Budgetboost.co is supported by its readers. If you click on or buy something via a link on this page, we may earn a commission.

Bad Experience with a Vacation Rental

Sandy over at First Gen American was forced to fork over $1200 for a vacation home that she didn’t up using.

Initial Reaction Post

In short, in $1200 Down the Drain, Sandy explained that the flight her family was going to be on to get to Florida was cancelled due to the blizzard last week, so they couldn’t make it to the rental house.  The property owner told Sandy that she signed a contract and there are no refunds or rain checks.  He didn’t try to work with her on getting the place rented out by someone else or by postponing the trip, it was just “no refunds” and “you should have bought travel insurance”.

After Further Review Post

After venting a little, Sandy then looked closer at the paperwork she had to sign along the way and realized this landlord is scammy.  In I’ve been Duped Part 2 – $1200 Loss, it seems obvious that though technically everything that happened is legal, there were a lot of little switcheroos along the way and this guy has the most one-sided last minute contract known to man.  This wasn’t a contract that he sent out beforehand…this was a contract he sent to her 5 days before she was supposed to show up and it stated the no refund, no rain check policy.  He already had her $1500 ($1200 for the house and a $300 deposit) when he sent her this new, lengthy contract that she had to sign before being allowed to check in.

My Conclusion

In short, I think Sandy was severely messed over and this guy sucks pickles.  I was wondering if we could all help her out and leave our own comments about the situation on her site.  Could you please go read both of those posts, $1200 Down the Drain and I’ve been Duped Part 2 – $1200 Loss, and leave your comments?***  She’s hoping to mention her posts to VRBO along with her complaint and the more people that are commenting, the better.

Thanks so much!

***UPDATE:  Sandy took down the posts at her site, so please don’t go hunting to leave a comment.
Thanks so much for helping and for reading!!!

16 thoughts on “Bad Experience with a Vacation Rental”

  1. Money Beagle

    I was one of the first to comment on the original post. I haven’t read the second but it sounds like there’s more info to where I might change my tune a little bit. Thanks for getting the word out for her!

  2. First Gen American

    Thanks Crystal.

    I did actually get the $300 deposit back, so that’s something.

  3. JT McGee

    That’s insane, but it doesn’t surprise me. Leases like those are becoming common even on apartment buildings. Seems like those who lost big in the real estate correction are looking to make it up in other ways.

  4. Jenna

    Can Sandy report him to the Better Business Bureau? That is what I would do.

  5. That’s not an uncommon policy, in my experience.

    Simple advice, but probably should have been sure to check that policy before forking over $1,200.

    It’s like in the whole mortgage fiasco, people are ticked when the bank takes action that is has the right to take per the signed contracts.

    Perhaps instead of venting and trying to cause a revolt, this should be pointed out as a lesson to always get full info before committing, even during the exuberance of vacation planning.

  6. retireby40

    heading over now.

  7. LaTisha @FSYAonline

    What a jerk! There has to be some sort of legal loophole she can use to get her deposit back.

  8. Mr. BP

    I sort of disagree with Bogey on the whole “buyer beware” thing, because a lot of these documents are meant to be impenetrable to the average person. I’m a lawyer and I find mortgage documents etc., quite tedious. While I agree it is best to hire the proper experts, etc., that is not always true for the average person.

  9. LifeAndMyFinances

    Yeah, that is definitely scammy. He probably saw the blizzard coming on the Weather channel and decided that he was going to get his money no matter what. Too bad. Some people don’t understand that being honest and genuine could actually reward you much more than sneakily scamming your way to some cash. If he gave her the money back, or offered her another time slot, then she would have been most likely advised her friends to go to the same gentlement. Instead, he is losing many of his potential future customers. Short-term thinking is an epidemic lately….

  10. Invest It Wisely

    We gotta look at both sides of the story, but I do think that in the end the customer is always right, and despite what both parties may have agreed to the business owner should make an effort to satisfy the customer simply because word of mouth spreads so quickly.

  11. First Gen American

    Hi Crystal, I just pulled these stories down at the request of the owner. You may want to update your article so that it does not reflect broken links.

  12. Invest It Wisely

    @First Gen American — good outcome in the end?

  13. Steven Brenner

    I’m sorry but I have to side with the owner. Losing money is never pleasant – either for the owner or the guest and I think people have a tendency to invest a lot of time to try and “get what’s fair” after the fact. That same amount of energy should be put into making sure you know what the agreement is before paying any sums. Then you should respect the policy that you signed. If it wasn’t clear to you, then I think that’s the guest’s fault. Owners can’t force someone to read and understand a policy. Owners can provide a contract and guests have to make sure they agree to it before they pay a deposit.

    Vacation rentals are a great way to save, but aren’t as flexible as hotels. In the last year there have been enough disasters causing disruptions (Iceland’s volcano…), so travel insurance is key. If you’re not willing to lose the deposit, then make sure you’re insured.

  14. Handknit Kids Sweaters

    Yeah, that is definitely scammy. He probably saw the blizzard coming on the Weather channel and decided that he was going to get his money no matter what. Too bad. Some people don’t understand that being honest and genuine could actually reward you much more than sneakily scamming your way to some cash. o.com

  15. Handknit Kids Sweaters

    [email protected] advice, but probably should have been sure to check that policy before forking over $1,200.

    It’s like in the whole mortgage fiasco, people are ticked when the bank takes action that is has the right to take per the signed contracts.

  16. Mary Bush

    sad to hear that!loosing money for no good reason is the most insane thing but since it already happened, support is the only thing we can offer.nice article I should tell my friends about this website.

    Arizona property management

Comments are closed.