates get automatically blocked so no other enquiries come in. Also the customer will start receiving annoying payment requests while he never confirmed the booking. (but Someway treats the quote as a definitive booking). the customer then gets irritated (rightfully so) and starts telling me to leave them alone (while the emails are automatically send by Homeway)
The only way to unblock the dates again is by cancelling the booking and that is when Someway thinks that you as a home owner are taking bookings outside their system. The emails I have received were written in a very annoying threatening way, this is no way to treat any customer!
My suspicion is that they are not at all interested in pay per booking adverts but do all of this to change the pay her booking ads into yearly subscriptions. I am sure they will lose lots of homeowners or professionals who advertise more than one property and do not want a ridiculously high fixed cost per year.
they will lose out soon to the much more customer friendly portals as airbnb, trip advisor, wimp etc.
Tip for consumers: stop using itAsk Reinier about HomeAway
I made a reservation through Homeaway website that led me to deal directly with the owner through e-mail. The owner informed me that she was getting a trouble to get into her account to approve my request. She told me that a homeaway would help me out and get in touch with me. Then I received an email from Homeaway customer support (firstname.lastname@example.org) which gave us the wire details of the payment. I asked for credit card option and they said wire transfer was the only option. Considering that the e-mail came from the customer support, I made the wire transfer. The day after, I got an e-mail from a different Homeaway customer support (email@example.com) telling me that the listing is a fake and that I should try to reverse payment. It was too late and the $$$$ has left my account. I tried calling their CS and found out that even the customer support e-mail was a fake. In the end, they will only refund me up to $1000 and there was nothing else they can do. How FRUSTRATING!
Tip for consumers: Never do the wire transfer option!Ask Frustrated about HomeAway
Stayed at Royal Pelican 322, Fort Myers Beach, month of Feb. Place was as described by Distinctive Beach Bentals. Had all the need amenities. Location to beach, mall, and grocery store was excellent. Contemplating returning in 2016..
Not good if you are a Homeowner. they keep trying to" fix what's not broke" as they say. Leave well enough alone and stop harassing home owners who are paying you. First "Reviews" which I am personally against as a home owner. Can I review one of my tenants who damaged my propety? now they are trying to take money on line like ebay and pay pal. Please. they are not collecting my rent. Now some hospitality AP. Please stop this. It is enough. I want to get out of this. I do rent my home but are harassed sometimes with inquiries by people who don't book and are too stupid to read the web page and ask the same questions over and over again. They should be fixing the webpage if anything. That needs work.
Awful experience with Homeawaway! Apparently the owner can change terms, price whenever they want. The condo we rented in Puerto Rico stated it slept 8. The second night we were there the condo owner then tried to charge an extra $100 per person over 6 PER NIGHT and claimed he never advertised it slept 8. Sent documentation from our original booking to Homeaway showing he did advertise it slept 8 and no extra charges ever mentioned if more than 6 stayed in condo. Homaways response was basically owner can change their listing whenever they want. Filed a formal complaint but nothing came from that. Owner kept my $1,000 deposit for payment of bogus charges. Asked about their Carefree guarantee and they said that is void once you get there, only good if something goes wrong before you get there. Also found out nothing shows on owners' site if they have had formal complaints filed against them. Renters should be made aware of that and how many complaints have been resolved! Certainly won't use or recommend Homeaway ever again!
VRBO increased the prices by 30% and decreased customer service by 30%. Longer hold times to speak to a representative, and then you get a person that cannot help you. The representatives have not been properly trained and give you the impression that they are looking for the answers on the website.
Tip for consumers: Look at individual owner reviews and not the VRBO/Homeaway company.Ask Ten about HomeAway
Complaint of VRBO by Owners
In 2010 I began renting my Beachfront condo to short term transient guest to cover my expenses with this condo. Like so many other property owners I turned to the service that I used my self, VRBO.com (Acronym for Vacation Rentals By Owner). Initially VRBO was nothing more than a classified ad site for property owners to post their properties in various categories based on location and amenities. Initially the process was pleasing and enjoyable. Skip forward 5 years and there is not a day that goes by where I do not think of a way to escape the necessary evil in my life. VRBO! VRBO enacted a policy in 2011 that required owners to allow reviews of their properties. Prior to that, as an owner you could disallow or allow this feature. As a digital consumer I recalled the process Ebay.com has in place where the review process is not so onerous. A purchaser may think twice about leaving an embellished bad review in fear that they will be given one in return for merely falsifying a review to be vengeful.
VRBO has completely stepped away from their roots. VRBO does not own my property, I do. My property is not a Hotel, its mine. I do not have to let people stay at my property, I allow them to as my guest. VRBO is spending a lot of its efforts to compete with the www.expedia.com, www.travelocity.com, www.hotels.com market. Those sites are renting hotel rooms from companies that rent hotel rooms.
Needless to say because VRBO has drifted so far away from its initial vision it allows pure onerous reviews where a guest that just chunked my TV out the window and lit my sofa on fire may post a negative review about my property in the fact that I kept their $300 security deposit "unjustly."
I request assistance to return the power to the owners of the properties (the people that pay VRBO.com's salary) or even the playing field by requiring guest to create a profile and get reviewed themselves as well. Perhaps they may think twice before hurling that TV out the window this time.
Tip for consumers: Stay away from signing up with this one. Even it's a so called "free" trust us... you'll pay!Ask Patty about HomeAway
VRBO and HomeAway (owned by same company) are a real renter beware saga. They will NOT allow negative reviews of their homes no matter how egregious the situation. I have had two miserable experiences and wanted to warn other renters but to no avail. #1 they don't want you to identify the property - this seems strange as the property name and unit are on the site where the reviews are - there is no mystery here, #2 And while they accepted a review on a place we stayed this summer (what a nightmare) they never posted it.
I reserved a condo through them only to have it rented out from underneath me with no explanation and no apology.
Tip for consumers: Use a professional travel service to book your vacation - VRBO and HomeAway are just clearing houses for rentals - they have no authority over the owners.. If you are renting a condo - go directly to the management to book. NEVER deal with the owner if you can avoid it. And finally, get vacation insurance!Ask Alison about HomeAway
I have a continuing problem with a guest reserved for April 19. She is unable to make a payment on the site and I have sent numerous payment requests with no success. I called previously about this and Brad told me I could have her make the payment on the phone with you. She called you and that rep said no she had to pay online. I talked to your rep Anthony yesterday and he said he would call me back and find out if there was a problem with her credit card. So far no call back, and no email from him.
The emails sent out to her are garbled. The text is printed in a vertical line along the left side of the email and I see no place for her to click on send payment.This has been going on now for weeks and I am unable to receive a payment from her. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? If it is her credit card, please tell me. If it is an internal problem with you please fix it.
I continue to be amazed at the continuing problems with both VRBO and HomeAway after the merger. How do you expect owners to do business? You are a monopoly now and every rep on the phone gives different answers. Promises are made and not kept and wrong information is given. A past guest tried to post a review on the site and I got a snotty response from your rep that he did it on the HomeAway site and not the VRBO site where he made the reservation. No offer from the rep to help in any way posting the review. How about some customer service???
PLEASE HELP ME WITH THE reservation for April 19. I have done all I can and nothing works and she must pay by credit card. Carol Freeland, Owner
Tip for consumers: Since VRBO and HOMEAWAY vacation rental sites have merged, you are stuck with them. Customer service is terrible, the web site does not work properly. Disaster for owners with what is now a monopoly. Difficult to collect payments and each rep on the phone has different and conflicting answers to your questions.Ask CAROL about HomeAway
This company is an absolute sham. I am a homeowner that has depended on the income that I derived from renting for a few weeks every summer. I know for a fact that they manipulate incoming requests as I have had friend send request while we were on the phone with each other ! and the request never left my dashboard.Yet on the dashboard it claimed that the request was already 2 days old ! For years I have been wondering how valid all of the crazy requests I was getting from potential renters were. Now I know. When I demanded that homeaway STOP them,they stopped alright. Now I get almost zero requests. Am I dealing with the Mafia here ? Trouble is they are the only game in town. We can now add homeaway to all of the other massive companies that swallow up everything around them and then toss their customers around like a rag doll. Stay away from this company !
Tip for consumers: DON'T !!!!Ask Keith about HomeAway
I planned on getting this one beach house #144247. After receiving the contractable agreement he requested that I send him money via western union. I told him that I was not comfortable sending it that way and asked to do it through the home away website and asked for the directions to do so. He basically called me stupid and told me to re-read the directions that he recently sent (which he did not) and again said about wiring him money. After a couple of hours trying to figure it out I was unable to do I politely emailed him saying that I was sorry but I could not figure it out and we will not be able to rent it. He then wrote be back saying that I needed to go back to school and be re-educated and ended it with callin me a $#*!ing $#*!. Not the best customer service you would expect from someone who deals with people with renting out a vacation home. After talking with others I found out some where scammed thru this site and lost a lot of money. Beware and don't rent on these types of sites. Never wire any money ever.
My experience with booking my vacation rental through this site was effortless as far as contacting the owners, booking and making payments.
HomeAway has a vast variety of properties to choose from as well as prices. You have the choice of going with a luxury villa, cabin in the woods, high-rise condo or a bungalow on the beach. There really are some beautiful properties made available through this site.
Our house was exactly as pictured the only problem I had was the bed in the master bedroom, my god the beauty of that bed and room did not match the ten days of hell I endured sleeping on that bed of perpetual torture, but I can't be blame HomeAway for that.
All in all my experience with HomeAway was good and I fully plan on using their site again in the future if I'm not up for a hotel.
I booked a country house last summer that supposedly slept 8, but only 6 were inside the building: one double bed was in a tool shack, separate from the building. None of us slept there, the owner did not return our deposit, and instead fraudulently edited the property's description after my complaints to add "semi-detached".
After submitting full (and notarized) documentation to HomeAway:
1) They saw "semi-detached" as an accurate description, even though I had provided pictures showing the tool shack 10ft away from the building, without shared walls.
2) They admitted that they could not verify whether or not the owner had edited the listing, because of "limited storage capacity", and did not consider my printed version of the webpage.
3) They canceled the insurance, refunding the subscription fee, with a letter saying that the policy "never was in effect".
my husband and I decided to get away for a month. After staying at this beautiful townhome in Melbourne beach, we wished we had booked for two months. It was perfect. The beach was literally out the back sliding glass door.
Exceptionally clean. The kitchen was well stocked with dishes, glasses etc. New granite counter tops. Beautiful ceramic floor down stairs with wall to wall brand new carpet up strairs. The bedrooms (3 of them) were elegantly furnished. Newly renovated bathrooms. The Master bedroom was right out of some dream vacation magazine. On the second floor with a balcony over looking the ocean. Listening to the waves every night.
The place was away from traffic, which we really loved, but also in walking or bike riding distance to great places to eat. It was just a great vacation place.
I learned that HomeAway bought VRBO. Unfortunately I rented from VRBO prior to reading the overwhelming negative reviews posted for them and for HomeAway. Here is a review of my rental experience which I posted on a site for VRBO.
"I had a terrible experience with my recent VRBO rental. A heating pipe right next to the bed banged and clanked throughout the day and night making sleep difficult if not impossible. The noise seemed to come from a loose heating fan hitting some metal. This certainly seemed like relevant information for a review of this rental especially since repeated complaints did not fix the problem. VRBO rejected two negative reviews as not meeting their guidelines. In the future I will not be using VRBO or any affiliate as I cannot trust their reviews."
You can trust this review of a company which I feel has extremely poor customer support.
I recently stayed in a property advertised by, "VRBO, Homeaway". It was a nightmare. The property was at 4005 Windjammer Ln, St. Augustine, Fl. I had to waist 3 days of my vacation because the washer dryer broke down twice and the manager wanted to show the property that is apparently up for sale. After the 2nd breakdown of the washer dryer I was pissed and let the manager know. After that the manager texted me 19 times called me 3 and when I turned off my phone. Then she called my brother who lives in St. Augustine. How she got his number I have no idea. When I put the poor review on VRBO and Homaway the refused to post it because, "It did not meet their requirements". I see the only reviews they post are positive so just beware. My vacation was the vacation from hell.
Tip for consumers: Just because there website gives a 5 star rating for a property its because they will not post negative reviewsAsk Richard about HomeAway
Very very careful here. Most property owners use this for a landing site- you "book it now", they take your money- but no properties are ever available and certainly not at the "book it now" price. The property owner declined my reservation, but my payment is still pending - 10 days later. Tracked down the company that actually takes the payments www.rentpayment.com and got "release codes"- called my bank and these do not apply, need a fax number and they will send paperwork. Based on my service so far I doubt anyone will respond. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME HERE.
Tip for consumers: Spider web to trap you and your paymentsAsk tim about HomeAway
I used vacationrentals.com for years with good success, UNTIL they joined the 'Home Away Family'. More like the home away horrors. Loads of one line questions that were easily answered reading the ad and requests for times the site clearly showed it taken. AND the only way to communicate with people is through the site, which reloads pictures and graphics with every exchange - making it hard with a slow connection and impossible on a phone.
I turned it off and asked for my money back and they refused. All good owners will leave this outfit. See ya on TripAdvisor and AirB&B.
Tip for consumers: Avoid avoid avoidAsk Larry about HomeAway
I am a homeowner and disgusted with Homeaway, who doesn't give a DAMN about their customers who pay for their advertising (i.e., homeowners-if we don't list on their site, there is no Homeaway).
I have been with Homeaway since it was Cyberrentals.com, which was located in a 1-room office on Main Street in Ludlow, Vermont and a service that cost $99/year in 1999 (this year, it will cost me 7 GRAND for 3 houses, really, see below). The cost of the Homeaway bundle for one home went from $343 in 2007 to $3099 ($1,299 annual fee for platinum listing + 3% of total revenue for online booking - if you don't use online booking, you don't get search rankings and thus don't get inquiries). THEY ARE RIPPING US OFF, and dictating how we list our properties and run our rental business.
If you pay for Platinum, you can still end up with a lousy listing position if you don't respond fast or don't use online booking/payments. One day your #1, the next day your #10, and who knows why. I just sent the message below to the rep who is trying to get my site renewed, and of course got no response:
<start email message to rep on 1/20/2015>
Bobby, the price of your service is going up by 30% a year for the subscription, and now that you require online bookings, you are also getting 3% of my sales. It was $99/year at one point, and it wasn't that long ago. I know of no SaaS service that costs this much given the service that is provided. I have 3 houses, so you are saying it is going to cost me 4 grand a year plus 3% of my sales to have the platinum bundle (so, $7,360/year??)? The other levels (i.e., Gold, Silver, etc.) don't work for advanced bookings, they only work for last minute (when the others are booked and you become one of the few that are still available), which then does not keep me full/occupied.
Most of these homes cost the owner money. They don't make money on them. I have been doing this for 20 years, have had many different homes, and I am very good at it, so mine is best case scenario. I think Homeaway had better stop continuing to find ways to eat up more of our rental income or it will backfire. I also think Homeaway should have better pricing for people like me who have been customers for 10 years, and think about the impact of these increases for people who have been with the service that long.
If you're going to give me the old, "I understand, but," you can save it. I want somebody to respond genuinely or I'll start my own or find a service that is more reasonable about its prices. I think we Homeaway owners need to unite, or, before ya know it, you guys will be charging 2 grand a year per house plus 10% or who knows....and many of your homeowners are at your mercy (or at least they think they are)...
<end email message to rep on 1/20/2015>
We homeowners should unite and boycott!!!
Tip for consumers: Don't use this service!Ask heather about HomeAway
This site is horrible. I tried booking a place and after charging me 300 dollars the homeowner called us and was very nice. He told us he has cancer and someone was leasing it on the day we needed it and apologized. Fine cool, I understand. I book another place 2 days later and was charged 400 dollars, but the owner didn't approve it in time and it didn't go through. Oh but the 400 dollars went through. A week later neither have been refunded. I talked to some foreign lady that's telling me I have to call my bank to be refunded the money. It's 2015 and it takes over a week to refund money? Jesus, I mean it only took them 10 seconds to charge me the 700 dollars. Their terrible, you'd be better off pitching a tent wherever you want to go on vacation.
Tip for consumers: If you want to use this site, just withdraw 500 dollars from your account and light it on fire. It's the same thing and will take up a lot less of your time.Ask James about HomeAway
We rented a listed property over the holidays (12-23-14) for 4 nights. Paid extra for the "Carefree" insurance which is advertised as "Carefree Rental Guarantee (Provided by HomeAway) - Guarantees your payment if the vacation rental is not as advertised..." We had numerous issues with the property (see list below). Complained to the property agent, and to Homeaway. They do not cover "temporary defects" of which non of our issues qualify ? ! ?
My advice is stay away from these guys and definitely do your homework before renting (from the website that begins with V ?)and especially paying for insurance that does not cover the real issues.
Issues: In the listing elevator (owner advised us not to use it.
In the listing - 4 TV's ( only 1 worked)
In the listing - outdoor grille ( rusted + corroded = no food cooked here !)
In the owner's email "everything is in great working condition:
What we found:
Horrible pet odor, hair, dog poop on upper deck (they advertised no pets allowed...???
Window in shower jammed open.
Numerous slats missing from vertical blinds in master bedroom (privacy issue)
Screen door jammed and torn screen
Smoke detector unit removed from base in master bedroom
Linens - pillows, comfortor = horrible stink
Utensils dirty - not a big deal in itself, but when you pay a $200 cleaning fee, what you get should be clean...
We have not yet posted feedback on the property website...stay tuned
Tip for consumers: Feel free to add your commentsAsk Joeseph about HomeAway
Don't bother with date or "pets" or facilities filters they don't work - 4 hrs- five booking enquiries all responses saying not available for the dates or do not take pets!!!!
Tip for consumers: Don't botherAsk Guy about HomeAway
HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com have completely changed their websites to be combined into one collective pool and they are trying to control how travelers and property owners communicate with each other. It's horrible for travelers and property owners.
They are also desperately trying to convince travelers to use their online booking payment system and telling property owners that 85% of people want to book using their online payment system. The real reason is they will charge the traveler and property owner a fee to book that way.
This new format also makes it harder for travelers and property owners to communicate in a personal way leaving unsatisfied travelers and property owners. I paid my yearly fee and within 1 month and with no notification they changed their site and basically ruined my short term rental business that I've spent 4 years building up with 5 star ratings. When I asked for a refund they refused, which confirmed to me that they are acting unscrupulously.
I tryed contacting the Better Business Bureau and none of the 3 sites can be found. If I was a traveler this would make me question their business practices.
This review is not ment as a rant since I have booked a multiple yearly lease which profits about the same for me. I do feel an obligation to warn travelers and property owners of their business practices as I own another successful company which can be easily found on the Better Business Bureau site and we have an A+ rating after being in business for over 10 years.
My advise if you use them for booking is to bypass the automated system and fees, and contact the property owners directly, or find other sites to book from that are more reputable. Thanks and good luck. -Jim
Tip for consumers: Don't use them. Horrible serviceAsk Jim about HomeAway
Don't waste your money with homeaway. As a property owner, i made the mistake of listing with them. They have absolutely no customer service. Trust me, your issues do not matter to them. The website is broken, and there is nothing you as a owner can do about it. VRBO was amazing until homeaway bought them out, now, its garbage. I am getting 10 times the bookings from other, cheaper websites that aren't owned by homeaway, and its simply because my properties are easier to find.
Tip for consumers: Do your research before making a decision.Ask bob about HomeAway
I went on homeaway.com checking out rentals for our upcoming trip to Las Vegas. I checked out several places that said that the dates we wanted were available. I sent emails to book 4 places, getting replies from each saying they were not available. What a waste of my time waiting for a reply before trying to book another place! I won't use this site ever again.
Tip for consumers: Don't wasye your timeAsk P about HomeAway
Homeaway is awful to their owners. They always side with the renter and do not protect their owners from ridiculous reviews. They will not refund your money if you want to stop listing. They are playing a stupid game to rate the owner. How about just listing the property and taking your big fee to do so? We are not kindergartners that need to be graded!
Tip for consumers: Use VacationHomeRentals by tripadvisor.Ask L about HomeAway
On February 7, 2014, a group of 7 friends secured rental property #7076193 on www.vacationrentals.com (part of the HomeAway family) for December 3-December 7, 2014 (4 nights). On December 1, 2014 at 6:42AM, the booking agent, Dave Banner, informed our group that the property owner received a cease and desist letter form the city and could not rent the property to us. He offered us other options in Ft. Lauderdale (not Miami). After selecting another rental, Dave informed us that the replacement property we selected was also "unavailable." Since our group of 7 women were traveling to Miami from California and Arizona the next day, we had limited options and ended up renting a hotel room. After returning home, I went to the website to write a negative review. I noted that the property is still available on the VacationRentals.com website at a rate of $699/night vs. the rate of #361/night that our group secured in February. I can only assume that Dave canceled our rental in order to rent the home at a much higher rate to another renter. In fact, the owner has yet to fully refund our security deposit. I tried to post a negative review on the HomeAway website, but it was blocked because I did not stay at the property. HELLO?!? I couldn't stay at the property because the owner canceled the reservation two days before I was due to arrive!!!! This is a very dishonest business practice and I do not recommend that anyone conduct business with VacationRentals.com or HomeAway!
Horrible company to deal with.... They will not allow reviews that don't meet their standards. We were DOUBLE BOOKED and Home Away would not allow us to leave a review cause we did not actually stay at the property... Of course we didn't.... It was DOUBLE BOOKED.... How can we leave a review on a property when weren't allowed to get in it.... HomeAway did absolutely nothing other than to tell us it was their policy not to allow those type reviews. I feel sorry for future rentors who are in our situation.. Basically property owners are allowed to double book their properties with absolutely no consequence for their actions.... They have a complaint process but no viewer if the website will ever get to see the complaints that are filed... They are purely in it for the money and not the protection of the rentors....
HomeAway bought the Australian site where I advertise my vacation rental, but didn't bother to tell me the listing conditions have changed. Now they've launched another Australian vacation rental site in competition! And want me to sign up for that too.
They're customer support is a joke - just an excuse for harvesting customer records, and unless you purchase extras your listing goes to the bottom of the pile.
Anyone using their site enters into an unlawful, unfair customer contract with them that's totally stacked in their favour.
Posts in their customer forum are highly critical but they don't care about providing a service, only leeching as much money from us as they can.
They shouldn't be allowed to stay in business.
As an owner, I discourage all owners to stay away from Homeaway. This year, they have deceived us about the position we would have on four separate apartments in order to get us to go to a global platinum level, costing $1400 per apartment. Within a month after signing up, they moved us down from position 13 to position 364. When we complained we were told that they were sorry that we "feel that way" but were quick to point out that their terms and conditions stated that they could change the terms at any time. Essentially, they just scam recent advertisers by keeping on selling positions ahead of them until they are dropped to nowhereland and their inquiries go down to 10% of what they were immediately folllowing signup.
Tip for consumers: Absolutely don't use homeaway or their subsidiary VRBO. I could go on forever citing shoddy business practices.Ask Rita about HomeAway
As a vacation property owner who advertised on Homeaway and Vacation Rentals and other sites for over 10 years with effortless success I am more than a bit concerned about where this company is taking things as far as owners who list. I always did well with combination of my local Agent and cyberrental listings and liked the option to emphasize different aspects of my unit on each site. As the 'monopolistic' merging into 1 dominant company has occurred by Homeaway(from my perspective) I have felt a steady degradation of value and level of service and a possible sliding in net rental revenue is feared for sure. I miss the free specials owners could offer to fill last minute openings especially.
I was told by HA ,allowing negative comments for the sake of 'translucency' is allowed because it is said to protect both parties and encourage owners to keep improving their properties but it is not HA's own policy for their own website; there is no spot there for comments there. What is good for goose etc.
I sense a steady push by HA in the direction to eventually force owners to let HA handle all monies and yet it appears from comments, owners are left to bear burden of problems with refunds from scams and cancellations and damage issues. Also one format for simplicity for the world doesn't work well necessarily for all cultures worldwide. It lacks
a local feel for each region.
Going to HA handling money through BOOK IT NOW will effectively eliminate need for my nearby Rental Property Manager who is there to handle immediately all problems; this is a big step in the wrong direction; or, at the least it is an effort to get a percentage maybe 2-5% of the gross and thereby adding further to overhead in addition to cost of running listings. For example, HA has introduced the listing positioning by promptness in reply .My position in listing is now effected by how quickly I respond to inquiry but because I would rather just forward request to my Agent to handle reservation (which was very simple) HA has not only made it much more cumbersome but also 'punished' me to now have to send 2 replies or go toward bottom of listing list instead of letting HA handle monies.
Oddly, I never got a 1 star over the top bad review until the merger . Also, I was sent several notices to pay now and ended up paying 2X. This never happened before the merger.
So I guess I will sum it up by saying I am on the hunt for a new cyber listing service for my
vacation rental property when my contract ends unless I see 180 degree reversal in direction. Because company is now publicly held and huge and number 1 goal is to show stock dividends to stockholders I fear the good ole days of serving vacation rental owners are gone .
I was never a fan of HomeAway, but now I intend to be a former customer. I own one property and manage another one through a listing on their website. I am a paying customer of theirs. I buy ads from them. That's how they make money.
In their infinite glory they have decided to penalize me for not using all of their services and for what not meeting what they've decided doesn't meet their customer service standards. However, the one thing they forgot is those customers are MY paying customers, not theirs.
HomeAway should focus on keeping me satisfied. All of their new listing scorecard features don't consider that I am able to service my renters much more effectively without their lousy software. HomeAway is not Amazon, who does a reasonable job of managing customer service. The difference is that Amazon services their customers directly and they expect us merchants to do so with equal fervor. HomeAway doesn't service my customers nor do they service me yet they expect me to meet a quality guideline that helps put money in their pockets.
What a $#*! show.
Tip for consumers: Switch to another advertising company or market your property yourself.Ask Bret about HomeAway
THIS COMPANY IS HORRIBLE I HAD TO WAITE ALMOST A MONTH AFTER MY TRIP TO RECIEVE MY SECURITY DEPOSIT BACK, BEFORE SENDING IN MY SECURITY DEPOSIT THEY TOLD ME I WOULD GET MY REFUND BACK IN 2 WEEKS. I NEVER RECIEVED MY 450$ DEPOSIT . I HAD TO CALL THEM TO REMIND THEM AND THEY TOOK ANOTHER 2 WEEKS TO SEND MY DAMN MONEY.EVERYTIME YOU SPEAK TO SOMEONE THEY HAVE A DIFFERNT STORY AS TO WHY I DIDNT GET MY REFUND BACK. ONN TOP OF THAT THE COMPANY ITS SELF DOESNT ACCEPT CHECKS BUT THEY INSISTED ON SENDING ME A CHECK INSTEAD OF PUTTING MY GODDAMN MONEY BACK INTO THE ACCOUNT THEY TOOK IT OUT OF!! SMH THIS IS THE WORST PLACE EVER . I HAD TO THREATEN THESE PEOPLE JUST TO GET MY REFUND!! STAY AWAY FRM THIS $#*!TY ASS PLACE!!!!
Tip for consumers: STAY AWAY FRM HOME AWAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!Ask TATIANA about HomeAway
I have just been subject to an owners email being hacked, which has resulted in me paying by transfer to the hacker-the owners name was used, I received a booking form which I returned and I also contacted the owner by phone on the number provided-imagine my horror, when I received notification from home away that the owners account had been hacked-they then gave me the proper number and the owner knew nothing of my booking-I have paid €3000-home away are telling me that I am only entitled to receive a refund of €800 -can anyone give me some advice on what I should do next-I'm considering legal proceedings against home away and possibly the owner, who has washed her hands of the problem
I am a property owner and had a property in Florida listed with Homeaway and after I sold the the Property and had cancelled all my listings Homeaway auto renewed the property on my credit card without my approval and will not refund the money even though I no longer own the property
Home Away? Stay away! My miserable experience with this business started the day following my booking. I was assessed a mysterious 'Pay per Booking' fee of about $40. When I phoned and asked about it upon my return a customer service agent agreed I should not have been assessed this fee. However, they did not refund it. Subsequent calls to the HomeAway customer service department were equally frustrating. They told me they were sorry I didn't find the experience satisfactory, but they were not prepared to do anything about it. The kicker came after I posted a poor review of the property we rented. The owners fired back in a hate filled, vitriolic diatribe filled with xenophobic comments, exaggeration, disclosure of personal information and untruths. Again I called and inquired about allowing this type of response to be posted. Had the response been vetted? A very polite, very articulate senior agent listened to my complaint and said there was nothing they were prepared to do about it. He did say he hoped to retain me as a customer. I said that was unlikely. I also said I would post a review like this one and recommend competitors like Airbnb and House Trip to friends and family.
Tip for consumers: Use Airbnb or House Trip.Ask Tyler about HomeAway
I have to agree with others about Homeaway does not allow renters post bad reviews. After contacted their customer service and tried to post several times, it finally got accept but only for few weeks because the owner of the rental asked Homeaway took out my negative review. I think Homeaway deserves zero star if there is one.
My stay: 8/30/14-9/3/14
Location of this rental: Sealttle, WA (Mini House, listed by Michelle)
Homeaway rental number: 411831
Following is my review which is not acceptable by Homeaway:
"I booked 4 nights stay from 8/30-9/3 on 5/12/14 for this property.
After we checked in, we realized we may have made a mistake. This rental house has very little privacy (actually, no privacy) because there is no window cover in the main area so we have to use the bed sheet as a temporary solution, that's when we noticed the stains, looked liked dried blood, on the white bed sheet. Before we checked in, Michelle asked us on the phone to clean almost everything before we leave (take out trash & recycling, wash dishes, wipe out all counter space to make sure no water stains, pile up dirty sheets in the middle, etc.) I assumed she never actually check the house condition after each guest. After all of those, I didn't make a fuss because the rental is cheap enough - you get what you pay.
Several weeks after we left, we received an insurance claim notice from CSA saying that the owner claims we have damaged the sewer sump pump (resulting from tampons and a tampon applicator being flushed). We've disputed the claim because I was not on my period at that time and I never use tampons. Luckily, all my statements can be proofed easily based on my period calendar and annual drugstore purchase receipt, and sadly, we did notice a minor sewage smell when we arrived but put it down to the place being a bit old.
This experience will definitely give me pause on booking via Homeaway or using any vacation rental service instead of hotels but what happens if you are on a budget and have to stay there? Take video/pictures on everything before you leave, this is the best way to protect yourself (like we did)."
EVERY OWNER WITH A LISTING ON THE HOMEAWAY NETWORK SHOULD READ THIS DISPUTE BETWEEN ME (owner of a Holiday rental in Kenya with listing on homeaway.co.uk (PAID) and a listing on VRBO (Pay per booking) and YAPSTONE/HOLIDAYRENTPAYMENT (handling the online payments for HOMEAWAY/VRBO.
1) START OF DISPUTE YAPSTONE/HOLIDAYRENTPAYMENT AND ME
S... R.... (Customer Support)
Oct 03 07:45 AM
I hope you are keeping well.
We have received a chargeback from one of your guests and I would like to get some more information off you. The guest's name is L... W.... and the amount was 713.01 Euro In case you are due to refund this guest, please do not issue another refund through the system. The reason code he is giving us is FRAUD. Let me know, if you would like me to dispute this on your behalf. In this case, you will have to send me documentation, which prooves that this guest is the real cardholder (f.e. copy of L..... W..... ID and front of her Credit Card).
In case you would like to dispute the case, this payment will not be released to you in the mean time until we can reassure that we have won the case.
Here the relevant paragraph “1.10.” out of our Terms & Conditions, which you have accepted:
“1.10. Chargebacks and Reversals. Any Payment by a Guest is subject to a right of Chargeback if paid by credit or debit card and depending upon the Payment method may be subject to a Reversal, these rights exist between the Guest and their respective bank or credit card issuer. In the event of a Chargeback or Reversal of any Payment by a Guest, YapStone will automatically deduct such amount plus any fees associated with the Chargeback or Reversal from Your bank account. Thereafter, YapStone will use commercially reasonable efforts to investigate the validity of the Chargeback or Reversal on Your behalf. You agree to cooperate with YapStone and to provide any information that may be reasonably requested by YapStone in its investigation. You are liable for all Chargeback or Reversals of Payments processed on Your behalf by YapStone, including the Chargeback Fee listed the Fees Schedule.”
Additional the link to our Terms & Conditions:
Looking forward hearing from you,
Trust and Security Specialist
RentPayment | VacationRentPayment | DuesPayment | StorageRentPayment | InnPayment | ParishPay
Payment solutions powered by YapStone, Inc.
ANSWER OF ME (OWNER):
Oct 03 02:23 PM
I dont understand what you like to tell me and I don’t agree any chargeback!
The guest stayed at my Villa (VRBO Listing #58730..), this is nearly one month ago,
I don’t know about any complain. If there was anything wrong, why was there no complain earlier?
I don’t have a copy of their id or credit card, what I know is that the guest were on honeymoon.
ANSWER OF YAPSTONE/HOLIDAYRENTPAYMENT:
S…… R……. (Customer Support)
Oct 06 06:56 AM
Dear Mr. K......,
thank you for your reply.
It seems like your guest has used stolen Credit Card data to pay the stay at your property. The real cardholder has issued a chargeback, where his bank has forcibly charged back funds from our account.
Trust and Security Specialist
ANSWER OF ME (OWNER):
Oct 07 10:35 AM
This means what for me? Will I be paid my money which was be shown as paid in my account and which has been accepted by home a way? I thing it is the work of you to make sure that payments which are accepted by homeway are trusted.
I wonder anyway that you find out so late, nearly one month after the credit card payment, that payment has
made with a stolen card. I even wonder that people which are paying with a stolen card coming to stay at the place they booked fraudulent. They are risking that the fraud be uncovered at their time of stay.
I talked to my house manager which is organising the service for our guest from arrival till departure day and she recovered the mobile number of the guest. Our guest are always been given after booking a arrival instruction which indicate to call on arrival day the house manager before reaching the town next to the Villa. This is because we are piking up the guest from a easy to find meeting point as a free service. The mobile the guest used is:l +...... L.... W.....
Looking forward to receive my money a.s.a.p from you
ANSWER OF YAPSTONE/HOLIDAYRENTPAYMENT:
S..... R...... (Customer Support)
Oct 09 06:47 AM
Dear Mr. K.......,
thank you for your Email.
The real cardholder has noticed the charge and issued a chargeback with their bank, who forcibly has recaptured funds from our account.
Also, the payment from your guest, who paid on th 8th of October "B..... S......" will be stopped due to us not being able to verify data used for payment. Unfortuantely there seems to be fraudulent activity happening in your account and this may be down to your property being in Kenya. To protect you from fraud, we will have to deactivate the online payment for your properties located in Kenya.
Thank you for your understanding.
Trust and Security Specialist
ANSWER OF ME (OWNER):
Oct 09 08:07 AM
I long time list my property as well on flipkey/TripAdvisor (see links below) with online payment and never got problem.
Now you give me stories about fraud activities, but it look like you don't proof credit card payments professionally which result in loss for holiday home owners. I gave you the number of the guest, did you call them? Must I now report to police that this guest stayed fraudulent in my property or are you handling this to recover my money?
Which exhibit shell I show the police, up to now there is your story only that you find out after nearly 1 months !!!!!! about a problem with the payment of the last guest.
Please advice as well if you are going to pay the money for the stay of L.... W..... or not.
I like to get all details clear because I need to arrest the guest if I don't get paid and as well I have to publish this case in the net to inform other owners about the risks of advertising on homeaway with online payments which are not paid out to the ownet after the stay of guest.
ANSWER OF YAPSTONE/HOLIDAYRENTPAYMENT:
2nd try (ME):
Oct 14 02:33 PM
You never replied my last mail (see below) with my questions.
As well I got in contact with the guest (L..... W....) which were booked with the stolen credit card
And they wrote a sms today which indicate that a friend has booked for them as a honeymoon gift,
So they like to know the details of the card which has been used fraudulent. This message was send
From the telephone number I gave already to you to call this guest (+..... ).
YOU HAVE TO CONTACT THE GUEST, BECAUSE YOUR COMPANY ACCEPTED THE BOOKING AND THE
CARD PAYMENT AND YOUR COMPANY HAS THE DETAILS ABOUT THE FRAUDULENT PAYMENT.
I wonder as well that a booking like the one of B....... S...... is forwarded to me without prior checking
Of the card details etc., because you said yourself that you can’t verify the data for this booking (so why the booking has been accepted at first
From your site?????????). Normally data of credit cards has to be checked before you accept a credit card booking.
So to close my listings for online payments shows that your company has no ways to check fraudulent Activities and validity of credit cards in a booking process which opens the door for fraudsters. I don’t see the reason for that is the location of my property (Kenya).
Looking forward for a quick reply
ANSWER OF YAPSTONE/HOLIDAYRENTPAYMENT:
S...... R...... (Customer Support)
Oct 17 07:23 AM
thank you for your Email.
Unfortunately there is no way, we can verify if the person who is issuing a payment is the real cardholder or is just punshing in the Credit Card details.
We process payments on your behalf and you, as the homeowner are responsible to check the identity of your guest.
Trust and Security Specialist
ANSWER OF ME (OWNER):
Oct 17 08:55 AM
So this means the credit card used was issued on the name L.... W.....?
ANSWER OF YAPSTONE/HOLIDAYRENTPAYMENT:
we do not have any information on this, as the bank does not share this information.
However, it was charged back, as the account was closed due to fraud/stolen details.
You can always try to get in touch with your guest and let me know, if you were able to get through to them.
Trust and Security Specialist
ANSWER OF ME (OWNER):
Oct 20 10:17 AM
You said before that your company is processing the payment. How can you process a credit card payment without knowing the credit card details??????
You said I am responsible to check the identity of the booked guest. This is for what, if any other credit card holder can book in behalf of the guest, which means that credit cards used for payment must not be issued in the name of the guest which is showed in a confirmed book.
You don't won't to pay my money, but the same time you are refusing completely to give any details about the fraud, which I can use to start a police case against the guest which stayed without payment in my property. Even if I contact the guest again, I can't tell them anything because the payment for their stay was accepted by your company and than refused nearly one month after their stay without any help full details given to me till now!!! The only thing I can tell them is that payment has been not released to me, but I dont have any details about the fraudulent credit card payment.
In the end I can't know even if your stories about fraud are correct because till now you are giving me stories without proof just to avoid to give me my money!!!!!!!!!
Tip for consumers: Holiday rental owners should never accept online payments on the homeaway network because homeawy is using a fraudulent online payment provider (YAPSTONE / HOLIDAYRENTALPAYMENTS).Ask Rasmus about HomeAway
For an upcoming tripI used VRBO.com, which is now a HomeAway site to book a house in Long Beach, CA With flights booked and deposit made, what a surprise that the homeowner cancelled on us because they received a longer booking that overlapped our dates. I then proceeded to book a second place. Surprise, same thing happened. I had used VRBO countless times with great success before it was bought out by Home Away. Do not rent through any of their sites. They do not take responsibility for the homeowners. They sell you cancellation insurance but it does not cover owners cancellation. And they do not issue refund on this if they cancel on you.
To make matters worse. The dates of the trip are approaching and I am now getting emails saying my payment is due on this cancelled booking. I called and spoke to both their customer service and the homeowner to make sure there was no book. And there is not.
3 retired women rented a flat in Knightsbridge/London & arrived before check-in time while the cleaner was there. We left the bags until check-in time. The next day 1 of us discovered that her Rolex watch given to her by her recently deceased husband was missing along with some euros & an Oyster card from her carry-on bag. We notified the owner who acted disbelieving & mentioned that SHE always wore her jewelry when traveling. The bag was not out of her sight through the whole trip. We assured the woman we only wanted to warn her so future guests wouldn't be stolen from.
We also asked her to return the deposit after she had checked the flat after we left as my credit card was loaded.
She did & after saying how pleased she was that we left the flat in such good shape she deducted 90 GBP for agents' fees which in her contract clearly states the the rental price INCLUDES the agents fees.
Twice Homeaway rejected the review & finally did but left the owner tons of time to reply. I then said if she returned the 90 GBP to me, I'd just drop the whole thing. Homeaway then called me & said I was BLACKMAILING her & they won't publish the review. How is asking for money that's rightfully mine considered blackmailing. I've rented flats 17 times in London before & this is the first bad thing that has happened to me. DON'T RENT A PROPERTY ON RUTLAND MEWS! The flat is nice, the owner is not.
Tip for consumers: Be careful renting in Knightsbridge or the south of France from this woman.Ask VS about HomeAway
I'm very disappointed with homeaway. I have rented a place in Natal/ Brazil. I based my decision on the 100% positive review from people who stayed there. The place was located on a very dodgy area, just behind a crack house. I was so scarred of staying there.
Fortunately I paid only a small deposit and was able to leave. After a big argument with the property owner.
I don't recommend it.
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