Our VRBO won’t give us a refund

lorenae

I'm going to Disney World!
Joined
Sep 12, 2015
I think there is a big difference in many ways from huge hotel chains and mom and pop rentals on VRBO or Airbnb though.

I feel for the owners losing that income, but I also feel for the travelers who if it wasn’t for this huge global crisis would be taking their dream vacation to Hawaii.

The OP was content to go 50/50 with the owner, and yet the owner declined and kept the whole thing, Not one day or two days, but the entire payment. That seems unreasonable for that owner, knowing that someone would not cancel this for arbitrary reasons. That’s why our upcoming renters absolutely got 100% of their payment back. They wanted to come- I wanted them to come. But it wouldn’t be reasonable to fly to Florida from Cincinnati at this time, rent a car and come to my house.

Ft Lauderdale and Miami beaches are closed, although here on the Gulf coast it seems to be mostly business as usual. That should (will) change, and our renters are wise to stay home and self-quarantine or at least not expose themselves and others to possible infection and spread it.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
I think there is a big difference in many ways from huge hotel chains and mom and pop rentals on VRBO or Airbnb though.

I feel for the owners losing that income, but I also feel for the travelers who if it wasn’t for this huge global crisis would be taking their dream vacation to Hawaii.

The OP was content to go 50/50 with the owner, and yet the owner declined and kept the whole thing, Not one day or two days, but the entire payment. That seems unreasonable for that owner, knowing that someone would not cancel this for arbitrary reasons. That’s why our upcoming renters absolutely got 100% of their payment back. They wanted to come- I wanted them to come. But it wouldn’t be reasonable to fly to Florida from Cincinnati at this time, rent a car and come to my house.

Ft Lauderdale and Miami beaches are closed, although here on the Gulf coast it seems to be mostly business as usual. That should (will) change, and our renters are wise to stay home and self-quarantine or at least not expose themselves and others to possible infection and spread it.
You can easily look at it that the chain hotels could lose not only in refunds but in the coming months too much and they have to close down certain locations maybe much more easily if that location was already underperforming or just barely even. Those workers could lose their jobs or hiring freezes done or people laid off to trim the fat. Look at what Disney is doing now with all the entertainment cuts--Japan's entertainment cut and had been running for 25 years. Entertainment for the UK pavilion was canceled and they had done over 11,000 shows over the course of their time there. The company as in a huge hotel chain may not be so severely impacted by their bottom line but individual locations certainly can be.
 


Hokie2005

Earning My Ears
DVC Gold
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
I won't be surprised if after all of this we see a lot more people paying the premiums for refundable reservations and cancel for any reason travel insurance. I think the key for these VRBO, AirBnb, DVC rentals, etc. is getting that cancel for any reason travel insurance. The owners are essentially running a small business and they might not be able to absorb a loss and thus why they state no cancellation terms up front. It is up to the renter to get the travel insurance and they need to perform their own risk assessment in regards to if it is worth the cost. I admittedly never have gotten travel insurance because I don't want to pay the cost. I also though accept the risk that goes along with that. As a renter of these properties agreeing to the cancellation terms when booking and not getting insurance; the renter really needs to accept responsibility for their situation. It really sucks and I am empathetic to those people feeling the financial impacts and missing out on their dream vacations.
 
  • Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    I won't be surprised if after all of this we see a lot more people paying the premiums for refundable reservations and cancel for any reason travel insurance. I think the key for these VRBO, AirBnb, DVC rentals, etc. is getting that cancel for any reason travel insurance. The owners are essentially running a small business and they might not be able to absorb a loss and thus why they state no cancellation terms up front. It is up to the renter to get the travel insurance and they need to perform their own risk assessment in regards to if it is worth the cost. I admittedly never have gotten travel insurance because I don't want to pay the cost. I also though accept the risk that goes along with that. As a renter of these properties agreeing to the cancellation terms when booking and not getting insurance; the renter really needs to accept responsibility for their situation. It really sucks and I am empathetic to those people feeling the financial impacts and missing out on their dream vacations.
    I also suspect the travel insurance industry to probably readjust their plans available regarding this.
     

    2Gma

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2015
    UPDATE on our $4k loss from upthread: One of the owners called us back. He was willing to go 50/50 (that is what I asked for), said he thought about it and it was the right thing to do. Because of this we will book with him directly when we do finally make our trip after this is all over.

    The other owner has not called or messaged us back. At this point I'm not holding my breath.

    In regards to insurance: the standard policies usually cover most peoples needs, which is what we bought. Who would have ever thought about needing it for epidemics?! We will now of course!
     

    Lilsia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2018
    Even though they legally do not have to refund any of the money. It is good business to at least go half and half. They became a business the second they decided to rent out their properties. In this day and age of social media, it is foolish to be unwilling to compromise in this unprecedented situation. That is why almost all companies are relaxing their rules. Yes the owner will be out, but they should look to the future and the possible bad review that they will receive causing in future loss of business.. VRBO knows this, that is why they are encouraging owners to be flexible.
     

    Beer Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2014
    I’ve used VRBO many times and I agree they are not the party to blame. I’m not even sure what they could do.

    When you book it’s very clear you are entering an agreement with the property manager/owner and VRBO is just a middle man. Cancellation policies are spelled out in black and white and can differ between properties. I’m glad some owners seem willing to be more flexible but bottom line is if you miss the cancelation window it’s between you and the owner, not vrbo.

    I have a beach house booked (through vrbo) for July. Hopefully life will at least be starting to come back to normal by then. This owners policy is 100% refund before 30 days and 50% before 14 days which seems reasonable.
     
  • 2Gma

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2015
    I’ve used VRBO many times and I agree they are not the party to blame. I’m not even sure what they could do.

    When you book it’s very clear you are entering an agreement with the property manager/owner and VRBO is just a middle man. Cancellation policies are spelled out in black and white and can differ between properties. I’m glad some owners seem willing to be more flexible but bottom line is if you miss the cancelation window it’s between you and the owner, not vrbo.

    I have a beach house booked (through vrbo) for July. Hopefully life will at least be starting to come back to normal by then. This owners policy is 100% refund before 30 days and 50% before 14 days which seems reasonable.
    BeerMe, I hear ya, under normal circumstances I feel policies & contracts should be followed, that's why we have them. I think for most of us we realize this situation is anything but normal and we all have to work through to find the best solution for everyone.
     

    purplenancy27

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2020
    Sorry it sucks, just know you are not alone. We had 9 nights in Hawaii booked through VRBOs and are losing about $4K. When I tried contacting the owners they were unwilling to offer any refunds (I asked to go 50/50). The only refund we got through owners was "cleaning fee" since they wouldn't need to do that. Wow, thanks.

    When I contacted VRBO directly they told me the only thing they could offer was FOR ME to contact the owners to request refund, that they were "encouraging owners to offer refunds but ultimately the decision was up to owner." They were able to refund my service fees of $251 & $149 but that peanuts compared to what we lost. When I asked to speak to another representative who might help me further they told me "sorry this call is being unproductive so we're hanging up" I have encouraged people to use VRBO and airbnb because of awesome accommodations but NEVER AGAIN after this. (FYI-I did buy VRBOs trip insurance too but of course it doesn't epidemics)
    What about your flight. If that is cancelled will insurance step in? Many airlines are cutting capacity.
     

    purplenancy27

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2020
    I’ve used VRBO many times and I agree they are not the party to blame. I’m not even sure what they could do.

    When you book it’s very clear you are entering an agreement with the property manager/owner and VRBO is just a middle man. Cancellation policies are spelled out in black and white and can differ between properties. I’m glad some owners seem willing to be more flexible but bottom line is if you miss the cancelation window it’s between you and the owner, not vrbo.

    I have a beach house booked (through vrbo) for July. Hopefully life will at least be starting to come back to normal by then. This owners policy is 100% refund before 30 days and 50% before 14 days which seems reasonable.
    Are you aware VRBO gives the owner far more rights than renters? Owner can cancel your reservation with no notice and refund if they feel the fee paid is not acceptable. You can not even leave feedback to let future renters know.
     

    purplenancy27

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2020
    Even though they legally do not have to refund any of the money. It is good business to at least go half and half. They became a business the second they decided to rent out their properties. In this day and age of social media, it is foolish to be unwilling to compromise in this unprecedented situation. That is why almost all companies are relaxing their rules. Yes the owner will be out, but they should look to the future and the possible bad review that they will receive causing in future loss of business.. VRBO knows this, that is why they are encouraging owners to be flexible.
    You are not able to leave a review if reservation is cancelled.
     
  • 2Gma

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2015
    What about your flight. If that is cancelled will insurance step in? Many airlines are cutting capacity.
    Our flight was not cancelled and appeared to be nearly full the day we were supposed to leave! I cancelled our flights one week prior to leaving and was able to retain flight value as voucher for future travel & no change fees. At the time I saw things declining fast (nurse) and our government hadn’t stepped in yet then. I knew we’d take a loss but felt ok with it because I didn’t want to be stranded somewhere.
     

    Beer Me

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2014
    Are you aware VRBO gives the owner far more rights than renters? Owner can cancel your reservation with no notice and refund if they feel the fee paid is not acceptable. You can not even leave feedback to let future renters know.
    No I hadn’t really thought about the owner cancelling with no notice. What do you mean by “if they feel the fee paid is not acceptable”? Aren’t all those terms laid out up front?
     

    Duck143

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2008
    Relatives traveling with us have a deposit in on a home and the remaining balance is due 4/1. Not sure what should be done; don't want to cancel and lose the deposit, but can't go forward with sending more $$ and risk losing that much more!
     

    bearzabout

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2000
    When I book Airbnb reservations, the most important detail is their cancellation policy. I look for the owners who choose the flexible option, allowing cancellations one day before for any reason. I have never had to cancel, but life happens and there can be so many reasons, especially for older people with elderly parents, that can affect a vacation. I try to reward the people who allow for cancellations with my business and never book with those with a "strict" cancellation policy. Demand drives the market, and flexible people that will work with me are people I choose to do business with.
     

    2Gma

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2015
    Relatives traveling with us have a deposit in on a home and the remaining balance is due 4/1. Not sure what should be done; don't want to cancel and lose the deposit, but can't go forward with sending more $$ and risk losing that much more!
    I would contact the owners to see what can be worked out between you guys but Im pretty sure I wouldn’t pay anymore $$$ regardless.
     

    rosieposy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2010
    I posted earlier in this thread. The owner of our rental home has allowed us to switch our dates from the week before Easter 2020 to the week before Christmas/leading into Christmas 2020 at no extra cost. We are very happy with this solution. She didn’t legally have to do anything for us, but because of this crazy situation she did. I hope more people in this thread are able to switch dates or get refunds. :)
     

    Duck143

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2008
    I would contact the owners to see what can be worked out between you guys but Im pretty sure I wouldn’t pay anymore $$$ regardless.
    They're not going to be able to rent it to someone else right now, so I'm thinking we should just ask for a last minute payment if parks open.
     





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