70 Reviews for HomeAway
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As homeowner, homeaway.com customer service is pathetic. They change the website at will, removing previous amenities and are not willing to replace them all the while increasing the price.
I rented a vacation rental in Ogunquit, Maine. The landlords lied and intentionally mislead us. It began with them shutting the water off for the last three days of our 30-day lease. The landlords then lied to us about their extremely inefficient heating in their other rental, which we then moved into for three months during the winter. There is a long list of what they did to us and then did not return our deposit. I will never deal with homeway.com ever, again. Do not trust their bogus, embellished reviews.
I am a homeowner that advertises 3 properties on Homeaway - they are ridiculous to deal with - I have never received a bad review on any of my rentals 4 months ago I rcvd a bad review on my rental - problem is the people never stayed at my home - it was a bad review posted to my home - which hurt my rentals - it took a month to remove the bad review as it was for another home the renter stayed at! - I rate 5 star - now I just recvd another review (bad) which we were shocked at - only problem is this renter stayed at my villa 8 months ago - never complained once during or after the rental - I got a very poor review because a cable repair man didn't show up to repair the cable box that broke down during their rental - we have no control over cable companies - as we all know - yet these renters had the nerve to complain about this 8 months later and complain about the home - even though they saw a virtual tour of the property - everything in the home was new - bedding, appliances, etc - the review didn't even sound like our home - the renter had said in her emails the place was great! so I tried to resolve the matter with the renter - who has not returned my calls or emails - so Homeaway is printing this bad unsubstantiated review on my site - I think some people are just malicious or nuts -- and we got one out of hundreds of renters we have had - which is unfair - especially since we have tried to resolve the issue - but 8 months after is pretty hard to resolve- seems totally unfair - there should be a time limit on reviews - as its pretty tough to try to resolve an old complaint.
Another issue - they have a new book it now key - one renter used the key - but the property had just been rented to another party - so I refunded the funds immediately - got a confirmation from homeaway that the refund had been processed - a week later homeaway said they were depositing the funds into my bank account with a service charge - when I contacted them about their error - I was told it was a computer glitch - I have to send the refund myself back to the renter - but it will take another 7 days for the funds to actually be rcvd in my bank account which is totally unfair to the renter who was supposed to be credited immediately - looks bad on me as a landlord,
Since VRBO and Homeaway merged the service has gone downhill - they monopolize the rental market now - the service stinks - my costs have gone up $200 per listing - so I am now paying over $1600 per year - yet you can barely find my listing as there are too many on the site! A smaller website is much better - but they are being eaten up by this greedy company that offers no customer service to renters or landlords!
If I could give it negative stars I would. They don't check that the listing are real until after there is a problem then they offer no assistance. I rented a property and paid for it only to find out it a scam and lost my money. When I called them they were no help. Told me to contact the "owner". Poor business practise to allow anyone to list without checking it out.
My rental experience was so uncomfortable that I left with two paid days left. My biggest beef w/HomeAway is the website will NOT allow you to give a honest personal review that is not 4-5 stars…in my opinion this is less than honest. I tried to tell 'my story' 3times,and was refused every time. Horrible business ethics.
Do not rely on customer reviews for any Homeaway companies. They remove the negative reviews. I had a horrible experience. The place I rented had a horrible septic problem and smelled like raw sewage. I learned the hard way. Hopefully this will help others from wasting their money the way I wasted mine. Do not trust any properties on Homeaway or VRBO.com
Someone has managed to get hold of my creditcard and create 4 listings with it. Homeaway claim they know nothing about this but they have been able to find the listings and remove them. Go figure!!
Maybe there are good listings with Home Away BUT the one I stayed at WAS NOT. Oh sure the pics look all beautiful and promising and the amenities are listed to reel ppl in,,BUT when we arrived property 380286 was dirty and the cleaning ppl were still there! They said they cleaned everything but we watched them and they did NOT. Pretty dumb to say that when the renters are in the property. Property said it slept 8 and that included 2 sofa beds that the owner raved about for our children and they were both broken with springs sticking out!!!! Towels had pubic hairs in and makeup stains on some and the towels were so worn out I wouldn't wash my car with them!
The owner's response was that her property was beautiful and we were getting a great deal. The price was nothing diff than listed on the site. We weren't getting any special rate. She told us she didn't believe us even after we sent her pictures!! Her cleaning girl apparently lied to her about how she had been cleaning the owner's property or the owner knew it was in the condition it was and didn't want to admit it. We had to buy air mattresses for our kids and new bedding and after our stay was over the owner finally agreed to reimburse us for what we bought but nothing more and only IF we didn't write any reviews on her site. We didn't want another family to have the same experience so we opted to tell her to stick it and write reviews. The website keeps shutting down every 10 seconds and is almost impossible to write one! After getting our review the owner called me and begged us to remove it, but we refused and so she commented with lies below our review saying she replaced a sofa bed for us and bought us new things to replace the stuff that was unusable or broken immediately. She said we targeted her for money!!! What a horrible owner and Home Away said they could not dispute these issues. How can a company allow an owner to list a property that is false??!! Recently I have forwarded a copy of our receipt to Home Away for the things we had to purchase in able to stay in her cabin and they said they are investigating it. I highly doubt they will do anything and will be shocked if they reprimand the owner for trying to blackmail us into reimbursing us only is we didn't write a review. This COMPANY should be reprimanded.
These properties are supposed to be Homes Away from Homes and the property we stayed in clearly was not. No one should have to clean a property upon arrival and buy things that are promised on the site. A horrible experience with the owner and this company. Will not rent with them again!!
We've been renting our French gites through Holiday Rentals (now Home Away) for the past 8 years, with fantastic results… until this year. Just one booking, the rest are all through Holiday Lettings. I'm not sure what has happened; a greedy new policy trying to tempt you to pay more for better search results hasn't helped. And judging from this page, a great many dissatisfied renters and owners. Feels like I've wasted a big chunk of our advertising budget, and I won't be looking to renew. Shame, after such a good service for so many years.
What poor policies and customer service. I've spent hours back and forth trying to get simple answers and payments resolved as an owner. I have been relying much more on Airbnb for this reason. Really wish VRBO had a different payment processing partner.
They are just an advertising space for unscrupulous property scams. Homeaway do nothing to resolve problems. They advertise properties but the location is not accurate. You wont be where you think you are. Being miles away caused me problems.
Owners don't respond and are not always genuine owner.
Very dangerous site andHA have no power to help once you have been scammed, sent to wrong accommodation and ripped off. Telephones manned by robots
Tried to reserve a property and began initial correspondence with the property owner. Home Away then sent me an email saying the property was a fraud and I should stop all correspondence. WHAT??? You don't vet your properties before listing them on your website? Now some creep has my name and address, they are lucky I did not give this criminal my payment information. Their "security" department, just said, "Sorry, this one slipped through the cracks". Really?? How can I ever trust that any property is valid. I would NOT use this site to list my rental property.
I had a good and honest visibility with fewo direkt and holiday rentals.now all the small european sites have been inglobed by home away,and though i am a owner with 34 reviews,if you filter propriety by reviews,i am on the 3 page,after propriety with 2 reviews.because i pay only the basic level,which is 3 times as much as what i paid with the former sites.i get almost no good requires,since the site has put so many proprieties on and give space only to the platinum ones.living in a town like palermo,where rents are low,i can t make a honest policy to my guests having to pay so much for advertizing.do you know any other option?
I have been reviewing many of the properties that HomeAway has advertised and I asked about rental 3233984 in Barbados. When I inquired about the cost, the price doubled. When I emailed the manager back and asked why the price jumped, she stated that the rate was per room and we had eight in our group. I emailed back to say that the website states the rental basis is "per property" and does not say "per room". Her reply was that it's common practice with villa rentals. I was looking for complaints about this company when I came upon this SiteJabber site. I'm so glad I did. I will avoid at all cost!!
I've used Homeaway before with good results, but lately I've noticed a change for the worse. Twice I have used their "instant quote" only to find that when I contact the owner the price is double what the quote said. I won't be using them again.
This site will list illegal short term rentals that are baned by city ordinances and continue to do so even when notified of the problem.
I booked property number 281175 (Owner John LI) about 6 weeks ago. We agreed to the deposit amount, I signed his contract then he claimed the is a scheduling conflict and cancelled my reservation. I have worked in the travel industry for over 30 years and this is my worst experience to date. The site itself Homeaway will only accept positive reviews, my review was removed. Do not book with this company of John LI.
absolute rubbish. I have been advertising with home away for the past 3 year, but then they are taken over by american company and are no buying every other advertising website on the web.
They listed my property wrongly and at the wrong price and as of today, are still listing properties around my area incorrectly, it is an absolute joke and a disgusting way to treat customers
with the threat of legal action I was refunded my 12 months subscription as their changes were not what I paid for ( I was 10 months into subscription)
The bad thing is that as they now own most of the internet, it is virtually impossible to find a site that actually works that is not owned by them.
If you are an advertiser, do not get involved. Since the changes, my page views have gone from 260 a month to 20,. This is due to that fact that they have absolutely saturated the market and there is just too much to choose from. Given that I pay over £1000 to advertise, I would expect better
£1000 is a hell of a lot of google ads and guess what, business is booming since leaving the sinking ship of home away and using google ads
Booked and sent bank cheque and signed agreement.
Owner then cancelled our booking which we found out he took a booking for longer term.
Our out of pocket was aud$250.00
Never book with owners who want you to pay by cheque.
This property was in Carmel .usa #353438.
If I could give them a zero, I would. I really wish I would have seen this site and read these reviews before renting a homeaway.com property. We had a great experience until it came time for the property owner to return our security deposit. At that point she started talking about "extra cleaning" that was needed and "damages". We did not damage the property and even vacuumed before our departure! After getting no where with her, I filed a complaint with homeaway and they basically told me I am on my own. Don't use this site!
This is a terrible website with lousy customer service. I encountered one of the worst people I have ever met when I rented a property through Homeaway. She (and her husband) was insulting and rude. The property did not fit the description and, when I calmly and politely confronted her about this, she immediately began yelling and told me to get off her property. I don't want to relive the experience by writing too much detail now, but, suffice it to say, that when I contacted Homeaway about my experience, I never hear anything back! I gave them plenty of opportunity to correct the situation, but they chose to ignore me. I plan on doing everything I can to bring attention to this horrible situation so that no one else ever has to experience what I did; this level of apathy should not go unpunished. What a horrible, horrible company.
We had a home owner cancel our reservation 2 days before the date even after they had deposited our full payment and told us it was available. I would not use this site if you want any guarantee of the quality of your stay. They appear to favor home owners over renters including the censorship of renters that do not give favorable views. They reject reviews about instances like mine citing that you need to have stayed at the place to review it. Also, if you look through the site you will see a very low frequency of negative reviews, most likely due to their owner friendly screening process.
l have recently had a bad experience with this site as a renter for a rental property(#1101217/ #490697)
in Barbados.My $500 usd deposit has been taken. They were great & prompt replies to all my emails until the wire transfer of my $500 usd was completed. After that l emailed this property owner for confirmation of payment/dates booked & no reply. l waited 1week & then request to cancel/refund & since then after numerous emails & un-answered phone calls still no refund nor any assistance from this site. Please dont throw your money away.
I used to belong to Holiday Rentals, a good little site but then they were consumed by Homeaway, a greedy, grabbing American site. It is now so enormous that it virtually does what it wants and takes no notice of us the customers who own gites. There are so many gites in our area of the Dordogne that visibility is a real problem. The only way to be really visible is to pay three times the going fee to belong to the Platinum level. If I paid to use HA's credit card system this would make me even more visible but why should I and may renters pay for something which can easily be done privately by free bank transfer?. Renters beware, the review system isn't very honest. Many of us have really good genuine reviews posted independently by holiday makers, but HA allows some owners to post loads of 'owner submitted reviews'. These rely on the honesty of the owner and some of them are probably bogus...who knows.
If I could advertise with someone else and be sure that I could get the bookings that I do, (we have 12 weeks booked already for next year) I would, but this greedy company has a virtual monopoly of the market. They provide no decent customer service and each time that I have phoned about an issue, they offer platitudes and then have the gall to ask me if I want to pay for their payment system. If you think that Ryanair and O'Leary are devious, then I can assure that HA is worse.
I am a home owner that advertises on Homeaway at a cost of £700 ($1050) per year. For the three years I have paid them I have only realised they have had the wrong weekly rate (too high) on one of their biggest UK sites which has no doubt cost me bookings and they listed my property on VRBO 20 miles away from its actual location and there offer of compensation is three months free advertising. Really!!!!
According to my recent experience with a dishonest property owner, I would recommend everyone to avoid using homeaway.com for the following reasons:
- Homeaway does not help you nor protect you if you have a problem with a property owner.
- The customer service team never replies in detail to your queries (you will receive automated replies).
- It seems Homeaway only post positive reviews about property, which lead to biased judgements by customers.
I have lost more than £500 because an owner refused to refund me duplicated charges and the security deposit of my rental. Despite several letters, emails or calls to Homeaway, I never got my money back!
I tried to post a negative review relating to a property listed on Homeaway and located near Cimarron, Co. The owner simply backed out of the rental agreement a few weeks before my arrival and left us scrambling for an alternative rental. Homeaway wouldn't post my review because I hadn't stayed in the house. There seems to me to be a major scam element involved in Homeaway's business model. I would never rely on them again for an honest appraisal of any property they have listed.
I'm a renter, not an owner. Over the past 5 years I've rented 4 times from different owners on the same Caribbean island. First 3 homes were great and the ads and reviews accurately reflected what we found when we arrived. But the 4th rental was a disaster. I have gone back to the owners ad, with the beautiful pictures and the 5 star reviews, and can actually laugh now at how inaccurate it was, but I was not laughing when we checked in, after spending $6000 on airfare for 10 of us and 4 months planning a big family get together. What a dump. After my return I wrote a bad review, now the owner is threatening to sue me to get me to retract it. No wonder all the properties have only 4 and 5 star reviews. What renter is going to defend a lawsuit just so their critical review can be published? I will never trust the pictures and reviews on the site ever again.
Seems HomeAway is all about making money from Landlords and don't care about the holidaymakers.
We recently rented via this site from someone who turned out to be a rogue agent. Cut a long story short:
1/ The apartment was dirty when we arrived, we cleaned it when leaving to avoid a cleaning fee. Got charged a cleaning fee (1/3rd of the deposit), when we complained, the landlord decided to keep the whole deposit.
2/ The apartment was incorrectly advertised with old photos that were not representative. The apartment was well overdue a refurb - the windows didn't even have curtains! We had to climb 10 flights of stairs to get to the front door (no lift), no fir escape / smoke alarm / extinguisher, etc, etc.
So we complain to HomeAway and they tell us to speak with the owner who has since decided to ignore our emails. HomeAway have taken no action, and seem unconcerned about the misrepresentation of the property on their website.
We post a review detailing the actions of the owner, and how the property differs from what is advertised. They don't print the review!
So I guess the conclusion is, a traveller has no protection from rogue owners on this site. You'll never know until its too late and your holiday is ruined and your money stolen.
Their new tiered payment program for the owners discourages legitimatly well run listings to be earn more inquiries and bookings. This system encourages manipulation by the company to manage listings to go to the highest bidder, not the highest quality. They also spend more time censoring and misleading people on their message boards with fake posters than actually trying to help.
Homeaway is the dominant leader for vacation rentals in the world, and is sucking the blood from the market. They have a good platform for leads, but you'd think with all the money they're making, they would have a decent support network. I've spent thousands of dollars on the highest level listings over the years, and am appalled by the level of support. I can't even get a response from them! (Plus, they double charged two of my bookings--oops! A $3000 mistake!)
After pointing out some issues with the apartment 5D in Sheridan Square Greenwich Village, NewYork to our rep contact - well to cut a long story short they admitted the very noisy aircon was broken but it wouldn't be fixed during our stay. Never mind that we couldn't sleep! Then the emails got personal and condescending when I challenged them and pointed out other failings that were not shown in the pictures such as 80% of the storage space was full of the owers stuff including out of date food in the the even noisier fridge etc. too many to go into here. Now I am back home I escalated this to HomeAway UK head office and basically am told they have passed it on to the advertisor but will not tell me what comms they will have with them due to data protection - so unless the advertiser contacts me I won't get to know anything. They more or less said put it down to experience. I am mostly angry that this 'rep' can get away with treating customers like dirt and just taking our money with no accountability for poor standards. This issue is ongoing but don't hold out any hope of a resoloution in my favour. Will think twice about using them as they are just a portal for owners to post their apartments on. I think I used their sub company Owners Direct in the past and had no problem though. I think HomeAway own several of the holiday rental companies you see on the web so do some digging coz there ARE lots of good ones out there. Oh and they haven't posted my negative review either - even though it is factual, accurate and stuff we would want to know. Hope this helps.
Had a good experience the 1st time renting directly from the property owners so we decided to try it again. Unfortunately, the property owners we originally dealt with had sold their property so we started looking anew.
I spent a great deal of time narrowing down the property listings that were desirable to us and then sent off 4 emails to 4 different properties asking some basic questions.
It turns out that 3 of the 4 properties were managed by the same company and "Eric" immediately tried to pull the old bait and switch. the properties listed on the Home Away site all implied availability for the time we wanted, showing weekly rates.
Eric however wouldn't take our requests as he claimed they didn't rent weekly during the time requested even though the site specifically said they did. He also said that they wouldn't take a booking 3 months in advance. To top it off, he tried to rent us a property that was not where we were looking and twice the price!
After some unproductive 'to and fro' with Eric, I complained to Home Away about the false advertising on their site. Their response was to claim they would forward my concerns to Eric for resolution. What a cop out. Thanks for nothing.
Home Away is just another web site making money off transactions between people but providing no customer service to speak of and showing absolutely no interest in cleaning up their site by disciplining or getting rid of the unscrupulous lurking there.
You may get lucky with this site but ultimately I recommend that you avoid them since you will get no satisfaction if any issues arise.
I would give this site 0 stars
they are horrible I had issues with a home and
you would think this company would stand behind me
they threw me under the bus!!!
the owner of the home I rented even called me to thank me for my
honest reporting of issues in the home
RUN AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY
If I could rate home away less than a "1" I certainly would. I have been a good - and repeat - customer of Home Away and VRBO for years with no problems. I found a rental in London that offered a pay online option. This seemed great so I did it. I was charged $106 (69 GBP). The owner offered 100% refund if canceled more than 30 days prior. Unfortunately I had to do so but gave 90 days notice. The owner then told me deposits are non refundable so I disputed the charge with my credit card company. After I made a complaint to HA and disputed the charge, she agreed to refund my money but wants to send it to my US bank account, for which I will pay a fee for an international transfer ($25), or my paypal account (which I haven't one). The charge was directly from Home Away but they absolutely refuse to refund my money saying they are just an advertising medium for owners. That is complete bull! Luckily my credit card company stands firmly behind me and says Home Away owes the refund. If they don't give it willingly then Chase will deduct it from them. I have made a solemn vow to NEVER use either site again!!
I totally advice AGAINST using HomeAway an other similar online rental services. If everything is OK then you may grab a good bargain. The problem is if any negative issue or experience happens because Homeaway will skip any help of liability. Here is my terrible experience:
I made a booking for a week stay in NYC almost 3 months ago. However, in less than 12 hours before my arrival to NYC, the owner of the apartment cancelled the reservation. 12 HOURS BEFORE MY ARRIVAL!!!
Consider this: Homeaway will not provide you with any support at all. They act as a sole intermediary between 2 individuals with no liability on their ads. So in case or a problem or a scam you can only claim against an owner who lives in a foreign country than yours so no legal sue is feasable.
Therefore, I had to find a different acommodation, more expensive since I had no time to search and with higher transport costs. What happened if I had not read the email of the cancellation? I had to stay in the street!! Who makes me up for all the damage?? NO ONE!!!
What if once you arrive at your destination, there is no apartment, or the owner decides to cancel? NOTHING, YOU ARE SCREWED!!!!! Beware, there are scams and your reservation refund is not guaranteed at all.
Therefore, making any reservation in these websites is a risk.
In six months today is the second time that my reservation has been cancelled two weeks prior to my trip. I planned everything with more than a month or two so it is a total disappointment to get cancelled two weeks prior to my trip.
I was thinking that this is a great way for the renters to get FREE FINANCING with my money. They charge almost half the price right away and total booking is charged one month or more in advance so they use your money for as much time as they want for FREE and you get charged with credit card interest. THIS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.
I've tried booking on this site for my daughter's wedding for 3 months, a good 6 months before the wedding. Availablity calendars for homes are not kept up to date and I have yet found a property where the owner has the courtesy to respond. The only way to contact an owner is through the home away website and with no response, you're hung out in limbo. When asking customer service for assistance, their response is to email the owner through each home's link to email the owner. Doesn't do you any good if the owners won't respond. This site is awful and has caused a lot of stress trying to find a home for the family to share during our celebration. BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE,I WOULD SAY DON'T USE HOME AWAY.
I rented and stayed at a high-level rental in San Miguel (Casita Verde owned by D. Green) - and then wrote a review of the property to this site. It has never been published in spite of the fact that I've submitted it and written to customer support (????). Do they not accept negative reviews????
OMG can you please put a filter for NEIGHBORHOOD??? Home away is a step up from VRBO even though both owned by same parent company. Want some tips? go to airbnb for a much more user friendly interface...i'm so frustrated, i quit.
i would give it 0 stars if i could! false advertisement through and through! pictures of rentals have nothing to do with actual accomodations. when you confrom homeaway - they are not responsible for anything, supposedly you enter into agreement with individual renters. $2000 poorer, never actually stayed at the dump, advertised as "luxury 2 bedroom apartment in Meat Packing district in NY", and cant even sue the company because it no longer exists...
As an owner of a suite on the main floor of my home, I've advertised on HomeAway, VRBO, and FlipKey for 3 years. In the first year HomeAway provided few inquiries, with the others providing more, but in the second year HomeAway improved. As a result, I decided to re-subscribe as they were offering a "bundled" price. I asked about the price for the bundle when the advertising started, but it took them months to get it to me - saying repeatedly they hadn't determined it yet. WHAT?? How long should it take a company to come up with a price for a special advertised package? 6 months later I was given the price, and in the meanwhile I let my membership on both VRBO and HA lapse. After 4 months of a lapsed membership I purchased the "Classic Bundle". Five weeks later I had received no inquiries. A previous HA renter called to book again and mentioned that she couldn't find my listing and wondered if I had stopped renting my suite. I immediately went online and went through every page and alas, could not find my listing either.
I called HA "customer support". It took them 20 minutes to find out that it wasn't on the site. No apologies, just "I have sent the tech department your problem and it should be fixed in a few days." "A few days?", I asked "yes, ma'am its a Friday and there's lots of other things they need to do. It should be fine in a few days. I marked it as a priority."
Knowing there was little I could do to make it happen sooner I asked " And once its fixed what sort of compensation will I be given to make up for the lost potential revenue?" "We can offer you an extra 4 weeks" she said. "FOUR weeks? Its been 5 weeks since I renewed it." "Well ma'am, we don't know when it went down, it could've been just a few days ago."
Now I was angry and said "Excuse me, I keep very clear records of my inquiries and bookings. Last year for the same period I received 15 inquiries from HomeAway. This year I have received NONE. In the last 6 weeks I've had 29 inquiries from FlipKey. It seems to me that it never was renewed. In fact, my account says that it expired 8 months ago. If it was ever up and running, why would it say that?" "Ok ma'am, we can give you 5 weeks. It should be fine in a few days. There's nothing more I can offer you."
A week went by and I checked the site. No listing. I called again and spoke with a different person. He was more understanding, but couldn't offer anything more. "Its marked a priority. I'm sure the tech department is doing everything they can. Yes, ma'am I understand your frustration. I'm sorry I can't do anymore than that. Others have been calling with the same complaint, I'm sure the company will offer some sort of compensation. You'll get an e-mail when its fixed."
Almost 2 weeks later I received an e-mail telling me the problem had been sorted out and my site was live. I went online and found the listing. I called to find out what compensation I would receive. The person (another one again) told me that I was offered 5 weeks, it was on my file. I said "excuse me, that was 3 weeks ago. Its now been 8 weeks since I paid and have had no listing. Not only has HA had my $$ but I've lost potential revenue. Surely you can offer me something that won't cost you, like raising my placement, extending my listing beyond the 5 weeks. I'd like to speak to your supervisor." "I'm sorry ma'am, she'll have to call you back." I'm still waiting for that call.
I know for certain that I will not renew again on HA. FlipKey has been awesome, VRBO is okay - and I know its owned by the same company, but I need more than one website to advertise on. If anyone can recommend something else, please do.
Home Away, INC, Homeaway.com and VRBO.com are websites that advertise 'Vacation Rentals' which are really just homes, condo's, etc... that are individually owned and rented out for short periods of time to vacationers.
We actually have a 'vacation rental' next door to us, in a neighborhood of $500,000 to $1M homes. It is against the CC&R for this neighborhood, and against city laws that regulate against transient, short term rentals.
We now live next door to a what has become a hotel, with groups of 20-25 people at a time rotating every couple of days.
HomeAway does NOTHING when being told of the disturbances and violations. They do NOTHING to warn renters about the situation they will be walking into when they rent an illegal vacation rental. We have seen group after group have the police called on them, get yelled at by angry neighbors, stared down and treated like the enemy. VRBO does NOTHING to protect these renters from what will end up being a bad experience for them.
Why can't Homeway simply decide to be decent and take an active roll in getting rid of the rental properties that are causing problems in the communities, and violate laws? It's such an obvious, right, thing to do. But, instead, Brian Sharples has been quoted saying that they cannot know every law in every city. No, Brian, you dufus, you can't. But you CAN have a group of people who looks into situations brought to your attention and handle it with class and ethics. Go figure.
I think that any vacationer who rents a house in the middle of a neighborhood and brings in 20-25 people in 'LOUD.. I'm on VACATION' mode is asking for trouble. They get what's coming to them, in my opinion. I feel sorry for the renters who rent in my neighborhood. They go home crying and their kids witness the WHOLE, SAD mess of a vacation.
HomeAway is destined to FAIL if they don't change.
BE WARE of 'rentals' privately owned in neighborhoods. They often do not meet firecodes, pay taxes, adhere to America Disibilties Act regulations, adhere to CC&R's for the area, adhere to local laws... And YOUR vacation will be ruined because of it. Good luck getting a refund! Once that money is out of your hands, you will have to FIGHT to get it back, regardless of the situation that you were subjected to. You can thank the greedy money grabbers at VRBO for not giving you the headsup.
Think the 'reviews' you read on the rentals are accurate? Think again. Any negative comments about the rentals are BLOCKED by the property owner. Do your homework-- or better yet, rent a LEGITIMATE hotel room
Over the last 5 years we have used homeaway.com for many beach vacations and were always delighted. We were always careful to choose rentals that were affordable - but not cheap. You get what you pay for after all. We've never had a problem dealing with the owners or management companies, making payment, receiving security deposits back or the rentals. As we began planning this year's trip we are getting the "bait and switch". Not on one property...but every single property we have inquired about -- which now numbers 54. How is it that 54 properties are no longer available for the week we plan to travel -- HOWEVER, another similar property is available at more than double the price.
I will not fault the private owners -- we've only had contact from management companies. If you are an owner allowing your property to be managed....please be aware this is happening. We will not use this site again, we no longer feel it can be trusted.
What a total rip off. Their policy is for customer to pay in full and Home Away will get to your ad when we feel like it. I paid for a platinum membership on Jan 1st with the understanding that my ad would not be posted until I had all the information in the ad. I had info in by Jan. 2nd....and called Home Away/VRBO and asked them when the ad would be posted. She said in a few days. On the evening of Jan. 8th I called Home Away/VRBO back and spoke with John G. (they wont give out their full name). I had given him my name and property owner # and he confirmed the account. John G. said I didn't have my rates in...so I signed in and saw that I did indeed have the rates entered into the website. He said oh!...I thought you were someone else! Did he even bother to look at my account?? Ok..so John G. said he would send a note to production. When I asked when the ad would be posted, he said 3-5 business days. Ridiculous!...its already been 3-4 days past their promised posting date. Meanwhile I'm paying top dollar for the ad and he can't expedite it any more than that....nor will they offer any refund for the week that they wasted! I asked to speak with someone in management and he said he could have someone call me back in 24-48 hours. Wow....more incredibly poor customer service. I had no other option but to ask for a refund and cancel my account. We'll see how long that takes if I in fact ever get the refund. What a poor experience from Home Away and VRBO!!
The availability calendars are not updated.....owners were so shady...everyone I contacted who had availability according to homeaway.com, was pulling a bait and switch on me. The nerve of them thinking I am that desperate to rent from them. Stay away! Not to be trusted!
I was going to write that the customer service couldn't get worse, then decided that was misleading. There is no customer service. We have been members for 4 years, gold level (they just increased the cost from $700 to $750 for guaranteed placement) for 3- long enough to know without a doubt that they make many, many mistakes (at the owner's expense) and couldn't care less. For instance (and I could provide many other "instances"): I found my house listed on page 5 after doing a search using the parameters our house falls under. I called and asked why we were bumped from page 1. She said "up your subscription level".
I said "We're gold. these are all platinum above us? In our small town?"
"No. its a seniority issue."
"We've been here longer than almost all of these other listings."
"You don't have enough reviews."
"We have more than almost all of these listings."
"You dont have enough pictures"
"We have as many as you allow... are you even looking at our account??? We are listed after basic level, brand new, non-reviewed houses with just a few pictures THAT DON"T EVEN FIT THE SEARCH CRITERIA!"
"Then why dont your responses make sense? Let me talk to a manager."
"Theres no one here like that. I'm sorry maam, I've done all i could."
That's HomeAway for ya!
About homeaway – the truth
On http://fewo-direkt.blogspot.de I fount the following german report:
An owner of a vacation apartment here in Europe wrote in a blog about his experiences as landlord. And he recommended strictly to stop advertising on www.fewo-direkt.de or www.homeaway.com. Because this landlord had been victim of diffamatory reviews on this sites.
In the blog the owner also argued that the owner/customer is paying for the ad wherein he will be slandered, blackmailed.
Homeaway obtained an injunction from a commercial court, the amount in dispute was set at 60000 Euro ( appr 85 000 USD )
Homeaway argued that this owner - in possession of a single vacation apartment – is direct competitor to homeaway with its 200 000 and more properties and is trying to gain undue advantages at the expense of homeaway.
The Commercial Chamber follows the arguments of homeaway and sees the owner of even one vacation apartment as a competitor of homeaway.
Although we owners are addressing to the tourists, while Homeaway to us, the owners.
While we owners are suffering under false, malecious reviews homeaway tries to gag criticisme and to censure landlords.
Later then Homeaway, fewo-direkt.de tries to get the owner to remove his blog on the net and to require the landlord to write anything derogatory about homeaway and even the rentors coming through homeaway.
In return, homeaway accepts to remove a single defamatory review published on the ad of this owner. When later malecious reviews are written the owner shall declare on oath that it’s wrong and homeaway will graciously remove this review. No phone or email contact for the owner, but a web form to be completed.
Homeaway and their german fewo-direkt.de site makes owners become victims of extortion and defamation. But landlords shall not report over this. Owners should even not write about tenants of Homeaway when this rentors have damaged our properties.
Visit the forum as a landlord of homeaway.com. There was a survey of landlords. About 40% of landlords do not want to advertise on homeaway.com again - because of slanderous reviews.
And about 80% of landlords are very dissatisfied with homeaway.com, but there have to continue to advertise to all about to find tenants. This poll has been removed, it seems.
This is what happened here in Europe. Homeaway arraigns owners when they review homeaway. But the owners ?
We used Home Away for the first time last month so my family, parents, and brother could all stay together the weekend of my brother's wedding. The condo we reserved was fine and well supplied until we discovered one night that a corner had 20+ insect eggs burrowed in and insect larvae burrowing out of the carpet (we have a video if anyone is up to see at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtMDuZKoQmA&feature=channel&list=UL). We let the owner know immediately, but as it was over the weekend, she couldn't do much, which was understandable.
We wrote a very professional and polite letter requesting a partial refund from the owner, as we felt we would request the same if we were staying in a hotel. Having been landlords in the past, we felt that if we were in the owner's shoes, we would be horrified for the tenant. We told her it was our hope to resolve things amicably and to be able to leave positive feedback for her.
The owner refused and told Home Away we coerced her into giving us money for a good review, and Home Away agreed and told us we were ineligible to leave a review of her property. I endured a lecture from a CSR who insisted on addressing me as "Customer" rather than my name on how reviews are an avenue to benefit future travelers (considering that my review was in regards to a possible health risk, I found that highly ironic), not to extract demands from homeowners.
I asked to speak with a manager. A man named Jason claiming to be senior personnel called us, read my original email to the owner himself, and AGREED WITH US that we did not coerce the owner into anything, but claimed he was unable to do anything, and this is a closed matter.
So, if you use their service and nothing goes wrong, great. But if you do use them and something does go wrong, good luck - these reviews here and their online record with the BBB attest to that. I just can't believe that in light of both of those, they appear to be not even care about cleaning up their corporate image.
Their email signature: "Thank you for using HomeAway— the world's most trusted online vacation rental marketplace." What a crock.
I have used VRBO mainly in the past and have had wonderful vacations. Recently I used HomeAway??? The owner received my money and then the manager of property notified me the day before I was to arrive that the owner had booked over me with a personal business acquaintance? I have been in email conversations with property managers and so called other business accosiates of the owner and expected full reimbursements as promised....to then receive a check for an outlandish amount and told to cash it , deduct what I am owed and then return the remaining money to ? YES!!! I was scammed big time. The owner has a very impressive FB profile. Have yet to Hear anything from him after sending personal messages. All phone #'s do not connect. Everything before hand checked out as legit....but it wasn't!! These people whoever they are...are good at what they do to string you along. I lost over $3,000 for rental....but to have cashed that check would have ended up costing me over $8,000. more. I've just recently contacted HomeAway....I have not heard back from them...but the property is no longer on there site. Renters beware!!!!!