AUSTIN, TEXAS -- HOMEAWAY/VRBO/VACATIONPAYMENT ARE ALL SCAMS BELONGING TO THE SAME CORPORATION. I am a property owner and listed my property on Homeaway, worst company ever to deal with. Most of the travelers on this site are crooks. Case in point Amanda ** of San Diego made a reservation for 54 nights through Homeaway and paid with credit card through Homeaway payments and 20 days into her stay her plans changed and out of the blue filed two complaints on the same day in an effort to find an excuse to get out of the lease. First one was that the toilet is leaking. Sent maintenance the same day and found no leak, then she complained that her gate tag was not working.
Replaced the gate tag with a new one but nevertheless she left and filed a charge back dispute stating the services were not provided. Contacted Homeaway and Homeaway payments and both are totally incompetent idiots working in this organization. Homeaway even though was being paid per reservation that means virtually no contact with the tenant until reservation is confirmed and homeaway is collecting fees upward of $400 for this reservation but takes no responsibility whatsoever when crooks like these use their site.
They have no safeguards against such activity. They are only interested in making money on the backs of unsuspecting property owners and if a crook disputes the charge Homeaway neither takes any responsibility or assists with resolving the issue. They are basically saying to the property owner, "Go ** yourself. We do not care.” Worst customer service ever, all located overseas and their customer service reps are unable to communicate in proper English. It seems like Homeaway purposely hires the dumbest of the dumb.
And their payment processor is even worse. All they do is send generic emails and every time it's a different person so you do not even know who the hell is handling your case and you are unable to speak with anyone in authority. I don't think they have any executive staff at all or they are hiding their tails somewhere and are unavailable on the phone. Homeaway and its affiliates appear to be a complete scam and if any property owner is reading please for your own sake stop using this service because they will screw you without hesitation.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- VRBO/HomeAway was a great website and I had a successful relationship with them, then they were sold to a large company. Customer Service is outsourced. When I called for help, regarding a mistake on the billing, they told me I had to work it out with renter, who did not return my calls. They charge a very high fee and offer "0" support. On the other hand, I'm getting more rental requests from Airbnb and when I contacted their customer service this is what I received. "Each and every user that becomes a member of the Airbnb family is extremely important to us," Plus they have lower fees. Which company would you choose? No brainer!
I rented a unit in Palermo, Italy that was listed on VRBO... VRBO listing is 6372200. Stay away from this owner. My wife and I had to leave for the airport sooner than we expected, so we were not able to "officially" check out with the owner. The owner claimed we damaged his door and decided to keep my E100 deposit. I complained to VRBO and was told they would require proof of damage from the owner along with a PAID receipt for repairs...
VRBO claims the owner supplied pictures but is refusing to show me the pictures... They have NO paid receipt. They say it is NOT necessary. We are in our late 70s. We did not damage his door. I will never use VRBO again. They can't be relied upon to protect the renter.
ST AUGUSTINE, MICHIGAN -- We had a horrible experience staying in unit B33 at Ocean Village Club this past winter. When I posted a review on VRBO to try and ward off other potential renters, the owner responded with untruthful comments and tried to turn it around to make me look like I was a difficult renter (all lies)!! I tried to post a rebuttal to his comments, but VRBO would not post it because they said it would be considered a duplicate review!! So essentially, if you are unhappy and post a review and the owner responds, anyone reading the review will see owner comments and figure that is the last word!!!
And also, VRBO should be aware what bad condition this unit is in. Needs major updating and maintenance. The owner won't spend $$ on buying a new microwave (all rusted out) or replacing the moldy shower curtains. Terrible mold odor throughout. Holes in the bathroom baseboard, chipped floor tile throughout, no window screens, very uncomfortable furniture.
I rented my home on VRBO. The First few renters were wonderful. I think had a rental where the entire house was trashed. Cigarette butts on the floors, glass tables smashed, Sonos speakers and a TV stolen, really trashed beyond comprehension. To compare these people to animals is unfair to animals. VRBO offers absolutely no help or support. A truly terrible company and I wish I had never worked with them. If it were possible to give this site zero stars I would.
CUMMING, GEORGIA -- VRBO/HomeAway is now forcing owners to use their online booking/paying company. Who is this company, who is keeping the interest on our money, who is making decisions about our money? This is my home, my booking and my money. How dare them keep it until after the renter checks in, then taking up to the time they check out for the funds to hit my account? This will mean keeping well over $20,000 of my money at any given time. NOT!! Will be canceling my listing.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- The site is OK for renters, but they aren't the customers of Home Away/VRBO because renters deal primarily with property owners. The property owners are the customers of HA/VRBO & they seem to agree that they are HORRIBLE!! Because they are the largest, they seem to think that they have a monopoly, so they can care less about their customers/property owners.
I have been with using Home Away & VRBO for over 7 years. I have 3 properties listed with each, i.e. 6 listing at the highest levels offered. Last year I paid them over $7,000, but I won't b renewing my subscriptions because I am getting no bookings. That's because my listing priority is so low. For example, on Home Away using all applicable filters, my 2 BR cabins are # 54 & 55 out of 150. Without filters, & on VRBO it's even lower. The problem is that they keep changing priority criteria so they can get more $ & some recent priority requirements are things I don't control.
When I 1st started years ago, the only priority was length of time someone has been with them. Then they added priority based on the # of listings we had. Then they added subscription levels & then more subscription levels. Then it was whether or not we paid more $ for a "featured listing." Even though the cost kept increasing, I could understand that, i.e. priority based on longevity, # of listings, & amount paid. However, they then added priority based on reviews. I have no control over whether or not someone writes a review, what they consider a "good" review, or when someone is using a review as coercion.
I've had guests write a good review but give a 3-star rating. I asked them about it & they said they thought 3 stars was a "good" rating. I've also had people stay in a cabin for a week or so with no complaints, but a month later contact me & complain, making it clear that they were going to write a bad review unless I did something to compensate for their "bad experience," i.e. unless I gave them a refund, they would write a bad review.
Last year, Home Away said priority was based on whether or not we OFFERED online booking, so I added online booking. The problem is that if a guest uses online booking, funds go directly into my account, but I don't know who the funds are from nor which cabin it's for (as I said, I have 3 cabins listed on Home Away & VRBO). Therefore, I don't use online booking.
This year, Home Away has changed again & has made priority based on whether on not we USE online booking. As I said, last year I paid Home Away/VRBO over $7,000, but I'm not getting any bookings. All my bookings are coming from Vacation Home Rentals (not Vacation Rentals) or Flip Key & paying less than 1/2 what I paid Home Away/VRBO. Both of those are on Trip Advisor. In other words, I paid over $7,000 to Home Away/VRBO & I have gotten nothing for it, so that money was just wasted.
CHESTERTOWN, NEW JERSEY -- Because I mentioned the amount of the security deposit, VRBO won't publish my review, and they refuse to respond to the help request I sent asking them to revise it. My emails go unanswered. Here is my review: We and three other couples rented this house for a long weekend. The PROS: The house is very nice and the kitchen was furnished for cooking. It's got nice rooms, a nice property & I like that we didn't all have to share one bathroom.
The CONS: I was disappointed that after we agreed on a price the owner informed us that the hot tub was broken but didn't offer to give us a discount. I felt that would have been fair, but let it go. After dinner the first night the sink garbage disposal got clogged. When we started to gather in the living room to play games we couldn't get the living room lights on, and found one of the leather sling chair's stitching was loose so that we couldn't use it.
It was late for calling the caretaker, so I called the next morning. I told her about the 3 items & informed the man who came to fix the disposal & the lights that the wood under the sink was rotten & moldy from the disposal having a long term leak. He took care of the lights (circuit breaker issue), took the chair with him & fixed the clog in the disposal. So far so good.
A month later & I still hadn't received my $300 security deposit. I call the owner & he informs me that the chair is being looked at by the insurance adjuster & that he's holding my deposit. I told him that we didn't break the chair -- that the stitching was loose & I was merely letting them know as a courtesy, same as I'd like renters to let me know of anything that needs attention in my own rental. He then proceeds to challenge me: the chair was fine the day before when it was dusted. He hadn't seen it broken the last time he was there, etc.
When I explained that we never even had the opportunity to use the chair, he got a bit heated & insisted that all was well prior to our arrival. (Luckily he didn't accuse us of causing the rotten, mildewed floor under the sink, too, since no one had apparently ever noticed that, either!) He eventually agreed to send my deposit back, but not after basically calling me a liar & getting quite nasty.
We've rented houses for years both in the US & in Europe. I've generally been pleased & often we end up returning to places year after year. One couple we were with was going to rent this home until I told them about the homeowner's behavior, when they decided to steer clear. The whole incident left a very bad taste in my mouth & ruined what otherwise would have been a very nice weekend.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- We rented a place for 2 weeks in Mexico through VRBO. We planned ahead by booking in March and even took out their vacation insurance. Upon arrival, we noticed a very strong odor, almost like very bad body odor. At first, we thought it was the property manager who let us in. After spending some time in the house, we noticed black mold on the electric outlets, in corners and crevices, on ceiling fans. We tried to stay in the house, but were overcome by the stench and our inability to breathe.
We promptly called the owner and let her know our concerns. She was rude and basically said we were screwed. Being that we were in Mexico, our only way to communicate with VRBO was through email. It took a long time to get anything meaningful back from the company. In fact, we didn't really get sufficient information from the company until we got back to the U.S.
Long and short of it, they did not honor their travel insurance because we did not return the keys to the owner within a 2 hour time window. We held the keys as collateral until we heard from VRBO and eventually folded when we didn't get a meaningful directive from them. I will NEVER use this company again as they do not fully vet their properties or their owners. You are better off working with a hotel. (By the way, the credit card company Fifth Third Bank was super unhelpful as well. They didn't even wait to hear my side of the story before commencing the investigation.)
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.