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R L.

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  • 2 Helpful Votes
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Experience: Real Estate, Travel

Member since August 2020

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1 Review by R

Homeowners need to stay well clear of HomeAway/VRBO as they are not paying out when guests stay. We are a "Premier Partner" and currently have 4 payments (everything post-COVID lockdown) still outstanding, with the first of these being from almost 6 weeks ago. The sums involved amount to over £7,000, and with another set of guests due to check-in in 2 days' time, doubtless without any payment forthcoming, we will then be owed about £10,000. The recent email from HomeAway to homeowners, setting out how they typically pay "one business day after your guest checks in" just adds insult to injury as it is clearly completely untrue.

HomeAway simply deflect and delay when we get in touch, which we have been doing constantly for weeks now. The excuse of the "technical issue causing a temporary delay in payments, which is now corrected" is just a smokescreen to cover up what seems to be a consistent strategy of non-payment to homeowners. We can only speculate, but it looks as though HomeAway has a serious cashflow problem that they are dealing with by not paying out to homeowners. This is both illegal and immoral.

We have received numerous assurances that "payment will be made soon", that are simply lies designed to buy time. The mysterious "technical department", that cannot (of course) be contacted, is said to be dealing with our case. Obviously, our issue is so complex that it has taken weeks so far, with no end in sight. The implication that is given by all the support staff who we have spoken to is that our situation is unique, but a quick search online shows how untrue this is, with tens of homeowners writing similar reviews to this one, with equally dire warnings about how HomeAway does not pay the money that they owe.

What is most disturbing is that we have 20 bookings via HomeAway that stretch more than a year in the future. The guests have booked in good faith and paid 25% upfront, obviously with the money being held by HomeAway. We have 7 bookings in the next few months where guests have paid 100% of their costs to HomeAway already. However, as there appears to be no sign that we will ever receive any payment for these stays, and there are obviously significant changeover costs for each stay, we will very soon have no choice but to cancel bookings as we simply cannot pay people to stay with us for free. Once we do this, the guests will obviously believe that it is our fault that their holidays are ruined, but we cannot operate without payment. This is entirely down to HomeAway taking our guest's money and not carrying out their legal obligation to pass this to us when they stay.

How can anyone, homeowner or guest, trust a company that behaves in this manner? Just how many scathing reviews does it take before the message gets through? Why are heads not rolling amongst their senior management for allowing this situation to get to the point where essentially all feedback gives the lowest possible rating?

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