Without notice they have started charging our prospective guest a large service fee. (in 75 reviews)
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I too have been a long time property owner ... listing two properties on VRBO for many, many years. I tried to call them yesterday ... 15 minute wait. Tried to email ... but they make it tough to do that too. Not at all happy with this on-line booking business and forced CC payment. Got too big ... Trying to do too much ... Forgot who the real customer is ... and tried to force it. Bad call. Going on my own vacation now ... away from you VRBO ... Adios!!
We have listed properties with vrbo for many years.
It was an opportunity to develop a listing and have access to vrbo and its affiliated companies search engines. It was vacation rentals by owner. The tenant found the listing contacted the owner owner and tenant agreed to a booking tenant paid owner
Any issues disputes etc were between the owner and tenant. Vrbo just put the two together. Then Vrbo started the review system the many tiered subscription policy (the more you pay the higher you were) the add on fees the large increase in truly fees
Next without notifying any of their owners they added the service fee on to the price (for imaginary service are they going to come unclog s toilet)
Now they want to take away the ability for an owner to negotiate s stay directly with the tenant. They want owners to provide the property pay all the expenses of the property but have no say so in whom rents the property booking faceless on line and they want to collect my monies and hold it for a month and charge me additional fees for this service.
Vrbo is in for a rude awakening and Expedia just bought a pig in a poke when all their reputable owners and renters use other fairer priced with fairer policies websites. As Ross Perout said do you hear that sucking sound that is all your owners and tenants quitting your greedy unfair uncaring cimpany.
Almost a decade with VRBO. Was once a pleasure doing business w/them. Now, not the case. They've become downright bullies. This constant bombardment with a pop-up that tries to force you into payments their way is awful. I own my properties, they do not! Exasperated.
We booked a cabin for the weekend on VRBO.com. After payment accepted, received confirmation from cabin resort. In the confirmation it notified us they were having construction on their property all weekend. On the VRBO website, the only contact number is for their parent company HomeAway. I called and was assured the payment was pending, would cancel out, and we could cancel without any repercussions. I also called the resort to notify them we would not be staying. They said there would be no charge.
We then booked a second cabin for our weekend. We were charged for the cabin, insurance, and a 25 dollar booking fee.
After our weekend trip, we checked our credit card. The charge for the first cabin had gone through and was not refunded. I called Home Away again. They assured me the charge was pending, and would come off. I told them the charge had gone through. They referred me to the cabin resort, saying they had already sent payment to the cabin resort and could not refund my money.
I called a total of 6 times, every time they would tell me they couldn't find my reservation, then they found it, but now they can't see the credit card charge, and finally refer to the resort.
I spoke with the resort. They said they never received payment and had not received any emails or phone calls from HomeAway (as reported by HomeAway).
After I looked at my credit card statement again, I noticed the charge wasn't from VRBO or HomeAway. The charge was made by VacayStay Connections. I called the corporate office of VacayStay and finally spoke with someone that could easily see my reservation. They are refunding our money, but charge a $25 dollar fee for refunding. This process took 2 weeks of phone calls and hassle. Will never use HomeStay or any of its companies again. Hoping we get our refund this time.
We have been with VRBO, FOR 6 years. Now you build it and they were come. Yes we had been very happy, ever with the big yearly subscription.
Now the new big boys with big ideas,to show how GREAT THEY ARE! Succeed for NEED, NOT GREED.
Just like government, another tax here, and fee there. There excuse is better service and products. Don't fix something not broken. cabin fee, and cleaning, OK we all except tax, right.
When Home away came into the picture, things changed. Now big fee, for what!!!I Improvements, 24/7(not needed ) More advertisements to site. VRBO is found under vacation rentals by owners. google you will find no brains needed
MORE FEES you will NEED when WE ALL LEAVE YOU and when customers STOP, going to VRBO to Rich for THEM. Great disappointment
Expedia and Vrbo have recently been married.
It didn't take long for the new couple to turn their sights on making a money grab. They no longer care about the friends that got them where they are. The honeymoon is over and they are getting down and dirty. Time to dump this new couple.
We so enjoyed our vacation in Princeville at our lovely, spacious condo! The four of us agreed (two couples) we felt comfortable and welcome as soon as we turned the key and opened the door to our new Hawaiian digs. Very beautiful--newly upgraded bathrooms-- rich tiling and walk-in showers, comfy beds, nice soft sheets, fluffy pillows, lots of closet space and shelves.
Kitchen has granite counters, stainless appliances, a cool kitchen/dining table. We slept well in this quiet, peaceful setting. Love the morning songbirds and roosters--sweet! A very nice happy hour at Westin next door gives that authentic island feel. We loved that hikes and beaches abound nearby.
Our favorite walking, beaching, snorkeling, paddle boarding beach was Anini Beach and within walking distance. Excellent farmers markets lush with fresh and exotic produce. We liked local Hanalei and Kilauea towns---both quite charming and the locals are friendly.
We look forward to visiting again next year!
I have listed properties on this site for over 10 years and used it to find rentals for many of my own vacations as well. All of the new requirements and services are completely getting away from a by owner system and making it very difficult for owners to keep their rates down. They automatically added a book it now function to all of my listings without asking me (I have since removed this) and they started charging a 4-10% fee to the guest for booking and paying on the VRBO website. They have also started allowing rental companies to mass advertise on their site What happened to "By Owner". I have a great rental history and suddenly my guests are upset because VRBO is trying to scare them away from paying an owner direct and then charge them a huge fee for paying through VRBO.
Anyone who is even thinking of listing a house on this website. DO NOT!!!! Since it has been bought by trip advisors they have basically ruined my business and guest experiences and increased the cost to owners and customers. They are trying to copy AIR BNB model and are doing a terrible job at it. I have nine houses on this site for many years. Used to have great customer service now its a trip advisors experience.
As a owner with five vacation rental listings with VRBO/Home Away for many years, I have been very unhappy with the new policies of VRBO/Home Away. These companies are now gouging would-be tenants with a new @10% "service fee" if the tenants book their reservation through VRBO/Home Away. These companies also try to get the tenants to buy expensive cancellation and damage insurance policies. Additionally, VRBO told me that it would soon be mandatory for all owners to have their reservations and credit card charges only through VRBO and that we would not be able to deal with our tenants directly.
As a result of these deceptive practices, tenants are no longer calling, and my bookings have dropped dramatically since last year. VRBO and HomeAway are no longer worth the huge fees that they charge, and I am looking elsewhere to list my properties and will not renew my listings with VRBO/Home Away when they expire.
The greed of VRBO/Home Away since Expedia bought them in December, 2015 is astounding, and Expedia is driving VRBO/HomeAway into the dirt.
I also wanted to let people know about a class action law suit filed on March 15, 2016 entitled Ivan Arnold v. Homeaway, Inc. and DOES I-10 (Case No. 1-16: CV-00374) in U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, Austin Division in which Homeaway is being sued for breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, fraudulent concealment, violation of Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Violation of Cal. Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Violation of Calif. Unfair Competitive Law, and Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.
This law suit also asks for treble damages, injunctive relief, pre and post-judgment damages, exemplary damages, and attorneys' fees and costs.
The attorney who is the lead attorney in this case is Daniel H. Byrne of Fritz, Byrne, Head & Fitzpatrick, PLLC of Austin, Texas. Mr. Byrne can be reached at 512-476-2020 or 512-322-4722 and at DByrne@FBHF.com and I would suggest that anyone who is interested in participating in the class action law suit contact Mr. Byrne.
I know that I am certainly going to do so.
The new site automatically directs shoppers to the "Buy IT Now" feature. It takes an affirmative action by the shopper to see all the rentals that are managed by management companies and owners who do not want the 10% fee added to their customers' costs. Each time a shopper might go to the site they would have to find and unmark the "Buy It Now" button to see most properties - the ones that don't tack on the 10% extra fee.
We stayed in very nice condo in florida this year. Very nice people. Wont book it again because Vrbo's service fee & Fgn Trans fee. Says service fee is for security & to basically help pay for vrbo's advertising. No thank you. If i want security i will purchase travelers insurance & I am not paying for vrbo's global marketing!!!
What was a fabulous relationship with a wonderful company has now turned into a nightmare. Not only does VRBO charge owners 1500.00 a year, but now they have enacted a "fee" to the customers of anywhere from 4 to 10% of the rental. Most seem to be toward the 10% range. I have three properties listed and have considered these to be a great retirement venture for myself. Since Expedia took over, my inquiries have just about stopped. One of my houses is in the mountains and draws young families but by adding the $80.00 "fee" onto a weekend rental it seems to have put them over the edge. They no longer rent. I was rolling right up until Expedia took over. Because of their greed, I may have to sell my homes. I am sure there are a lot more people who have to be so disappointed in the new system. What we signed up for originally and what we have now are two different things, including the credit card fees. They promised 2.5% and now it's 2.8%. That changed the minute Expedia took over. They have set the web site up to force the customer into booking through their payment portal by threatening them with "no service" if they do it any other way. I have listed my homes on VRBO for 15 years and it's been wonderful....until now. If anyone does start a class action suit, I am in. This is not what I signed up for.
Just total greed and disregard for both property owners and travelers. Dishonestly sold us an annual marketing agreement, and less than 3 months later started changing the rules - charging guests for making reservations, more for paying online, and charging owners for the same reservations. They had a useful dashboard, then blocked it with a popup that forced its property owners to sign up for their Online Payment system. Said they could make any change they wanted to their agreement, but would not offer a refund. What was originally one of the better vacation rental systems has now fallen to be one of the worst. Their extra take? Roughly 12% more to their pockets, on top of what travelers have to pay for space, and in most states, county tourism and state taxes. STAY AWAY. And, zero help and zero respect when calling to try to fix the situation. Value had initially been good, but no longer. They now steer traffic only to owners who sign up for their online payment system, in addition to charging both sides for reservations.
New service fee is gauging. The call centre is out-sourced. If you ask where they are located they are told that they are not able to disclose their country of origin but that their main office is in Texas. They are cheap enough to outsource but are too embarrassed to disclose the location of the outsourcing. If these people spoke good english you would not care.
I WILL NO LONGER RENEW.
I SUGGEST EXPEDIA SPEND MORE MONEY IN SEARCH OF A BETTER , MORE PEOPLE FRIENDLY CEO.
CEO HAD AN OPEN SEMINAR TO DISCUSS CHANGES AND CONIVINCED HE IS THE MOST CLUELESS CEO IN US HISTORY!!
CHARGING MORE FOR LESS RESULTS IS NOT A LEADERSHIP DECISION IS A CROAKED ONE!!!
They have gotten greedy. The customer service stinks. They don't reply to emails. The people at their call center just read responses out of a book. This company will go the way of K-mart (brink of bankruptcy in a few years) unless they make major changes to their greedy policies.
What a joke! Oh, and if you use expedia, travelocity, Trip Advisor, etc, you're patronizing the same parent company that owns Homeway and VRBO. Dump them all. Send a message that corporate greed won't be tolerated.
If they're going to charge more fees, customers should get something in return -- other than headaches.
Such a joke! Why would anyone pay on line to book now? They are dinging my clients $160 to book on line. I cancel the reservation and refund their fees and have them mail a check. They are getting so greedy! I refuse to let people pay them. We are paying enough to list our homes already!!
Been on the site since 2003. They were great. Billing the owner $400.00 - $800.00 a year to display a listing was not enough. Now they are forcing owners to bill through their sites and are not only charging the guest a rediculous fee the are charging the owner a fee also. I have listed on other sites and will cancel my VRBO listing!
We have used Brno for several years now and are extremely disappointed in the new service fee being charged by vrbo. This fee is just an additional income generator for the company and adds no value to the renter. We pay in advance for the rental so I don't know who they are protecting? the new fee is so extreme you can rent a very nice hotel room instead of a home.
We will be checking out other options, so if you rent your home on vrbo this is why your rentals are decreasing. Too bad a good thing was destroyed.
I loved VRBO. My husband and I have great experience with VRBO, until today. When I tried to book a condo for our winter vacation and found a surprise $100 tacked on for a service fee.. What a joke. At this point, we might as well stay a hotel since it costs the same. Extremely disappointing. I would love to know of any other sites that don't charge fees for nothing and give them my business. What a terrible thing to do for these owners of these properties who already pay.
I was using VRBO for several years and I was happy with it. Year after year that greedy company started grabbing more and more from both, owners and guests. They charge owners with astronomic yearly fee, charge for using credit cards (which is now practically mandatory) and recently started to charge the guests too, with very high fee of (in most cases) 9%. They call it "small fee"!!!
Triple deep in the rental business changes rental landscape very seriously and forces owners to lower the prices to accommodate their terrible appetite. Just for maintaining one website they grab more income than the home owners.
Both, owners and guests should boycott this ridiculous company.
we chose a local advertisment website/ also chamber of commerce
1. create website, can pull list detail from vrbo or homeaway, flip key etc..then add
2. http://availabilityonline.com/pages/comparison_chart.html then add
Expedia purchased HomeAway for $3.9 Billion (yes, billion). Who made this all possible? The homeowners. If homeowners don't list on VRBO then traffic to their site dies. It's just that simple. Homeowners are critical to their success, a point them seem to have forgotten in their greedy grab to soak us by raising the listing fee AND adding the new "user fee" (which will be born by the homeowner not the renter).
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Bad move VRBO.
Let me add my voice to the chorus of property owners disgusted with VRBO and their institution of this new "service fee" - to be paid by renters. I had been wondering why rental inquiries for my properties had recently dwindled so drastically. Upon receiving an inquiry today I went to the dashboard and was horrified to see a 9% service fee added onto the price quote breakdown for my potential future renter. I called VRBO customer service voiced my extreme dissatisfaction, only to be greeted by an agent doing her very best to try and justify this additional charge. There is NO JUSTIFICATION for it. VRBO substantially increased their advertising charges less than 18 months ago. My platinum level charges increased by almost 30% per year. Now it appears VRBO is looking for further revenue and this time it its the renters who have to pay. All this does for property owners, is diminishes the number of inquires and ultimate rentals. I am going to look at moving my properties elsewhere and in the meantime - until my subscription runs out, inform anyone inquiring about renting over VRBO that this new "service fee" has nothing to do with me. It is just VRBO being greedy. I intend to give potential renters alternative options for rental - where they will not have to pay this fee.
2 years ago I would have given VRBO a 5 star rating as a property owner - how unfortunate that now feel unable to give them more than 1 star.
We need a class action suit. We paid VRBO to let us advertise on their site. THAT was the deal, the only deal. When a client responded to our ad, the bull was in our court. They have no right to step in at that point and charge our clients after we do the work and sell our product to the client. The "service fee" should be optional as any insurance fee is. In addition, the service is not all it's cracked up to be. 24/7 not so sure. I called 11:50pm and held on for 20 minutes before hanging up! Some service. Class action somebody, lets go.
A fellow VRBO owner commented to me about the new fees this year. I hadn't paid attention but was ALARMED to find the charges that my guests are having to pay to rent my condo. I've been listing my property for over 5 years with VRBO and LOVED them. . .up until THIS spring. Rental inquiries are slow for this time of year. I'll be checking other opportunities soon!
I have rented beach homes for summer vacations annually with family & friends. We have been hearing about a new fee & owners unhappy with vrbo. I looked it up one of our past rentals and couldn't believe the "service fee" of nearly $140.00!?!?!?? For 24/7 phone support? that is ridiculous.
I've rarely had a problem in the past and if something has come up the owner is just a phone call away. No one can provide service like the owner - someone overseas is just not going to care as much.
So why pay so much more? I can easily find my favorite places on their own websites, Facebook, or go to local sites for my favorite spots.
Just booked my next trip directly with vrbo owner we booked with last year that was more than happy to take things outside of vrbo and save us some money. They said soon they and many other owners will leave soon.... Save yourself some money and don't fall for vrbo's BS!
Tip for consumers: go elsewhere, other options & sometimes the same houses on local sites, Airbnb, Facebook with fewer or no fees!!Ask joe about VRBO
At one time VRBO was a great service to both renter and owner but their "Service Fee" has undermined their program. Whoever thought it up should be fired. Yes, an immediate fee increase for them but a long term disaster. So many I have referred will no longer book with them on principle. The "Service Fee" offers NO SERVICE to a renter and is easily seen as a get rich quick scheme...shame on the management. People do not appreciate being taken for a fool. Hoping a competitor will offer the same service...without the fee.
I have just listed one of my rentals with vacationhomerentals.com. This is a Trip Advisor site, and there is a 2 mo. free trial, and then $299. per year. No additional fees either to owner or renters. Good site, but does lack some functionality that hopefully will be fixed sooner or later. Check it out!
This house has been updated and in excellent condition. It was easy to keep clean and conveniently arranged. The supplies left in the house were greatly appreciated. The managers were very accommodating and responded to our request immediately. I truthfully cannot think of anything that could have been better except the gentleman responsible for the care of the outside property. He is large, wears a hoody down over his face, does not communicate and doesn't do an exemplary job. He was the only down side to our stay. Cheryl and Rick Miller were fantastic.
Yes, for now you can tell your customer you will book it through paypal or other means, but soon VRBO will be separating owners and renters so they can't do that. That is what the push for "book online" is all about. I don't know about you, but I need know my guests' name and phone number and email, and if I communicate with them and get a weird feeling, I google them to check them out! I have no intention of trusting VRBO to screen, or to take care of damages- they don't do that. I created an independent website, but the big guys spend so much on advertising it is hard to get anywhere near the first few pages of a query. I'm bailing out and going to long term rental unless an enterprising replacement company pops up to run them out of business.
What a rip off! VRBO makes their $ from property owners who list with them at $1000 per year. Now they're adding fees to us vacationers too.
Increased safety and security? LOL!!! I can't imagine them coming to the rescue if a pipe breaks on the middle of the night!
Bye bye VRBO. I'll go elsewhere.
I have been listing my house for years at several thousands of dollars per year on VRBO, Homeaway and Vacationrental.com and paying 2.5% out of my pocket for credit card rentals. Now, the site adds a "service fee" on top of all this and customer service wait times are 25 minutes and longer. What an improvement...
By the way, I have been in the online software business for decades and know the margins are already fat for the kind of volume the Homeaway family does. Could this be a result of the purchase of the site family by Expedia to pay of debt?
Personally, I am now worried that renters will go to other sites and therefore Homeaway has forced me also to explore other sites for a more transparent business plan for my potential customers..
We have been ardent supporters of VRBO for seven years both as vacation home owners and travelers. The company recently added Service Fees to the traveler without properly notifying home owners. Additionally, these fees do not clarify to the traveler that it is being charged by VRBO. Many travelers believe the fees are imposed by the homeowner. Most importantly, the fees do not provide any value to the traveler and are egregious in nature. We have left VRBO and we caution the traveler and homeowner to beware. The greed is unconscionable.
In the beginning......VRBO gave regular down to earth home owners an avenue to advertise their rental vacation homes to down to earth vacationers who wanted to get away from the commercialized, impersonalized mega property brokers. It was a marriage made in heaven! Owners paid VRBO a reasonable amount of money to provide a well run user friendly website to advertise their vacation rentals to prospective renters. At that point, renters contacted owners personally and the two (owners and renters) worked out the details on their own. Fast forward to today. VRBO raises its rates to owners (I pay over $1300 per home for platinum level on 5 homes) charges high credit card fees (I don't use credit cards because I don't want to raise my rates to cover the fees) and is charging renters a service fee to book through the website (no one knows what for) which amounts to 4-10% of the total balance. VRBO also makes it look like it is the owner charging the guest the service fee. This is very deceitful and VRBO is stating that all of their owners will be using their booking services by the end of 2016. Well this is one owner who will not!! I just signed up one of my houses with Vacation Home Rentals an affiliate of Trip Advisor and I'm going to see how it goes. VRBO had a cash cow but got greedy. Vacationers will not be taken advantage of, they will just take their business elsewhere and so will owners.
VRBO better wise up and quit trying to be a bully or they'll end up playing by themselves.
This was a wonderful company that helped both travelers and homeowners get together.
It stood for Vacation Rentals By Owners - too bad that's changing. I've both rented homes off this site and now list my owner vacation property on it for the last several years. We pay for a listing, not to have VRBO/HomeAway run our own business for us. Slowly they have been changing and forcing homeowners to accept their credit processing if you want a good location, so I signed up. Then they give you only 24hrs to approve a guest or the "system" cancels them for you. Some people need a bit more time to decide and we have to do background checks on new guests to be sure everything is legit. VRBO has no liability if your home gets trashed or your TV walks out the door. Just the same, I once again complied without complaining so my listing isn't penalized. Now, with only a 25 day notice, they are beginning to charge our guests a 9% service fee for the privilege of using the site. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! This feels like the last straw. We pay a yearly advertising fee so that there were to be no other charges. This is one of the worst examples of "bait and switch" I've seen in a long time. I was told "it won't cost you a thing, it's your guests who pay the fee" - guess again. Our repeat customers are wondering why we've added another large fee to their price, their regular weekly rates have jumped $175 with no added benefit to them or us. In my opinion, this fee is at best highly unethical when you purchase and fully pay for your listing a year in advance and then the rules change, at worst it may be illegal. I've seen a number of customers suggesting a class action lawsuit against VRBO/HomeAway recently purchased by Expedia. This is no longer the great company I used to do business with. Along with many other former loyal customers, I'm currently checking on other options to rent my home and to search for accommodations. It's so sad to see a once wonderful company that had a simple workable idea getting ruined by corporate greed and irresponsible business decisions. If anyone would like to suggest other alternatives - we are ALL listening!!!!
Concerned that large management companies with multiple listings are allowed to "locate" their property at any location. I own a condo in a resort on the beach. When you search for that resort - the FIRST listing is for a condo at a competing resort located next door....managed by Windham....who also manages properties at my resort. Large companies that manage multiple properties can place their "location marker" wherever they also manage other properties.
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