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Canadians Outraged with VRBO

Problem SOLVED ūüôā

finally after 4 long years

Why are Canadians Outraged Over HomeAway’s Changes to¬†VRBO?

There has been a gradual spiral of disfunction at play between HomeAway/VRBO and its Canadian customers.

The irony is; it’s a simple fix. But for some¬†reason, the powers to be have opted to dismiss Canadian concerns.

The issue?

Currency conversion. In other words, Canadian travellers searching for Canadian properties are being quoted in US dollars if they land on VRBO.com, a popular website amongst Canadians.

Maybe nothing more than a coincidence, but the timing of the change does appear to coincide with Expedia’s purchase of HomeAway, which in turn owns VRBO. VRBO has been a strong vacation rental brand in Canada. What’s more, as a one-stop global platform, it came with superb multi-currency functionality. Once upon a time.

Typical scenario:

Jane the traveller from Toronto is searching for a vacation home in Victoria BC. Jane is on a Canadian computer with a Canadian IP address. Since HomeAway and its many web properties including vrbo.com are being aggressively marketed in Canada, and the fact that VRBO.com is usually top of the search results anyway, Jane will inevitably end up at either vrbo.com or homeaway.com.

On the other side of the equation, we have¬†John, a long standing VRBO customer who owns a luxury¬†ocean view¬†vacation rental in¬†Victoria BC. John charges $500 a day. But guess what? When Jane lands on his property listing, she is¬†quoted $353.87 after clicking ‘view details’.¬†No reference¬†to currency.¬†Meanwhile, Jane, quite happy with such a¬†reasonable rate, continues on to the booking process. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, the price jumps by more than¬†30% when John sends¬†a final quote and request for payment.

Two things happen; either Jane alerts John of the discrepancy and requests a discount for the error she assumes he has made. Or, Jane simply moves on leaving John none the wiser.

So what¬†is VRBO’s response to the upset Canadians that have taken the time to provide feedback? Here are just a few samples:

“In an effort to streamline the booking process we have recently changed how currency is displayed on VRBO. Because the overwhelming majority of travelers reside in North American, and the United States in particular, rates are listed in USD.”

“Currency displayed is based on what website you are looking at. vrbo.com, homeaway.com¬†and any other .com website will display US currency, while ¬†homeaway.ca¬†will display Canadian currency.”

And to think how easy it is to fix this issue.

At the very least, they could stop their Google advertising campaign steering Canadians to homeaway.com and VRBO.com. Why not advertise their Canadian website, homeaway.ca? Or, simply redirect Canadian IP users to HomeAway.Ca. Or, best of all, bring back the original VRBO.com functionality.

If you have experienced these frustrations please contact VRBO/HomeAway. Best way is through their Feedback area, or simply give them a call 1-877-202-4291.

Sponsored by: VR Supplies

7 Comments on this Article

  • Karen

    I have just discovered this issue myself, they don’t seem to care. I have contacted VRBO more than once. They just keep saying that Canadians have to use the canadian site Homeaway.ca. Great … maybe they could start advertising that.

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    • Chantal

      I ran into a slightly different issue. I was on the Canadian site and it stated that the currency posted was in CAD. I booked the property and made a deposit. A few weeks later when the details around the final payment were sent it was now in USD. We contacted VBRO saying that we were on the Canadian site and the currency in our quote was CAD and after we booked it we are told it is actually USD. $10,000 CAD is a lot less than $10,000 USD. They said it was a mistake and it would be up to the owners to make the change. So we were given two options,; cancel our booking with no penalty and book a cheaper place or keep it. This was such a scam and really infuriating that no one took responsibility. It remained that way all summer long with the Canadian site displaying the rate in CAD when in fact when you book it that amount turns into USD.

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  • Mont

    Oh boy…, now they’re sending Canadians to Canadastays whatever that is.
    Looks like our fave VRBO and its international brand, appeal and amazing global functionality is sadly…”a thing of the past”
    Gonna hAve to advertise on multiple (Expedia owned) properties at great expense to VR properties to get the same results

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  • JEFF

    VRBO has been ruined by Expedia in so many ways. We are VRBO owner/hosts and it now costs much more for us to use their service and it also costs the consumer/renter much more also. They have manipulated this so that they make more on credit card fees and fear monger the renters into buying insurance and making them think their deposits will be taken and never returned by the host. We are not renewing with VRBO/Expedia. There were never any problems the way it used to work and both the owner and renter had an equal benefit from the transaction without having to pay exorbitant third party fees.

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    • John

      I totally agree. We as home owners need to find an alternative !!!!~

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  • gebran

    i have just discovered this issue and it is very frustrating, listings in canada should be in canadian currency, why american? you will be loosing my business as well as my circle of friends,

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  • Randy

    What would be even easier would be if they would just put the currency beside the amount on the listing!!! Use Airbnb!

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