We used Home Away for the first time last month so my family, parents, and brother could all stay together the weekend of my brother's wedding. The condo we reserved was fine and well supplied until we discovered one night that a corner had 20+ insect eggs burrowed in and insect larvae burrowing out of the carpet (we have a video if anyone is up to see at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtMDuZKoQmA&feature=channel&list=UL). We let the owner know immediately, but as it was over the weekend, she couldn't do much, which was understandable.
We wrote a very professional and polite letter requesting a partial refund from the owner, as we felt we would request the same if we were staying in a hotel. Having been landlords in the past, we felt that if we were in the owner's shoes, we would be horrified for the tenant. We told her it was our hope to resolve things amicably and to be able to leave positive feedback for her.
The owner refused and told Home Away we coerced her into giving us money for a good review, and Home Away agreed and told us we were ineligible to leave a review of her property. I endured a lecture from a CSR who insisted on addressing me as "Customer" rather than my name on how reviews are an avenue to benefit future travelers (considering that my review was in regards to a possible health risk, I found that highly ironic), not to extract demands from homeowners.
I asked to speak with a manager. A man named Jason claiming to be senior personnel called us, read my original email to the owner himself, and AGREED WITH US that we did not coerce the owner into anything, but claimed he was unable to do anything, and this is a closed matter.
So, if you use their service and nothing goes wrong, great. But if you do use them and something does go wrong, good luck - these reviews here and their online record with the BBB attest to that. I just can't believe that in light of both of those, they appear to be not even care about cleaning up their corporate image.
Their email signature: "Thank you for using HomeAway— the world's most trusted online vacation rental marketplace." What a crock.