This is my very first bad review for someone, not that I have had bad experiences before when travelling. But I always just forgive, nobody is perfect. But, honesty and reliability is assumed and demanded. I am sorry if its offensive to somebody. I am writing this review with all sincerity. I hope you find it useful. - Not honest. We made booking for the apt http://www.vrbo.com/48307 on Jul 20th for Sep 9th for 5 nights and instead were booked for apt http://www.vrbo.com/58626. We never got an email saying that we were being quietly booked for 58626 while we asked to book for 48307 and the deposit we sent was for 48307. When we arrived and found that this was not the apartment we booked for, imagine the disappointment we felt and really felt like we were cheated upon. We called the owner and told him that we never booked for this apartment and he said he has done this mistake 3 times before. The owner knew he had made the mistake but never bothered to tell us in July when we made the booking. He had more than 2 months to inform us so we could look up somewhere else!! - Not reliable. The person never replied to our emails or picked our calls after the deposit was provided. Called us only when the remainder payment was to be paid. - There was a lot of noise on Rue Pascal as there is a bar and restaurant and there would be people talking, laughing uptil 2:00AM. - There was no baby crib provided as mentioned so my under 2 year old had to sleep between us on a tiny bed. None of us got sleep. We mentioned this to him on the phone and he just said the crib is there somewhere. Never found one anywhere. - This apt is very small. There was hardly any walking space. The owner put another bed in the first room which has a kitchen! Please don't book with this person (Jean Louis Thiriet) the next time you think of going to Paris. I have mentioned all the reasons above.
Sonia thanks for the warning. May I suggest you also post this review on tripadvisor.com Paris forums,, you will likely help a few unlucky people out by warning them ahead of time. I am glad to hear( from your other post) that you did enjoy Paris anyways!!
Bait and switch. Wow. Good for you posting the info. Our only bad experience in ten years of renting Paris apartments was with VRBO. Others on this forum swear by the web site, but I'll stick with the agencies I've had good dealings with in the past. Anyplace that posts romanticized photos with fuzzy edges....
I think the problem with using VRBO is that its not a controlled product,, its Vacation Rental By OWNER,, and sometimes you hit an *?&% owner. So not really an agency that will stand behind their product but more like a bullentin board middle man thingy( tech talk,, LOL) I have heard many good things about SPECIFIC places,, but I have heard about last minute cancellations or bait and switch( and never to a cheaper or better place)several times also, so its really a buyer beware situation. I saw a post just today by someone wanting specific references for stays , and I think that is a good idea when using VRBO.
I know one of the original founders of VRBO. File a complaint with VRBO as they work hard to prevent this problem and will delist such properties.
Hi Fellas, I have made 2 attempts to post my review on VRBO. They are not posting my review because "it does not meet the guidelines". I have read their guidelines BTW. Find it here: http://help.vrbo.com/help/ViewDocument.aspx?id=2335 I think they don't prevent people posting honest, negative reviews. I don't know what to do!
I have just sent a request to customer support asking why the review is not being posted. I updated it (not edited it) to meeth e guidelines. This process sucks big time. I wish it was easier to post a honest review!
You can post a review on Tripadvisor. I have read that VRBO reviews require owner approval[INVALID]-so negative ones do not get posted.
You could also put this on the RS Tourist Scam Alerts.
Post your review on both Fodors and Slowtrav - esp. Fodors which is a very active website. In decades of renting gites/villas/apts. the ONLY problem I've run into was with a VRBO listing, so I can appreciate your frustration and anger.
I've had good luck with VRBO - once for an apartment in Paris and once for Buenos Aires. It's usually the first place that I look if I'm interested in renting an apartment so I was disappointed to learn of your bad experience. I'm also sorry that it made your vacation in Paris less than enjoyable. I'd love to hear a follow-up to know if VRBO was responsive to your concerns.
Sharon, On the contrary, our vacation in Paris was more than enjoyable. Like I said, we found the streets dreamy and we enjoyed a ton since we stayed out until late. :) LOL..we looked for a silver lining and we found it. But I would not say that this should happen to everyone!! The response from VRBO is they can't post the review. Truly, disappointed in them!! I think they are just scared. I cannot trust the reviews on VRBO anymore and would not recommend them since they have handled this in most poor way possible.
Sorry about your experience. The only red flag to me would have been the lack of reviews since 2006.
Thanks for the update Sonia - so happy that you had a great time in Paris after all!
Sorry to hear your experience was a bad one. We've been renting flats for the past 10 years and have been very fortunate not to get stuck with a poor one. In fact, the apartments we have rented have almost always surpassed our expectations. It's always a big leap of faith though and I'm sure there are quite a few unscrupulous landlords out there. Good to see that you had a great trip regardless.
Tyson, what agency did you use, was it VRBO.
We've used a lot of different agencies over the years. A few we've found from Slowtrav.com and others were just found searching on the internet. Our last flat rental was in Paris through VRBO. Turned out to be a great find. I usually try to look for reviews of the flats on Google (not just on the owner's sites) as well as look at the photos and then search the address to see if it sounds legit.
Every time I have tried out a VRBO property by contacting the owner, they have demanded full payment before I even get to see the place in person. There are too many other places to rent (preferably a B&B) where I can make a deposit and pay the rest after arrival and getting to see the place.
I've rented in Italy through vrbo and have never had a problem. I think the problem with posting a review of the property is that the owner has to approve the review. I would definitely contact vrbo about this bait and switch. They are a worldwide operation and I don't think they would want the negative word to get out on travel sites.
PS: Interesting bit of info. The reviews posted of this apartment on the vrbo site are all signed "anonymous." Sounds suspicious. Maybe the owner of the aparmment has been posting his/her own reviews.
I read the reviews of http://www.vrbo.com/48307 and wanted to book that. I never realized that this apartment had the same owner as 58626. I am posting the review on slowtravel. VRBO has contacted me saying that I need to post the review about the property, not the advertiser and they will post it and possibly remove the owner from their site too. Jury's still out on that one.
Definitely post a review on the vacation rental review section of Slowtrav.com. That's the best source I know for evaluating rentals.
vrbo is pretty serious about their site. I trust that they will remove the property.
I really appreciate everybody's response here. I have been contacted by their Trust and Security department and they have said that they will take the appropriate action. I am waiting my review to get posted!