VRBO Won't Refund During Pandemic

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Apr 30, 2020
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For our 60th birthdays my wife and I planned a family trip to Maui from May 4 thru May 11. The coronavirus had a completely different plan!

We booked 3 separate condo's thru VRBO in the Konea Tower (130 Kai Malina Pkwy, Kaanapali, Maui). All 3 condo's had different owners. For one of the condo's we made our first payment on November 9, 2019 (1639.45) and the remainder payment on March 11, 2020 (1352.45).

When the shelter-in-place order forced our travel to be cancelled (Southwest Airlines even unilaterally canceled our flights) I assumed VRBO and the owners would agree to a full refund. Not the case!

We communicated to the owners that, since we had booked 3 condo's to accommodate our children and grandchildren, it would be unlikely that all would be available for rescheduling later in 2020.

We managed to re-book 2 of the condo's for Nov 28 thru Dec 5 however one condo was not available which is the one being referenced in this submission. The other 2 condo's were available and were rescheduled for Nov 28 - Dec 5 with no loss of our original payment.

We have asked VRBO and the owners (I have omitted their names and phone numbers due to the policy of this forum) multiple times to reimburse the full amount ... however they have refused ... they would only agree to reimburse 50% of the total amount that we paid which was $2991.90. We have lost 995 due to this coronavirus / pandemic issue and with the pandemic no one else could have occupied the condos regardless due to the Hawaii 14 day quarantine requirements.

Details of the fees paid (TOTAL 2991.90)
309 x 7 nights: 2163
Cleaning fee: 230
Service fee: 228
Property damage insurance: 59
Taxes: 311.90

Details of reimbursement received (TOTAL 1996)
Towards Condo nightly fee's only 1352.45 + 114.55 (not sure why it was broken into 2 payments?)
VRBO fee $470
Property damage insurance: 59

We are losing $995
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,420
23,386
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do. VRBO is simply placing themselves as an ad- and only making a “recommendation” for owners to refund.

This article at the end has information on VRBO:

 
Jun 24, 2019
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Keep in mind that in these transactions, someone has to take the loss. When a vrbo owner offers to refund half, the loss is split. In The absence of a contractual provision describing what happens, sharing the loss like this seems fair. Everyone appears equally unhappy.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,926
3,546
113
Keep in mind that in these transactions, someone has to take the loss. When a vrbo owner offers to refund half, the loss is split. In The absence of a contractual provision describing what happens, sharing the loss like this seems fair. Everyone appears equally unhappy.
Well said!
 

smd

Mar 14, 2018
627
1,034
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Keep in mind that in these transactions, someone has to take the loss. When a vrbo owner offers to refund half, the loss is split. In The absence of a contractual provision describing what happens, sharing the loss like this seems fair. Everyone appears equally unhappy.
There actually is a contractual provision--The reservations are not refundable. The condo owner is fulfilling their obligations by making the condo available (and is not responsible for the renters inability to get to Hawaii). Contractually, the renter agreed to take the loss, so the owner is being extremely fair in agreeing to share it.
 
Apr 8, 2020
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I believe that like HomeAway, VRBO's policy is that to receive 100% of the refund, you'd have to cancel prior to 60 days before the stay date. Then it goes to 50%, right? It's unfortunate that the way Covid-19 played out you missed that window. We had so much travel planned this year, and now it looks like none of it will happen. I've been pro-active about cancelling hotels/accomodations in advance because we are over 65 and even if travel opens up before our trip, without effective and widespread treatment (or vaccine), we are just not willing to risk it. Be careful out there.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,923
3,804
113
Maui Hawaii
I believe that like HomeAway, VRBO's policy is that to receive 100% of the refund, you'd have to cancel prior to 60 days before the stay date. Then it goes to 50%, right? It's unfortunate that the way Covid-19 played out you missed that window. We had so much travel planned this year, and now it looks like none of it will happen. I've been pro-active about cancelling hotels/accomodations in advance because we are over 65 and even if travel opens up before our trip, without effective and widespread treatment (or vaccine), we are just not willing to risk it. Be careful out there.
HomeAway.com
HomeAway, Inc. (HomeAway), owned by Expedia, operates online marketplaces for the vacation rental industry. The company has sites representing over 1 million paid listings of vacation rental homes in approximately 190 countries. The company’s portfolio includes the vacation rental websites HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, SkyRun.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States, HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom, HomeAway.de in Germany, Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France, HomeAway.es and Toprural.es in Spain, AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil, HomeAway.com.au and Stayz.com.au in Australia, Bookabach.co.nz in New Zealand and travelmob.com in the Asia-Pacific region.