We have a beautiful beach house on Kiawah Island, SC, and have used VRBO for a long time and were very happy. Since they were bought out by Expedia, the changes have been 100% terrible. We always loved being able to control the renting process and now we have to follow their incredibly rigid and costly model.
Everything sucks, from their 2-step log-in process, their "service fees", even their latest advertisement has two kids having a pillow fight in a VRBO house. WE DO NOT WANT OUR RENTERS HAVING PILLOW FIGHTS IN OUR HOUSE!!!
They recently sent an e-mail telling owners that they would be redacting e-mail addresses and phone numbers from all communication between us and potential renters, until after a booking is confirmed. ALL communication can only go through their secure platform.
I understand that they need to earn a profit, but the increase in fees for our renters is significant and we are getting pushback and an overall decline in business. Please let us go back to the old model!
We rented to a kid that claimed he was 26. He booked our place for 1 night. Our housekeeper walked in the next day to red wine sprayed on almost every wall, scratches and holes on the newly painted walls, gauged dining room table, sticky substances all over windows and fabric furniture, broken screens, all lights unplugged, broken post on our deck which rendered it structurally unsound, trash thrown over the deck and strewn about the property, toilet in upstairs bathroom overflowed and left a huge water stain on the main floor ceiling, piles and piles of empty liquor bottles and used condoms everywhere. We estimate $20,000 of damage. When we called VRBO they showed us 1) no concern, and 2) told us it wasn't their responsibility. There was NO recourse for this renter except the useless $99 insurance policy we require (that VRBO offers) and it only covers injury and accidental damage. Thank GOD we purchased an umbrella liability policy. We have had to contact the renter directly, incur legal fees and of course pay thousands to bring our home back to the pristine, lovely state it was in before this nightmare occurred. I do a lot of social media marketing for our home and up until now was sending all traffic to our VRBO page - most months I send close to 3,500 unique visitors to their site. We will now focus on Airbnb.
VRBO is a NIGHTMARE. Fees are ludicrous and now I have to ask myself why I allow that big a margin to go to them when - in serious and dire situations - they are absolutely useless to me.
BEWARE and choose Airbnb.
I am an owner of two Florida condos that I have rented out on VRBO, very successfully, one since 2010 and one only since 2016. I didn't realize when I bought the second property that VRBO had changed their business practices. Now I am being forced to accept online booking as a condition of renewing my listings, for which my guests are being charged a fee, and getting nothing for it. This is a pure ripoff of my guests. I used to love VRBO but not any more. I am looking for an alternative but I may have to sell the properties instead.
My two brothers and I rented a house to get together for my Dads 94th birthday in Los Angeles, California. We had paid, confirmation number in hand, and the property manager calls up 3 days before and says he has a problem, would you be interested in another house? I replied with a nice, detailed email describing why another house does not interest us. On Tuesday, May 23rd, the PM emailed us saying he still is working on the problem, we do not know what the problem is. Our first day to arrive was May 26th. On May 25th, still no word, so we call him. Turns out the renters had asked for a extension, hence his request for us to move to another house, and now the renters refuse to leave the premises. We now have NO PLACE to go. One brother came from Switzerland, the other from San Francisco for this event. After screaming at the PM, we got another house, but it was a dump compared to what we had rented and paid for. He then got us another house in a different location not very convenient to our needs. VRBO was 100% ABSENT during all of our discussions. We filed a case number, but they did absolutely ZERO to help us, except to record our conversations. I tried to get a transcript of one particular recording, but they will not release anything. Our vacation was nothing more than a stress filled 3 days of trying to find a place to enjoy ourselves, a complete and total disaster. We have refused payment to the PM, due to his 3 days of incomplete answers, confusion, stalling for time, changing his stories and reasons. If you have read this, you are now warned, good luck. Us? we will never use them again and we will tell as many people we can about our experience.
I am a property owner of a unit in Maui with 29 5 star reviews. Expedia bought out VRBO and it is no longer a website that lists vacation properties where owners can manage the reservations and transfer of money themselves. Expedia has changed the model and inserted themselves as the middleman, forcing home owners to lose control of how they wish to rent their property and imposing ridiculous fees to guests and owners alike.They tout better customer service but that is a complete falsehood... as an owner when I expressed my concern the customer service rep said, "I guess we'll have to part ways then..." really shows how much they value the properties that allow them to even have a business. On the flip side the customer service for guests is horrible as well. They remove the direct personal contact with the owner and when you call because you have an issue, VRBO will tell you to contact the owner. WHAT A JOKE!!! We are leaving VRBO as owners and will look for other ways to rent when we travel ourselves.
Booked a property on the lake. Great property, horrible owner (who lived next door). She had 20 people at her house for the weekend and they used the entire lakefront and all the spaces she advertised. Kids were running around everywhere, screaming, playing baseball by our vehicles. I said nothing, just enjoyed what I could of the lake and the area. I got an email to write a review of the property, so I did. I was quite kind, though I felt the need to point out the fact that the only space you get is the front yard, and that the owner and her family basically take up everything else, even though you paid to stay in a lakefront property. I get the owner's review upon my submission of my review and it is HORRIBLE. 2/5 stars. a 1/5 for cleanliness and a 2/5 for communication. I emailed the owner and questioned the review since the cottage was CLEAN (except dog hair- but I paid a $100 cleaning fee) and my communication with her was good. She stated it must have been a computer glitch and that she rated me much better than that. She apologized and blamed the website and promised to call to take care of it the next day. I waited, and nothing came of it. So I contacted her again via email and asked her to please remove my bad traveler review. She did not respond, so I called VRBO. Basically they said there is nothing they can do, and that only that particular owner would be able to see my bad reputation review. (not true, they can see my average which is affected by her poor, false review) I got an email from VRBO stating that per my request, the property review I wrote was removed. (I never requested that!) So I called them again. The customer service is probably the most useless waste of time ever. They told me to re-submit the property review. I let them know I already did, and it was still not showing up online. Forever later the rep comes back on the line to say VRBO rejected my review, but the review team handles that, and they are offline and do not have a phone number. I said, then read my review and let me know what about it made it get rejected. She stated only the review team could do that but they had no info as to why it was rejected. I said what is the criteria for rejecting a review? I was put on hold again, only for her to come back and say they did not have that info. I said, then how does the review team know what to reject? Again, no info. So finally I hung up after vowing to never use VRBO again.
I've had my property listed on vrbo since 2012. The first 3 years were very good. Just a normal, nice company to do business with. However, in the past 3 years they have gone from being a site to advertise my villa to potential renters, to taking over nearly every aspect of how I run my business. It feels like I've become the schmuck who just pays the bills!
Now they've changed the way they handle REVIEWS.
Recently, they sent me an email that looked like it came directly from my last renter, but upon opening it, I realized it was actually sent by vrbo, using my renters name. Is that even legal?
The email said that I'd received a new review, but they wouldn't show me what it said, or how many stars we were given, until I rated my renter first! I felt like I was a child on a playground and they were running around saying "I know something you don't know...NaNaNaNa..NaNa!" Lol! They were basically going to extort a rating out of me! I called them to question this new procedure and the representative all but came right out and told me that it was a negative review. I was pretty upset, as we've had nothing but positive reviews and have worked very hard to ensure our guests have a positive experience. Although some furnishings did sustain damage, maybe $100 to repair/replace, I eventually rated my renter with a less than positive review than I would have normally.
Vrbo literally pitted us against one another. I suppose since they were purchased by Expedia.com, they've become a very poorly run company. Not only will we never book anything through EXPEDIA.COM,(or anything else they've bought up, Hotel.com; Booking.com, etc.), we will be dropping our listing and going back to a local rental agency, airbnb or maybe TopVillas.com. What a shame, I give Homeaway/VRBO 4 more years, tops.
This company is a total SHAM!!! The customer service is abysmal and they do nothing to help the renter. All they care about is following a script when you call their so called "customer service".
I sent an inquiry to book a property and provided the company with my credit card information. They put a hold on my money for $353 and the reservation was not confirmed. I tried to resubmit my request and an additional $353 was put on hold. The owner never responded.
I found another property I liked and tried to book that one. Another $384 later, I still had no reservation or place to stay. With $1100 of my money being held up, I reached out to VRBO/Home away to find out about a refund. I also did not want to do business with them any more so I told them to pull back my last request.
I was told that I had to contact the owner directly, which is ludicrous in my opinion. So, I called, emailed and texted the owner. Finally, I received a text back from the owner telling me she would refuse my reservation. About 30 minutes later, I get an email saying my reservation was confirmed! WHAT????
Upon calling VRBO I was told there was nothing they could do without the home owner canceling this reservation.
I would highly suggest NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER using this company... who claims they are nothing but an advertising platform! Their agent told me they do not actually represent any properties or owners.
USELESS!!!! Try something like Turn key. An actual company who can actually help you!
don't be fooled, Expedia bought almost everything up and Trip Advisor bought what they didn't and their booking practices are exactly the same.
VRBO, requires the users to use Yapstone to collect $$, and yapstone has been sued for loss of personal data. Find a different way to find a rental, or rent your property. There are so many reasons not to use VRBO, they clearly don't care.
Having been through two recent rentals with VRBO - I can't think of a worst site. A property that is listed at $ 300 per night ends up costing $ 375 because they play games with exchange rates, service fees etc.
Don't give them your credit card because you will be on the phone for hours with morons talking through tin cans.
I don't know how they got to be so big and so bad at the same time.
I agree 100 % with the previous property owner. I WILL NO be renewing my VRBO property # 479335. at Emerald Isle NC. The new money hungry management policy at VRBO/ HOME AWAY is not thinking about the owners of a property or the people that book thru them. This was not the case just a year or so ago. If you are looking for a rental in the future I suggest you contact a company in the area you want to stay and make your reservation so there is no hidden fees. Posted June 4, 2017
I have been renting from VRBO for over 15 years with much success and fantastic Owners. I recently went looking for a summer rental and was appalled at the ridiculous fees VRBO is charging me (the Renter). In one case the final weekly amount totaled over $4000 for a 2 bedroom condo in FL. No more VRBO. How greedy can you be? Best of luck Property Owners finding an alternative to this scam called VRBO!!!
Escalating fees, demanding payment goes thru them so they use our money to earn interest. Crappy wen interface and user experience...Then they charge our guests a fee to "cover their costs"? Where do our subscription fees go to? CEO's salary and bonuses no doubt. Will truly rent by owner when my time runs out..
Hey everyone, Like you I've been very un-pleased with the new rules that homeaway and vrbo has given us.
We've actually come up with our own website 1avn.com or Americanvacationnetwork.com. and because we're vacation rental home owners we run our site the way it should be run, direct rentals by owner. no strange fees will ever occur, so go sign up for your free trial no credit cards needed. and remember that we're a family run company we treat advertisement like a big businesses, and costumer service like a small one
While this is now May 26th, 2017 and we have decided not to re-new our subscribtion with VRBO given their track record since 2016 fee add-ons! As a sequel, we recently found accommodation (March/17) on VRBO for a trip we are taking next Tuesday and booked for a week, paying their customer service fee & rental rate. While the people we booked with and were confirmed also just decided to not renewed their subscription. So, we contacted VBRO as we could no longer see the rental house VRBO info and asked if they would send us all the info entailed in the description. They said emphatically 'NO'! We said that we needed an address to locate the house as well as small info items like hair-dryer, internet, TV, etc. The Customer Service Rep (for which we paid a 75 GBP as a service fee) told us that he could not give out that info. We said that we had not heard at all from the host and were concerned that we would not have a place to stay when we got there. The CSR's response was that 48 hours prior to actual booking date, if we had not heard from the owner, to contact VRBO and they would respond. Hmm...we are really nervous about not having a place to stay and, at the last minute, trying to find new accommodations. The CSR continued to follow his rote script and said that the 48 hours before arrival was all they could do and that we would get our money back. We said, 'what about where we were now going to have to find a place to stay?' and his rote response did not include a human, I understand, reply. He said, repeatedly, that just to call them 48 hours before arrival at host home if you had not heard from them. He did not want to listen at all. We had to state at least 7-8 times to the CSR, 'you are not listening to me'! He would just return to his rote list of replies that addressed our concerns '0' Zero/null/empty-set times!
What a farce company! We are headed out next week and have not a clue as to whether we actually have a legitimate VRBO booking given that owner has dropped his/her subscription. Not sure what to do now as the CSR hung up on us!
What a way to treat a customer who has been a VRBO subscriber almost since it's inception!
VRBO has done absolutely nothing to ease our rental accommodations' anxiety. We even asked the CSR to put us over to his supervisor but that is when he hung up!
Word to the WISE: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT SUBSCRIBE/BOOK with VRBO! Our experience from this present dilemma and recent policy/pricing changes has been only negative. They care not about their customer but only the bottom line! Avoid at all costs!
Given their rather dismal explanation for this latest foray in income generation, is there a viable legitimate online competitor that values it's customer through integrity & genuine customer service?
HomeAway, Inc. based in Austin, Texas, is the world's leading online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, with sites representing over one million paid listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries. Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online. The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental websites HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; HomeAway.es and Toprural.es in Spain; AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil; HomeAway.com.au and Stayz.com.au in Australia; and Bookabach.co.nz in New Zealand. Asia Pacific short-term rental site, travelmob.com, is also owned by HomeAway.
HomeAway also operates BedandBreakfast.com, the most comprehensive global site for finding bed-and-breakfast properties, providing travelers with another source for unique lodging alternatives to chain hotels.
VRBO is a bunch of BS! I booked a condo in florida and got charged $65 international fees from my bank. Why you ask? Because VRBO sends your money through Dubland, Ireland. This is not stated anywhere on their website. Go with airBnB!
I am a property owner who has use me VRBO since 2014. The site was nice and provided visibility to many potential renters. However, since then, VRBO is now forcing mandatory online booking fees for all renters and charging the renter ridiculous fees to do so. This is in addition to the the credit card fees. It also gives the renter the illusion these fees are posed by the owner-- absolutely not so!!!!! Very bad management decisions which will be the ruination of VRBO. As a property owner, I WILL NOT be renewing my site and renter with VRBO. Future renters should seek other sites to book their rentals.
Horrible experience. We spent hours online researching options for rental for 8 people to stay 2 nights in small college town for son's graduation. Found a condo on VRBO. Nightly rental rate advertised $160/night for 2 nights plus cleaning fees etc.When entered cr card info etc. hit send -only to immediately get email saying we reserved it min. 3 nights - and would be @ $500/ night vs, advertised $160. Our cr. Card was immediately charged $500 deposit. I called VRBO - only to be told we would have to contact the prop. owner for that . Horrible experience and Zero customer service. DONT USE THEM! They use deceit.
VRBO is nothing but a prostitution scam for vacation rentals. They show you one thing at a price point and deliver an ugly disease ridden POS for you to sleep in/with. They will send you emails with misleading information and when they have your CC they start charging and never look back. You won't get a place to vacation but you always get a bill. They have people who can't answer your questions and then when you have had enough of their nonsense and smoke and mirror show they steal your money. Stay away from these thiefs they are only in business because they have dopey property owners that keep them in business. Stop the madness and put these people out of business!!
I am outraged over learning that VRBO is charging me as the Owner of a Colorado vacation rental a 3% fee for my guests to pay for their visits by credit card. I spoke to a VRBO Customer Rep and was told that VRBOs demand for guests to pay by credit card was the companys policy. Keep in mind that regrettably VRBO has been bought out by one of the big-three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, based in Texas. I objected strongly to this arbitrary and totally undisclosed policy but then had to explain to the customer rep the definition of the word arbitrary. I would just as soon trust my guests to reserve, book and pay for their stays by cash, check, or Pay Pal either upon arrival or prior to arrival. It is apparent that VRBO has become so greedy and megalomaniacal they are electing to do business like a two-headed, fire breathing hermaphrodite dragon! SHAME ON VRBO. I will be using Air BnB from now on, unless Air BnB also degenerates into a similar reptile predator.
I've read hundreds of complaints about VRBO and their BS changes they continue to make. I agree with them all, but $#*!ing doesn't correct the situation. When is someone going to file a civil suit against these bastards? Teach me how and I'll be the first to start it.
I have read a number of negative reviews about HomeAway and VRBO's process of on-line bookings, powered through Yapstone. I have to say these reviews and warnings are all RIGHT ON. Like others I read, I have been a VRBO owner for a number of years with no problems. The on-line bookings hinder any control we the owners have in the process - plus the payment process means everyone's hands are in everyone else's pockets. And when I recently received a chargeback (debit) on a VRBO stay it was incumbent on ME to prove otherwise. This is my last year with VRBO!
They Keep sending me emails!!! I don't want them nor did I ask for them! I wish I had never rented through them since I despise junk email and I equate them to telemarketers!
Vrbo is "vacation rentals by owners"But majority and arguably most are by real esate agents, many of whom deceptivley dont write or acknowledge that they are not owners, even though there is a box about "owner information" and a separatation for owners and managers. These scums wont negotiate good rates with renters and always quote a high price. Since they are not owners, they dont have anything to lose if the property remains unrented sometimes for extended periods causing loss to owners and sticking it to renters. The real esate agents are actually hurting free market from functioning and setting the prices.
61 Questions & Answers
I have rented numerous houses through your program, have submitted several positive reviews. However about 4 weeks ago I had a terrible experience, sent in a review and never heard a word back and the review never was posted.
If I don't hear back from this inquiry I will have to assume you don't care about your customers and are not interest in any more repeat business from me.
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