INTERNATIONAL, NEW YORK -- I recently booked a vacation rental through VRBO. BE AWARE!!! I booked a 1 bedroom condo with a king size bed, 1 sleeper sofa, futon, and cot. I thought that I won the lotto, because the condo was affordable and included resort passes. Cost of the condo $1610. The condo was disgustingly dirty. I do not say that lightly. The place definitely has not been cleaned in years. I booked through VRBO, Property ID#380411. I contacted VRBO to let them know of the unsanitary conditions. They have done nothing. The condo is still listed on VRBO website. I tried to write a review to warn other travelers, VRBO has not posted the review.
Now that I go back and read through the VRBO listings reviews, I realize they are all fake. Owner reviews on website are current and all 5 stars. There is no way VRBO reviews are real. There is no benefit in using this company to book a rental. If you have an issue they do not do anything but refer you to the owner.
NAPLES, FLORIDA -- I rented Property #** through VRBO during Nov 15th 2017 until Jan 1st 2018 at a total cost of $7833 USD plus a refundable security deposit of $500. The title of the property in VRBO is "Nice Condo! Completely Remodeled, Stylish, Quiet And Downtown With A Boat Dock!”. Nothing can be further from the truth- as the condo is not quite at all! The boat dock is in bad shape and the condo is filled with old smelly furniture that the owner has kept from family long gone!
The airport is only 300 m away from the condo and the jet noise, which occurred at all hours of the day and even in early morning and at night time, was just truly horrible. How any decent human being can miss to clearly state this in the property description is just beyond my understanding. If you have a pacemaker or heart condition I strongly advise you to avoid this condo! Your life may depend on it.
The jet noise made my chest vibrate and was so loud we could not talk during the landing or taking off of the planes which occurred several times a day. Do not be fooled by the “it is only a small municipal airport” or “the planes only fly between 8 am and 8 pm”. I realized that rich people can fly any damn time they want!
Conclusion 1. Avoid this condo: it is noisy, smelly and the boat dock is not in good shape. Now: the owner M **. She tried to scam me out of my $500 security deposit by sending an e-mail to my private e-mail where she claimed I caused “damages” to her condo. I asked for pictures of the damages and also told her that I would be back in Naples within a week and wanted to inspect the “damages” myself. She never sent any photos nor did she allow me to inspect her condo.
At the time of our check out her “agent” was there - this unprofessional person by the name of D **, working for Broker Associate Downing-Frye Realty, Inc just sat there in silence and with a negative vibe while we checked out. If the agent even had a little bit of professionalism in her, she would have done a small check-out inspection with us. Instead, she was in fact “spying” on us and reporting back to the owner that we “banged” our suitcases around (i.e. scratched the walls) while we checked out!
I am sorry - but if you cannot tolerate guests to get in and out with suitcases from your property and by doing so “touch” the walls of your property with their suitcase you shouldn't be in the renting business at all! By the way this owner states the following on VRBO in connection to her property “Absolutely no scratch pads anywhere, or damages will have to be compensated." This includes buffing the stainless steel refrigerator and/or sinks. Stains to the furniture will have to be compensated. If they can not be removed, costs for recovering or replacement must be charged.
Sorry! But the owner doesn't provide any updated inventory list or check-in/out inspection. This is totally unprofessional! She asked me not to give her a review. I did a honest review - and she gave me a bad review. Whatever!
Also, the owner allowed the new rented to check in immediately after we checked out (he was outside the door waiting tighter with the owner's agent). And the owner had the nerve to complain about the cleaning! I paid a cleaning fee to the owner and asked two times what this fee was for, without a response. So at check-out (just to be sure!) we did dishes, took off all bed sheets, started a wash, emptied fridge/freezer, took out trash & even cleaned the coffee machine!!!
Of course the condo was not spotless clean - the cleaning crew had yet to arrive. Duh. It seems the owner wanted us to pay for the full scale cleaning and maintenance of her condo by keeping my security deposit. I found out that the new guest was in fact a “returning guest” and by profession a handyman. Well see now - that is convenient! And the owner even wrote to be on my private e-mail that since I used a part of my Fulbright scholarship to pay for her condo rent - I should not care about the $500 security deposit. She in fact wrote “You didn´t even pay for it yourself”! The nerve of some people.
The owner did refund me the deposit after some time but together with this refund I received very offensive language directed towards me and my family to my private email from the owner. All of my family was very offended by her and strongly question her ability to conduct professional business on VRBO.
Conclusion 2. Avoid this owner: she is unable to conduct professional rental business. I contacted VRBO and put in two formal complaints about the property and asked them to contact the owner and force the owner to remove the word “quiet” in the title describing the property as "quiet". It is not quiet. I was fooled and do not want any more guests to get fooled.
There is also another reviewer about property #** that states the jet noise as a “CON”. So my desired outcome which I clearly communicated (two times now) to VRBO is that they force the owner to *remove* the word “quiet” in the title and description of her property **. So far no response from VRBO at all. Great work guys!
Conclusion 3. Avoid VRBO: they do not have the capacity to run an honest rental business since they only take the owners side. In summary: Do not rent Property #** or other properties listed by this owner Mel **. Avoid VRBO but if you do decide to rent via VRBO keep all communication with the owner strictly on the site.
This also includes all types of “rental agreements” that need to be signed due to Condominium Associations the the property is part of. All this documentation needs to be kept strictly on the rental site for transparency. And do not give the owner your private email.
NORTH CAROLINA -- If I could have given this company zero stars I would have but 1 is as low as you can go. Lucky for them. I have never in my life dealt with such an incompetent business group. I had tried to reserve a property for given set of dates. I paid my $140 booking fee which is on top of the property owner's rental fee. Fair enough! VRBO confirmed that the weekend was reserved and "Guaranteed" my reservation. I was informed that the owner would call me to confirm the dates and the booking. Days pass and no call from the owner. I called VRBO again to let them know that I had no contact from the owner.
The VRBO representative gave me the owner's name and email and I contacted her to ask about our reservation. She informed me that she had never been made aware of our reservation request by VRBO and that the home had since been rented by another group! So much for the VRBO guarantee! I called back VRBO and asked why I had lost my "Guaranteed" reservation. The representative asked me to confirm my reservation number and email. I confirmed and she said my email address was incorrect even though it was the same email I registered with and had confirmed each time I called VRBO. She then asked me if my name was Beth.
Being a male I confirmed to her that I in fact was not Beth. The VRBO representative then said the home was confirmed to someone named Beth. I asked how Beth could have reserved my weekend that I paid VRBO $140 to secure. I then asked what the credit card number was that was used to secure "BETH'S" rental. Lo and behold my credit card was used by VRBO to secure Beth's rental. Ain't I a nice guy? I told this representative that they had not only lost my reservation dates but somehow managed to charge my card for another group's reservation on my weekend.
She said my funds would be refunded in three business days with no explanation of how I paid for the other person's fees. Guess what, no refund for 8 days. I called again today to ask why I had no refund. The VRBO rep. said that the owner had to cancel my reservation! Incredible? The owner has to cancel a reservation that I never got and she never received. So another call to the owner who was a dear through all this. I tell her the latest from this sad saga and she calls VRBO to cancel a reservation that does not exist for me. I call back to VRBO just moments ago and they assure me that my funds will be in my account within 3 business days.
Tick tock! I probably should have waited to write this review as I would not be surprised to have to report that I didn't get my refund. As a matter of fact, I'm so pissed that I am going copy and paste this and save it so I can add to it later if need be. And I'll send it to the CEO of this sorry excuse for a business. The CEO should start reading these reviews because I have a feeling they won't be in business for very much longer! I have always been a fan of acrostics. Here's the revised one for VRBO! VERY ROTTEN BUSINESS ORGANIZATION!! AVOID THIS COMPANY LIKE THE PLAGUE!
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Tried to write a very positive review about a property I rented 6 weeks ago. Wouldn't go through. After 1 hour, contacted their customer service. They said I was blocked from writing a review...why? Because the homeowner had reviewed me! FRAUDULENT, MISLEADING, DECEPTIVE. VRBO has a deceptive practice whereby after a vacation stay, if the owner reviews you before you get your property review in, you are blocked from submitting a review on the property. This means, that if there is a lousy property/slumlord and the owner beats the renter to a review, you have no way of seeing any potentially negative reviews! You don't have a full understanding the property and are foolishly renting blindly.
THIS INTENTIONAL MISLEADING, FALSE ADVERTISING, and DECEPTIVE. A terrible and HIDDEN TACTIC! Therefore, question every property and review and consider how many reviews they obstructed when renting. I am sure the Attorney Generals and FTC might find this interesting. Renters should be advised of this upfront, before they rent, not after their stays when they try to submit a review.
We rented a two-bedroom two-bath apartment in Berlin, Germany, but arrived to find that it was a two-bedroom ONE-bath apartment. We questioned the owner, but she spoke little English, and I speak very little German. I wrote a review on VRBO regarding our experience, but VRBO refused to post my review, saying there was no indication I stayed in the apartment (this after the owner gave me a glowing "owner's report"). I escalated the issue with VRBO a month ago. VRBO assigned a case number, but I have heard nothing since. That's it: VRBO's been great in the past, but never again.
LAGUNA NIGUEL, NEW YORK -- My friends and I booked a 5 bedroom house with VRBO in December, 2017 for a wedding in August, 2018. Everything was paid in full and confirmed. 48 hours before we were due to arrive, VRBO contact us to let us know that there was a glitch in their system and the people currently renting the property had extended their stay so the house was no longer available. They offered us a 4 bedroom house from Saturday-Tuesday instead and not comping anything. We all arrive Friday morning for the wedding and now have nowhere to stay. All of the hotels are now exorbitantly expensive. I would stay away from VRBO at all costs - they do not honor reservations book 7 months in advance.
I have rented my vacation property through VRBO for years until they were bought by Expedia. They are now charging renters 5-15% booking fees and the homeowner 3% fees to transfer money into their account. These fees are ridiculous and corporate greed has ruined their company. I placed my property on HOME ESCAPE and they do not charge fees to renters for booking the property nor do they charge to transfer funds to the property owner. They allow the property owner to handle all of their own bookings and transactions if they choose to. They don't block the owner's or renter's phone number or email address.
HOME ESCAPE is currently offering homeowners to advertise their property for free if you call their toll free number. Otherwise it is only $199 annually versus the $500 charge by VRBO. I am confident that HOME ESCAPE will become the new VRBO as people are disgusted by their ridiculous fees and taking all control away from the owner.
HAWAII -- We rented our home, renter paid refundable damage deposit, then trashed our home seriously, so we held back the deposit, provided pictures, cleaners detail, there was felt pen drawings on the floor, felt pen marks on new furniture, all of this info provided to VRBO and get this: VRBO refunded the entire amount to the scofflaws. Microwave broken, missing remotes, stayed an extra 1/2 dayamazing... All of this documentation pictures etc provided within a timely manner.
We responded to the VRBO emails but they many times were to an expired email address. These folks are very dishonest. Run, don't walk away from VRBO, If you as an owner had similar experiences, please file complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, attorney generals office in Texas and your elected officials, Let's shut down this scam business!!!
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- We reserved a room in Puerto Vallarta 2 years ago in December. My husband had a ruptured gallbladder and we couldn't make it back until this April as they were booked up for 2017. We arrived and the room was NOT what it was suppose to be. The photos were old and it looked all new. The beds sagged and it was the worst vacation ever. The room was not spot on clean. It was dirty in the corners and just disgusting. Comfort level was a 2. Parties went on until 5AM and nothing was done about it. So much for those guards walking around. The Peacocks are beautiful (4 of them) but they holler all day and all night. It sounds like a cat that is being killed.
The people below us had a BBQ grill going (NOT allowed) and all the smoke came into our room. We called the owner, we called the front desk (Velas Vallarta) and finally after the 4th time decided we should call the fire Dept. It was the vacation from hell. We left early and went to another resort and now to write a bad review we know it will never be posted. THIS ISN'T RIGHT. We all should be able to hear the truth about these rooms, so we know better than to book them. I think it's time for our gov't to get involved. This isn't right.
If you are an owner, of a Vacation rental property and you want to advertise on VRBO, do yourself a favor and don't do it. (1) They charge travelers an onerous "Service Fee" for which the traveler receives no benefit. (2) The fee will increase the price of your stay to the point where your prices are no longer competitive. (3) They will strictly control your communication with guests lest the guest discovers a way to book the reservation without paying the fee.
(4) They will accuse you of violations of their Terms of Service even if you are strictly adhering to the rules. (5) Customer support is downright abusive. Imagine dealing with an IRS agent who believes you are a tax evader and you will get the image.
If you are a traveler, (1) there is no reason to book with VRBO. Do a little more legwork and you can find the same property for less on another site. (2) VRBO charges you a "Service Fee" even though they are not delivering a service. The owner of the property you are considering has already paid a fee to advertise their property on VRBO. (3) VRBO wants to handle your payments, even though they are completely unqualified to do so.
VRBO used to be an excellent site for advertising vacation rentals and facilitating direct communication between property owners and travelers. Those days are gone. Look for regionally-focused sites that are now catching on and are taking advantage of the dissatisfaction with VRBO.