I am a property owner and have listed my property with VRBO for one year and just renewed for another year. (in 106 reviews)
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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.
Home Away/VRB works for renters because renters deal primarily with property owners not Home Away/VRBO, i.e. renters are customers of owners not HA/VRBO. Customers of HA/VRBO are the owners & we seem to all agree that it is a HORRIBLE business. Unfortunately, they seem to think that since they are the largest, they have a monopoly & could care less about their customers. 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
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.
Can't believe all of the negative reviews. I've been using VRBO for 10 years and NO PROBLEMS.
They have 24 hour service, which no other site gives you.
They have NO BOOKING FEES for the guest....saving you money when you reserve
They have fantastic guarantees and insurance which it honored.
I can't say enough nice things.....they are a great company and the reviews are ??
Tip for consumers: VRBO is always available by phone 24/7. They are professional and very responsive....Ask Victoria about VRBO
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
VRBO.com was great…until HomeAway got its paws on it and took it over. HomeAway is absolutely horrible to its paying customers, the homeowners. They browbeat us to get us to comply with their wishes so that they may cater to the nonpaying customers, those seeking vacation rentals. The end result is a miserable experience for BOTH the homeowner AND the renter. We are penalized if we don't sign up for certain options..yet the options make running our rentals very difficult. They diminish our relationship with our Guests. Guests get endless annoying emails from Homeaway, and that reflects on us homeowners, and then we have to send more emails apologizing for Homeaway. The final straw for me, though, was being banned from the Community forum, where we're supposed to be able to go to discuss these things, by a thoroughly unprofessional and incompetent moderator, who is power hungry but arbitrary. I said absolutely nothing wrong..no profanity, no threats, no personal attacks, nothing. I was told I couldn't use certain words..'monopoly', "dictatorship', 'authoritarian". I am not kidding. THAT is why she banned me, saying the words are "antagonistic". So they censor even their paying customers, silence them…HomeAway resembles more a ruthless authoritarian regime than a Web site meant to allow homeowners to present their homes to people looking for vacation homes.
It has become unbearable, and I will not be renewing my subscription when it ends next month. I feel dirty giving money to this company.
Stay away from HomeAway and its subsidiaries like vrbo.com.
For Cape Cod rentals, use weneedavacation.com, a wonderful vacation rental site. For other places, try to seek out boutique rental sites that cater to the specific area. HomeAway is a soulless, unscrupulous, authoritarian behemoth that believes renters and homeowners (who provide their inventory) are in service to THEM, not the other way around.
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.
Most all properties, I inquired about are not "for rent by owner" (VRBO, but are managed by companies. The calendar may show the property to be available, but most of the time, they are "already rented", when you contact the "owner". This seems hard to believe, when you do your research 6 months in advance. You may get an ok. on a property of your choice, but when it comes to finalizing the arrangement, there is a bait and switch. The pictures are great, and the research can be fun, but honestly in 6 years, I actually only finalized two rentals, and we take two longer vacations a year.
Tip for consumers: Be cautiousAsk michael about VRBO
Beware, after being told vetting of owners is a part of VRBO policy, I see Mark Dewitt is still able to rent his condo at Kiawah Island through VRBO. He has multiple complaints, and now an arrest for impersonating a police officer in Charleston, SC. He allegedly also offered cash for sex. After we had a dispute on a rental from Dewitt, we contacted VRBO about their representation policy. Several run around emails, I gave up getting an answer. VRBO is only about their money. They will never have the renters back.
Since VRBO and HOMEAWAY vacation rental sites have merged, you are stuck with them as a monopoly. Customer service is terrible, the web site does not work properly. Difficult to collect payments and each rep on the phone has different and conflicting answers to your questions.
One of my guests tried to post a review after staying with me and posted it to the wrong site since the two sites are merged. Snotty response received from VRBO rep that the guest posted to the HOMEAWAY site instead of the VRBO site where the reservation was made and rep make no effort to fix the problem or transfer the review to the proper site when they are LINKED!!
Emails with request for payments from guests on Homeaway print the text vertically on the left side of the email with no place for the guest to make a payment.
OWNERS ARE STUCK WITH THIS MONOPOLY. I spend most of my time trying to fix things with guests that do not work because of the two sites and this company does not care at all about owners and helping them. They only care about charging the owner every fee they can possibly think of and making sure you cannot directly contact the guest.
Tip for consumers: I don't know where else owners can go to advertise their vacation rentals.Ask CAROL about VRBO
I am not a happy customers anymore have been on vrbo since 2009 and have not any of my customers been able to do a booking for the last 3 month I am not getting anywhere and am put on hold for 20 or better minuts then they had phone nr with our missing area code so far have lost thousand of dollars in 2014 most of time we are book by chrismas don't know have tried to look up other places but all are own by home away does any one know where I can advertise Regards Jette clark
!! ZERO Stars!! VRBO penalizes owners for choosing NOT to exposed their guests credit cards to VRBO hacking risk, NOT to let VRBO control our bookings, and NOT to allow VRBO to float our guests money for 7 days to generate interest for VRBO before we receive it. As a property owner with VRBO for the past 4 years we purchased a platinum membership and believed their loyalty and seniority sales speak. Even though our property maintains stellar ratings from the guests, VRBO pushed the property feature way down in their ratings because we would not enable their service "upsells" and expose our guests to undesirable consequences. signed VRBO HOSTAGE NO MORE.
Have tried to contact VRBO home owners to book a rental, no response.
Very frustrating, and no prompting from VRBO to provide customer service.
I would drop homes that can not respond in a timely manner.
I just recently stay at a great house in Costa Rica (#380060) Liberia...It was one of the best homes we have rented for the hoildays. The home itself is great high on the mountain,pool (Maintained) staff in hand and all our needs met.
The experience was probably one of the best ever,especially working directly with the owners themself. South America is worth the trip. Thankyou AK
Is the worst costumer service.
The worst customer service I've ever met, besides being abusive, and bring us back some money. We booked on their website and it turns out to get to the apartment was not anything posted on the web. To reclaim from the first day, we were assured that we could leave the apartment and claim our credit card the refund of money because the apartment was not published and the owner never wanted to go through the same.
After 4 months, we have no podium recover our money and credit card compliant we still pay the same.
I do not recommend booking anything in this VRBO, if they have any problems I will never be solved.
I stayed at a VRBO property for 3 weeks recently and had a number of problems with the property (apartment).
At their request I submitted an honest, but negative review two weeks ago which met their guidelines and VRBO has not posted it claiming it did not meet their guidelines.
Only positive reviews for this property were posted for the property.
I called VRBO and was told that my review was still under review and may be posted.
Tip for consumers: Be a very skeptical consumer and request a very recent photograph of the room in the rental apartment. Avoid full advanced payment for an extended stay until arrival. Write a candid review of the property and hope it meets the review guidelines so that other travelers will not fine out after the owner has their money that the apartment does not correspond to the photographs and meet expectations.Ask John about VRBO
WAIPOULI RESORT UNIT G306- Our family had an incredible vacation thanks to Yvonne, the owner of this unit. We have stayed at this resort before and chose this unit because Yvonne took the extra time to make us feel welcome. This condo had everything...comfort, view, surroundings; it even included fins, snorkels, masks, boogie boards, mats. coolers, chairs and even an umbrella. We swam with turtles, enjoyed the seals, ate and drank until we popped. We are planning a trip back next year. There is nothing negative I can say about this trip. Thank you Yvonne and Mickey for allowing us to share your home.
Tip for consumers: This is by far, the best unit at Waipouli Resort to rent. Worth every penny.Ask Norma about VRBO
My family rented VRBO 240500 in Stowe Vermont. We were asked to provide a separate check for the (very large) security deposit of $750. Prior to our arrival I wrote the owner and asked if we could bring our dog.
She replied IF I was willing to pay for additional cleaning costs. However, I was able to find another place for my dog while we were traveling and did not bring it.
The homeowner met us at the house and took us around for about 30 minutes, telling us to take off our shoes, how to open and close the windows and window coverings, how to work the tv, etc.
She could clearly see we did not have a dog with us, did not ask to see a dog, did not ask about a dog, and was there when the rest of the group finished emptying the car.
When it came time to get my security deposit back, she had cashed and KEPT the check, saying she was keeping it because we brought a dog.
The terms of the contract say that after the property is found to be in good condition, the deposit would be returned. I have contact the owner, as well as VRBO, but the owner refuses to return the deposit. Further, she has not even documented what her "additional expenses" were, but simply kept the entire amount.
VRBO does not stand behind the contracts, and the owner certainly did not comply with hers.
In addition, the property was noisy with 3 different construction projects going on around it, starting at 7AM 6 days a week.
My wife and I rented a magnificent house this past June and July at a property called Arnauton, located in Beraut, the Gers, France. The website is arnauton.com. It needs to be seen to be believed: 8 bedrooms, 6 beth rooms, a large swimming pool, a large playroom, protected outdoor eating areas, beautifully landscaped, wonderfully managed, and more. This home was lovingly and impeccably restored by the owners, Tony and Barbara Mackintosh. It is located in an area of southwest France known as the Gers but better known to most people as Gascony, where the Three Musketeers and D'Artagnan roamed.
I've been a vrbo customer for 6 years and was happy with them until the last couple of year, especially since they started this new "response rating". Right now, because I didn't know exactly how it works because it was never explained properly, my rating is 66%, although I respond immediately. I've been told by a customer rep that this will be on my vrbo site at the end of the month for potential customers to see, which looks as though it takes me two days to respond. I've been reading some other complaints on this site, and like me, a lot of you don't realize you can access your potential customer's email and phone number, but have to know how to do it. You have to go into your vrbo dashboard to retrieve it. Once you click on "phone number", you get credit for the response. I just learned this. Anotherwards, vrbo makes you "jump through hoops" to communicate with a potential customer that saw your ad that YOU PAID FOR. What concerns me is vrbo is going to try to "control" our business to the point where we won't have access to our customers' email addresses or phone numbers. Once that happens, I'm done with the company.
It's too bad that a company that started out as such a wonderful company has been ruined by fixing things that are not broken. I predict that eventually another company will eventually realize how to do it right, and vrbo will no longer be a monopoly.
VRBO.com listing #379041. Non-potable water, Boulder, Colorado
In July 2014 my brother rented this house for a family reunion with my sister and me, and our three spouses, for three days. The renovated house is beautiful, as is the setting, and looks just like the photos posted on VRBO. The description on VRBO.com is "Spectacular Mountain Style Home Just Minutes from Downtown Boulder!".
But -- before we rented, we didn't think to ask about whether or not we could drink the water. We flew in from Washington, Texas and California, arrived at the house and found that there was a sign posted over the kitchen sink (and in the renters' notebook), warning us not to drink the water, that it wasn't safe. As of that weren't bad enough, we then discovered that in the showers in both bathrooms, there was very low water pressure, just a tiny trickle of water to take a bath or shower.
Apparently, the house water is supplied by a well which is contaminated, and the pump on the well is underpowered.
You know, we weren't going to a Third World Country, we were flying into Boulder, and we didn't think to ask if we could drink the water. It didn't even enter our minds to ask about this ahead of time. Who knew? Fortunately, none of us is immunosuppressed, and fortunately, none of us got sick.
But it was a bummer. We didn't want to make a fuss because we wanted to enjoy our time together, without a lot of negativity, so we just put up with it -- where else would we have gone? We'd already flown into Boulder and previously paid our rental money (plus a cleaning fee and security deposit). But all of us were disappointed at best, and very, very angry at worst.
This information about the non-potable water should have been disclosed so that we could have had a choice about whether or not to stay there. I'm sure that the house is not up to county health standards, and that renting a house with non-potable water violates health codes.
The owner charged top dollar, plus a hefty cleaning fee, all for a house where we couldn't drink the water and had to bathe in a drizzle of water.
I want other people to know about the water situation at this house -- I don't want them to be surprised and disappointed the way we were. I cannot recommend this house to anyone else.
I booked and paid a deposit on VRBO 596105 in Florida. I requested contact information and some more pictures of the unit. To date I have not heard back from them. I contacted VRBO for help. NOTHING!!! a lot of automatic generic replies making lots of promises but nothing when I asked for help. This was and is the first and last time I will use them for my winter vacation plans.
Tip for consumers: DO NOT USE THIS SITE FOR YOUR VACATION RENTALS!Ask Terry about VRBO
I am a traveler. Rented condo through VRBO site. Suffered a bait and switch scam by properity owner. Tried to post a review was ejected because I "didn't stay at the unit listed because the owner switched me to different unit". DA! Asked what unit I stayed at and VRBO said there was no listing for it. Trying to file a formal complaint with VRBO but guess what, it requires a listing number of the unit I stayed at. It seem the properity owner rents several similar condos under one listing.
Tip for consumers: Don't use it! If you do, buy the insurance protection and get a written contract from properity owner.Ask Ray about VRBO
They are so bad that they keep raising there prices and make it harder for owner to list! They give great discounts to business to list with them! They need to name this VRBrealtor?? come on guys this is terrible.
Tip for consumers: Pick vacationrental.comAsk theresa about VRBO
VRBO has become an unfriendly site to both owners and renters. It now lowers the viewing ranking for properties that don’t use VRBO for renters’ payments and reservations. I have an arrangement with a rental/property manager that requires renters' payments go through that company. I have found my renters are happy to (1) make payments to an established company that is local to their rental and (2) have a local company they can turn to if problems arise. The service I provide to renters is superior to what they would get if I routed payments through VRBO, yet VRBO bumps me down the viewing list because I choose to provide better service to renters. If VRBO wants to make money from online payments by renters, it should just say so and charge owners who don’t choose the VRBO payments a premium. But discriminating against my property for the renter-friendly choice I make is ridiculous and an anti-competitive business tactic. LG
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: Necessary evil, but if you can ... don't start up with VRBO, Vacation Rentals, Cyber Rentals, Home Away - any of their affiliates.Ask Patty about VRBO
VRBO are useless when it comes to helping travelers get a refund of charges paid. We booked a condo through VRBO - it was not a cheap condo - and two weeks after we confirmed the booking and paid over $3100 deposit the owner turned around and cancelled the booking on us. They told us we would get a "full refund" but they did not process it.
we called VRBO to ask for help in getting our money back and they basically told us we were on our own and all they could do was "send them an email asking them to refund the money".
Eventually, we got a portion of the deposit back, but we are still waiting on over $500 which were the "fees" paid (I thought the owner paid the fees, not the traveler, but it seems that the owner is able to charge the fees to the traveler).
In any case, we are still waiting on the fee portion to be refunded. I have initiated complaints with VRBO and have started a chargeback on my credit card. The next step is to file a theft report with the police in the city in which the condo is located.
I would not rely on VRBO to be of any help if you have a dispute with the owners of a property. Just be warned that you are on your own. I would NEVER pay for anything like this through paypal. ALWAYS use a credit card so you have a modicom of protection.
I have listings on vrbo.com for 11 years, and it has become the worst run business I have ever worked with. They are constantly changing the requirements of the owners and adding so much clutter to what used to be a user-friendly site, and now they have gone too far: Not only can I not send pictures to those who inquire, they have a bot that spots when I try to give my PERSONAL email SO I CAN SEND PICTURES!! They will not respond to any of my complaints! They want me to pay for all my pictures, but that would make me have to raise my rates. HORRIBLE COMPANY! I am praying for another company(THEYARE ALSO HOMEAWAY.COM) to come to our aid.
I am a property owner and have listed my property with VRBO for one year and just renewed for another year. The inquiries and rentals have been very satisfactory. I am a good communicator and get all the information requested by potential renters to them within a few hours. We have a good rental agreement explaining terms of the contract clearly. All of our reviews have been 4 & 5 stars. We just got our first bad review from a traveler who is unhappy that we held $90.00 from his $200.00 security deposit for not complying with the terms of the agreement regarding cleaning up after his two dogs and having a 5th person in the cabin and not paying for them. Other cleaning issues were noted and he did not lock the cabin when he left. He made several false statements, which I backed up with written proof to VRBO as being false. He used language that was offensive and called us names. I studied VRBO's guidelines and this review clearly violates at least 3 of them. However, VRBO is not willing to remove the review and claims there are no violations. It's frustrating that as owners who pay for the service, we are considered guilty until proven innocent and then we are not allowed to prove our innocence.
Tip for consumers: If you see one bad review among many other excellent reviews, you can pretty much figure that the renter was at fault. Always read the owner's response as well as the other reviews. When people get charged for being caught violating the rental agreement they signed and they thought they would get away with it, they tend to lash out with a bad review.Ask Karen about VRBO
We stayed in an outstanding townhouse at Seagull Inn & Condominiums in Wells, Maine. We spent 2 weeks there and we loved it. We met the owner, Bob, who was truly concerned about our stay! We really loved it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to spend time near the beaches in southern Maine. We rented unit #60 which is very well appointed. Thanks to the owners for making our vacation such an enjoyable one!
VRBO is terrible for owners. Rising prices and forcing owners to use services we don't want or need will also translate to dissatisfied renters. They are currently the big fish in the pond, but disruptive technology will soon knock down their door. I am looking for alternative sites, as are many other owners. I am starting with VacationHomeRentals.com. VRBO Sucks!!
Tip for consumers: If you are a Vacation Property owner. Don't upgrade your VRBO listing - start using alternatives instead. Its time to send VRBO a message.Ask Chris about VRBO
Review of property rental as VRBO selects only the positive reviews
Rehoboth Beach VRBO 66056, North Shore Seaglass rental property
This home was advertised as 6 bedrooms, it's not... it is 5 bedrooms with a converted walk in closet which the owner considered a bedroom. The home has not been well maintained. Many things were broken when we arrived - Outside shower, refrigerator, outdoor cushions in very poor condtion ripped/ torn/ stained. Pool table with cigarette burns and ripped felt. Back porch with upturned wooden boards - dangerous. Owner, Joan W was very rude and difficult to deal with. We still have not received our $1400 deposit back. I plan on taking her to small claims court.
Tip for consumers: http://www.vrbo.com/66056Ask Jean about VRBO
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