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.
DO NOT USE VRBO/HOMEAWAY! These scam artists are now enforcing an additional 8% service fee added on to buyers without adding ANY additional value to the homeowner or customer. Plus logistically it creates a nightmare as the online booking acts as a barrier between agent and customer from any negotiation. I am a property manager and can no longer use VRBO/HomeAway due to this issue. I really hope a competitor arrives that can replace this greedy dinosaur of a company.
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 -- 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.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Back in November of 2015, I booked a 4-bedroom home in downtown Rapid City, SD, well in advance of a family summer vacation in July of 2017. I did this early because I wanted a nice, clean home that suited my family's needs. 5 MONTHS later, the owner broke the lease and the only other home in that area that I would have considered renting was booked solid for my dates. I ended up reserving another home through Flipkey, 3 bedrooms, 15 miles from where I wanted to be. As a result, the smaller home forced some of my family members to stay home, after purchasing non-refundable plane tickets.
I am quite devastated over this and very angry about the fact that a Homeaway owner can, at will, pull the plug on a client who has dealt with her in good faith. Apparently, Homeaway/VRBO does not impress upon their owners the importance of commitment and responsibility. I probably won't be booking with Homeaway/VRBO again since I guess their owners can get away with this kind of behavior. I'm just wondering now how many people out there have had the same unfortunate experience? Surely I can't be the only one…
This past summer we had the worst rental experience ever. After attempting to contact the owner multiple times and giving them plenty of time to respond (6 months), I finally decided to share our experience in hopes others could avoid. However VRBO refused to publish my review stating it "was not relevant to the property being reviewed". Really?!?!?!
We stayed at the property and I captured our experience with accuracy, so help me understand why it's not relevant. I suppose it's because I didn't provide a 4 or 5 star rating. Obvious proof that VRBO is as shady and dishonest as the owner we rented from. Well I can guarantee we will NEVER rent from this owner or use VRBO ever again. Please share, because VRBO refuses to publish my review.
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.