LINDA DAVIS - OWNER -- Deposit Refund Issues Took all the Joy Away!! On 5/18/11 I contracted with ** (owner) to rent this house for 3 days (5/13-5/16). The charge was $1500 and a $500 security deposit which had to be paid BEFORE the reservation could be confirmed. Unlike most other VRBO owners we have dealt with, she did not take any credit cards. Therefore, checks were mailed to her that day (5/18) to confirm the rental. She required that the deposit be a separate check.
Our stay at the house was fine, except that 2 of the 3 nights we were awakened at 2 A.M. with the next door neighbor pounding on our door saying we were in her parking place (which we weren't). We enjoyed Charleston as we always do and left for home about mid-day on the 16th. According to the contract we signed, the deposit was to be returned upon inspection and release by the housekeeper. Presumably this was completed within a couple of days (of 5/16) since we were told the house was "booked out" for the rest of the spring/summer. I waited 2 full weeks for the deposit refund. Well, that didn't happen... Shown below are the steps it took to get my money returned:
5/16 - We leave the house in "pristine" condition. 5/31 - I email Linda questioning deposit return. 5/31 - Linda responds says she's been on vac will mail deposit refund Thu 6/2/11. 6/13 - I email Linda (after waiting 11 more days). 6/14 - Linda responds saying she's been traveling for work - will mail that day! 6/18 - I email Linda (after 4 US mail days) advise still not received. 6/19 - Linda responds - claims she did mail 6/14. 6/21 - I email Linda ask her to stop payment on the "check" she claims to have written and send a cashiers check in overnight mail. No Response from Linda... 6/24 - The refund check arrives with a postmark of 6/21/11 - 6 weeks after we left her rental home.
This extended game of email tag/promises was very awkward and annoying. Although we enjoyed our trip, the difficulty in getting our deposit refunded felt "sleazy" and left us with a very bad taste in our mouths. As a longtime owner of beach rental property I cannot imagine behaving this way with a guest. We have used VRBO many times before including in Europe and have never encountered such treatment. One lesson learned is NEVER send a cash deposit again. Copies of all the emails/documentation referenced here are available if you want to review.
In July ‘09, I received a phone call from Vacation Property Services. For the payment of $599, they would rent my unused Wyndham timeshare weeks. I was told these properties were in great demand as the company uses rentals to sell timeshares on the resale market. When a renter buys a timeshare interval, the rental price is credited to the purchase price. I said I wasn't interested. The caller then offer to cut the price to $299. Since the scheme sounded reasonable, I agreed. I was given an office phone number and a cell phone number and told I could call anytime. The caller told me he would pick the Wyndham resorts to advertise that had the greatest potential for renting.
At this point, a lady came on the line and told me our conversation was being recorded. She ran through a list of legal points and told me I had seven days to change my mind. When I asked about seeing things in writing, she said a copy of the rental agreements would be mailed to me. Eleven days later, the rental agreements arrived - well past the time to change my mind. I saw problems. One resort was in Sevierville, Tennessee; the other was in Florida but at a resort that was no long affiliated with Wyndham. I tried to contact the person who called me to change the listings to resorts in Las Vegas and Orlando.
But, he never returned my phone calls. An office staff person agreed to change the ad for the resort not affiliated with Wyndham to “any Wyndham resort”. Of course, this will never come up on a rental search since it‘s not one of the options listed on their search engine. I'm now convinced that Vacation Property Services has no interest in renting my timeshare weeks. Their only interest is getting as much of my money as they can. They got $299 and I got scammed. I know. I should have read the reviews.
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA -- I should have read reviews before agreeing to list with Vacation Property Services in December of 2008. Within 24 hours of my first conversation with one of their agents, **, I was told I had several buyers for my timeshare and all I had to do was agree to the costs - of course. Prior to that first conversation, there were messages left on my voicemail to return their calls ASAP! ** assured me that ALL buyers were pre-qualified and closing costs, etc. would be paid by the buyer. I agreed to the price, $23,000 or if that one didn't go through, the previous one of $18,000. Again, I was assured everything was great and should close within 4 to 6 weeks.
After speaking to ** at least every other day all calls ceased. I was also advised not to pay the maintenance fees as they would be taken care of. They weren't - became past due and I paid. When I called her, one of the numbers always went to voicemail. They were never returned! Then, she would pick up and hang up. I called the 800 number and she was never available to I talked to their Customer Service people - when they were available. I was told they had never before had a complaint regarding ** and they would check into it.
I got an email about a month later which supposedly represented 'action' on the property and they were checking upstairs with the buyers. I emailed asking what the list of names meant. I have also found out they they NEVER respond to an email. I called and left a message again today to find out the status. I have also written to the Attorney General and to the Real Estate Licensing Board. This is obviously nothing but a scam!
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA -- Vacation Property Services - the entire company - is a den of thieves. ** left numerous urgent-sounding messages on my voice mail. When I finally called him, he announced that he had buyers for my timeshare (a weekly at a lake in Iowa). He claimed that Vacation Property Services had sent them on a week's vacation to my property, and they wanted to buy. The "buyers," he said, had offered $15,000. "You could counter-offer, but I wouldn't. That might scare them off." He told me I'd incur no costs except for deed and title, for $702.
He transferred me to the Verification Department for that damning taped monologue, during which the woman never once mentioned advertising. A week later, I received an "Advertisement Confirmation" letter, not the "Welcome Packet" the woman had mentioned. At the bottom, I saw my $702 had gone for "advertising." And my time to respond and cancel? The day before I received the letter.
I immediately took the matter up with Discover, who gave me a temporary credit but then reversed it when VPS provided "documentation," including the script the phony Verification Department employee never followed. I sent them the notes of my conversations with **, along with a copy of a five-page letter I wrote to the Economic Crimes Division of the Florida Attorney General's office, which had been investigating VPS for these deceptive practices.
** of VPS called a few days later, saying that the Attorney General's office had contacted Frank Perry, the president of VPS. ** said he "had" me on tape, offered me a $100 credit and additional advertising, and said he could put me in touch with buyers. I asked him if he was insane. "Why would I need advertising when ** told me he'd sold the property? And he never mentioned advertising. I work for an ad agency. Don't you think I would have noticed if someone had mentioned advertising?" He couldn't have cared less.
In a recent letter, the Attorney General's office told me they'd closed their investigation but forwarded my letter to VPS, who "may or may not" take action. So, the crooks are the ones who get to decide whether they'll keep my money? Again, insane.
This has gone far beyond the measly $700. These people have no principles, morals or consciences. They don't deserve to do business anywhere! And if I can stop them, I will. If that means hiring an attorney to pursue a class-action suit, I will.
My wife was duped this evening by the salesman from VPS. These are the same people I had told to go to Hell last year when they tried to run this scam on me. If they have a buyer for your property, why do they need the seller to send anything upfront. I called immediately upon returning home and the salesmen was WAY too busy to talk to me. My wife called 4 more times this evening and the same line of BULL*..* was given to her. I will contact the States Attorney's Office and register a complaint and also with the FCC. They continue to violate the do not call list. We never contacted them and never would.
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA -- This company called me several times to sell or rent my Florida timeshare. They claimed that there were people who were just waiting to rent and that I could get $1500 for it. I agreed to pay the $299 fee and the agent was "going to talk to the interested people right away". I never heard from them again. Repeated calls bring no satisfaction. I think these timeshare services are not reliable or worth the money.
Vacation Property Services is a horrible company who wants money upront to sell your timeshare property. It is usually about $800-$1000. In my experience, that was the end of it. They promise big money for the property, and we never even got an offer: I would have taken any "best offer": $5000, $3000, $2000; but I did not get an offer: They would not return my phone calls either. Stay away from this company.