VRBO home owner gets fraudulent chargeback from customer

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Apr 10, 2017
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#21
You said you can change the access code remotely. Is this similar to a security system where you can see a log of all the times the code is used? If so that could demonstrate that someone was staying there since it would be likely be used multiple times each day.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,599
13,724
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#22
No other platforms this has happened with so there is no option for a in person checkin. That is why I change the code remotely after every guest leaves. I'm in Eastern Canada and condo is in Western Canada. When I moved, I set it up that way that I could arm system and change codes remotely.

What is the best way to contest it? I have sent screenshots and they push back and say it is not enough which is ridiculous.
Respond to the credit card company with your proof. This sounds like a scammer who knew exactly what they were doing here.
 
#23
What can you provide them to prove there was an occupant in your property? That is the basic issue since you have no one who checked in a guest.
Without proof of an actual occupent, you have an uphill battle. You can appeal using the contacts above.
There was definitely someone that stayed there and accepted booking. I thought VRBO had a screening process so basically the cost should be collected either by the fake guest or VRBO. The problem is the fake guest is unresponsive. You would think this would flag in there platform when they put credit card through platform?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,599
13,724
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#24
If you look at the VRBO terms - they claim no responsibility for anything. You have to respond to the credit card dispute with your proof that someone stayed there. Just because they filed a dispute doesn't mean they win - we've seen many cases that the company that was charged back wins the chargeback. So start a good letter to the cc company and provide them with all the proof you have.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#25
dear @cmonhomeandaway -
I know you are PO’d to have been scammed this way. It sucks.
But imagine if someone used this method to clean out all of your belongings. It happens. Some thieves take light fixtures, ceiling fans, all kitchen appliances, bathroom and kitchen cabinets. I saw that behavior during the time that home foreclosures were at their peak. Homeowners were so angry about losing their homes that they gutted it before leaving.
You need to tighten up your security, even if it costs you money.
I could be renting my downtown Denver loft but I just don’t want to risk my property for a few dollars.
If you have a mortagage on that property you need to make sure you have an insurance policy that covers transient paying guests. Otherwise you could be on your own if something major should happen, including but not limited to an injury to someone renting from you.
I know — everyone is doing this, but there are likely to be ramifications for a bunch of people down the road as thieves and scammers branch out.
 
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Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#26
There was definitely someone that stayed there and accepted booking. I thought VRBO had a screening process so basically the cost should be collected either by the fake guest or VRBO. The problem is the fake guest is unresponsive. You would think this would flag in there platform when they put credit card through platform?
Again, what can you provide them to prove there was an occupant in your property? You need to provide actual evidence, not just a statement that someone stayed there to win your chargeback case.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,292
7,123
113
San Francisco
#27
This thread is now two pages and we still don't have a coherent report of what happened. Solving issues like yours is very detail-oriented. Please make a concise list of the facts in chronological order. If we can't understand what happened, I don't think VRBO can either. You would get far better customer service from them if they know exactly what the problem is. We really do have great success when an OP explains the issue and follows our advice. We'd like to do the same for you.
 
Likes: mmb

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
901
956
93
#28
This thread is now two pages and we still don't have a coherent report of what happened. Solving issues like yours is very detail-oriented. Please make a concise list of the facts in chronological order. If we can't understand what happened, I don't think VRBO can either. You would get far better customer service from them if they know exactly what the problem is. We really do have great success when an OP explains the issue and follows our advice. We'd like to do the same for you.
@cmonhomeandaway -when we ask you questions in our responses to you, you need to answer those questions, otherwise, we are still flying blind.
 
Likes: jsn55

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
901
956
93
#29
Again, what can you provide them to prove there was an occupant in your property? You need to provide actual evidence, not just a statement that someone stayed there to win your chargeback case.
I think I he needs to prove that the cardholder stayed there, not just some occupant.
When a cc is stolen the bank covers the costs, but if a vendor accepts stolen money, I think they bear the loss. As in this chargeback.
 
Oct 25, 2018
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#30
You presumably have communication with the renter where you provided the code to access the key correct? This could potentially be used as evidence.
Also, these communications would identify the VRBO account which is linked appropriately, or not, to an individual?
Also, do you have a cancellation policy? Even if no one stayed in your rental (which is part of what you cannot prove), if the individual who made the reservation did not cancel their reservation maybe you could have a case?
Sorry, not an expert in this at all.
 
#31
Hey Guys,

This group is very helpful and I know we are going to come up with a resolution. You let me know exactly what you require. I never thought of that with ADT for the code but I send checkin instructions and they guest responds. This is usually about a month after or less the guest checksout. You tell me exactly what you require and I will provide that.

Thanks,

Jack
 
Jul 2, 2018
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#32
Hey Guys,

This group is very helpful and I know we are going to come up with a resolution. You let me know exactly what you require. I never thought of that with ADT for the code but I send checkin instructions and they guest responds. This is usually about a month after or less the guest checksout. You tell me exactly what you require and I will provide that.

Thanks,

Jack
Jack,

I am from Western Canada and owned a rental property in Florida for 8 years, so I understand the remote issue. I never rented through VRBO but have used their services multiple times to rent when I go on holidays. Provide the credit card company with the emails that go back and forth between you and the renter. Also, you will need a statement from your cleaner that someone did stay at the condo. If you could get a list from ADT as to when the code was entered, that would be helpful as well, but also ask for a listing of each time that you change the key code (if you get an email confirmation, that would help).

From my perspective, it is interesting that they aren't alleging that their card has been hacked. They are doing it as a chargeback - meaning that they never authorized the credit card payment. But obviously somebody did - and they stayed there. If they aren't claiming that their card was hacked or stolen, then you should be able to show that you had authorization and that someone stayed there.

Just one other item, check to make sure that the credit card you charged is the credit card that you were given. That happened to someone I know years ago. Flights were booked on their credit card but yet they had never booked them. Turns out it was a keying error on behalf of the travel agent. Still took months to investigate anyways.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jul 13, 2016
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#33
Jack,

I am from Western Canada and owned a rental property in Florida for 8 years, so I understand the remote issue. I never rented through VRBO but have used their services multiple times to rent when I go on holidays. Provide the credit card company with the emails that go back and forth between you and the renter. Also, you will need a statement from your cleaner that someone did stay at the condo. If you could get a list from ADT as to when the code was entered, that would be helpful as well, but also ask for a listing of each time that you change the key code (if you get an email confirmation, that would help).

From my perspective, it is interesting that they aren't alleging that their card has been hacked. They are doing it as a chargeback - meaning that they never authorized the credit card payment. But obviously somebody did - and they stayed there. If they aren't claiming that their card was hacked or stolen, then you should be able to show that you had authorization and that someone stayed there.

Just one other item, check to make sure that the credit card you charged is the credit card that you were given. That happened to someone I know years ago. Flights were booked on their credit card but yet they had never booked them. Turns out it was a keying error on behalf of the travel agent. Still took months to investigate anyways.
But won't make a difference if Jack proves someone stayed at the property. he has to prove that the cardholder stayed at the property. Peerhaps in future, Jack could install a camera at the front and back doors to film entry and exit (if legal, of course).
 
#34
Jack,

I am from Western Canada and owned a rental property in Florida for 8 years, so I understand the remote issue. I never rented through VRBO but have used their services multiple times to rent when I go on holidays. Provide the credit card company with the emails that go back and forth between you and the renter. Also, you will need a statement from your cleaner that someone did stay at the condo. If you could get a list from ADT as to when the code was entered, that would be helpful as well, but also ask for a listing of each time that you change the key code (if you get an email confirmation, that would help).

From my perspective, it is interesting that they aren't alleging that their card has been hacked. They are doing it as a chargeback - meaning that they never authorized the credit card payment. But obviously somebody did - and they stayed there. If they aren't claiming that their card was hacked or stolen, then you should be able to show that you had authorization and that someone stayed there.

Just one other item, check to make sure that the credit card you charged is the credit card that you were given. That happened to someone I know years ago. Flights were booked on their credit card but yet they had never booked them. Turns out it was a keying error on behalf of the travel agent. Still took months to investigate anyways.

So VRBO and homeaway handle the payment so how do I even connect with the credit card company? Someone stayed at my property both times.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
901
956
93
#35
So VRBO and homeaway handle the payment so how do I even connect with the credit card company? Someone stayed at my property both times.
The CC bank should be contacting to foryour side of the story. They need to evaluate both sides of the issue and make a determination.
Or do they contact VBRO/Home Away? That could be problematic.
 
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#36
The CC bank should be contacting to foryour side of the story. They need to evaluate both sides of the issue and are a determination.
Or do they contact VBRO/Home Away? That could be problematic.
No they didn't contact me. I just get an email from homeaway with the code 10.4 so not sure how to do that from that side. Really need your guys help. Does anyone have contact info for homeandaway and vrbo that I can contact. This should be flagged before I even accept booking and I'm out almost 2k from these bookings which is a problem.
 
Jul 2, 2018
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#37
But won't make a difference if Jack proves someone stayed at the property. he has to prove that the cardholder stayed at the property. Peerhaps in future, Jack could install a camera at the front and back doors to film entry and exit (if legal, of course).
I don't think that is the case at all. The question is whether the charge was authorized and whether the unit was stayed in. In your scenario, if I book a hotel for my mom and she stays there, I could instigate a charge back because *I* didn't stay there.

And a camera is expensive and, honestly, a little creepy. The change of the code should be enough to ensure that the person that receives the code is the only person that could be using it.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
902
1,477
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#38
@cmonhomeandaway I'm also a merchant and get a handful of these every year. Couple of questions. Do you process your credit cards or home away? If you control it, do you have your security settings to the point that the address has to match for the charge to go through?

For us, we have our AVS filter setup that it voids the charge if the address and zip don't match. When we get a chargeback, we've never lost because the bank sees all of this info as a digital signature.

I would send all your emails with the guest plus the credit card transaction information and a statement from your cleaning service that the place was used. I would also double check the you have any security settings you can control at their highest level for future charges.
 
#40
@cmonhomeandaway I'm also a merchant and get a handful of these every year. Couple of questions. Do you process your credit cards or home away? If you control it, do you have your security settings to the point that the address has to match for the charge to go through?

For us, we have our AVS filter setup that it voids the charge if the address and zip don't match. When we get a chargeback, we've never lost because the bank sees all of this info as a digital signature.

I would send all your emails with the guest plus the credit card transaction information and a statement from your cleaning service that the place was used. I would also double check the you have any security settings you can control at their highest level for future charges.
I don't even see the credit card numbers. It is an instant book with home and away and VRBO. That is why I don't know where I would start by connecting with credit card companies. They just send these canned email responses out so I requested a call back but nothing yet. Anyone know how t get a hold of the chargeback department? This is on the platform end not mine.