Helpful Hint About Using VRBO

Jan 29th, 2009, 06:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 62
Helpful Hint About Using VRBO

Hi fellow travellers.

I just thought I'd pass along my big hint about VRBO - Vacation Rental By Owners. We've reserved a nice condo in Indian Shores through VRBO, but going through the payment procedures have been quite frustrating. In a nutshell, the owner doesn't take Visa - only money orders or travellers cheques. On two occasions, I've had to get money orders from my bank - one for the deposit; the other for the balance.

Both times I've had to send the M.O. to Florida using expidited mail service. The first one got there okay, but there is no sign of the second. So tomorrow I have to start a trace. What a hassle! To add to my frustration, I can't use the free travel insurance that comes with my Visa card for the condo.

Ah, what's that expression - oh yah..."live and learn". Anyway, I don't care how nice the condo is, the next time I rent from VRBO, it will be with an owner that takes credit cards.

Just thought I'd share that with you all.

Happy travels,

GrammieDale is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 17
I had an awesome VRBO experience last year at Anna Maria Island renting through a realty company. All went smooth. A great house we rented too.
beckyb is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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Thanks Beckyb, but did you have to go through the hassles of money orders and such?

I know there are lots of nice places on VRBO and I'll certainly use this service again. I'm just saying that the next time, I'll make sure I find an owner who takes credit cards.

Glad you had a nice time!

GrammieDale is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,737
Seriously- I thought everyone in the world had PayPal. Next time, I would suggest to the owner that they get a Paypal account and you would pay them that way. There is no fee to sign up for an account. And everyone has proof/trail re payment(s).

No hassle and no worrying about mail service.

(PS I never send money by USPS. I use 3rd Day FedEx Express service. NEVER had a package go missing with FedEx.)
sarge56 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 04:21 AM
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In over 50+ rentals I've never had to get a MO & never had to use any type of expedited mail. The one bad experience I had, I got a full refund. You just got a nit-picky owner.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 04:52 AM
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Perhaps PayPal has gotten its act together since I had a horrific time getting a botched transaction straightened out.
soccr is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 05:15 AM
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I would not rent from someone requiring what is effectively a cash transaction - this would give me cause for concern. At the very least, they should accept a personal check, so at least you have a better record of proof of payment (cancelled check).

But perhaps GrammieDale was making the reservation very close to the time of the rental, in which case I can understand why the owner would want payment in guaranteed funds and sent by expediated mail.
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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soccr, the point with using PayPal is that you can use a credit card through them. Then if the transaction goes bad and you can't get satisfaction via PayPal themselves, you can turn to your credit-card issuer.
Anonymous is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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If by "expedited mail service" you mean Express mail, get your money back from the PO after they find the letter.
Gretchen is online now  
Jan 30th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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I cannot fathom a reason why in a transaction that is taking place in the USA where you are paying IN ADVANCE, that the owner will not accept a personal check as payment. I would have found other arrangements, no matter how nice.

Also, please remember, that VRBO is not really an "entity". It is thousands of individual people and therefore cannot be characterized as if it were a business like a Sheraton or a real-estate company.

What was said above about it being essentially a cash transaction raises red flags for me.
socialworker is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 06:04 PM
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Posts: 62
Hi again:

Sorry, I should have said that I never asked about a check since I live in Canada and I don't have a U.S. bank account.

Anyway, the point that I was trying to make is that IMHO it's not worth all the extra time, hassle and expense for expedited mail service or couriers to try and rent a place from an owner who doesn't take credit cards or PayPalwhen there are lots of other owners who do. I will certainly not do it again.

By the way I found out today that my letter containing the envelope has been in the Tampa area postal system for five work days now, so hopefully it will get delivered soon. Trust me, I'll be looking to get a refund on my payment for the so-called expedited service if it's much longer, but right now, I just want to see the envelope get in the hands of the owner.

On another point that someone raised, I don't think there is anything wrong with the rental since the owner has been listed on VRBO for over two years. I also registered my booking with the "rental guarantee" option should anything go wrong.

I'm just frustrated, that's all, and I'm just passing along my experiences in case someone else encounters the same situation. If the owner won't take credit cards or PayPal, I'd just find another place.

Thanks for all your suggestions,
GrammieDale is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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Dale, do you personally take credit cards?

I think that is kind of what you are asking the homeowner to do.
GoTravel is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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Ouch - your point is taken!

Yes, but I think if I were in were in the business of renting out my place, I would consider PayPal as some have suggested. My brother just told me that when he arranged for our apartment in Paris, he paid for it through PayPal and it was super easy. I guess I'm a spoiled Baby Boomer who just wants life to be easy! Sigh....

Thanks for offering another opinion.

GrammieDale is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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It sounds as though part of the problem is that the poster is Canadian, with a Canadian bank, and cannot use a personal check to pay in US dollars.

That being said, I have had problems with persnickety owners on VRBO, who make what I sort of consider unreasonable demands. I understand that they are concerned about their property, but in my experience, I can rent milion-dollar houses from a rental company with a lot less hassle.
marylinn is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2009, 04:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I once rented a house in the Caribbean, owned by someone in UK. She converted the dollar amount and I sent a personal check. No problem. Why could Canadian GrammieDale not have done that too?

Also, Anonymous said " if the transaction goes bad and you can't get satisfaction via PayPal themselves, you can turn to your credit-card issuer."

I have read that that's not true, you cannot get satisfaction from your CC regarding a PayPal transaction, because it is third party. Anyone know for sure?

joan is offline  
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