Vacation Rentals WatchDog (VRWD.org) is a worldwide vacation rental reporting Web site and publication, by vacationers, for vacationers, to file and document complaints about vacation home owners or vacation rental companies. Vacation Rentals WatchDog provides also information to help vacationers prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices from vacation rental owners and businesses.
Should you rent a vacation home with complaints?
Just because a vacation rental owner or company has a complaint on Vacation Rentals WatchDog website does not necessarily mean you should not do business with them. By reading the experiences of other vacationers, you should be able to make more educated decisions, because now you know what to watch out for.
How to Prevent Booking a Bad Vacation Home
Most vacation homes owners are good people and do everything in their power to please the vacationer. However, you may take several steps to reassure that the rental will go off as planned:
- Gather detailed information. Know what you are looking for in a vacation home and make sure those amenities are included. Find out the home owner's policies about pets, smoking, security deposits, cleaning, refunds, cancellations, damages, utility costs, arrival time, checkout time and maximum number of occupants.
- Receive a written agreement. Always ask for confirmation of your vacation rental in writing and ensure you receive copies of cancellation and refund policies.
- Examine the photos. Only consider rentals where you can see pictures of all the important rooms - each bedroom, kitchen and living room. Ask where and when the photos were taken.
- Talk to the owners directly. This will give you an overall idea about the owner and whether or not he/she is responsive to your needs.
- Try to pay with a credit card. Credit card companies may allow consumers to dispute a charge within 60 days of purchase. If possible, avoid making payments with personal checks.
- Check vacation rental databases. See if anyone else has reported any complaints about a vacation home at www.VRWD.org. See if anyone has given any positive ratings or reviews of a vacation home at www.VRWD.com.
What if I Book a Bad Vacation Home?
- If the property does in fact exist, but isn't as described, most police agencies will tell you that the problem is a "civil matter." In this case, if you want a remedy, you should file a lawsuit against the vacation rental owner. Unfortunately, most renters aren't in a good position to file a civil suit, as such suits typically must occur where the vacation home is located. Once the renter returns home, the cost and inconvenience of travelling back to the vacation destination to prosecute the suit typically significantly exceeds the damages which might be recovered.
- Reports of the vacation home owner's misconduct to the portal website or agency which advertises the rental does not usually result in the vacation home being removed from their listings because this would also affect their financial interests.
- The most effective way to resolve problems with the vacation home owner is to file a complaint on VRWD.org.
Why file a Vacation Rental Complaint on VRWD.org?
Filing your complaint is FREE and will help get the vacation rental owner's attention and prevent them from disappointing other informed vacationers in the future. Your complaint will be discovered by thousands of vacationers. Search engines will automatically discover most reports and within just a few days your complaint may be found on search engines when vacationers search, using keywords relating to your complaint.
- *Gain leverage to help solve your complaint.
- Post your complaint for public view.Help other vacationers avoid the same problems that you have experienced personally.
How to file a Vacation Rental Complaint
Vacation Rentals WatchDog has made it fast and easy for vacationers to file a complaint about a vacation home or vacation rental company:
- Step One (Optional). You may login to your account first. If you do not have one, you can register for free. By registering before submitting your complaint, you will be able to make modifications or updates to your complaint in the future.
- Step Two. Do a quick search in the directory to be sure that the vacation home you want to complain about isn't already listed. If it is already listed you may add a rating or a review on that same complaint.
- Step Three. Add your detailed and accurate complaint to the approprate geographic category.
How secure is my personal information?
We take privacy very seriously. Your email will remain strictly confidential. We will not sell your e-mail address or any other information that you have given us. We simply use it to identify the complaint. Your email will not be visible to the public.
What makes a good written complaint?
The complaint should be relating an honest, factual, and impartial story. Make your statement as objective as possible. Saying, "John's company --ks!" is neither informative, nor respectable. Reporting a false statement can get you sued. Use any details such as names, times, places and pictures, that will reveal the facts and support your complaint.
Can I update my complaint?
Yes. Changes to your complaint can be made at any time by clcking on the 'Update Complaint' tab located at the top of each page. Your identity will be verified with your e-mail address and your password. This will assure that you will be the only one submiting updates to your complaint. If your complaint is resolved or situations get even worse, you can always update your report with your new updated information.
Can my complaint be featured on the Home page?
Some complaints will be picked for the front page. To be eligible, your story needs to be well written and convincing.
*Use your complaint to resolve the dispute
Faxing your VRWD.org complaint to the vacation rental owner or company you have just reported can serve as a very valuable negotiating tool. Include in your negotiation that you have the ability to UPDATE your Report and reflect their good business practices by explaining that their eagerness to satisfy the complaint and make things right will be seen by the entire world. Also, explain that failure to respond/rectify the situation will also be seen.
You MUST NOT call them threatening to file a complaint if they do not comply with your demands, as this may be construed as blackmail. You must first file a complaint, then fax them a copy, offering them a chance to rectify the wrong that they did to you. Explain that then, and only then, you will update your complaint in a positive way, if deserved.