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6384 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2012 10:07 AM by marilyn RSS
New Member 23 posts since
Nov 8, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 22, 2012 2:31 PM

Homeaway, wake up please!

A week ago I received a bad review. It was withdrawn due to this guy verbaly abusing my wife and making false accusations. You can read more about this here


Now this man has made a serious complaint accusing us of charging him more than the rates listed on our site. He claims we did this because he and his wife are black. Also, in his complaint sent to HA he actually claimed we cancelled his reservation when in reality, he actually stayed the entire agreed period. We only called him asking him to please leave the apartment at 3pm when checkout is actually 12pm.


Just look at what this man is writing to me in his latest email...



I was very upset about my stay first let's address your refutation. I actually have print-offs of the rates ok. Your website reads:


Name of Period Begins Ends Weekly Week Night Weekend Weekend NightExtra NightMonthly Event Rate Minimum Stay

Low seasonMar 1 2012Jul 31 2012R$ 650R$ 110--R$ 110R$ 2,200-3 Nights3

Notes:Rates do not include special holidays such as Xmas, carnival, easter etc. Please contact us for info

High seasonAug 1 2012Mar 1 2013R$ 800R$ 135--R$ 135R$ 2,800-3 Nights


This is me cutting and pasting now directly from your site ok. You can stop lying ok.  We  stayed in your apartment for eight days. During High Season your apartment is listed at $800 reais. Your page never says anything about holidays. I think you need to read your page again. In the U.S. this is illegal . You cannot advertise one price which it clearly states as $800 dollars per week and then give another. NOWHERE on your page does it state anything about Holidays.



Can somebody please tell me that it doesn't clearly state that rates do not include holidays? He actually copied the rates directly from my site and does not see the Notes directly in front of his eyes! Why did he actually agree on the price of 1300 reais for one week in carnival here in Brazil, pay the deposit and then make these accusations?


Yesterday I received a notice from HA that this man has made serious complaints about his stay and that I cancelled his reservation and that he wants a full refund or he will go to court. If I don't answer HA within 3 days my account will be suspended! Yes, suspended!


So I wrote back to HA within the hour and explained very detailed the entire story about this guest, just as I did when I tried to remove his very rude review a week ago. HA actually asked me to answer the following questions...


Please contact us within two (2) business days from today with answers to the questions below:

1. Has the traveler received a full refund of their payment? If not, when can they expect to receive it?
2. Have alternative accommodations been offered or suggested to assist this traveler in securing another rental?
3. What is the reason for this cancellation?

If we do not hear back from you by 3/23/2012, we will be forced to suspend your listing until this matter has been resolved.



First of all, thank you HA for actually giving me the benefit of doubt and thank you for asking me these questions before actually talking with me first! Why would I refund this man's money after he actually stayed with us the entire period? How can I possibly have cancelled his reservation after he stayed with us?


Please everybody read this man's complaint and tell me what I've done wrong because I have no clue in the matter. Please note I have cencoured the names of the individuals...



The property Rental XXXXXXXX . First to begin with I thought something was suspicious about the owner. The price of the apartment as listed on your website was $800 reais per week during the high season we stayed their for one week during the high season and were charged $1300 reais. FXXXX Dos Santos paid $300 by deposit and I paid $1,000 reais directly upon staying. We are both black and were charged higher rates. Second I was told I could stay as long as I wanted afterward. On the following Wednesday of Febrauary 21st 2012. I got a call we had only stayed since the 14th that night. The call was from Sao Paulo I was told that the owner wanted me out of the apartment by 3pm it was 10am that day. You listed an individual that violated my human rights and likely overcharged me due to my race. I am furious and if the matter is not resolved...



For the record I told this man he was free to stay in the apartment to wait for his flight that day. We received a booking later that day and unfortunately we had to ask the man to please leave the apartment at 3pm. When we called and asked there were no aparent problems. He had no aparent complaints about this at the time.


So, I replied to Homeaway as they requested and asked them to please respond asap what they are planning to do next. I am totaly dependent on this business and if HA wants to suspend my account then I would like to know soon so we can look elsewhere to advertise our properties.


I think it is extremely unfair of HA to threaten to suspend our account due to one man's insanity! This man sent me an email telling us we will be sued in court and he will do everything in his power to have our website and HA account removed.


I'm tired of writing you emails to respond HA. Please, I ask you very respectfully, as a paying costumer, and as respect to our business here in Brazil, please respond to this matter as we are tired of being left in the dark.



Andreas Bachmann

  • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
    May 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 3:45 PM (in response to odin78)
    Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

    I wondered abt the outcome of this. Hopefully you have proof of his payment and the signed contract.


    This person is "**** IN THE WORST SENSE'. AND I think he's trying to not only scam you, BUT HA as well. 


    Oh dear, "Human rights"?  REALLY/ This buffoon needs to be educated as to what "human rights" are.

    I'm SO sorry you're having to deal with this.


    This actually seems "press " worthy to me.  Take it to a travel blogger or news organization.



    Please keep us posted.  

    • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mar 22, 2012 5:21 PM (in response to msdebj)
      Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

      Moderators:   PLEASE assure us Owners reading this thread that someone in HA is also reading Odin78's plea for help, here.  PLEASE assure us that someone in HA will address the severity of that "Traveler's"  unfounded accusations against this Owner...and that "Traveler's" blantant disrespect for  "contracts" signed... and disregard for the services he received delivered to him!   That Traveler is out of bounds!  And...the racial accusations against this Owner are horrendous and they reach a new low level in "Traveler complaints" that I sincerely hope HomeAway Inc., will not tolerate!   PLEASE assure us that someone in HA's office will READ ALL THE BACKGROUND and SPEAK TO THE OWNER.  The "traveler" is NOT...I repeat NOT...always right in all cases !!!!

      HOME AWAY...Help this Owner, pleaseWAKE UP!

        • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
          Aug 9, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Mar 22, 2012 4:44 PM (in response to odin78)
          Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

 contract!  Not good.  But, you have a receipt for what he paid you, I suppose? If for any other reason to prove that you did not overcharge him, vis-a-vis what your advertised rates clearly state.  By the way, is the renter a resident of Brazil?  Does he --- or do you --- have any legal recourse in Brazil if your business ends up being threatened by this individual?

  • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
    Feb 10, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2012 6:22 PM (in response to odin78)
    Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

    It's too bad you're having this horrible experience.  Sadder still is that HA seems to have presumed that the traveler is right and you're wrong.  There are lessons to be learned (never, ever  do a rental w/o a contract!), however the more pressing issue is HA's response and its effect on your business.  Wish you the best and will be watching for what I hope is a good resolution!

    • New Member 13 posts since
      Sep 15, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mar 23, 2012 9:14 PM (in response to odin78)
      Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

      Gosh, what a nightmare!


      HomeAway has been going downhill for a long time now, as seen by how they are becoming much more traveler "friendly" and neglecting the rights of property owners who have paid large sums of money to advertise on their website.  Many, many rental owners are becoming fed up with their business "management" and policies.


      My advice, if at all possible, would be to get on the phone and NOT hang up until you have got this matter resolved.  Do NOT speak to a representative; DEMAND to speak to a manager........  DO NOT GIVE UP.......


      We have had to deal with several minor issues with HomeAway, when compared to yours, and the only way we got anything resolved was to speak to a top person.  Make sure you that you get their name and e-mail, their position in the company, record the time of the phone call, and tell them about the abysmal service they have given you so far.  Then, make sure that you get your problem resolved right there on the phone...... do not give HomeAway an opportunity to say that they "Will make further inquiries" because at that point you can be assured that you will be given the brush-off!  You MUST be tenacious, even though I know that this will cost you some money to call long-distance.  Follow up your phone call with an e-mail which lays out all that was discussed and send it immediately back to HomeAway, including the person with whom you spoke.


      It is difficult, I know, as I speak from experience, but if it wasn't for us property owners, HomeAway wouldn't exist!  You have a right to be heard, and if HomeAway won't answer e-mails - as is typical of their behavior lately - then you must CALL and be PERSISTENT. 


      Good luck!  You have many people here rooting for you........

  • travis HomeAway Employee 325 posts since
    May 2, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2012 12:22 PM (in response to odin78)
    Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

    Hi Andreas,

    Our Trust and Security team has your case in their queue and will be contacting you soon.

    We take all complaints seriously but also understand that there are two sides to every story. While we don’t mediate disputes, we document both experiences when we receive a complaint. This helps us track patterns of issues. We always encourage our property owners and their guests to communicate to work toward a mutual resolution. It’s extremely important that owners respond to complaints because this process helps us maintain the integrity of the site.

    I hope this information is useful.


    • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
      Aug 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Mar 27, 2012 12:32 PM (in response to travis)
      Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

      Thank you so much Travis for responding.  It is a reassurance that the matter is being looked into -- and from all sides. I believe that is what's important to know.

    • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
      Nov 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 10, 2012 11:47 AM (in response to travis)
      Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

      Certainly every story has two sides. BUT, to assume the home owner is guilty, per Homeaways original response email, is not right.


      Homeaway, haven't you seen enough situations where the traveler is looking to get something for nothing? Homeaway, haven't you seen enough travelers who for some strange reason (usually money) are unreasonable?


      I certainly understand two sides to a story, but don't threaten a home owner with suspension of the advert when you don't know both sides of the story. Don't make a home owner feel like they have done something wrong. Ask the home owner to explain their side of the story and that it is time sensitive as you would like to resolve the complaint.




      Odin 78, you are right in advertising on other sites. You will see that as new sites grow, your inquiries will grow as well. AND, unless Homeaway starts to listen, their advertising will dwindle.

  • native7 Contributor 47 posts since
    Mar 16, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 7:48 PM (in response to odin78)
    Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

    I, for one am offended at this standard "canned" response from HomeAway!


    Typical of how they treat their "paying" customers.  No loyalty what so ever!


    I seriously do not understand the mindset that makes them think they should treat their customers the way they do.


    Remember , 10 years ago there was no Facebook or HomeAway. 


    A few years from now we will hopefully have a better option. A company that knows how to treat their customers!


    I am sure that all of HomeAways existing customers will be happy to show them the same loyalty they have shown us and more than HAPPY  to WALK AWAY when something better comes along!

    • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
      Nov 9, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 19, 2012 8:43 AM (in response to native7)
      Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

      It's interesting that when a renter complains, Homeaway and affliates jump, but when the home owner has a comment, complaint or suggestion, it takes two weeks to get an answer. SO WHY? WHO PAYS THE BILLS? SHOULDN'T WE GET EQUAL TRATMENT?



      • marilyn Active Contributor 459 posts since
        Nov 9, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Apr 19, 2012 10:07 AM (in response to odin78)
        Re: Homeaway, wake up please!

        Actually, we do not need to put up with whatever is thrown at us. We can change websites. Yes Homeaway does provide a lot of inquiries, but what is your ratio of inquiry to bookings. I think you will find that there are sites that have less inquiries and the bookings are the same as Homeaway or greater.


        I am not advocating the overthrow of Homeaway. I just feel that if we all band together and contnually send emails and post to the community, Homeaway will wake up and smell the coffee, or in this case our protests.


        Everyday there are new travel sites started. Competition for Homeaway gets greater each day. As home owners become disgruntled and leave (as some have done already), they will see the bigger picture. Each day I find new and different was to optimize my personal sites.


        I am on my way to the conference this afternoon and hope my voice will be heard.





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