PARK CITY, TEXAS -- I had a rental agreement with the property owner this Park City, UT house (VRBO #106012 at 1102 Park Ave. Park City, UT) for 2 nights in August 2012. He cancelled my rental 10 days before my scheduled arrival and refused to refund my full payment of $330 (2 nights at $150 + $30 cleaning fee). The reason he gave for cancelling was that he got a longer-term renter for the property - so he was cancelling me for another person.
He offered a credit but did not respond at all to my request that he refund my money - even the cleaning fee I had already paid. I had no use for a credit because my travel plans were already booked and I had no plans to return to Park City later. My husband left him a message a few days later that wasn't returned, then did reach him by phone a few days after that. When they spoke, the owner said our money was "gone" and that he hopes we don't use his credit. Clearly he would not honor it if we ever did try to use this "credit".
I contacted VRBO to file a complaint, and they told me they had contacted the owner and that their process required him to follow up with me in writing. It has been nearly 2 months and he never contacted me in accordance with VRBO procedure. This property owner breached our rental agreement, refused to refund payment for services that were not provided and refused to follow VRBO's complaint procedures, and VRBO has done nothing to assist me with this.
MAMMOTH LAKES, CALIFORNIA -- 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.
FLORIDA -- HomeAway, HomeAway.com, Vacationrentals.com, Vrbo, Vrbo.com, Complaint: Vacation rental owners BEWARE OF VRBO/HOMEAWAY's FATAL FLAW - Vacation Rental Website. I was a happy customer of VRBO/HomeAway until I found out their fatal flaw! We own/manage many high-end properties. As owners we charge security deposits to cover damage done by guests.
I am now fearful to deduct the cost of damages done because of their ability to then retaliate and post negative reviews about your property. HomeAway allows these slanderous reviews to be posted and gives owners almost no consideration. Owners are coerced into waiving fees for damage done because of the fear of retaliation. (We had one guest who took the Flat Screen!) By allowing this, they cripple the owners ability to enforce their rental agreements. As an owner we pay to advertise on the site.
We are the customers. It is very upsetting that we, the customers who pay to purchase ads, are not given more consideration and have no control over what is posted on the ad page that we are paying for. This is a problem. The only recourse an owner had is to cancel the ad and to lose the money they paid to run it for an entire year. HomeAway does not issue refunds for the balance of unused time if you do this. HomeAway is a Monopoly. Unfortunately, with huge investments from Wall Street, HomeAway has bought up other independent sites and become a sort of monopoly. One bad review can do a multitude of damage the reputation of a rental.
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.
DIRTY. 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.
My only personal review is in the attempt to book the property. They are not pet friendly. In the exact words of the owner, "Our greatest concern with accepting your beloved pet (we have dogs too and adore them) is for our future tenants health, especially when people may be allergic. For that reason we can only accept "non-shedding", hypo-allergenic dogs. I know that your dog is probably a real sweetheart, but the oils from his/her fur can become imbedded in the furniture, or baseboards and create a real problem for some of our tenants. I am so sorry to have to place these limits on our rentals, but I'm sure that you can understand our concerns." It's awesome that they look out for future tenants but just wanted to warn anybody desiring this property with a pet, you'll probably get this same response. I'm sure that they didn't want to rule out any potential tenants without the paw print but they may as well just limit the property to humans and not pets. All dogs shed and all have oils that get imbedded on furniture, etc. It's not restricted to a 15 pound dog. When I told the owner very politely that I wouldn't compromise and continue to be patient in finding a place for my pup and I, she responded with "Good For You!" Ouch. Not only that? Beware. A lot of these places say "steps from the beach" when they are actually a house or two or a block away. This is the case with this property. It sits behind a beachfront home with its' back to it facing in the direction of the street. I'm so sick of being deceived by these beach communities trying to rent their properties. And YES I would pay a cleaning/painting deposit of $1000 or whatever it took to bring my pet along on my trip. I'm just SICK of the deception. My issue here is that they said they are pet friendly and they are not. These places SAY a lot of things but when it comes down to it all it is is bait. And YES it is an owner's property to do as they please with the rules they enforce, etc. but I'M the one paying their mortgage and property taxes on it when I CHOOSE to pay the $3000 grand or more per month. Hate to hit you in the face with reality but it becomes MINE then for the time I'm there. The minute these places forget this is the minute that they need to and should get out of the business of renting out their properties. This forum is for customers protecting customers. You don't go around to any review and stick up for a place when you are on a site that is out there to be informational in order to protect the next guy that comes along.
DORSTE, MINNESOTA -- Beware VRBO #87085 We had many inconveniences while there 1.)Tap Water was undrinkable, yellow, and smelled like eggs 2.)Were told propane ready for grill when there was only enough to heat the grill for 5 min 3.)Paddle Boat was broken 4.) Cobwebs and Dirt piles scattered around the house (not an inconvenience but the last thing you want to see after paying $2000 for a 3 bedroom rental) 5.)kitchen utensils were sub par...no lids for any pans and the knives were very dull 6.)Septic went out (very touchy septic went out because of a lot of rain!!) 7.) Horrible Treacherous Driveway...the worst I've been on. 8.) Had to carry own garbage up the treacherous driveway to a dumpster even though we stayed there only 1 wk. Imagine if we had only a car (we had a trailer) And had to put that icky garbage in our car sloshing around with our things on the way to the dumpster?! 9.) The Pontoon Boat rental they recommended was late, said they tried to call but didn't since we had our cellphone there and there was great reception. When we finally got a hold of them they made us wait, and dropped off a very wet pontoon on a very sunny day and were charged full price. We're guessing they were overbooked (Mehgana Marina)10.) Lied about how many damage deposits they had kept...told us before we rented only 1 and when were were in disputes of the deposit that number went up!
THEN after we cleaned the home VERY WELL when we left (we thought about taking pictures but things looked great) they kept our damage deposit for extra cleaning, broken paddle boat, late departure (we were 30 min late), and a plumbing bill. They told us how nice they were not to charge us with the septic pumping bill also. We've gotten a portion of it back fighting tooth and nail, but they have stopped all contact. Beware, the place is falling apart I don't what this to happen to you!!
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.
1011 W 5TH STREET SUITE 300 AUSTIN, TEXAS -- As vacation rental property owner I advertised on VRBO. I had renters that destroyed my personal property; let their dogs urinate on my wall to wall carpet; after check-out made duplicate keys without my knowldege or consent & tried to re enter unit after check-out; verbally abusive to me; refused to clean up after their dog(s) in back courtyard; I even had one couple pay the deposit to hold date & I never heard from them again & I do have a business policy that is in writing & I do enforce which put them in breech & therefore forfeit deposit, after all I have a business to operate & Florida winter season is only a short 4 months, 3 months later this couple files a complaint against me w/VRBO wanting a full refund. So VRBO contacts me & sides with the renters & wants me to pay the renters a full refund but the renters did not pay in full only a deposit. I could not get VRBO to understand this so I became the bad guy & quite a confused one because aren't I VRBO's client? Shouldn't VRBO be on my side, after all I "pay" to advertise w/VRBO. I have never associated with a company that did not have its clients back covered! I also came to learn that VRBO has "no" support system for the property owners only for the renters that can write a bad review or just simply file an unjust complaint. How about structure that would get some of these dead beat renters off of VRBO so after the renter leaves my property in shambles it can't do that to another VRBO property owner. Vrbo enforces their business policies so why can't the property owners? Vrbo are hypocrites. And the "money ladder", ever wonder why some listing have a picture on the left side & some don't? The ones that don't have not paid enough money to VRBO to be entitled to a picture, property owners need "deep pockets"; the more money the property owner pays to VRBO the higher up the list/ladder your ad is. It's degrading. The only thing on VRBO's mind is money money money not running/operating a decent business!
Just because you are going through VRBO.com DO NOT be fooled into thinking you are renting a legitimate vacation rental. I answered an ad on the resort website for a penthouse unit in Myrtle Beach which had pictures all labelled with the VRBo logo. When I sent an email wanting to rent it went to VRBO who in turn forwarded the email to the "owner". The owner contacted me and set me up payment via PayPal. All good so far....
After 5 months and 30 days prior to my vacation I contacted the "owner" to take the final payment on my room. Humm...no response after several attempts. I was disgusted to find that it was all a scam. Amazing what Google can do for someone looking for information. I found the "owner" under two assumed names and started contacting her friends on Facebook. I also sent her an e-mail to the last known email address informing her the police would be involved.
The police found her and I have learned that I am one of five people this woman has scammed. One got there money back because of their credit card fraud protection. The rest of us lose out because PayPal will do NOTHING if the transaction is 60 days old. This woman has since been posting rentals in the Florida area.
My message - Confirm who the owner actually is because VRBO does not. Do not use Pay Pal unless your stay is within 60 days. Use a credit card with fraud protection only! Be careful, there are a lot of slimy unethical people out there ready to take the money you worked for and the vacation you deserve.