disappointed first-time VRBO traveler

Old May 14, 17, 9:19 am
  #1  
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disappointed first-time VRBO traveler

I've never used VRBO before but had three nights I was needing lodging for in LAS during a period where rooms are elevated in price. I looked at other places to see what existed and at what price points, leading me to VRBO.

The first place I found resulted in 1) hidden fees not disclosed on the site 2) an owner who had clearly jacked up their cleaning fee to cover their listing expense and 3) an owner who tried to take a question about the property as a commitment to book.

The second place I found resulted in someone who was upfront with all of the fees but where the property had been listed that day only to have the owner deny the request claiming it had been booked for some time on at least part of the three-day window I was looking at.

The third one (all of these were actually in the same building) resulted in hidden fees, to include the owner (a management company) claiming that a resort fee would be charged at check-in. If I wanted to pay resort fees on top of cleaning fees, I would simply book at a traditional hotel property through the hotel's website.

Are these common occurrences with VRBO and similar sites? The whole cleaning fee issue seems to be on par with the ebay vendors who inflate shipping costs to pay the listing fees. You cannot tell me with a straight face that it costs $120.00 to clean a sub-800 foot studio occupied by one person and for three nights...

All in all, this past few days has really soured me on their whole concept...
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Old May 18, 17, 12:51 pm
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Never encountered anything quite like that, but I suppose in a more tourist heavy destination like LAS the operators might be a little more cut throat and even crossing the line as they did with you.

FWIW cleaning fees of up to $100 are fairly standard so I don't even blink an eye at them anymore. Obviously tougher to swallow on a short stay of a few nights or less, though.
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Old May 18, 17, 1:21 pm
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I list a vacation rental on VRBO, although not in LAS. My cleaning fee is $130, whether a guest stays 3 nights or 23 nights, which is consistent with most other properties in my area. My cleaners charge me $130.89 so I am actually charging less than what I pay them. Plus, they charge me $400/year for linen fees. Some owners build this in to their cleaning fee by charging their guests more per stay (usually $140 or $150).

I used to have a property in another area (a ski resort where stays were generally shorter) where the cleaners charged me $200 per clean for a similar sized condo. There, owners did not charge separate cleaning fees to their guests but instead built it into their room rates. It was just the culture in that area.

Have a look at what other owners are charging in LAS and if it is substantially higher than other, similar properties (not just $10 or so more), ask why. The point is, the fees charged to owners by cleaners can differ vastly by area so one can't judge based on other destinations. It should, however, be in line with other LAS properties of a similar size and if it isn't, I would be asking why.
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Old May 19, 17, 9:14 am
  #4  
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And a new reason...new listing shows up (I have been looking multiple times per day). Calendar appears to be something that is regularly updated. Dates are available, and the property pulls for the three nights I was looking for. I actually got denied because there was only one in my party...what the hell difference does it make that it is only me traveling? They don't get extra money if there are three or four in the room, and if anything, it actually lessens the potential impact on the room...

VRBO sucks is the impression I now have of that company precisely because they allow those sorts of shenanigans!
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Old May 19, 17, 9:19 am
  #5  
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Maybe the owner prefers to rent to families? There could be some stereotype that a person booking for one individual plans to have a wild party or is coming to Vegas to gamble and might not be financially responsible.

Also, the owner might prefer more people if there's a resort fee assessed per person, not per room.
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Old May 19, 17, 10:39 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Maybe the owner prefers to rent to families? There could be some stereotype that a person booking for one individual plans to have a wild party or is coming to Vegas to gamble and might not be financially responsible.

Also, the owner might prefer more people if there's a resort fee assessed per person, not per room.
1) yeah, 50 year olds (noted in my VRBO profile) are so noted for being raucous
2) if they want to rent to only families in a 600sq ft condo, then DISCLOSE that tidbit
3) financial stability should not be their concern when the place is prepaid at the time reservation is accepted
4) MOST in Palms Place do not charge resort fees and of those that do, it is per room and not per person (and none of that fee goes to the owner in the first place).
5) I hate people making excuses for shady rental practices
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Old May 19, 17, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by heraclitus View Post
FWIW cleaning fees of up to $100 are fairly standard so I don't even blink an eye at them anymore. Obviously tougher to swallow on a short stay of a few nights or less, though.
One thing I've noticed is that cleaning fees are typically much higher in the US than in other countries. While we were in New Zealand most places had no or a very modest cleaning fee of $25-50 or so where they ask you to tidy up before you go, whereas a recent rental here in California had a cleaning fee of $200.
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