Our VRBO won’t give us a refund

Joined
Sep 25, 2000
I would make sure to leave a short review of the place and note that the owner did not provide any refund under trying circumstances . The owners are certainly entitled to stand by the cancellation policy that both parties agreed to, however future renters should also be able to see that they are inflexible.
 

Beer Me

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
I feel like I need the link to the news story here if you could. The linked screenshot doesn't give me context nor does it say "if they feel the fee paid is not acceptable"
I found it


This guy sounds like an incompetent jerk. He basically just said he didn’t like the price it was booked at and canceled. It says he provided a full refund and help finding another place so that’s something at least.

I agree VRBO should have a more transparent way of knowing if owners have some history of canceling like this.
 


Joined
Oct 23, 2015
There is a story on this on
click2houston website
Search VRBO
I found the news story as well.

VRBO is a middle man here. They facilitate the transaction. It is still the owners property though which is why they put that clause in there. If your friend says you can stay over but then says "nevermind" it's still their property to do so. VRBO's terms and conditions are intentionally vague, just like just about every other company out there, because there are way too many 'what if' situations out there. There are so many things that could happen to an owner's property where they shouldn't be penalized for it.

So you've got 1 owner here who has up and decided they cancelled a person's reservation. He offered a 100% refund but they also offered to help find another property for him it's just the availability wasn't as plentiful at that moment (which I suspect was the real issue). Could this owner be of the bad kind? yup but you'll find that with a variety of places--one hotel branch could have fantastic management while another doesn't.

Within the news story it advised: “Each homeowner or property manager who lists a property on VRBO sets their own rates and manages their own calendar. Homeowners or property managers who repeatedly cancel reservations may be removed from the site.” That's an internal checks and balance within the company. Just like Amazon for example has set up.

As far as reviews that becomes tricky. Unfortunately a lot of people out there write unfair reviews or straight up falsify information. The point leaving reviews is to give experience on the unit/property one is renting. I would agree that things like "owner communication" can be helpful though.

There are def. companies that allow reviews without having stayed there but even TripAdvisor, who allows you to list a review though you are supposed to put when you stayed there so if you did stay your review is inaccurate, states "Is false, unlawful, misleading, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, indecent, lewd, suggestive, harassing (or advocates harassment of another person), threatening, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, abusive, inflammatory, fraudulent or otherwise objectionable" so you would def. have to be careful about how you word your review of the owner. But really even TripAdvisor is set up to review the property itself as the main component.
 
  • Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    I found it


    This guy sounds like an incompetent jerk. He basically just said he didn’t like the price it was booked at and canceled. It says he provided a full refund and help finding another place so that’s something at least.

    I agree VRBO should have a more transparent way of knowing if owners have some history of canceling like this.
    I found it too. Thanks for looking as well!

    I agree he's not a good owner I do disagree with how this particular situation was presented as a way to badmouth VRBO as a whole. Jerks exist everywhere don't they lol

    The only issue I see with the cancelation thing as far as being transparent is you don't know why someone canceled. I suspect there are far more legit reasons an owner cancels on someone like something wrong with the property or HOA issues or City issues or whatever. The reasons almost become infinite so on the one hand saying how many times the owner has canceled on people in the past is useful information on the other hand it doesn't give the full story.

    And to be honest I can't blame an owner if for whatever a traveler becomes hostile or is in some other fashion not someone they want to rent from (like concerns about partying which there have been threads on the DIS about that). How can an owner notify other people that it's really the traveler who was the problem. The big part is when the owner cancels on the traveler money should be refunded no money kept as that was on the owner's side.
     

    2Gma

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2015
    This thread has been very interesting. Thank you for the information. I have never booked through VRBO and probably never will.
    Admittedly, we’ve used VRBO for almost 10 years for all types of vacations. I’ve even encouraged others because we found the experience so much better than hotels. We carefully select units from reviews/owner communication, never had a problem! This “unique” situation was our first real issue but one that has left a sour taste.
     
  • SCCNJ

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2020
    Admittedly, we’ve used VRBO for almost 10 years for all types of vacations. I’ve even encouraged others because we found the experience so much better than hotels. We carefully select units from reviews/owner communication, never had a problem! This “unique” situation was our first real issue but one that has left a sour taste.
    We have used them and airbnb as well and never had a problem until now. I can't even get past the management company to the owner this time. I have offered to have them keep the money paid and rebook a future date, or a 50/50 split but they are not budging. There is no way it is costing them $4000 a week to keep up with their mortgage and bills for this house. They have returned the pool heat fee but not the cleaning fee...for a house that is already clean because I never even laid eyes on it. I think I'm being pretty flexible and in any other circumstance I wouldn't ask for a break but everyone around the world is feeling the effects of this pandemic and a little kindness and understanding goes a long way.
     

    J'aime Paris

    Living happily ever after
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2008
    I AM AN OWNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I RENT OUT MY CONDOS VIA VRBO AND AIRBNB...

    QUIT TRASHING these websites and the people who use them!

    I REFUNDED 100% OF MONEY PAID BY GUESTS ARRIVING UNITL APRIL 6TH, AND POSSIBLY BEYOND!

    I am literally EATING THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!

    NOT EVERYONE IS A THIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (I was not obligated to give full refunds, but I did! Doesn't anyone believe there are good people left in this world??
    I'll be hurting BIG TIME if this lasts a long time...........do the renters give a crap about that???)
    It goes both ways, you know!
     

    LuvMyEAR

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    We have rented through VRBO for every single trip since 2004 and have never had a poor experience. That said, we have never had to cancel or change plans, either. One of my screening criteria for rentals has always been the stated refund policy.

    This year, for the very first time, I violated my own rule and rented a place where the deposit is non-refundable. Our 2-week trip is not until late Nov and while we are trying to stay optimistic about a return to normalcy by then, it seems less and less likely. What will be, will be... and the main thing is for people to be safe and stay healthy. My hope is that we can make a well-informed decision regarding our trip before the balance is due on our rental. I am prepared to lose that substantial deposit, as I told myself could happen when I made the booking.

    Bless all the owners who are willing to work with their renters beyond their contractual obligations. It is a tough situation for both sides, and renters need to very aware of rental terms before booking.

    On another note, I just had to absorb the cost of 2 nights stay in a beautiful Orlando resort. I booked a Hotwire Hot Deal just 2 days before our planned stay, figuring it was safe to do so. We were looking forward to time at Disney Springs, and enjoying the resort before making a leisurely return to Canada by car. Fast forward and instead of checking into our resort, we were on the road, pointed north. Again, I was aware of the “Non-refundable” terms and still hit that “Book now” button. A couple lessons learned.

    Stay safe, folks. It’s the only way we will get back to WDW in the future!
     
  • robinb

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 1999
    I AM AN OWNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I RENT OUT MY CONDOS VIA VRBO AND AIRBNB...

    QUIT TRASHING these websites and the people who use them!

    I REFUNDED 100% OF MONEY PAID BY GUESTS ARRIVING UNITL APRIL 6TH, AND POSSIBLY BEYOND!

    I am literally EATING THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!

    NOT EVERYONE IS A THIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (I was not obligated to give full refunds, but I did! Doesn't anyone believe there are good people left in this world??
    I'll be hurting BIG TIME if this lasts a long time...........do the renters give a crap about that???)
    It goes both ways, you know!
    You are a good person {{hugs}}. I would hope that your renters are thankful. I personally think that a 50-50 refund is completely appropriate since the cancellation was no ones fault, but I think it's wonderful that some people (like you) are giving full refunds. Unfortunately, there are bad apples that are refusing to work with people and that makes me angry. I'm so glad there are probably more people like you in the world.

    I *do* think that people who book through VRBO (and other similar places) need to fully understand the cancellation policies. Owners are completely within their legal rights to be "thieves" and keep the money for accommodations that cannot be used. If a person who rents a place (not you, your customers) cannot accept that risk, then they should not rent through VRBO.

    I think this whole thing also shines light on the crappy travel insurance industry. How many people paid for travel insurance thinking that they were protecting their vacations only to find out that a pandemic is not included?
     

    J'aime Paris

    Living happily ever after
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2008
    You are a good person {{hugs}}. I would hope that your renters are thankful. I personally think that a 50-50 refund is completely appropriate since the cancellation was no ones fault, but I think it's wonderful that some people (like you) are giving full refunds. Unfortunately, there are bad apples that are refusing to work with people and that makes me angry. I'm so glad there are probably more people like you in the world.

    I *do* think that people who book through VRBO (and other similar places) need to fully understand the cancellation policies. Owners are completely within their legal rights to be "thieves" and keep the money for accommodations that cannot be used. If a person who rents a place (not you, your customers) cannot accept that risk, then they should not rent through VRBO.

    I think this whole thing also shines light on the crappy travel insurance industry. How many people paid for travel insurance thinking that they were protecting their vacations only to find out that a pandemic is not included?
    Thank you for your reply and the "hug"
    I really needed it!! ::yes::
     

    missingdisneymore

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2012
    I AM AN OWNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I RENT OUT MY CONDOS VIA VRBO AND AIRBNB...

    QUIT TRASHING these websites and the people who use them!

    I REFUNDED 100% OF MONEY PAID BY GUESTS ARRIVING UNITL APRIL 6TH, AND POSSIBLY BEYOND!

    I am literally EATING THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!

    NOT EVERYONE IS A THIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (I was not obligated to give full refunds, but I did! Doesn't anyone believe there are good people left in this world??
    I'll be hurting BIG TIME if this lasts a long time...........do the renters give a crap about that???)
    It goes both ways, you know!
    I have used VRBO for over 10 years...never an issue until now. Awesome that you are working with others and realizing the severity of the situation. However, I do not think you are in the majority. Nate, the condescending and rude owner I recently rented from, does not share your qualities, unfortunately. Thank you for helping others at this time. Nate could take a lesson from you.

    For example, I have asked for the cleaning fee refunded as we will not be there to occupy and therefore it will not need a cleaning. He said no, he was bringing someone in to clean it anyways to keep it fresh. This guy wins the jerk of the century award.

    As for renting from others in the future, I probably will and encourage others to do the same. It’s a business. But I will be much, much more scrutinizing than I already am regarding who I rent from. As you pointed out, there are good people out there!

    Good health to all!
     

    choirfarm

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 18, 2007
    I cancelled a trip last Monday for May. It was refundable then. Still haven't gotten my refund. So, should I wait another week and then email. If I do, do I email the owner or VRBO?
     

    melanieewr

    <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2001
    I own 2 Hawaii properties that I list through VRBO and HomeAway. Initially, I will admit I was VERY reluctant to give a refund. It was mainly due to the renter wanting to cancel weeks away and we were in the early throes of this. I was hoping like everyone that this would improve rapidly and these folks would actually be able to travel. I told my property managers that we would take it case by case. I believe one person canceled without contacting us about our position on this. We rebooked 2 with new dates. We are holding a credit for another until they can figure out new dates. BUT...in the last 7 days EVERYONE wants a refund. We are refunding as I feel it’s the right thing to do. I have been surprised at how very few people purchase trip insurance as I purchase a yearly policy to mainly cover emergency medical and evacuation. But, I rent a lot through VRBO myself and I also purchase insurance for each trip. I’m sure DVC point renters are facing similar issues. I hope everyone can come to reasonable resolutions. Keep working with the VRBO owner. Even though we are refunding, I believe the FAIR solution for both renter and owner is to rebook the dates or hold a credit for a future reservation. I hope we can all be considerate of how this is affecting each of us. VRBO and similar websites provide a valuable resource for us to find comfortable alternates to hotels that I appreciate. Everyone had the right to choose, but please don’t trash the VRBO owners as a whole for the actions of a few. To anyone that has already lost money on a rental, please go back to the owner and ask if they would consider a full or at least a partial credit for a future stay.
     

    SinCityMMAFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2017
    Just want to share my experience renting through an owner/management company. We had a trip planned for late April and we had booked a property with a company called Palm Tree Vacation Homes who has an actual website as well as they offer their services through VRBO. They rent out properties in the Windsor Hills, Windsor Palms, and surrounding areas. Up until last weekend we were waiting it out to see what was happening and then as things started to get more and more serious we decided to reach out to them to see what are options were as far as cancelling and obtaining a refund. It states on their page that you can cancel from 60-45 days to receive 75% of your money back, 45-30 days to receive 50% of your money back, 30-15 days to get 25% of your money back, and under 15 days you won't get any of your money back. It also stated very clearly that these were the rules no matter the circumstances. So with that being said I e-mailed the company and didn't get a response, so I e-mailed them again a few days later and that's all I was looking to do is get 50% of my money back since that was what I was entitled to under their rules. After sending the 2nd e-mail a few hours later I received an e-mail from the owner of the property asking me whether or not we wanted to play it by ear, cancel and get a full refund, or move our existing reservation to a future date should the unit be available. We decided that since we have a Hawaii trip scheduled in September to just cancel it and opt for the full refund since we have no idea when we would be able to get back to the Orlando area.

    So there are good renters and management companies out there and I could speak for experience. So as they say "Just because you find one bad apple, doesn't mean you should give up on the whole tree".
     

    2Gma

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2015
    "Just because you find one bad apple, doesn't mean you should give up on the whole tree".
    Agree there are some good owners here doing the right thing, thank you!!! HOWEVER, I was more upset by vrbo corporate for literally not offering to assist costumers in any way (see my post up thread). Basically vrbo was like “sorry, can’t help, you need to work with owner”. And hung up on me!!! That is why I am shrugging off vrbo for awhile and will look to other companies offering same style of offerings but with better service.
     

    SinCityMMAFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2017
    Agree there are some good owners here doing the right thing, thank you!!! HOWEVER, I was more upset by vrbo corporate for literally not offering to assist costumers in any way (see my post up thread). Basically vrbo was like “sorry, can’t help, you need to work with owner”. And hung up on me!!! That is why I am shrugging off vrbo for awhile and will look to other companies offering same style of offerings but with better service.
    I totally understand where you are coming from. They should've had a better plan of attack on this situation we are all in. Not a good look for them as a company and I'm sure they will lose a fair amount of business going forward as word gets out and people see what could happen if they are put in a situation such as this. Certainly very unacceptable of what they did to you.
     





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