A woman from Quincy says her summer vacation rental was nothing like what it appeared to be listed online.
Judi Marcus called our NBC10 Boston Responds team to help him get his money back after his online review of a wasted vacation was blocked.
“Every curtain was dirty and had to be washed,” Marcus said. “It was sloppy, it was dirty, and it was so obvious even on the initial visit.”
Marcus has a long list of complaints about the house she rented in Maine for a week in July, and plenty of photos.
“Coffee cups that had black dirt or mold on the bottom… there was an electrical outlet hanging off the wall, and I’m here with my 3-year-old granddaughter,” she said. “In my bedroom, the wallpaper was peeling… We found dirty underwear under the bed. Someone else’s dirty underwear. It really gave me chills.”
Marcus says the property and furnishings were not as depicted on the Vrbo listing.
“The dining room showed a very nice oak table with oak chairs and it didn’t exist,” she said. “There was a shitty old table there with eight chairs, and three of them were broken.”
Marcus says the number she had for the owner, who is a Vrbo Premier host, was disconnected, but she eventually found it.
“He said the house is rustic. I said, ‘I know what rustic is. Rustic is mismatched plaques and exposed wood. It’s not rustic, it’s run down and nobody cares. This place needs a contractor to come here, you have exposed wiring, you have mold in your bathrooms, it’s not rustic, “she recalls.
And she says she spent hours on the phone over the next few days with Vrbo trying to resolve the situation.
“We’re on day four of my seven day vacation, and we’re still in limbo here,” Marcus said. “I’m still in a house that I don’t want to be in, it doesn’t seem like it’s been accepted, and no one wants to talk to me.”
Vrbo reimbursed Marcus’ traveler service charge and she says they promised to book her again, but they never did. So she and her family found and paid for alternative accommodation and moved out.
She says she called NBC10 Boston Responds when her negative reviews of the property were dismissed by Vrbo.
“It really drove me crazy to think that they could edit my review so that I didn’t even have the power to write a negative review,” she said.
Vrbo told NBC10 Boston that he determined that Marcus’ booking was not eligible for rebooking or accommodation assistance under his “Confidence to Book Guarantee” because the property “does not. did not meet the criteria for material misrepresentation “.
After we asked why she was originally told she was eligible for a rebooking, the company refunded her $ 2,089.81.
When asked about reviews submitted by Marcus, Vrbo said in a statement, “We encourage all travelers to leave an honest review after their stay. A review will only be rejected for violating content guidelines and will never be rejected simply because that it is negative. Vrbo has a strict review policy to ensure that we operate a review platform that is fair to all parties involved. “
Marcus is glad he got her money back, but says she won’t be booking through Vrbo anymore.
“I will never use them again,” she said. “Even if they give me my money back, it doesn’t make up for the hours we spent on the phone while on vacation.”
Vrbo’s Book with Confidence guarantee has many terms and conditions. It does not cover you due to the cleanliness of the rental property or for temporary problems such as a failure of air conditioning or internet service. Renter reviews are your best bet for what to expect, so read them carefully.
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