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VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Oak park, Ca
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8 posts
3 reviews
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VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Nice house but the owner is not a nice man. He made up a list of things we had supposedly broken and basically stole my $1K damage deposit. He come over everyday to inspect the property, and complained about everything.....one of the kids left a soccer ball near the pool....big no-no. Left a cue ball sitting on the pool table...another big no-no. Touched the surrond system....oh that will cost $200 to reprogram. He ruined our vacation. Take my advice and look elsewhere.

Canada
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1. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Seems to be the theme with this rental. See review on vrbo listing. Can you also submit a review and then he can rebut???

Oak park, Ca
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8 posts
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2. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

That was my review on the VRBO site.

He can offer his rebuttal, which he did, but then its over. I could not rebut his response. So then it becomes my word against his word. They do not make it easy to get bad reviews posted at VRBO, so the lesson I learned is that if a property has a bad review, it must be really bad. Someone worked pretty hard, and had to have a lot of emotion to get any negative review posted. I also learned the owner has a D+ from the Better Business Bureau, evidently for the same complaint I had, ie, unrefunded deposits.

Wished I haq known that before I rented from him.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

It sure is a beautiful house with a lot of high end stuff in it. I would have been afraid to take my kids there.

Was there a house rules write-up that told you not to touch the surround sound sytem adjustments, or did this come out of the blue? I'm trying to figure out if he gave you a list of rules, and you did actually break them, or whether the rules were sprung on you after the fact.

I read the VRBO review:

http://www.vrbo.com/251046

Owner said the former guests (not the OP's group) were smoking inside this beautiful house. I would have gone through the roof. Hard to say what is true and what isn't, but on the face of it that one bad review had another side to the story.

Because it is such a beautiful home, maybe it's not the place to stay unless you want to be careful in it. There are vacation rentals with very run of the mill furniture and decor that are perfect for families who just want to be relaxed and not worry about the kids.

As for owners, they do not get to inspect the property every day. They need to screen the guests in advance and then hope for the best. The guests should be given their privacy during the stay.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Sorry, I didn't see your last post, OakPark. Well, is it true that someone was smoking inside the house? Did you have an extra guest that you hadn't declared in the rental agreement?

Was he really over there every day of your stay? He says he was on the mainland for a funeral at least part of it. Was there any breakage or damage caused by your group, or is it that you think his charges for the damage were unreasonable? Can you give examples other than the surround sound?

Oak park, Ca
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8 posts
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5. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

There was no rule about touching the surround sound.....fact is no one even remembers touching it. If he wants people to not touch his surround sound, a simple "do not touch" sign would fix that problem.

His rebuttal is wrong....he was off the island for 3 days, and in our face for the next 7 days. I have that in writing from his emails to me. We were there for 10 days total.

No one was smoking inside the house ( who smokes in the house any more, especially with kids??). His "property manual" indicated smoking must be done outside, where sand-bucket ashtrays are provided. They happened to be filled with marijuana roaches, but I can't hold that against

him. He makes it sound like we were stinking up his house, which is not true.

He claims we ruined two sets of snorkel equipment, which was nonsense. The gear was very used and the bags holding the snorkel and masks were ripped apart and frayed upon our arrival. Never the less he charged me full retail to replce them, no consideration of prior wear and tear.

He claimed that my wife left make-up stains in his bath towels. Never heard of such a thing, but he charged me $70 to replace his towels.

On the extra guest, I did naively allow my son to bring a buddy. He did quote me based on 8 guests, now there was nine. In his quote he never made mention of an extra guests charge and he makes no mention of it on the VRBO site. He arbitrarily picked a number of $50/night plus tax, and took almost $600 from my damage deposit. Should I have paid more than he quoted? Sure. But it would have been nice to know up front what the charge would be.

This guy used to live in this house, but due to financial hardship in the stock market he is now forced to live up the street with his parents. He treats his rental property like a baby, which is wrong. His lack of positive reviews on the VRBO site are indicative, I believe, of other unhappy renters. The property is spectacular to be sure, so why not more positive reviews?

Canada
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6. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Didn't realize that was your review of the VRBO property.

Sounds like an unfortunate rental experience.

Edited: 14 September 2010, 04:21
Vancouver, BC
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7. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Interesting that he charged you $50 extra a night on a rental that appears to be based on maximum 9 people in the unit and you had 9 people.

No where on VRBO does it say his nightly rate is based on anything other then 9 people or less.

Dude has some explaining to do.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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8. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Thank you for your explanation; it is very helpful, especially about the smoking and the surround sound, also the discrepancy in dates.

I understand more now why he is so over-protective, not an excuse though.

>>> He claimed that my wife left make-up stains in his bath towels. Never heard of such a thing, but he charged me $70 to replace his towels.

It does happen. I used to have a rental and it happened to me. Make-up has dyes and oils in it that don't always come out, and the next guest will not accept seeing a stained towel (or sheet). A good reason to buy towels that can be bleached like they have in hotels. The towels I used were $40 apiece new, because they were the good size. Hotel collection.

Sure one may get them on sale for less, but there isn't typically a sale when one needs to replace them. Towels are expensive and if you get down to less than a full set you have to replace them, because guests don't want a mish mash of different bath towels. He might want to invest in a quantity of white towels and bleach them so that guests don't have to stress over spotting his towels.

Extra persons -- $50 a night is standard when there is not a flat rate, but it has to be in the terms up front. You will see rentals that say FROM X$ a night, that tease you with a low rate, and then you look and see $50 a night per person over 1 or 2 -- like this ad:

http://www.vrbo.com/305829

His ad is a flat rate, as you see. However, if he did negotiate a lower rate with you, and it was for 8 people, then by adding 1 without consulting the owner you certainly opened yourself up to more fees, and $50 a person per nite is as I said the standard you will see in a lot of VRBO homes that sleep large groups.

ETA -- having seen lovin'maui's post, the rate in the ad is for up to 9 persons, but if it was a specially reduced rate as owner claims then I think it is for whatever number of persons is agreed upon in the rental contract. The rental contract is what binds, not the ad text. The ad text is an offer, not a contract.

Sorry you had such a bad experience, I truly am.

Edited: 14 September 2010, 04:47
Island of Hawaii...
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9. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

I think you will get better results dealing with this from your credit card company, just dispute the charge.

Oak park, Ca
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8 posts
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10. Re: VRBO 251046 Horrible !!!

Unfortuantely I had to pay with 2 checks....one for the rental amount and second check for the $1K deposit. He cashed them both the day he got them. So dealing with a credit card company is not an option.

I dont think he quoted me a special rate for only 8 people. He quoted one night for free with a 10 night rental because it was mid-June and he had the entire second half of July open on his booking calendar. ( we were there July 17 thru 27th). He was hungry to get the place booked.

Its not practical to sue him for this amount of money, so its all a big lesson learned. It does me good to know that I might save someone from the awful experience we endured.