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16722 Views 39 Replies Latest reply: Jun 5, 2012 2:13 PM by twobitrentals RSS
New Member 8 posts since
Jun 10, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 10, 2011 6:46 AM

How do you get vrbo not to print a negative review from a renter who is harrassing and threatening you.

We had our first problem renter in our three years of renting.  This renter was charged for dogs he did not disclose he was bringing.  This small $10 a day charge has added to his credit card bill at the end of his stay.  He has totally gone off the wall with this and has sent very long threatening emails that I even took to the police yesterday.  They said he is not doing anything illegal but indicated that his behavior has escalated abnormally.  I feel like I am dealing with a psychopath.  To put this to rest, I refunded his money but he has put a terrible review on vrbo which hasn't been posted yet but will be.  I asked them to please not post this as I was going to take the emails to the police and possibly an attorney. They indicated they have to post it.  While all of our reviews are positive and rated 5 stars, this will be the top review seen.  I plan on explaining the situation in a positive tone and not coming down to his level but I am still concerned.  Should I forward the emails to vrbo?  My friend called them "verbal rape".  Suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks.

  • New Member 6 posts since
    Jun 9, 2011

    So even after refunding the money the reviewer won't simply delete their VRBO review or at least amend it substantially?

  • sophie Senior Contributor 964 posts since
    Mar 4, 2011

    vrbo won't do thing...I'm so sorry for the situation.  Just write a positive rebuttal so others renters will see you as the sane one.

    • marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
      Feb 10, 2011

      I had posted a question about this topic but didn't see any responses.  I have been reading the numerous posts about this topic and saw the suggestion about putting something in your contract that provides only the OWNER can post reviews on any website and the GUEST is prohibited from doing so.  Does anyone think that VRBO would honor this provision in a contract.  They're not a party to the contract, but then again, renters are not parties between the agreements between us and VRBO and they pretty much get to write whatever they like.  Does anyone think VRBO would honor a provision like this and refuse to post the guest's review?

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011

    Join the party...we are all upset as just one negative review that is not justified has a major impact on rental revenue.  HomeAway management is not listening to the customer because they are more focused on an IPO.  I surely would not invest in this company as I think they are going to see a major drop in revenue. If you read the blog everyone is turning off auto renew and many of us are posting our properties on other listing sites.  I think they have forgotten…. never bite the hand that feeds you

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011

    I can totally relate to your experience. I have been a long time customer of VRBO and HomeAway and have been renting my homes for more than 10 years. I always have had the review feature tuned off because we never needed reviews…and quite frankly I always viewed this process as a complete waste of time. A good vacation homeowner knows that your business is built around exceeding a customers’ expectations….not on reviews. I recently had the same unfortunate experience of having to contend with a problem renter. The problem we experienced is HomeAway’s advertising totally backfired. This renter called us like he was calling the front desk at a hotel. They called and emailed so many times in the first two hours that I expected a call asking for housekeeping to come and turn down the beds. This was clearly a case where the home was not a good fit but even though I offered them a full refund to leave and go to a hotel…they refused. They wrote a terrible review and although I submitted a rebuttal the damage in loss of revenue has been substantial for this particular property. What I found upsetting is HomeAway management did not disclose or put up a warning flag telling us that they were changing the policy to no longer be able to Opt out of reviews. We went along our merry…old way renewing for the year and then found out about the change. I have used VRBO and HomeAway exclusively however this change in policy forced me to look for another listing site. Check out www.AirBNB.com they offer a free listing as the renter pays them a booking fee. It took me a few days to figure out this site and how best to post my properties but found Airbnb customer service to be terrific and loved the instant Chat feature they have. I received inquires right away and had a last minute booking that came in from a group of CPA’s that normally book separate hotel rooms. I was a bit apprehensive about accepting this booking after my bad experience with Mr. 5 Star Resort and had visions of having to answer my phone Front Desk but everything went nice and smoothly. The inquires we seem to be receiving are from a totally different traveler all they really want is a bed not the entire house which is pretty cool as it puts less wear and tear on my homes. On one of the other posts another home owner has links with a few other sites to consider. I have also been exploring what the cost is going to be to take that $9,000 I normally hand over to the HomeAway Empire every year and put it into advertising for my own website.     

    • New Member 3 posts since
      Apr 1, 2012

      Hi vacation lady

       

      Same old story. Tired traveller arrives after long journey and property isn't as expected so goes on vrbo and let's rip. Result is a bad review and a cancelled snowbird booking. MC rectify problems within 24 hours, guest is really happy and grateful, but vrbo won't remove bad review!

       

      As the person who pays vrbo I think this stinks. I could write a bad review about all my competitors and post it. I pulled our ad but membership exists until May. Judging by the other remarks on this forum and other similar threads I won't be renewing with vrbo due to the bad review and the fact they won't remove it, but go in search of altenative sites to advertise who don't want to wreck my business on the word of a tired and, in my opinion, bad tempered and spiteful guest who should have just waited for the mc to sort it out or go to a motel and sue me for the cost if the property was uninhabitable.

       

      Did you get a site up and going?

  • New Member 7 posts since
    Jun 21, 2011

    Your experience is  really terrible

    We just had a very bad reveiw posted about our Paris apartment . Before the renters posted  it on VRBO , they did two things

    1. Sent a lettter with the  return of the keys saying" we had a mnagnificent time "

    2 ,A few days later ,they sent a letter threatening legal action , as we withheld $183.20 for damages

     

    When we replied that the $183.20 was justified by the agreement they signed , citing the clauses .

    The renters, then  realising  that you cant get even an inexpensive  lawyer for $183.20, then posted the review - it was just untrue , vicious, and almost all  fabricated

    I was invited by VRBO to post a rebuttal which I did , In it I said People are entitled to their opinion, and telling  people who enquire  we could provide references from others who had loved the apartment over the last 10 years

     

    I then asked permission from two of our faithful renters,  who have been back to rent this apartment  many times , to submit their nice  letters of thanks . So now these are posted , above the bad review .

    As we are  fully booked through end of October, for the moment we wont know if it will hurt our bookings .

     

    We also had another bad review posted of   our other Paris apartment, a few months ago

    Again totally untrue ( these people broke the kitchen sink and the washing machine by throwing heavy items at them - a disfunctional family perhaps ??) This bad reveiw was also because we retained part of their deposit . We could have justified retainng the entire deposit , after all it is only $400

    Since that review  was posted , and my rebuttal  following , several people have phoned  to ask me to explain, and they have all then rented the place - The whole thing was so bizzarre, I could not have made it up

    As the French say BON COURAGE , it is comforting to see other people have similar renters

  • cairnsholidayhomes Contributor 34 posts since
    Feb 24, 2011

    PLEASE, HomeAway, have a look at the format used by Homelidays which allows owners to register their renters stay, and after they have gone, write a review of the renter which is available for other owner members to look at.

    This would really help owners to avoid some very unpleasant experiences as listed in the above conversations.

    The form asks the following questions

    Reservation and Payment, Respect for owners property during stay, general appreciation and departure.

    Lizzie

    Cairns Holiday Homes.

  • New Member 21 posts since
    May 25, 2011

    You can forget VRBO being on your side even though you are the paying customer.  They won't remove bad reviews unless you can prove they didn't stay at your place. We've recently had renters that left our place "unreasonably dirty."   We don't expect our renters to clean for us by any means.  When I say "unreasonably dirty" believe me...this is not the normal cleaning you would expect after a renter leaves the place. Even though we state in our rental contract and on-line that if the rental is left unreasonably dirty we will charge a cleaning fee,

    we don't dare charge the cleaning fee that they owe us because we can't chance getting the negative review from the renter.  This is how VRBO chooses to operate.  They completely leave the owners at the mercy of the renters. You can have all the rules you want for your rental, just don't try to enforce them because you chance getting the rogue negative review.  Almost all of our renters are great people.  Once or twice a summer we get a bad apple and they are the very ones that will write the negative reviews if you dare charge them for cleaning, damages, pets, smoking....etc.  We as owners are forced by VRBO to absorb all costs that the renter causes by their bad behavior in our homes. I've yet to hear one word from VRBO or HomeAway about any change in policy concerning this issue...they could care less.  I now carefully screen all renters to see if I really want their business.  VRBO doesn't care about their paying customers and they know they have us over a barrel. This is what VRBO is forcing us to do in order to protect our properties.  One thing that VRBO needs to realize is that they can't treat the individual home-owner as though we are a many-room hotel.  Hotels have a staff to take care of cleaning, maintenance, damages, etc.  As I stated before...one bad review can put us out of business.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jun 30, 2011

    Hi, this is my first post as I only joined recently and only started advertising anywhere at the end of April. I started with HomeAway.com as it seems to be the most well known, although the policy on reviews is a bit scary. I also advertise with VacationHomeRentals.com and their policy on reviews is rather different. Before the review is posted to the site it has to be approved by the owner, if the owner doesn't approve it then the review is binned.

     

    This gives the owner complete control, and I suppose you could only approve five star reviews, although that would be risky as travellers would smell a rat. It does mean that the spiteful or vicious review won't be posted and I think that is the correct and responsible approach.

     

    As yet VacationHomeRentals is not owned by HomeAway. If we want to get the HomeAway policy changed then it will be necessary to lobby as a group. If they can see it will affect the bottom line as owners leave in droves they will probably respond accordingly.

     

    SAO

    • New Member 17 posts since
      Dec 28, 2010

      I had an interesting guest.  On VRBO she gave me a 5 star review and said my condo had a great oceanview and was quiet and peaceful.  On Flipkey, she gave me 4-stars and said the condo was noisy and elaborated on the maid carts, recycling trucks, lawn maintence.  Then she said she had a parking lot view--there is some overflow parking visible.  Definitely a conflicted guest. . .I knew she was trouble when her brother came onto the property several months prior to her booking and viewed the 3rd floor condo from outside and deemed the view unacceptable and she wanted to cancel.  She was within the time to cancel without penalty, so she decided to stay.  Upon arrival, I phoned her and she said everything was wonderful and her brother was wrong about the view.

       

      Fortunately, I never had a guest give me a 1 or 2 star review.  3 was the lowest I ever got on Flipkey and have gotten good reviews on VRBO/Homeaway.

       

      I know these reviews are upsetting when the review is unjustified.  However, as my son pointed out to me, when traveling he likes to see properties with other than all perfect reviews and he looks closely at the owner response when review is negative.  He values that more than a property with all perfect reviews.

  • Contributor 26 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011

    First off. I would not have charged $10 per day for the dogs.  Some guests are stupid and do not realize that pets are not allowed.  I make sure to print in all e-mails NO PETS but some people are stupid and I had a couple of guests show up with their pets.  Some people consider pets a member of the family.  There are extra cleaning fees associated with pets and on one occassion I happened to see the dog before they entered and pointed out to the guest no pets.  I gave them a choice, a complete refund minus the $100 cancellation fee or they could pay extra for cleaning which came to $120.  They chose to pay the cleaning.  On another occassion I missed it and they stayed with their pet and I simply forfeited the extra cleaning money. They appreciated staying there with FIDO and actually came back again and paid for the cleaning the following year.   The whole point is that you're in the hospitality business.  This season I've had dozens of people in and suffered exactly $80 in damages.  I don't care, because I cleared about $24,000.  Although many people are stupid, I actually like the money and the challenge.  It sounds to me like you have to realize you're in the hospitality business.  That doesn't mean you don't have a backbone.  Just consider long term consequenes. 

     

    On a practical note, you could make a response like,"The guest arrived with a pet and was upset about paying the $10 per day extra which is reasonable.  However, here is a response from the guest in reference to our policy."  Then include one of his nutty e-mails which is also a review.  People will look at that and realize he's a nut maybe.   But you could actually use this as an opportunity to point out that you charge extra for pets but the review is a result of a misunderstanding.

     

    On another note, the police are wrong that there is nothing you can do.  You can go to a local magistrate and get a stay away order based on his threatening behavior.  Send it to the nut and also send a copy to VRBO or Homeaway.  If there is a court order for him to stay away, then the review would be a violation of that order. 

      • Contributor 26 posts since
        Jul 27, 2011

        Well, if you're not stupid then I don't think you have to worry about someone thinking you are stupid.  Let's go back to your original review.  You referred to a guest as a psyschpath.  I didn't state all guests were stupid just that some guests were stupid and believe me, you better be prepared..  You sound very defensive and perhaps take things too literally.  Perhaps there's a better word than stupid, but it certainly appears hypocritical to label one of your guests a psychopath then come back and claim someone should not perceive a few of  their guests as stupid.  If you don't beleive your guests can be stupid you should get out of the business.  You're not mentally prepared to deal with the overall reality of it.  For the record I cleared $24,000 on the books this year on just two properties and the year is young.  I think the year end should see  a profit of close to $29,000 on those two alone and that's on two inexpensive properties which I paid $59,000 (Income for year $15,000) and $78,000 (Income $24,000.) 

         

        It's best not to be too judgmental in this world. 

         

        For instance you claim that you do not have time to deal with your problem.  That looks kinda funny since you posted a situation and asked for responses.  If you didn't want solutions and don't have the time that comes off as rather unusual.  You say you're hurting for time?

         

        Well, I have a full time job and 7 properties that lease.  Sometimes there are dozens of problems and then for months there may not be problems.  But I don't think a simple response to a negative interview would take that much time.  I'm sure your future guests would look forward to a simple explanation and your explanation is perfectly reasonable.

         

        However, you appear to be missing the salient point.    The point is that people make mistakes.  I also have it in my contract that pets are extra, etc.  My goal is to  make money and make people happy.  In my 40 years of being a landlord is it that unreasonable to believe I've run across a few stupid people?   Well, I have and if that offends you, you're not equipped for this line of work.  They're out there and they will destory you if you let them.

         

        Oddly, enough, everything I do is working.  Perhaps I will get a negative review one day.   I will respond and if my rentals drop off, so be it.  I will continue to make it and do well.

         

        I never take anything personally when it comes to business.  Have my guests violated their written contracts?  Yes.  Did I make a big deal out of it?  No.  Maybe there's a lesson there. 

         

        Thanks for your input.  I certainly enjoyed reading your response.

  • New Member 1 posts since
    Jul 29, 2011

    I have always though we as owners should be able to review our guests. If they have been a mess in your condo they will be in the next one. Why we all have to go trough that.

    In a site (like e bay) that is called Mercado Libre you review your customer  with a if your operation was succesfull, a if experience was not good, and neutral if it transaction was not succesful, but anybodys fault. All costomers and sellers have a % of transaccions. So since the moment somebody inquires you know what to expect. Also for a renter this will help them to make decisions.

  • Contributor 38 posts since
    Sep 23, 2011

     

    Unfortunately this new policy is devastating to owners.  We never received an email from VRBO letting us know about this new policy and only found out about it when we couldn't to stop a bad review from posting.   We've been with VRBO for almost 7 years now and never received a negative comment.  We took comfort in the fact we had control over what people could post. I don't see how we can maintain the privacy of our property when any traveler can list information like our address and VRBO will do nothing about it.

     

    So here we are with a bad review from a guest that didn't receive their security deposit quick enough, got angry, and left a review with negative information about our property.  We understand their frustration and did everything possible could to appease them short of showing up at their door with the cash.  Now our property has 1 star review that has brought our rental inquiries to halt, we haven't received one inquiry since the review posted a week ago, we averaged 5 a day.   If an angry traveler can say anything they want, true or not, and have this much affect on our business and tarnish our name then I won't be renewing my subscription.

     

    After reading all the issues others are having with this new review system, I wonder how clear the VRBO notification email was.    If anything is going to change or improve we need to voice our concerns in a positive constructive way to everyone we can.   I understand where VRBO is coming from, they have to protect their name and reputation and be fair to everyone but I hope they listen to us and understand that they will need to moderate the reviews a little more closely to protect the small businesses and private customers that got them here.

    • New Member 1 posts since
      Oct 4, 2011

      It appears that one of my VRBO competitors had a bad review removed.  I saw the review on VRBO.  I knew something of the guest and knew that the guest did, in fact, stay at the property.  I talked to my VRBO competitor on another subject and the owner described the situation and described the review.     I don't know what transpired but the VRBO negative review was removed after being online for about 1 week.  There must be a method for getting a bad review removed but VRBO is not forthcoming on what is required.  I believe a guest can request a retraction.    Is it possible for an owner to offer an incentive to a guest to retract a review?

       

      In the end, potential guests will be treated unjustly because owners are overly concerned about reviews.   Owners, particularly during peak season, will start to "profile" certain groups that they perceive to be difficult.  Many owners would rather risk losing a booking rather than risk a bad review.  

  • carlos1239 New Member 6 posts since
    Sep 24, 2011

    You can always reply with a positive and lenghty rebuttal and put in it that Mr So and So, from wherever he lives was in desperate needs of his deposit refund. He signed our standard contract that states deposits are refunded within X days, but he choose later to forget this.  I think Mr So and So should stay at hotels where they are not requiring a security deposit per say and he will be less stressed from not waiting for the refund.

  • Contributor 26 posts since
    Nov 9, 2011

    In a nutshell, HomeAway and VRBO do not care about their customers.  Their entire empire was funded by Investors.  They did not build a business using good business practices and with the way they treat their Paying Customers their house of cards is sure to fail soon. 

     

    We had a guest stay in a very expensive Beach House we had just aquired prior to our owning it.  Their children did quite a bit of damage and actually built a sandcastle in the middle of the living room floor accoridng to the former owner.  When they were charged for the damage, they posted a terrible review.  We contacted VRBO who would do nothing even though we had nothing to do with the transaction.  They even posted the same review on the HomeAway ad even though the guest did not submit the review to HomeAway.

     

    We next contacted the Guest and advised him that he had not dealt with us, but rather the previous owners and his review was false and damaging to our business. 

     

    He replied by offering to remove the review if we would 1). Refund the deposit that had been withheld, and 2).Give him 2 weeks in the same home at easter for free (a value of $24k). 

     

    We were quite shocked at this as we considered it extortion.  Sent it to VRBO who agreed that was evidence the review was written for monetary gain.  They actually removed the review from both ads.

    That was a first. 

     

    In the past when this has happened we have had to cancel the ad with no refund from VRBO or its other companies.

     

    We have multiple rentals and had to forgo charging for damages incurred in fear of a bad review.   If this company was letting us list our ads for free then it would be different.  These are ads paid for by us the home owers.  My question to them is how would they feel if they paid 1million dollars for their next superbowl commercial and the network added BAD REMARKS to it for their potential customers to see.  Would they think that made them more credible?

     

    I am developing a new site to allow us, the owner to review guests.  If you are interested please check it out at www.donotrentlist.com.

     

    This could be the forum to hold guests accountable.

  • Contributor 38 posts since
    Sep 23, 2011

    We have a previous guest that booked on our cabins and paid half of the total to reserve it.  29 days before their arrival they call to cancel because they couldn't make it.  If it is within 30 days of check-in we can't refund them anything but I was nice and decided to give them a 25% refund which I told them was about $100, no problem they said.  The guest wanted to take the 25% as credit for a future stay so I told them to call me or email when they decide on their dates and I would send them a quote with the 25% credit included. 

     

    When I sent their quote they were furious because they decided to take 25% of the total amount instead of what they already paid then use the cancellation policy guidelines on our faqs page to try and shake me down for more money.  They felt that their refund should have been closer to $300 because that was 25% of their total.   At this point I thought you know what I am going to refund your money and be done with it.  Then the calls began and the emails.  Unfortunately the emails have no threats what so ever but the phone calls..I don't even pick up anymore.  

     

    We've already been hit with one bad review because a guest broke our TV so we kept the $100 deposit, the guests then wrote a horrible review in retaliation, this guest even went so far as to say in an email: ...[return my deposit] or I will take matters into my own hands.  After providing VRBO/HA aka Nadia with all of our correspondence she concluded that the guest just wants their deposit back and since the words "I will right a bad review if your don't pay" weren't evident, there was nothing VRBO could do, the review stayed.

     

    I decided to take a preemptive strike, I emailed VRBO to let them know what was happening.  I got a long canned response back telling me that I'm basically SOL unless this person in an email states “I will write a bad review if you don't pay me”.  So I decided to share my knowledge with the community encase this happened to anyone else.

  • Contributor 38 posts since
    Sep 23, 2011

      

    Maybe I will get in trouble for this maybe they will just remove the post but I will like to show you all how easy it is to alter an email without anyone knowing.   An email is basically just a document, if you drag it on to your desktop (or save it on to your desktop) then right click it and choose Open with..then choose a text editor (ie wordpad, ms word, wordperfect) any is fine.  When it opens scroll down, the giberish at the top are the headers, this is what VRBO/HA aka Nadia takes as an “authentic” email.  As long as that stuff is there, they will consider it “real”.  Anyway, scroll down past the headers (giberish) and eventually you will find the meat of the message, where you can change anything, add, delete, whatever you want.   When your done, all you have to do is hit file (or round button at the top for ms office) Save As...then make sure at the end of the email title, it says .eml.  Word may try to change it to .doc or .txt, but you can remove that make sure the end is .eml.   Once you saved it, open an email to VRBO/HA aka Nadia, attach the .eml you just saved and done.  You can do this to any email and I would be happy to help anyone with troubleshooting or better instructions.

     

     

     

    Also VRBO/HA doesn't seem to care if reviews are real so why not just start making some up.  VRBO/HA can't know it's you posting your reviews.  So make an email address, go to Mcdonalds wifi and post away.  Of course I would never do this, wink wink, nudge nudge, but if I did, I would know that the only thing VRBO/HA could see if my IP address, which is basically like your “street” address online. The only thing they know is which IP address a review is coming from so as long as your noting submitting a ton of reviews from the same Internet connect (ip address) VRBO can never know.  So head down to wifi hotspots   or wherever you can, you can also look into Proxy serviers which are so easy to use once you start.  They basically “hide” your real address by routing you through another.  So if you wanted to use a proxy server you can do this from the comfort of your own home and VRBO/HA aka Nadia will never know.   VRBO/HA definetly sides with the guest no matter what so we need to protect our businesses, I'm happy to answer any questions or help anyone out.

    • New Member 1 posts since
      May 11, 2012

      I have just gotten my first review, after only 6 reserved parties and I have never asked for any.  Wouldn't you know it was negative.  She made about 8 complaints, 2 of them outright lies, 5 completely petty, and 2 somewhat legitimate, but still not worthy of the negativity.  We asked 2 or 3 times if they needed anything and they both said everything was fine. 

      Come to find out, the group is full of alcoholics of different levels and lot's of disfunction.  We have a large party rental and half of their party decided not to show, I wonder why (not).  I am really upset though and I am debating on whether I should defend my property, or just let the post go as it is really petty and ridiculous for the most part. I tried to contact her twice with very positive response, telling her that I appreciate her critical review and that I wanted to make it right for her.  She says she stands by her review, but I am really have a hard time with the absolute lies.  What would anyone suggest.  Also, I would like to share her name, I am certain she does this to everyone.  Where can I check to see if she is a serial horrible guest?  Can I post her name here?

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 862 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011

    Someone made this amendment regarding "non-disparagement" with fines of $10K or more to go into his contract and posted it online for others to use.

     

    1.  I have read several posters state that this would not hold up in court.  Could someone explain why it would not hold up in court and hopefully this person would be a lawyer?

     

    2.  Software companies use this language all the time.  They are a business and we are a business.  We market our properties on a personal level by what we do to it so in some form we have "branded" our homes.  So in essence this could also be called Intellectual Property.  Could someone explain why we are different?

     

    3.  Yes you will probably get a lot of renters question this in the contract, but is that a bad thing?  All you are asking is that they get your permission to do so before hand.  I would have no problem doing the right thing and if something was legitimate then allow them to make the review and post.  If they do not like this then move on to another property.

     

    4.  I get the kumbaya  posters here that state "We feel that you don't need to do this if you treat the renters right".  I get that but obviously reading many of these post on the forum contradicts your theory. But then again to each his own.

     

    5.  VRBO/HA are here to make money. They have to compete with TripAdvisor and others that allow posting of reviews.  Obviously nothing was done about this from the recent convention and I am sure numerous attendees made their point.  The bottom line is nothing will change.  With this in mind how do we take control and quit hoping VRBO/HA will do something.

     

    I just keep reading complaints after complaints but again we must do something about it instead of just hoping things will change.  We are paying for a listing on the internet.  So lets figure out how to handle this problem ie: add the addendum which this guy posted, build the perfect site and then build "bots" to search this new site so that in short order the new site will be seen almost as much as VRBO/HA, or something else.  We got to think and do!

     

    ARE THERE ANY LAWYERS OUT THERE THAT COULD CHIME IN HERE AND GIVE AN OPINION!?

     

    Thank you

    • Contributor 26 posts since
      Jul 27, 2011

      VRBO is hardly the same as TripAdvisor or other such services.  VRBO makes it's prifits from private investors and although they appear to be in the same league they are not. 

       

      As fa as to what can be done I have a clause in all my contracts stating that neither the contract nor any byproducts of the contract can be displayed on the Internet.  I use this for all my rentals including those not on VRBO which are long term rentals.

       

      As faR as negative reviews respond with facts.  If property was damaged then show or link to photos of damage.  Display those threatening e-mails in your responses. 

       

      One thing I will concede.  Many want to be critical.  VRBO is being entirely unfair with their policy.  Any nut can post anything the want.  I predict that VRBO and some unpaid critic will one day both be sued as a result of a defamatory remark or remarks made on VRBO.

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 862 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011

    Longtimelandlord:  I believe TripAdvisor which has or partnered with Flip Key is the model which VRBO is trying to become.

     

    You mentioned that you put that clause in every contract.  Do you have knowledge that this is legal and binding (which was my question) or is this just speculation?  I am truly asking as I am not questioning your experience or domain knowledge.

     

    As Far as negative reviews you are contradicting your previous statement of putting verbiage in your contract.  Do you now make this statement because you do not think putting verbiage into a contract will not hold up or stating this for others that do not. As for post what they say......Unfortunately several posters say that the complainers will never put it in writing as a threat they just hold up their opinion that ie: "Stay away from this home as there was trash everywhere" .

     

    VRBO is entirely unfair as you state but they have set themselves up as the portal and can not be sued or if they did they would win as they are only trying to hook a buyer to a seller and making money off of both.

     

    I wish that someone with legal knowledge or is an attorney would weigh in on this.  Like Longtimelandlord and a few others I personally do want to add this verbiage to my own contract but do not want to be wasting my time if its not enforceable and is not just a scare tactic.

     

    Thanks

  • crescentbeach4u Community All-Star 862 posts since
    Sep 10, 2011

    Longtimelandlord.......I took your advice.  I just got off of the phone with one of my attorneys that I will be golfing with here shortly he said bottom line:

     

    If you take check, or cash and the renters are out of state then it would not be in the renters favor at all to try to fight this monetarily and they would have to give in.

     

    He said that taking credit cards, PayPal or others protecting their own skin then the situation changes and it would be to the renters advantage to fight it.

     

    And the call was free!  Thanks

    • Contributor 38 posts since
      Sep 23, 2011

      I am an 8 year VRBO owner here that recently had some bad luck with an unfair review. Even with emails from this crazy renter ranting and saying "I will take things into my own hands if that deposit doesn't get here soon".  We didn't even hold their deposit, they requested a check and gave us the wrong address so when the check didn't arrive they got mad and slammed us with a review full of lies meant to keep people away from our property and complain about not getting their deposit.  In the end in turns out  they were having trouble getting mail and we had to send them a pay-pal payment.  

       

      Even after providing vrbo aka Nadia with all the emails I was told that unless this person used some form of the words, “will write bad review unless you pay”, there was nothing they could do. "Nadia" not vrbo is the who is the one making the decisions for all the review issues.   So far we have had good luck with the blurb in our agreement about reviews, haven't had to use it but knowing it is there is a comfort and may have already deterred crazy people from saying crazy things, who knows.

       

      On that note, there are many on this community that will post negative comments to an owner with a genuine problem reaching out for help.  Don't pay them any attention, online they are called trolls, and they are sad pathetic little people who's only joy in life is to try and bring suffering to others so they can feel momentarily better about their sad lives.  Best to ignore them, not address them directly, because then they won't get the attention they so desperately seek, woops I think I just fed the trolls a bit.  I don't think is far-fetched to assume that VRBO employees post here under personal names...

       

      I am glad to hear you had good luck with that lawyer but VRBO is untouchable when it comes to this, unless ofcourse they **** off the wrong person, and by wrong I mean rich and/or powerfull enough to change things.  

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