'It’s been terrible:' Family wants refund after vacation rental reserved on VRBO became unavailable

Imagine planning a vacation and a few weeks before your trip, you get a notice that the vacation home you reserved online using VRBO is no longer available. It left one family in a bad position, and they just want their money back, but they’ve only received a portion of their refund.

"It’s been terrible. It really has," Missouri resident Maggie Taite said. She was looking forward to vacationing with her family in Davenport, Florida, this summer. But her plans ended abruptly when she learned her family could no longer stay at the property she paid for because the owner was still going to be in the home during the time she reserved. 

"Got the notice saying that we could not stay in the property any longer which put us about three weeks from the time we were to leave," Taite said.  Since then, her family has had trouble trying to get all her money back. 

Taite told FOX 35's Marlisa Goldsmith she paid $1,244.20 for the reservation. She said a representative told her a refund had been processed, but she’s only received $120 back from VRBO. 


As for the remaining balance, Taite said, "She explained in detail about how the owner, their account had been hacked."

"Certainly in my research, I came across many other consumers that were in a similar situation to this," Jared Lee with the Consumer Rights Advocacy Firm said. FOX 35 News spoke with him to learn more about what options renters have when they come across reservation problems like this.

"A consumer has the ability to take an issue of this nature to court. Also, the contract with VRBO may provide for an arbitration agreement which is a form outside the court system that allows for dispute resolution," Lee said. 

"We work hard for our money and not to be able to use it for what we would like to use it for is disheartening," Taite said. 

FOX 35 News reached out to VRBO and at last check, they said they were contacting its Customer Relations team. We have yet to hear back from them.