My husband and I decided to take a quick get-a-way to Moses Lake for a few days before school started. We took our 3 teenagers and said they all could bring a friend. We purchased lake floaties, junk food, brought bikes and were looking forward to doing nothing at all but lay on the dock play in the water and enjoy a few days of relaxing. The owner of the property texted me the access code to get into the home the morning of check in. My husband and I were traveling separately. I had an appointment in Moses Lake and he was coming later that evening with our 3 teenagers and their friends. When we got to the property their was already a family present. Apparently the property had been double booked. The property owners manager kept saying this isn't our fault. I was surprised because it most certainly wasn't my fault. I had communicated with the owner earlier in the day via text and received the access code to the property as well as good wishes for a fabulous vacation. The property owner did refund 100% of the fees, but continued to promise us she was finding another property for us...Many text messages and waiting. We wasted a good portion of our vacation sitting in a miserable hotel room waiting for a response from the property owner. She eventually texted me what an inconvenience this was for her...Meanwhile we had to buy coolers to put all of our perishable food in and incurred so many additional costs. The sad part about it was she felt I was harassing her when I was inquiring what she was going to do to rectify the situation. Obviously this property owner is not a seasoned business owner and does not understand the meaning of customer service. I am on a mission to make sure anyone who is considering this property proceed with caution. In the event the property owner double books the property you could be stuck in a 2 star hotel with empty promises of finding you a property wasting your vacation time....PROCEED WITH CAUTION...
Tip for consumers: Think twice - Property owner does not accept any responsibilities...
As home owner that has listed on VRBO for many years, was wondering why my bookings were down. I figured ( in Part ) was because of the fee that was added for 24/7 service (BS!!) I waited 1+ hr last time . i can only guess what my guests have to deal with!
Bummer that I have to Look for another listing
When VRBO first came out, I used it extensively all over the world. You could communicate with owners, ask questions about anything and the owners were responsive. I just booked a VRBO in Austria and had a problem with the check in. I paid 97 Euros for VRBO service fee for this rental and there was no number to call to contact the owner (owner tel number did not work), there was an email only to VRBO. They sent me a canned response back 24 hours later. NO help when you need to check into a place, now you have to find wifi and write an email to VRBO??? Stay away - don't ruin your vacation by thinking you have something booked only to have not support. I am very pleased with Air BNB they still have the right business model.
The fees have risen, which I was willing to accept. Now, they have restricted my account because I had to decline too many booking requests that were outside the guidelines of the properties I rent out. The only way to free up my account is to pay $399 to upgrade my account to premium. I had to spend 1 hour on the phone to get this answer.
Yes. Everything that everyone has said is true of VRBO, but there is another problem. Now their software will not work with Internet Explorer. When I called them about it they told me to just use another browser. What? Their CEO made $95,000,000 last year (the highest paid in the nation) and they can't get a web developer to fix the problem. As an owner, it is one thing to have to open another browser to see my dashboard, but potential customers might very well give up. I have not talked to anyone that has a single good thing to say about VRBO.
My wife and I have used VRBO for years. Now they have fees! Huge fees! adding over 200$ to our stay that we wanted to book. You cannot talk with the owner now until you have "book" your stay.....what a crock of $#*!. We always talked to the owners to ensure we were not dealing with a loony toon...........I won't be booking off there any more!
They just want control and more $. I would rather have them raise their rate to owners than add their layer of bs. What does it say about the quality of the rental if the owner is willing to use their online booking?
I joined VRBO years ago when the idea of renting houses for travel was still pretty novel. The site was great, the property owner/managers were great and would get back to you promptly, the prices and fees were reasonable - no complaints. Since then, I've mostly done hotel travel but gave Airbnb a try for longer stays, and I really loved the experience. This past week, I've been trying to plan a weekend getaway with a few friends. We collectively decided to use VRBO since that's how we found our last vacation place together (we never even looked at Airbnb). Big mistake. The calendars aren't updated, so while some listings offer the option to "insta-book", it's not really that at all. Even after entering your credit card info, you still have to wait for the property manager to confirm. After trying to book several houses, a few never even responded, and the others had no availability. One of the hosts even modified our original reservation dates and said, "Hey, we don't have your dates available so we booked you on the following weekend." What?! I mean, I'm sure they were just trying to be nice but... don't you think it's a bit odd to expect four people to change work commitments, childcare, and transportation to accommodate your never-updated calendar? Even after saying "no thanks" we got a request to pay for the wrong dates. Finally, we got so pissed off trying to contact property managers to no avail that we started our search all over again on Airbnb. Literally within an hour, we had a new place booked and confirmed - cheaper, better, and no hassle. Don't even waste your time looking at VRBO. Their fees are horrendous, there is zero customer service or accountability, and the availability calendars literally mean nothing. The platform itself seems to be stuck in a time when e-commerce was kinda new, but nothing really worked properly yet, so you basically had to get on the phone anyway to make sure your booking went through, and of course it didn't, so you had to follow with a strongly-worded handwritten letter... who has time for that? I mean, I sometimes wish I could go back to 1998, but not when I'm trying to book a vacation.
Tip for consumers: Just... don't.
VRBO changed its business model and is charging guests and owners collectively ~20% of the rental fee to do business. This is only slightly less than rental companies charge except that rental companies actually provide valuable services like active marketing and actual performance guarantees. Add limited to no telephone access and aggressive displays of hostility, and you have something not worth paying anything for.
Probably because they were bought by Expedia, VRBO has changed. Now they want to make more and more money on guests AND owners. They now charge a year fee of $400 for the owners + 5 to 15% additional "booking" fee to guests.
I have been with them since 2009, and enjoyed it. This year they kicked me out. They are trying to follow the same system as AirBnB and FklipKey, and many owners are leaving. The other rental sites don't charge both the owner and guests, only the guests.
This system, started by AirBnB has increased the price of renting to guests. I didn't charge an additional 10 to 15% "booking" fee. Now, I will have too, because the three big companies (VRBO, FLIPKey and AirBnB) do it.
Did you happen to see the quarterly results? Huge profits? Homeowners and renters are the victims Total greed! I have absolutely loved VRBO up until about two days ago when I found out I can no longer communicate with my renters, nor can they with me and there is a 10 to 12% booking fee for VRBO/Expedia being the middleman charged to the renter . I thought I already paid my annual fee to cover the service ? I just lost a renter because of their new policies! They have outsourced to foreign speaking rude individuals . Total mayhem ,. I am praying for the day that this backfires on them and they are out of business. As soon as my subscription expires I'm out of here . I hope the CEO rots in hell !
We have been with them for several years, never had any issues at all. since the Expedia takeover, I have had to call customer service 8 times! If you don't set up your rates for future "seasons", your rate reverts back to something ridiculous. And I have had potential renters call me out on this! But sorry, your are NOT renting our direct ocean front condo for $150 a week in 2020. Now a long time renter has informed me that my property is completely blocked for 2018-2020, but when I go into my dashboard it does not show this. Terrible! I will not be renewing either
I just rented my property and the payment was received by VRBO. However I also just learned they will hold on to this money for up to a year before sending it to me. Bogus
VRBO is no longer a good way to save money on your vacation. You used to be able to negotiate a good price with the owner.Since Expedia bought them out, you can no longer do this,or even ask questions about the vacation home. VRBO wants you to book instantly and then they add a large service fee of up to 12% to the overall cost.I got a better price from booking through a management company. VRBO is ripping people off.
Don't waste your time or money this site has terrible customer service and the homeowners on here are awful. Take your money to air bnb, much friendlier, better cancellation policies, and non scummy owners.
I have been using VRBO for 8 years and all the things said by other owners and guests about Expedia's takeover of VRBO and HomeAway are my exact sentiments and experiences.
As an owner, I have sent questions to the VRBO site and their statement is they will not respond to everyone. I too will not be renewing my subscriptions and will go elsewhere. All of the properties are unique and all owners take pride of ownership and want the best experiences for our guests. VRBO does not really care about this. All they are interested in is forcing and bullying and pressuring owners to accept all bookings without the owner's ability to screen guests to make sure both will be getting the best experience possible.
What used to be a great mom and pop vacation rental company is now a nightmare for both vacation rental owners and travelers. I could go on and on about what a horrible company they've become since the Expedia buyout, but I see many others have addressed most of my complaints - however....they've now added one more rotten way to control owners interactions with guests and this one takes the cake! So like many owners, we get reservations from guests through our own personal website, plus other places we advertise. Now, when I go to fill in those dates as reserved on VRBO's calendar, they require the guests name, email address and other information (even those the booking was not done through their site)! Talk about trying to take total control of your vacation rental. With the required information they have no business having in the first place, they start hounding the guest to buy travelers insurance, sending them welcome information on your property (all canned messages) and then thank you letters requesting the guest download their app and book future rentals through them. Even if I go to make a change to an older reservation that happened before this calendar requirement, I have to give them the guest information to make the change. They work on the fringes of unlawfulness but with all the $ they collect from travelers and owners, they can afford to pay big bucks to high powered attorneys. I AM DONE WITH VRBO AND WILL NOT RENEW MY SUBSCRIPTIONS. There are more options showing up such as HomeEscape. I'll do a jig and celebrate the day this horrible company folds!
Been with vrbo for many years after it was purchased through Expedia the rip off began customer is unable to see our contact information we are unable to see the customers contact information hidden fees and put on her money absolutely a disgrace for this company to be operating the way it is vrbo has fallen to the curb
Since the first year of its eistance I have been with VRBO. We knew Elaine personally here in Denver. My rental number is one of the first 2000....I loved the service It was Perfect!!!
Slowly this service has gone into the toilet. I am ending my participation if they don't end the latest twist in the management nonsense.
The latest....all bookings, all customer contact(email and phone and any address exchanges will pass through them. Why....????
Here is why that is improper behavior. If I use an agency to draw customers to my auto dealership...that agency has no right to act as a filter...or a gate keeper.
I PAY YOU FOR THAT CUSTOMER CONTACT....THAT CONTACT BELONGS TO ME AND NO ONE ELSE....PERIOD.
They are attempting to improve their image as an exchange...the harder they try the more problems they create for everyone.....Period.
On cable TV, a couple of years past, a famous economist, Ben Stein of Ferris Buhler said he tried VRBO for his condo in Aspen....Called that management a bunch of flakes....
Take heed....find some other beside VRBO/Home Away
Expedia ruined another great company when they took over VRBO. While I am still listing my homes on their site I have reduced my reservations from them to 25% of my business when they used to be 100%. I would never use their site for my trips.
VRBO used to be the go-to place for renting vacation homes. Sadly, that's no longer the case. They now charge us a booking fee to travel and they use language designed to scare you into thinking the person you're renting from MIGHT BE A CRIMINAL waiting to scam you. Here's a thought... if VRBO is so afraid of homeowners scamming us travelers, what does that say about their VETTING policy of homeowners? They're idiots to try to scare me into thinking I'll be scammed because that just makes them look as if they'll accept fraudulent listing.
If you want to avoid their stupid booking fees, do like we do. Find a house you like, ALWAYS read traveler reviews of course, because those will give you the real insight into the house and the owners. Then copy a uniquely worded part of the listing description and paste it into a Google search. You WILL find that same house listed elsewhere, and chances are you can deal direct with the owner AND avoid the booking fee, which is as much as 10%!
Unfortunately for us travelers, VRBO is no longer "Vacation Rental By Owner" it's more like Vacation Rental By Expedia and all they care about is money.
Expedia now owns Homeaway and VRBO, they have added a service fee which seems to be different amounts depending on their computer algorithms. Which is Mumbo Jumbo term for "screwing the customer".
Don't let them rip you off. If you are a guest search regional sites or Facebook as owners are starting their own web sites and Facebook pages for their vacation homes.
If you are clever and want to save money search by the "property name" or enter the owners name in goggle search to try to contact owner directly.
Don't let Expedia rip you off.
Our management company has been advertising on VRBO for a LONG time. They are taking away the ability for us to properly screen guests, and for guests to be able to call and ask questions prior to booking. There are thousands and thousands of complaints arising about VRBO. Has anyone out there found a solution? Is there anyone taking this on as a class-action lawsuit? Surely we have some great attorneys with listings on VRBO that would consider helping owners ban together and stop this from happening? Is there another site being developed that we can all move over to? Surely there are some media folks with listings that can expose VRBO - Nightline, 20/20???
I'd LOVE to put VRBO permanently out of business!
From a great service to a company con job. Renter beware, you will have no ideal who is really renting your unit till they get there. They cha he 10--5% to collect and send funds, plus a minimum of $399 a year for website. Someone needs to start a law suit incorporating all dissatisfied customers. Do a multiple person law suit like the ones towards the pill companies. Any lawyers out there interested??
VRBO's new policy of not giving owners any information on potential renters prevents us from making decisions about our homes. I have never rented our home to anyone without talking with them on the phone and just feeling out the conversation. Our vacation home is very precious to us to be able to talk with potential renters on the phone to make a decision that could potentially put us at risk of losing thousands of dollars. It is also a bad decision for the renters who used to be able to ask any questions they liked when I called them before giving them the okay to book. I would never even rent a home without talking to the owners or property manager. Needless to say I will not be renewing with VRBO and will be finding another option. VRBO WAKE UP AND SEE ALL THE COMPLAINTS!!!!!. I WOULD GIVE YOU A ZERO IF I COULD!!!!!
Customer Questions & Answers
There are many problems with listing with VRBO/HomeAway. The 1st is that it is the largest company of it's size. While that may mean that you get more exposure, you also have more competition for getting your listing seen. For example, your listing could be # 300 out of 2,000. Most people don't want to search that far to find what they want because they can usually find something else sooner. In order to get a higher listing, you must pay more. I pay the highest rates they have for my properties in TN # 191351, 189535, & 289723, i.e. over $1,500 each. Listing position is also based on a number of criteria which they mandate. We have no control over some of those criteria. For example, listing position is based on whether or not guests USE VRBO/HomeAway on line booking. Initially, .VRBO/HomeAway required that we OFFER on line booking in order to maximize our listing position, so I offered it. VRBO/HomeAway then changed their criteria & now guests must USE on line booking in order or my listing position drops. I have no control over whether or not they USE VRBO/HomeAway & I don't recommend it for several reasons (more on that if you're interested). Listing positions are also determined by the number & quality of reviews. Again, I have no control over whether or not someone writes a review nor how they rate a property. What may be a 5 Star for someone may only be a 3 Star for someone else, but I'm at their mercy to provide a review & to rate it well. There are many other factors that go into listing position. As I said, I try to maximize what I can & If I'm luck, my property will be listed around 50/200. I get much better response from FlipKey by TripAdvisor. As I mentioned, I pay VRBO/HomeAway over $1,500 for each property. I Pay FlipKey by TripAdvisor about $450/property for #'s 6588094, 2386143, & 3746421 & get much better results. The problem with FlipKey is that it's hard for someone to search for a specific property using the property #.
Vrbo will NOT get involved in any way. They will not arbitrate on anyone's behalf. They are strictly an advertising website. Carefree travel insurance & all the other stuff is just to make renters feel more comfortable to rent. They hardly ever pay out if there is a real problem. You can sue in small claims court, in the city & state you rented in. The only defense you have is if you paid with a credit card to do a charge back, & even then its hard. You have to have documentation to prove you case. However, vrbo won't contest the chargeback if you can get your credit cad company to work with you. Best to leave a review that warns other renters to stay away. But vrbo approves the reviews before they are posted.
A: NEVER, EVER DEAL WITH ANY OWNERS OR PROPERTY MANAGERS THAT YOU HAVENT SPOKEN TO DIRECTLY. NEVER use any form of payment other than credit card. All CC's would refund you the money if you don't get the services. If they don't accept cards or allow payment through Homeaway, FIND ANOTHER PROPERTY OWNER WHO WILL or be prepared to take the chance. READ all reviews, if they don't have any you ARE taking a chance it's a scam or a dump (or a new property but be careful. NEVER make a large deposit EVER! VRBO has turned out to be reliable for us, never used Flipkey and AirBnB wouldn't use it - I want a large property not a room room share
VRBO will not help anymore with anything. Homeaway bought them and there is no personal contact with owners anymore until they pay through the site. I don't know about negative reviews. Never see any. If there was a way to avoid VRBO and Someway I would do it; but they have the corner on the VACA rental market now.
The owners, vrbo is just a listing site. Its the honor system. They have carefree insurance, but you can only stay two hours to get a "supposed refund". But you have to find other accommodations at your expense. Protect yourself by paying with a credit card. Amex is the best for customer support. Vrbo will not get involved or intervene on either parties behalf. A charge back with lots of documentation & photos is what you will need. You must do this asap as credit cards have a time limit on charge backs. I had to fight, but got more than half my money back, payed in two installments, the first payment was to old to recoup my losses. We suffered from a bait & switch.
Go with the standard listing if you have already paid. If not save your money and try homeescape.com. Homeaway/VRBO rolled out a new 9% service fee charged to your customers in addition to what you're already paying for. They did this without any warning to their customers. I found out after one of my repeat guests questioned the charge. I'm moving away from them and going with other options.
I don't think that you can, but I as property owners, we have little control over what is accessible, so that is a question that you should probably ask Home Away/VRBO. However, it isn't real easy to find a way of contacting them.
Same issue for us. The house we rented had glowing reviews and when I tried to post an honest review it still has not been posted.
I have had our condo on VRBO for years and most of renters pay with personal check. But I am also very quick to call and talk to renters in person and let them know they can pay via credit card or even PayPal. Obviously we prefer check because of the crazy PayPal fees, but we will do it if the renter feels more comfortable. As others have stated, everyone has to get their first rental. If you are concerned I would call and talk to the owner in person.
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