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Review of HomeAway

HomeAway reviews

211 reviews
14%
Categories: Vacation Rentals
1011 W. Fifth Street, Suite 300
Austin, Texas, USA
Tel: +1.5126841100
csong@homeaway.com
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211 Reviews From Our Community

Rating Distribution

Detailed Rating Summary

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality

Review Highlights

janen16

Very poor Management communication and their customer service was nil. (in 39 reviews)

peggyw7

The house is immaculate, with everything --and, I mean, everything, we needed in it to cook and relax. (in 36 reviews)

cassandraw3

First "Reviews" which I am personally against as a home owner. (in 11 reviews)

All Reviews

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nancyc65
1 review
0 helpful votes
8/23/15

I recently book a homeaway site for vacation... Unfortunately, I think someone was able to use my credit card infor from the web site as on the same day ,,,,someone fraudulently used the same card and book thousands of dollars of travel with it!!!!! Of course the credit card company did not charge me..but it is very frustrating that this could happen I called homeaway and told them they need to check their website and be more secure... they weren't to concerned about it!!! maybe someone who works for them did this? Just very coincidental that all happened the same day and travel charges were involved

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desirea1
1 review
0 helpful votes
8/18/15

On August 7-9, myself and nine others rented Jack Bell's yacht, otherwise known as the Morning Mist. This yacht usually resides in San Francisco, however, since we wanted to enjoy the water activities ( jet ski, boat, kayak), Jack Bell moved the location to the Delta, and anchored the yacht onto a "private island".

Beware: the private island consists of weeds, and a little bit of sand in front of the weeds that is only noticeable in the morning during low tide (false advertisement)...he made it seem as though it was beautiful when in actuality your trip will consist of staring at weeds.

Jack Bell and his wife Trisha were horrible. They should not be renting out their yacht. Long story short, we basically rented the yacht to conform and comply with their needs, as opposed to them catering to their guests (such as a hotel that rents rooms to others). We basically paid for them to be our guests.

Here is what you should expect f you rent this yacht:

1. You will be checked up on every two minutes (not exaggerating)

2. You will not be supplied with power after 1 a.m. (so charge your phones early, and don't you dare try to watch a movie..by the way, when the power is out, so is flushing power to toilets, so prepare for the stench)

3. You can not listen to the music you'd like ( as they stated, they are Christian- so you must cater to them)

4. Trish freaking out, stressing and pouring glasses of wine to cope with thinking her husband is practicing infidelity with women who are on the boat.

5. Trish spazzing out and yelling while running into her cabin stating, "I can't take this anymore" (very unprofessional)

6. Threatened to have the coast guard called on you because you drink alcohol.

7. Your food/ drinks being thrown out (they are inconsiderate- we made food and tea in which Trish threw out when she was making breakfast- even though the kettle was still hot...common sense would tell you that it was barely made and we are not leaving it there for you to clean, we will gladly do so ourselves)

8. Toilets not working. ( the smell of the toilets stunk so bad, it was hard to sleep with the stench)


9. Rude remarks from Jack Bell ( he made comments about a woman's weight on the yacht).

10. Tons of spiders and mosquitoes ( I went home with at least ten bites)

11. Murky water

12. Old water toys that break down (yacht, boat, jet ski).

Positive:

1. Breakfast is included, and is good.

As I stated earlier, these people rent their yacht out with expectations that their guests are there to conform to them, as opposed to them catering to their guests. They should not rent their yacht out since that is their expectation.

They provided each and every one of us with a horrible weekend.
Oh, and by the way, the yacht is not very pretty, it looks better in pictures.

Tip for consumers: HORRIBLE

Service
Value
Quality
Ask Desire about HomeAway
mollyr10
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
8/16/15

We called the property manager, Suzie M., in an attempt to be reassured about the availability and access to the TN cabin we rented for the week. Our first phone call was not returned before we left on our trip. We called from VA to get the access code, but the manager said we could not get in until she received the agreement in the mail even though payment in full was received via credit card. If they demanded such a speedy return of the the rental agreement, they should have made the agreement returnable by email. When I asked if I would be refunded if I lost a night or two, Ms. M. would not respond. The entire tone of the conversation on her part was abrupt and rude. Please take the advice of the preponderance of reviews and STAY AWAY from HomeAway!

Ask Molly about HomeAway
roxannes7
1 review
7 helpful votes
8/13/15

In June 2015, my family and I (who travel frequently) rented a house called Cascade Mountain Retreat in Colorado for several days and it was nothing like described on their website. In fact, upon arrival, we thought we might be at the wrong place. We contacted HomeAway who quickly told us we had to take any problems up with the owner (who we never even knew their name). The crooked woman (Julia) we had dealt with to reserve the place finally texted me back after 8 hours (the wifi and phone service were basically non-existent) and started arguing with me, pretending to not understand what I was saying and actually trying to convince me that I liked the place because others had!!!! She said nothing else was available and she had our money so we were totally at her mercy. It cost us $2260 for 4 people for 6 days at a 50 year old house that stunk and didn't even have any movie channels on the only television in the place. We had to buy our own toilet paper, paper towels, clean the place before we left and were instructed to take our trash to a nearby business and put it in their dumpster!!!! We were charged a "service fee" of $50 and a "cleaning fee" of $150, yet were given strict instructions about how to clean the place before we left or we would not get our deposit back! When I tried to talk with Julia, she only argued with me and said there was nothing she would do about it - our tough luck. Beware of anyone associated with VRBO, HomeAway or Julia W! They are crooks and should be investigated and prosecuted.

Ask Roxanne about HomeAway
stephaniea21
1 review
2 helpful votes
8/13/15

I was seeking a cottage rental for a long weekend and their website showed availability. In good faith, I gave my credit card information (temporary hold for the full amount of the rental) and waited for 24 hours. I received an email from Canada Stays declining my booking. I was told by Canada Stays that property has been rented for the complete summer. THIS IS FALSE ADVERTISING. Homeaway argument on why THEIR WEBSITE is not up to date? “It is that it is the responsibility of the managing company or property owner to provide the status to them”.
What Homeaway fails to understand is that they SHOULD NOT advertise on THEIR WEBSITE a property that they do not know the status of. I have spoken to three representatives and who hung up on me, was promised a managers phone call to answer the questions. It never happened.
This company refuses to take responsibility for their actions but will blame property owners / managing companies for their short comings. The solution, managing companies and/or property owners should update their availability daily and by a certain time. Failing this, Homeaway doesn't show availability on their site or show the property. Consumers will have up to date information and can make an informed decision on their vacation.
Hopefully through this review and others like mine, consumers will be given factual information and make an informed decision whether to move forward with Homeaway. It is MORE than what Homeaway gave me.

Ask Stephanie about HomeAway
aimyt17
1 review
0 helpful votes
8/13/15

This property manager from Home Away has very poor management skills and should not be renting a vacation house. I had to cancel my weekend stay due to unforeseen circumstances. I understand that It was a week away from the rental date and I would not get a full refund. However Sharon O'Toole failed to update her website reflecting this cancellation. It was a summer month and she could have easily turned over the property, issuing me a refund. She kept the website updated as "unavailable" and just stole my money instead of doing the proper thing. Home Away customer service did not help at all with this situation. They said I am on my own with this issue and it is only between myself and the property owner. If they are managing the name of "Home Away" they need to make sure they have reliable renters who don't scam you.They did not reprimand the property manager AT ALL.

Tip for consumers: Don't rent from this woman and I recommend not even using Home Away.

Service
Value
Returns
Quality
Ask B about HomeAway
bencel
1 review
0 helpful votes
8/10/15

I have been a host on Homaway (Travelmob) and have never ever received my payout. Everybody should stay away from this SCAM.

Ask Bence about HomeAway
gs50
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
8/7/15

I started listing our property on HomeAway, got halfway, then intended to finish it in a few days. I never clicked "Submit Application" or any button indicating that I had completed the application. Nevertheless, HomeAway started a flurry of contradictory emails and activities, concluding with my application's rejection -- with an implication that I have some shady background that they can't tell me about, and ending with "No more information will be provided."

I have asked HomeAway and VacantionRentPayment for explanations as to why the application was declined but I get no response from either one. I know that the law requires that a person turned down for a credit application is owed an explanation.

The irony is that they suggest I have the shady background, but THEY are breaking the law!

First, they sent me a very suspicious email saying my listing has expired (looks like a scam with the word used FREE so often -- see attached). The next day they sent me a "Welcome to HomeAway" greeting (guess they forgot I had expired the day before). Then I received a phone call asking me to call VacationRent. When I called them no one knew why, and they transferred me back to HomeAway and no one there knew why I was supposed to call either, and it was considered a courtesy call for some reason. Then, I received the rejection letter (see attached) saying that something is wrong with my background but they aren't telling me what it is. I have insisted upon knowing the reason for my rejection, but alas, I have heard nothing yet.

-------
Text from "Expiration" email:

YOUR HOMEAWAY LISTING HAS EXPIRED!!

Hello ____!

Please contact me to reactivate your listing at the best price – 512-505-1796

I am writing to you to let you know that your listing has unfortunately expired and is not showing up in our search results! I would love to help you to start getting your calendar booked up again as well as help you to improve your listing score, your traveler’s experience and increase your inquiries too!

FREE ways that I will work with you to position yourself to meet your goals:

A guide on how optimize your listing to maximize your bookings
Ways in which to improve your listing score
Sample rental contracts and other agreements
Share data specific to your property’s location
Act as your direct point of contact
Ongoing analysis of your location and projected return on investment


If you are eager to find ways to book up more of your calendar or have any questions in regards to renewing your listing, please call me directly on 512-505-1796.

-------
Text from"Rejection" email: Dear ___,

Thank you for your recent enquiry for online payments through HomeAway or VRBO. Unfortunately we are unable to approve your request at this time.

It is our practice to ensure that customers meet certain eligibility requirements and are in compliance with our company policies

Some of the factors we consider when making a decision includes the following: past Bankruptcies, any criminal history, civil litigation, liens, evictions, inability to confirm data provided, conflicting data, or any the combination of these factors. At this time, no more information will be provided

Tip for consumers: Use Airbnb.com !! It's easy and they don't treat you like a criminal.

Service
Value
Shipping
Returns
Quality
Ask G about HomeAway
danac35
1 review
3 helpful votes
8/7/15

You cannot trust anything you see or read on the websites run by Homeaway! They are not in the business of quality control or information integrity, just a middleman collecting fees and placing all accountability as far away from their website platform as possible. I was double charged for a single booking even though the first was rejected in their system and they stated as much to my bank but obvious they just issue a authorization for everything regardless. Then I was contacted by the owner stating the property was not available meaning a double charge and no place to stay! Zero system accountability. I had to go to great lengths to get everything reversed and have Homeaway take responsibility for their lousy platform and zero accountability business model. Not worth the headache. Another case of Internet commerce pirates laughing all the way to the bank while the people doing doing the heavy lifting get screwed.

Ask Dana about HomeAway
ricardop19
1 review
0 helpful votes
8/6/15

So HomeAway just posted better than expected results. Yet note that revenue has dropped when the economy is picking up and Q2 is when a lot of the vacations are booked. So how did they do it?
If you ask homeowners and guests who book through their website you will find that renters are getting bombarded by unwanted adds and offers. Hence the increased revenue. For the owners who post their properties on home away their is an uproar!
The ability to use other means of payment (via check, paypal or other means) has been virtually shut down. So Homeaway has increased their income by adding that extra fee on the payment to their coffers. On the other hand they have only one set of responses and communication that the owner can use to communicate with the renter, and it is impersonal, full of adds and scripted answers that do not allow for a personalized and friendly communication with the renter.

So while this quarter`s results are up, be prepared for a continued drop in revenue as homeowners find better, more flexible and friendlier sites to post their properties. Short term greed that has taken over since VRBO was purchased by HomeAway and will lead to a drop in future earnings unless they change their stance. Property owners are dissatisfied. I for one have 2 properties that I will be posting soon.... they will not be going to Homeaway. And the current one we have will also leave.

Service
Ask Ricardo about HomeAway
cw55
1 review
1 helpful vote
8/6/15

I booked a rental on the lake for 2 days for my sister's bachelorette weekend nearly 2 months in advance, I paid $400 for the renal and a $250 deposit. 2 weeks before the weekend I get an email saying my deposit had been refunded (not the $400) and when I tried to view my rental info it said there was no reservation. After trying to get a hold of the owner I called HomeAway who gave me the runaround saying the owner cancelled it and I needed to get a hold of her for the refund. After several voicemails and emails she finally answered my call (after blocking my #) and told me she didn't cancel my trip and that HomeAway must have overbooked her property b/c she had someone else down for that weekend. She said that HomeAway has to refund the $, she called them for me and said they gave me a full refund. When the refund came it was short $27. Called HomeAway and asked for the rest of the money and again was told they do not process the refunds, it has to be done by the owner. Now I am trying to get a hold of the owner again. At this point I don't care about the $27 this is BULL$#*! and I would NEVER recommend or use HomeAway again.

Tip for consumers: Do Not Use This Site For Booking.

Service
Value
Returns
Quality
Ask C about HomeAway
susans140
1 review
1 helpful vote
8/6/15

I rented property "Stunning Lake Front Cabin on 4 Acre Peninsula" in St. Helens Michigan. This place was filthy, mouse feces and urine everywhere, other renters clothing and bathroom toiletries left in the bathrooms, refrigerator full of used and open food and freezer held frost burned items too numerous to count...we contacted the owner immediately upon arrival and he said that if I was unhappy with the cleanliness that he would refund my cleaning deposit...We corresponded with text everyday during our stay complaining about the condition of the property. The last straw was finding mouse feces and poison under the sofa cushions and a dead mouse under one of the beds...The owners response to this was that his efforts to eliminate mice must be working...We traveled with 6 children 8 adults, one of whom is fighting cancer. The owner commented that he could not afford to clean the house the way we were expecting and that it had been cleaned one month before we arrived. The TV did not work, the playhouse was not opened, everything in the house needed to be cleaned and sanitized before use, especially the kitchen items...the sheets were dirty and had not been changed, they all had sand and hair in them...The toilets hadn't been cleaned, the bathrooms hadn't been cleaned...there was mouse feces in the kitchen drawers covering the towels and washcloths...The owner said that we should remember that we were in the woods and mice were to be expected...I never expect mice in a house or a cabin regardless, along with poison, dust, cobwebs, grease covered pots and pans, dirty refrigerator and then pay $3,335.00 for 7 days of unhappy vacation living......Just talked to Home Away after three phone calls to have Steve H. tell me that Home Away has no responsibility concerning this matter. Home Away will not mediate and it is up to me to have any of my money refunded. When I asked him why this isn't made clear....no answer....This company is not credible and needs to be investigated...I asked Steve H...My next call is to the B.B.B. and then to an attorney....Oh Yes, I didn't get a contract! Perhaps that will work to my advantage....I fortunately captured the entire distasteful event on video, photo, and text...to include the dead mouse and the intermingling mouse feces and poison under the sofa cushions.

Ask Susan about HomeAway
catherinef24
1 review
0 helpful votes
8/5/15

I am trying to write a review for a VRBO condo at the Seasons Resort in the Attitash Mountains in Bartlett New Hampshire. Could you post this review on homeaway vacation rental reviews property 128216? I tried unsuccessfully to access that website.
We stayed at the above property from July 18-24 2015. Four adults and two children.
The condo was nice. Looks just like the photos. Everything was provided as advertised. The activities were awesome. Did Mt. Washington WOW. It's a must. Took the children to Story Land. Perfect. Thomas the Train was at the train station for the weekend. Children loved it. Diana's Baths for a short hike, swim and picnic was neat. The restaurants were outstanding. Everyone was very friendly and went out of their way to make our experiences enjoyable. That includes the resort personal who got us discount tickets and were so nice and especially the condo owner who was so kind in helping me through the rental process, sending the keys by express mail, answering all my inquiries in a timely fashion, and just being very nice to work with.
This is an outstanding, reputable, easy to use vacation rental service.
Catherine Feind and family

Ask Catherine about HomeAway
phoebea1
1 review
3 helpful votes
8/4/15

Horrible host experience, left negative feedback and the host lied terribly, said completely false things about me. Unbelievable! I communicated this to HomeAway - they said the response 'met their guidelines' so did nothing at all! Terrible management communication and no customer service at all.

Ask phoebe about HomeAway
genem24
1 review
3 helpful votes
8/3/15

My wife and I recently made a booking through Homeaway. We were charged a booking fee which is supposed to be paid by the owner and not the traveler. When we contacted Homeaway we were passed along approximately 6 times and given the runaround. They readily admitted that the owner was suppose to be charged but refused to recredit our credit card. We were even told that although it showed on our credit card we really wouldn't be charged. Unreal! We then had to contact the credit card company in order to dispute the charge even though Homeaway agrees that the charge was inappropriate. BEWARE! What a scam! They will not receive our business in the future,

Tip for consumers: BEWARE!!!!!!

Ask Gene about HomeAway
jl90
1 review
2 helpful votes
7/29/15

Be very wary of the reviews of the vacation home you're interested in renting. I rented and have written a review that gave less than 5 stars because the noise level of the location of the rental house was quite high and never mentioned in any of the reviews. It was a disappointment. I submitted a review mentioning the house is located right near a busy small plane take-off and landing approach of a local airport and HomeAway refuses to publish the review saying it is not "substantially" significant. Would you rent a vacation home so you could hear planes take off and land throughout the house? I suspect HomeAway is only interested in publishing the 5 star reviews and nothing less. Makes me not want to rent from this outfit again.

Ask J about HomeAway
jamesn59
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/26/15

This apartment was a wonderful location in Old Town Quebec City. While the apt wasn't very big and sparsely appointed it was quite comfortable and very convenient. We will definitely book this property again when in Quebec City!!!

Ask James about HomeAway
paular18
1 review
1 helpful vote
7/24/15

I have been with HomeAway for many years with one property and added a second two years ago. They have always been brilliant. I rent out at least 30 weeks a year EACH property. I do take my own payments as I like to have a personal relationship with my guests. I have also used them many times for my own holidays. I can't praise them enough and recommend them most heartily.

Ask paula about HomeAway
igorc4
1 review
3 helpful votes
7/24/15

I just have been scamed of 10 000 euro trying to book vacation villa in Mallorka, Spain through this company. Do NOT trust this website homeaway.com

Ask Igor about HomeAway
patriciab63
1 review
3 helpful votes
7/23/15

Homeaway's new algorithm program was written by an idiot to benefit Homeaway and VRBO only. Homeowners get rated on their performance and their exposure to potential renters is based on that performance rating. The glitch is that the program makes errors and then penalizes the homeowner. According to their customer support techs, there is nothing that can be done to individually correct that glitch. Here is my personal experience.
1. The number of views to my property differs substantially between this year and last year, almost 75% difference. I call homeaway to inquire about the discrepancy and an informed about their new algorithm system. It seems for three days during Memorial Day weekend, I did not receive text nor email informing me that I had an inquiry and therefore did not reply from the email I set up and have been using for the last 3 years. I am told "it's not their problem" and I should have logged in to my Homeaway account and therefore being penalized with a low rating. The low rating making my listing come up at the end of other listings who might have paid less but responded quicker to their inquiries.
2. I make sure to log in, update my calendar, respond immediately to inquiries and my rating increases.
3. I receive duplicate inquiries from the same person. One at 12:00 and the other at 12:01. I respond immediately to the inquiry and continue to have email conversations with that potential renter. I notice my score is low when I log in to Homeaway immediately call and am told I should have responded to the duplicate inquiry so the computer doesn't penalize me. He says there is nothing he can do about it.
I have spent hours on the phone and all I am told is "I understand your frustration but there is nothing that we can do to correct the situation". Unacceptable answer.

Ask Patricia about HomeAway
samz8
7 reviews
23 helpful votes
7/21/15

They have call me and wanted that I advertise. I have choose global bundle .
Their cost is 2320 euro or they offer to me 50% discount for the first year and it looks nice 1,160 euro.

But looking on their price structure, was not easy to find , I have found that normal price is 599 dolars euros or pounds, depends where you pay , and without any discount. not 2320 euros. real price is 599 euros . just type global bundle 599 and you will see.

The people who work for homeaway vrbo or any other sister site of homeaway , from God knows where , are for me criminals, and pure scamers .

They have take market for themselves an s they invest millions in google and you can do nothing not to pay them just as to google . you will never be listed if you do not pay to google or to those sites like homeaway, vrbo, tripadvisor and so on.

Ask sam about HomeAway
dann643
1 review
3 helpful votes
7/21/15

I rented a house from Home-away. The reservation was HA-81CV7D As soon as we checked in the house wasn't as described. She listed it as 3 bedrooms but the main level smelled like urine and the bedrooms had pipes that were leaking from the previous tenant. The septic system was messed up and whenever you flushed a toilet everything came out into the bedrooms and into the house. We were not able to stay in the house due to the smell of urine and feces. We had children in the house and this was very unsafe. We called the house owner she never even met us she was in Europe. We contacted Homeaway to make sure that a refund was made since they have a policy that the tenant has to check in and everything has to be fine in order for them not disburse the money to the owner. Homeaway basically said they will contact the owner. No one spoke to her since, she never responded. They said no managers are available and said someone would call me the next day. We left the house and couldn't stay there. The next day no one called me. Whenever you call someone outside the US picked up and said no manager was there. I got no refund, no response. They clearly state that if the house is not what it was suppose to be that they don't give the owner the money. After a month of fighting with them I finally send emails to the CEOs which I found on their management site. No one responds for days until finally a very rude assistant customer service exec calls me back and says the CEO of the company doesn't care and will not refund me but make a complaint about the owner and its between me and the owner. This is horrible service and negligence to me someone who paid over 10k for the rental. Where is my security? I purchased a security for 99 dollars to protect me. They told me yesterday they closed the case? The owner has not responded I have no refund. Instead she stole my jewelry that was left in the house the first day and doesn't respond. I have also contacted the Texas State Attorney General office, FTC, and consumer affairs. Seems like nothing is helping.

Ask Dan about HomeAway
gloriab6
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/20/15

I am not yet in my rental, but we are finding several problems (Venice, Italy). The air condition is broken. Message sent by owner and now it says no wifi. False advertising. I am one of the persons that send messages on trip advisor, and I will make sure this is placed on the post so nobody else gets this false advertising. We had a fantastic experience I. The past in Paris, and Barcelona. So we thought this was going to be fine. Well, that owner will get bad marks for false advertising.

Service
Value
Ask Gloria about HomeAway
jennyg18
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/19/15

I was a bit nervous after reading all the dreadful reviews for Homeaway. I can say we had no issues with them at all. No complaints.The apartment - ground floor 59-596 A Kamehameha Highway Haleiwa - was roomy, clean, comfortable, well-appointed. The directions to find it and to get in were spot-on. It is actually located at Pupukea - a short walk across the road to the most beautiful beach, and walking distance along a shared bike path, to a Foodland and some great little eateries. This area looks very down at heel, and we were a bit alarmed at first. There is a house in front of this property, on the same block, with barking dogs and rubbish strewn everywhere. It is on a very busy road, and there are noisy neighbours. It was a relief when we got inside, but it is definitely only for inside living - no balcony or views. We discovered that the upstairs studio apartment had a balcony, so that might be a better choice if you want to enjoy the balmy evenings and the sunset.

Ask Jenny about HomeAway
peggyw7
1 review
1 helpful vote
7/19/15

"Chillin' on Pleasant Bay" was a fantastic base for our vacation. The house is immaculate, with everything --and, I mean, everything, we needed in it to cook and relax. The pool is shared with other house on the property; there were no others in the apartment next door so we had the pool to ourselves. The location of the house was steps away from Pleasant Bay, and a short drive to either the bay or the ocean. What could be better than that?
Peggy Walton

Ask Peggy about HomeAway
maryk86
1 review
1 helpful vote
7/19/15

We stayed at 173 White Tail Circle in Hawley PA. The listiing said it can sleep 14. That is false. It had 3 very small bedrooms, and 2 awful bathrooms which could maybe accommodate 6 people if that. The house was in an awful condition. We were forbidden to turn the air conditioning on in 90 degree weather. The doors and windows were falling apart. There were no mesh screen doors to keep the bugs out. The owner of this house should not be allowed to rent this property as advertised. We have had excellent experience with homeaway but this left such a bad taste that unless homeaway penalizes the owner for ruining my weekend, I will not be utilizing this site and definitely not recommend it to friends.

Ask Mary about HomeAway
stephand6
1 review
2 helpful votes
7/17/15

They allocate 24 hours for the property owner to accept an offer. During that whole time, even if the property owner has accepted, they continue to show a "So and so has HH:MM:SS to accept your offer" on the Messages page, which to me is a statement that they have not yet accepted my offer. Yet apparently it was accepted and my card was charged (I used their supposedly secure payment system). I never received an email at the end of the 24 hours (and yes I checked my spam folder). This led me to think that the offer fell through and I booked elsewhere (directly w/ the owner). Then 8 hours later my credit card was charged. Great, now I'm double booked. Still no message and their support says it takes them 2-3 days to respond. The property owner didn't seem to understand the system either so I think the interface on that end must be just as bad.

Tip for consumers: I would steer clear of this service. Or if you must use it then expect to wait some days to make sure an offer was or wasn't accepted because they certainly aren't going to tell you.

Service
Value
Quality
Ask Stephan about HomeAway
gemmag4
1 review
3 helpful votes
7/17/15

We tried to book a vacation home through home away. When we didn't hear from the renter within 24 hours of booking we contacted HomeAway; that was 5 days ago and we have not heard from them. They seem to be very unprofessional and unresponsive. As a family that frequently rents vacation homes I have some experience with various services and this is by far my worst experience. There is nothing about this site that I can recommend.

Ask Gemma about HomeAway
barbaras77
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/15/15

We stayed at the Sunset Cottage #960150 on Paw Paw Lake, Watervliet, MI - It is a
very nice home with a beautiful view - In spite of cold weather our group of 9 were able to relax, play games and enjoy in very comfortable and spacious surroundings - Would highly recommend this home for an enjoyable vacation - BSmith

Ask Barbara about HomeAway
pbs1
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/15/15

I was seeking a two week rental while I waited for a household shipment to my apartment. I did find one that would work.. And they could not have been nicer while I validated dates with my moving company. They did press me every time to go ahead and pay, and there would be no issue changing dates. I didn't want the hassle of a refund, so I waited. As soon as I had firm dates, I emailed and had an invoice from them in 5 minutes. On the invoice from PayPal, I noticed a statement that I would receive a separate invoice for the security deposit about 72 hours after I secured the reservation. When I inquired how much that would be, and stated I couldn't possibly prepay without knowing ALL the terms, they became much less responsive. I stated I was ready to pay, just needed the amount of the security deposit. Then they said it had been booked. So draw your own conclusions, but I for one will never use them. Very shady in my opinion.

Ask PB about HomeAway
chriss282
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
7/15/15

I have booked 4 vacations on Home Away. Only once did the homeowner respond, book, take payment, send a rental agreement, and answer emails. All of the others said they were not responding to ANY of my emails because they were not GETTING my emails. I know that this cannot be true, because they were very quick in expecting a deposit, but it wasn't until AFTER they got this, that I would not hear back from them. 3 times I had to contact Home Away and tell them that I was not getting any emails or phone calls returned, even after the owners told me that upon receiving my deposit, I will get a rental agreement immediately from them. Yes, they contacted me after Home Away intervened by calling them. From what I gathered in my conversation with the reps on Home Away, they HAVE to call me back right away, or Home Away would take their listing off the site. Funny how quickly they respond after that! Funny how they also only respond when they need you to send a payment by PayPal. They get THAT email! Seems to me that it's a generic excuse with owners to simply say "what emails?" Also, when I inquired about renting other properties, and there have been at least 35, none of them got back to me. None. I couldn't know if the property was available since the owners did not list a calendar showing what days you can rent. You have to contact the owners on the site. What I find bizarre is that they show a response rate on the individual listings, to allow renters to see how often they do in fact, respond to inquirers. How is this possible when they DO NOT respond? Some say 99 percent!

Ask Chris about HomeAway
randyd14
1 review
1 helpful vote
7/13/15

Tried homeaway was told my reservation was booked. When I call again was told I did not have the townhouse that I wanted so had to book else where. Today called the number on my statement and found out it was booked and lost my deposit

Ask Randy about HomeAway
cindyr29
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/10/15

I have 2 complaints on the property I wanted to stay at on my vacation. the place stunk and we left complaint # 15000364 and 15130473 with homeaway. From reading these reviews, I guess I can count on not getting my money back. What a way to do business.
The property was #3941979 on 2600 paula drive, Dunedin florida. Dead bugs, broken cabinet, stinky, no tv, filthy placemats on the table. No reply from phone messages, texts and emails from the owner Diana Pergamo. RIPOFF

Tip for consumers: I may change my mind if I ever get a refund, but I will be very careful next time.

Ask cindy about HomeAway
lynnb49
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/9/15

I see many reviews here blaming Homeaway for a bad experience. Vacation renters, please know that Homeaway/VRBO do not own any of the properties you see on their site. They are merely the marketers for property owners that pay to advertise on their site.

Homeaway/VRBO do not inspect properties, make sure the homeowners are competent or anything of that nature. They simply bill the property owners to place their properties for rent on their site.

Ask lynn about HomeAway
billl58
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/9/15

We have just returned from a beautiful vacation in France. We had rented two large farmhouses at the Bed and Breakfast facility "Le Four a Sel" in the village of Aubas, just a few kilometers from Montignac. The houses were clean and well set up... swimming pool was well-kept... the owners of Le Four a Sel live on site and were helpful in suggesting local points of interest and restaurants. All in all- a very positive experience!

Ask Bill about HomeAway
keishaw2
1 review
3 helpful votes
7/7/15

I booked a property in NY with Homeaway and made a full payment to Homeaway 2 months before I was due to move into the property. Having arrived in NY from London I was then not able to make contact with the property owner and did not move into the property but had to find alternative accommodation at short notice with airbnb.

I contacted Homeaway trust and security department ASAP to advise that I could not get a hold of the property owner, they also attempted to contact the host and was also unsuccessful. I was told that my payment had not been made to the host but was being held with Homeaway's sister company VRP (vacation rental property) however I still could not get a refund as Homeaway do not give refunds. 3 days later although I had not moved into the property and Homeaway were well aware that I had not moved in (they advised me to go to the police station and report my issue as a crime) they processed the payment and paid the property owner. Luckily for me 2-3 weeks later; after returning back home to London, after numerous calls and emails to Homeaway, after carrying out my own detective work, after finding the host on social media, after finding out where he worked and emailing his CEO (as he had ignored emails, voice messages etc) I finally had a response from the owner, who has given a hell of a story regarding why he didn't respond to calls or emails.

A month after returning home I am now still fighting to get a refund, Homeaway have done nothing to help, they did nothing to try and stop the payment being processed in the first place and any responses from them has now been that the contract was between myself and the property owner, they are only an advertising platform. Avoid booking rental properties with Homeaway, they do not carry out proper checks, had this been a fraudster Homeaway would have processed a payment to them.

AVOID, QUESTIONABLE BUSINESS ETHICS, BREEDING GROUND FOR FRAUDSTERS

Ask Keisha about HomeAway
lovishal
1 review
2 helpful votes
7/7/15

My family was considering using Homeaway for our Disney in December vacation but have definitely changed our minds due to the comments here and the horrible customer service received during an attempted booking. Thanks for your reviews!!

Ask Lovisha about HomeAway
jonm53
1 review
0 helpful votes
7/5/15

My girlfriend and I stayed for 4 fantastic weeks here in Marin County. We were very fortunate to rent our little secret hideaway in San Rafael. The apartment is cozy and has all the creature comforts of home. The best part is the Hot Tub and Sauna in a private area just outside the apartment. There is also a nice Bar-B-Que in the shaded area where the hot tub and sauna is. The landlord was quite helpful with whatever we needed and he has much local knowledge for spots to visit and hike to. we hope to return again next year.

Ask Jon about HomeAway
vincew17
1 review
4 helpful votes
7/3/15

DO NOT use this company for your reservation needs!! They offer NO security to your reservation. You make the reservation with them, but it must be "accepted or declined" by the property owner. The property owner has 24 hours to respond either way. If you travel to the area with expectations of your reservation, you might be disappointed to find that it's been declined, (as is with ours) EVEN AFTER YOUR MONEY IS PENDING PAYMENT!!
BUYER BEWARE!!! SCAM COMPANY!!!

Tip for consumers: BUYER BEWARE

Ask vince about HomeAway
roberts258
1 review
2 helpful votes
6/28/15

We have used vrbo.com for years, to rent vacation properties and never had a problem. They are now related to Homeaway.com. This year we booked a property through the VRBO website 6 months in advance. To do this, you must pay the entire amount for the rental upon booking, with a credit card. My credit card statement cites payment to "Homeaway". (This property's page promised complete refund if cancelled within 30 days of check-in.)

2 months later, noticed the website description was changed. A review had disappeared. When I pursued details,I was told the apartment I rented was on another floor; no reply to my request for them to specify which window(s) had the promised ocean view. (First description said "full ocean view" but changed.) When I told them if I did not get the information I was seeking I wanted to cancel, they sent me an email that the rental was cancelled. This was June 5. Still waiting for the refund. The management first told me that Homeaway would do the refund. Homeaway told me the management must do the refund. Homeaway followed up on my request to their 'help' site to ask me for the manager's address and phone number! They said they would forward my complaint to the manager and 'put a note in the file'.

This manager is still advertising on vrbo. (Although they show no bookings.)

Has Homeaway become a web site address for scammers to bilk customers?

Ask Robert about HomeAway
janen16
1 review
1 helpful vote
6/26/15

Stayed in condo J102 from 06/19/15 to 06/25/15 with family of three adults, two teenagers and 14 month old baby. Good size condo with large main bedroom having it's own ensuite bathroom and bath and a walk in wardrobe. Downside - unfortunately there are 5 air conditioning compressors directly outside this room which come on and off all at different times throughout the night making it impossible to have a good night's sleep. Second bedroom has two single beds with another bathroom with a shower/toilet. Downside - the mattresses on the beds were thin and uncomfortable. Good size lounge and well equipped kitchen. Crockery and pans limited with many plates showing chips and wear. Be prepared to buy all products as there was only some dish washing liquid and one roll of kitchen paper and some alfoil. The lounge has direct access to a very small pool and two small spas. There is a cover over verandah with tables and chairs where you look onto the pool. There is an old sofa loung suite which opens to make a bed. This was neither comfortable to sit on and certainly not adequate for one adult to sleep on! Very poor Management communication and their customer service was nil. I say this as one evening we experienced lots of adults consuming alcohol (Beer) whilst sitting in the pool. The children didn't want to go in the pool as the noise was increasing as the night went on. Even at 11:30pm children were slashing and screaming in the pool. When I sent a polite message to Management of this unit I was told that it is permitted for people to drink beer and be in the pool until midnight. What they failed to check were two signs stating the pool closed at 10pm and security would enforce this rule. I never saw a security person the whole 6 days we stayed. We were told to wear resort wrist bands and yet we were the only guests wearing them. The good point is the condo is walking distance to The Schlitlerbahn water slide. Okay for a family holiday but not in anyway luxurious for the amount of money we paid.

Ask Jane about HomeAway
amandab80
1 review
0 helpful votes
6/23/15

We really enjoyed 7900 Estero and everything that it offered. If we weren't at the beach we were in the pool. There were 3 families and this home had plenty of room for all of us and was very accommodating with 2 kitchens and 3 bathrooms. My parents stayed on the ground level and was very helpful then they had no stairs to maneuver. Home is very well kept and furnishings were very tasteful. Property was very well maintained.

Ask Amanda about HomeAway
erikr18
1 review
1 helpful vote
6/19/15

We booked an apartment on 2205 3rd Ave in New York, NY for a one week stay. Pictures were beautiful and the owners description was great. We arrived to a sleeping doorman (24 hr. avail) and $#*!roaches on the floor and on the see-through curtains. Bedsheets were dirty and so was the bathroom, $#*!roaches in the toaster, and the shower curtain moldy. We emailed the owner, Maaya, who assured us she would come and see herself and offered to have it cleaned. She never showed up. Due to a variety of circumstances, we had no choice but to stay. We surface cleaned (no cooking) our best and try not to stay in, but to sleep. It's been 3 days and no word from the owner, who supposedly lives in New York. The worst vacation experience EVER!

Ask Erik about HomeAway
gerit2
1 review
0 helpful votes
6/19/15

I rented Joe and Kathy's house for the week of June 8. Weather was perfect, just steps away from the beach. House was clean and comfortable, couldn't ask for more. Would definitely recommend this wonderful house to friends and family.

Ask Geri about HomeAway
jims142
1 review
4 helpful votes
6/19/15

I have recently booked a rental through Homeaway.co.uk only to find out it is a complete and utter scam. Speaking with their custmer service staff and they don't seem surprised at all, and have now offered me very little for what I've paid. Essentially this company is corroborating with Scammers and fails to protect its customers. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE AVOID.

Ask Jim about HomeAway
katiet7
2 reviews
7 helpful votes
6/14/15

I am a vacation rental property owner, and have read through many comments here regarding guest reviews, among other things. Some of you have noted that your review “does not meet our guidelines," and presume that it is because you have unkind things to say. This is completely untrue, and please know that as owners we have absolutely NO control over guest reviews.

When a review is written it is sent to the owner for feedback. If it is a glowing review the owner can let HomeAway know that it can be published right away. If it is not so great or if the guest comments are perceived to be malicious in any way, the owner has the right to “hold” the review for a short period of time while he works with the past guest to try to make things right. The guest then has the opportunity to modify the review prior to publishing. If the allotted time passes with no changes, the review WILL be published as is, unless HomeAway has determined that the guest’s review was simply malicious.

Never include numbers in your reviews – that is an automatic “kick-out.” This includes address numbers, phone numbers, and the rate you paid to rent the property. ANY number will kick your review back to you, with the generic, “…does not meet our guidelines” note.

Here are HomeAway’s actual review guidelines:

• A review must be submitted within one year of the date of stay.
• Users who post content must have all legal rights to post the content.
• The content must be directly related to its purpose. Examples include:
◦ Property listing descriptions must relate to the property and information that would be useful to a traveler.
◦ Reviews of a property must focus on the traveler’s experience renting the property, which will typically focus on the stay but may address other factors relating to the rental process such as inquiries or bookings.
◦ Content posted in a forum must be relevant to the purpose of the forum and discussion.
• Listings and reviews should be accurate.
• The content must comply with the current site Terms and Conditions
• Reviews and responses should not disclose the physical location of the property or the rates charged by the owner or manager.
Users cannot post a review or response for the purpose of blackmailing or extorting owners or travelers for money or other consideration. The reviews are for the benefit of future travelers, not to allow one party to threaten the other.

Eligibility Guidelines
To review a property, the traveler must meet the following requirements:
• The traveler must be able to provide satisfactory evidence of the stay; possess receipt of property access information from HomeAway Mobile Hospitality Manager; or demonstrate payment in accordance with a rental agreement and was cancelled on or within two weeks of arrival; or paid in accordance with the rental agreement, arrived and had to stay at a property other than the property booked. Owners and property managers of advertised properties may not review the property that he or she owns or manages.
All travelers must also be able to validate his or her identity or email when submitting a review.

To thoroughly scrutinize reviews, click the name of the reviewer and see if they’ve reviewed other properties as well. Sometimes you may see a fishy connection between the properties reviewed, and it could be that the reviewer is an employee for the rental management company or some such. Be thorough, ask questions, contact the owner – rent with your eyes open. We have 22 5-star reviews, and each one of them is absolutely legitimate.

Ask katie about HomeAway
eljayh
1 review
10 helpful votes
6/14/15

My experience with homeaway.com was terrible. I gave it 1 star because theres no option for 0. I was looking to rent a beach home in the Jersey shore for the weekend. They asked for credit card information and that a payment would not go through until the property owner confirmed that the property was available.
The next day I received an email from the property owner that the property was not available. I didnt think anything of it and continued my search. When I found another property and went to pay, my card was declined. When I checked online, homeaway made 3 charges totaling a little over $1000. When I called homeaway and asked why did they charge me if the property was not available, they said that its their policy to place a hold and then release it if the property is unavailable. This is not what the website says. The representives also gave me the run around, telling me they could give me authorization codes to lift the hold. This was only after the third phone call. Why didnt they tell me that from the beginning?!
Needless to say, this was a huge inconvenience.
I will never use homeaway.com ever again.

Ask Eljay about HomeAway
caseyc24
1 review
3 helpful votes
6/10/15

The site will kick you out every time you cross a border. Then the only way you can verify your account is through a text message or phone call. This is extremely frustrating due to the fact that most of us don't carry our service around the world with us. The horrible customer service doesn't help matters.

Stick with airbnnb.

Ask casey about HomeAway
christ3006
1 review
2 helpful votes
6/10/15

My parents rented a house via this website and while the property was only mildly insufficient the owner was a nightmare and tried to charge us for a bunch (thousands of dollars) of BS work she claimed needed to be done and some missing items. However, when we explained the law to her she backed off. When we tried to submit an honest review of the nightmare owner they would not allow it saying that "your review does not meet our guidelines". After submitting several iterations attempting to become compliant we realized that the only way it could be seen as "non-compliant" is that our review was not flattering of the listing/owner.
This is not the first time we have had issues with owners and false advertising on these sites and neither case did VRBO/Homeaway do ANYTHING to help us but rather did everything they could to protect the owners!
Caveat emptor (buyer be ware)...these websites are NOT on your side!!

Tip for consumers: DON'T RENT through VRBO / HOMEAWAY.COM!!

Service
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Ask Chris about HomeAway
simonr30
1 review
1 helpful vote
6/8/15

My son and his friends lost their money and ruined their senior week plans because of fraud on HomeAway site. After dealing with HomeAway, I feel that it is not safe renting properties advertised on this site. HomeAway does not do enough to combat scammers, and does not stand behind its protection guarantee. To read more details, please refer to my blog on this subject: http://simonraban.blogspot.com/2015/06/warning-fraud-on-homeaway-site.html

Ask Simon about HomeAway

22 Questions & Answers

Below are questions from consumers with answers from the HomeAway staff and other consumers. Do not write reviews in this section - click here to write a review
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Q: Have anyone found any way to stop homeaway from just making money off people that are just trying to get what they pay for ? can we not all pull together and file some type of civil suite? If anyone is will to sign a petition against them email me at jnetsellars@gmail.com and I will see what we can do to try and stop this unfair treatment or at least make them feel what we feel is unfair treatment. Jennette Robinson
9/12/13
Answer
stevel53
A: At the end of the day, HomeAway is a advertising vehicle for owners to reach guests. Each unit is as good as that owner makes it. I own 11 properties that I list on HomeAway and manage 6 for others. My customers are universally happy with the condos they stay in. At this point there is not much you can do. But I would strongly suggest in the future you speak to the condo owner and ask tough questions. Owners like yours give the rest of us a bad name. It is a shame that a few bad apples can screw things up for the rest of us owners who work very hard to give our guests a great experience!
5/26/15
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Q: I am verydiscouraged by all these negative reviews of HomeAway as I thought I had found my perfect property for a family holiday in July. How can I be confident that it is OK to book through you?
4/18/15
Answer
sarahs170
A: Where are you looking for your holiday? I rent my vacation home through honest real estate agencies in the area of my home, people who actually know my house. Now I have used Home Away to fill in the unrented time and am running into business practices I find unethical. They are holding a Pay Per Booking (one of their two plans for owners) amount for one month. My renters are only there for the week and I am known to HomeAway through a different subscription model. They have fine print so they can hold the first rental on a different payment model. SCAM. IL have no affiliation to the company but am on the site as an owner.
1 week ago
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