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Vacation Rentals By Owner [VRBO] reviews first appeared on Complaints Board on Aug 7, 2007. The latest review Advertising was posted on Jun 21, 2021. The latest complaint won't allow negative honest post was resolved on Sep 08, 2014. Vacation Rentals By Owner [VRBO] has an average consumer rating of 2 stars from 195 reviews. Vacation Rentals By Owner [VRBO] has resolved 32 complaints.

Vacation Rentals By Owner [VRBO] Customer Service Contacts

+1 877 202 4291 (Customer Service)
Suite 300, 1011 W. Fifth Street
Austin, Texas
United States - 78703

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Vacation Rentals By Owner [VRBO] Complaints & Reviews

The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Resolved
VRBO — serious mouse problem

We rented cottage #17 last week for spring break. We saw mult mice in the kitchen and bathrooms during our...

Kaanapali

Homeaway.com, Vrbo.com, Vacationrentals.com,home Away Homeaway Vrbo, Brian Sharples, Carl Shepherd, Brent Bellm, Tom Hale, Lynn Atchison,jon Grayillegal vacation rentals ruin vacations

Home Away, INC, Homeaway.com and VRBO.com are websites that advertise 'Vacation Rentals' which are really just homes, condo's, etc... that are individually owned and rented out for short periods of time to vacationers.

We actually have a 'vacation rental' next door to us, in a neighborhood of $500, 000 to $1M homes. It is against the CC&R for this neighborhood, and against city laws that regulate against transient, short term rentals.

We now live next door to a what has become a hotel, with groups of 20-25 people at a time rotating every couple of days.

HomeAway does NOTHING when being told of the disturbances and violations. They do NOTHING to warn renters about the situation they will be walking into when they rent an illegal vacation rental. We have seen group after group have the police called on them, get yelled at by angry neighbors, stared down and treated like the enemy. VRBO does NOTHING to protect these renters from what will end up being a bad experience for them.

Why can't Homeway simply decide to be decent and take an active roll in getting rid of the rental properties that are causing problems in the communities, and violate laws? It's such an obvious, right, thing to do. But, instead, Brian Sharples has been quoted saying that they cannot know every law in every city. No, Brian, you dufus, you can't. But you CAN have a group of people who looks into situations brought to your attention and handle it with class and ethics. Go figure.

I think that any vacationer who rents a house in the middle of a neighborhood and brings in 20-25 people in 'LOUD.. I'm on VACATION' mode is asking for trouble. They get what's coming to them, in my opinion. I feel sorry for the renters who rent in my neighborhood. They go home crying and their kids witness the WHOLE, SAD mess of a vacation.

HomeAway is destined to FAIL if they don't change.

BE WARE of 'rentals' privately owned in neighborhoods. They often do not meet firecodes, pay taxes, adhere to America Disibilties Act regulations, adhere to CC&R's for the area, adhere to local laws... And YOUR vacation will be ruined because of it. Good luck getting a refund! Once that money is out of your hands, you will have to FIGHT to get it back, regardless of the situation that you were subjected to. You can thank the greedy money grabbers at VRBO for not giving you the headsup.

Think the 'reviews' you read on the rentals are accurate? Think again. Any negative comments about the rentals are BLOCKED by the property owner. Do your homework-- or better yet, rent a LEGITIMATE hotel room!

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    Homeaway.com HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com, CyberRentals.com, A1Vacations.com, GreatRentals.com and TripHomes.com; the U.K.: Holiday-Rentals.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk SCAM SITES+FAKE REVIEWS!!!+HomeAway.com+VRBO.com+VacationRentals.cthe reviews are subjective and manipulated by reviewers and homeowners alike.

    Untrustworty Review System
    Sep 21, 2010

    wwwvrbocom20213 says:

    DislikesOtherPoor customer support

    Comments:
    This site has a bogus and worthless traveler review system. The system
    has no quality control measures to validate reviews. The reviews are
    subjective and manipulated by reviewers and homeowners alike. Travelers
    may say anything they like about a property no matter how untrue and
    outrageous. Some travelers even plant malicious negative reviews to harm
    homeowners (failed attempt to blackmail a homeowner with a negative
    review to extort a refund). Homeowners often game the system by getting
    customers to plant positive reviews. The bottom line is you cannot trust
    the traveler review system, and DO NOT base your rental decision based
    on traveler reviews as they are likely unreliable and invalid.

    Facebook User (Power Visitor)

    The best use of this site is Other. LikesActive community
    DislikesHard to navigatePoor customer supportSite is slow and unresponsive


    Comments:
    I list 3 properties with HomeAway of my own, and at one time had about
    25 that I manage with them. The customer service has never been much of
    anything. Their focus is on getting more & more owners, and
    advertisers, but they don't seem concerned with providing us value for
    the money. Their advertising encourages vacation rentals as a bargain,
    bashes hotels, and now smushes the test baby. People who relate to these
    are not our target market. It's mom, grandpa, and extended families
    making the decision. Bleck.

    Hard to list. Heavy handed managment.
    Expensive.

    Canibalistic Predators
    Nov 18, 2011
    dbo9 (Casual Visitor)

    The best use of this site is Other.
    DislikesOther

    Comments:
    Canibalistic predators - I believe from Texas - that have bought several
    existing vacation rental sites and proceeded to destroy them by
    murdering everything in them that was good and usefull, replacing them
    with just ways to milk their subscribers for every penny. Also idiotic
    policy and system.


    Not focused on customers
    Mar 03, 2012
    upstateny (Power Visitor)

    LikesEasy to navigate
    DislikesOtherPoor customer support

    Comments:
    I have three waterfront homes listed in upstate NY. I find the site
    easy to navigate and ok to update and I appreciate that there are a good
    number of hits by potential guests. However the "good" ends there.
    Customer Service: they have NONE - people to answer the phone, but no
    technology knowledge or ability to correct any bugs with the system. I
    have had bugs open for over a year. They consistently are advertising
    IN YOUR FACE additional features for additional cost before you can
    actually use the site. The site is expensive compared to its
    competitors. Using their payment system for rentals is very expensive.
    I am just waiting for competitor sites to improve their traffic and I
    am gone.

    San Francisco, CA
    4/16/2008

    Beware!
    When we arrived at the property listed as #153095 on the website, for our
    reserved time, the key lock box did not work. We called the owner and
    he said he didn't know who I was. When I told him I had documentation
    from him to me, then he started saying it was the wrong week. I again
    stated I had documentation from him to me confirming the date and
    showing he had charged my credit card. Then he said the maid hadn't been
    there so the house was dirty. We didn't take the house.

    The website Vacation Rentals By Owner offers the promise of 150, 000 properties to rent for days, weeks or months.
    Most listings show pictures of the properties and traveler reviews. Boulder resident Jason Mendelson spent about $10, 000 for a
    three-month rental of a one-bedroom house in Yountville, California, a Napa town renowned for its culinary offerings. The house had racked up several positive reviews from renters on VRBO.com.
    About a month and a half into the rental period, after hearing late night scratching through the walls, Mendelson’s fiancé realized that the house had been infested with rats. The owner Lupe DeLeon says rats are an unfortunate epidemic in the area (disconcerting for diners who shell out small fortunes for a meal at nearby Thomas Keller’s French Laundry).
    For Mendelson and his fiancé, the rat outbreak led to disputes with DeLeon over cleaning fees and reimbursement for a hotel stay.

    Chalking it up to a bad experience, Mendelson simply wanted to give his appraisal of the landlord and property in the same place where other renters had written their positive reviews on VRBO.com. Mendelson sent his comments to VRBO. But a week later, Mendelson made a surprising discovery. Instead of posting his opinion of the property, VBRO removed all reviews for DeLeon’s listing. “My ultimate issue was not with the landlord. I thought I owed it to the VRBO community to let them know what my experience was, ” says Mendelson. “I was extremely disappointed that they don’t want to have a
    transparent marketplace of communication about these things.” Mendelson’s initial review is now posted on his personal blog.
    Mendelson’s experience raises the question of what types of disclosures consumers should expect on sites that let strangers exchange goods and services. DeLeon pays $300 per year to list each of his properties on VRBO.com. “Owners say they pay us to advertise their properties so they feel like they should have a say, ” says Alexis De Belloy, a Vice President at Vacation Rentals By Owner’s parent company, Home Away.com. DeLeon agrees: “I didn’t want to give them the opportunity to just trash me, ” he says. “I know I could’ve responded on the site, but I didn’t want to get into it.”
    VRBO’s official policy is to let owners either open up their properties to all reviews, both positive and negative, or none, says De Belloy. De Belloy says VRBO.com is the only one of HomeAway’s 15 websites, including three US vacation rental sites, that allows owners to opt out of reviews. On HomeAway’s other websites, he says, owners must show all reviews. DeLeon, who lists three other properties in California and Mexico on VRBO, still shows traveler reviews on his other
    properties.

    VRBO did not engage in overtly deceptive advertising. Mary Engle, the associate director for advertising practices with the Federal Trade Commission, says the agency has clear rules for what constitutes deceptive advertising.
    The FTC, she says, might take action against a website which posted only positive reviews and dropped negative ones without making that clear to the consumer. Still she says the FTC hasn’t seen a case like this yet, and VRBO’s opt-out policy clearly doesn’t fit into that paradigm.
    The company’s policy does raise questions about overall transparency and consumer expectations online and on new online marketplaces, forums that are rapidly proliferating. VRBO tries to both serve potential buyers who want more insight into properties they might rent and sellers who pay the website for the service of listing their homes. While
    consumers wouldn’t expect other companies that sell goods online to air every consumer gripe, VRBO appears to trade on the crowdsourcing check on quality that sites like Yelp offer by posting reviews. Yet, VRBO is ultimately a forum for paid advertising. While consumers who spend enough time on the site might realize that some owners have opted out of
    reviews and come to understand VRBO’s policy, it’s not explicitly clear.
    Social media has democratized the public airing of complaints. Anyone can post negative reviews on their personal blog and hope for an audience. As a managing director at Boulder, Colorado venture firm The Foundry Group, Mendelson has an outsized social media presence and more ways to get the word out than the typical consumer. Other people had
    similar experiences, as you can see from the comments’ section of his blog. Have you had a similar experience with reviews or overall transparency on other websites? Drop me a line at [protected]@forbes.com or leave a comment below.

    Sealy, TX

    10/12/2012
    From owners perspective, its a poor customer experience as well. While
    support is very polite, they are entirely inadequate in taking care of
    thier owner customers, almost feels like they are monopolistic in their
    approach. Wait, that is exactly the problem.

    I hope that the VPs are listening. its rather sad to see basic logic not prevail in a good austin based company.

    3/4/2011
    Joan C.I have used Homeaway for my vacation rental home for three years. While the
    web site is easy to navigate for owners and renters alike, their customer service department is woefully inadequate.
    As an owner, I pay a fee each year to have my home listed. For this fee, I expect at
    least a shred of support when there's an issue with my site.
    Today I made the sixth phone call to customer support. Each time, I receive the same reply: technical support is working on it, and they will call me back, or the customer service rep will call me back.
    Each time I've been patient, but today I lost it and today I'm Yelping!!!
    Bottom line: $350+ for the listing, and no support at all. Terrible.

    the reviews are subjective and manipulated by reviewers and homeowners alike.

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      VRBOwill not refund money for a listing they did not publish

      I paid for $698.00 for a listing on VRBO on July 2, 2012. After completing the listing and submitting credit card online, the website interface crashed. I had to start all over with a new listing and PAY AGAIN to complete it. The funds from the "failed" transaction were drafted from my account, as well as the funds for the second payment
      Now- on Feb 13 2013, after multiple calls to VRBO and many broken commitments by VRBO staff, such as Kerri, Chad (A senior agent) Heidi, Dianna and others, I am still out nearly $700.00 with no apparent prospects of getting it back.

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        VRBO # 351904gave rental to away

        I sent in a request for availability at Mana Kai unit 405. I was sent a reply from the owner saying it was available for the dates I needed. I then sent in the rental agreement and told the owner the deposit check was in the mail. A few days later I received an email from the owners assistant saying they received a deposit from another party for part of the dates I had reserved, therefor I could not have the unit for the dates they had promised. I have used vrbo for years and have never run into a problem like this. I live in Canada and it is Christmas so it does take a few days for mail to reach California. I have looked at this units availability calendar and it shows that the other party wanted to rent the unit for 18 nights and I was renting it for 14 nights. It seems to me that this owner is being very unfair with her agreements. Be careful with this person, if you are going to rent from this person you had better have a backup plan.

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          vrbo.combeware... some owners commit fraud

          We have a horrible problem with VRBO and the rental with Mark and Linda Lee of 4249 Briar Creek, Dallas Texas 75214. We rented their condo in Austin (1200 Castle Hill) for 4 days last month. When we got there, someone else was in the condo. They double booked it. I have a contract, confirmation emails, and cancelled checks for the payment in full plus $300 deposit. Linda Lee has admitted she double booked it writing. It was Formula 1 week so we were lucky to find a hotel room at the last minute but it cost us an additional $1000. Linda Lee would not respond to my emails, texts or phone messages for 2 weeks. She told me two weeks ago she mailed the check but it hasn't come. Beware of VRBO and renting from Mark and Linda Lee. VRBO will not accept my review since we didn't stay there!!! Beware... some owners commit fraud.

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            vrbo.comvrbo would not allow us to post a negative review on their site

            VRBO would not allow us to post a negative review on their site. I believe that they only allow positive reviews to be posted. We chose our St. John Villa (Heavenly Villas) based on the five star ratings they had on their site and found the villa to be hot, bug-infested, and noisy. It nearly ruined our vacation.

            Instead of allowing us to warn other travelers, VRBO removed our review for no reason. Beware! Do your homework before relying on VRBO.

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              vrbo.comvery greedy company and not able to listen or satisfy a disgruntled customer

              I own multiple vacation rentals on five contiguous lots. VRBO took my money for my listing then told me I would have to purchase a listing for each building. I cancelled, however VRBO did not notify me they kept my listing without going live for over a year and then refused to refund my over $750 dollars. Very greedy company and not able to listen or satisfy a disgruntled customer.

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                The complaint has been investigated and
                resolved to the customer's satisfaction
                Resolved
                VRBO — breach of rental agreement by owner

                I had a rental agreement with Jim Ring for his Park City, UT property VRBO #106012 for 2 nights in August...

                The complaint has been investigated and
                resolved to the customer's satisfaction
                Resolved
                Endurance Beach House thru VRBO — owner wrongfully keeps security deposit

                Owner wrongfully kept security deposit, and trying to bilk us as renters for damages that did not occur.. All...

                vrbo.comavoid this website at all costs

                I am done with VRBO. The owner wrongfully withheld the deposit for 3 months, for no reason. It was a huge time suck and hassle to get it back: multiple emails and phone calls, had to get VRBO's claim form notarized and supply them with copies of my cashed checks. Finally the owner sent it--pretty much on their own as VRBO never took the listing down.

                But here's the rub--when I try to warn others of this owner's poor business practices by posting a bad review--after multiple emails and postings and revisions to try and comply with VRBO's owner-biased review system--VRBO still doesn't post it. And VRBO has all the evidence from the email trails between me and the owner as well as all my documents they made me provide. They say their policy is that reviews "must substantially relate to the stay."

                Well, I don't have to pay a deposit at a hotel for my "stay"--that's substantial. So guess what--no more VRBO for me. They suck.

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                  The complaint has been investigated and
                  resolved to the customer's satisfaction
                  Resolved
                  VRBO #300483 — owner refusal refund deposit & payment

                  Owner, AAALuxuryVillas, LLC refuses to pay deposit and balance payment check after double-booking rental...

                  vrbo.comthe website and dashboard are down constantly or freeze, no customer service

                  Horrible customer service - they purchased all other competitive rental websites out there and increased 500% their listing rating. The website and dashboard are down constantly or freeze, no customer service ...if you finally get a response (if you are very, very lucky w a 20% chance) it is mostly "sorry, we are working on the issue" or "yes, we increased our rates significantly but added features". Really, for whose benefits? Clearly not the listing owners but their own benefit to enrich them further. Hate it...

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                    vrbo.comthis was the absolute worst experience I have ever encountered with an online resource

                    This was the absolute worst experience I have ever encountered with an online resource. I submitted the following inquiries:

                    172 inquiries for a vacation rental in Destin, and I Received back 28 RESPONSES out of 172 inquiries. That is 144 no response and a huge waste of my time.

                    In the past, VRBO was a wonderful resource, however, it is becoming a total waste of time. Half of the homes/condos that I researched were already booked but the left you to think it was still available for rent. I would never waste my time inquiring about a rental property that is obviously not available over my travel dates and no, my travel dates were not flexible. The amount of hours I spent searching was outrageous in compasion to the response rate, very disappointing, there has to be a better way. I had more success on Flip Key and Home Away with far less inquiries, time and effort.

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                      VRBO-Miramar Beach,FL.mold in condo

                      We rented #127 in Seascape resort for 2 months in 2012, January and February. Owner Steve Khatchadourin required the full 2-months rent prior to our arrival. When we checked in there was a foulsmell upon entering the unit . We later learned that the owner himself put fresh fish in the in the freezer, stinking up the whole place. There was little to no maintenence on the unit as the patio door took two people to open it, the microwave was rusted and unuseable. There were only two plates, no usable frypans, no canopener or pot holders. On the 11th. day of our stay, late in the evening we heard rain leaking from the top of the window and dripping down on the sill. I got up and placed a pan under the sill to catch the dripping water. The next morning after pulling back the curtains that were placed in the closed position since we entered the condo, we noticed black mold everywhere around the window to the floor and was in the carpet. We contacted the owner and Seascape and took pictures of the mess. We never did hear from the owner, but 2-days later someone from Seascape came over and agreed we had a mold problem. I Take medication for allergies and sleeping 4 feet from this growing mold was a health concern. If proper maintenence was performed on this condo the leak would have been fixed. Finally a contractor was sent out and we were told that the work would take five days. We never were offered accomadations by Seascape or Steve. We vacated the property and after 5-days and many unanswered e-mails, Cathy from seascape sent us an e-mail that the repairs were much more extensive than thought and will take longer to complete. The drywall from the inside and the siding from the outside had to be removed, as well as rotted structural framing. We finally got ahold of Steve, all he had to say is that we could stay at his studio condo in Sandestin while the repairs were being made. We had an agreement to stay at a condo in Miramar Beach not Sandestin. We were cheated out of the condo we paid up front for 2 of the 8 weeks that we were there, not to mention any of the possible health consequences from being exposed to the growing mold for 22-days. We asked the owner (Steve) for a refund of $500.00 and he refused. We feel we are owed this amout as again we were out of the condo for two weeks. We recommend that you do not rent #127 at Seascape.

                      mold in condo
                      mold in condo
                      mold in condo
                      mold in condo

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                        VRBOaccusation of broken equipment

                        When I arrived at the Sevierville TN cabin. It was very dirty. Bathrooms, jucuzzis, hot tub filthy. Towels on the tolit brush instead of towel rack.I immediately called the housekeeper. He said he hadn't been contacted until that morning by the owner to let him know we would be there.He was rude and still didn't get things clean.. so I called the cabin owner(elaine foster). She of course didn't answer and still hasn't called me back after 2 1/2 weeks. Through email- She claims I broke a basketball game while I was there (which was already broken, I assumed she knew since it's suppose to be checked after each guest) and will not refund my $200 deposit. Also my mother's finger got cut on the very sharp banister coming up the stairs. Not safe. If I broke something I'd admit it...because I don't like liars or thieves.

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                          • Av
                            A voice!!! Oct 07, 2013
                            This comment was posted by
                            a verified customer
                            Verified customer

                            I am in the same situation now, however the place was extremely nice but was wrongfully accused of broken a planter. I was so upset that I was just going to leave it alone, but as the days went by I couldn't take been accused for something we did not do... Can you let me know who I can contact? I have a voice and don't want this to happen to the next person...

                            0 Votes

                          vrbo.comstay away from these guys

                          Although I like what VRBO does for my rentals bottom line it is unfortunate they are allowing Brokers to advertise and lie about the location. My rental is located on Anna Maria island which includes 3 towns in it. Bradenton Beach, Holmes beach and the small town of Anna Maria. The most desirable is the town of Anna Maria. So the brokers lie and say thier rental is located in the town of Anna Maria instead of Bradenton Beach or Holmes beach because they know it is more desirable. Unfortunately they have overloaded the Anna Maria page with these false listings.

                          It is a shame that VRBO has allowed these broker to lie to the public with the false assumption that they are dealing with the owner but it is more disapointing that they are allowed to mislead us into thinking the property is located somewhere it is NOT.
                          If VRBO is so greedy that they need the money so bad and then don't care what is posted this site will dissolve in time because the public will be fed up with being lied to and the honest owners that have followed the rules of proper location will be lost in the shuffle.

                          VRBO check your listings 50% of them listed for the town of Anna Maria are false.

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                            The complaint has been investigated and
                            resolved to the customer's satisfaction
                            Resolved
                            VRBO Susan Hendersondeposit scam

                            Susan Henderson of VRBO Merritt Island Vacation Rental Properties was reported fraudulently withholding deposits from customers. (Banana River)
                            Vacation Scam Susan Henderson Banana River Vrbo
                            Not as advertised. Worst place on VRBO ever! The pictures are lovely (must have been taken years ago, but the description is not accurate regarding the location, or amenities. I should have known this was a scam property from the onset because once we signed the contract, she wanted ALL the money right away even though our vacation was not for another 5 months. The house is not walkable to anywhere besides a gas station. You must have a car. The rental was substandard, dingy, dark, old furniture, and everything was cheap and low quality. There was no rudimentary kitchen appliances like a can opener or garlic press. There is no large sauce pan so you will have to cook large meals in multiple pots. The dishwasher was broken. No proper dining chairs for 12 people to dine together--the chairs were horrible--you were either too high from the table or too low to the table. There was dog crap at the front of the steps walking into the property. DISGUSTING! The house is full of inferior cheap items that broke very easily--you will be nickel and dimed for everything. If you leave a cup away from the kitchen cupboard, she will charge you $5. RIDICULOUS! You have to make your own beds when you get there, and you have to get on your knees and scrub every single inch of the place before you leave. They do not wash the comforters and blankets so you might be sleeping on the crud from a previous guest. GROSS! I found a red hair that was NOT mine in the bed...NASTY! They are too cheap to pay for housekeeping but will charge you for a 'cleaning fee'. There was no tissue paper, garbage bags or paper towels provided. There is no king bed--that's a lie, it's a queen bed only. The owners are more concerned with getting your money and once they have it, they will ignore your requests to fix or take care of something. There is a laundry list of regulations, and if you don't arrange the dishes in the exact order as they want it, you get charged--what a scam! This place is HORRENDOUS! They will look for every excuse and will not return your security deposit. They are not helpful and accommodating. The pool had duck crap all in it and you have to spend at least 30 minutes cleaning the swimming pool BEFORE you get in-Yuck. This was the worst vacation spot that I have ever used. It is not near the beach, that was false as well. For the price you are paying, you would be better off going with another property or a hotel that is right on the beach. Be warned, this place is a nightmare!

                            Rental Property Address:
                            Sea Shell Drive
                            Merritt Island Florida 32952
                            Name of Landlord: Susan Henderson
                            Property/Unit
                            #257845 - "Banana River Waterfront with Pool and Boat Dock"

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                              • An
                                anonymous1323 Feb 16, 2013

                                This was written by a renter named, Tosin Ola Weismann, who had a party in this house and was passed out when the cleaning crew showed up on the day of checkout. The house NOT in its original state. Therefore, her deposit was withheld and used for the additional clean up and replacement of broken items in the house. Mrs. Weismann was so upset that her deposit was withheld that she threaten to write a bad review to hurt my future business, if she did not get her deposit back. Would you want to be threatened? Mrs. Weismann followed through with her threat and has also used other means to further taint the owners of this property. To all that took the time to read this article, you never know who a real person is until they don't get what they want. In Tosin Ola Weismann's case she used her powers to threaten VRBO to have this site removed. She achieved her goal to prevent this family from receiving the income they needed to survive and to take care of their permanently mentally and physically disabled daughter, now 22 years old. Thank you Tosin Ola Weismann with following through with revengeful threat.

                                0 Votes

                              The complaint has been investigated and
                              resolved to the customer's satisfaction
                              Resolved
                              VRBO — rental cancellation

                              In June 2011 we made an initial payment on a beach house rental posted by VRBO under listing # 322472 for...

                              The complaint has been investigated and
                              resolved to the customer's satisfaction
                              Resolved
                              VRBO — vrbo rip off

                              Stayed 36 hrs and the place had dirty floors, worn appliances with rust on the side of the fridge...

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