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What is Vrbo and how does it work?
Vrbo (formerly HomeAway) is a global vacation rental network.
This is responsible for putting owners and travelers in contact.
We must not confuse Vrbowith other acquaintances reservation portals such as Booking or Atrápalo, in which the portal almost completely manages the reservation.
So what is Vrbo/HomeAway? Vrbo is more like a kind of bulletin board for housing rental, but with some nuances, something like an AirBnB, but totally focused on rural houses and apartments in holiday areas.
Vrbo, as well as other well-known vacation rental platforms such as Trivago, belong to the Expedia group.
Since November 2019, other well-known booking portals, such as Toprural, have become Vrbo, which makes us see that Vrbo has been making a very strong presence in the world of vacation rentals.
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Is Vrbo trustworthy?
We decided to write this article after checking the bad reviews accumulated by Vrbo on the Google home page.
When asked if Vrbo is reliable, we can say that it is not entirely.
There are many complaints from customers who have lost their money or have not been refunded when there were problems with the reservation.
Vrbo washes its hands of putting these problems on property owners.
But without any doubt The little peace of mind that booking with them gives you leaves the platform in a very bad place.
If we continue surfing the net in search of vrbo opinions From some and other travelers, we really found a good number of negative evaluations towards this reservation portal.
Owners and tenants complain about the lack of protection they suffer after confirming a reservation through Vrbo, but; Is everything so negative in practice?
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We have booked twice through Vrbo (formerly Homeaway) and we cannot say anything negative about it, which is not to say that some owners and renters have not suffered certain negative experiences.
In September 2019, we rented a rural house in Asturias, Spain, to celebrate Halloween together with 12 other friends.
From the first moment the conversations with the owner were fluid, plus the location of the apartment and handing over the keys, was carried out with total normality.
In December 2019, we decided to rent an apartment in Cabo Negro, Morocco through HomeAway.
As in the previous reservation, the transaction was completed as normal.
In addition, both reservations were made at a really advantageous price, saving more than 40%, compared to other portals in which these accommodations were also advertised.
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So; What's the deal with Vrbo?
After extensive research on the most common concerns and complaints between landlords and tenants, we found that almost everyone has the same type of complaints.
If there is a cancellation by the owner or tenant, Vrbo retains the amount paid for an indeterminate time.
This practice, which at first seems to be beneficial for both tenants and owners, bothers both of them equally.
It's actually the biggest complaint we've found during our investigation.
But; Is this really a negative for Vrbo?
As we have explained before, Vrbo is just a booking portal, which puts owners and tenants in contact.
We believe that the greatest disappointment of these is caused when this type of reservation portals is confused with others such as Booking, expecting from them the same way of working and the same conditions.
That being said, if you have certain points to take into account, it is very clear before booking through VrboAfterwards, you will not be bitterly disappointed.
Points to consider before booking with Vrbo
The owner can cancel the reservation at any time
That's how it is. If the owner, for whatever reason, decides to cancel the reservation after receiving the payment, he can do so freely.
This also happens in well-known reputation portals like AirBnB. Here factors such as the seriousness of each owner come into play, as is.
Below is a YouTube video where they explain very well the differences between Vrbo, AirBnb and Booking. In the video there are first hand opinions about Vrbo.
The seriousness of each owner plays a fundamental role
By having the last word on the rental of their home, each owner can behave more or less seriously during the rental process.
Our advice is to start a conversation with him through Vrbo, even before making the reservation.
This will give you an approximate idea of the attitude of the owner and his good work.
In the two reservations we have made through HomeAway (Vrbo), from minute zero we have engaged in a fluent conversation with the owners, feeling safe at all times.
And what happens if even so, the owner cancels the reservation a few hours before, or the house is not what you expected?
HomeAway (Vrbo) has a guarantee for travelers, in addition to an emergency service in case we were involved in one of the two previous cases.
Since we have not had any problems with this portal, we decided to contact customer support directly to ask them about these and other concerns.
From Customer Service, they tell us that if we find ourselves involved in any of these situations, within a few hours after notifying them of our situation, they will relocate us to another accommodation with similar characteristics, without having to pay a price difference in the event that our apartment initial was cheaper.
In the event that our house or apartment is more expensive, they will relocate us in the shortest possible time in the same way and, in addition, they will begin an investigation to be able to return the difference in the amount as soon as possible.
How can I make sure that I am fully protected against possible fraud?
vrbo (HomeAway) has a secure payment system through debit or credit card if we book through its own portal.
After our investigations, we have been able to reach the conclusion that many of the people who say they have been scammed through HomeAway, had used alternative payment methods, how; Western Union, or bank transfers directly to the owner's account.
YOU SHOULD NEVER DO THAT!
If you want to be fully protected both on this booking portal and on any other that uses the same operation, you must always pay for the reservation through the secure payment gateway offered by the platform, even if the owner tells you otherwise.
In this way, the reservation portal is fully responsible for any unforeseen event that may arise in this regard, on the other hand, if you make the payment through alternative methods, you will find yourself totally unprotected against any attempt at fraud or scam.
This is valid both for HomeAway and for any other reservation platform, it is a basic issue that we often overlook, believing that we are going to save a few bucks, but that can ultimately turn our vacations into a real nightmare.
vrbo HomeAway may hold payment for an indefinite period of time
This is an issue that makes both parties very uncomfortable, but at Mihotelperfecto we believe that it is "absolutely" necessary to guarantee the security of both parties, although it is not the only option.
Although it is true, they could add payment methods such as PayPal or Amazon Pay, secure payment portals with extensive experience in this sector.
In fact, we believe that the day they add new secure payment methods, they will gain the trust of many more customers, although for now, secure card payment seems to us to be a viable option for HomeAway to continue to be an option to keep in mind. account in the cheap vacation rental.
How to contact Vrbo
On its portal we found an international telephone number (001512-782-0805), which we decided to rule out from the outset as a method of contact, due to the more than possible high cost of the call.
We believe that the most useful way to contact Vrbo is through their customer service line, so we leave you the free phone numbers that we have found to contact them directly, at no cost to you.
- Phone Vrbo Spain: 900838427
- Calls from abroad: +34911238309
- Property owners: 90083 8426
Our opinion on Vrbo Spain
As we have previously discussed, our rental experiences with Vrbo have been positive in all cases.
Vrbo reminds us of those first advertisement websites in which the owners rented holiday homes in the south, with the difference that everything is better organized on this portal and that, on those websites, nobody offered you any assistance or protection.
From our experience, the best advice we can give you before booking on this or any other portal is that you never try to carry out the transaction directly with the owner outside the reservation portal, because what at first may seem that it will do saving money can become the worst experience of your life.
Personally, we will continue to use the Vrbo portal at specific times, when we travel as a family or with our group of friends, and if one day we have a bad experience with them, we will update this article and tell you about it openly.
Another recommendation with which you make sure that the announcement of the house or apartment conforms to what was promised, is that you go for the houses with the best evaluations or, at least, with some evaluation or comment from a previous tenant.
This seems to be very logical, but not everyone takes it into account when reserving a house or apartment over the internet, however, it is our best "anti-surprise" tool.
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By following these simple recommendations, we should have no problem when booking our vacations through HomeAway, saving a lot of money compared to other similar portals.
— UPDATED AFTER A VERY BAD EXPERIENCE WITH VRBO — READ NEW ARTICLE HERE
As we have commented, although our experiences with Vrbo (HomeAway) have been positive, many people on the net do not think the same.
We can find many negative opinions from Vrbo. Customers who have had bad experiences of all kinds.
So, for example in trustpilot, Vrbo reviews has a rating of 2.5 out of 5, and is rated as bad by many customers who made ratings like this.
In tripadvisor You can also read very negative opinions.
In opinions Spain where more of the same.
We want to know your experiences
We would like this article to be nourished with the comments of travelers and owners (both positive and negative), to become a complete help guide on Vrbo, with real 100% experiences, so do not hesitate to leave your comment below.
When writing them, try to be as objective as possible, in this way, together, we can see what their positive points really are. And what are the negatives?
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I am a passionate traveler with an innate desire to discover the world. To date, I have had the privilege of visiting 31 countries and most of them have left an indelible mark.
During my travels, I have gained valuable knowledge on how to travel efficiently. I have perfected itinerary planning, accommodation selection, and making the most of each experience. I am proud to share my tips and tricks with you so that you can enjoy hassle-free and unforgettable trips.
On this blog, you'll find a carefully curated selection of destinations, practical tips, and honest reviews of hotels and tourist attractions. My goal is to inspire you and provide you with useful resources so that you can plan your own adventures with confidence and peace of mind.
May travel fill you with joy and open you up to new possibilities!