Very poor Management communication and their customer service was nil. (in 35 reviews)
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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.
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 BEWAREAsk vince about HomeAway
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!Ask Chris about HomeAway
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
Think the reviews you're reading are from paying guests? Well you could be very wrong. Homeaway has no policy against friends and family members writing reviews. So all those laudatory reviews you read may very well be written by the owners best fiend or a cousin. So beware. Stayed at one of the properties advertised through Homeaway in Beaufort, SC. It was listed as beachfront, yet was located at in a suburban community a good distance from the water, certainly no views. What was advertised as a "cozy cottage" was actually a converted car port. The floors were sinking into the ground with resulting sand coming in all around the edge. The open concept kitchen living room was a small room with kitchen and a loveseat stuck in on one wall. Chicken clucking in the owners backyard, we're not my idea of a beachy vacation. We had to leave early and made an agreement with the owner and Homeaway that we would be forwarded any monies from rentals that the owner collected during the time that we paid, yet we're not able to stay. The owner did not comply! She rented the property, and yet refused to pay us as promised. She threatened us and out and out lied and called us nasty names after we sent in a less than good review. It took three tries and two weeks of negotiations with Homeaway to get a negative review posted. We were limited to speaking only about the property and not about the ethics of the owner, but the owners response is not similarly restricted. So when you read a review, be careful it could have been written by a close friend whose only interest is promoting the property and not an honest review by a paying guest.
We rented a house in I'lsle Sur La Sorgue through a Kim Fry. The property was good although the towels are a little past their prime ...we expected better quality for the rental price. The real problem is chasing up the bond refund. We were a little tired of all the excuses & put-offs but were refunded eventually...don't get angry get serious !!! Not good enough Kim.
Tip for consumers: Request better towels.
Don't put up with the slow refund of the bond.
They have implemented a new Quality Listing score which they post for prospective renters. If you don't accept credit cards - your Quality rating is lowered. If you don't want to respond to an inquiry within the web-site's dashboard - they lower your Quality score. Today, they tell me that if I want to accept eChecks I have to enable credit cards as well. There is no fee for accpeting eChecks, but 2.5% charge for credit cards.
I still have an inquiry in my Dashboard from March 2014 that shows that I have not responded to it, and you guessed it....its lowered my Quality Score. They acknowlege its their issue, but claim they can't get rid of it.
At the end of the day the $1,000 annual hosting fee for my home isn't sufficient......they want 2.5% of my booking fees by making credit cards the optimum way for renters to pay. That costs me more than $2,000 in fees to HomeAway.
They seem to push the envelop of being a moral company in my opinion. I wish their was another viable alternative. They really have a monopoly, which sucks!
We reserved an apartment in NYC for a week from Ideal Oasis through homeaway. When I walked into the Ideal Oasis lobby it was full of disgruntled people. There were several different parties waiting there for their apartments to become available. They were all being told that they were waiting on the cleaning people to bring the key back to them. It was already after 5pm and 2 hours after the apartments were supposed to be available for check in. While I was waiting, another person called and said their key didn’t work for the apartment they were trying to get into. After 2 employees did some looking around at their stash of keys, they discovered they had given him the wrong key.
I started my check in process and the first thing she asked me was if my sales person (Adam) told me that there was a weekend pick up fee of $40 that could only be paid in cash. She made sure to whisper it to me…guess she needed some extra spending money for the weekend. I did not pay it. Then it was time to pay my remaining balance of almost $600 (we only paid half before arrival). She again told me I could only pay in cash. I needed to pay on a business credit card as it was a business trip for my husband. She absolutely was refusing to take any payment other than cash. Then she tells me our apartment isn’t ready and she doesn’t know when it will be ready. My husband and twin 2 year olds were waiting in a taxi outside. I told her I needed to know when we would have a place to take our kids as we had a long travel day and were approaching dinner time and bed time soon after. She just kept saying we could wait there, but they had not been able to get in touch with the apartment cleaners so they didn’t even know if the apartment had been cleaned yet. They did try to give us a different apartment that required walking up 4 flights of stairs. The reason I chose our original apartment was because the sleeping arrangements would work for us where most apartments I looked at with 1 bedroom would not. And, we have twins with a large double stroller that is very heavy. We can not carry them and the stroller up 4 flights of stairs several times throughout the day. In addition, they could/would not show me any pictures of the apartment ahead of time or give me the address. They wanted me to blindly pay the other half of our balance (in cash) and make do with whatever apartment they could give us.
We waited for a bit longer and they still could not tell us when the apartment we booked would be ready. We finally had to leave and go check into a hotel. We disputed the credit card charge because these guys are just plain shady. They responded to our credit card company with a complete lie saying that we never showed up and therefore are not eligible for a refund of our deposit. I am continuing to fight this. I am so disappointed in home away for allowing shady companies like this to be on their site. The point of going through home away is to only deal with reputable businesses. That is not at all the case.
Hi. I'm a holiday home owner and pride myself on the impeccable state of the property. Most of our bookings have been through HomeAway and until this past week everything has run smoothly. I had a couple arrive last week and apparently the woman had a massive allergic reaction "within 10 minutes". Whilst the house is extremely clean and neat as a pin, it is 500 years old with exposed beams and stone walls and chimney. All fresh interiors and fitting. Brand new kitchen and bathroom. Linens all professionally cleaned and pressed. The 1st email that came arrived and was nothing short of an attack on me and my home. The 2nd email was a personal attack on me. I was initially prepared to return part of the payment as a jester of good will however after the 3rd email demanding I reimburse 6 of the 7 days paid I cut this client off. Surely this comes under medical/travel insurance now? Why am I expected to wear the cost of someones chronic medical condition? There is literally no way I could foresee something like this happening. I imagine they will be chasing HomeAway now though I have been assured they do not have any serious claim. People, please make sure you are covered in case of unforeseen situations like this! HomeAway will not help you and as an owner I have to protect my loses too!
I am very disappointed with this company!
We rented this flat via the HomeAway site. It was a total fraud and HomeAway has not been at all helpful and they still allow the owner to advertise on this site.
The photographs that were sent me were a compilation of photos of a variety of apt and villas rented by this agent.
The apartment was not clean and light bulbs were out in the master shower room.
The door to the shower room was broken.
The stove/hob was broken.
The kitchen was not as advertised, fully equipped. It did not have a cooker or a kettle or a coffee maker. The BBQ was dangerous and broken.
There were no sea views as advertised and the private beach access did not exist.
Most importantly, the master bedroom external door was broken and would not lock.
The handy men who arrived to look at the glass door did not have tools nor the parts required to make the door secure. Neither man was interested in looking at the hob as they were not electricians. Nothing further could be done until Monday. We arrived on a Friday and our flight home was on Weds.
I told Clara, one of Julio’s employees, that we would be leaving and moving into a hotel as we could not stay in a flat that was not secure. She indicated that she understood.
In terms of unauthorised payments on my card there were three. Two for 235 Euros and a further for 200 euros but I would like a full refund as the property was not as advertised at all.
I have forwarded HomeAway the emails where Mr Terry and Julio have agreed to transfer funds into my account, and request my details but as of today no monies have arrived.
I just answered a question from someone asking if it was "safe" to rent a property on homeaway, since it had been advertised since 2010 and had no reviews. Did some additional research and found an interesting article in Forbes. It explains that an owner can have HA take down all of their reviews as an alternative to posting a negative review. This would explain a lot! I don't know how to add another answer to that same question, but hope that Lisa R. sees this!
I have been with using Home Away & VRBO for over 7 years. I have 3 properties listed with each, i.e. 6 listing at the highest levels offered. Last year I paid them over $7,000, but I won't b renewing my subscriptions because I am getting no bookings. That's because my listing priority is so low. For example, on Home Away using all applicable filters, my 2 BR cabins are # 54 & 55 out of 150. Without filters, & on VRBO it's even lower. The problem is that they keep changing priority criteria so they can get more $ & some recent priority requirements are things I don't control. When I 1st started years ago, the only priority was length of time someone has been with them. Then they added priority based on the # of listings we had. Then they added subscription levels & then more subscription levels. Then it was whether or not we paid more $ for a "featured listing." Even though the cost kept increasing, I could understand that, i.e. priority based on longevity, # of listings, & amount paid. However, they then added priority based on reviews. I have no control over whether or not someone writes a review, what they consider a "good" review, or when someone is using a review as coercion. I've had guests write a good review, but give a 3 star rating. I asked them about it & they said they thought 3 stars was a "good" rating. I've also had people stay in a cabin for a week or so with no complaints, but a month later contact me & complain, making it clear that they were going to write a bad review unless I did something to compensate for their "bad experience," i.e. unless I gave them a refund, they would write a bad review. Last year, Home Away said priority was based on whether or not we OFFERED on line booking, so I added on line booking. The problem is that if a guest uses on line booking, funds go directly into my account, but I don't know who the funds are from nor which cabin it's for (as I said, I have 3 cabins listed on Home Away & VRBO). Therefore, I don't use on line booking. This year, Home Away has changed again & has made priority based on whether on not we USE on line booking. As I said, last year I paid Home Away/VRBO over $7,000, but I'm not getting any bookings. All my bookings are coming from Vacation Home Rentals (not Vacation Rentals) or Flip Key & paying less than 1/2 what I paid Home Away/VRBO. Both of those are on Trip Advisor. In other words, I paid over $7,000 to Home Away/VRBO & I have gotten nothing for it, so that money was just wasted.
The ad lists 10 day minimum and also lists a weekly rental rate ($1500). When I contacted the owner he said the minimum stay is one month year round. Since the website only accepts reviews from people who have stayed at the property I found no way to post a review there.
I entered a search on HomeAway for Ocean Beach, Fire Island for Memorial Day weekend (5/22-5/25/15). The house I chose stated "Minimum Stay ~ 2 nights", was given an Instant Quote of approximately $1800 & sent a message stating my interest. My jaw totally hit the floor when I received an email in return that stated a Rental Amount of $4250! I promptly sent a return email stating the price I was quoted & a reply email was sent stating that the house has weekly rentals & they were 'giving me Monday-Thursday free'! How is it free if I am paying for days/nights that I will not be there?! My final email which has yet to be answered states that as well as it is false advertising if the page clearly says "Minimum Stay ~ 2 nights" when it is actually weekly. I had looked at other houses that required a weekly stay or sometimes even 4 nights which, of course, I did not choose because that was not what I was looking for. I told them that I would not be renting from them.
I booked a property through VRBO / Home Away with their online payment system and paid full price of the property with damage deposit 3 months ahead. The owner did not send me a confirmation or details. The booking stated that if cancelled within 60 days, the traveler will get a 100% refund. I asked the owner to cancel, he did but did not refund me. I am now in my second week of deliberations with the owner and Home Away. My credit card charges say 'Home Away' but they state that they are not responsible for the money. The owner refuses to issue the refund (states the money is with Home Away and he has not seen a penny of it). So far, I have not been refunded the money and Home Away refuses to help. It's a huge scam. Don't use the site.
We stayed at Estero Beach and Tennis Club, Unit 901A, Ft. Myers Beach Florida for 2 weeks in March. Our condo had all the amenities. The kitchen was stocked with dishes and glass, etc. Everything was very clean. It was nicely furnished. Location to the beach, mall and grocery store was excellent. We already have plans to return next year.
Just had a ridiculous experience with these guys. Have been advertising properties on a pay per booking base but their system is definitely not as advanced as other platforms as airbnb, trip advisor or others.
I have been receiving threatening emails from Homeaway that they were going to take my adverts offline because they suspected me of taking bookings outside their system. The reason of the suspicion was that my conversion rate was below average.
When people leave an enquiry and you send a customer a quote the dates get automatically blocked so no other enquiries come in. Also the customer will start receiving annoying payment requests while he never confirmed the booking. (but Someway treats the quote as a definitive booking). the customer then gets irritated (rightfully so) and starts telling me to leave them alone (while the emails are automatically send by Homeway)
The only way to unblock the dates again is by cancelling the booking and that is when Someway thinks that you as a home owner are taking bookings outside their system. The emails I have received were written in a very annoying threatening way, this is no way to treat any customer!
My suspicion is that they are not at all interested in pay per booking adverts but do all of this to change the pay her booking ads into yearly subscriptions. I am sure they will lose lots of homeowners or professionals who advertise more than one property and do not want a ridiculously high fixed cost per year.
they will lose out soon to the much more customer friendly portals as airbnb, trip advisor, wimp etc.
Tip for consumers: stop using itAsk Reinier about HomeAway
I made a reservation through Homeaway website that led me to deal directly with the owner through e-mail. The owner informed me that she was getting a trouble to get into her account to approve my request. She told me that a homeaway would help me out and get in touch with me. Then I received an email from Homeaway customer support (email@example.com) which gave us the wire details of the payment. I asked for credit card option and they said wire transfer was the only option. Considering that the e-mail came from the customer support, I made the wire transfer. The day after, I got an e-mail from a different Homeaway customer support (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling me that the listing is a fake and that I should try to reverse payment. It was too late and the $$$$ has left my account. I tried calling their CS and found out that even the customer support e-mail was a fake. In the end, they will only refund me up to $1000 and there was nothing else they can do. How FRUSTRATING!
Tip for consumers: Never do the wire transfer option!Ask Frustrated about HomeAway
Stayed at Royal Pelican 322, Fort Myers Beach, month of Feb. Place was as described by Distinctive Beach Bentals. Had all the need amenities. Location to beach, mall, and grocery store was excellent. Contemplating returning in 2016..
Not good if you are a Homeowner. they keep trying to" fix what's not broke" as they say. Leave well enough alone and stop harassing home owners who are paying you. First "Reviews" which I am personally against as a home owner. Can I review one of my tenants who damaged my propety? now they are trying to take money on line like ebay and pay pal. Please. they are not collecting my rent. Now some hospitality AP. Please stop this. It is enough. I want to get out of this. I do rent my home but are harassed sometimes with inquiries by people who don't book and are too stupid to read the web page and ask the same questions over and over again. They should be fixing the webpage if anything. That needs work.
Awful experience with Homeawaway! Apparently the owner can change terms, price whenever they want. The condo we rented in Puerto Rico stated it slept 8. The second night we were there the condo owner then tried to charge an extra $100 per person over 6 PER NIGHT and claimed he never advertised it slept 8. Sent documentation from our original booking to Homeaway showing he did advertise it slept 8 and no extra charges ever mentioned if more than 6 stayed in condo. Homaways response was basically owner can change their listing whenever they want. Filed a formal complaint but nothing came from that. Owner kept my $1,000 deposit for payment of bogus charges. Asked about their Carefree guarantee and they said that is void once you get there, only good if something goes wrong before you get there. Also found out nothing shows on owners' site if they have had formal complaints filed against them. Renters should be made aware of that and how many complaints have been resolved! Certainly won't use or recommend Homeaway ever again!
VRBO increased the prices by 30% and decreased customer service by 30%. Longer hold times to speak to a representative, and then you get a person that cannot help you. The representatives have not been properly trained and give you the impression that they are looking for the answers on the website.
Tip for consumers: Look at individual owner reviews and not the VRBO/Homeaway company.Ask Ten about HomeAway
Complaint of VRBO by Owners
In 2010 I began renting my Beachfront condo to short term transient guest to cover my expenses with this condo. Like so many other property owners I turned to the service that I used my self, VRBO.com (Acronym for Vacation Rentals By Owner). Initially VRBO was nothing more than a classified ad site for property owners to post their properties in various categories based on location and amenities. Initially the process was pleasing and enjoyable. Skip forward 5 years and there is not a day that goes by where I do not think of a way to escape the necessary evil in my life. VRBO! VRBO enacted a policy in 2011 that required owners to allow reviews of their properties. Prior to that, as an owner you could disallow or allow this feature. As a digital consumer I recalled the process Ebay.com has in place where the review process is not so onerous. A purchaser may think twice about leaving an embellished bad review in fear that they will be given one in return for merely falsifying a review to be vengeful.
VRBO has completely stepped away from their roots. VRBO does not own my property, I do. My property is not a Hotel, its mine. I do not have to let people stay at my property, I allow them to as my guest. VRBO is spending a lot of its efforts to compete with the www.expedia.com, www.travelocity.com, www.hotels.com market. Those sites are renting hotel rooms from companies that rent hotel rooms.
Needless to say because VRBO has drifted so far away from its initial vision it allows pure onerous reviews where a guest that just chunked my TV out the window and lit my sofa on fire may post a negative review about my property in the fact that I kept their $300 security deposit "unjustly."
I request assistance to return the power to the owners of the properties (the people that pay VRBO.com's salary) or even the playing field by requiring guest to create a profile and get reviewed themselves as well. Perhaps they may think twice before hurling that TV out the window this time.
Tip for consumers: Stay away from signing up with this one. Even it's a so called "free" trust us... you'll pay!Ask Patty about HomeAway
VRBO and HomeAway (owned by same company) are a real renter beware saga. They will NOT allow negative reviews of their homes no matter how egregious the situation. I have had two miserable experiences and wanted to warn other renters but to no avail. #1 they don't want you to identify the property - this seems strange as the property name and unit are on the site where the reviews are - there is no mystery here, #2 And while they accepted a review on a place we stayed this summer (what a nightmare) they never posted it.
I reserved a condo through them only to have it rented out from underneath me with no explanation and no apology.
Tip for consumers: Use a professional travel service to book your vacation - VRBO and HomeAway are just clearing houses for rentals - they have no authority over the owners.. If you are renting a condo - go directly to the management to book. NEVER deal with the owner if you can avoid it. And finally, get vacation insurance!Ask Alison about HomeAway
I have a continuing problem with a guest reserved for April 19. She is unable to make a payment on the site and I have sent numerous payment requests with no success. I called previously about this and Brad told me I could have her make the payment on the phone with you. She called you and that rep said no she had to pay online. I talked to your rep Anthony yesterday and he said he would call me back and find out if there was a problem with her credit card. So far no call back, and no email from him.
The emails sent out to her are garbled. The text is printed in a vertical line along the left side of the email and I see no place for her to click on send payment.This has been going on now for weeks and I am unable to receive a payment from her. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? If it is her credit card, please tell me. If it is an internal problem with you please fix it.
I continue to be amazed at the continuing problems with both VRBO and HomeAway after the merger. How do you expect owners to do business? You are a monopoly now and every rep on the phone gives different answers. Promises are made and not kept and wrong information is given. A past guest tried to post a review on the site and I got a snotty response from your rep that he did it on the HomeAway site and not the VRBO site where he made the reservation. No offer from the rep to help in any way posting the review. How about some customer service???
PLEASE HELP ME WITH THE reservation for April 19. I have done all I can and nothing works and she must pay by credit card. Carol Freeland, Owner
Tip for consumers: Since VRBO and HOMEAWAY vacation rental sites have merged, you are stuck with them. Customer service is terrible, the web site does not work properly. Disaster for owners with what is now a monopoly. Difficult to collect payments and each rep on the phone has different and conflicting answers to your questions.Ask CAROL about HomeAway
This company is an absolute sham. I am a homeowner that has depended on the income that I derived from renting for a few weeks every summer. I know for a fact that they manipulate incoming requests as I have had friend send request while we were on the phone with each other ! and the request never left my dashboard.Yet on the dashboard it claimed that the request was already 2 days old ! For years I have been wondering how valid all of the crazy requests I was getting from potential renters were. Now I know. When I demanded that homeaway STOP them,they stopped alright. Now I get almost zero requests. Am I dealing with the Mafia here ? Trouble is they are the only game in town. We can now add homeaway to all of the other massive companies that swallow up everything around them and then toss their customers around like a rag doll. Stay away from this company !
Tip for consumers: DON'T !!!!Ask Keith about HomeAway
I planned on getting this one beach house #144247. After receiving the contractable agreement he requested that I send him money via western union. I told him that I was not comfortable sending it that way and asked to do it through the home away website and asked for the directions to do so. He basically called me stupid and told me to re-read the directions that he recently sent (which he did not) and again said about wiring him money. After a couple of hours trying to figure it out I was unable to do I politely emailed him saying that I was sorry but I could not figure it out and we will not be able to rent it. He then wrote be back saying that I needed to go back to school and be re-educated and ended it with callin me a $#*!ing $#*!. Not the best customer service you would expect from someone who deals with people with renting out a vacation home. After talking with others I found out some where scammed thru this site and lost a lot of money. Beware and don't rent on these types of sites. Never wire any money ever.
My experience with booking my vacation rental through this site was effortless as far as contacting the owners, booking and making payments.
HomeAway has a vast variety of properties to choose from as well as prices. You have the choice of going with a luxury villa, cabin in the woods, high-rise condo or a bungalow on the beach. There really are some beautiful properties made available through this site.
Our house was exactly as pictured the only problem I had was the bed in the master bedroom, my god the beauty of that bed and room did not match the ten days of hell I endured sleeping on that bed of perpetual torture, but I can't be blame HomeAway for that.
All in all my experience with HomeAway was good and I fully plan on using their site again in the future if I'm not up for a hotel.
I booked a country house last summer that supposedly slept 8, but only 6 were inside the building: one double bed was in a tool shack, separate from the building. None of us slept there, the owner did not return our deposit, and instead fraudulently edited the property's description after my complaints to add "semi-detached".
After submitting full (and notarized) documentation to HomeAway:
1) They saw "semi-detached" as an accurate description, even though I had provided pictures showing the tool shack 10ft away from the building, without shared walls.
2) They admitted that they could not verify whether or not the owner had edited the listing, because of "limited storage capacity", and did not consider my printed version of the webpage.
3) They canceled the insurance, refunding the subscription fee, with a letter saying that the policy "never was in effect".
my husband and I decided to get away for a month. After staying at this beautiful townhome in Melbourne beach, we wished we had booked for two months. It was perfect. The beach was literally out the back sliding glass door.
Exceptionally clean. The kitchen was well stocked with dishes, glasses etc. New granite counter tops. Beautiful ceramic floor down stairs with wall to wall brand new carpet up strairs. The bedrooms (3 of them) were elegantly furnished. Newly renovated bathrooms. The Master bedroom was right out of some dream vacation magazine. On the second floor with a balcony over looking the ocean. Listening to the waves every night.
The place was away from traffic, which we really loved, but also in walking or bike riding distance to great places to eat. It was just a great vacation place.
I learned that HomeAway bought VRBO. Unfortunately I rented from VRBO prior to reading the overwhelming negative reviews posted for them and for HomeAway. Here is a review of my rental experience which I posted on a site for VRBO.
"I had a terrible experience with my recent VRBO rental. A heating pipe right next to the bed banged and clanked throughout the day and night making sleep difficult if not impossible. The noise seemed to come from a loose heating fan hitting some metal. This certainly seemed like relevant information for a review of this rental especially since repeated complaints did not fix the problem. VRBO rejected two negative reviews as not meeting their guidelines. In the future I will not be using VRBO or any affiliate as I cannot trust their reviews."
You can trust this review of a company which I feel has extremely poor customer support.
I recently stayed in a property advertised by, "VRBO, Homeaway". It was a nightmare. The property was at 4005 Windjammer Ln, St. Augustine, Fl. I had to waist 3 days of my vacation because the washer dryer broke down twice and the manager wanted to show the property that is apparently up for sale. After the 2nd breakdown of the washer dryer I was pissed and let the manager know. After that the manager texted me 19 times called me 3 and when I turned off my phone. Then she called my brother who lives in St. Augustine. How she got his number I have no idea. When I put the poor review on VRBO and Homaway the refused to post it because, "It did not meet their requirements". I see the only reviews they post are positive so just beware. My vacation was the vacation from hell.
Tip for consumers: Just because there website gives a 5 star rating for a property its because they will not post negative reviewsAsk Richard about HomeAway
Very very careful here. Most property owners use this for a landing site- you "book it now", they take your money- but no properties are ever available and certainly not at the "book it now" price. The property owner declined my reservation, but my payment is still pending - 10 days later. Tracked down the company that actually takes the payments www.rentpayment.com and got "release codes"- called my bank and these do not apply, need a fax number and they will send paperwork. Based on my service so far I doubt anyone will respond. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME HERE.
Tip for consumers: Spider web to trap you and your paymentsAsk tim about HomeAway
I used vacationrentals.com for years with good success, UNTIL they joined the 'Home Away Family'. More like the home away horrors. Loads of one line questions that were easily answered reading the ad and requests for times the site clearly showed it taken. AND the only way to communicate with people is through the site, which reloads pictures and graphics with every exchange - making it hard with a slow connection and impossible on a phone.
I turned it off and asked for my money back and they refused. All good owners will leave this outfit. See ya on TripAdvisor and AirB&B.
Tip for consumers: Avoid avoid avoidAsk Larry about HomeAway
I am a homeowner and disgusted with Homeaway, who doesn't give a DAMN about their customers who pay for their advertising (i.e., homeowners-if we don't list on their site, there is no Homeaway).
I have been with Homeaway since it was Cyberrentals.com, which was located in a 1-room office on Main Street in Ludlow, Vermont and a service that cost $99/year in 1999 (this year, it will cost me 7 GRAND for 3 houses, really, see below). The cost of the Homeaway bundle for one home went from $343 in 2007 to $3099 ($1,299 annual fee for platinum listing + 3% of total revenue for online booking - if you don't use online booking, you don't get search rankings and thus don't get inquiries). THEY ARE RIPPING US OFF, and dictating how we list our properties and run our rental business.
If you pay for Platinum, you can still end up with a lousy listing position if you don't respond fast or don't use online booking/payments. One day your #1, the next day your #10, and who knows why. I just sent the message below to the rep who is trying to get my site renewed, and of course got no response:
<start email message to rep on 1/20/2015>
Bobby, the price of your service is going up by 30% a year for the subscription, and now that you require online bookings, you are also getting 3% of my sales. It was $99/year at one point, and it wasn't that long ago. I know of no SaaS service that costs this much given the service that is provided. I have 3 houses, so you are saying it is going to cost me 4 grand a year plus 3% of my sales to have the platinum bundle (so, $7,360/year??)? The other levels (i.e., Gold, Silver, etc.) don't work for advanced bookings, they only work for last minute (when the others are booked and you become one of the few that are still available), which then does not keep me full/occupied.
Most of these homes cost the owner money. They don't make money on them. I have been doing this for 20 years, have had many different homes, and I am very good at it, so mine is best case scenario. I think Homeaway had better stop continuing to find ways to eat up more of our rental income or it will backfire. I also think Homeaway should have better pricing for people like me who have been customers for 10 years, and think about the impact of these increases for people who have been with the service that long.
If you're going to give me the old, "I understand, but," you can save it. I want somebody to respond genuinely or I'll start my own or find a service that is more reasonable about its prices. I think we Homeaway owners need to unite, or, before ya know it, you guys will be charging 2 grand a year per house plus 10% or who knows....and many of your homeowners are at your mercy (or at least they think they are)...
<end email message to rep on 1/20/2015>
We homeowners should unite and boycott!!!
Tip for consumers: Don't use this service!Ask heather about HomeAway
This site is horrible. I tried booking a place and after charging me 300 dollars the homeowner called us and was very nice. He told us he has cancer and someone was leasing it on the day we needed it and apologized. Fine cool, I understand. I book another place 2 days later and was charged 400 dollars, but the owner didn't approve it in time and it didn't go through. Oh but the 400 dollars went through. A week later neither have been refunded. I talked to some foreign lady that's telling me I have to call my bank to be refunded the money. It's 2015 and it takes over a week to refund money? Jesus, I mean it only took them 10 seconds to charge me the 700 dollars. Their terrible, you'd be better off pitching a tent wherever you want to go on vacation.
Tip for consumers: If you want to use this site, just withdraw 500 dollars from your account and light it on fire. It's the same thing and will take up a lot less of your time.Ask James about HomeAway
We rented a listed property over the holidays (12-23-14) for 4 nights. Paid extra for the "Carefree" insurance which is advertised as "Carefree Rental Guarantee (Provided by HomeAway) - Guarantees your payment if the vacation rental is not as advertised..." We had numerous issues with the property (see list below). Complained to the property agent, and to Homeaway. They do not cover "temporary defects" of which non of our issues qualify ? ! ?
My advice is stay away from these guys and definitely do your homework before renting (from the website that begins with V ?)and especially paying for insurance that does not cover the real issues.
Issues: In the listing elevator (owner advised us not to use it.
In the listing - 4 TV's ( only 1 worked)
In the listing - outdoor grille ( rusted + corroded = no food cooked here !)
In the owner's email "everything is in great working condition:
What we found:
Horrible pet odor, hair, dog poop on upper deck (they advertised no pets allowed...???
Window in shower jammed open.
Numerous slats missing from vertical blinds in master bedroom (privacy issue)
Screen door jammed and torn screen
Smoke detector unit removed from base in master bedroom
Linens - pillows, comfortor = horrible stink
Utensils dirty - not a big deal in itself, but when you pay a $200 cleaning fee, what you get should be clean...
We have not yet posted feedback on the property website...stay tuned
Tip for consumers: Feel free to add your commentsAsk Joeseph about HomeAway
Don't bother with date or "pets" or facilities filters they don't work - 4 hrs- five booking enquiries all responses saying not available for the dates or do not take pets!!!!
Tip for consumers: Don't botherAsk Guy about HomeAway
HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com have completely changed their websites to be combined into one collective pool and they are trying to control how travelers and property owners communicate with each other. It's horrible for travelers and property owners.
They are also desperately trying to convince travelers to use their online booking payment system and telling property owners that 85% of people want to book using their online payment system. The real reason is they will charge the traveler and property owner a fee to book that way.
This new format also makes it harder for travelers and property owners to communicate in a personal way leaving unsatisfied travelers and property owners. I paid my yearly fee and within 1 month and with no notification they changed their site and basically ruined my short term rental business that I've spent 4 years building up with 5 star ratings. When I asked for a refund they refused, which confirmed to me that they are acting unscrupulously.
I tryed contacting the Better Business Bureau and none of the 3 sites can be found. If I was a traveler this would make me question their business practices.
This review is not ment as a rant since I have booked a multiple yearly lease which profits about the same for me. I do feel an obligation to warn travelers and property owners of their business practices as I own another successful company which can be easily found on the Better Business Bureau site and we have an A+ rating after being in business for over 10 years.
My advise if you use them for booking is to bypass the automated system and fees, and contact the property owners directly, or find other sites to book from that are more reputable. Thanks and good luck. -Jim
Tip for consumers: Don't use them. Horrible serviceAsk Jim about HomeAway
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