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Homeaway.com Complaint - Scammed through Homeaway/holiday-rentals.co.uk website
Homeaway.com Complaint

Homeaway.com Complaint


Scammed through Homeaway/holiday-rentals.co.uk website

Have used this website successfully for 10 years now. Booked my 2011 villa which looked like the best yet, early to secure it. Sent the enquiry through the website to the owner as usual, got an answer, a contract, bank details to transfer 50% deposit (2300 Euros), a phone call etc. Then, received an email mid December asking me to pay the final 50% by the end of the month. I emailed back saying that I couldn't and that in accordance with the contract, the final payment wasn't due until April. I was also asked for copies of our ID. I was suspicious and refused and asked if that meant that my booking was cancelled. No reply, gave it a couple of weeks, called the numbers I had been given, all unobtainable. Called Holiday Rentals for help. They put me in touch with the REAL owner who knew nothing about me. Had received one enquiry from me back in Sept, but one where my email address (as my contact) had been changed to someone else's email address. I have lost my money and my holiday. Owner been quite helpful. Holiday Rentals said it is not their fault and it is between me and the owner. Since then, I have left three messages and none of them have been returned. I have reported this to the police, bank etc. I have asked to speak to someone at holiday rentals who can reassure me as to using their site again - how can I be sure this wouldn't happen again to me? What can I do to protect myself? They are so uninterested in me, they have not bothered to even call me back. They may think that the users of their site are unimportant, but I would like to see what happens to the revenues if people stop using their site as they are worried about security and fraud.

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Lieveke49 says: (4 years ago)
I have THE same problem. It is a shame That this company Can continue. I have paid 1400 USD.and still have no accomodation. The company does nothing to help or investigate. Guarantee? Nothing at all.
So do not book with this company.

strawberita says: (6 years ago)
Dear fellow travelers,

I thought I should warn you of the increased number of scams affecting those wanting to rent an apartment, especially in Madrid (but not only).
Despite all my precautions, I was the victim of a scam. There are various seemingly reputable apartment rental agencies out there and seemingly worthy apartment rental web portals. Guess what? I have used both, and I got conned.

I have used HomeAway web portal to select an apartment, that led me to Flatsweethome apartment rental agency.

Since the two seem legit and that the apartment seemingly exists, one would reasonably assume there should not be a problem. Bad news is: there is.

This is a very elaborate scam: one receives quotes that appear to be very legitimate: the customer receive emails directly from the owner’s email system. (The only way that I used to contact the apartment’s owner was through this website by clicking the “Contact the Owner” button). Following my request, I have subsequently received a very detailed quote and what appeared to be very legitimate information on the rental. After eventually deciding to rent this apartment, I have received what appeared to be a very legitimate contract and bank details. I have subsequently transferred an advance payment as advised – so as to secure the booking. The person I sent the money to eventually disappeared with all my money. I have lost EUR 675.

I eventually succeeded getting hold of the owner/rental agency. He mentioned that indeed someone has been sending fake quotes on their behalf in the past, attempting to defraud their customers. This being acknowledged, one would expect the rental agency to accept responsibility, by allowing someone to defraud customers through their unsecured system. The agency actually refused any responsibility in the matter.

I have reported the problem to the police, that is currently investigating the case. It remains unclear whether the agency is part of the scam or not. I have also reported the problem to Homeaway who has confirmed that the owner’s email was unsecured.

But guess what? Homeaway also did not do anything about it. They even prevent customers from providing negative comments on properties on their website. (i.e. reporting the scam) Since those portals make their money from the advertisement from owners/rental agencies, they obviously do not want to upset them, nor to they want bad publicity and scams to be reported that would scare off potentials customers.

Conclusion: if you want to use Homeaway and Flatsweethome services, do it at your own risks. It is far from secure and you have NO guarantee that the money you pay will secure a legitimate apartment rental.


fpagano says: (7 years ago)
I have being just scamed by Homeaway in a pretty way manner than yours.

I think it not possible if the relation is brought to you by the web page that they response on technological problems that are not from the traveler.

phylogenomics says: (8 years ago)
Hi Unhappy 40,

Sorry to hear about your situation, I think it is worth talking with the police, as they do take this seriously but I don't know if you can recover the money this way.
A while ago on the news I saw this site http://www.pureholidayhomes.com/ that lets people who put adverts on go through an identity check, and they show an ID badge, so you know you're not contacting some 'John Doe'!

I wish you the best getting everything solved!

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