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:
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.