VRBO didn't help out---watch out!

I have a friend that uses Airbnb and VRBO so do I. She had a last minute sign up for an instant booking. The clients used the home for the weekend and left the home in good condition. Later in the week, she received an email from VRBO saying she will not give her $963 dollars. That the clients used a stolen credit card and VRBO is not responsible for the lost payment.

VRBO states it was her responsibility to collect a photo ID and a copy of the credit card used to book the home. They also asked if she meets with the clients at the home before they took possession for the weekend. She did not gather this info. Her clients came in after 9pm and she has online instructions for late night visitors. VRBO states because she did not get a photo id, no credit card info and did not meet and greet that she has no claim. They also said VRBO does not collect id’s or copies of the cards. That it is basically “seller beware”.

This IMO is a huge problem. Don’t you think that if a crook is willing to use a stolen credit card that they may be willing to beat your ass right at the front door? I mean if you figured it out on your own in the moment. Also wft VRBO doesn’t collect id’s???

Anyway if you all didnt know that I thought you should.

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As far as I am aware AirBnB is unusual in that it does not do chargebacks for such things. Well I have never come across one.

Your friend certainly seems to be managing her property in a high risk way.

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@Como exactly the same would happen with Airbnb if you do a last minute booking and the guest doesn’t pay then you don’t get paid either.

@Bigsimp if your friend knew this was the process with VRBO to ensure she got paid why didn’t she collect photo ID and get a copy of the credit card?

I was shocked when I found out the VRBO did not collect id’s. I also use VRBO and will not start collecting id’s before guest arrives. I too have late night check-ins and instructions. I do use video cameras all around my home so I know when people are coming and going. IMO this is safe and a way to stay out of your client’s hair. I would be interested to see others thoughts on this sublect.

@Bigsimp are you saying that VRBO doesn’t tell hosts to check IDs and credit cards but is now saying this is a reason for not paying out on a fraudulent card?

How do cameras help with this situation if you aren’t collecting ID’s?

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No I am saying VRBO leaves it up to the owners to collect this type of information. I find this very disturbing for many reasons. What if you do have a criminal at your door then you leave yourself open to attack which has happened in the past. Plus you have no idea if the information given to you is accurate unless you work for a credit company or the cia. Last but not least. I am surprised that VRBO wants owners to collect credit card data and ID’s. How does VRBO know if I would use this information for credit fraud or better yet sell off this info to another criminal? I could be the bad guy. This type of practice could attract more criminals to be hosts.

VRBO does not pay out any type of credit card fraud. My friend was told this doesn’t happen often but they do not pay for any reason. They said it was her responsibility to check id’s and credit cards. Even on instant bookings. I just think this is wrong and wanted you all to know what happened to her.

Outside Cameras help to see if I have a group of college kids using my house as a party pad for the weekend. My community has a sound ordinance. This happens a lot in my area. Also as video evidence, if my house has more than the expected amount users. Also an issue in my area.

That’s why I don’t list with them
Anymore . The thing is tht those who use Airbnb also know about VRBO. It’s almost 100% the same clientele . I am not loosing clients because my listing is not on VRBO.

I had 1 back charge and one stollen credit card and it was enough for me .
People who were supposed to arrive never did and never even called me. Until I called them asking where are they. Then they simply did a dispute with their card and I never got paid 2000$. VRBO Couldn’t be worse in customer service. Indifferent procrastinating to no end lazy employees.

Yes you do need to be sure that a person who paid is the person who stays. It’s a rule in most hotels for this exact reason. Scammers do it very often. They supposedly book it for nephew or son but in fact they just use stollen credit card.

I learned it with booking.com. I even learned to recognized pattern: very last minute bookings, never a person present , it’s always 3rd party booking.

I us few situations with Airbnb like this but I always got. Paid. I think Airbnb deals with charges back by themselves without penalizing hosts . I was never not paid

Wow that really sucks to no end. That’s what I needed to know. It seems like airbnb cares more about the homeowners than VRBO. You have settled it with me. Im gonna drop vrbo. They charge more away in fees.


It’s advisable for beginners to read all that you can here on the forum. There are many stories of Airbnb not supporting hosts either. You can learn a lot about policies and how airbnb gets out of backing up the hosts.

Some examples: someone is going to cancel on you last minute and even if you have strict as your cancellation policy, airbnb won’t pay because it’s going to be “extenuating circumstances.” Someone will trash your house and air wont accept your documentation and estimates and you’ll be out money. Someone will stay a few days and then make some claim to get a refund and no matter how ridiculous it seems, Airbnb will side with the guest. Most of the problems people come to the forum with are whole house rentals where the owner isn’t present. I’ve been shocked at what some will do even with owners present.

Forewarned is forearmed.


VRBO does NOT insert itself in the transaction in any way, except to take money. It used to be what property owners loved. They hated Airbnb’s big brother model, but now, VRBO feels like the Wild West.

No no no… this is dreamland. They purport to, but they don’t really. In recent years, all policies have slowly been extended to protect the guest and make it easier and cheaper for the guest to book and get refunds.

I recently had a guest on another platform called Glamping Hub where you can set the policy on NO REFUND, which if course I did. Well they checked in, got allergies and left. They were trying to get me to refund. I said it was not possible. When I called the platform (still pretty new). They scoffed and said the guest will not be getting anything or if they filed a chargeback, it would be denied, since they had proof the guest accepted the terms of service at the time of booking.

But you can bet your bottom dollar, Air would have refunded the allergy thing or would have been trying to talk me into refunding.

I’m scrambling right now to make up for the $1000 loss I incurred over the holidays when a guest who had booked in October canceled over EC. It took them over two weeks (the deadline) to get their EC documents in so I was paid out. The next day it was rescinded. Way too late to rebook. I ate it hard because a guest got sick.

Wow that’s a pretty incredible that they don’t do anything to help the homeowners. I mean without the homeowner’s they wouldn’t have a business.

They see it as without the guests they wouldn’t have a business. That doesn’t mean they never do anything at all. Some people have good experiences in some instances. I’ve had well over 300 guests over the last 3.6 years and not one serious problem. When I’ve asked for help I’ve gotten it every time. But if it’s going to be 1000s out of their pocket they try to duck paying out.

True. But now that they have enough owners…the sites will push their limits to what owners are willing to accept. Then if enough owners leave, the sites will begin to treat them better. Then once they have enough owners…the cycle repeats itself. :frowning:

Most of my guests have been airbnb owners themselves. Wow I did realize there were so many issues to watch out for. Back in the day I had a rental and did everything by mail. Never had an issue because I cashed the check myself.

Watch out for your HOA banning you and cities regulating/outlawing STR. If a guest does something that makes your place uninhabitable, say a kitchen fire, Air won’t pay for the bookings you have to cancel.

They are way past the point of needing homeowners. In the beginning they did and were very solicitous toward us… but now, if You or I leave, there are a zillion others to fill the void. The balance has changed. Now it’s all about the guest.

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