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Beware of VRBO as an owner. VRBO doesn't protect you. This happened to us.

Discussion in 'Buying, Selling & Renting Timeshares' started by rickandcindy23, May 24, 2019.

  1. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Vrbo owners beware -- you are not protected from fraudulent charges made by a renter. VRBO requires owners to use their payment-processing company, will accept a credit card with a different name from the renter (without the owner's knowledge), and if the cardholder disputes the charge after the renter has already stayed, you are the one out the money and VRBO will do nothing to help you.

    I am currently facing a battle with VRBO over someone who stayed at one of my resorts for TEN days. You can imagine the cost for ten nights in a beautiful two-bedroom condo, and how this hurts me. The most frustrating part is there is no guarantee that this won't happen again, because VRBO isn't the one out the cost, and they are not putting policies into place regarding the cardholder name and renter name matching.

    VRBO also will not provide me with the cardholder name, so I cannot even research it to see if there is a connection between the cardholder and the renter.
     
  2. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Some resorts require the occupant to use their credit card at check in and some don't. I kind of wondered if VRBO timeshare units such as Worldmark could be problematic if the renter pulled a stunt like the above because there is no credit card required. Even so, Worldmark does require a guest certificate and ID for anyone to check in.

    In the above case it seems that there is some fraud being attempted. Since the person that stayed in the unit would have had to check in that person could be taken to court. What a pain.

    Bill
     
  3. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I am just going to add that in the many years of renting, since December of 2007, we have only had two people who tried to file a dispute, and because we took the credit card payments ourselves via Costco's payment process system (Elavon), we won both disputes. People who have used Paypal have not had that same success. Now VRBO is forcing us to use their payment processing system, and we have this issue.
     
  4. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Wyndham requires photo ID and credit card imprint upon check-in. VRBO will not follow through at all. So now we have to fight VRBO.
     
  5. T_R_Oglodyte

    T_R_Oglodyte TUG Lifetime Member

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    A couple of comments.

    First, as a frequent VRBO tenant, I have noted that the transaction is not complete until the owner accepts me as a tenant. I just rented a unit through VRBO a couple of days ago in which I needed to agree to the owners terms and conditions, which were in addition to the VRBO terms and conditions. Thus, as an owner, could you not implement similar requirements and not accept a renter where you don't trust the payment conditions? Or make submittal of a backup card a requirement of your own terms and conditions.

    Second, one my children has a vacation property that is listed on both VRBO/HomeAway and AirBnB. She has commented that AirBnB is far more friendly to owners. But she gets much more business through VRBO.
     
  6. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, we have to accept the "tenant", Steve, because we have to add a guest certificate with Wyndham. The guest certificate has to match the ID exactly for Wyndham to allow the "tenant" to check into the resort.

    It's our daughter dealing with all of this, and she is very upset with VRBO for not alerting her that the credit card used was not in the same name as the "tenant." In other words, VRBO took a credit card payment from a person with a different name than the guest and didn't alert our daughter.

    This is fraud. And with today's rampant fraud issues, for VRBO to accept a payment and then alert us of a guest that is NOT that person, that is just wrong. VRBO will not take responsibility, even though they are forcing us to use their payment processing. Laura would never do that.
     
  7. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    And actually, to put it in a more personal way: if your daughter had a tenant for 10 days who paid VRBO directly (which is the only option), and the name didn't match the name of the person she knew to be her tenant, VRBO will not defend her against a credit card dispute by the person who paid for the 10 nights.

    VRBO also will not provide our daughter with the cardholder name, so we cannot even research it to see if there is a connection between the cardholder and the renter.
     
  8. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The entire thing is so ridiculous because VRBO is saying we should make sure that the renter and the person who paid via credit card are the same person. VRBO DOES NOT tell us the name of the person who paid, only the name and address that are going on the reservation. So that sounds ridiculous to me. They are talking in circles. To force people to use their payment processing and then not taking any responsibility, it's just so nuts.
     
  9. b2bailey

    b2bailey TUG Member

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    I am confused. Was the rental paid for with a stolen card?
     
  10. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    No way to tell. The charge has been disputed by the cardholder. The cardholder apparently was not the name of the renter.
     
  11. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    File a fraud report against VRBO in Austin with the Austin PD. You can claim that their refusal to provide the information is aiding and abetting the perpetrator. They will probably provide the information to an official police investigation.

    Also, open a Better Business complaint against them.
    VRBO.png
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    taffy19 and amycurl like this.
  12. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    I really like that idea. There is some fraud somewhere, and it's not you. Definitely get the police involved, or, at the very least the AG of either the 1) state where the rental happened or 2) state where VRBO is located or 3) state where YOU are located. That might help VRBO wake-up.

    (We found even invoking the name of NC's very active AG--now Gov--while on the phone with large non-consumer-friendly companies, like phone, cable, and utility companies, was usually enough to magically get things to happen on their end.)
     
    taffy19 likes this.
  13. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    VRBO will not tell our daughter the name that was on the credit card used through their payment site. It's really so sleazy. The one out is not VRBO, nor the person whose cc was "stolen" or "compromised," it is us.
     
  14. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    This would also be an interesting class action lawsuit. Since they are forcing you to use their payment system, the argument could be made that they are accepting vicarious liability of their customers.
     
  15. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    I can see that, but in the course of an official theft/fraud investigation, protecting PII (Personally Identifiable Information) gets stripped away.

    Also, your daughter has the contact information of the original "renter". Provide that in the Police report and see if that tracks back to a real person. If so, have them contact the police in that locality to continue the investigation.
     
  16. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, and I love your idea about contacting the police in Austin. Thank you for that, and for not dismissing this as an arbitrary complaint. It's something that could happen to any one of us, when renting through a site like VRBO.
     
    amycurl likes this.
  17. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    This is also a federal banking beef. File a complaint with the FTC as well as a complaint with the FCC about fraud over the internet.

    Give it a while to percolate, and then reach out to the media outlets in Austin to tell your story.
     
  18. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    Since you did not deal directly with the renter and did not process the payment yourself, your business relationship is with VRBO and not with the renter. You rented a week (or 10 days rather) to VRBO, you followed their instructions and registered their guest's name based on the information they provided and based on the fact that you were told that the renter had paid for the trip. It is their duty and obligation to make sure that a payment you have no control over is legit. You had the expectation to be paid provided that you fulfilled your side of the deal (which you did).

    VRBO is on the hook for the money, as far as I can see. How cheeky for them to pretend otherwise!
     
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  19. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thank you, Danny. VRBO is really forcing us to complain to the AG. I think that is our next step. So they are based in Austin. I had no idea until DrQ said that.
     
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  20. DannyTS

    DannyTS TUG Member

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    on the homeaway website, they mention
    "We use technology to detect fraudulent activity by verifying user accounts, giving owners the ability to confirm the identities of travelers"
    interesting to note, i do not see the same message on the VRBO site, although I think it is understood they have an obligation to do so otherwise they would be in violation of anti money laundering laws.
     
    rayreavis likes this.
  21. DrQ

    DrQ TUG Member

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    Not having used them, what does the contract say?
    Do they force you into arbitration in the case of a dispute?
    You can open a complaint to the AG, but it won't go anywhere (and they know it).

    If they use arbitration and you have a choice, use JAMS, it is EX$$$PENSIVE for them. You may not win, but they will lose. If that is the case, drag it out as long as possible.

    Also, Austin is a liberal bastion in Texas. If you can control the narrative that they are just out to screw the consumer, they may just pay you to stop the bleeding.
     
  22. dsmrp

    dsmrp TUG Member

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    Wow, so sorry this is happening. Hope you get resolution from VRBP soon. You might have to use social media (beyond TUG) to get your story out.
     
  23. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    What would stop a husband and wife with different names from renting with a card in one name, adding the guest name as the other person, then claiming fraud?
     
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  24. Two_4_Exploring

    Two_4_Exploring Guest

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    We've used separate cards (names) for Airbnb rentals since there are several 5% back offers ongoing where we can use a specific card to get 5% back when we book with a specific card, so I can see the side where someone can honestly use a cc not exactly the same as the person booking. However I think because you are also paying VRBO service fees, as is the person booking, VRBO should be on the front line of these situations and not passing the problem off to you. They processed the transaction and know information you have no access to due to the firewall they have built between you and the renter. Yes this is my first post. Not trying to troll.
     
  25. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    Same thing here in Texas when now Governor Abbot was AG. All it took was a letter to him and issues got resolved quickly. I don't know how it is with the current AG...

    George
     

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