‘It was terrible:’ Family wants refund after vacation rental booked on VRBO became unavailable

Imagine you are planning a vacation and a few weeks before your trip you receive a notice that the vacation home you booked online using VRBO is no longer available. This left a family in a bad place, and they just want their money back, but they only got part of their refund.

“It’s been terrible. It really is,” said Missouri resident Maggie Taite. She was looking forward to vacationing with her family in Davenport, Florida this summer. But her plans came to an abrupt end when she learned that her family could no longer stay at the property she had paid for because the landlord was still going to be in the house for the time she had booked.

“We received the notice that we could no longer stay at the property, which took us about three weeks from when we were due to leave,” Taite said. Since then, his family has struggled to get all their money back.

Taite told FOX 35’s Marlisa Goldsmith that she paid $1,244.20 for the booking. She said a rep told her a refund was processed, but she only received $120 from VRBO.

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As for the remaining balance, Taite said, “She explained in detail how the owner, her account was hacked.”

“Certainly in my research, I’ve come across many other consumers who were in a similar situation to this,” said Jared Lee of the Consumer Rights Advocacy Firm. FOX 35 News sat down with him to learn more about the options renters have when they encounter reservation issues like this.

“A consumer has the ability to take a matter of this nature to court. Additionally, the contract with VRBO may provide for an arbitration agreement which is a form outside of the court system that allows for the resolution of disputes,” said Lee.

“We work hard for our money and not being able to use it for what we would like to do is disheartening,” Taite said.

FOX 35 News contacted VRBO and when last checked they said they were contacting their customer relations team. We haven’t heard from them yet.

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