Founded in 1995, Vrbo assists vacationers in finding accommodations through local homeowner properties. Vrbo has locations spread all over the world with an easy search bar so travelers can easily find the exact vacation home that they need for their perfect vacation. As part of the Expedia Group, Vrbo gets over 750 million views per month. Vrbo offers a wide range of rental properties in 190 countries including the lowest prices all the way up to high-end luxury rentals.
Vrbo has a variety of options for travelers. Each rental owner determines the price to rent his or her space, so prices will vary based on location, amenities, size, condition, etc. Vrbo rentals are available throughout the United States and in 190 countries around the world. An email and phone number are provided for each property owner, so travelers can speak directly with the property owner before they book or during the booking process. With the phone number, travelers are also given the best time to reach the property owner along with the languages they speak. Emails go through Vrbo.com.
Reservations are made through Vrbo.com. Travelers have the option of clicking the "Book It" button after their dates are selected to reserve the space. Or travelers can choose to email or call the rental owner for more information.
Vrbo offers cancellation protection through a HomeAway partner, CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services. This service 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 has customer reviews listed under their rental descriptions. 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. Additionally, any 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.
Vrbo 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. Vrbo also has the "HomeAway & Vrbo Vacation Rentals" free mobile app. Users are given the option to view the app when they visit the mobile site.
Vrbo has many negative customer reviews about things like poor customer service and excessive fees. Both customers renting from Vrbo and homeowners listing with the site have written complaints. Many homeowners complain about new changes under Expedia's ownership. They complain about higher fees, more control by Vrbo, booking problems, etc. Renters complain about higher fees, booking errors, cancellation problems, and unresponsive or helpful customer service.
Overall, there are quite a few things that Vrbo could improve on. The biggest issue with Vrbo is the extra fees. There is a high service fee and fees associated with damage insurance, cancellation insurance, and the Carefree Rental Guarantee.
Another issue that customers have been commenting about is the fact that Vrbo 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, customers will not be refunded certain fees. Most other companies refund these fees as a courtesy to renters if they have to cancel. Make sure to use the Vrbo fee calculator to see how expensive these add-ons would be for your vacation.
Buyer beware Just bad service, dishonest, and theifs. Lighthouse 309 property owner kept part of my damage deposit although there was no damage. Claimed he deserved it for credit card fees. VRBO had a 100% damage fee guarantee and written policies that the damage deposit was only for damage. They did not honor their guarantee and would not return calls or emails. They should be avoided.
we booked a condo for this summer and were appalled by the higher fees they are charging for the "booking fee". Really?
I have started doing business with VRBO in 2006. They used to be great but once Homeaway bought them, they went down the tubes. Every time I have to phone them, it's a minimum 30 minutes on the phone which included the time you must wait to get to a live human.
I am a property owner, listed a unit with VBRO, HOMEAWAY.....the first of March. Half the time out of 74 units @ this complex only 37 show up. Mine being one not showing up, my reviews, reservations..... do not show @ anytime. I have had 4 other Gulf Front condo that were rented about 90% of the time. I spend hours on the phone daily (sometimes more than once a day) I have not had one single inquiry, much less a reservation. I have peak times on a 3 bedroom, 3 bath Oceanfront unit that has not rented - because of this business (businesses)
Could not cancel or get a refund even hours after making a booking at the wrong date and location. The "customer service" sends emails signed with first names only and no phone number. Long waits on the phone. emails saying a refund was happening and then nothing-this happened twice. They should not allow advertisers to have a no refund no cancellation policy. I was not aware this existed as all the other rentals I had arranged had a deposit. Lost $1,000 that was never returned. Will never rent from VRBO again.
1. VRBO fees are just horrendous- I've listed my house on VRBO and AIRBnB and it's 10% vs. 3% so for the same time period my house was rented VRBO charged my 300$ vs AirBnb's 95$. Same for the Travelers/guests- AIRBnb charges 3 x less! 2. VRBO's calculations that I get as the owner are so convoluted and confusing and nothing adds up, that I am sure it is done on purpose to confuse owners, as you would have to call VRBO every time to have it explained to you. I'm sure they want the fees to appear very 'professional' with many fancy words that actually mean nothing, it's a way to justify outrageous charges! 3. LACK OF SECURITY FOR OWNERS- the number FAKE requests and scam requests I get from the VRBO website (mainly from UK) is around 60-70% of all requests!! VRBO can implement a very simple procedure to verify the guests but they will not- I actually asked them about it as you have to waste time investigating the guests yourself all the time, and VRBO replied " We just want your business(money), we are not here to protect you, you have to do that yourself' ! I actually have this in writing when they emailed me back!! (AirBnb has a very simple method- phone # verification by the system, and a VISIBLE to owner guest's profile with a picture and any previous reviews, and a short bio. Works like a charm) ***I HAVE NEVER gotten even 1 fake request from AirBnb, but about 25 from VRBO in this past year! **** I have a couple of guests booked from VRBO for this year (80 % of guests are coming from AirBnb anyway) so after that i will be cancelling my account with them. I hope their abhorrent business practices will be their demise. If you want a great experience as a Host or Traveler/Guest- use AirBnb! Fantastic, friendly and inexpensive. I can see why they took over the market so fast. VRBO is just a greedy, hungry business. Sylvie, Canada
I've been a host for several years, and sometimes a guest too of online vacation rentals. Even though I list my properties on both airbnb & VRBO, I'd never book through VRBO as a guest, for VRBO is too greedy & charges too much from both the guest and the owner. I, as many other hosts/owners, have to increase the rates on VRBO for the same property to make it even. Generally, airbnb charges about 13% as its total service fees, while VRBO charges 19~20%. Plus, VRBO also charges $399US for annual subscription. Unbelievable high fees, comparing to its long waiting call centre and almost non-existing service. Also, VRBO pays out very slowly. My last guest checked in a week ago, & I still haven't seen a penny in my account. Had to call in and was told it'll be next week that I may see funds transferred into my account. Oh, my!
I filed a formal property complaint with VRBO (the house I rented for two weeks was filthy and full of bugs) and all they did was send the complaint to the owner. I don't feel this is an adequate way of dealing with this. The owner has done nothing about the complaint. I would expect VRBO to do something more in this situation.
I booked with VRBO and was not pleased. I left a review and they would not post it. Please see below. Thank you for submitting your review. Unfortunately, it needs a little bit of work before we can post it to our site. The reason we are currently unable to approve it is listed below. Please revise your review so that it meets our content guidelines, which you can see here. When you're done you can resubmit it by clicking the button below. •Your submission contains questionable or inappropriate content. Review #16661412 “Immaculate, Gorgeous Villa! Min. to Disney! Great Amenities! Dec. Spcl $70 night” ★ This was the worst Christmas holiday vacation ever. We had reserved a minivan that was not available so we had to get two cars. There are 8 of us in a townhome, 5 adults 3 boys ages 4 and 5. We arrived at Seven Dwarfs Villa and there is no guard at the guards desk. So we call the owner and she is very helpful in helping locate the unit, but assumes we have company because of the two cars. We immediately go grocery shopping as a way to save money. We cooked something daily. We drove to Daytona beach and had great time. We experienced Magic Kingdom for New Years which was magical. We stayed 4 nights 3 days. On our last morning we all get up early and began vacuuming, pulling trash and pulling linen. I started a load of laundry as per instruction. Everyone is aware of my deposit so we all pitched in to tidy up the place. (which was not in the instructions). We had groceries left and decided to cook before we left as to not waste food. When I get home I got a disturbing email from owner that say "My housekeeper almost fell because there is so much grease on the floors and walls. I may have to charge you for extra cleaning." The owner states that her housekeeper has pictures that she will send me. I get the pictures 7 days later. The first thing that gets my attention is the trash because my husband took the trash to the dumpster, by the car wash as we left for the airport. Very suspicious. The contract read that normal wear and tear is acceptable. However most of the pictures that are sent are of soiled linen. Again there are 8 of us. If we had not tidied up the place I would say ok, but we did and this has me very upset. There were no instructions as to cleaning the linen or we would have. The owner kept my deposit, for "extra cleaning" of her own linen. I think that if she really has a housekeeper, that they are running a scam on families for "Extra Cleaning". I own two homes I have a housekeeper and when I pay her to clean, she cleans. Renters beware. I have rented vacation homes 2 other times and have never experienced anything like this. If you have children or wear makeup you would be better off at a hotel. I thought damage would be something broken or missing. This really put a damper on what was otherwise a great holiday. The owner assumes that I'm also stupid but I am filing a small claims against her. This is not acceptable. I want my deposit back as I kept my end of the agreement. BEWARE
VRBO/Home Away has deteriorated since Expedia bought them! They also held onto money from a property that I was declined. After an hour and a half on the telephone they gave me a "confirmation number" to cancel the payment. When I called the bank they said the company would have to contact them or fax the cancellation. I didn't get the money returned until I filed a formal complaint.
Sarah Jane Park
I attempted to book a VRBO rental yesterday. When I went to pay, it repeatedly declined my credit card and said to check it and my billing address and resubmit. I phoned up VRBO Customer service, was told to contact my credit card company because the issue lay with them. The credit card company's agent confirmed that there was no error their end so together, she and I phoned back VRBO Customer Support. In total I believe I spent two hours yesterday, and a further two hours today trying to just *pay* to book the rental, without success. It seems VBRO outsources their customer support to a contact centre in the Philippines. Their agents are basically trained to read off a script. If you inquire as to what the problem might be, their answer is, 'I suggest you try to book again in an hour or I can transfer you to the payment processing dept.' When you get transferred to that dept, they claim nothing is wrong their end and transfer you back to customer support. When you ask to speak to a supervisor, none are available. They do not notify you that they will be placing you on hold, they just do it, so you are left wondering whether you have been disconnected or are still on the line. On the last occasion I spoke to a VBRO agent, they concluded that 'a few travelers have been experiencing payment issues and it is something to do with our system.' When she came back on the line, however, she contradicted herself and said I must have typed in a number or letter wrong on my billing address. All told, this company cannot solve customer issues, nor are they apologetic at all, nor do they care about earning your business or making the customer happy. This was my first, and undoubtedly my last, time using them. Back to airbnb!
I have advertised on VRBO for 10 years. Up till last year I was a happy with their services. I have homes in South Carolina and on the coast of Florida listed on VRBO. Now VRBO, is double dipping by charging the owner a listing fee and the renter a 4% to 10% fee. They are forcing all owners to use their online booking or risk being delisted or put to the bottom of the list of homes. Worse yet they have added hundreds of homes to a search area which has nothing to do with the community. I complained to them I had been a loyal client for 10 years and they were listing properties above mine. When adding the service fee VRBO stated they would be enhancing services. I have spoken with them several times and was put on hold 50 minutes to finally get voicemail. I tried twice and left 2 messages however they never called me back. VRBO's service has definitely gotten worst. VRBO simply didn't care what I had to say and can care less about servicing their clients. Unfortunately, it was not always like this. They did manage to contact me to renew my subscriptions.
I was a host with VBRO from July to September 2015. VBRO charges hosts hundreds of dollars annually in order to be able to use Pay Pal (which is free to them), or hosts and guests must use their YAPSTONE payment server. As we were just getting our hosting business started we went with their default payment server YAPSTONE. VBRO mandates hosts' full social security number, birthdate, bank routing & account & debit card numbers, phone & address: EVERYTHING. There were two VBRO/YAPSTONE security breaches in August, which we were not informed of until mid-October, and even then only some people got letters whose information was hacked. All personal and banking information were taken by the hackers from thousands of VBRO accounts. Never-the-less VBRO insisted that they did not need to upgrade their security, bor change their payment server, nor would they waive their fee for using PayPal to those whose information had been stolen. YAPSTONE never responded at all despite letters, emails, & they do not post phone # anywhere, nor would VBRO givve out that info. There were two more breaches in the next two months which their some of VBBRO's employees admitted to but then subsequently their managers lied & said that the employees were mistaken. We had to change our banks, accounts, and debit cards 4 times due to fraudulent charges from these VBRO security breaches. Only those VBRO assigned accounts & debit cards were compromised each time.
Had a vacation rental booked 10 months in advanced to travel with my family of 7 to New Orleans for Halloween. On the shuttle ride to the property I notice that I have an email stating that the reservation had been cancelled due to an electrical issue at the property. I contact VRBO to find out what are they going to do to help me? They told me that they have on a certain budget to work within and that they could my family up in a hotel for the night 30 miles away from where we were suppose to be and that I was on my own to try and find a place to stay for the duration of the trip. I was a stranded traveler with a party of 7 (my family) and this is their policy. BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE of using this company and please have a back-up plan for yourself if you decide to use them.
They are forcing homeowners to collect booking fees. I renewed my listing on Sept 23 and paid $499 fee which is premium for NOT using their booking system. On Nov 1 I received notice that my listing was removed because of too few booking . So, they charged me extra for not using booking and yet removed my listing because I do not use their booking.
Aggressive business practices mean both owners & renters should stay away from these folks. Besides charging owners exorbitantly to advertise, they also charge guests large service fees to book - and more importantly, some of those fees are not transparent (e.g. they unilaterally increase the owner's published rental rates with their own surcharge). Long & short of it: avoid 'em! Stick with thoughtful companies with win-win business practices like Airbnb or cottagesincanada.com.
The folks at VRBO are as dumb as dirt. Despite being told that I had closed the credit card which I used to pay my refundable security deposit, they refunded the money to a closed account. Their response? Speak to your bank. What bank -- the flipping account is closed?!? They've made their stupid "rules" (they're very big on repeating themselves about their rules) my problem. I will NEVER use them again -- they don't have two thoughts to rub together and they're as customer unfriendly as it gets.
if you are an owner they will mess with the map searching and placement for search of your home. after our year is up we will NOT renew. we have found AirBnB to be much better - more bookings for us and the placement on the search and map listing is fair. NOT so with VRBO and they won't listen to you or fix the errors - really, really poor customer service. There are better options out there for owners. And now they double dip and get money from BOTH the owner and the guest.
Since you deleted my friends review from your Facebook page the next best place to go for a FAIR review would be your own page. I had a friend get married and book her condo with this service. She paid for a condo with the beach front access; however, upon arrival she realized that their was construction that did not allow said beach front access resulting in not ever stepping foot on the property she rented!! After trying to get ahold of the property manager without success, go figure, she tried once returning home to give them one last chance to rectify the situation and they blew her off, yet again. So, she left a review on their Facebook page which they promptly deleted and then emailed her saying she was no longer eligible to post a review on the page because she was 'blackmailing' and 'attempting to extort' the property managers for money!! Not telling a renter that they won't get what they paid for and then ignoring them when they are trying to get to the bottom of the situation IS EXTORTION!! She NEVER asked for money, only to speak with someone that could fairly address the situation. Be careful when renting from this company because they do NOT provide what they promised, nor do they want the public to know about it, hence deleting her comment from Facebook. OH DID I MENTION THAT SHE RENTED THE PROPERTY FOR HER WEDDING!!??
Up till last year I was a happy homeowner who advertised on VRBO. I have a home on the coast of Florida. Now VRBO, or more to the point their executive management has completely lost it, They are forcing all of us to use their online booking or risk being delisted, and charging our renters with additional fees that provide no real value. Worse yet they have added hundreds of homes to a search area which has nothing to do with our community. We have spoken with them several times and they simply don't care what we have to say.
Julia Kay Grace
Five years ago, VRBO. provided a listing service used by owners of residences to locate vacationers and other itinerant tenants who sought our vacation homes. It provided space on the VRBO site to post several to a dozen or more photos of the premises; detailed description of the location, and conditions to rent such as, "no smoking", "no pets," "not suitable for children." It also helped owners provide a list of rents, based on season of the year, holiday times, and duration of the rental period, usually from per day, to per month. Owners preparing their listings were invited to "check off" such amenities as appliances on site, proximity to waterfront, extent of furnishings supplied, proximity to sporting opportunities and equipment suppliers, and to performance venues like movies and live theater, and distance to the nearest bar or tavern, among others. Would-be vacationers would contact us owners by site-based email, inquire about availability and verify (or seek to negotiate) rates and make arrangements with each owner to reserve and pay. A few years ago VRBO and HomeAway combined their efforts, and classifications of owners' listings were established: e.g. classic, silver, gold, platinum featuring more photographs and charging higher fee to the listing owner. There were also, "featured listings" inaugurated, which charged a fee for an owner's property to be "featured" at the top of the list of properties for the town or other designation like "neighborhood" or "borough" in some locations. Travelers looking to rent a vacation property used the straightforward location system to find properties that might be available. Occasionally, people posing as vacationers looking for a house to rent would try to scam owners to defraud them by bad checks and variations on that. We chose to use Paypal to put a barricade between us and our vacationing renters. It has worked perfectly. VRBO/HomeAway won't let owners choose Paypal, but insist on access to bank account information in full together with right to withdraw money from such bank account. Owners paid an annual fee to be on the listing, added fees from year to year or month to month as VRBO/HomeAway encouraged owners to compete for more inviting and conspicuous listings. Last year, they began to charge a fee above the rents set by owners. Now, VRBO/HomeAway are pressuring owners to give them the funds charged for rent to hold until the travelers get to the property. They describe it as enhancing "safety" and promise that it makes it much easier for travelers to book vacation homes they want for their trips. Complaints on the internet have reported waiting for weeks to receive the rents after the travelers arrived and departed. I don't have personal experience with that, but have chosen not to participate, preferring the "Classic" manner of listing with VRBO. Now, our property is buried in what appears to be a constantly shifting format for finding our listing. VRBO claims to be "matching" searchers for property with owners of vacation homes. But a first-try to find our place by searching as though we were prospects, turned up a list of commercial hotel listing websites, and a "search" engine that seemed daunted by terms that had quickly resulted in finding our place using the old paradigm the had in place before. We're quite soured by now, only a couple months after we renewed for another year, because the expressions of interest have slowed to nil, and that seems almost inevitable in the current set up that travelers now confront.
A year ago I would have rated VRBO a 10. Due to their policy changes, large fees and trying to take over every owner's business they are not a lousy company. They had a very successful business model of charging basically an advertising fee. Owners loved it. Now they have irritated almost all of the owners, but many of us are captive at least for now until there are competitors like Air BnB that become popular enough that we can afford to abandon VRBO.
SCAMMED OUT OF $2,080.00!!! Rented through VRBO. We were looking to get away on a mini-vacation retreat and wanted to go to a secluded remote area to get away the stresses of everyday life. This property owner of the unit ended up "scamming" us out of $2,000.00 Owner was NOT forthcoming with information about his property. Nowhere on the property listing on the VRBO website does it state that there are surveillance cameras INSIDE and outside the property! A mini vacation in a secluded area to get away was set, at least that's what we thought, until we found out "BIG BROTHER" would be monitoring our every move! Once property owner received the payment in FULL ($2,000.00) information in regards to the cameras INSIDE and outside the property was disclosed. Property owner does not see an issue with the cameras, that he stated he uses to monitor the guests. What he does with the footage who knows; uploads it online?; uses it for sexual gratification?!?!...who knows. After discussing concerns with property owner, the owner agreed to issue a "partial" refund. However, the property owner then recanted and is refusing to issue a refund. Terrible customer service. Property owner is difficult to engage with and is not trust worthy. Potential renters be warned! Then, we escalated the issue to VRBO for assistance. However, VRBO does not see the issue with the surveillance camera's and how it is an invasion of privacy. If the camera information was disclosed on the listing or prior to payment we would have never entered into an agreement to rent. VRBO stated that they would be unable to assist us further in resolving this concern. We purchased "trip protection insurance" through the VRBO website for $80.00. After contacting the insurance we were told that the "reason" we canceled is not covered under the trip protection insurance. The insurance stated that they are unable to assist us further in resolving this issue. After everything we paid $2,080.00 for a trip that never happened and no kind of support from VRBO, the trip protection insurance, or from the property owner. There is currently no kind of resolution being offered and we are still out $2,080.00. Very dissatisfied. We paid for a service we never received.
Since new ownership of the company....EXHORBITANT FEES are now being charged on top of the yearly listing fees !!....I am dropping out of the program after 8 years....BYE VRBO!
VRBO was great until it was bought by Expedia last year. We own a cottage and had lots of inquiries.....we have a 5 star average review score. This year, without any warning, they started charging renters a fee on top of the subscription that we owners pay. In order to collect this, they pressure the owners to enable online booking. I will not allow online booking and my punishment is to be listed at the end of the search results. I have gone from an average of 450 views per month to well under a hundred and my inquiries have all but dried up. I will not be renewing my subscription and will be switching, probably to Vacation Home Rentals.
VRBO does in fact charge a service fee to renters. Owners pay as well to advertise. What a rip-off
I get the fact that properties are rented but when you put a date range in and it comes up available and you get a confirmation number I would think all so I'll be well. Nope not the deal very poor site and will not use it ever again. Come on if a property is rented take it off the site, that's only fair to those if us looking right? Crappy first experience and last!!
We were VRBO participants until recently. We had been members since 2008. We no longer participate because of the fee that is being charged to vacation renters. VRBO is no longer "vacation rental by owners". VRBO has done away with sonority, they are controlling all inquiries by selecting owners willing to reduce rates which is what expedia is known for. We are finished with VRBO!
I made a reservation through HomeAway for a VRBO in Wisconsin for a family reunion. I put a deposit down on the house in December 2016 and thought that all was well. As the time approached for the reunion I tried to find the property on the website and it had disappeared. I called HomeAway customer service, a phone center somewhere in Eastern Europe, and they verified the owner had taken the house off the list but told me my reservation was OK. They gave me two phone numbers to contact the owner on which I left numerous messages. I also tried to contact the owner through Facebook and his business e-mail. No response. I did a little research and found out he had put the property on the market and tried to sell it. I decided to cancel my reservation. I found out that the only formal way to cancel the reservation was to contact HomeAway and have them notify the owner. But the reservation is only cancelled when the owner responds and acknowledges the cancellation which he has not done to date. Just got the automated message to make the final payment and still no success in cancelling the reservation. So understand when HomeAway guarantees the return of your deposit if you cancel 30 prior to the start date, that it is not really a guarantee. You are still at the mercy of the owner. And the only person you talk to for customer service is some person who works at a phone center in Eastern Europe.
Horrible site. We used to use it all the time to find cabins for our vacations. Now they wont even let me speak to the owners without paying first, and want to charge me to book a cabin, they don't even verify the property, and rape the people renting out their places. I hope this company's BS puts them in the ground.
Horrible company. We booked our rental one year in advance and the week before he lied and said there was an issue with the property. Come to find out he got someone else to book with him for a higher rate of charge. We were left with no place to stay in the vicinity (45 min away) and due to the last minute change, our trip was well over $1500 more. We purchased the useless insurance that did nothing for us. BUYER BEWARE!
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.
I submitted 2 offers using VBRO. I discovered that both properties were not available even though I was allowed to put my credit card down and "book". Basically I was submitting an offer. Both got rejected because they were not available, yet my credit card was charged for the cancellation insurance and the VBRO service fee. I went to call the customer service number on VBRO and I got a message saying that all customer service was in training. My card should have never been charged until the offer is approved and I should have never been allowed to submit an offer on a property that is not available. Will not be using VBRO again. If my card is not refunded soon I plan on disputing the charges. Unacceptable. Better to go directly to the property manager.
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 so 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…
I am a rental house owner. VRBO\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 now (Wednesday late afternoon) 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 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 RBO\ 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.
Aruna Band McDermott
Greedy double dippers! Charging up to $499 booking fee for NOTHING! Use Airbnb or TripAdvisor, way more ethical. #vrbokillsbusiness
HomeAway/VRBO is ok so long as it is not asked to provide a refund for a legitimate cancellation (meaning it has been accepted by the property owner). HomeAway keeps the rental fees until the traveler actually shows up. In my case, I cancelled, the cancellation was accepted by the owner, and now HomeAway is sitting on the funds with no prospects of receiving a timely refund, perhaps not ever. What a cheating way to run a business! Stay away!
YES - VRBO DOES HAVE A NEW "SERVICE FEE" - TO BE PAID BY THE RENTER!! Let me add my voice to the chorus of property owners disgusted with VRBO and their institution of this new "service fee" - to be paid by renters. I had been wondering why rental inquiries for my properties had recently dwindled so drastically. Upon receiving an inquiry today I went to the dashboard and was horrified to see a 9% service fee added onto the price quote breakdown for my potential future renter. I called VRBO customer service voiced my extreme dissatisfaction, only to be greeted by an agent doing her very best to try and justify this additional charge. There is NO JUSTIFICATION for it. VRBO substantially increased their advertising charges less than 18 months ago. My platinum level charges increased by almost 30% per year. Now it appears VRBO is looking for further revenue and this time it its the renters who have to pay. All this does for property owners, is diminishes the number of inquires and ultimate rentals. I am going to look at moving my properties elsewhere and in the meantime - until my subscription runs out, inform anyone inquiring about renting over VRBO that this new "service fee" has nothing to do with me. It is just VRBO being greedy. I intend to give potential renters alternative options for rental - where they will not have to pay this fee. 2 years ago I would have given VRBO a 5 star rating - now unfortunately it would only be 1 star
The new service fee was said to be an improvement to the customer guarantee. The reality is not so - this is a way for them to make more money and that's it. VRBO customer service has gone down the toilet, and you will NOT get what you paid for on their service fee.
We are home owners and we have used VRBO since 2006 and had nothing but good things to say about them until recently. They are now charging our guests a high service fee of 10% and they charge us a high fee for our listing. We were not informed of these changes ahead of time. Our bookings have completely dropped to nothing. Very dissatisfied!!
I contacted this company, booked, paid my fees and now get an email telling me I can no longer have the house I wanted because they're not longer allowed to rent their property, I have made down payments on fishing trips, rental of equipment that there is no return on down payments, family in Africa and Ireland have bought their tickets and now we have no place to stay...this is disgusting, how can a company allow this?
We have been listing our rental property with VRBO for over 12 years and until this year they were great. As other owners have noted below, they started charging our guests a 10% service fee on all bookings. Our inquiries and bookings have plummeted. VRBO never communicated the new fee to owners before it went into effect. We had just renewed our listing and paid the annual $500 fee and no mention of this. Essentially this is GREED plain and simple and we need to decrease our fees to not lose business or find somewhere else to list.
VRBO started a "service fee" of 4 to 10 percent to the renter IN ADDITION to the cost to owners to list their rental. This was NOT communicated with the owners, which is outrageous. It is simply a money grab by VRBO. AirBNB charges nothing to list and only has a 3% service charge. I will stop using VRBO.
VRBO just recently started ripping off renters with a fee that the owners were not aware off. it is a RIP OFF and should be avoided
VRBO no longer has no service fee. Now they charge 4-10% to guests, while host still plays top dollar for the listing. How do you spell GOUGE? Secondly, they put you in a box, with their 'Best Match' algorithm and are only going to show you properties based on data they've collected from you, including the kind of device you are using, where you live and the kinds of properties they think you should want. How do you spell AFFLUENCE CHECKER? VRBO is becoming the new Airbnb copy matter.
VRBO's new "fees" to vacation renters is outrageous! I have used them for years, but am done. They are charging renters an extra 10% for absolutely nothing. I think they have become very greedy. It is cheaper now to just stay in a hotel that is serving breakfast and using their "special fee" to pay for meals out!
I am a home owner listing my vacation rentals on VRBO and HomeAway. Earlier this month, they initiated a new "service fee" charged directly to guests that owners have no control over. They failed to communicate the change to owners and I (and many others) found out about it when a repeat customer asked why I had this new, very high, service fee of around 10% of the total booking. This company has had ownership and management changes recently whose actions, I think, should negatively impact their rating.
I used to love Vrbo . My vacation rental is listed there for $699 a year now they want to charge my guest a 10% fee to book!! Outrageous and robbery!! Just corporate greed!!!
We booked a trip to Rio for the Olympics. Now that all the viruses and health concerns have broke we decided to cancel. Upon cancelling we were informed we were scammed and there was no reservations even though we booked it through VBRO.com. We contacted them and they are not willing to stand behind their $1000 guarantee. So we are out well over $1000 and will never use them or home away family again. Spend your money elsewhere
We have used VRBO on 4 vacations (twice in the Black Hills) and have been very pleased with homes and owners response. Good experiences and will use them again this year.