When Jason Burns and his family arrive at their Parisienne houseboat rental, they are shocked to find that it is missing one important element: electricity. Surely this qualifies the clan for a VRBO refund. Or does it? “Oh, you wanted electricity with your VRBO rental?”
When I read Grace Lou’s email, I couldn’t believe it.
I thought this problem had already been fixed. I believed I would never see another case like this again. But there it was, staring me in the face.
I’m a longtime admirer — and critic — of VRBO, the dominant vacation rental site. I like the way it consolidates a disorganized business like vacation rentals into a cohesive online marketplace and makes it easy for consumers and rental owners to find each other. But one thing I’ve never been able to understand is how it disingenuously feigns neutrality in disputes between managers and customers.
“Hey VRBO, what happened to the security deposit on my vacation rental?”
What makes Sylvia Guarino’s case interesting isn’t that she had a disappointing stay at a vacation rental she booked through VRBO. Those cases aren’t hard to come by.
“Do I deserve a refund for this Sicilian vacation rental?”
Diana Younts’ problem isn’t her vacation rental from hell. That one, she fixed on her own.
“Why can’t I leave a review about my vacation rental from hell?”
Pat Morin’s vacation rental in Aruba is a disaster — and she hasn’t even left yet. She’s trying to get her money back, but the owner refuses. Is there any hope?
Question: I recently paid a $2,060 deposit to rent a home in Aruba through VRBO. Before I was sent a copy of the lease, I realized that the rental didn’t have enough room for our party of 10, and I notified the owner that I wanted to cancel.
The owner refuses to refund the deposit, saying she runs the rental “like a timeshare.” I don’t even know what that means. That should have been explained in rental agreement, and even more importantly it should be explained to a customer when they are making a $2,060 deposit.
“I canceled my vacation rental, but they’re keeping my deposit”
Just when I thought it was safe to rent another VRBO vacation home, I received a complaint from Brit Railston about a rental in Utah that went terribly wrong.
“Oh no, not another VRBO phishing scam!”
The rental cabin in Williams, Ariz., she found through VRBO.com had three bedrooms — the perfect size for her family. So last year, Trudi Wood sent the owner a $839 check for a deposit.
“Was this Grand Canyon vacation rental a grand scam?”
The rental villa on the French Riviera that Sonia Guillaume found online looked picture-perfect. It featured an impeccably manicured garden, spacious living areas, a pool and stunning views of the medieval village of St. Paul de Vence.
“No sense of ownership in home rental phishing scams”