ED Magedson – Founder
VRBO/Homeaway It's a dreadful experience for guests and homeowners, alike austin Texas
I am a homeowner who advertises on Homeaway. I can appreciate both sides and empathize with guests who have had an unsettling experience with this company. The lack of service, the rather cavalier attitude this company has, the impossibility to have any issues addressed on any level, etc., is one that I have experienced, as well. It is quite unbelievable, and, yes, this compay is very close to a monopoly.....there are, I believe, 18 companies under the Homeaway umbrella. Seven months ago, Homeaway posted a libelous and totally untrue review to my page. This review was submitted by an individual who was never a guest at my rental. There was absolutely no vetting process performed by Homeaway on this review and I had no control over whether or not this review was posted. The review was so devasting.....urine-soaked bed pillows, vermin infested kitchen, etc., that, of course, I have had no rentals for seven months. I filed a lawsuit against the person who submitted the review....Homeaway would not even give me the name of the reviewer....and prevailed in that lawsuit for damages resulting from criminal libel. Homeaway has finally removed the review and is now holding me hostage for nearly 700 dollars to reinstate my position on the page, and to give me back my five star rating. It's just been an horrendous experience.....I even spoke directly with the CEO of Homeaway, a feat, in and of itself, vritually impossible, and still got nowhere.....and I've lost 25 thousand dollars in income as a result of this libelous, criminal review that was posted and the seven months it took to deal with it. So, Buyer, beware. No review you read potentially has any merit whatsoever. There is no vetting process of reviews....they all just get posted. I have an email from one of the employees verifying this behavior. If a rental has an unusual number of reviews, you may understand that the owner could have had all his/her friends write glowing reviews, with no basis in fact, or, conversely, any bad reviews you read might have been submitted by someone who was not a guest, with some other ax to grind against the owner, or maybe just your garden variety psychopath who wants to do harm to strangers.. Homeaway is woefully understaffed, by kids who have no power and no training, except in how to make you go away...no pun intended. Equally true is that the photos you see may not be of the actual rental. There's a home in my area that advertises on Homeaway, and there's two photos of two different kitchens...one looks like it comes from the pages of Home and Garden, and, the one that's probably the actual kitchen is a virtual dump. In fact, the listing may have been placed by someone who doesn't even own the home. In searching for an alternate site on which to advertise my place, I discovered that my rental home is already listed on B & B Air, and NOT by me....apparently, you, as a guest, can send your money to someone and the place may not even be a rental, nor owned by the person you sent your hard-earned cash to. So many scams, so little protection.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/04/2014 12:23 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/VRBOHomeaway/austin-Texas-78704/VRBOHomeaway-Its-a-dreadful-experience-for-guests-and-homeowners-alike-austin-Texas-1120826. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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