VRBO

Fraud on VRBO strands overseas travelers

Like many travelers looking for bargains, Alan and Julie Mitchell were looking for a cheap, convenient place to stay when they made a reservation for their trip. But they ended up with some very inconvenient accommodations that concluded with a credit card dispute. Continue reading…


What’s the deal with HomeAway’s new “booking” fee?

For the last several days, I’ve been on the receiving end of emails from readers like Paul McWilliams about a new fee being charged by HomeAway, which runs VRBO and VacationRentals.com.

The new “booking” fees, these emails suggest, are poorly disclosed, have no discernible consumer benefits and are being forced on unwilling renters.
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What to do when you get dumped by your travel company

Barry Shiller’s vacation rental owner got a better offer just before he checked in. And suddenly, his family had no place to stay for their theme park vacation this spring.

He’d booked a house in Orlando through VRBO.com, a vacation rental Web site. But a few weeks before the family was supposed to check in, the owner contacted him to report that the house had been “double-booked.” A refund check was already in the mail. Continue reading…


Hey VRBO, what happened to the security deposit on my vacation rental?

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.
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I canceled my vacation rental, but they’re keeping my deposit

David Smith/Shutterstock
David Smith/Shutterstock
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.
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