VRBO guest filed charge-back after stay claiming he wasnt there, Even though he stayed and I have proof

So i had a guest stay for more than a week at my vacation rental, $1650 total charges.
I had verified the guests Id during check in and it matched reservation and name on the credit card.
A month after the stay I receive a chargeback notice, claiming that guests was not there. I sent Yapstone the payment processor for VRBO all the information including a photos of the id for the guest. Few weeks later I receieved a denial of the claim because the identity in question was not the person who stayed or so the Yapstone tells me so.
At this point Im lost as to how can this be, Drivers license, address and reservation name all match, and in fact the person on the id is the person that stayed… Only thing I can think of is that credit card name was not actually my guests but someone else but Yapstone processed the reservation anyway and thus the consequences, although VRBO/Yapstone should be the party responsible for this.
Anyone with experience as how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated!
forgot to add: I did place a stop payment on VRBO withdrawal of the funds for the charge back , so for now VRBO does not have them but they are threatening to place me in collections if I dont allow them access to the funds

UPDATE 11/16/2016
So I tracked down the guest online who appears to be living with his parents. I talked to his mom then she gave me the phone to speak person. On the phone he did say that charge-back was a mistake that was done by his company , that he was sending me a new check. 3 weeks later no check and the person in questions is not replying to emails anymore.
At least I know I have the correct address where his parents live. Do I file a small claims at this point? He is in PA and I am in CA

You should take this question to the VRBO Homeaway forum. We are Airbnb hosts and don’t have chargeback issues.

I don’t really understand how they tell you it’s not the person that stayed if you saw this person, verified ID that matched credit card!!
Unfortunately these crooks know very well that credit cards will go along with them . Especially American Express.
I had that also happened to me once and I never saw the money. I had all the proof but they said no and it was it.
My poor friend had it happened 4 times. And only once she hit her money back. In Total she lost 4K .
Now both of us just take cash or money order. I charge a deposit on a card and then when they arrive they pay me cash . I don’t process payment through VRBO anymore.,
Airbnb is a totally different story


Hi @alex1 I host on Airbnb and VRBO (as well as others) and I’ve had a chargeback on VRBO as well. I didn’t have the proof that you did, but I did have a lot of info that I provided. It didn’t make a lick of difference. The funds were taken back from me, and that was that. In the end it was a lot of money but I had to just eat it and not look back. Sorry that I don’t have better news.

I got a $1500 hit from charge back a few months ago. Yapstone wanted proof of ID check but all I did was verify with my own eyes.
Lesson learned and now I use smart phone to take photo of IDs upon arrival.

Question: did you try contacting the guest ? If so did they offer any help?

Interesting. It sounds like hosts should not charge credit cards because they can’t be charged back (which means your money is taken away) for any reason. Is there any reason why one should charge credit cards? I’ve used them, of course, but only from the buyer end.

I don’t understand your question Faheem?

It’s the guest using the credit card and the host accepting it as a payment method. As Yana has already said; on other sites (not Airbnb) this leaves hosts open to chargebacks. It appears the only way to avoid this is to not accept credit card payments from guests but my bet would be you’d find most guests would want full flexibility over how they pay and I’d expect any host who tried to limit credit card payments would be rewarded with much lower bookings.

Hi @Zandra,

@Yana wrote:

If I understand what you say, the guest will not necessarily accept this as a payment method.

And in summary, one has no choice but to accept possible chargebacks as the cost of doing business with those platforms. Which, if it is the case, sucks.

I’m not sure why Airbnb is not susceptible to this chargeback issue, and other sites are. Can anyone clarify?

@Zandra, yes you are right , I do not accept credit card and I do loose certain amount of people BUT I do offer discount . For example with my existing reservation through VRBO a guest needs to pay 180$ in their fees to VRBO . I give them discount on that amount. They are happy, I also charge damage deposit. Most people don’t mind paying few hundred which in fact is a bit more than their fees would be.

I do not mind loosing a bit of business but it’s better than to have scammers in my house and give these crooks free ride. In fact the " loss of business" is not really a loss . Incidents with charge backs never occurs anymore and I always paid.
I also had an incident of stollen credit card when a bunch of teenagers trashed my house.,
And it was all through VRBO.
@faheem. I am not sure exactly how it happens with Air but I think they cover losses. Even if charge back happens it does not become out fight but remains theirs.
I had few incidents with people bringing more guests and I had to cancel them. There was a lot of Comotion and I am sure these guests disputed the charges. But I got paid 100%

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Hi @Yana,

So, to be clear, you insists on being paid in cash when making bookings through VRBO, and this works for you, in the sense that you get enough bookings?

Thanks for the clarifications.

Again this is the reason why you should take all the guest data, and have them sign at check-in.

Always report them to the police, if you do not get your money!

If you have all the data, contact the guest and tell them you will go to the police and report them if they do not release the payment within 24 hours.

@Chris the OP had all their data and it didn’t mean a thing. It’s not a police issue unfortunately.

This doesn’t come up with Airbnb because they handle all the money including deposits. Personally I’d rather that than deal with loosing several thousand through chargebacks…

I wouldn’t stay anywhere where I had to pay over £100 in cash; if something goes wrong I need to know I can invoke my consumer protection if needed, but yes , it’s exactly this that fraudsters are exploiting.

Yes Faheem. First I don’t do 2-3-4 day stays anymore. My minimum is a week. This way with one booking a whole week is sold. If you remember I just had a 4 months booking with corporate people who paid me with money order every month. After them I just had 2 reservations from VRBO , 3 days after corporate people will move out on 18th, one for 8 days, another for a week, back to back.
I charged their card for 300$ each. But the rest they will bring me cash or money order… No one objected though with one of them was s bit of of a worry if I am legitimate.
I told them about other sites that I list with, refer them to my FB page. Let them Google location and so on.
I just had a call from a family who stayed with me last February, do they are returning guests which makes me happy.
There are ways to avoid credit cards.


Thanks, @Yana. That’s very informative.


How can this not be a police issue?

Staying without paying for the room is a crime. The guest has stayed, but has not paid.

Or is this different in the US? Are you allowed to stay in a hotel and just walk off?

@Chris You didn’t read the post I guess?

They paid using a credit card and then several months later used a charge back to claim the money back from their credit card, claiming they didn’t stay.

So what was paid for at the time … became a free holiday a few months later. It’s a known loophole that fraudsters use and no, the police won’t get involved the same way they dont get involved when you send your money to Nigeria because you got an email saying you won the lotto.

Chris in US unfortunately laws work very well for criminals.
I had a tough year where I had to deal with a seemingly for us very obvious criminal case but in fact it turns out to be not and a scammer just walked .
With one stay where guests used stollen card I called police. Police took report and… Nothing happened.
An officer told me that mostl likely noone will follow through because these credit cards frauds are so common and frequent that noone investigates it anymore.

I read the post.

So in the end they did not pay for the stay.
This is fraud, and you can report it.

And if the data is correct, I always have a last resort.
I know some people that will go and get the money for me, for a percentage…:smiling_imp:

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@Yana here in the U.K. I had a motorbike stolen from the front of my house; the police said they thought they knew who did it as they had seen a large group of kids riding around without helmets (all on stolen bikes!!) and then told me they were going to close the immediately without any investigation. This was even though they had a suspect! My 2.5k loss was nothing to them; like you say these things are too small in the grand scheme of things.

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Good luck convincing a stretched police force to take up your case; even better luck tracking a guest whose details you saw but don’t have (after all they are strict laws in your country about that right ? ) who lives in another part of the world. Even if you have the information photocopied … what can you do with it when someone won’t pay up?

Like it or not this is a crime where the host always going to lose. For all of Airbnb’s faults this is one thing I like about them … not having to deal with chargebacks