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8808 Views 21 Replies Latest reply: Jul 19, 2011 9:01 PM by jkwhit RSS
marym Active Contributor 463 posts since
Feb 10, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 28, 2011 6:30 PM

Re: Asking VRBO not to post a negative review (I know - for the 100th time!)

I didn't have time to review all the posts on this topic and I'm not sure I've ever seen the answer to this. One of the suggestions I found in all of our commentary was to insert a clause into the rental contact that only the owner could post a review on a vacation/travel website and that lessees were prohibited from doing so.  Do you think VRBO would recognize this?  If there was a negative review, and I showed the contract wherein the guests agreed to my terms, do you think it would not be posted?  Many thanks for any input...

  • New Member 15 posts since
    May 28, 2011

    Hi Mary,


    VRBO doesn't care about the owners. I sent them several emails about a review and each time got the same response which is a form letter. I doubt they even read the review.


    I have found other websites to list and just asked VRBO to cancel my listing because that one negative post has affected all my business on other webistes too.

  • Contributor 145 posts since
    May 12, 2011

    We incorporated the Non-Disparagement Clause into our rental agreement about a month ago and so far everyone has been willing to sign the agreement without question.  I really was not too concerned about if VRBO or HomeAway would honor the clause or not.  The main reason we incorporated the clause was as a deterrent against renters that intend to try and use the review process for unethical means. Now that we have the clause if a renter posts a bad review which we believe is not accurate and the post cannot be removed than the renter is liable for the cost of a new listing. Again, the clause is more about peace of mind…we have spent 12 long years building my brand and reputation and cannot afford to have a review process that we have no control over effect our reputation and good will.

      • mike-dfv Community All-Star 827 posts since
        Mar 5, 2011

        Above, sunny says, "VRBO doesn't care about the owners." I don't think that's true. I've seen Laura, Meredith, and others from HomeAway/VRBO post all kinds of good and helpful things in these forums. They have all been very silent on this issue, however. Why do you suppose that is?



          • New Member 2 posts since
            Jul 5, 2011

            What happens when a guest writes a review with 110% MADE UP BS, these BS reviews are costing major business.  VRBO should either relaunch the entire ad with no reviews or come up with a better plan, as it is, people can write whatever they want and it makes so sense.  I WANT TO GET MY LISTING FIXED !!!

            • New Member 2 posts since
              Jul 5, 2011

              WHAT is the phone # or email to the dept that handles this, does anyone know ??? THANKS !

              • New Member 15 posts since
                May 28, 2011

                sdvilla7 I've tried to find the number too. This is what I meant that VRBO doesn't care about giving good customer service. They become so big that they can treat us, the advertisers how ever they want and we have to accept it becuase they are number 1. Can't tell you the amount of companies who think like VRBO and then see their customer base dwindle and wonder "Why"? VRBO has now become terrible at customer service. Has anyone else noticed that all responses to the form they make you fill out are all pre-formatted. No really human input. I bet what VRBO has done is made one central data center in some 3rd world poor country and instead of paying to teach the workers how to speak good English try to solve all problems without giving a phone number to contact, thus they reduce cost, make more money and GIVE TERRIBLE customer service. Lots of rising online rental companies giving better service than VRBO, wonder how many years before some other company knocks them off #1. In the UK where 70% of my guest come from VRBO is not number 1 can't wait till in happens in USA too!

              • meredith HomeAway Employee 384 posts since
                Nov 18, 2010

                Hi sdvilla7,


                Please fill in this request for assistance form in which you tell  us about the issues you are having.  Once you click submit, our phone  team will call you back already prepared with the information you  need based on the request you submitted. Our average call back time is 30  seconds, so if you did not receive a call back, please email me directly  with the best contact info for you, and I’ll ask someone to call you  directly.




                • New Member 15 posts since
                  May 28, 2011

                  Hi Meredith,


                  Just so you know it took VRBO over 26 hours to respond to the submitted form. Unless your counting the auto-reply email that it sent confirming the e-mail seriously doubt your 30 sec. statistic! I am not alone on this form experiencing how difficult it is to contact VRBO. Anyway canceled my advert yesterday 6 months before the renewal and have advertised on other maybe better non HomeAway sites. I encourage others to do so and make a statement to VRBO that they need to listen to us and our needs. Not give lip service.

                  • Active Contributor 343 posts since
                    Nov 18, 2010

                    Hi Marym,


                    We've heard about owners including review restrictions in their rental agreements.  Please be sure to consult with your attorney about your ability to enforce any new clause before including new restrictions in a rental agreement.  However, because a website like ours is not a party to the rental contract between the owner/manager and the traveler, our ability to post reviews that meet our guidelines is not likely to be affected.


                    Best Regards,


              • New Member 2 posts since
                Jul 12, 2011

                Demeure Dan is absolutely correct about negative reviews actually being a plus! I was furious when I had a young tenant that threw a big party in my historic waterfront home, obviously falsifying her reservation info. After keeping her deposit to cover a portion of the damages, I came to realize that by responding to all the lies she posted in her review, it truly was the perfect opportunity to gracefully show potential renters that the owner is proactive, and that the rules are enforced. You don't want a lot of reviews like this, but one or two out of many reviews is actually helpful and helps to keep the undesireable tenant away. Responsible renters will completely understand your position.


                I personally would not put a review clause in my rental agreement for fear tenants would not sign. I would be afraid they might think everyone that stayed previously was afraid to write anything negative for fear of recourse, and any negatives were being hidden from them. 


                Hope this helps.  Tori - The Historic Balch Retreat on Hood Canal

  • New Member 8 posts since
    Jul 11, 2011

    Hi Mary,


    I've had numerous instances where this has happened on my New York property but I have a couplt of solutions that have helped a ton and some personal insight:


    1. Clauses don't tend to be impactful since if a consumer is upset they will just go somewhere else and post negative reviews (like RipoffReport or even worse areas of the internet like small forums) all of this can be silently destructive to your rental capability.
    2. I personally tend to engage the consumer during the trip, make sure things are all good. This is either done through the local host or someone on the ground to help resolve the issue.
    3. I always follow up 48 hours after the return trip with a request for a "Trip Report" wehere good and bad (or improvements) can be suggested by the renter. It's a pro-active way to head off any potential disasters.
    4. If a negative review does come up I engage the criticism directly and openly with contact information provided. People know reviews can be faked and often are so having an honest conversation in the open can be a great way to show people how proactive you really are - many times this turns a potential bad situation into a huge huge positive.


    Here's a reference to the travel review piece I saw not so long ago on NBC - so having all glowing reviews isn't always the best way to promote things (as backwards as that might sound). Link:


    Anyhow those are my experiences hope that helps!


    All the best,



  • New Member 3 posts since
    Jun 23, 2011

    I couldn't agree more with the sentiments reflected in these posts.  This whole review process has been forced on us.  How about a way to review guests?  There have been several occasions when I would have loved to have been able to review a guest and suggest that no one in their right mind should rent to these people.  What vrbo has done is given random people the ability to write whatever suits them and our only "appropriate" response is a diplomatically worded rebuttal.  I'm sorry, but that's not good enough.  That might have worked 10 years ago when I started with vrbo, but not now.  In my personal opinion, there are more un-friendly rental guests now than ever before.  I began to see the trend when the economy began it's decline.  For whatever reason, people aren't as nice as they used to be, either with their iquiries or as a guest.  Therefore, why should we be subject to their random reviews?  I have begun shopping for other rental sites and can guarantee that I will not with vrbo much longer unless a change in this policy is forthcoming.  Yes, vrbo is a popular site,and does bring in business, but in this case they are hurting, not helping, the owners that pay for this service.


    Karen Whitworth

    vrbo #9708 and 230326

    • Contributor 145 posts since
      May 12, 2011

      Just had a renter post a bad review because we would not allow them to have a party with 18 extra people over our maximum occupancy of 12 . If the HomeAway Empire is going to open this can of worms and force homeowners to deal unethical renters than they need to give us more space for our rebuttal and the information needs to be validated. HomeAway says they are not party to the rental contact but they should be requiring a copy of the rental agreement to validate if the information the renter is saying about the homeowner is accurate as these reviews tarnish our reputation and we pay for these listings. What is upsetting is I received an email from the renters that checked in behind Mr. and Mrs. Terrible Renter that said,“ I wanted to let you know that we loved the house, very nicely appointed and I congratulate you on making it feel like a real home rather than a rental.” When I asked this great renter if they would please write a review about our home on the HomeAway and sent a link to the site the comment back to me was “reviews on these sites are nonsense and a complete waste of time”. Like someone else posted not sure if it is the downturn in the economy but lately we are seeing a great deal of disrespectful renters that I would never want back again and feel sorry for anyone else that rents to them.


      I am starting to ask for references before we take new renters. I also am advising new renters that we a member of Guest Checker and the Bad Vacation Renter Listing Service.  I state in our rental polices that at anytime during, before, or after your stay with us your information may be shared with these websites. We will notify you via email or postal mail if we have reported you as a problem renter. 


      I think Guest Checker is going to be the best thing since sliced bread as they work with the hotel industry and if someone gets listed on this site they may not be able to book a room. Mr. and Mrs. Terrible have been just reported. I would love to see the expression when the Terrible family tries to check into a hotel and are told, “Sorry we cannot accept your reservation because you have been listed as a problem renter”.

        • Contributor 145 posts since
          May 12, 2011

          It was a really terrible experience these renters caused us so much stress over the 4th of July Holiday that we were worried sick as to what they would do to our home. I changed the listing today to maximum of 12 people on the premies period.  No more weddings, family reunions or any parties. Calling the Chamber of Commerce to tell them to take our home off as a wedding venue or family reunion site. I could not sleep a wink last night tossing and turning over what these people said about us. My husband checked my blood pressure this morning and said get rid of HomeAway and VRBO your heath is not worth all this stress.

      • New Member 3 posts since
        Jun 23, 2011

        WOW !!   Awsome !!  

        I just read your post ( perfect) F.Y.I  , My name is Ross Whitworth and I just happened to read your post. My own brother is checking into one of our units this weekend and he asked us how soon he could check in. I told him (being my own flesh and blood) that he could not check in until 3 pm, because my wife and I spent last sunday from 9:00 am, to 2:00 pm cleaning a unit that is only 4 years old, that was so destroyed by the people who had just checked out, that if we would have let someone check in sooner than the normal 3 pm check in, it simply would not have happened. If only we could take pictures of the mess that was left and post THOSE on a website, wouldn't that be awesome. Thank goodness for this new site that may possible look out for property owners.

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