Without notice they have started charging our prospective guest a large service fee. (in 81 reviews)
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My reservation hadn't been looked at much less processed and we had to cancel 3 hours later. Bryan was hateful and said they we're going to charge me $150 cause that makes him look bad and puts him at bottom of listings. $150 and he hasn't done ANYTHING! Wasn't supposed to be charged til 1 day after we checked in but my bank account sure is low!
I made a reservation through HomeAway for a VRBO in Wisconsin for a family reunion.I put a deposit down on the house in December 2016 and thought that all was well. As the time approached for the reunion I tried to find the property on the website and it had disappeared. I called HomeAway customer service, a phone center somewhere in Eastern Europe, and they verified the owner had taken the house off the list but told me my reservation was OK. They gave me two phone numbers to contact the owner on which I left numerous messages. I also tried to contact the owner through Facebook and his business e-mail. No response. I did a little research and found out he had put the property on the market and tried to sell it. I decided to cancel my reservation. I found out that the only formal way to cancel the reservation was to contact HomeAway and have them notify the owner. But the reservation is only cancelled when the owner responds and acknowledges the cancellation which he has not done to date. Just got the automated message to make the final payment and still no success in cancelling the reservation. So understand when HomeAway guarantees the return of your deposit if you cancel 30 prior to the start date, that it is not really a guarantee. You are still at the mercy of the owner. And the only person you talk to for customer service is some person who works at a phone center in Eastern Europe.
VRBO new feature BOOK IT NOW IS A DISASTER! There is absolutely no benefit to guest or owner to use this feature.
VRBO strong arms guests and owners to use the service.
Owners do not get the guest's booking money timely from VRBO. It is not released to the owner until after the guest checks in.
Guests are charged a large "fee" by VRBO to use Book it Now,
Owners are charged $700-$1500 annual fee owners to advertise on VRBO.
VRBO penalizes owners who refuse to use BooK It Now at the bottom of the list of available homes.
Recent scams of fraudulent phishing of owners VRBO inquiries which resulted in stolen guest funds where the guest was offered a "discount" by an unknown person (not the owner) appeared to be perpetrated by VRBO employees in an attempt to "sell" Book it Now. This problem occurred with many owner accounts, but the majority of those owners were ones that did not use "book it now" . VRBO's only official comment was "your email password must have been hacked.
Owners and guests emails are "filtered" through VRBO
A word to guests: CALL THE OWNER Deal directly with the owner. Save yourself much grief.
VRBO is a horrible company! We booked a property through them and ended up at a dirty roach infested home! They refuse to refund our money even though we did not stay at this property! They state that cleanliness is not an issue even though one of the beds was broken and the pictures seriously misrepresent this property! We stayed in a hotel for 2 days before we found another home. We will NEVER book with them again and we will discourage anyone we come across to book with them either. Horrible company!!! Stay away from them!!
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Have been a 10+ year loyal customer of VRBO. Myself and extended family have rented at least 2 VRBO properties a year. Amazing homes with great experiences. Attentive owners, great customer service from A to Z, and many happy family memories created across the U.S. Expedia/Home Away/VRBO now slipping in a $500 "service fee" to renters. Conatcted a property today and was advised VRBO is now charging $500 but not telling customers. I looked into it and they are! Not only that, it's not even clear or evident in the pricing. It's a bait-and-switch. They are hiding it, calling it a service fee and what do we get? I'm not interested in your greed. There's no added service - NONE! The true delight has been working directly with the owners. We are not only disappointed but ANGRY. I am now looking at other venues and even contacting local rental agencies. I encourage homeowners to advise on this and other websites where they have their homes, I'm willing to follow you. SLIMY, SEEDY, AND DOWNRIGHT A KILLER. Bye Bye Expedia-Home Away - VRBO
Have used VRBO for about a decade. Just discovered that since they been bought out - corporate greed is now charging a service fee for every rental - the percentage is based on amount of rental up to $499 per rental! The owner nor the renter benefits despite what they pretend it is. It's just a greedy grasp for money. Never, never, never again will I use VRBO. All of you wonderful owners that allow families like mine to enjoy fantastic vacations - PLEASE try to find other websites because I can promise that if you are seeing a dip in your rentals - its because people like us are refusing to pay VRBO a service fee.
After using VRBO for over 10 years we, unfortunately, had a really bad experience with one of the properties. Wrote a very accurate review stating the issues we had with the property. Property was absolutely NOT as advertised. There was NO contact information that was accurate. Property was dirty, old furniture, musty smelling and not as pictured. Front door digital code only worked about 1 out of 5 times and owner didn't give us any other option for admission to the property. What is really disappointing is that VRBO has done NOTHING to rectify the situation. They only want to be the "middle man" and collect fees. Guess it doesn't matter to them that the property was not anywhere near what was advertised. I got an initial response from them telling me HOW much they care but that was it. NOthing else and absolutely no satisfaction about our issues. We will really think very hard before using them again for any vacations we take.
We spent some time at this lovely condo, just minutes from Rehoboth Beach! It's very spacious and comfortable, with all the comforts of home! With 3 enormous bedrooms, there's room for a good sized family, or several friends.
Since VRBO HA has been purchase, their recent changes have enraged both Owners and Travelers. I will no longer list my property with VRBO.
Trust the market place. New and far better alternatives will become available. Look for them. Adios Home Away n VRBO.
I've advertised my home on VRBO and Home Away for the last dozen years. Despite rising costs, it generated business and drove potential customers to the home which is exactly what I wanted. It was a company with a clear but narrow niche and performed well; bringing owners and potential renters together and letting them do business. They did such a good job that they became one of two or three dominant players in the market place and, since December of last year, they have become part of the corporate conglomerate Expedia. Like so many corporate behemoths (think Google, Microsoft) they are seeking to redefine that market to suit themselves. Their new business model doesn't work for owners (who are losing control of the process despite owning the product on which the business depends) or customers (who will be paying more as a result of the introduction of a service fee for a non-existent additional service and suffering the kind of Kafkaesque call centre experience that is the hallmark of corporate "customer service"). The explanatory video offered by the CEO is almost parodic; the feigned concern, the assurance that this is all in the interests of the owners and customers, the justification for income gouging as presenting answers to questions that no-one is actually asking. I hope the proposed class action is successful and that other entrepreneurs recognise the opportunity to provide competition but fear that, along with a couple of other players, they will dominate and define the market because of their business muscle - at least in the short term.
I agree with every negative review of this horrendous site. Now to add something new: I needed legitimate help with a booking. I called the HomeAway help line and recording says wait is greater than 20 minutes. Decided to call back and "press 2" as a renter. Got through in 4 minutes!!!!
So, when VRBO/HomeAway/ExPLOITia tells us that they are putting all the money from the fees the guests pay into better customer service - they are RIGHT!!! Better for the guests and the same S**T for US!!!
PLEASE someone come up with an alternative to this website!!!
I have listed with VRBO for many years and never had a problem booking our cottage. Nothing has changed with our property, our listing or our vacation rental market. The only change is that Expedia entered the picture, and we have essentially lost all our business. We did not choose to let VRBO handle our booking, so I expected our listing to be low on the search list. However, our listing was not coming up in any searches. Not at all. We also paid to be a featured listing and our listing was no where to be found under features. This used to be a decent business but it is now one of the most unethical business I have ever dealt with. Add us to the list of owners leaving VRBO.
They charge you for a full year, but if you sell your house/property, don't expect a prorated refund even though the terms and conditions say they have these programs. I basically got a 'go pound sand' response when I talked to a manager. Forewarned is forearmed.
To put it quite simply, if it ain't broke don't fix it!!!! What ONCE was a great marketing tool for property owners has been reduced to garbage.
The northeast coastal season is three short months.....time is just about up to rely on VRBO.
Datai in North Caicos - If you are looking for a very nice, relaxing place, this is it. The clean, sandy beach is a short walk down the 50 foot wooden walkway. The water is some of the nicest I have ever seen and I've travelled a lot. Lots of good snorkeling, kayaks, bikes and a ping pong table are included. One can walk to a local eatery/watering hole on the sandy beach and there are numerous nearby sights to see with scheduled events at various restaurants during the week. A great place!!
I made a reservation 4 months out through VRBO and had to cancel in 3 days. The owner would not let me cancel but said they might be able to give me some of my $500 back. They didn't. And they quit answering my e-mails. Air B&B and most reputable companies allow a way to cancel when it is so far in advance. Not VRBO. I hope Amanda Barrera in Pearland, TX (property #588618) had fun with my money. I have used Air B&B since and they are much easier to work with. And they do allow cancellations.
For a homeowner
Every year they charge more and offer less. Now, you are forced to use their online payment system or have a terrible ranking. We use a management company and can't use their payment system, which means a much lower ranking. My experiences with their customer service have been brutal as well.
For a customer
If you use the online payment through vrbo and have a problem, vrbo customer service is horrific. You have very little recourse and will just be frustrated and probably lose $$.
All our reservations run through a great management company with fantastic customer service. In 8 years, there have been no customer service problems. Booking our place through them is a much safer and overall much better experience.
If you have a problem after arrival (water leak, heater failure, phone doesn't work, internet doesn't work, etc.), who will you call? VRBO? Good luck getting them to help. The owner? Maybe helpful but also could live far far away and make things much harder and time consuming to get fixed, or not get fixed. If there were a problem in our place, you have 24 hr access to help and very fast turnaround.
Thank you Mr. Sharpels (CEO of Homeaway/VRBO. This past year of changes in VRBO/HA have been a total disaster!! You have done a magnificent job of ruining what was a great market place for owners and vacationers! Why your Board allows you to stay is beyond comprehension. I have made recent arrangements to kick you to the curb, when I get this email that you have dropped the price of a Platinum Ad of $1300. to the price of $349.00 for all ads. For this price I will stay another year. I'm really not sure if it is even worth $349.00 any more. My inquiries have dropped to nothing when I used to be #1 in my rental area. The whole program really turns my stomach. The Customer Service group is doing the best they can with what they have to sell. It is such a shame that so much damage has been done.
I phoned HA /VRBO last night and was told that Expedia is "trying to deal with some of the issues clients are bringing to HA." I asked when we'd learn about it. The agent said, "Some people have already been sent emails. Others have not." I asked why and he said he did not know.
So what's THAT about? Has anyone received any more info from Expedia dba: HA/VRBO?
If it is true, I'd love to get an email about that posted on this site.
Thanks. Let's stick together!
In the past we routinely used VRBO or Home Away to book vacation rentals. Now I see they are charging a "service fee" based on the price of the house. I will look elsewhere for my future rental needs. Very disappointed!!
Be Aware of VRBO.
VRBO booked my place, collected the rental. A deposit of $2,601 was made to my account, 2 weeks later I was told that it is fraudulent transaction. VRBO instead of taking back the $2,601 of my bank account, the charge back was $3,291, the full amount including their commission. They even take their commission and fees, they make the landlord pay for a processing fee and commission event though the landlord was charged back.
They are scammers. They will take any credit card to make a sale, and when a charge of a fraudulent transaction happens, they will keep their commission and their processing fee. So they are making you pay for their error. I received $2,601 for a rental to may account VRBO charge back from bank account is $3,291.01 instead of what they paid me. So I am out of pocket by $455. VRBO does not care about the Owners and I am sure they don't care about the tenants. Be aware Owners be aware. Do not trust VRBO with your bank account.
I just returned from 2 weeks in Venice Italy. We rented an apartment we had found on VBRO for this stay. We chose this property as it was close to the train station and water buses.
It listed as a 2 bed 2 bath apartment and looked nice in the pictures. One bath had a shower and the other a hand held shower head in a bathtub. The shower in the small bath just dripped a few drops of water when turned on. The shower head in the large bath was broken off the water hose and could not be used at all. We informed the property manager and she sent someone to fix it the day we left. Also the heat and hot water shut off every night. We would wake up to a cold apartment with no hot water. It required that we flip a breaker switch every morning to get heat and hot water. Many of the electrical outlets did not work and the lamps in bedrooms and living room had burned out bulbs (we had to buy new ones with our own $) Having 4 people staying in this rental with the above issues made for some long frustrating mornings. The location was great with but this rental is in serious need of some repairs. The electrical issues alone made us fearful that a fire could start at any time due to the faulty wiring. Very disappointing property for the money.
Judy; Thank you so much for letting us stay at 719 North Hampton. The weather was great the condo was just what we needed after the passing of my brother. When we walked into the condo it was breath taking. The sunrise on the morning of or first visit was just mind blowing. The area on Fripp Island was great everyone on Island was so friendly. Thank you again. The Welsh Family Boston MA
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!!
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