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VRBO does not report Bait and Switch complaints on property websites
Posted by KKRob on 03/14/2011
I recently rented property on the VRBO website. The specific VRBO listing I rented was #309174 in South Beach, Miami. VRBO refused to post my review of the property because I did not actually stay in the property shown in listing 309174. The reason I did not get to stay in the property was because the owner engaged in bait and switch. The owner gave us a different apartment in the same building. Although the apartment was not bad, it was not as nice as the one shown on the website and it was on a lower floor that had no view and a lot of night street noise. So anyone considering renting a property through VRBO should note that it is their policy not to publicly acknowledge cases of bait and switch by the owner. VRBO told me that they would discuss the matter with the owner and would note the bait and switch incident in their VRBO file. Unfortunately, prospective renters will never know.

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Posted by MRM on 2011-03-14:
Canucks, you're on the roll!
Posted by Skye on 2011-03-14:
Posted by MRM on 2011-03-14:
Im trying to post ahead of him so that he could see my comment.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-03-14:
Then maybe you should have done a review on the apartment you were in and noted that you were "forcibly" switched from the one you booked.
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Posted by VRBO is misleading on 01/24/2011
I have used VRBO a few times now, and about to again but my intuition is telling me not to. I shouldn't ignore the facts. My first VRBO rental was disgusting. The owner posted pictures of a home that had clearly been taken years earlier, when the house actually was livable. Everything in the home was broken and it looked like a foreclosure property. The pool didn't work, the grass was overgrown, every cabinet and door knob was missing, there were holes in the walls and stains in the carpet. They took arial photos of the properties which were just wide enough to NOT show the plethora of garbage and broken down fences which surrounded the property. My second rental in Tuscon was better - the owner was very attentive, yet it was clear that the home had not been cleaned sufficiently before we arrived. It was a nice home, but had only received a light "wipe down" and a quick vacuum before we arrived. There's something about someone else's sticky glass stains that gross me out... The last rental was a similar process I have been noticing on VRBO. Many people will post very beautiful properties with attractive rates, show availability, yet when you email them, they are NEVER available and direct you to their private websites for their other properties, cutting VRBO and your protection out of the equation. These are horrible, unethical tactics, but clearly there is no supervision or consumer protection to prevent this from happening. Finally - here's what has happened to me FOUR times now...an owner agrees to the dates and rates via email and I wait patiently for the contract, which never comes, because they use my confirmation as a way to negotiate the rate up to another renter who is willing to pay more, never giving me a chance to rebid because VRBO prohibits bidding wars. So people do it in private and never tell you, thus screwing the renter yet again. What's sad is that most renters leave the properties in better condition than when they arrived, and are held hostage by not knowing a particular location or if the crime in the area is rampant - you can do all the internet searching you want but unless you've physically been to a specific location, you are at the mercy of the property owner, who I have found, is typically a huge liar.
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Buyer beware of vrbo.com
Posted by Jis on 10/11/2010
I used vrbo.com to book a vacation rental, Quarry Hill Farm, near Ashland, Oregon. The owners demanded full payment about 2 months before we were to arrive, which we paid. Then only 2 weeks before we were supposed to arrive, they announced that they had found longer term guests and would be canceling our reservations. We already had tickets to see several plays and had to scramble to find another (and much less nice) place to stay. We put a lot of time into choosing Quarry Hill Farm and feel they broke our contract. They did refund our money. When I complained to the vrbo website, they gave me the run around. First they kept asking me questions which I answered; then they repeated the questions which I answered again. Then I just started getting canned responses telling me they were "looking into it." It has now been almost 2 months since I've heard anything from them. They are obviously not going to do anything about my ill treatment by this rental owner.
I'm sure many of the people who list on this site are honest, but it would be impossible to tell. Anyone could list anything. VRBO takes no responsibility at all. Beware of them. And never book Quarry Hill Farm, no matter how nice the pictures look. The owners are irresponsible.
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Posted by Alain on 2010-10-12:
I haven't seen anything good about VRBO yet.
Posted by Nancy on 2013-02-09:
I've had both good and bad experiences, but I believe the owner has the choice of editing or deleting the comments. In fact, many of the reviews say "entered by owner" which is puzzling. If the renter doesn't use a computer, he wouldn't have found VRBO in the first place! So why would the review be "entered by owner?" Right now I am struggling to get through the month. I'm in-between homes and not really on vacation, and rented a so-called 1 bedroom condo for a month. It's one room - period. It's dirty, dingy and I can hear everything my neighbors say and do, even snoring and sneezing. I can't believe nobody has complained to VRBO about this place, especially since the ad is deceptive, although I admit the view of the beach is lovely. I thought the owner sounded nice on the phone, but even "little old ladies" who talk about their grandchildren can turn out to be liars!!
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VRBO #150886 - Owner will not return security deposit
Posted by Davidwb on 07/31/2012
We found this vacation rental through VRBO. The owner will not return our security deposit. VRBO is of no help. During our stay, the microwave oven failed. The owner accuses us of causing the problem which we did not do. The owner will not provide any credible information as to why he thinks we caused the problem or the cost of repairing the microwave oven.

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Posted by bob932304 on 2012-07-31:
Have you posted this on the VRBO review for this property?
Posted by blake.mckee on 2013-06-11:
VRBO will not allow any reviews that are negative
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VRBO 181152 Fajardo
Posted by Tpadsfasdf on 02/24/2011

This place wasn't horrible, but it also isn't what was advertised.

First, the place was dirty. A cleaning service was not used - dirty floors, smudges and finger marks on glasses, hairs in the shower, soap scum all over the shower. We contacted the owner to let her know the place was dirty and her cleaning service clearly wasn't doing their job and she responded with a defensive email that it wasn't dirty and she mopped the floors. Yet, there were hairs on the floor and a lot of dust/dirt. I've rented other VRBO condos and they were clean. This one was not. The bucket full of dirty water (from mopping I assume) was left in a sink next to the washer/dryer.

Second - NO DISHWASHER yet the ad says "full kitchen" Most Americans have a dishwasher.

NO cable TV - we only picked up basic channels.

The hot water went out one day, but the owner was actually helpful about that and gave instructions on how to turn it back on.

We were given one bath towel and one washcloth a person for SEVEN DAYS. We paid to rent a 3 bedroom condo but only two bedrooms were prepared and we were given two bath towels. We didn't pay per person, we paid for the entire condo.

The pool in the complex is nice and so are the beaches, but just get a hotel room.
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Posted by bhskittykatt on 2011-02-24:
That sounds gross. Were you able to request more cleaning and more towels?

As for the dishwasher, from my understanding "full kitchen" just includes refrigerator, stove, and oven. Garbage disposals, dishwashers, and microwaves are extra options. (I don't even have a dishwasher at my place.) It seems the definition of "full kitchen" varies on opinion. Source: http://www.answersforrealestate.com/real-estate-answers/full-kitchen.html

Glad that they fixed the water heater issue promptly, and that the area amenities were nice.
Posted by tpadsfasdf on 2011-02-28:
We contacted the owner and said the place was dirty but they did not offer to come and clean or send a cleaning service. We didn't mention the towels as our main concern was the dirty floors, dishes and bathroom.

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VRBO sucks
Posted by Hungrycat on 06/18/2010
They posted my negative review of a property - which two people found useful. Next thing I know I have a note from VRBO saying the review they posted wasn't posted, and an email from the property owner trying to make up by refunding part of a security deposit she withheld from me. VRBO is a disappointment and NOT trustworthy. Do Not Rely On Their Information.

The property is listing # 233549. Here's my review, in case anyone else has the misfortune of renting here. It's a home n Santa Cruz, CA.

"We stayed three nights in May to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The house is cozy and charming, and feels larger than it is. The backyard is also very pretty. It is two blocks from the beach, but this route to the beach is inaccessible during high tide, and you must walk about seven blocks down a busy road to reach a more reliable access point. Beyond that, the home is well equipped and comfortable. It comes with music, wi-fi, movies, plenty of dishes and cooking utensils, and most kitchen Staples. We encountered two drawbacks. The first was the owner, who was intrusive. She sent the gardener over twice to check up on us. It's uncomfortable staying in a house, especially a small one, with a stranger in the backyard. After we left she counted the number of empty bottles of alcohol that we had placed in the outside recycling bin and reported this to us in a letter. We had a dinner party for eight one night to celebrate our wedding anniversary. She charged us $50, ostensibly because my sister and brother stayed over that one night, but in a letter to me she mentioned that she also had to remove bottles from the recycling bin. The owner lists the property as dog friendly but there are a lot of ticks in the area, which was the second drawback. We let our Labradoodle into the back yard once, supervised and on a leash, and pulled 16 ticks off of her. We found three more crawling in the house and one dead on the bedroom floor. The owner also charged us $50 for “trampled” plants – allegedly by our dog, who didn’t go out back unsupervised. I suspect it was more likely a wild animal, raccoon or skunk or whatever brings the ticks in. I want to give the owner the benefit of the doubt, which is why I’m giving this property three stars instead of two. Perhaps she was worried about the dog and in that case should not list this property as pet friendly. Or maybe she likes cataloguing her tenant’s refuse (however if use of recycling bins is not permitted then the contract should make this clear, or steer clear of making assumptions about her renters). But the gardener and the bottle counting lead me to believe that this home might be better if it were owner-occupied. "
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Posted by shayen on 2010-06-18:
Nothing you wrote sounded all that bad. RE: the gardener. Was he perhaps doing ummm... gardening? Ticks? How is that the homeowner's fault? High tide? What about it. There's high tide and low tide. Duh! Again, not the HO's fault. I don't know abut the trampled plant except if it was fine until your dog came along, well, I'd suspect your dog. The bottles in the recycle bin? You weren't clear about whether you should have placed them there or not.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-19:
I don't understand, shayen. Why provide a recycle bin if it isn't to be used? To call a property pet friendly when there is a tick infestation is a bit misleading, as well.

Though I do agree with the owner assuming that the trampled plants were a result of the dog. It does make sense.
Posted by shayen on 2010-06-19:
Yeah, I don't really understand about the recycle thing either. It was not very clear. But the tick thing. If the owner doesn't have pets, she may not know about the ticks. I mean, think about it. If she knew, why would she allow pets to begin with? I know that if I owned a house that I rented out to vacationers, I would have a no pet policy if I was aware that my backyard was full of ticks. I mean, who wants ticks in their house? So, she may not even know. I guess she does now.

BTW: where did everyone go? seems like there use to be a lot more people posting here the previous times I've visited.
Posted by Sally on 2012-06-08:
I guess we've been lucky. We've used about a dozen VRBOs and have been delighted with each one.
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Almost Non-Existent Customer Service
Posted by Nat21 on 01/21/2010
I posted on VRBO for a couple of years, but it really became impossible - they do not have a phone# for customer service, and when you send them an email, it's takes at least a week for them to respond. However. their fees grow with an astronomical progression: it more than doubled in 2 years.

I say - stay away!

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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-21:
Or you can write them.

VRBO.com, Inc.
Attn: General Manager
1011 W. Fifth Street
Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78703

Though, it doesn't seem to be an actual place of business, hence why they don't have a phone number. Googled mapped them and nothing seems to really come up other than a couple of places that have nothing to do with said company.

Posted by nat21 on 2010-01-22:
This is the address listed in BBB.org for VRBO:

VRBO aka Vacation Rentals By Owner
5132 Lochwood Ct
Naples, FL 34112-3680

There is a phone# , too, but don't waste your time trying to reach them on the phone, which is pretty shocking to me, if you ask.

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Ad's Are Not Correct!!!!
Posted by Keelie20121954 on 03/18/2014
Sick of trying to rent from VRBO ! Their ad's are NOT correct. The price on the ad will say $850.00 but when you contact owner or manager the amount has jumped hundred's of dollars. Also a $100.00 pet deposit for a 6 lb Yorkie, my GOD what's she going to do eat the sofa? SICK of VRBO and the idiots that have rental property they are trying to bilk people with.

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Posted by Jack in a box on 2014-03-18:
I hate ads like that. There is a mandatory cleaning fee of whatever amount, that should be in the price. Some places (seems outside the US) will charge you for the utilities you use.

Pets have 'accidents' and that takes special cleaning, especially in carpeting. Also, even little dogs like to chew on things, like bedspreads, cushions, etc. The $100 is a 'deposit' so you should get that back if there has been no damage or extra cleaning.
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VRBO: Beware
Posted by Cmt_702 on 02/27/2014
Had a negative experience with the owner of a rental property #499787, associated with Victory Luxury Rentals in Miami, through VRBO.

Apparently, negative reviews are not accepted, so you have no idea what you are getting into and there's no recourse when things go bad. I would not recommend booking through this site.
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Best Wedding Reception Rental In Bradenton Fl.
Posted by Bkraymond on 07/12/2013
BRADENTON, FLORIDA -- The majority of the guests stated that this was the most relaxing wedding reception ever! The house is perfectly placed on the Manatee River and we thoroughly enjoyed the use of the dock. The game room was amazing and the rest of the house was very well kept. What a memorable and wonderful week of memories you allowed us to create with the use of your house. This will be a definite place to rent again in the future. Thank you so much for everything!
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