HomeAway, a subsidiary of Expedia, was founded in 2004 as a place for homeowners to post their vacation rental homes. HomeAway does charge an annual fee for homeowners to post their homes and this fee makes up about 80% of their revenue. They also have an alternative posting option where homeowners can choose to give up 10% of the commission for each booking if they do not want to pay an annual fee. Since homeowners are paying the fees, travellers benefit since there are no fees added from booking with HomeAway. HomeAway introduced a referral network of about 40 companies where they support rental owners in managing their rentals, assist with reservations, and answer guest inquiries. HomeAway has also purchased about 20 different vacation rental sites and consolidated them onto the HomeAway site.
HomeAway has locations spread all over the world, and with an easy search bar travellers can quickly find the exact vacation home that they need for their perfect vacation. HomeAway has over 65 million travellers trafficking their sites each month and they offer a wide range of rental properties including from the lowest prices all the way up to high-end luxury rentals.
HomeAway allows travelers to book rental spaces online. Property owners are able to specify if they want to include a "Book It Now" button on their listing. This allows travelers to instantly book a property without having to contact the homeowner. For properties that don't include the "Book It Now" button, travelers must first contact the property owner through HomeAway or fill out the contact form in the right sidebar.
HomeAway is commonly known as one of Forbes' "Most Trustworthy Companies". HomeAway makes an extra effort to protect your payments by using a secure payment system that will protect you against fraudulent listings. This means that payments made through the secure HomeAway platform are protected up to $10,000 against fraud. Or an additional fee will protect you against other renting issues like double booking or security deposit issues. Here are some other things that HomeAway offers to protect your vacation rental purchase:
HomeAway has easy search options so you can find exactly where you want to stay and for exactly how long you want to stay there. HomeAway has over one million listings posted so you can easily find the perfect vacation home for your trip. This is what HomeAway supplies in order to assist with your booking needs:
HomeAway offers a wide range of properties, some are more affordable and some are luxury. All of these postings have absolutely no booking fees you can save on the cost of your vacation. For customers who use HomeAway Payments to accept and send online payment, Cancellation Protection is automatically included as an option on the HomeAway Payments payment page. For those who don't use HomeAway Payments, HomeAway offers Cancellation Protection, which safeguards the traveler's non-refundable payments in case they need to cancel their trip for a covered reason. Vacation rental payments typically become non-refundable 30-90 days before the arrival date.
Cancellation Protection Features:
Each property listing has customer reviews. Each review also has a star rating, so potential travelers can easily determine the quality of the rental without having to read through each review.
HomeAway has a mobile friendly site. The mobile site makes it easy to enter the desired location and dates on the landing page. The site's design also makes it simple to browse rental listings. HomeAway also has the "HomeAway & VRBO Vacation Rentals" free mobile app.
There are a few things that HomeAway could improve. Firstly, since this website is part of the HomeAway family of websites, the vacation rentals posted on this site are not exclusively posted on HomeAway. Most postings can be found on multiple websites, which means it's not that necessary to specifically visit HomeAway. Additionally, HomeAway offers multiple ways to protect your vacation plans against fraud or poor circumstances; however, most of their protection programs have a large extra fee attached. Here are a few things that are not so good abut HomeAway:
The biggest issue with HomeAway is the large fee associated with damage insurance, cancellation insurance, and the Carefree Rental Guarantee. These fees become exponentially larger depending upon the price of your total vacation. Make sure to use their fee calculator so see how expensive these add-ons would be for your vacation.
Another issue that customers have been commenting about is the fact that HomeAway charges a customer's credit card upon booking, but owners are not paid until renters are in the house. If customers go to cancel the rental, customer's will not be refunded certain fees. Most other companies refund these fees as a courtesy to renters if they have to cancel.
I have been waiting for 4 weeks to get a refund for a service charge as the Villa’s owner cancelled within 12 hours of the booking. The customer service is poor and slow and has stated that they made the refund but 10 days later informed me they had a system problem and had made the refund. Still no sign of the refund. I am concerned that they are in financial trouble and this is the reason the refund has not arrived.
I also was not allowed to post my review of a less-than-idea rental. They hide behind their rules' at all costs to protect their homeowners and give renters no ability whatsoever to leave a bad review. I requested' (I literally used the word requesting') a refund of part of my rental cost from the owner because the AC was not working properly in the middle of the summer in New Orleans!! HomeAway removed my review saying I attempted to blackmail' the owner out of money. Are you kidding me?!?! Seriously, do NOT use HomeAway. I never will again. Airbnb all the way from here on out. HomeAway disgusts me at this point. Totally biased to their homeowners. They do not care about your rental experience at all. I had to have one of our kids sleep on the living room floor for the first two nights because the AC was not working. Do you think HomeAway wanted to hear about that?!?! Nope!!! They completely took the homeowner at her word. They had no interest in my side of the story at all.
Dishonest company that will only let post good reviews Had a bad experience in The Loft, Brera, Milan, Italy Property ID Home Away is not allowing me the right to review this experience They do not want negative posts if you check only 5 star reviews are allowed to be posted Dishonest at all
We rented a property in Woodstock, NH during the week of the 4th of July. The posting for the property stated that the property owners “do not live on site, but do visit on weekends and are usually available at check in and check out.” We had the expectation of having the property to ourselves during the week. The property did not provide the quiet, secluded family time we had been expecting. During our weeklong stay, we had only one day of peaceful family time (and unfortunately by then our daughter had thought it best to take our young grandchildren elsewhere, away from dogs and construction). We checked in on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday the caretaker was walking through the property (including a visit to our “private” deck). On Monday the property owner began construction serenading us with the sound of hammering and a saw set up outside below our deck. On Tuesday my husband complained to the property owner in person. The construction continued through Wednesday when an outside construction crew showed up. My husband shared emails with the property owners wife via the Homeaway message system when she followed up on our in person communication with her husband. During these days we also had multiple visits from the property owners off-leash dog who was enjoying eating our grandchildren’s food. Their son was unsupervised and allowed to sit and stare at us playing with our grandchildren, walk through our gatherings and even sprayed my husband with a squirt gun. According to a communication with his mother Laura, he claimed to have been squirting into the lake, however this took place away from the waterside. On Friday, after being promised by the property owner that there would be no more construction, my daughter was blessed at 8:30 by the sound of the caretaker digging outside her window. He was wheeling a wheelbarrow from the front of the house, past our vehicles to behind the driveway. Later in the day a dump truck arrived and dropped off what sounded like gravel. At this point we had no interest in verifying the content. Obviously, this is not the experience we were expecting and to add injury to insult, the homeowner gave US a bad review out of spite because she knew we would give her an honest one. We were given 0 stars for cleanliness when we cleaned, swept, washed counters and sinks, made beds, cleaned the refrigerator and freezer, returned all outside chairs, boats, paddles, life preservers and toys to their appropriate location. I am not sure what more could have been done with the exception of remembering to push the start button on the dishwasher (we however were reimbursed our damage deposit even with the zero stars). They claim that we failed to follow house rules but did not give an explanation as to how and they claim we did not communicate with them. I can not prove that we followed house rules as that is akin to proving a negative. I do know that my son-in-law accidentally parked in what appeared to be a space off of the driveway and that we were told it was not and moved the vehicle. Additionally, we have the emails that clearly show there was communication regarding our dissatisfaction over their complete lack of respect for paying guests. We can also document the state of the house upon our departure as my we had come to the conclusion by our departure that we were not dealing with reputable property owners and felt it best to take pictures and videos. (Note: House rules state that renters should NOT strip the beds so they are only loosely made in order to insure they know which sheets were indeed used. The picture of the doorless closet is to document that we did indeed put fans away where they were found. Other items in closet are as we found them) At what point your property owners held accountable for demonstrating common courtesy to their guests? Yes, we could have called HomeAway during our trip, but what would that really have accomplished? Yes, we considered leaving the property with our daughter and grandchildren but again, what would that have accomplished? We do not feel it should have been necessary to ask in advance if there would be any kind of work being done on the house or property during our vacation (it would seem to be a given that vacationers renting this type of property are looking and paying for a quiet, secluded time). Nor does it seem reasonable to ask if the property owner will have a dog off leash or an unsupervised child. Their posting states that the homeowners may be present on the weekend. That is very different that activity through the week. A complaint was filed with HomeAway. When asked the status of the complaint they stated that they forwarded it to the homeowner but do not get involved. Obviously this was not helpful.
You will use this company at your own peril. I have made a booking on a HTTPS Homeawy website. Showed up at the apartment which was occupied by a home owner. Have been conned by a person who has penetrated the Homeaway website. Calling Homeway who flatly refuse to assist, offer no apology and leave me to deal with the police. Can not speak to any senior person in the call centre as they "do not make calls to customers" So happy that the call was monitored for quality purpose... Your call... Please do not ever use this site. Cannot be 100% trusted. Use AirBnB instead.
CHEATS AND FRAUDS!! BEWARE OF HOMEAWAY AND VRBO!! I recently booked a 4 bedroom luxury apartment in London on HomeAway. I was travelling with my husband and 3 kids.. the youngest being only 5 months old! Upon full payment and agreement of how and when we'll meet our host, all through Homeaway, imagine our horror when we realized THE APARTMENT DID NOT EXIST AT ALL!! The address given to us was an office space for rent. We immediately contacted HomeAway, but instead of putting us up elsewhere or refunding our money, they kept transferring our call from one customer care representative to another.. all to no avail. Finally, they contacted me through email only to tell me that they had nothing to do with the booking I had made and the site I had gone through was fake! Well that's rubbish!! They insist that my booking invoice is from a fake website impersonating them and not from their 'real' website. So I asked them for their 'real' official website... and guess what.. IT IS THE SAME WEBSITE!! NO DIFFERENCE!! I would still make my bookings from there if i didn't know better! But they mindlessly insist it's not the same! What a joke!! ( can't post the two links coz trustpilot doesn't allow it) Also, they have made no attempts to catch the culprits or stop them in anyway. Should they not be concerned if there's a parallel website (like they claim) that's cheating their innocent clients in their name?? All the urls, domains and logos are identical on every bit of correspondence I've had with the impersonators. There is absolutely no way of knowing if you're dealing with homeaway or the frauds. Yet, Homeaway is doing nothing about it.. all HomeAway is concerned with is trying to wash their hands clean off the case so they don't have to refund my money. DO NOT USE HOMEAWAY. Use any other site! Having a website that's not trustworthy is as bad as being a company that's not trustworthy!! And by the way, on their so called official website, I CAN STILL SEE THE FRAUDULENT LISTINGS!! And they're just waiting for some innocent client to fall into the trap!! BEWARE!!!
Very deceptive practices. I booked and paid for a room on homeaway after 5 attempts. That booking was cancelled by homeaway. I re-booked it, and paid for it. same unit same days. the next day got a request for payment, then another 2 days later. Having had multiple issues trying to pay, I assumed that it was not booked. after all, I was still being asked to pay for something that had to be available [or I wouldn't have been asked to pay] wasn't I. I booked an airbnb for the same period with tremendous ease. Homeaway refuses to accept that there are issues with their system and refuses to budge on a refund for a room that i never used. I call that deceptive.
We had a wonderful weekend the apartment had everything we needed.. The quality of the apartment and everything in it was just like home from home, it was clean and everything was supplied to make our stay away very relaxing. The views from the balcony were beautiful and it was so nice being able to have breakfast out there.... Eve was very helpful and a mind of useful information and a very nice friendly lady nothing was too much trouble for her. Thank you.
Stay away if you don't want to lose your money! You pay a large deposit months before you intend to travel and it's up to the property owner if they will pay it back to you. In our case property owner claimed some damage (scratch on the wall) which has been there before we moved in (in fact there were lots of scratches on walls and the property was in need of refurbishment). Customer service is not helpful at all. I have complained about a lot of things (like constantly disappearing electricity) and asked for compensation, but they didn't want to hear it. They said it's up to the owner who didn't want to hear either. Basically the property owner can do some work to their property and make you pay for it by not giving the deposit back. Home Away just take a large fee from you and if you've got a problem they wash their hands of.
I am an owner. HomeAway uses Yapstone for payments. Yapstone doesn't pay. First I was told my listing was deactivated (I pay HA $500 a year to keep it active so this smelled of fraud).then that "underwriters" were reviewing it (I would of thought my $500 got me past this step). In the end after numerous disagreeable calls and many minutes on hold the money came through--four weeks late. I thought what I would do if the same happened for the guests second, much larger, payment and cancelled the reservation. I told the guest why and have answered inquiries since with the same story.
Most rentals either have no cancellation fee or at the most a 10-20% if done greater than 3 months prior to date. This place is charging 50%. They will not only be able to rent the apartment due to the high season dates BUT ALSO pocket the 50% fee as pure profit. This is total greed and extremely poor customer service.
I booked Meadow View House (Listing 6507122) on HomeAway for a weekend away with my mum and the family. She has a brain tumour, time is limited and we wanted to spend some quality time with her on mother's day weekend - I would like to add that the Dr said she was fit to travel at the time of booking. I made the owner aware of this at the time of booking and she very quickly accepted the booking and my £850! Unfortunately, my mums symptoms worsened and she was admitted to hospital 11 days after booking and roughly 7 days before we were due to travel. With this I quickly emailed the owner and called HomeAway to explain the situation and see if there was an opportunity to get some money back under the circumstances. As you can imagine a stressful time enough! The owner very quickly referred to her 'no cancellation' policy and after some messages agreed to re-advertise the booking. HomeAway and the owner Ellen have even refused to refund the cleaning costs - NOBODY WAS AT THE PROPERTY! I would avoid this company like the plague as they lack compassion and have are devoid of any empathy. Even their response to my emails have been lacking and have required chasing to get a response. I will be taking this further but I wanted to share my honest opinion of this company before you book and PLEASE go to more reputable businesses that are willing to go the extra mile when times are tough rather than being passed between the owner of the property and Home Away.
The rating should be zero or even negative. Where do I start... 1. You cannot change the reservation online. You "request" a change. It not automated. It takes days and quite a lot of effort to accomplish it. You have to communicate with property owners, and it takes DAYS, sometimes many days. You can get a runaround: the property manager sends you to HomeAway customer support and they send you back to the property owner. 2. Same deal with canceling your reservation (I am talking about the case when you have the right to do it) . You "request" the property owner to do it, and it takes DAYS. 3. Same with getting a refund. 4. The customer service is virtually useless. All they do is sending "courtesy" notes to the property owner. Avoid at all cost. AirBNB, for instance, is centuries ahead.
HomeAway forces owners and renters to use their on-line payment system, of course so they can get their hands not only on the owners pockets, but also in the unsuspecting travers's. They claim is all about the safety and security of the travelers. BS! It's all about greed! To me as an owner, they are the worst racketeer! Traveler, if you want to save money, don't use any of these big guys. Use them if you like to find the property you like, then find a poc for that property somewhere else, and do business with them directly! Get the middle man out! You and the owner will appreciate it!
Do not use HomeAway to rent your apt or home. I used them and after renting to Russians, the renters pretended they never rented and their Russian bank debited the rental fees from my bank!!! All with HomeAway saying nothing. It was impossible to speak with them or get any help. They are truly awful and you risk a lot by using them.
I have rented three properties over the past 4 years. One was a great experience all around. The other two have been nightmares. Landlords charging for damage that did not occur, stating rules were broken when they were never mentioned or part of the overall agreement. Now, we have fraud charges being made on our credit card from the landlords so we've had to shut down our credit card and file with the BBB and our bank. HomeAway/VRBO has done nothing to help in either case it has been our responsibility to fight the landlords. The first time we were able to work things out with the landlord only because we left a scathing review. This time VRBO shut us down and will not allow us to post our review and warn future renters of the unethical behaviors going on.
We were renting a House in Pennsylvania for one week through the HomeAway and had some issues with Landlords. Please be aware that according to Home Away policy you can't publish your review on their site if your didn't publish it within 2 weeks after the Landlord rated you as a Tenant. And Landlords knows about this. We had a disagreement on some issues with Landlord and were waited for some time to get a receipt from Landlod. Two weeks almost passed and in the last day when I found about this stupid policy I did send a request for the link to publish my review. I didn't get the link. The answer was that you need to PUBLISH your review in 2 weeks not request it. And you need to get a link from the LANDLORD!!!!! If landlord knows that I will post a bad review what do you think they will send me a link???? They will do anything to pass these two weeks and that you never get opportunity to post your review! Please be aware about these HomeAway policy! Of course, bad reviews can hurt their business!!!And this is our review that we can't publish on HomeAway: Our family of 5 adults and 2 children were renting this house( 11 Key Glen, Albrightsville PA 18210 -VRBO #512353) on the Independence Day week. The house is roomy, 2 TV's, a pool table downstairs, a hot tub, equipped kitchen...We did enjoy the lake, fresh air. Instructions from the owners were very detailed. However, a few things left us very upset. First, when we came, the house was clean, except the outside deck, especially by the sliding door area. Be careful around the outside lighting fixtures. They are installed too low and we bumped our heads against them a few times. Also, in the middle of our stay, I found an empty cigarette pack under the chest in m/bedroom. And we do not smoke. The owners gave very detailed instructions about the comforters, especially the one in the m/bedroom (because this one can be only dry cleaned). When entering the m/bedroom, I noticed that this king size comforter was all in stains. Looks like these stains were not from one previous stay but at least a few...Then, the frame of one picture on the wall on the first floor was completely broken and it was dangerously hanging. Because we had small children and the picture had glass, I immediately emailed Judy (the owner) about this and sent her pictures. Next day my son went to the main shower, and when he turned water on, the shower head fell down. The shower head was a snap-on type, and when I looked at it, I noticed a crack inside the shower head body. So somebody before us broke it and snapped it back on, knowing that it will not stay and will fall again. I immediately sent Judy another email with a picture again. She replied that her manager would stop by tomorrow. Next day a woman came, took the comforter to dry clean, told me that "her people didn't notice those stains" and replaced the shower head. OK. Next day my son came to me telling me the toilet downstairs was not working. I came downstairs, opened the toilet tank and saw that the plastic arm inside the tank was broken. So, a picture and an email were sent again. Judy replied that tomorrow (Thursday) the manager would come again. We were at home next day, nobody came. Friday nobody was there too. Friday evening I emailed again. No answer. We paid pretty good money for the convenience of a big house, and this was not very convenient to run in the middle of the night to the toilet upstairs. In two weeks, the owners were supposed to return our security deposit. A few days after our vacation ended, I received an email from Judy saying that the cleaning people could not find one comforter form the downstairs bedroom, and that they searched the house a few times and still couldn't find it. I answered that the comforter should be in the bedroom because we covered the both beds. Even if it was misplaced, it should be in the house somewhere. In approximately two weeks I received an email from Judy that she was going to deduct $76 form our security deposit for the missing comforter. After a few back and forth emails, in which she wrote that we should feel lucky that she didn't charge us for the broken shower head and toilet, I asked her to send us a copy of the receipt for the purchase of the new comforter. We never received it. Now I am thinking about two possibilities: either the cleaning people took or ruined the comforter, or the owners decided to cover their expenses for the repairs by charging us $76. Being labels comforter thieved left a bitter taste after our vacation at this house. Please be advised that you as a tenant don't have any right. You can be accused of anything. To our surprise, the owners gave us a good star rating on this website.
This i the worst company I have ever dealt with. You guys really do not know what you are doing. Here is a review posted by a person we have had no dealing with or had reservation with and they are able to post a review because your front line idiots say that since it was posted from a travelers account there was nothing we can do. So what I am understanding now is that anyone that we had no dealing with can post a review. This is a bunch off crap and it is very clear that Homeaway does not know how to operate a business. First you make it mandatory for owners posting on your website to use your payment system and when crooks use your site to make reservations, stay at the property and then dispute the charge that Homeaway processed Homeaway wimps out and throws the owner under the bus. Your business model is totally fake and only designed for Homeaway to make money so it basically is a tool for crooks to use because it is now very well known with all the charge backs that I see owners complaining about and Homeaway not changing its policy and protecting the home owners from these losses I will not be surprised when Homeaway's business starts to decline and it will eventually go out of business. Unless you change your policies and start guaranteeing payments to owners why should anyone trust Homeaway and the reservations they provide. It is nothing but a hassle. So good luck with your business. We will not be using your services anymore and enjoy the negative publicity.
Rented 7 perkins ave, unit 3 and had to leave due to loss of power and sparking panel..despite all the amenities shown that were not there and cottage wasn't clean upon arrival. Beware of renting from Matt croteau. trying to get in touch with owner
They don't know anything about the people they get you in touch with rent you a propriety. They just list it all Fake and real (if any is real). Booked through Homeway and when I traveled to the property with my family , the property was already rented to someone else. Called HA, Called the Police and filled a report. HW keep asking me all these kind of question and they new nothing about the real owner of that property. wasted my money and my time trying to get a refund but noooooooh they refused. NEVER NEVER NEVER again use HomeAway for anything. YOU BEEN WARNED HERE....it should be called StayAway not HomeAway.
I booked the apartment on Homeaway website. I was charged with first payment even though the owner didin't confirm booking. So Homeaway canceled my reservation but I received only a part of my payment - without VAT and reservation fees which were charged by HomeAway. Homeaway wrote that the owner had my money,. The owner showed me the photo as a proof that he got only part of the payment. He wrote to Homeaway. They didin't answer. I wrote again and didn't got any response. After 2 weeks I wrote that I was filing an official complaint about HomeAway to the Better Business Bureau. Victory - they wrote They'd give me the rest of money. - without any explanation. Never ever booking on Homeaway website
Totally out of date. Their ratings on Trustpilot etc are disastrous now. They charge 6% +VAT to travellers despite previous promises. The Customer Service is virtually unreachable. The utter distain and contempt for owners and travellers is completely beyond belief. if you can get through to them, you won't get a reply within any reasonable timeframe. Why is this Forbes rating still visible?
I have just booked with HomeAway and was charged 6% booking fees, so it's not free.
Used to be very good but now just interested in squezeing as much as they can out of the homowners and also the renters, would not bother advertising with them if you are expecting good results and the advert to be profitable, just shocking how much this company has gone downhill in the last few months since being taken over
Once a good company to advertise a holiday home (I have used them since 2006) - now dreadful. They have tried to push home owners to use their payment services for years, and now they suddenly charge travellers a fee for paying via HomeAway. Rental enquiries have been dropping for years - they have a well-deserved awful reputation. To avoid like the plague!!
I am a rental house owner. HomeAway deactivated our listings last Friday afternoon without any warning. In an e-mail after the fact, HomeAway stated that our listing "contains messaging directing travelers to pay offline to avoid our online secure booking checkout system in violation of our content guidelines." That statement was incorrect on two facts: we only advised travelers that there were options available; and once I was able to find a working link to their "content guidelines" I found no such restriction. (I did print out the guidelines in case they try to alter them later.) Nevertheless we deleted the wording immediately and asked for our listing to be reactiavted. However, their "special team" that handles such cases conveniently does not work on weekends, so our listhings have been missing all weekend and as of Tuesday noon only one has been re-activated. Every time we call they inform us that they can't estimate when our case will be reviewed. It is extremely frustrating. We have been among their top 5% earners for 9 years now and introduced many guests to their site, this is how we are rewarded? We have demanded a refund of our subscription for the time lost, but that is probably a hopeless cause. I have also suggested that they make their services optional, like HA's trip insurance used to be. I let them know that we've had several guests state that although they have been using HomeAway/VRBO for years (one since the 90s), they will be looking elsewhere in the future; there is a deep-seated animosity to the Ticketmaster business model. If travelers truly value their services, they will opt-in. But again, this seems a lost cause. We feel that HomeAway/Expedia doesn't care about owners any more because basically they feel they don't need to. It is time for us to find other websites with some owner focus. We are joining HomeEscape.