Customize your experience by selecting your role:
Owner, Property Manager, or Traveler
I have emerged from my first VRBO experience feeling disappointed. I was forced to spend hours finding another lodging, almost two weeks after being assured that we had one. I had bought plane tickets for the dates I had been told were available. (LESSON: DO NOT BOOK FLIGHTS UNTIL RENTAL AGREEMENT SIGNED!)
A friend who enjoyed staying in 2009 at Kahana-Kuleana 614 recommended it to us. If our dates were available, I had no intention of even investigating another condo. On the VRBO website, I learned that the April 2012 dates I wanted were available. YAY!
I sent a message via VRBO on Jan. 15. After leaving two voicemails in the next few days and not getting any response, I sent a text message Jan. 18.
In reply, owner Jeff mistakenly sent me a text message that he had meant to send to his partner Jerry. In the text he referred to me as a "pushy" VRBO client. Realizing what he had done, he immediately texted me and apologized, saying they both take their VRBO business seriously but have fulltime jobs, would get to it as soon as possible, etc.
I heard from Jerry on Jan. 20 in an email which said: "Aloha Sarah, the dates are available that you requested. If you would like to secure the unit we would be happy to email you the rental agreement."
I said YAY, and in a reply email, I happily requested the rental agreement. I heard nothing. I emailed on Jan. 22 and 24. I heard nothing. I texted both men on Jan. 26. I heard nothing.
At 10:23 Friday night Jan. 27, I received a text from Jerry: "The requested dates are not available." No apology, nothing.
With all due respect bluetrek,
After not hearing from anyone for two days even after leaving two voice messages, then finally receiving a disrespectful reply via text, then again being ignored for several days, why would ever want to continue with such booking? Red flags all over the place! From your account above you never communicated with the owner over the phone and he never bothered to send a contract. I would have moved on the very second someone called me pushy! Renting oo VRBO does involve some effort in finding a good match between owner and guest. I always reply with minutes if possible and if, on occasion it has been several hours I always aologize for the delay and explain that I was at the vet, stuck in traffic whatever the case may be. I have just exchanged several emails with a person that booked somewhere else but still emailed me for advice after having booking elsewhere. I sent her a bunch of info anyways, she may tell a friend that she had a good experience with me so you never know.
A little common sense goes a long way. I hope you were able to find a suitable match for you with someone who VALUED YOUR business. There are many of us out there!
You are absolutely right on all points. What kept me going was the testimony of my friend who had used the place. The same two owners had dragged their feet with her too, but had ultimately come through. She couldn't say enough positive about the place nor the care of the owners in supplying the unit.
Believe me I saw the red flags, I just chose to ignore them for too long!!
I haven't been to Maui before, and I chose to coast on a trusted friend's experience rather than spending the hours I eventually had to spend anyway, researching and finding the right place. Common sense isn't anything I've ever been accused of having too much of!!
I ended up booking a condo directly through the resort. I believe it cost a bit more, but I was able to get a confirmation number over the phone.
Thank you so much for your observations.
It almost sounds like the property had a change in ownership. The lesson here I believe is listen to your gut. If you ever come to the North Shore of Oahu, I will be happy to provide with prompt courteous service!