VRBO’s Questionable Review Policy / Shame on VRBO

For those of you who use Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO), I’ve recently become aware of a policy that is quite disconcerting:  I believe that their reviews are more geared for making property owners look good than to be useful, transparent and truthful to potential renters.

My fiance and I recently rented a place from the website in Yountville, CA.  The landlord used his good reviews on the site to convince that we’d be very happy with our selection of his house.  Unfortunately the house was rat infested and the landlord was hard to deal with, didn’t want to fix the problem and then fought paying us our money back.

While life is too short to sue for the money, it isn’t too short for me to write review.  I wrote this review of the property:

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First, VRBO informed me that the post would be reviewed by the editors at VRBO to make sure the post conformed to their “standards” (whatever that meant).  Then it took a week to post and when they did,  I noticed that the the listing of the rental place was taken off the site.

Today, the listing is back without my review included. [Note, as of 1/23, the listing has put reviews back on the listing including mine.] So bottom line, VRBO is giving a heads up to their property owners about bad reviews and is allowing them to unpost and repost (with the same web link!) without any ramifications for screwing one of their renters.

Shame on you VRBO.  Your credibility is totally shot now.

  • Very crappy to hear this, I used to love VRBO always had a great experience with them. Sorry to hear it has fallen so low.

    • I’ve also used several times and I am a VRBO advertiser and never had any problems.

  • Emily

    Good timing. We were just looking for a VRBO house for Spring Break — will look elsewhere.

  • You would think that a database of VRBO’s magnitude would have some safeguards in place. For example, a query that compares “new” listings submitted to the VRBO database. It could search deleted listings for up to 365 days and then attach reviews from those deleted listings to the “new” listing. A pretty simple query to write, methinks. It would prevent unethical owners like this from gaming the system.nnSadly for VRBO, I was in the process of booking a 2-week stay in London for the spring through their interface. I’ll be looking elsewhere as I can’t afford to drop coin on places with seemingly good reviews for such a long trip. One night? Tolerable. 14? Inconceivable.nnI hope they contact you and offer some satisfaction, Jason.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your support. Also, their reviews are by place, not owner. So an owner can have one good place and not be dinged by providing lousy service otherwise.

      • Exactly – so an owner is even more incentivized to keep his/her properties in tip-top shape, as the reviews are attached to the specific property.nnHoping VRBO takes this all under advisement. I’m sure their Twitter stream is blowing up today (and for good reason).

        • Anonymous

          Yes, but they keep tweeting garbage and pretending this issue isn’t out there / doesn’t exist.

  • Wow! I was just thinking of using them for a trip I’m planning in a few months. Won’t be making that mistake! This reminds me of the loser in NYC who ran an optical shop and actually delighted in providing bad service to customers, because of the “seo value.” Well, he delighted in it until the Feds arrested him. This kind of crap is equally as despicable. Gaming the review system – super.nnThanks for the review – I’m sure it will help [email protected]

    • Anonymous

      Like PT Barnum – no such thing as bad press? 🙂

  • I have dealt with companies like this and it drives me crazy. I think one of the best places you can really tell people if a company is being lame is on Google places. There they cant delete comments but Im not sure if they are on there and Im not going to look them up because I will never work with them after doing that. But good for you for exposing them.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks

  • What exceptional timing…I was thinking of using this site for our trip to Europe this summer. Won’t waste the time now. Thanks.nnDarcien

    • Perri Collins

      I used it for my trip to Europe last summer and had wonderful results. If you’re staying in Paris or Berlin, I could recommend those places to you.

    • I’m late to the discussion because I just read about this post via Forbes. Just wanted to reiterate that there are other great Vacation Rental sites out there that do not allow owners to opt out of reviews. Check out http://www.flipkey.com – tons of rentals in Europe with verified guest reviews.

    • Portiaperu

      Don’t consider vrbo a waste of time. There are hundreds (thousands?) of property owners that are doing a fine job of providing a welcoming and wonderful experience for their tenants.nnNot only am I a vrbo and homeaway property owner, I have traveled throughout the US and Europe staying in vrbo properties.nnWe have rented in Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, New York, London, Paris, Provence, Rome, Tuscany, and many other places. The majority of the rentals have been through vrbo (in the interest of accuracy some have been through local market rental sites – but always through owners) and we have been satisfied.nnDon’t write off. rentals by owners – there are some gems/real values to be had by renting through owner. On Martha’s Vineyard, rentals are less expensive through owners. The commission to a rental agent can be a considerable portion of your lodging budget.nnWhatever you decide, enjoy your travels!nnR @ edgartown, manwww.freewebs.com/katamadelightnnnnnnn

  • Lisa

    I have a house listed on VRBO and have rented through them. I have never really liked the way they do business on either end. Unfortunately, they rank high pretty much anywhere. I also listed my property with a property manager and will rent houses that way as well.

    • Anonymous

      Nice to hear from your side of the equation. Thanks for the comment.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes…when I read/hear stories like this, it makes me so glad that we take our home wherever we go in the form of a motorhome…no risk of horror stories like this. So sorry you had such an awful experience. Your comment “Shame on you VRBO” says it all!!!

  • Lori

    Ever since my own bad experience with another large travel review site, who will remain nameless, (and losing hundreds of dollars because the place was completely unlivable), I do not trust any reviews unless they are from trusted friends. Period. nnWhen I used VRBO last year, the owner of the place must have thought I was nuts because I e-mailed her more than once with questions. I did this mainly to see if I got a good feel (and even had a phone call with her before committing). Doing all of this is the only way I will rent a place from an unknown person now, but it does seem to be effective. nnWhy these sites with reviews get away with deleting and moving things up the list is beyond me. I notice that your listing is now ‘Not Accepting Reviews’ and honestly, whenever I’ve seen a listing like that on VRBO I’ve kept on looking. If the owner won’t allow reviews, that almost always means that something is wrong. IMHO. nnOn the plus side, this proves to me that there is still room for a decent review site that is built on the premise that bad reviews cannot be removed or moved to the bottom of the list for any reason.

    • Portiaperu

      You’re not nuts. Not at all. As a vacation rental owner I WANT to talk to potential tenants and get to know them. It works both ways. I’m trusting my guests to take good care of my home (and it is my second home, not just a vacation rental), and they are trusting me to provide a wonderful vacation experience. nnAlways talk to the owner and learn as much as you can about the property you are renting. Questions SHOULD BE welcome – if you feel you are “annoying” the owner or do not get the response you desire. move on to consider another property. nnR @ edgartown, manwww.freewebs.com/katamadelightn

  • Wow. That’s awful. So disappointing and I bet meant others are duped.nnGlad you wrote something and stood up to VRBO.

  • Is http://www.vacationrentalpartner.com/ (techstars 2010) tackling this aspect of the rentals market?

    • Anonymous

      As far as I know, their reviews are sound and yes tackling that part of the market.

    • Anonymous

      As far as I know, their reviews are sound and yes tackling that part of the market.

  • thehalfswede

    I was planning to ask our wedding guests to take a look on VRBO’s website to find suitable accommodations in Crested Butte this June. After reading your review I’m thinking twice about making that recommendation. Of course, after renting a house by owner in Lake Placid, NY, last summer that smelled like stale pot smoke, had dead mice laying around, an oven that smoked us out of the house and furnishings closely resembling what we had in our college days you would think I’d know better. Guess I’m a sucker for giving people, and websites, second chances.

  • What a horrific experience! Ours was not so bad but we did have some problems with property #120003 on VRBO in July 2010. Our experience was not nearly as difficult as yours but having a bathroom out of commission with a party of 21 was a bit challenging (amongst other things that were not working correctly). We stayed there in July and I wrote an honest review of all three houses. Today there are 6 reviews on the site of which 5 are glowing. The one negative review is from March 2010 and there is a long response from the owner. We never got any kind of response. I am not sure I will use them again.

  • Ok, Jason agreed to let me post this. We are a startup in Boulder and we have created a recommendation app for Facebook that will really help in this kind of situation, depending on your friend network. The app is free and called Fidatto (facebook.com/fidatto). It allows you to easily share and request recommendations from your friends. We just added a Vacation category so maybe we will be able to help Jason out next time! Thanks for the chance to promote our startup Jason.

  • VRBO allows owners to ‘opt out’ of traveler reviews if they choose to do so. For those of you interested, there are some other companies doing interesting things in the vacation rental space:nn1. http://www.flipkey.com is the http://www.tripadvisor.com owned competitor to VRBO. Flipkey’s premise is that accurate, truthful reviews are paramount to guests having a good vacation rental experience, and they have a proprietary process for verifying reviews and ensuring that they’re from actual guests. I also believe that they do not allow owners to remove reviews once they’ve been posted.nn2. http://www.vacationrentalpartner.com (a 2010 http://www.techstars.org company, of which I’m a founder) offers an escrow service whereby guest payments are held until after checkin. We help guests feel more secure about transacting with owners as they know that their money is safe in the case that the property is significantly not as represented or does not exist. This benefits owners as well – increasing guest confidence improves the chances that a guest will book the property. We’d certainly love to hear both owner and guest feedback on this approach.nn3. http://www.secondporch.com enables travelers to search for vacation rental properties in your immediate or extended social network. This helps you find a place that a friend (or friend of friend) may have stayed in or owns.

  • VAS

    use VacationAuctionSite.com !!!

  • Luke O’Brien

    That sucks. My wife and I have used them several times in the past. Never again. 50% of the buying decision is based on the reviews. If they’re not accurate (or worse…if they’re intentionally skewed), then it’s all just a crapshoot.

  • Joe

    Jason. That is unbelievable. I just launched a new site called JoeOptions.com as a new way for Owners to Market and Travelers to Find vacation rentals. We have created the site which is in Beta with the Traveler in mind. One big difference we have done is to allow and encourage Property Owners to put as many pictures and videos as possible so they can better represent and you as the traveler can see what you are getting. Unfortunately, many of the traditional listing web sites do not allow UNLIMITED photos and videos and charge owners for additional photos which hurts you, the traveler. nnIn addition, we are working on a rating system. We believe in full disclosure and are rolling out new features including allowing a property owner to integrate his facebook wall into his property profile.nnIf you have some time, please check out our site and let me know your thoughts. Here is a simple video that explains JoeOptions in plain english http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kohBjcuPMhEnnWe are in beta and growing very fast. Our goal is to be very agile and always listen to our Customers. nnRegardsnnJoe

    • Anonymous

      Pretty site. You will be shocked that VRBO has ignored all if this bad press meaning they are ripe to be hurt by quality competition. rnrn- sent from iPad. Sorry for iTyposrnJason MendelsonrnManaging DirectorrnFoundry Grouprnwww.about.me/jasonmendelson

  • Halwes21

    Finally people are getting wise to the VRBO scams, etc. Many VRBO rentals listed in High Pointe/Rosemary Beach FL area reverted back to Resort Quest. They messed our reservation up and cost us over $500 to change it. Neither the owner nor Resort Quest would own up to the mistake then the mattresses in the unit were AWFUL and there were bugs in the drawers — VRBO managed to prevent us from posting any of the negative reviews. The owner’s response was that nobody else had made similary complaints — probably because they did not go through VRBO and/or are not computer savvy like my in-laws who also complained about the unit in person the year prior.

  • Stevemassa

    Thank you for posting. We are looking to rent a place on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe for a family reunion (sleeps 10+) for a week. VRBO has been our primary source til now. I will tread more cautiously That said, if anyone knows of a nice place near the West/North shore at Lake Tahoe which will sleep 10+ (6 adults and 6 small kids ) then please reply. July 4th time frame.

  • Carramia

    I had a similar experience. Rented a condo in Costa Rica via vrbo for New Year’s. To sum it up, the condo did not live up to our expectations. Here’s my review:nA friend and I booked this property for two nights (including New Yearu2019s Eve) and immediately wired payment, including a $25 cleaning fee. Joe Scrivo, the owner, assured us that the condo would be ready for our 2 pm arrival. I arrived early (approximately 11 am), and the condo was an absolute horror show; it had not been cleaned from the previous guests. The sink was piled high with dirty dishes, trash was everywhere (including beer bottles both in and around the property), dirty towels were on the floor, and the entire condo reeked of smoke. The shower was filled with sand–so much sand, in fact, that the water could not drain properly. All three beds had been slept in and were unmade. To top it all off, there were broken eggs littering the entrance. n nI immediately contacted Joe via email; I gave him the benefit of the doubt since I was three hours early. To his credit, he wrote back immediately. He told me that I needed to find the cleaning lady and get her working on it. Of course, I did not know the cleaning lady and it wasnu2019t until 2:30 pm when she finally showed up on her bicycle. She told me that the condo would be ready by 3:30, so we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We sat outside the condo from 11 am until 5:30 pm, when the cleaning job was finally completeu2026sort of. The towels that she gave us were damp, and the bedding consisted of only a fitted sheet and a flat sheet (no mattress pad or bedspread). n nBy 5:30 pm, we had lost both an entire day in Jaco as well as qualitative planning time, since we had hoped to book an excursion to Tortuga Island for the following day. I emailed Joe to give him an update and let him know that we were finally able to get into the condo at 5:30 pm. He wrote back that he, too, was on vacation and had been disappointed because his rental didnu2019t have internet and had not been cleaned either. I regret that he had a similar experience, but it does not lessen the fact that he manages the Jaco property and should have been responsible for ensuring that it was ready for our arrival. n nI tried to resolve this amicably with Joe via email, and he offered me a free night in Jaco. I explained that I do not plan on returning to Jaco, in part because of my rental experience at rentjaco.com, and requested monetary compensation to cover lost time. Joe has not responded to my request.n nI would not recommend this property to anyone. There are much nicer, cleaner properties throughout Jaco; do not waste your time and money at this rental.n nI warned the landlord that if he didn’t make this right, I would post a negative review. Apparently he is able to “opt out” of reviews on vrbo, and I’m not able to post my experience. nnShame on vrbo!

    • Kat

      I think you’re out of line on this one. You showed up three hours early – suppose the check out time for previous guests was noon (as an example)? If you had shown up at your appropriate check in time then you’d have something to complain about. That the cleaning lady didn’t show up on time would have cost you 3 and a half hours – not a “full day” – of your vacation time. That she was late cleaning was a legitimate complaint. But that seems to be your only complaint with the owner/property. The world does not revolve around you and you alone. I think you are a renter that makes owners wary of a distorted bad review. I am not a rental owner, simply checking out ‘horror stories’ as I am looking for a property to rent on the north shore of Oahu this summer and have never rented directly from an owner before. If I had seen your review on a property – as you summed it up here – I’d have chalked it up to hysterics and continued considering other reviews of the property if it was of interest to me. Shame on you.

      • Tonedogx

        No Kat, you are out of line. Carramia stated that she gave them the benefit of the doubt because she had arrived early. There’s no disputing that. The fact that the property owner wanted her, “the renter”, to chase down the cleaning lady and have her start cleaning is aboslutely ridiculous. She should have gone sight seeing for 3 hours and then come back at 2pm. (do I blame her for sticking around, no) Then when the room was not ready she would have only waited 1/2 hour for the cleaning lady to show up and another 3 hours for the place to be ready. Yeah that’s much better… Nothing like waiting around on your vacation for a late cleaning lady, to clean a filthy place for you to use, when all you want to do is open the door kick off your shoes, relax, figure out where you want to go for dinner and plan the next days activities. The place should have been ready at 2pm as agreed, PERIOD! END OF STORY! I think you’re taking her comment about losing an entire day a little too literal, obviously she did not miss out on 24 hours, but the inconvenience she had to put up with was inexcusable.nnBy the tone of your post you seem to dismiss her complaint as – oh, the cleaning lady was late, yeah that’s too bad, I don’t know why you would be so upset, it was only a few hours of your time, the world doesn’t revolve around you, get over it. Sure let’s extend that attitude towards other things then… Customer: Waiter there’s a bite out of my steak. Waiter: Oh let me cut out the teeth marks, you still have 90% of it left. HELLO!!! – Are you ef’g kidding me??? nnHere’s a news flash honey – If I am paying my hard earned money for goods or services to be provided to me, then guess what – the world, as far as the person providing the goods or service is concerned, DOES revolve around me. That’s the whole point of customer service you ditz. The customer’s, in this case Carramia’s, world is what they are entrusted to make happy. It’s pretty obvious that this landlord really didn’t give a shite about Carramia’s vacation and the fact he tried to commiserate with her on the lack of service he was experiencing on his own vacation is reprehensible. He should have taken care of his own business up front if he knew he was going to be out of town to ensure that his customer’s world was taken care of first! So Shame on you Kat, sit down and STFU.

  • Thanks for sharing this with us. Its sad to see VRBO not care about their customers. I’ve tweeted this story to all my fans. nnhttp://www.RamitNarang.com

  • CampSteve

    We just booked a house through VRBO (for our wedding) near Boulder just before you posted this. I read the article then. The experience with the homeowner has been good so far.nnHowever, just yesterday, 4 of 5 of the user reviews for the property disappeared from the listing. They were even positive reviews, all of them. It’s mysterious that they are gone which made me think of your experience. Something weird is going on at VRBO.

    • Anonymous

      Something really smelly here. I’m not going to let this rest. Stay tuned, there may be some interesting press about this.

      • Just catching up to blogs… I hope something else does come of this. If you get some wider press, be sure to link to it and thanks for letting us know!

  • Refff99

    That’s right. VRBO doesn’t post bad reviews as I posted one and it hasn’t been posted a weeklater. VRBO is dishonest.

  • Jason:nnI mentioned on Twitter that I would leave a comment here and that I had mixed feelings. I am vacation rental owner and do advertise my property on VRBO. I realized that my mixed feelings weren’t actually because I am an owner using VRBO. I’ve had my rental since 2007 and have had a number of people stay there over the course of four seasons. My very first year I had a negative review on one of the sites I advertise on (not VBRO) and that review happened to be entirely jacked up and unreasonable. Whatever site the review was left on did ask me for my side of the story but did two things 1) the review went live, I was NOT allowed to remove it 2) warned me that after 3 negative reviews my property would be removed from the listing. nnHaving a three strikes and you’re out approach upset me, only because their review was unfounded and they trashed my place (but, of course, they didn’t mention trashing my place). nnSince then I’ve had one complaint and in that situation I refunded the couple what they felt was fair which was for two nights of their 8 night stay. nnWhat does this really mean for the purposes of your post? It means that a) VRBO should not allow the owners the option to remove reviews because then the peer system is “broken” b) As an owner who really cares about the stay for my guests it pisses me off that other owners are only out to get as much money as they can in their pockets — essentially at other’s expense. nnAs a number of your commentors have stated below….they won’t use VRBO to book a trip…..could one of those have potentially been a guest at my property? Possibly. I believe it costs me $249/year to advertise on their site and if they allow the sleazy owners, such as the ones you rented from, to deter potential guests from owners like myself…..well, that just sucks.nnFrustrating really from both an owner perspective and guest perspective.nnBTW, when I cancel my advertising with them they will call me and I’ll be sure to direct them to this post.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sorry if my post has caused you pain as an owner, but I think your views are completely reasonable and I wish you the best of luck. I think whatever comment policy they choose, the only one that is helpful is one of open dialogue. For instance, if someone unfairly trashes you, you would have the right to write a response to it. Overt time, the good owners, like yourself, which have a valuable asset of transparency and real reviews.

      • Jason – so I saw your new post today which caused me to come back here to the original post. Oddly Disqus never notified me your replied to my comment….or I would have been back sooner.nnNo, no…your post didn’t cause me any pain as an owner. It actually caused me to change my perspective because I was initially looking at it as an honest owner….and not taking into account that not all owners are honest.

  • Refff99

    That happenned to me also. I posted a review of unit # 245472 – “Gorgeous Palm Valley Condo with Fairway, Water Mountain Views”. Th return of the deposit took me having to threaten legal action to get $500 back. The unit was ok, but the train rattling the condo and the old furniture was not goo.n

  • This is just despicable. nnAnd by “this,” I primarily mean raising $400 million to solve a market fragmentation problem, buying up all the available market share, and still putting forward such a crappy customer experience.nnBut also their reviews policy.

    • Anonymous

      Amen. rnrn———————-rnJason Mendelson

  • This is just despicable. nnAnd by “this,” I primarily mean raising $400 million to solve a market fragmentation problem, buying up all the available market share, and still putting forward such a crappy customer experience.nnBut also their reviews policy.

  • Carl

    These are all reasons why one should use a professional manager when renting a home. Renting a VRBO is a roll of the dice. Now that is not to say there are not bad managers out there, but doing due diligence on a professional manager is much easier. They tend to follow all local laws, are members of Chamber of Commerce and do this as a business not a hobby. Also if there is a problem with a home chances are the manager has another home to move you to. They are also have staff on site as opposed to an owner who could live thousands of miles away, leaving you to your own devices if a problem arises.nnYes you may pay a little more for a professionally managed home but you gain a lot of peace of mind.

    • We used a professional property manager for the first 8 of our 10 years renting our 2 properties. We were also on VRBO.com and I had the property manager’s phone number on there for the tenant to contact. Renters did not pay anymore when we had a manager.nWe finally switched to managing it ourselves because they told me they got most of our rentals from VRBO (which we were paying for, not them), and because we always had one problem or another with them. They wouldn’t get back to someone who made an inquiry or it would take 2 days. I do it much better myself. I am not as busy as them and I am invested in it more. n I can understand renters feeling a degree of security if there is a property manager–it somehow seems more legit, you think there is someone else looking out for the cleanliness of the place, etc.n By the way, we have never had a bad review, just one so-so review out of many.nSue

      • Ian Inrig

        Sue
        Your comments are good but somewhat confusing, i.e. “Renters did not pay anymore when we had a manager. We finally switched to managing it ourselves because they told me they got most of our rentals from VRBO (which we were paying for, not them), and because we always had one problem or another with them” Who are “they” the renters or the managers? & who are “them”.VRBO or the renters? You can see my quandary! 
        IDI 

  • Portiaperu

    I’m a vrbo and homeaway advertiser and I’m troubled by the situation you describe. For those of us who devote considerable effort to our vacation homes and strive to offer the very best of experiences to our guests, this policy can only be harmful. nnI was not aware of the policy. I believe a negative review should be answered by the owner, and all points of view should be part of the rental property record.nnRats! Yikes. I’ve handled complaints of ants in the kitchen with better results than you obtained for rodents occupying the property. I know my response to the complaint was appropriate becuase the family returns year after year for their summer vacation.nnRental property owners should be held accountable. Otherwise we all lose our credibility.nnR @ edgartown, manwww.freewebs.com/katamadelight

    • Anonymous

      Totally agree. Responsible and accountable people like yourself can’t like this policy either. VRBO is clearly pandering to substandard folks to boost their revenue.

    • Too bad that you seem to be the only one who recognizes that censorship is never a good thing…

  • Wow, This isn’t a good situation for anyone. We’ve never used VRBO but have listed Nantucket properties on Home Away for quite a few years. My husband is very diligent about monitoring reviews and to the best of my knowledge, you can’t remove negative comments there. We only had one that made us angry – renters never called, and the negative comments only appeared on Home Away 9 months after the fact? We responded by asked other renters to submit their feedback … so there was a balanced story online.nnSome people are never satisfied. The cleaning crews have limited time (9am to 3pm) to get through lots of homes and everything is fine unless the it rains on the first day (Sunday) and people get cabin fever and look for things to complain about. We send cleaners back to the house, have replaced a failing refrigerator overnight (provided ice chests immediately) … but when someone complains about 6 week old bed sheets, then they’re really being nasty as they want a refund and never should have booked the home. Fortunately, we don’t have to rent to these people again and we let our on island real estate companies know who they are too.

  • A VRBO User

    I am a long time VRBO and Home Away user and advertiser with active listings. While I do not agree with a few of their policies, as someone that has paid thousands to advertise on their site I believe I should have some element of control over what is written publicly about my business on the site I pay to advertise with. If VRBO and Home Away were free to advertise on and if I chose to list there without paying for the service then it would be a different situation. nnHome Away, the parent company of VRBO, is the largest vacation rental listing site on earth. This private company has cornered the vacation rental advertising market by systematically buying out all of their competitors of any size or worth. Simply stated, NOT advertising on VRBO is nothing short of a major marketing mistake. For that reason, and due to the fact I am paying for their advertising service, anything posted that could harm my business is going to be of concern to me. nnOpting to remove a negative comment from the VRBO site does come with something of a ‘price’. Should that owner have a long history of positive reviews then all the good ones will be removed right along with that one, single negative review. Everything is erased, good and bad. The owner must then start over again with zero reviews. Personally, I have worked very hard for my many years of good reviews and would hate to see them disappear, but that would be the price paid and I think that is a fair policy and I should be provided this option. As a renter, if I saw that an owner had completely opted out of reviews altogether this would arouse suspicion and I’d either search for a different property or at the very least, ask the owner to explain the reason for opting out (and I doubt any reason offered would be very persuasive).nnI do not dispute that Mr. Mendelson appears to have some legitimate complaints about the rental and how the owner handled things, although it does appear that the owner did make attempts, successful or otherwise, to resolve the rodent issues. It would be helpful to have more information about the contract terms, advance fees and any damage deposits paid, the timeline and the negotiated settlement payment. For starters, how long did Mr. Mendelson actually stay in the rental? Did he stay for the entire three months and then attempt to get a full or partial refund? Two months? A few weeks? Mr. Mendelson states that his negotiated settlement was, “smaller than we deserved”. That’s fine but how much does he believe was deserved? What was paid out, how long did he actually stay and how much was returned? Once problems were disclosed how long did it take the owner to begin an attempt to resolve things? When Mr. Mendelson realized the problems were not being resolved or were not going to be resolved to his level of expectation, did he vacate or did he choose to stay on? The writer did not provide enough relevant info in his blog. There are too many unanswered questions to convince me that Mr. Mendelson is completely in the right. There are always at least two sides to a story.nnProblems with both private owners and professional management companies are a routine occurrence in the burgeoning vacation rental industry. Looking at the listing in question I see that the owner has a number of rental properties listed with VRBO. Per the ad, the Yountville property was first published in 2009, there have been 6000+ visitors to the ad page and the listing was last modified on January 15, 2011, probably about the time of the negative review submission.nnVRBO does review everything submitted for vacation rental reviews. If requested, the reviewer must be able to prove that the rental occurred. All content must be truthful and not misleading. Users cannot post a review or response for the purpose of trying to force an owner or a traveler to do something that the user wants him or her to do. The reviews are for the benefit of future travelers, not to allow one party to threaten the other. These are only a few of the guidelines for review. VRBO can remove reviews if guidelines are not followed. Mr. Mendelson must have met the review guidelines because the owner had to opt out of the review process. Had Mr. Mendelson not met the guidelines the review would have been thrown out with no consequences to the owner. nnIf anything, the lack of ‘ramifications for screwing one of their renters is debatable since you have outted VRBO here, on your turf. I doubt VRBO will care but the Yountville owner probably won’t be too happy about your piece and the direct link to his rental. That’s the difference you see… you can write an online, albeit subjective piece about your experience for the world to view and judge with no ramifications. On the other hand, I pay to advertise on VRBO and to a small degree can ‘call the shots’ with regard to my privately paid-for advertisement. I believe this is as it should be. If you stay at one of my vacation rentals you can write whatever you like on your blog here. If you write something I don’t like on my VRBO ad I might choose to opt out or keep the review and respond as the owner… my option, and I think that’s fair. nnLet me put it this way. I think it’s reasonable to assume there are some less than desirable renters out there. If one of them rents one of my places, proceeds to trash it and then when I garnish a portion of their damage deposit to cover my loss and they in turn unfairly trash my business on VRBO, I want the option of having that review removed or at the very least, opting out of reviews in total if that is the only choice provided me. To leave an owner with no recourse other than allowing all reviews to stand no matter what, is not what I signed up for. As a business owner and paying advertiser, I believe VRBO’s policy is fair.

    • Anonymous

      What happened in the particular case is irrelevant. My beef is not with the landlord and regardless of the contract and other things, the bottom line is that I should have a right, as a renter, to explain to other people my experiences and reviews of a landlord.rnrnIf VRBO allows landlords to remove negative feedback and keep the same links to their site, they are helping with the coverup of valid feedback. I don’t buy the removing feedback as a large negative, as this guy will just point to other listings that have good feedback. The other issue with VRBO is that it is by location, not landlord, which also has inherent issues.

      • Helen Clark Mcdonald

        VRBO I do not believe let’s you remove reviews!!! I know an owner who tried and the reviews stayed.

    • Cherokee Trace

      Amen. It is a paid for ad short and sweet. No other industry mandates that companies buying paid ads be subject to reviews. I’m not saying there should not be reviews – there definitely should and I use tripadvisor all the time for example ( well used to until I found out there were many false reviews by guests/competitors using bad reviews as extortion). But see on the “subjective” sites owners don’t have to pay for the privilege of being lied about by manipulators. I have a great rating on these sites btw in case you thought I was bitter – I’m not – just totally pissed off that I have no control over a very expensive ad. An AD!! In a way it is extortion by vrbo and vacation rentals ( now owned by the same company and therefore have the same policies) because they know they are the only game in town to effectively advertise a small property and therefore can do anything to the owners and it will accepted.You also have to realize a small property owner is going to be unfairly disproportionately affected by a negative review for one and two that someone with an ax to grind is 50 times more likely to write a review than someone satisfied or even gloriously happy. There is definitely a place for reviews – but paying ads shouldn’t be one of them. Trip advisor, Kudzu, Yahoo travel etc are good forums for travel reviews. Posting reviews on paid ADS should be optional – none or all ( the good and the bad) owner’s choice .n

    • Please……Reviews are just that, good or bad. I believe all accommodation owners are allowed to refute or comment online regarding negative reviews and have them removed if the stay never occurred. Shame on VRBO on not providing honest reviews by removing negative reviews when requested by an owner. I like that FlipKey does not allow me to alter the comments of guests and want, very much, to take care of a problem a guest experienced at one of our properties. I also take a proactive stance with our rental guests and ask them what we could have done to improve their stay in our property. Needless to say I’m glowing inside when they state, “It could not have been better”.

    • Why would VRBO allow the owner to “out” the reviewer and proceed to accuse them of making untruthful & exaggerated comments?
      In my case, the owner is basically calling me a iiar on-line altho the evidence is in her listing and in the emails exchanged.
      In my opinion this is unfair policy of VRBO

      • Sounds like we rented the same cabin at 845 RD1B in Clark, Wyoming from a Michigan landlord…I’ve never trashed anything in my life but the landlord (after 100-days) still has not sent me a written claim for my $400 security deposit..she merely stalls and kept it..VRBO insisted I not be personal in my review then they let her openly and falsely allege that I trashed her cabin…They did the same with another recent reviewer as well.

    • I agree with some of your points;however enough is enough.

      VRBO put me thru the same hoops as others who have written in.  They finally posted my review & in a follow up I see that the owner has responded, accusing me of lying.  Her comments are libellous, which can be proven by emails, & phone discussions she had with my husband.

      I am disgusted with VRBO allowing her to continue her unprofessional behaviour towards me and continue to post that wifi is available in her condo when it is not.

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  • Ldeleon337

    Jason,nThere are two sides to this story. Here is mine. First of all you did not rent Yountville home. Jaquline Malan did. You are nowhere on the agreement.Actually Ms Malan was allowed to move in 2 days earlier than the contract stated. Free of charge. Yes I had the dates wrong at first but this was a harmless mistake and she knows it. Most short term renters on VRBO get payment upfront. If Ms Malan did not like the terms she should have looked elsewhere and not entered into the agreement as she did. Yountville is a beautiful spot in the Napa Valley surrounded by vineyards. Rodents come with the territory however my home had never had this problem. On a very cold day we encountered some rat infestation in the neighborhood. Ms Malan called me about the problem. She is right about my trying to deal with the situation myself before going to Terminex for assistance. There was one rat in the house which was killed in a trap. Upon Ms Malan’s return from a brief holiday, she called me again to tell me she felt creepy staying there any longer. I immediately put her in a Marriott hotel and paid for the room. We spoke the NEXT day and she informed me that she had found an alternative home and wanted to be reimbursed on a pro rata basis. I agreed and that day mailed a check for the amount minus the my standard cleaning fee of 150.00. Ms Malan had been in my home for about 10 weeks. The home did not appear to have been cleaned during that time. The kitchen was dirty and food had been left out. After a deep cleaning I moved back into my home. There was one rat total. Yes, that is one rat too many but this is the country. From what Ms Malan had expressed to me earlier, I got the idea that her work/intern situation in Yountville did not go well for her. Apparently not worth the money Jason gave her to rent my home. I have only received glowing reviews about my Yountville home as it is a beautiful jewel of a place. I take great pride in it. My Carmel property gets similar reviews. I did everything a responsible owner could do in this situation. I resent your poison pen review which isn not truthful Jason and you know it. I was in fact quite accommodating to Ms Malan under the circumstances. I think Ms Malan’s bad experience lies somewhere else in Yountville. Lupe

    • Anonymous

      You are correct. There are two sides of every story. I don’t agree withrnyours, but you can have one if you like. Your facts below are materiallyrninaccurate, but I don’t find it useful to refute each of them.rnrnWhat I find distasteful beyond the way you treated us was that you took downrnyour reviews. If you are really that great of a landlord, you should havernnothing to hide. And thus my issues with VRBO and how it allows people likernyou to hide behind their policies.rnrnTerminix told us that it was the worst infestation they had seen. They toldrnus that Jacqueline had to move out because it wasn’t safe due to possiblerndisease. I doubt there was only one rat. And either way, you negotiatingrnus out of money was cheap and inappropriate in my opinion. Like I said,rnlife is too short to sue you, but I do hope you enjoy the Forbes articlernwith your name in it. We have pictures of your place with rat feces allrnover the place including insulation coming out from the walls. We also havernthe contact information for the cleaning people and the exterminators.rnPerhaps you should speak with them.rnrnYou will note that I could delete your review on my blog, but will choose tornlet you say your piece and respond to your post. This is all I wanted fromrnyou and VRBO regarding your place. I’ll be watching your listings to see ifrnyou decide to post reviews in the future.

      • Ldeleon337

        Jason,nI put the reviews back so that people could get a better idea of the truth. VRBO a company you seem so intent on trashing is not a bad company. . Terminix refunded my money and reprimanded the young man dispatched to evaluate the situation. He it seems exaggerated the situation to Jackie to get me to sign a long term agreement with them. I did the best I could as a responsible owner. My countless other reviews speak for themselves and I invite people to visit my properties on the VRBO site. So you have a friend at Forbes. I spoke to her. Big deal. Jason I think you should spend more time playing your guitar instead of all this negative energy you put out on the internet. Meet me Yountville some time. I can recommend someone to give you guitar lessons.

        • Anonymous

          Then you should have never taken the review off if you had nothing to fear.rnSorry, I don’t buy the explanations that you have for everything as it isrnjust more of the same for you. Always an excuse. Remember why you couldn’trnpay for a good hotel for Jacq? You said you were living paycheck tornpaycheck. It’s always something with you. As for Forbes, I actually onlyrnmet the reporter once. It was a compelling story and that is why she wroternit. I’ll pass on hooking up with you Yountville. Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Just checked out your listing. Thanks for putting my review back. It’s the right thing to do. Sorry our experience didn’t work out. Sorry that I had to go public, but you didn’t leave us a choice and I thought the way you treated Jacqueline during the process was poor form and your blog post only continued that form. Her experience in Yountville (which was great and she’s going back) had nothing to do with our issues with you.

  • Duped

    I have just run into a conflict with Homeaway over a negative review I also want posted.The run around is huge and now the owner says we did not stay at the property-I must have made a mistake.I have an email from the owner asking me to not submit the review and she will give me a full refund.I am so angry over the entire situation I don’t have the energy yet to even decide if I want to keep fighting.I do know I will never use any of these services again-maybe a good hotel is better after all.

  • This was my experience last summer. A factual, but negative review, I wrote about the beach house my family rented last year was never posted by VRBO. Instead of posting and allowing the property owner to comment VRBO sent me this response a link to their review guidelines:nnThe review you submitted does not meet our guidelines and it cannot be posted at this time.nnYour review must be in your own words. [It was] We will not modify or change the content you submit, nor can we tell you how to change your review to conform with the guidelines because giving you guidance as to what to say is the same thing as modifying or editing it ourselves. We invite you to resubmit your review. Before you do that, please take a minute to read our guidelines. You can then resubmit it by clicking on the link below or copy/paste the link into your browser. Your current review text is displayed at the bottom of this message.

    • Anonymous

      Yep. The more I’ve learned about Home Away / VRBO, the more that I knowrnthat it’s a company that I don’t want to do business with.

  • PDuff

    I recently had a negative review from some impossible-to-please (and OCD) guests who were completely unreasonable. When I didn’t roll over to their unreasonable demands for a full refund after addressing all of their minor complaints for a 3-month rental, they said they sued me and got their money back (not true) and my neighbor with a key lets herself into supervise daily, even when it’s occupied (also untrue and illegal). When I complained to VRBO about a review accusing me of breaking civil laws without proof, their only response was that I could respond in kind OR remove my listing (but without a refund). Really, VRBO? Reviewers can engage in libel and you say you bare no responsibility and don’t require proof for an illegal act? Sounds like they’re setting themselves up for a class action lawsuit, if you ask me.

  • I am currently waiting on VRBO’s fraud team? to respond to a complaint so I guess I will see where that goes. I rented VRBO #314330 two weeks ago. The property manager Michelle met me at the house and said the owner said we had to have cash which we brought, plus give a $500 check for deposit. We were in the house less than 48hrs as ours was just a weekend rental. We agreed with Michelle to clean the house ourselves which we did. The first night we discovered NONE of the four TVs worked and I called her and she said that she would see about getting the cable company out but it was the weekend, they never showed of course. The DVD players of which each room was supposed to have either were non existent or they had NO CORDs to hook them up. The washer and dryer were so loud they could have been heard next door. Also the last day we were there Michelle texted me that the house was going to be shown that day as it was on the market, so we spent our last morning there cleaning the house in expectance of this “showing” and noone ever called or showed up. I didn’t go swimming with my kids because I was waiting on a call from Michelle’s sister about coming to show the house essentially wasting our last day there. Then Michelle tells me she can’t come to the house to meet me and give me my deposit back and get the key and she will mail my check back to me. Now three weeks later my check is cashed (I had emailed to ask if everything was satisfactory and when it would be mailed with no response) So, today I see the check is cashed, try to call no answer, I filed a complaint with BBB and emailed stating I would seek legal counsel and all of a sudden I get an immediate response of course. Now, 3 weeks later she is claiming that we damaged the bamboo flooring under the dining room table that we never used! We ate out everytime except one meal which was eaten on the patio. I’m really in shock right now as her accusations are completely false and I am a nursing student and can’t afford to be without this $500. I haven’t left a review on VRBO, but now it seems if I do it might never be seen…. SOOO frustrating 🙁 I have used VRBO numerous times over the years and NEVER had an experience like this. I scraped money together for the rental to take a break before my last two months of nursing school and Michelle knew that, but yet can’t email or call about supposed issues before cashing my check and ignoring my emails. Any suggestions????

    • Don’t stay at places found through VRBO

      • kristine08

        EVER!

  • I wish there was a place that we could all write our own reviews without them being censored by VRBO. We had a similar experience at a recent stay at the Mauni Lani Palm Villas on the big island of Hawaii. Great reviews and comments….except all untrue! “Well furnished and professionally decorated,” 3 bedroom, 2 bath = total of four chairs in entire 1100sq ft condo! “Fabulous kitchen with everything you might need,” ONE dinner fork, two serving bowls, no serving flatware! There ought to be some requirement for truth. One thing we did notice later was that all the reviews were over a year old…obviously the owner deleted anything negative for the last year. Buyer beware, Don and Kate Claeys

  • Flcondomgr

    Beware RESIDENCES ON HOLLYWOOD BEACH DO NOT ALLOW SORT TERM RENTAL No matter what you or what you signed. If you show up you will be turned away. You vacation will be disaster

  • Buzzlake

    Bait and Switch.nnI rented a place in Vancouver for a nice week of skiing. We rented the penthouse. The seller only had one place on VRBO. When we got there we were given a place on the basement level and “under repair” would be nice. The funny part is we visited friends and they rented the same place from the same seller for the same dates. So we sat in the place we rented, and have copies of the two contracts for the same place at the same time. What a scam.nnWe contacted VRBO and we got nothing. They asked for our rental contract we sent both. Then nothing….. except VRBO blocked US from even commenting on the listing company as complete crooks.nnVRBO was part of the fraud. Then they cover it up. They did say “sorry” and I should have bought insurance from them. Didn’t make me feel any better.

    • They are crooks! You should tell your story to more people….

    • kristine08

      Good you did not pay for the insurance. Nothing would have come from it, except your wallet would be lighter.

  • Kat

    Sooo….nnWhere does one go to find a respectable property to rent? We’re heading out to Hawaii (Oahu) this summer for two weeks. Its our third summer vacation in a row there and I’ve booked the same hotel we’ve used twice before. I found we spent so much time in the car travelling up to the North Shore away from the tourist-y bustle of Waikiki and thought, perhaps, it would be great to split the holiday time between Waikiki and find a place on the Ocean to rent on the North Shore. Hotels are scarce up there! I’ve gone through the VRBO website and was looking for feedback outside of their website when I stumbled into the fray here. There must be thousands of VRBO listings on Oahu and I haven’t counted the number that come up on the North Shore BUT I’ve learned there are only 875 LEGAL listings on the entire Island. This is according to the Department of Planning and Permitting – Code Compliance Branch for the City and County of Honolulu of properties which have been issued Non-Conforming Use Certificates (they list a few North Shore properties). Say what??? Suppose an owner gets their operation shut down while someone is in the middle of their vacation? Not a savory thought.nnThe more I’m discovering the less I’m liking renting through VRBO or ANY ‘by owner’ websites. Looks like we’ll be doing a lot of driving again this year. nnThanks for the article Jason. n

    • Anonymous

      I work for a vacation rental company in Marco Island, FL. http://www.IslandEsc.com
      We pay a lot of money to rank on the top of the major search engines. We work in partnership with the homeowners. When you book with a company, you have more of a support system in case things go wrong. You are not dealing with absentee owners who conveniently are unavailable when something breaks during your vacation. At my company, someone is on call 24 hours a day. I can vouch for that since I was on call last night when my cell phone rang at 11pm to report problems with all toilets in the house. I called the local plumber and sent them right over. Done. Keep the guests happy. So, my suggestion here would be to search for actual rental agencies when doing your vacation search. I found an interesting site for Hawaii rentals. I can’t seem to figure out if it is a rental agency or just a site for owners to advertise on, but it does prove that the guest reviews are fair, some good, some bad with owners replying to them in their defense. Here it is:
      http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com/oahu-vacation-rentals-1.htm
      Best of luck!

      Thanks for the article Jason. Very interesting to hear all of the feedback. We advertise on VRBO and Homeaway and all of the companies they bought. Fortunately, we have not bought into the guest review portion of the sites, it must be an extra fee or something.  Seems like they charge a fee for everything now if you want to stay ranked on their site. We also advertise on FlipKey which trickles down to Tripadvisor and their guest review policy is an all or nothing one. We have to let the bad reviews in, but we have the platform to respond to them. If there was a really bad one that was bogus or trashing, management told me we could dispute it and they would review it. But if you dispute more than 3, then they take action and review your contract.

      • Trent Blizzard

        Good advice: Rent from a Vacation Rental Manager!   It may be a bit more expensive, but it is safer and more reliable.

  • Jessydown

    I am a long time VRBO and Home Away user and advertiser with active listings. While I do not agree with a few of their policies, as someone that has paid thousands to advertise on their site I believe I should have some element of control over what is written publicly about my business on the site

  • Janellemartinson

    As a long time advertiser on VRBO I have to say that since the mega corporation, HOMEAWAY took over and bought up most vacation rental sites, the quality and service have seriously been lacking. What other service does one pay thousands of dollars to, yet the company won’t even give you a customer service number? They are ALL about the $$$$$.

    • kristine08

      I AGREE. VRBO use to be the BEST OF THE BEST. Now they are in the toilet.
      They will be gone soon…..keep watching their stock plummet.

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  • I just had a similiar experience to yours. VRBO are crooks and totally endorse the wrongful behavior of their customers, i.e. the property owners who list on their website. When it comes to the censorship of reviews, they can beat any totalitarian regime with their skills.

    We stayed at Dan Beegan’s condo in Vancouver (future renters beware, this guy will take more money from you than you were prepared to give him!!!). The condo itself was OK, but we paid a $500 deposit. It took Dan Beegan two weeks after our departure to confirm that he sent us the money back via money order??? We could never verify this btw. Who does money orders any more? If he could collect 100% from the payment for the stay upfront via PayPal, why couldn’t he refund the deposit via PayPal? Anyways, a month later when nothing had arrived in the mail, we contacted him to ask where the money was. He said that the Canadian postal services were on strike and it was probably sitting in a warehouse somewhere,…didn’t offer to refund it via different means or anything, actually acted very annoyed that we had asked. Six weeks later, still no money. We asked again and he shared that he once waited for a refund for 6 weeks, so we should be fine with waiting as well. Two months later, (no more postal strike), still no money. We asked that he used PayPal and he refused. Fed up at this point, we wrote a review describing the above. VRBO instantly rejected it on account of it having nothing to do with the property……Seriously??? Serioulsy? Like anyone who had known that their $500 will never be returned to them would want to stay there…Nothing to do with the property…..We then changed the review and described the property, the very worn out bedding etc. The review was once again rejected….I agree with you. VRBO is a company of crooks. Their employees are rude and arrogant. Anyone reading this – save yourself the hassle and stay at a hotel or find a rental in a different way.

    • Unfortunate, experiencing similar problems with landlord & deceitful practices. Looking for help with recourse to have this guy removed from their site, any ideas?

      • kristine08

        BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE – NO BOOKING OR HIDDEN FEES – That is a BOLD FACED LIE. I was charged $103.00 from BOOK IT. WHO IS THAT? They are not even mentioned as a party to their billing practices. SCAMMERS…stay away.

    • kristine08

      They acted like they never dealt with me ever. I gave them the HA-# and they asked me “what is it that you were trying to rent”? LIKE THEY HAD NO IDEA, WHAT BUSINESS THEY ARE IN.
      Customer service, JESSICA, emailed and finally called me. She gave me a phone number to do a 3 way call with VISA. IT WAS A BOGUS NUMBER & I READ IT BACK TO HER!
      Her email suddenly stopped accepting emails??? Seriously? That is CUSTOMER SERVICE for Charles Manson.
      I TWEET DAILY to warn the others…..

    • I’m so sorry you had this experience. As a homeowner who advertises on VRBO (and therefore, Homeaway as well), my number 1 rule is to manage my property and the needs of my guests with complete integrity, responsiveness and respect. I’m new to the VRBO (and vacation rental) business. I’ve had my home listed on VRBO for one season now and it has been totally successful for me as a homeowner. I had one guest who was a bit unsatisfied because shortly after he checked in, my hot tub heater went out. He was unable to use it during his stay. He notified me immediately, and while I had a service technician to the house within 24 hours (as promised on my written lease agreements), it couldn’t be fixed without a full replacement the following week. I reimbursed my guest $25/night (total of $125) and had a cashiers check to him a few hours after being told the heater cant be fixed/must be replaced. Another guest left me a review and his only “bad” comment was that small “juice glasses should’ve been available”. My next guest had juice glasses. A regular coffee pot instead of a Keurig, and so on. I want nothing but complete happiness from anyone who chooses to stay at my vacation rental property. I believe when I travel, I expect to get what I pay for and my guests deserve no less that what MY standard for accomodations is (which is pretty high). I hope you continue your pursuit of outstanding vacation rentals. They are out there. If anyone is coming to Goodyear, AZ, I look forward to the opportunity to right the wrongs you’ve experienced. We honest homeowners are out there. 🙂

      • Helen Clark Mcdonald

        I am VRBO 94799 and my only 4 star reviews were weather on the beach in February and a child inhaled 2nd hand smoke around pool area and close to elevator!!!

  • Anonymous

    VRBO appears unwilling to give you the whole story when it
    comes to rental reviews. I recently rented a VRBO property ( vrbo # 309835) where it did not go
    well and I wrote an in-dept review of this rental experience, but it never made
    the review list for that property. Only the glowing reviews were included. The
    unsatisfactory ones, like mine, were left out. I had a very bizarre and
    disrespectful experience with a homeowner and I’m sure that I am not the only
    one that he has treated badly. If VRBO pledges to provide balanced and
    comprehensive service to all of its subscribers, it should be willing to give
    an honest and balanced appraisal of its product so that consumers are not
    blindsided by problem owners. I don’t think I will be using VRBO as a data base
    for rental property in the future.

  • Anonymous

    Hallo Jason,

    We had a similar experience with a landlord of a villa (Villa Volpe) near Lucca in Italy. This man, Luciano Sidrak Masetti, offers this house via HomeAway (=VRBO) and provides both on its website and through emails  misinformation and asks on the spot more money than agreed. Our  holiday has suffered by this actions. Like you I try to post an honest review on the site of HomeAway, but until know it is not placed.  It is good that this information is visible on the internet like on your website.I’m not expert enough to build a website and maintain, but would appreciate if you post my response.Sincerely,Henk van der Leer
    Holland
    [email protected]

  • Rich Lutch

    I just had the same type of experience with a property in Miramar Beach Florida.  I wrote a 100% truthful accurate review.  I gave the owner the benefit of seeing my review before sending it to VRBO. VRBO posted it for a day and then took it down…I cannot get an answer from them as to why or if it will be back up. This type of censorship will lead me to never use VRBO again.

  • Anonymous

    I have used VRBO on multiple occasions with generally good results.  This past week, my wife and I rented a cabin in the Boone, NC area.  The reviews were all glowing.  The cabin is on a beautiful location and has lots of potential.  However, it also was VERY dirty and was not well maintained.  We attempted to post a review with very honest positives and negatives.  We then immediately got a call from the owner who indicated concern about the condition of the property and offered us a modest refund – which was nice.  However, we then were advised by the owner that she and her partner owned multiple cabins in the area which were very profitable and relied upon good reviews.  She told us that since our review would not actually be posted for seven days, once we edited the review to a more favorable one, she would then authorize the refund.  In other words, the offer of a refund was not really to reimburse us for our inconvenience, but for an agreement to edit the review before it was actually posted.  In effect, the VRBO’s review system allows owners to buy good reviews.  Unfortunately I will not be able to give much credibility to VRBO’s reviews in the future, i.e., if we ever use them again. 

  • I can say firsthand that this issue does exist; VRBO is essentially a shill for the renters.  We had a negative experience with Jones’ Shasta Lake Retreat that I won’t go into here.  I would be happy to present the evidence to anyone and see if the they don’t laugh when they see the Jones’s nonsense excuse to keep our deposit (and ask for more).  They know we don’t live locally and that small claims court would cost more in gas and fees than our deposit.  I find it disgusting that they act as fair intermediaries when they are in bed with the renters.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the owners can add any comment they wish true or not and put it in as the owner and not the actual renter.  This happen to us the owner gave a discount on rental on the front end then kept part of the deposit to make up for the discount on the front end!  The condo was left in better shape than when we arrived! Will never rent through them again.

  • Anonymous

    VRBO just removed my negative comment. The property owner only takes cash and offered no receipt. I could not verify my payment, so my comment was removed. The only comments for this property on the VRBO website are submitted by the owner. Take care to read WHO made the website comments. The home we stayed in was advertised as a Garden Retreat in Ashland, Oregon that was part of the community garden tour. It was far from that image, but it came with cats, chicken coop and overgrown with weeds and brambles. It was more like an Urban Barnyard in the middle of a quaint residential community. No wonder the neighbors wouldn’t speak with us.

  • AGREE! Same thing happened to me and several friends. They DO NOT allow negative reviews. Shame shame on them! Can you say false advertisement??

  • Alex9

    Horrible experience.with VRBO!! Book thru Expedia or similar third party commercial sites ..!

  • Esteban

    I am also frustrated by VRBO. I have tried booking accommodations for a trip to Barcelona and clearly VRBO and Homeaway ONLY serve the needs of the Property owners, and do not even try to provide good service to renters. Like any other Real Estate venture, they only care about listings, and are not concerned about good service to the renters. First of all, the site should be “Vacation Rentals By Management Companies” because that is what it has turned into. 90% of inquiries I sent are returned with a “stock” e-mail, usually from a Management Company, or an “Owner” as listed, that in turns refers you to a Management Company because their unit is not available. Most of the time, the e-mail says the property is booked, but there are 5 other options, nowhere near the location wanted. If you contact a Management Company, you are dealing with rigid rules, not an “Owner.” I happen to own resort rental property, and for short notice or off season, I am willing to negotiate rate, number of tenants and minimum duration of stay. The Management companies I’ve found on VRBO won’t even contact the Owners to see if a good offer is acceptable, and it seems the Owner never finds out that they lost a potential Renter ( so much for “VRB Owner”) . I am grateful that the management company I use for my property does not list on these sites, and truly represents Owners, and potential renters.
    Another problem I’ve found, the search method is absurd. You cannot specify the location very closely regarding where you want to stay in a City, and you are forced to cast a wide net, often of a whole region.  If you put in 7 days you need, you will get tons of possible rentals- that may have availability for only ONE of the days that you need!! There are lots of other listings, but most of the rest of the listings say “contact owner or manager for availability” Which is code for, not available, but here’s 5 other listings not near where you want to be. Even if the 7 days look open on the date search, if you look at the entire Calendar for the property, there is nothing booked for 6 months- in actuality the site is just not updated. For a recent trip, I entered the City I wanted, the size unit, and dates and got 25 listings. Not a single listing near where I wanted to be was actually available, and I then got inundated with crap from Management companies about other properties, nothing like what I was looking for . What a waste of time.
    And now based on Jason’s blog, you can’t even really trust the reviews that you look to for true insight on a property.
    Anybody know any Good rental property sites, particularly for International? 
    Thanks

    • Hi Esteban,
      I am working with a property owner on http://www.OpenVacationWeeks.com that had a similar experience on VRBO. It is pretty sad. I am helping the Open Vacation Weeks site with their beta launch and would love some feedback from you and your expereince. find me on twitter at @MrSimpleMedia

  • Me too- Here is my review I wrote up this morning, however unable to post what truly took place due to their review policies.

    “After reading all of the previous reviews, speaking to Chris, and reviewing the pictures, my family decided this is definitely the place to bring my mother for a quick visit. She has been battling cancer for the past 7 years and has had to stop treatment. Growing up on the beach, I knew I had to get her there one last time. Chris was great, we sent our payment immediately and once he received it, sent us all of the details via text for our stay on Sept 16-18th. To my horror, I receive a TEXT this morning stating “We have some unexpected maintenance issues come up that can only be scheduled for this weekend. Unfortunately I will not be able to lease it to you this weekend. Please send me your address so I can mail back your payment. Or would you like to book another weekend? Chris.” It is Monday Sept 12 @ 10:30am and I receive this. What makes it worse is just this past weekend on the 9th Chris texts out of the blue and states he has the 10-12 available and would I be interested in that weekend as well. We then exchanged further text explaining that the 16th-18th is what we paid for and the only weekend we can get my mother there, reconfirming our stay for this upcoming weekend. So last weekend, no one was there and everything was fine, the weekend we paid for well in advance now Urgent Maintenance needs to be done.  My heart is broken, my trust is shattered, and I just cannot allow the reviews of how nice Chris is, to stand alone. This may be a 5 star condo, however the business is run by something far less classy. A TEXT to cancel my paid for reservations to bring my mother to the beach while she is still with us, it’s shameful. Worse, once I received the text I immediately called, and my call was sent to voicemail. Only to be followed immediately by I will TRY to call you later. Please take this into consideration before renting from Chris.

    There is a bit more to the story, however I will stop here and ask buyer please beware. Sending money and trusting that you have a solid booked condo for a trip, could change days before you are expected to leave.”

    Thank you to the author of the above article, as I now feel at least someone may see this.

  • AJ AJ

    I answered an ad VRBO had posted stating a rental price that was well below market. A gentleman named Josh wrote back quoting a significantly higher price but it was in line with market. When I called to book it as instructed I spoke to Adam and he quoted me an even higher price. I questioned the higher price and he said that he would check it out and call me back but never did.

    I called and got a hold of josh and he gave me a line about my day being a high demand day so they decided to change the price and would not honor the price he put in writing. They are completely a scam!

  • AJ AJ

    I answered an ad VRBO had posted stating a rental price that was well below market. A gentleman named Josh wrote back quoting a significantly higher price but it was in line with market. When I called to book it as instructed I spoke to Adam and he quoted me an even higher price. I questioned the higher price and he said that he would check it out and call me back but never did.

    I called and got a hold of josh and he gave me a line about my day being a high demand day so they decided to change the price and would not honor the price he put in writing. They are completely a scam!

  • VRBO is an absolute scam, at least for rentals in New York City. The people renting their properties through VRBO in NYC are rude, dishonest and downright crooks. I had a property owner take a deposit and then a short while later, in the same day, tell me it was not available anymore (at least I paid by paypal and I got my money back). Other property owners responded in a rude manner or not all. When I tried to write a review of my experience trying to rent with a particular property owner, VRBO told me I could not post a comment unless I had actually stayed at the property. I have had better experiences with VRBO  in California, but then again I was dealing with Californians, who are clearly more honest than New Yorkers. Shame on you New York VRBO related property owners.

  • Anonymous

    VRBO – very dishoshonest service — DO NOT RENT Properties from this Website — Buyer BEWARE

  • Anonymous

    As I see this, we are only hearing one side of the story for this rental property. I am a property owner who has been advertising through VRBO for seven years. I have had many positive reviews, because I bend over backwards to make my property a positive experience. I’ve had friends and neighbors ask me why I would allow strangers to live in such a beautiful place with expensive furnishings. My reason? I enjoy meeting new people and trust that the general population will be respectful and leave my rental in the condition they found it. UNFORTUNATELY, a few times, I have had a few families take advantage of my generosity. I live nearby and always personally do the inspection after each rental and there have been times when I have found an expensive item damaged or broken. I have also had a few people totally ignore my contract’s designated check-out time. When things like this happen, I hold either some of their damage deposit or the full amount. Only once did someone contact VRBO concerning one of these incidences. I was given the opportunity to respond with a explanation as to why I held a damage deposit. In this particular incident, the traveler knew they would not win in Small Claims’ court, so they attempted to deface me on the VRBO listing. I’m thankful that VRBO took the time and trouble to investigate this matter before publishing a completely false review. So, my dear sir and anyone else reading this, as far as I am concerned…your remarks on this webpage hold no water until I read the owner’s comments to your accusations.

    • kristine08

      MY CAPITOL ONE VISA covers “damage deposit” when I book with their card. They found out I was charged that so they “reversed” the charge 90 days prior, so no big damage to the “owner”. CREDIT CARDS have perks that cover a lot of what is charged. VRBO says BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE – NO BOOKING OR HIDDEN FEES”. That is bull-crap and now everyone knows it. “BOOK IT” IS a “booking fee”….$103.00??? just to book the house?
      Paying CASH when I arrive to someone else’s abode.
      I am done bickering, stressing and crying, just to book a freaking vacation.
      It wrong that we are not given a receipt with the charges broken down.
      Charging 3% to use VISA is super stupid.

  • Anonymous

    I am so sorry you had a bad experience but I have four homes on VRBO and I can tell you I have always posted my reviews just as they come in. Of course I keep my rentals in fantastic shape and have always had good reviews. People tell me  that they use VRBO all the time and have had very good results, so your one bad time is not a reason for your to think that all VRBO’s are this way.
    You may go to Thomasville, Georgia and view all my listings, so if you want to have a good experience please come visit.
    Thanks, Janet O’Neal, Thomasville, Ga

  • Shameful! As a vacation rental site owner, I know VRBO reviews & determines whether or not to post your comment. What it comes down to is that they do not want to loose a paying customer versus credibility of their listings. Contact me through my website. I will give you a listing account free- on the house http://www.rentalology.com.

  • Listing #142806
    This is a warning to possible renters from VRBO.com. The old saying “buyer beware” has never been more applicable. I will not even go into the problems that we had receiving the contract and paying the home owner due to lack of space. Let me say this, after our first experience, we will never use this service again. When leaving the property, we had the check list which was attached to the lease and we went over the list making certain that we did everything as requested. I walked through the home with one final walk through to make certain that we had packed everything and that everything looked good. A few days after returning home, we received an email from the owners who live in Florida saying that the cleaning people had found an indescribable mess at the rental and they would be deducting money from our deposit. This was in no way possible unless someone broke into the home after we left. IF you decide to rent from this company, my recommendation is to take dated pictures upon your arrival and dated pictures upon your departure so that you can protect yourself. In my situation, I did not do such a thing so it is their word against mine and they have the lease and my deposit on their side. Never have I felt as violated as in this situation. Let me repeat, BUYER BEWARE!!!!

  • Ricardo Rivera

    ReservationManager payment service account declined if new customer? TRUEI recently joined Homeaway.com and VRBO.com because they have a new feature called RevervationManager. This service allows home owners to manage online reservation request and take online payments. Thinking this is a great service I joined both sites. After I joined I learned there is an application process that you need to go through. Fair enough I filled out all the forms and waited the a little over 7 day to get an email saying my request was declined. Hmmm I thought this was a little strange because I don’t have anything negative in my credit history. So I picked up the phone and made some calls. The first call went to http://www.VRBO.com and I talked to one of the customer services reps and all they could tell me is that I didn’t enter all my information on the form. I thought this was unusual because I entered all my personal information into their system. So I called again to talk to another person and the plot thickens.  The new person tells me she can’t tell why the account was declined but I should but tells me I should contact http://www.HomeAway.com (parent company) directly and they will know what went wrong.  HomeAway.com took my call and in turn the customer service rep calls VRBO while I’m on the line. They tell the HomeAway without know I’m on the line listening on the conversation “I’m not supposed to say this and the customer should not know that Operations is declining all applications of customers account less than 6 months old.” After that she went on telling the HomeAway rep that she would have to word differently. Little did she know I was on the other line listening to all this.  When I asked to talked to a supervisor they declined telling no one could be reached, but they could call me back.  Long story short http://www.HomeAway.com and http://www.VRBO.com need to put a disclaimer on these new services. I consider this false advertisement and this new feature was a big reason I joined. This is a very disappointing way to start a 1 year commitment.  I would really like HomeAway to contact me about this.

  • Anonymous

    similar experience. VRBO makes it easy for the landlord to keep negative reviews off – isn’t the review supposed to accurately reflect experience with the property to assist others? Perhaps not, from my experience. Be wary, especially if there are big gaps in the dates on the reviews. The negative reviews have probably been deleted!

  • Anonymous

    I rented my house month to month to an older couple who was remodeling their home in the area. Mid Jan they asked for another month as they didn’t think their house would be ready.  Then on Jan 28th the husband came up with a story that the house was making him sick.  He had a sinus infection for a week and the only thing different in his life was the house.  Sure enough I gave them back their full security and drove by their house on Feb 1st as they were moving in. Scammers are landlords and tennants.  Just bad people all around.

  • the owner must be aware of the convenience of the renters usually the management will be the one who asked the need of the visitors 

  • Anonymous

    VRBO does not allow a review unless the owner first
    allows and verifies it. This means that if there was a bad experience to
    caution other renters, it will not appear. Here is my complaint against
    property #328569 in Santa Monica CA and they wouldnt let me publish it. If you
    wanted to rent this unit wouldn’t you want to know about the following review?

    Recommend not trusting
    this Manager/Owner for two important reasons: 1. she does not keep account of
    deposits sent to her to secure the rental. In our case, she didn’t even know
    she had cashed the deposit check until we sent her an endorsed faxed copy and;
    2. she cancelled our fully paid six-month-in -advance reservation for our
    special Christmas family reunion on short notice due to “family”
    reasons. This caused us to cancel all our plans and lose thousands of dollars
    in non refundable airline tickets. I strongly believe this woman does not
    belong in the business of renting her homes and I caution future renters that a
    contract does not matter to her.

  • how will they have renter? i think this VRBO  has to review their system they must have a good service to the renters make them comfortable

  • Anonymous

    Why add $ to the coffers of the VRBO? 
    Go straight to the $ Saving Vendor at the Stinson Beach Redwoods Haus Inn, 55 min NW of SF, from $55. + Marin County Hotel Tax, Sun.-Thurs., http://www.stinson-beach.com, 415 868-1034.
    Hike the Redwoods via MT TAMALPAIS to Muir Woods National Monument, 1000 yrs old Old Growth Redwoods Forest, Scenic Set for the newly released Planet of the Apes. Stinson Beach is a 31/2 mile white sanded Pristine Beach, South of the Bolinas Lagoon, Sanctuary for Migrating Aquatic Birds & a Seal Colony

  • Anonymous

    I am also sick of VRBO and Homeaway but I am trying to do something about it. With your feedback I hope to make a website.  I just posted my first blog on a new website following this journey.  Its titled, “CAN I TAKE VACATION RENTAL OWNER FEEDBACK, USE PAT FLYNN’s TIPS AND TURN IT INTO THE ULTIMATE VACATION RENTALS WEBSITE?”
     
    Follow my adventure and post feedback at www.VacationWebsiteReviews.com. I need all the feedback I can get.

  • Anonymous

    I am trying to take all of your feedback below and anywhere else I can find it and build a vacation rental website we would all love.  In fact, I am documenting my journey doing this.  I would love more of your feedback at http://www.vacationwebsitereviews.com please.

  • Anonymous

    thank you for sharing……….I just had a bad experience with  a VRBO listing , tried to leave a review but it was not accepted , the owner took the listing out………too bad , you can not trust anybody anymore……….what I learned is ….use a good credit card and do not pay up front !!!

  • Anonymous

    to how it may concern……..
    Let me state that my review is about the condition I experienced while

    staying at casa 39.VRBO 233615 – 3 BR Guatemala House, New Antigua Home,
    the house is all it promised , very nice , I really
    liked all about it .
    where my problem comes in is with the owner of casa
    39.
    I booked this place in march of 2011 for 2 weeks at asking price
    to
    move in for 2 weeks in November of 2011
    I am a senior  71 years old  with
    health problems and I needed a place close
    to the markets
    but most of all
    I needed peace & quiet , under normal circumstances this
    would have been
    the ideal place
    however , for me it was not .
    The Guatemala  property
    manager was very nice and helpful in every respect.
    my arrival was on a
    Friday afternoon , happy to be here .
    I heard some loud banging and noises
    from next door and I was wondering what
    was going
    on…
    Saturday…Sunday…Monday…Tuesday…every day it got worse to the
    point
    of where I could not take it any more
    I called the manager to get a
    hold of the owner because I had booked another
    week , I needed to
    cancel
     and go somewhere better .As I said the property manager was very
    helpful
    she called the owner  2 times
    because I complained again the next
    day. There was no response from the
    owner !!!
    Of course not , had he
    responded he would loose his rent money for a week.
    My second week left me in
    a state of despair , helpless at my age ,and no
    contact with the
    owner.
    and in no financial position on a meager widows social security income
    to
    just  go somewhere else.
    Here is the real complaint , yes I know I am
    in a strange country and things
    can happen
    however in this case it is
    different , the property manager informed Mr.
    Cave the owner
    4 month
    earlier to tell him that there would be construction until February
    at least
    and to contact
     any of the renters to inform them to give them a choice to
    rent with
    construction  next door.
    I never received any information like
    this at all.
    Here is the disappointing part . Upon my arrival I wrote Mr.
    Cave and told
    him the same mentioned her ,
    I asked for a discount which I
    think is only fair , I enclosed several
    videos of the on going
    construction
    and horrible constant noises.I expected a reply !!! an excuse ?
    anything ?
    but until this day 2 week later
    I have heard nothing form the
    owner.
    I think this is a coward way to act , as a business man and human
    being.
    Again under normal circumstances the house is lovely ……..
    My
    lesson learned here is to never pay cash !!!! ask if there is anything
    going
    on in the neighborhood that
    would interfere with a good vacation experience
    .
    Mr. Cave , if you read this have the decency to contact me and make this

    right.
    To proof that I am telling the truth I made several daily videos
    of the
    contraction and the intruding noises
    and I am willing to share for
    the asking.

  • Hey – saw your post. You will love this one. Just put this up on VRBO’s facebook fan page. SCAM ALERT!!! VRBO WILL NOT TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY IF IT HAPPENS TO YOU. This is a warning to everyone out there using VRBO specifically for Costa Rica vacation rentals. Our 2011 NYE holiday plans have been ruined by falling prey to a scam after responding to a vacation rental property ad on VRBO for a great villa in Costa Rica. The VRBO site is clearly not secure because instead of our inquiry going to the actual owner of the villa we were interested in, it was accessed by some criminal in Miami acting like the owner. He responded to our inquires about the house, provided details about the sunny pool, provided his wire transfer / banking details and accepted 50% of our total payment. When the other 50% of the payment was due, we reached out again and this time the real owner received our inquiry. Having been the first time she heard from us, she informed us the villa that we thought we were getting was actually rented as this was the first time she actually heard from us. VRBO’s site is clearly not secure and can be accessed by anyone, responding to inquiries, accepting payments, etc. BE WARNED! And now VRBO is saying it’s not their fault and are not liable!! Wanted to put this out there so others don’t fall for this trap. Take action and do what you can to secure your identity, your banking details and money most importantly and triple verify that you are speaking to the actual owner and not an imposter.Like ·  · 3 minutes ago · 

    • Jason I would not be surprised that the person you spoke to the second time, was actually in on the whole scam. His story that the website is not secure or whatever, it covers his behind (sorta) but it could be just that, a story! There are far too many similar stories, trainned scam?

  • Anonymous

    To those of you who have rented from VRBO, I am so sorry!  Fortunately, not all property owners are not as bad as some as I have read about here.  I am an OWNER who is VERY dissatisfied with VRBO – they charge $300 to sign up and then charge $30 per picture to actually show pictures of your property with a rediculous # of pictures needed to get “better placement”.  That may be fine if collecting a large monthly rental but is a waste of money for smaller rentals.  I have had MUCH  better luck with “gulfcoast rentals”. – much less expensive, too 

  • We are in a place in Menton, France, the pictures and description of which are totally inaccurate.  The place smells bad and the pictures do not represent what we thought we were renting.  We have contacted the owner, who refuses to compensate us for the weekly rental we paid.  We are vacating the premises after one night as we can’t picture staying here for a week – our wedding anniversary.  Some lesson.  Would not use VRBO ever again!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I had the same problem when traveling to the Dominican Republic. I sent a bad review about Casa de Cascada in Puerto Plata because this house did not have security. After 10 days, Homeaway refused to publish my review. They just post what works for Homeaway interest and not the renters. This is a total  BS ………renters don’t pay nothing to Homeaway……… owners do.

  • VRBO is in the midst of another situation that will surely tarnish its reputation.  Google “VRBO scam” and you can read the horror stories.  Dozens of people (including myself) have lost thousands and thousands of dollars, and VRBO and HomeAway will do nothing about it.  Unbelieveable. How do these people stay in business?

  • I have just begun searching on VRBO.  I have found that those renting properties are non too responsive, after the initial contact.  Is this a normal way to do business?  I have waited a week after requesting how we go forward toward an agreement and have heard nothing. I went to another listing and have now waited 3 days.  I live in a tourist environment, I know the importance of keeping the tourist industry alive, it’s to take your clients seriously.

  • Anonymous

    I have rented few times through homeaway which is the parent company of VRBO. I had good luck couple of times and one very very bad experince. The problem with this organization is that all they care about are the property owners. They receive their money from the property owners and not from the renters. I have been scamed by this property owner big time. And I have all the proofs that the property owner has a scam pattern that is using and there are lots of complaints about them on sites like trip advisor and so on. I have reported this to them with proofs. The property that I rented had propert number 137689. This property was in Paris. It is a very long story.  Then I posted my review there. They never published it and they told me that they did not receive it. I have created a new review again. But it is not being posted. The property that currently is being advertised under this property number is another one and it is carrying the reviews from the previous one. This is such a big scandal that you will not beleive.Eventhough they have been notified about this property owner (and they have lots propertied posted both on Homeaway and VRBO ) they will not take any action to stop them from utilizing the homeaway site to scam people out ot their money. I am not sure if they have any ethical obligation towards renters or not. My question comes to this, if homeaway can legally be responsible for not taking action against these propety owners who are in business of scaming people when they have been informed about them.I am looking into this from the legal side. For example if I have a business location and I  knowingly rent it to someone that is conducting illigal business there will I be responsible in any kind or form.Can anyone advise?

  • Colleen Crossfield

    I have just encountered an issue as well.  After sending a cheque to the owner of the property we booked for Hawaii I was informed that the “cheque had been returned from the bank”.  My bank records showed that the cheque had been cashed and my bank also verbally confirmed that the cheque had cleared.  I could not get a satisfactory reason from the management outfit as to why there was a problem.  Eventually, after I asked several questions and made some suggestions, it turned out that there was an issue of currency rates.  I paid in Canadian funds so I was short a few dollars. This could have been easily resolved but wasn’t and I had to find out what was the actual problem.   Not very professional nor good for VRBO.  I doubt I will use them again!

  • rd2kingdom

    Check out our experience with VRBO, Little Gasparilla Island, Florida

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/66004910/Little%20Gasparilla%20nightmare.pdf 

  • emmboo

    VRBO is shady, do not believe the reviews, I am sure they are written by the owners and owners family of the property.  We just rented a property from a VRBO in Panama City.  The pictures and reviews were great, the place was a dive and needed major upgrading.  Shame on the greedy, dishonest owners that rent these places!!!….Buyer Beware

  • I have to concur with many of the postings here. We have had two very poor VRBO experiences and in total, were out over $600; one owner basically extorted our funds and refused to entertain a refund, though we told her 2 weeks in advance of our intention to cancel – she had a 60 days cancel policy that was nowhere to be found – and, we made our reservation in less than that period. Another place was so noisy (and had other issues, such as plumbing) and the owners claimed to be unaware yet it was listed in a review on VRBO and in their guest book in the unit! I submitted an honest review and we shall see if it makes it on the site with all of the “glowing reviews” I feel we were had and again, robbed of nearly $600.00 by unscrupulous owners. I found a local property management agency that rents properties only within the city we visited and their service and accommodations were far superior; stay local.

  • I had unpleasant experience with owner of condo in Mexico.  I needed wifi in unit & was assured that was the case.  NOT!!!  Created problems for me & no directions in condo on where to get wifi.  Neither property manager nor owner of any assistance.
    I had trouble making connection to city & requested different start date, after checking schedule to ensure property was available for different dates.  I paid for 9 nites, but only got 7.  Her interpretation was that I was requesting additional nites free of charge!!!!
    Had same problem with VRBO not liking my review, making me re-write.  They finally posted.  Very upset to see that owner has posted a response, calling me by name & stating that my review is untruthful & exaggerated.
    I am appalled they would allow this libellous statement on their site.
    And she still claims that her condo has wifi!!!

  • Hi, I’m very disappointed with VRBO too.  The owner of the house I rented in HHI is having financial difficulties–a notice that the electric company was going to turn off the power if he didn’t pay his bill was left on the door while we were there–so I was worried about getting my deposit back before the week was over.  

    Three weeks later and I haven’t received my $300 deposit back yet.  After pleading financial difficulties for awhile, the owner has changed tactics and his last email said I we left the house a mess with sand in the bathtub drains!  So, I don’t expect to see my $300 anytime soon.  VRBO hasn’t done anything to help me and for “privacy reasons” won’t give me any feedback of any action they’ve taken.The life lesson I’ve taken from this experience: don’t pay with a Debit card!  If I’d used a credit card, I’d have recourse with the credit card companies.  I won’t be using VRBO again!

  • mark_tempe

    I am done with VRBO.   The owner wrongfully withheld the deposit for 3 months, for no reason.   It was a huge time suck and hassle to get it back: multiple emails and phone calls, had to get VRBO’s claim form notarized and supply them with copies of my cashed checks.  Finally the owner sent it.  But when I try to warn others with a bad review–multiple emails and postings to try and comply with VRBO’s owner-biased review system–they won’t post it.  And VRBO has all the fucking evidence from the email trails between me and the owner and all my documents had to substantiate.   They say their policy is “must substantially relate to the stay.”  Well, I don’t have to pay a deposit at a hotel for my “stay” so guess what–no more VRBO for me.  The suck.

    Mark,
    Tempe

  • kittywhiz

    I had a bad experience recently with VRBO # 91938 in Yachats, OR.  The homeowner ‘accidentally” deposited my deposit instead of returning it, even though the place was spotless and all departure policies were followed.  He gave a raft of excuses as to why it wasn’t returned to me, such as, he didn’t have my correct address, he had been out of town, etc.  I made a number of calls to his cell phone, and sent several emails, with little response.  I had to wait  months before getting my money back.  I contacted VRBO regarding this and they emailed back “we encourage renter and homeowner to work out the problem”.  In other words, they didn’t want to get involved.
    When I wrote the description of  exactly what took place in a review, in a factual and professional manner, VRBO refused to print it because the review ‘didn’t fit their standards”, in other words, if the truth is not favorable, they don’t want the public to know.

  • tammy elias

    VRBO-The Vacation Rental By Owner has had a new policy change as of 5/6/12. They are no longer transferring existing sites to new owners following the sale of your property. The new owners cannot have access to the photos, rates or any information to build a new VRBO site. In addition the sellers lose their payments to VRBO upon notification of a sale. They do NOT prorate. There is no value in selling the remainder of your subscription to the new owner as VRBO refuses to work with either party. THEY FAILED TO NOTIFY ANY OF THEIR SUBSCRIBERS OF THE NEW POLICY

  • Tony Lee

    I was trying to find an objective forum to post my comments about a rental we stayed at in Leesburg, Florida and was surprised by to learn of VRBO’s policy on postings. Censoring postings with inappropriate or vulgar comments is one thing, but this is clearly censorship at its best.
    We stayed at VRBO 404031, owned by Joe and Patty Gallucci of 5337 Tangelo Drive Leesburg, Florida 34748. This rental is in “The Plantations” subdivision. This rental had only one “Guest Comment Entered by Owner” which, in retrospect, should have been a potential warning. For those who are contemplating renting a property from these owners, I would offer my views below.
    Potential “pros” regarding this property include the following:
    1. Large appliances and utlities in good working order.
    2. Covered, non-air conditioned patio with fan and windows with screen.
    3. Relatively new laminate flooring (also a con, please see below).
    4. Basic cleaning goods provided but you are expected to replace any you use prior to departure.
    5. They take care of the lawn care. They keep the mower in the garage of the rental and come usually around 7-8 am on the weekends to mow the yard.
    5. Owners seem like nice people, and I could see myself being friends with them if they lived in my neighborhood.
    Potential “cons” regarding this property include the following:
    1. The owners expect their house to be meticulously clean upon departure. They will walk through the house and inspect everything with you prior to leaving. I was asked “Does the house look like it did when you arrived?” My answer was obviously “no,” as one can not, in my view, expect a house to be as clean as a professional maid has cleaned it after living in it for a month. However, be forewarned, the owners expect it to be “as it was” prior to your arrival or there may be an additional cleaning fee.
    2. Relatively new laminate flooring. Owners advised me not to clean this for fear of damage with various cleaning solution, but I was charged an additional fee upon departure. This was in addition to “an $85 fee which is extracted from the security deposit at the end of your visit. This is because we professionally clean each house after a pet has been in the home.”
    3. The “security deposit” is not a true security deposit but may contain additional fees detailed in the contract. This includes taxes for the rental, as well as the fee for the TV. The owners commented to me that several prior renters were surprised to learn about these fees upon departure (would have been nice to have reviews on VRBO regarding this and other things).
    4. No wireless internet access was avaiable for our use.
    Conclusions:
    The rental is well-kept with nice amenities and functioning large appliances and utilities. The owners are heavily emotionally invested in their house (your rental). The owners manage the property themselves.
    If you are meticulously clean or don’t mind doing or hiring someone to do a complete cleaning to restore the rental to its previous “very, very clean home” prior to departing, this may be the rental for you. If you think you are a relatively neat person and try to straighten up things before leaving, do not be surprised if you are berated and charged an additional cleaning fee.
    Read the contract carefully as there are additional fees that are not included with the initial “rent.”
    There are many nice rentals available in the Plantations and other nice subdivisions in Leesburg, Florida for those who are staying there for work or pleasure.

  • Trisha Mohinani

    I also had a poor experience with a VRBO rental. VRBO
    #405237 – “Elegant 2/Bd 2/Bth Apt in Prestigious Seacliff, W/Easy
    Parking”. The place is indeed nice, although getting a bit tired. We
    enjoyed our stay. Our problem was the owners’ policy with regards to the security
    deposit. We were upfront that my children (3-years and 6-years) broke a small
    Corningware bowl and that we made calls on their landline which we expected to
    be deducted from our deposit. They were kind enough to waive the broken bowl
    and accepted that they will recharge the long distance calls. Shortly after we
    left, the owner informed us that she will charge us the cost of replacing 4
    placemats at a cost of $44 as she found one placemat had small knife marks on
    it. She also reported that there were some pinkish stains (on beige fabric)
    found on a breakfast table chair and she will charge us for the cleaning and/or
    replacement of the fabric and upholstering. We replied that we did not use any
    placemats so we were not responsible for the damage. We did not understand what
    pinkish stains she was referring to, so could not deny the damage as we do have
    two young children and had a few guests over. The bottom line is that we will
    not receive ANY of our $500 deposit back. Her assessment is that the cleaning
    cost for the chair is $110 (it was unsuccessful) AND she estimates that
    additional cost to purchase replacement fabric and pay for the labor to
    reupholster the stained chair would be more than our deposit. Moreover, her
    tone was accusatory, blaming us for the placemats (instead of asking if it was
    indeed us), saying that we were deliberately trying to hide the chair stain as
    we did not declare it, and straightaway blaming our children when it may not be
    their fault. She also gets the amount of the deposit wrong. Please be aware of
    this when you put down your deposit as she intends to charge the full cost for
    having any part of her property, or any fixture or fitting put back to the
    condition it was at the start of the tenancy as opposed to charging a reasonable
    amount for cleaning, or a portion of the cost for replacing the item (in rare
    circumstances). In fact, we do not know how badly the chair was damaged. She
    mentioned some pink spots on beige fabric. It would be good it she would post a
    picture.

  • Mike Rohan

    I agree. VRBO is all about making the property owner look good. I will always use a credit card in the future & let them fight it out if there is a problem.

  • Santhosh

    Add your review for property 436306

    We booked unit 61 for a weekend. When we were all set to go we got an email from owner saying that the unit won’t be ready and it won’t be available that week. It was also mentioned that the advance amount will be credited back next day. We had to cancel that trip as there were no other options provided. As I did’t see the credit for a week, sent couple of emails but there was no response. Tried to call different #s provided. None of them picked my call. I had to dispute the transaction after calling the credit card company. Finally I saw the credit in my online statement yesterday. I thought the owner is responsible for arranging a place if the booked one is not available for any reason. Also there was no cancellation compensation.

  • I am a property owner that chooses to spend my limited advertising dollars with VRBO – I have done so for 2 plus years now.

    It is hard for an owner to see an article such as this and not take exception. I will not try and say that I have any idea as to the validity of either the renter or the owners statements in regards to the situation that started this discussion… But I would look to state a few things from an openly biased owner perspective:

    1. This is “paid for” advertising not intended to be a review site. Current VRBO pricing ranges from $349 for a listing in the 175th position to $999 to be listed number 2 for my particular property. Its not exactly inexpensive for those of us not owning million dollar mansions.

    2. VRBO is an advertising medium and as a renter you are renting from the property owner and NOT VRBO – so ask questions and interview the owner before jumping into a property. If you don’t like the answers don’t rent the property. The internet/VRBO is a great way to find a vacation location at a discount, but ultimately your discussions with the owner need to be at the pinnacle of your decision to rent.

    3. There are bad apples in any bushel. That is to say that there absolutely must exist a small percentage of owners that simply don’t have the experience or the ability to run this business well. That is also to say that there must exist renters that are a mistake from an owner perspective .

    4. Most renters do not damage owner properties. But security deposits exist exclusively because damage has occurred in the past. Most owners expect minor damages – the chipped tile, the broken coffee maker, or a dent in the stainless steel fridge – and they don’t charge for these minor mistakes. But when the big screen TV has somehow developed a hole the size of a golf club during your stay expect to be held liable for your unintended mistake.

    5. It is extremely rare to find a guest that admits to damaging a property. But these properties are generally inspected by professional housekeeping companies both before and after a vacation. When the professional housekeeping company that you pay to be your eyes and ears at your vacation rental tells you there has been damage during a stay, why wouldn’t you believe them? No owner wants to start a discussion about damages because they rarely end well and negative reviews are an often damaging result.

    6. Research has shown that a single bad review reduces the value of
    VRBO advertising DRASTICALLY, by more then 80% in terms of the reduction
    of inquiries received. You are not renting from corporate America, and
    most of the owners in question are normal people just like you who
    strive to make your vacation experience the absolute best it can be.
    And many of them are entirely reliant upon VRBO as their only source of
    advertising.

    7. VRBO is to blame for the inequities inherent to the review system. Guests have vastly different expectations from one to the next, and one mans treasure is another mans trash. Experienced owners spend as much time as possible setting realistic expectations and are always striving to improve the overall guest experience. Overstating the obvious – the vast majority of owners want you to enjoy your experience and work hard to make sure you do.

    8. Accidents happen in both directions. Your well intentioned golf swing demonstration broke the TV. Or you accidentally dropped the coffee pot. Similarly a brand new refrigerator might have a compressor go bad during your Thanksgiving vacation. Or a well maintained furnace might stop working a day before you arrive at your ski house and the limited mountain resources don’t offer the owner the ability to fix it on New Years Day. An owner is judged by how he or she responds to situations like these and most will do everything possible to resolve them efficiently. But it is rare that an owner is told of a mistake by a guest until the stay has ended and/or a housekeeping inspection reveals it.

    8. The bottom line is that the current review system is disliked by both the renters and the property owners. Renters want full disclosure, and owners want a value return on advertising dollars spent. No side is right and no side is wrong in this argument as both have extremely valid points. But VRBO as an entity and completely separate from the owners themselves, has created a review system that is woefully inadequate in both directions.

  • betty

    My ex-husband and I had always manged to stay friendly after our divorce, but I always wanted to get back together with him, and he was never sure. So, I thought it was about time I MADE him sure! All it took was to write you on your email: [email protected] and a request for a specific love spell, and Dr. Antogai powers began to work. My spell is working because guess what: My “ex” is soon to be my husband again! This is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you, Antogai. Words are not enough.

  • John

    Do NOT agree with the last guy. VRBO is an international site. Many people would like to see if a rental is legit before paying to show up at a property that may or may not exist. If a site includes customer reviews, the vendor should know that going in. Think of it like eBay. eBay is also a paid site; but if you sell on eBay, you’re subject to feedback. You can’t remove your negative feedback, and that should be the case with VRBO.

  • VRBO is careful to favor a landlord by allowing them far more leeway to criticize or outright attack a reviewer…even letting them allege unlawful conduct without a tittle of proof…My example is the listing # 250625 in Clark (Cody area) Wyoming…They finally accepted my watered down critique (review) then let the landlord outright personal attack me in her response, utterly false allegations of damages to her property by me…Recently, they permitted the same landlord to respond to a one star review by claiming the renters were repeats who were merely trying to blackmail the landlord into giving “more discounts”….Classless on VRBO’s part…I used VRBO for 2-vacation rentals this year but I won’t be using VRBO again..

  • patricia

    “Thank you for making my wish true! I was totally devastated when Frank left me. It was like all my world vanishing into sorrow and pain. But your kind words when I first emailed you gave me hope. I felt how sincere, honest and authentic you were from your first email. I know it sounds weird but out of all the casters I contacted, [email protected] you were the only one to give me that impression of being so true and caring. More than your words, it’s the fantastic work you accomplished for me that I will keep in mind. You brought my lover back and you made all my wishes come true. He’s now loyal, pays attention to me, he offers me flowers every Sunday, and we often go out at the cinema or at the restaurant. I will be forever thankful for turning my life from hell to heaven!”

  • Nancy

    I stayed in 2 different rentals I found on VRBO in Jan and Feb 2013. One was a 1 bedroom condo in Destin FL and the other was in Gulf Shores AL, about 100 miles west of Destin. After I checked out of the first condo, I immediately received an email requesting a review. The place was clean and cozy so I was going to give it 4 stars because the bedroom overlooked a parking lot which was not shown in any of the photos posted in the ad, There was nothing wrong with the unit, but I’m a light sleeper and probably would have stayed elsewhere. I still would have given it a very good review, but I hesitated saying anything that wasn’t 100% positive because she kept asking me to post a comment BEFORE returning my security deposit. (think about it) She didn’t tell me she was holding onto it for that reason, but why take a chance? I posted my review and she returned my deposit. The next rental unit was entirely different. First, it was falsely advertised. It was one room and listed as a 1 bedroom condo. Even the owner’s personal web site shows a “family area” and there was no “area.” There was a sleep sofa right next to the bed. In other words, It was a small motel room with a place to cook, so it should have been listed as an efficiency, not a 1 bedroom. I didn’t even want to sleep in the bed because of the stains on the sheets and blankets. As I wrote in another review on TripAdvisor, I bought a blanket at Walmart the next day. There were roaches crawling around at night too. The walls were so thin that I could hear someone snoring. When it rained, the windows rattled and water came into the room. So far I have not been able to post a review and the last one for this listing says “very clean” so I wonder if any of the reviews are real. I mean, how can someone write “just as described?” when it is in no way, shape or form “as described?” The number of rooms is not an opinion, it’s a fact. I’m still waiting for a chance to write a review.

  • Joan Black Dooley

    We were scammed for $3200 this past year after “securing” a property through VRBO. We contacted an “owner” on a property in Michigan who evidently didn’t have a secured email. Consequently our inquiry was diverted to a fraudulent owner who told us the dates were available and to wire the money to reserve the property. We did. However, upon our arrival another family had the house. The local rental agent was contacted and she told us that this happened before and that VRBO is aware of the situation. When I contacted VRBO to complain about my plight, the customer service people weren’t surprised. They told me VRBO is “working” on securing emails but have nothing in place at present. I was directed to submit a claim of up to $1000 reimbursement through an arduous process. So every time you use VRBO it is a gamble whether you’re communicating with an legit owner or not. There are no warnings about dubious practices you should watch out for on the VRBO site. I have told numerous users of VRBO and will continue to warn people about the very high risk of being ripped off using this site.

  • stacey Bruno

    I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who’s name is Dr ATILA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one’s gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is [email protected].

  • Martha leonardi

    I am an owner of a vrbo listed property with consistent great reviews in southern California. I would like to see a site to review guests on vrbo so I can screen destructive
    guests who consistently damage properties they stay in. I had a guest who stayed in my property for 3 months and didn’t bother to report to me a leak- 40,000.00 worth of damage as a result. The same review process should be a available for the protection on owners as well. We try to provide an excellent vacation experience for our guests.

  • D Jensen

    My family rented VRBO 240500 in Stowe Vermont. We were asked to provide a separate check for the (very large) security deposit of $750. Prior to our arrival I wrote the owner and asked if we could bring our dog.

    She replied IF I was willing to pay for additional cleaning costs. However, I was able to find another place for my dog while we were traveling and did not bring it.

    The homeowner met us at the house and took us around for about 30 minutes, telling us to take off our shoes, how to open and close the windows and window coverings, how to work the tv, etc.

    She could clearly see we did not have a dog with us, did not ask to see a dog, did not ask about a dog, and was there when the rest of the group finished emptying the car.

    When it came time to get my security deposit back, she had cashed and KEPT the check, saying she was keeping it because we brought a dog.

    The terms of the contract say that after the property is found to be in good condition, the deposit would be returned. I have contact the owner, as well as VRBO, but the owner refuses to return the deposit. Further, she has not even documented what her “additional expenses” were, but simply kept the entire amount.

    VRBO does not stand behind the contracts, and the owner certainly did not comply with hers.

    In addition, the property was noisy with 3 different construction projects going on around it, starting at 7AM 6 days a week.

    VRBO would not publish my review because it said I was demanding money. In realty, I was only asking that the owner comply with her contract terms and refund the security deposit.

  • Tessy Jerry

    My name is TESSY JERRY FROM USA, I head that my husband was having an affair with one of my closest friend and I was very upset and worried so a friend of my advice me and told me if I still love my ex and if I really want to have him back so I told her yes, and she ask me to contact Dr. ADAGBA the spell caster and I did although I never believe on spell so he gave me something when he was casting the spell and ask me to say my wishes on it and after the casting of the spell a receive a phone call from my ex and was ask me at which I did and now we are back together again I’m so happy and I wish not to ever have this mistake again in my life. I will also advice anyone with this kind of issue to contact him for help he is really nice on phone and always there to answer you question giving you the good advice that you need. his email is [email protected]

  • kristine08

    Call your credit card company if they will not take cash. You have a ton of “perks” that pertain to vacation rentals. My CAPITOL ONE VENTURE card, covers the “damage deposit”, and they will reverse the charge, IF it comes through as more than one charge. For instance, “BOOK IT”, came through as a charge of $103.00. I have no idea what BOOK IT is, until I went to vrbo and went to where the “OWNERS” sign up and handle their dashboard,. Mrs Detective….”BOOK IT” is the owners side of this equation.
    I am so sick of NO receipt when I used VRBO, and I am suppose to get an email generated receipt, so I can see how the charges are broken down. There is nothing. I called VISA and they “reversed” the payment. It was 90 days prior. They said it was because they “broke it into 2 payments”, and that “damage” is covered by THEIR card, so I do not need to pay them TWICE. If I break something, the card will pay you.

    VRBO & HOMEAWAY are the worst ever. Once upon a time, VRBO was TOP SHELF of ALL vacation rentals. Once they got greedy and merged with HELLAWAY FROM HOME, they went down the toilet. Allowing owners to “alter” or “delete” reviews they do not like is really bad. Advertising “Book with confidence, NO BOOKING FEES”, is a bold faced lie. If you go to the “owners” section, they tell them they can “pas those costs onto your renters”. Gee thanks for trying to make us pay for their advertising on vrbo/homeaway site.
    MANY OWNERS have their own contract (read it real good) 3% credit card charge, $75.00 for using the washing machine, $20.00 to PARK THE CAR. a $1,000.00 a week, and we have to pay $20.00 to PARK & use the washing machine? Anything else? Can I pay your mortgage while I am relaxing?
    PAY IN CASH or find some one who will take it. You do not have to pay 16% tax in JAMAICA. If you think the owners are paying the govt, the tax, then you are smoking crack.

    The fact they allow owners to “alter reviews” (AND THEY DO ALLOW THIS) is very suspect. That means, you will never find an honest review unless you go take time, go to TRIPADVISOR FORUMS, and find the category that is closest to where you are staying. THERE you will find all these horror stories of vrbo gone bad.
    DOUBLE BOOKING and then saying: “you did not actually stay there so you cannot write they DOUBLE BOOKED and you had to go look elsewhere!”
    Stupid is as stupid does…walk away~

  • KFA

    We had the same problem. VRBO never helps renters, and their policy is confusing and designed for them to get out of any responsibilities.
    We rented a condo in Miami Florida on VRBO #465344 around
    Xmas 2014. The managers are:

    Kyle Finley
    phone 305-761-4338

    Neil Dyer
    phone 305-338-3826

    Jason Tosh
    phone 305-924-8870

    Unfortunately we found ourselves on the street of Miami without a
    place to stay.

    I contacted them for the past 3 months but they refuse to
    refund us our money of $3570.
    I contacted VRBO but of coarse they did nothing. They also took the listing off.
    What gets me is the fact that they have to screen comments and they do not allow people to put negative reviews even if they were honest ones.
    I will never use VRBO again.

  • Kathy Langer

    BEWARE OF VRBO VACATION PROPERTY RENTALS!
    My grown son and his wife were visiting us from California. This was there first trip to Alaska. The house was in no condition to stay in, my husband and I even considered cleaning it ourselves, as we had 4 hours before the kids flew in. We decided it was not even possible to get it where someone could stay there.

    We ended up needing to rent 2 hotel rooms, had the hotel expense, along with the expense of food I had bought to make my son some of his favorite meals. There was no other rental in Anchorage that would fit our needs.

    We paid, $1600.00 and bought all protection and insurances that was offered. VRBO had HORRIBLE customer service, and refused to refund any of our money. 5 days later, we received a refund of only $600.00. BEWARE WHEN BOOKING FROM VRBO!
    They have horrible customer service, and DO NOT protect customers who are paying good money to stay. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS PROPERTY, OR ANY PROPERTY RENTED BY VRBO! I WILL BE POSTING THIS ON EVERY WEBSITE I CAN, TO PROTECT FUTURE TRAVELERS, FROM GOING THROUGH WHAT WE DID. We also wasted the first day of our vacation, on the phone with customer service….,they had no intention of helping us. We I hope this post will help someone not make the same mistake we did by trusting VRBO to enhance our vacation days.

    Steve and Kathy

    BEWARE OF VRBO VACATION PROPERTY RENTALS!
    My grown son and his wife were visiting us from California. This was there first trip to Alaska. The house was in no condition to stay in, my husband and I even considered cleaning it ourselves, as we had 4 hours before the kids flew in. We decided it was not even possible to get it where someone could stay there.

    We ended up needing to rent 2 hotel rooms, had the hotel expense, along with the expense of food I had bought to make my son some of his favorite meals. There was no other rental in Anchorage that would fit our needs.

    We paid, $1600.00 and bought all protection and insurances that was offered. VRBO had HORRIBLE customer service, and refused to refund any of our money. 5 days later, we received a refund of only $600.00. BEWARE WHEN BOOKING FROM VRBO!
    They have horrible customer service, and DO NOT protect customers who are paying good money to stay. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS PROPERTY, OR ANY PROPERTY RENTED BY VRBO! I WILL BE POSTING THIS ON EVERY WEBSITE I CAN, TO PROTECT FUTURE TRAVELERS, FROM GOING THROUGH WHAT WE DID. We also wasted the first day of our vacation, on the phone with customer service….,they had no intention of helping us. We I hope this post will help someone not make the same mistake we did by trusting VRBO to enhance our vacation days.

    Steve and Kathy

  • Chizzy Peace

    Hello I am CHIZZY PEACE ,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i meet a friend that introduce me to DR ADAGBA the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Adagba about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR ADAGBA at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: [email protected]. and get your problems solve like me….. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: [email protected]

  • ExJ

    Thanks. We’re having a similar problem with a vacation rental in Michigan. Wet lower level bedroom and no recourse for getting a refund except to say my review will reflect her efforts to redress this grievance. And then, will VRBO censor or edit it? Sounds like maybe. I don’t have high hopes for a satisfactory outcome.

  • Lisa Daly

    Same. Rental a total disaster in serious disrepair and very dirty (as in they didn’t bother to change the sheets; in addition to needing vacuuming, dusting, mopping, even the ceiling had … stuff … on it. Broken furniture. Gave our key code to other renters. etc.). Can’t get our money back. No responses from owner. VRBO says they wash their hands of it — all they do is forward your complaint to the owner. And now the listing has been taken down, so my one recourse, the review, is useless.

  • Helen Clark Mcdonald

    As an owner who has not had a bad review I can assure you that VRBO does not allow owners to remove a review. I had someone I knew who tried. Just an FYI if the property is sold the new owner can keep the old number so the property might appear under new management. In February last year VRBO started charging a fee to travelers to give them some kind of service although because I am a good client I don’t know. Sorry you all had a bad experience. Maybe you should have disputed credit card or taken to small claims court.