22 Replies Latest reply: Feb 6, 2020 4:24 PM by hunterhaus RSS

    NIGHTMARE refund situation

    hunterhaus Contributor

      tl;dr - Homeaway is refunding a guest from 3 months ago who stayed at my house for 5 days, no issues whatsoever.  Customer Service incredibly unhelpful thus far.

       

      Back in October, I received a phonecall from Homeaway saying that there was a guest in my area who rented a different home, but due to issues at that property needed to be relocated and would like to stay at my house.  I accommodated, guest was very happy, wants to come back, no issues.

       

      Fast forward to today - random email from HA that the ENTIRE $1600 payout is being refunded.  No reasoning, no number to call or email to contact.

      I call HA the first of many times - first person tells me this is entirely between me and the guest, and to try to call them.  Says refund was done on their CC, out of the hands of HA.

      I speak with a 'manager' who tells me that the first person was wrong, HA can help.  He'll submit a dispute on HA.  Still says that this was all done through guests CC.

       

      I speak with the guest, who couldn't have been nicer about this.  Apparently at the time of re-booking, HA told them that they'd reimburse the guest for the difference in rates between my place and the previous (mine was more expensive).  Guest literally sent me all this correspondence with HA about the issue, about the refund.  WHY IS HOMEAWAY LYING to me saying this was all done through their CC?

       

      I call HA again wondering what's going on, get told that the issue was 'escalated' to some payment resolution department that doesn't take phonecalls.  They'll email me sometime, but in the meantime the money's getting taken out of my account until it's further resolved.  Umm, what?  Why am I even involved in this; I literally went out of my way to get my house ready on a moment's notice to accommodate this guest AND to help Homeaway relocate someone.  Not to mention, the last 'manager' I spoke to threatened to delete my 'escalated' case because he must have been getting annoyed with my frustration at the whole situation.  Fantastic customer service guys, bravo.

       

      I used to think all these posts about nightmare scenarios were probably just half the story, it won't happen to me.  But it did.  I'm probably going to de-list my place until some changes happen around here - it's really not worth the headache and expense of hosting someone to know that HA can take it all away months later.

        • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
          ha-moderator-meriah HomeAway Employee

          Good morning. I am sorry to hear that this is happening. I'm not sure why and would like to look into it further. Would you direct message us your account email or listing ID? Thank you.

          • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
            panda Contributor

            Yikes! Please keep us posted as to how this plays out. It could happen to any of us.

            • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
              hmmmm Senior Contributor

              Its the right hand not talking to the left.   Too many engineering payment platform programmers with no QC before launching.

              This is purely software programming issues.

                • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                  hunterhaus Contributor

                  Perhaps the original issue is related to programming, understandable.

                  But that does not explain why multiple people at HA lied to me, telling me as part of their policy, they do not handle these types of refunds ever.  The guest forwarded me all of her correspondence with HA on the matter.

                  It doesn't explain why a HA representative threatened to delete the case that was created to dispute the charge back.  It does not explain why this mysterious 'dispute resolution' team at HA is unreachable by phone.

                    • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                      hmmmm Senior Contributor

                      You are 100% correct with that post, its all wrong in so many ways.


                      Again this is QC from top to bottom.   Poor training and reps who speak out turn and threat to remove your case.

                      Accountability is what makes a company strong and viable.


                      I am sorry that you are having to deal with this when it can all be so simple.


                      A company is only as strong as it reputation and accountability with each department.

                      • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                        twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                        I Had a similar situation with DISH tv threatening etc. I had been with the company since they were prime star like 30 years. Anyway after calling them back and getting a new rep found out that they had a loyalty program for anyone who had been with them a number of years, all located in the US, not outsourced. Now I know that Premier Partner was supposed to be the same concept as a loyalty department, but is it? AND the problem with PP is that it is based on certain parameters and not loyalty in terms of years.

                         

                        Maybe Vrbo should consider something similar.

                         

                        P.S. I haven’t had another problem with Dish since being transferred to their loyalty team in the US

                    • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                      wildiris Senior Contributor

                      Another HomeAway nightmare.  I'm sorry you are going through this.  Please keep us posted.

                      • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                        hunterhaus Contributor

                        Still no followup from HA 5 days later.

                        • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                          hunterhaus Contributor

                          Thanks for the support.

                          It would literally take a competent person at Homeaway about 15 mins to sort this whole thing out....they must be real busy over there that I can't get a response 5 days later.

                          I had a payout issue at Airbnb recently - spoke to a representative and sorted it out in about 20 mins.  They followed up 8 hours later with a message making sure everything was OK.  I think I'll do all of my business there going forward.

                            • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                              db.meyer Senior Contributor

                              @hunterhaus, do you not have your own website, google my business listing, regional/tourism listing sites, houfy, etc. in order to promote your property(ies) and to accept direct bookings with payment to you upfront and under your control?  Being dependent on HA and Air for your business/bookings may not be/isn't in your own best interest.

                                • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                  hunterhaus Contributor

                                  Working on it after all of this hassle.

                                  Just curious, why do you suggest houfy?  I'd never heard of them before but just checked, there are no listings in my area on their site.  What makes listing with them different than Airbnb or HA?

                                   

                                  I think the funniest part of this whole thing is a am a 'premier partner' with HA, I wonder how they'd treat me if I were just a regular host

                                    • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                      db.meyer Senior Contributor

                                      I mention Houfy since they do not charge owners to list their rentals nor do they charge travelers a service/booking fee.  They currently do not market your properties since the owner funding is being used to develop the site at no charge to you nor to your guests.  Since you do not yet have your own website you can list your property/ties there and accept bookings direct from travelers free of charge. This is a great option for any repeat guests you may have, and you can also "promote" your Houfy listing link on your rental's Facebook page, other VR-related Facebook groups, etc. and by creating a Google My Business listing with a link to your Houfy listing.  There are many other features of Houfy you can explore by joining their Facebook Group.

                                • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                  hunterhaus Contributor

                                  No response 6 days later from Homeaway.  Any moderators want to take a stab at this one??

                                    • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                      hunterhaus Contributor

                                      Finally a response.  So, I'm just supposed to go about my business now as if this never happened?

                                       

                                      Thank you for contacting Vrbo Customer Support regarding the disputed charge on Reservation ID XXXXXXX.

                                       

                                      Upon investigation, I see that the funds from this reservation were disbursed to you on 10/24/2019.

                                       

                                      Vrbo will not withdraw funds from your account to cover this chargeback. Please disregard the notification you received. We apologize for any concern it caused.

                                      Visit help.homeaway.com for answers to frequently asked questions.

                                       

                                      Sincerely,

                                       

                                      _____________
                                      Customer Experience | Billing Specialist

                                      • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                        ha-moderator-amanda HomeAway Employee

                                        Hi hunterhaus, earlier I had your case escalated for priority handling with the Billing Team and I see that they've been in touch with you today, so I'm glad to see that they reached out to you so quickly. You should receive a response to your email shortly.

                                          • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                            hunterhaus Contributor

                                            Thanks Amanda.

                                              • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                                hunterhaus Contributor

                                                Received this today from HA.  bolding and underlining some disturbing information:

                                                 

                                                I'm sorry to hear of the experience that you've encounter with our Customer Support team regarding this issue.

                                                 

                                                We can't prevent chargeback from happening since it's a forced transaction reversal initiated by the cardholder's bank. Every chargeback is investigated by our Risk team. Depending of the outcome and investigation will determine if it will or will not affect your disbursement. All chargeback cases are transfer to our department (Billing), which we work with our Risk team regarding the status /outcome of the chargeback disputes.

                                                 

                                                In this case, the funds for reservation HA-XXXX were disbursed and we will not retract funds. You might have received a chargeback

                                                reversal notification but this still wouldn't effect the past disbursement.


                                                ha-moderator-amanda - it sounds like HA is saying that I have to live with the fact that the guest may charge-back their fee, and that HA will be the sole determiner of if it affects my payout.  Is this your official stance?  Just wondering, for all of us hosts.

                                          • Re: NIGHTMARE refund situation
                                            hunterhaus Contributor

                                            Just FYI to all other hosts, received from HA CS today in response to my previous emails.  To summarize, HA cannot guarantee that hosts will be compensated when they rent their home to a guest.  I think all hosts should consider this when accepting their next booking.

                                             

                                            Thank you for your response.

                                            The claim letter that you've presented is for a different property the traveler booked, when they left your property. This claim has nothing do with your property or the chargeback dispute.

                                             

                                            Chargebacks are a forced transaction reversal initiated by the cardholder's bank. Any business that accepts credit card payments will have to deal with chargebacks. They are, to a certain level, unavoidable. We can not guarantee that chargebacks will never happen again or that we can prevent them. When chargebacks are received our Risk team will defend /challenge them and depending on the outcome of the dispute will determine if the payment will be disburse to you.

                                             

                                            I hope this clears up your concerns. Have a great day!