I am a property owner and have listed my property with VRBO for one year and just renewed for another year. (in 122 reviews)
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We have used VRBO for years and booked many rentals through them. But in the last few years we've had some bad experiences. Winter 2015, we paid a month's rent for a Chico, CA 2 bedroom house with kitchen. Upon arrival we were put in a 1 bedroom (terrible soft bed) with no kitchen with the promise that on the following morning we'd be shown a place we could move into in a few days. Turns out the manager, Joyce, has a number of rentals and her pages show a combination of photos from different properties, so you don't see what you're actually going to get. The other place we were shown was also of low quality. The manager did refund our money but we were left with no place to stay. Ended up in a hotel for a few days while we searched.
Went to Mill Valley to another VRBO rental, only to find there were 5 flights of stairs to get into the apartment. That was not disclosed anywhere on the website and again we couldn't stay there.
THERE ARE NO PROTECTIONS FOR RENTERS, only for owners. You can file a claim when you get home, but you're stuck while you're travelling. From now on, we'll try to rent through local property management companies who have local representatives.
Rented a place from Jack Cross for the 4th of July weekend. What a nice surprise! The place was spotless! Rather small but enough for 3 of us and we didn't miss a living room or kitchen. Jack Cross is such a fun guy and he went out of his way to see that we had a good time! He was always available if we needed anything. Spent most of our time either on the deck, in the spa, or in Eureka Springs, thanks to Jack! Had a marvelous time and would recommend his place anytime!!! Pat B.
I've travelled all over the world using a number of different online accommodation booking sites. VRBO is by far the worst I've used. They list at one price, but when you click on it there's another price. Then when you go to reserve, it isn't guaranteed so you have to wait up to 24 hours (sometimes more) to hear back. I've wasted three or four days trying to book and then finding out my booking was refused due to no space. Why list places as having availability if they don't? Another place got back to me and said they do have space but at $100 more than what I "reserved" at through VRBO. What a joke.
If you want to pay anyone to advertise your site - RUN from VRBO.com/Homeaway! They want to control everything including your money. If you do not cooperate they will cause you to have a migrate from HELL! Needless to say, I am incredibly unhappy and I had been an advertising customer of this site for 5 years. Try to get someone, anyone from customer service to help and they will beat you to death with their script. You have to leave a message for anyone above a peon to call you back after weeks of phone calls with authentic problems that they caused. It is maddening and you are paying for it as an advertiser on VRBO.com/Homeaway.com
I cannot praise the owners of Vivians View Rental on Green Lake Wisconsin high enough to convey our satisfaction with their home!. We stayed there from June29 thru 5 July. Our family, 6 adults, 3 children, enjoyed a wonderful vacation! The weather cooperated, had easy access to beaches, rental boats etc. The namesake of the property"THE VIEW" of the Lake, especially in the evening was absolutely spectacular!! The house was very comfortable and roomy. We will do it again in a hearbeat!!
I recently also had a problem with an owner and VRBO. VRBO was no help other than to tell us to call the owner because only the owner could issue refunds. Well when the owner doesn't answer, what are you supposed to do? They wouldn't post my review of the place either so I'm attaching it below in hopes of saving others from a similar fate. Quite honestly, it's less about the money for us at this point than the fact that the owner, L. Cantrell, outright lied and I believed her even though my husband said she probably wouldn't follow up....and she didn't.
Awesome 2BR Condo On The Golf Course Close To The Ocean!! VRBO # 560408
“We felt cheated. ..”
We arrived in the evening after a 13 hour drive in the car with two kids. The place seemed nice enough for the price. However as we got settled in we realized the beach umbrella was BROKEN and there were two folding camp chairs and a blanket covered in sand shoved in a closet. (Not as pictured in her stock photo on the page). An expense of renting them at the beach was not planned but now must be done. We went to shower and realized there were NO towels anywhere or linens on the bed. The page shows they are provided so I didn't pack extra sheets and towels other than for the beach. Attempted to contact the owner but she didn't respond for a couple of hours and by then we had gone and purchased them at a store close by as we had to have them. When She finally called back It was after 9pm and she wanted to know what we wanted her to do about it. We asked her to take the cost of purchasing them off of our bill. She said she would call us back. The next day she offered for us to leave them behind and she would send us a check in the mail to cover the cost. I have all the text messages to show where she said this and where I text her a pic of the receipt and our address and I took her at her word. A few days after we got home I asked for our REFUNDABLE security deposit back and she said she didn't take care of that I would have to call airbnb. I don't know anything about airbnb as we booked thru vrbo. I called vrbo and asked how to get it back and they said she would have to release the funds. I told them she said she didn't do that and so they called her on the phone and she then decided she could release our deposit back to us. AS FOR THE LINENS, IT'S BEEN TWO WEEKS AND THE IS NO CHECK AND SHE WON'T ANSWER OUR ATTEMPTS AT COMMUNICATION. I could have at least brought them home and not supplied her with new inventory at my expense. Also if you stay there anyways after reading this, be aware there are no curtains in the bedroom by the hallway and there is a light in the hall outside the condo. It was so bright we didn't know when it was actually daylight and when it wasn't. It was also furnished with just a bed, a vacuum cleaner and a wifi box sitting on the floor. This was our first time using VRBO and I know better than to book a place with no reviews but I took a chance this time as we booked our vacation just a week out. I may never use vrbo again. We only stayed at a condo this time so the boys could have their own room and play xbox.
Met with a VacationRental lister on Saturday and made a verbal agreement for the price and week of rental. Dropped the check for deposit in the mail on the following Tuesday and it was received by the renter on Friday of that week. On that same day Mr. Vezina, owner of property 671391 , emailed me saying I had not responded to his address email so he was returning my check, and coincidently, had rented the property for the ENTIRE SUMMER. Working with VRBO got no satisfaction, other than a statement that they were only an advertising medium, and took no responsibility for any of their listers. They provided the same response to my complaint with the BBB. Be aware of shady individuals....
Our stay at Sandy Shores, Indian Rocks Beach was perfect! My daughter and I went to Florida for a beach wedding and were able to walk down the beach to it.
The cottage was clean, comfortable and very roomy. We really hated to leave after a week. There are great restaurants right there. We really loved the Mexican one across the street.
Myrtle is the perfect hostess, so very nice.
We just returned from a week in Destin Florida, The property was in Crystal Beach Villages, the house was well decorated, and clean, it was close to the beach, had a shuttle to the beach, and when we had a problem the housing staff was very capable, and quick to respond to our needs. I would rent from Destin Comforts again next year. Cheryl and Richard was great to work with. PS I forgot the pool, the area was awesome.
I am so upset with VRBO!!!!! I will never use them. I have tried to book on VRBO with several places on their site in New York City. I haven't had one owner/manager email me back within 24 hr. time period allowed by VRBO, so my request has been cancelled. Also, I kept trying from other places and came upon the Holiday Inn Express in Time Square which gave me an instant quote for the dates I posted and I was quoted $189.00 per night. Within hours of that quote, they gave me a 1 -(800) # to call and SURPRISE the $ amt. was now double what I was quoted. This is a scam!!!!!! I have never written a review before, but I had to warn others so they won't waste their time. Use Flipkey.com, stay away from VRBO
We reserved an apartment in NYC for a week from Ideal Oasis through VRBO. 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.
Terrible! VRBO does not issue money back for refundable deposits! It' takes it, but it does not give it back?! You have to contact the owner!? What a terrible system?! i have already come and gone - why would the owner be in contact with me now?! Customer service is useless and there is no where on their website which explains how to get back deposit!!!
VRBO has joined the club of charging travelers extraneous charges on top of the rental price.
Insurance: 5,000. that is refundable. $99. that is not refundable. They also sell insurance in case you run into double booking. for a non-refundable $39. As a former owner of a ski Condo, I understand risk but if my onsite manager found no damage, the deposit was returned. Even car rental companies will try to sell a customer extra insurance, but it is not mandatory if the customer says they have insurance coverage. VRBO/Homeaway does not. The VRBO agent told me that the property was vacant on the week-end I wanted. I submitted a credit card. Then the owner said the property was occupied. Probably because I asked him if the $99.. insurance fee was refundable if there was no damage. No was my answer.
Then there was the time in London with our granddaughter where the manager never heard of us when we tried to check into the VRBO apt. we had rented.
Airbandb is not this risky or expensive.
I rated VRBO, not the website.
VRBO raised its fee 30% this year (2015). The claim is that they provide more services but the reality is that they are blackmailing their current customers who continually have to pay more to keep their listing in the first page or two of the listings. Over the last 2.5 years we have been with them they have increased to cost almost 100% and I don't think the service is any better. Beware if you are considering using them.
Villa Victoria (3rd floor, 2-level, 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) Barcelona
If only the Villa Victoria apartment could raise the ceilings as it raised the spirits, it would have been the ideal place for our group. The space overall is chic, bright, tech-friendly, and well-located. The AC and washing machines work. (Go easy on fuse-blowing appliances.) There is one fine downstairs bedroom: quiet, queen sized bed, private, closets, small balcony. My husband and I got it, being hosts and taller people. The headaches, literally, were borne by family members. If your party is young, short, not romantically involved, barely snores, or has rubber heads, stop reading this and book it.
Otherwise, consider the following. (1) The ceiling height is a challenge. The lovely looking upstairs bedrooms come with door heights that are TOO low. Wall features protrude. Our 3 couples are all 40-something, average adult height below 5'10", so the screams and curses from on high took some getting used to for those of us on Floor 1. Beyond headache-inducing; we counted at least 2 mild concussions.
(2) The other four rooms aren't great for couples. At least the 2 upstairs rooms have queen sized beds, though the sliding room dividers allow no more privacy or intimacy than an Ikea show room. The minimal 4th and 5th bedrooms each have 2 single beds, air well window, no closet. One was downstairs, so no head-bonking. The other one is accessible via a little spiral crows nest staircase.
For a good-natured, well-fed group, this is tolerable for 4 nights, though other accommodations may provide better value for the money. Most likely, short-term head-banging does not cause brain damage. But we recommend a steady stream of friendly reminders ("DUCK, goddammit!") to aid the bag-toting, rushing-around, wine-drinking, half-asleep bathroom user. On the Rambla and in cathedrals, very nearby, bruises forgotten, the sky is the limit.
Tip for consumers: For arrival: Be sure to call the office with updates on your arrival time and then again 30-60 minutes before walking-in. No on-site service otherwise. We had a few moments of concern before Abud found us by phone and hurried cross-town to let us in.Ask Emily about VRBO
We rented from VRBO to go to Daytona Beach . I researched the resort and it was perfect location. I made a down payment of $100.00 in January 2015 and tried for the whole month of February to make the rest of the payment. I could not reach them and left several messages with no phone call back. The day before the balance was due , low and behold they answered the phone and gladly took my money. When we got to Daytona the hotel informed us that they overbooked us and we would have to stay in Ormond beach , where they would pay for our stay and refund us the full price that we paid. Needless to say we were frustrated , the hotel we stayed in was nice but not what I paid for. I reached out to VRBO and they assured us that our refund was coming . I received the $100.00 deposit but I have yet to receive the balance on the refund. I email them everyday but they have stopped responding. I am finally disputing the charges with my credit card account.
I'm sure I could tell you this cottage is lovely if I actually got to spend the night in it.
Myself & 5 other girlfriends settled on a this cute little cottage for a girls trip & 40th birthday celebration . The cottage was booked & deposit payed over a month in advance. We all made the track from Vancouver, BC to Seattle. When we arrived in Seattle, one hour before we were suppose to check into the cottage, we got an alarming phone call...THEY HAD DOUBLE BOOKED US!!!. They apologized & explained they would make good of the situation by putting us up in a suite at the Fairmont that would accommodate ALL OF US TOGETHER, covering the expenses AND refunding the cost of the cottage back to our credit card in order to make up for the HUGE inconvenience. We reluctantly agreed because the home away from home experience was better suited for our large group & birthday celebration...however..we didn't really have much of a choice....We were all extremely frustrated & unhappy about the situation.
Upon checking into the hotel there WAS NOT a suite to accommodate our large group, instead we were given 2 rooms, one that slept allegedly slept 4. At the end of our night the sofa bed pull out was NOT a pull out so obviously 2 members of our group had know where 2 sleep.
48 hours later the funds for the cost of the cottage " Home Away/ VRBO " had assured us would be refunded back to the credit card WAS NOT. Another frustrating phone call to " home away/ VRBO " yet this time the tune had changed....after further review they felt that paying for our nights stay @ the hotel covered the inconvenience. I beg to differ, I was the one curled up in the fetal position on the love seat.
This company deceitfully mislead our group on how we were going to be compensated for the stupendous inconvenience to smooth things over at the time of trouble... then pulled an old fashioned bait & switch.
With that being said.....this has nothing to do with the money...This has to do with the fact that much time, energy & a lot of thought went into planning a successful celebration & event....& this company ruined it, LIED & then didn't hold themselves 100% accountable. On a further note, don't most places hold the deposit than charge you for your nights stay AFTER you check in or OUT. This does not sit right with me & comes off as a scam. BEWARE!
We have 6 vacation rentals in the San Diego area, and three of them are in a luxury building in San Diego. We have them listed on VRBO and Homeaway, and most of the bookings are done through these websites. We also accept virtually 100% of the payments via credit card through the websites credit card processing company; YapStone.
Even though the acceptance of credit cards through the website adds a significant cost, we thought that the convenience for our guests and protection (that we thought we had), was worth the additional expense. We have found out that we have virtually no protection, and we will no longer be accepting credit cards through the website.
We had a guest who booked one of our units, agreed to the rental agreement, accepted the 60 day cancellation policy, and made the payment through VRBO and Yapit. Additionally, we did have other inquiries to rent this property for that timeframe.
The first day the guest send us a text message letting us know how much they liked the property, and how it was better than the photos and description. The following day they started complaining about things like the shower system, which is a standard diverter that is in all of our properties and most homes, the garbage disposal not working, and how to use a remote control that has led photos that are programmed to push one button. It is not abnormal for guests to have questions, it was the strong language and threats that were used. We sent a maintenance person, who could find nothing wrong, and offered to stop personally.
A week later, I received a text from the guest that said that his wife was feeling a vibration in the building, and they had to return home to Delaware, therefore they expected a return of the money for the time that they would not be using the condo. I texted them back, that if they wanted to leave that was their choice, however we would not be returning the money for two reasons; 1. we would be breaking a city ordinance as well as an HOA Regulation of 30 day minimum rental periods if we rented the property for only a week, 2. we had a date and time stamped acceptance of the agreement and they were well aware of the cancellation policy.
I spoke with the guest in person the following day, and he told me that his wife had a breakdown, which was evident by her behavior earlier in the week, and he had to spend the night in the emergency room because she was convinced that the building was shaking from a vibration.
We have personally stayed in this unit, we have many 5 star reviews of all 3 units in the same building, current guests that were staying in the other two units who had extended their stay, a recent sale in the building as high as $1.6 Million, and no one has ever complained about a "vibration" of any kind.
A week after the guest returned to Delaware he filed a dispute with Visa for " property not as described" and they put a hold on our funds. We followed the process and submitted substantial documentation; the rental agreement, the acceptance of the rental agreement and cancellation policy, correspondence through VRBO, description of the property, all the reviews of the property as well as reviews of the other two properties in the same building (which are all 5 stars and very detailed reviews), text messages from the guest stating how the property was " better than described", VRBOs Policies, and proof of the fact that VRBO had offered trip interruption insurance which they declined.
We were told it would be 45 days before a decision would be made, and most likely it would be made in our favor.
Today, I received an email from YapStone stating that the case was going to pre-arbitration and potentially full arbitration. They also requested additional information (after we have provided everything possible) and for us to sign a Docusign Agreement which makes us liable for $500 and any costs or fees to arbitrate if the case is not decided in our favor.
I immediately called YapStone Customer Service, and I was told that they see these cases everyday and rarely are they decided in the Owner's Favor, so most likely we would be out the chargeback, the $500 fee, and additional costs.
I also spoke with a VRBO Rep, who was very nice, however he said they see these things happen all the time and there is nothing they can do to assist.
So case in point, as an owner accepting credit cards through the VRBO and Homeaway processing company, you have virtually no protection. Someone can stay in your property assert any nonsense reason for not liking the property, and you will have to jump through a lot of hoops and not only be out the lost revenue ( we did leave the property vacant for 30 days), but also additional fees that they decide to charge you.
Since this happened, I have not been accepting credit cards, and I will not accept credit cards in the future. There is very little protection against fradulant activity!
By now anyone using VRBO's reservation system and anything other than straight advertising is an idiot. They are crooks in disguise. They do zero for us. It is time for all of us to create a new web site Owners direct rentals or some such name that a is simply an advertising platform. No services. Emails direct from your page to you, no middle man competing with you/ Now they send ads to anyone that wanted to contact you, pushing properties that they have sold the maximum of their crap to. Would you buy insurance from these people?
If you are interested in an alternative site, contact me and let me know you are interested. I f I can get 100 people to sign up we can put up a site that will offer a real alternative and eventually we might surprise vrbo and put them in the toilet where they and their monopolistic ideas belong.
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
They keep promising my refund from our visit in March and we keep getting lies and no refund. This company isnt reputable , Panama city beach .
The owner also uses his owners condos to have hookers over to use their condos. not good Bbb knows about it too...
In Avon Colorado, Paid for one condo got another smaller cheaper version with a bait & switch move. Paid for the bigger more expensive condo #433630 got cheap dumpy condo # 372204. Owner set us up, VRBO knows & would do nothing to help. Garret Lister & johua Craver are the owners total scum bags. Last time I rent with VRBO. Total crooks, useless insurance.
We have used VRBO for many years and had at least a dozen good experiences, but something has changed in the last few years.
On a recent trip to California, we had made arrangements to rent a 2 bedroom home with a kitchen in Chico. We arrived late in the evening to find a place that did not remotely resemble what we had paid for. The photos on VRBO were of multiple properties and did not apply to the place we were shown, which had 1 bedroom and a bizarre kitchenette behind a bar?? The owner did refund our money, but we were left to find new places at the last minute.
We did find one great rental in Redding, then went south to Mill Valley where once again the VRBO listing did not give complete information. The apartment had 5 flights of exterior stairs and one inside, after driving up a one lane twisty road. The small elevator could only be used by calling the owner to operate it, and he shared that it had broken down a half dozen times in the past. Gee, a choice of being stuck in a tiny elevator or going up and down six flights of stairs. This clearly should have been disclosed on the website.
VRBO's credibility is shot as far as I'm concerned. Maybe local property managers would be better choices and be more accountable for what they advertise.
Mad in Minnesota
I recently rented a condo in Park City (Redstone area). I paid the full amount 3 months in advance along with the $500 deposit and cleaning fee. Upon arrival I was told by place checking us in that my credit card would be run in case of damages. I was not told about the $25 fee that LESPRI charged for checkin and checkout. It was in the fine print and after complaining to my credit card company, I am forced to pay this fee. I was not told by the Owner or VRBO of this $25 fee.
Recently, my husband and I stayed at a beautiful VRBO in Colares, just outside Sintra in Portugal. (#1682099) Pedro and his wife Luisa were the ultimate hosts and property owners. Clearly they take great pride in their place and in providing a safe, clean, well appointed rental property to their guests. We were thrilled with our choice, and the photos of it on the internet do not do it justice. I was afraid that it would be too small, and that the shower would be inadequate. Was I wrong! The apartment was much larger than I had anticipated, and it was clean, nicely decorated, and the shower was fabulous! Great pressure and lots of hot water.
The apartment is on a kind of rural property, although it is in the village. Pedro operates a farm with many different birds and beautiful gardens. The area is quiet and quaint, and is only minutes away from a small village with a well stocked market and cafes. Sintra is 11 km away, and since we had a rental car it was very easy for us to get there. Sintra is magical, and is a must see if you are going to Portugal.
The pool was immaculate, and we had all the privacy we wanted when using it. Pedro keeps the grounds in immaculate condition, and his lovely young adult children were friendly and helpful to us as well.
The property is also only minutes away from several world class beaches. You will not be disappointed here. The views are fantastic, and there are several cafes and restaurants on the beaches as well as many recreational opportunities, such as parasailing and surfing.
We were delighted by our good fortune in finding this place, and highly recommend it to anyone wanting a place with privacy, cleanliness, and friendly and obliging hosts. We would definitely return there if we were going back to Portugal.
We rented a guest house on Marsh Hen Cove last May and we're going back again this May. It's Clean, and quiet, you can relax by the pool while you grill out or head to the beach. The homeowners are friendly pleasant folks. We recommend you try this place if you are looking for a comfortable place to vacation.
Not sure if everyone is aware, but Home Away & VRBO are not getting into the property management business. Of course, this means that VRBO, i.e. "Vacation Rentals By Owner, will no longer be "Rentals by Owners." This also means that those of us who are owners will have our listing priorities reduced even more since properties that they handle will have 1st priority.
The problem for renters is that they will no longer be able to deal directly with owners & properties handled by VRBO & Home Away will have their management fees added to the cost of the rental.
I paid $1600 for 6 days in a home in Anchorage, Alaska. Our son and daughter-in-law were flying in from California. We were so excited to spend the week with our kids, and was looking forward to cooking my sons favorite meals.
When we arrived, the house was dangerously dirty. Urine on the toliet seat, Beds that were unmade because people were sleeping in them, and there were not clean sheets available. Cigarette butts, and M & M peanut candies, sprinkled throughout. Filty dirty, we even considered spending the next four hours till our son arrived to clean it, however it was way to fillthy to do so. Torn towels, and no pillows.
We called VRBO, they did nothing for us, we were stressed because we had no place to put our family. They refused to refund money so we could pay for a hotel, and it has put a damper on our vacation, and absolutly ruined our 1st vacation day.
Day 2, still refuse to refund monies paid in good faith. The only way to get your money back is threw the court system.
BEWARE OF VRBO..... they do nothing but take your money, and have no concerns about there customers...don't even bother buying insurance, that's a scam also. SCAM COMPANY! DO NOT RENT THREW THEM!
Steve and Kathy
I was forced to cancel a booking due to an injury and the owner didn't want to refund any money. I contacted customer service, filled out a complaint and within hours I received a rating review, before they even had time to contact the owner. Nothing resulted and the bottom line is that VRBO is responsible for nothing. I paid by check but perhaps should have used a credit card to get charge back credit. The owner has my money and I have no recourse unless I decide to contact an attorney. BEWARE!!!
I was involved in a bait and switch scheme and paid for a property I did not receive. VRBO said I did not qualify to get a refund of any kind because they are just a third party taking money for the agent. They should state that they have no liability what so ever. They don't return calls and do not stand behind their properties. BUYER BEWARE. They claim they have a file against agents who misrepresent but they do NOTHING.
We own several properties which we rented successfully with VRBO and Home away for several years. Recently, because of a very irate tenant's review they unilaterally decided to dump all of our listings without explanation and without refund of over $1,000 in fees. We also recently discovered that they had collected payment from a guest who booked last year, never forwarded payment to us and yet confirmed booking to them. Every time we call for explanation we are told somebody will get back to us.They avoid all correspondence and will not honour their undertakings to examine key issues.
There are many new listing sites which are so much easier for both owner and renter to use now. They have forgotten who is paying their bills, catering to badly behaved guests and ruining their business.
Tip for consumers: I have experienced too many badly handled guests and property owner horror stories to use them again.
Time for them to start alerting property owners to "nightmare" guests who cause huge damages to homes and think they can just walk away from it , complain to VRBO , before they go on to the next.
We have now stayed at five VRBO locations in Tucson, AZ, Palm Springs, Ca, and Hawaii and have only had one issue regarding water supply which was not the owners fault. Have had much bigger issues staying at hotels and resorts including all-inclusive facilities. These people run a business and are good at it. To bad the others are to big to care!
Tip for consumers: Be sure to check location for activities before booking, and ask the owners... they have local info.Ask Russ about VRBO
VRBO's new search functionality for travelers is a failure. Their original map-based searching was simple and effective. It worked like this for the USA - Pick a state from the US map, then pick a region from the state map, then you got a list of cities to explore. Travelers could return to that list of cities and explore all the hidden nooks and crannies out there. It worked for over six years for me.
VRBO's new search functionality has complicated searching, and the result is that rentals in small unknown towns are not being found. The new design paradigm is poorly thought-out and on top of this there are technical glitches that VRBO claims are "by design" and they say the traveler need to use better search terms. Their system cannot even handle "north Georgia mountains" and VRBO has verified this and claimed this is "by design" .
Modern search functionality is expected to be forgiving. VRBO should be able to handle misspellings, abbreviations and even gibberish, and ALWAYS turn up results (instead of zero) and then prompt the searcher, guide them on their exploration for the perfect rental.
VRBO's failure comes from trying to imitate all the other travel booking sites, and that is a mistake. VRBO stands for Vacation Rental By Owner, and they had a unique place in the market for travelers that were also unique. Vacation travelers are often as not exploring. They may want a mountain cabin, but not know the name of all the small mountain towns where cabins are found. VRBO's paradigm should be as a concierge to exploration, not a Book It Now me-too rent-a-room site. True VRBO homeowners and guests who enjoy true VRBO homes - this is an entirely different mix than someone looking to book a motel/hotel room and that knows their destination.
I use Vrbo both as a renter and an owner. Now, with their new system, forcing all correspondence thru their website, it is the most atrocious painful time wasting method , causing delays in correspondence between owners and renters. Their site is now bogged down. It took me 4 minutes for the site to "think", I finally gave up and logged out. I used to be happy and now I'm very unhappy. They don't care. Sad.i son plainer and no response.
VRBO and HomeAway is the absolute worst site for homeowners. They beat you into submission by threatening to move your ad down in the searches and force you to use all of the horrible services they offer. On top of that, their web site is downright childish. As soon as another company can come on board and get the eyeballs, I will dump VRBO in an instant.
As a renter, I have had nothing but great experiences when I rent directly from homeowners. The issues arise when you rent through a rental management company who is posing as a homeowner. The rental management companies typically provide much less in the level of service.
I have had two properties on VRBO for years. I agree with other owner reviews that they customer service has gone from "marginal to bad to atrocious"! Owners pay a quite a bit to use VRBO as an advertising site for rental properties. In my opinion, all I have ever needed it for it to advertise for the property and maintain a calendar so renters know when it is available. Slowly over time, they have imposed more than you can imagine on owners. Not only has the price tripled (if not more depending on the level of ad you pay for), but they continue to try to force you to use their site for multiple other things besides just ads. They force you to reply through their site, do online booking, accept credit cards, etc. If you choose not to do these things (because you prefer a customer experience with your guests and want to know who you're renting to among other reasons), they "ding" you by pushing you down farther in the results in a search. I don't want to use their features for a number of reasons but the owner is punished if they don't regardless of amount paid for ad. And additionally, the email requests being routed through their site are delayed getting to you email and they ding you if you are over 24 hours responding. I'm just really so fed up with this company who is an advertising company telling me how to run my rental business! I wish their was some recourse.
Has a vacation rental listed on VRBO, FlipKey, AND one on his personal website. After booking last minute, guests arrived to find the house filthy, dirty, musty and such horrible conditions, they could not stay. This owner is located in Florida and tries to run an illegal vacation rental business in Hawaii. Don't pay him with PayPal. PayPal won't refund your money either as they do not get involved in real estate. So beware....don't use PayPal or rent from this owner - Malaekahana Beachfront Estate: 1.5 Acres w Hot Tub
I have been using this site for many years and have never felt that the vacation i am planning would encounter any difficulties till now. Like said by others the guarantee really offers no real coverage. My main concerns now is that when you plan on renting a place it could be changed even at the last minute by either VRBO or the many management companies that now run the rentals. Conversations with owners directly are nearly impossible. So you are putting out over a thousand dollars that you may not get back and end up in a vacation far from what you had planned on with no recourse. VRBO What happened, you are losing your trust from both renters and homeowners, time to rethink your business practices.
Tip for consumers: really dig through the information on your potential rental and read all the agreements.Ask jean about VRBO
I stayed in this home with my wife and kids. The home owner didn't refund our deposit till
6 weeks later. Renters beware !
I submitted a negative review about a dump I rented in Jersey City. Needless to say that either the owner (most likely), or VRBO removed the post. Removal of reasonable negative reviews is misleading to renters, and flat out wrong!
I have had my properties on VRBO for years. Their customer service has gone from marginal to bad to atrocious. They do absolutely nothing for either the property owners or renters. I imagine them sitting in a room rubbing their hands together like Mr. Burns from the Simpson's, diabolically trying to figure out ways to take more money from each us. I have never, ever felt more frustrated dealing with a company. Their incompetence far exceeds that of the post office, DMV or any airline. Shame on anyone that works there.
Tip for consumers: Do not use their internal booking system. It causes communication problems between the property owners renters, as well as adds fees.Ask Sabrina about VRBO
I have been using VRBO for several years. When I first started the online booking system was simple to use and if I called for customer service I got it.
Over the years though, getting customer service has grown increasing more difficult. Once I got to a person, they were always great but getting to a person was hard! Speed of response time to a potential visitor is critical. You just can't wait around for help, you end up losing the rental. And they keep changing their online booking system and it is not an improvement! More complicated, I wonder if my visitors are receiving the right email.
Recently I asked for help, called their phone number and there was a 50 minute wait time. 50 minutes! So I thought maybe an email would be faster. I sent the email and got an automatic response that somebody would get back to me but after 2 days I sent another email. That was 2 weeks ago and I have had no response. I did call again and was told the 50 minute wait related to a scam that was attacking the website (not very reassuring!). I'm very fed up. I did end up being able to solve the initial problem but I shouldn't have to do that for the amount of money that they are getting from me. I'm going to check out other sites, maybe travel advisor.
Terrible service. Useless website. Will take your visa and charge multiple times then get visa calling you because its "overdrawn". But despite overcharging (X6) they still don't confirm the reservation.
then they will argue with visa on a 3 way call as to who is at fault.
Then they will hang up on you (twice)
Then they will admit they screwed up and apologize and ask for another credit card to screw up so they can hold the reservation.
Or pay cash to the renter.
Don't use vrbo or bother with their inept staff.
VRBO WILL NOT Print our warning about a miserable experience we had with # 110 280 95 in Del Mar Californai. The owner of the property took our down payment and immediately spent it. We had ninety days to change our mind. We lived in Denver so a local cousin visited the property and found it not at all as it was described: it was noisey, dirty, worn and terribly overpriced. With plenty of time left on the contract we decided to cancel. THE OWNER said he did not have the money to pay us back. After more than five months and with the help of Visa we did get it but it was an awful experience and VRBO WAS OF NO HELP. ONLY SECURE PROPERTY WITH A CREDIT CARD IS OUR WARNING. Kathryn Hight
Stay - AWAY from VRBO. We had a horrible experience over the Christmas holiday with a rental in Mission Bay (San Diego). Owner misrepresented the property on the VRBO website (elevator) which we were told to avoid just days before we arrived, filthy kitchen sink and utensils (why pay the $200 cleaning fee...?) bedding STUNK -- and yellow stained, comforter torn; grill advertised as in great shape (corroded, rusty, broken parts, put out a match-sized flame). Oh, and the 4TV's ! One got cable reception. Others either didn't work at all or had no remote.
So we went back to VRBO and HomeAway (yes, we were fooled/tricked into buying their insurance), who said our complaints were not material to the condition of the property ??? and we had to work it out with the owner. We asked for a partial refund. He refused, so we left negative feedback on the VRBO website - which was pulled because the owner said we threatened negative feedback. What a slimy operator. In our process to "work it out with the owner' (per VRBO's recommendation) we demanded a refund in exchange for NO FEEDBACK. When he declined, we told him we would post appropriate and factual feedback...which we did. If you want the details (owner name and VRBO property number, please email me at ttrestorations at a o l dot com and I will gladly share the experience.
Tip for consumers: STAY away from VRBO, HomeAway insurance. You can expect a horrible experience (which explains why there are so many negative reviews !)Ask Joeseph about VRBO
Here is their info: Owners are: Brian Sharples & Carl Shepherd Address: 1011 West Fifth Street, Austin Texas 78703, Tele: 512-684-1110. You should report them to the better business bureau, bb.org/central-texas/business-reviews/advertising-directory-and-guide/homeaway-inc-in-austin-tx-90020648, You can also report them to Federal trade commission: http://www.ftc.gov/, you can also report them to: Travis county district attorney's office: tele: 512-854-9400, they are breaking Anti-trust laws by buying out all the competition and robbing the consumers of choices of other vacation rentals. They are CROOKS in my Opinion, REPORT them!
Tip for consumers: DO NOT SIGN UP WITH VRBO, HOMEAWAY.COM, VACTIONRENTALS.COM AND TONS OF OTHER SITES THEY OWN!Ask reb about VRBO
VRBO removes your email address from all of your and your clients emails (both in your text and in the address spot).
I'd like to communicate directly with my customers without VRBO or anybody else listening in. They are taking the email address of our customers, so they can send direct advertisements
and sales promtions of products (like insurance) to them. As well I suspect for properties that they manage in direct competition with every advertisers on their site. A big conflict of
interest does not sound like a good business decision for very long.
They never asked for our permission or our customers. They started this about a year
ago, claiming it was for security reasons, when it is clearly for profit. No one goes to VRBO to contact them, they go to see our properties and contact us, not VRBO. It feels like the NSA spying. They are stealing our contacts in an attempt to force us all to recieve payment through them not directly from our customers.
Any owners who are lawyers? Is any of this legall? They are in Texas where who knows what they can get away with, but this is inter-sate and, in my case, international. Greed is the obvious villian here ever since the crooks bought it. How can we stop them?
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: Horrible service for travelers and property owners.Ask Jim about VRBO
Terrible, terrible site. The calendars are never updated, the properties that say they are available, aren't available and there are way too many condos or properties managed by rental agencies and not "owners" as the name of the site says. What a bunch of crap. I searched for weeks just to have every inquiry come back as unavailable. I won't be back.
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