Boston woman says she was promised a loan when she had to cancel a vacation rental in California last year, but when the owner refused to honor her and stopped communicating with her, she said. asked NBC10 Boston Responds for help.
With her son and grandchildren living in California, Therese Diecidue visits her as often as she can. Last December, she had planned a five-week vacation.
âWe booked a Vrboâ¦ And I booked it in September and it was on Huntington Beach,â she recalls. “We paid a little more than was budget but thought it would be a nice getaway and with 2020 being confined to our apartment we were looking forward to it.”
But when the governor of California issued another stay-at-home order in early December, Diecidue canceled the trip.
She says the owner of the condo she rented initially accepted a refund, but then went for a loan, and Diecidue planned to book it again this Christmas.
âIn June or July, I said, ‘I have to book plane tickets to get the best deal. I need to know the dates â. And she said, ‘I’m not ready,’ and the conversation seemed to get aggressive, and then she stopped answering me, ‘Diecidue explained.’ Finally, in September, she texted me saying, ‘ I can no longer welcome you. We put the unit up for sale. ‘”
Diecidue had taken out over $ 4,000 and said she found out the condo was still for rent on Vrbo, under the owner’s maiden name.
âThe first thing I did was call Vrbo,â Diecidu said. “And their response was because we took our conversation off their network, there was nothing they could do.”
After Diecidue rented the condo, she says the owner asked her to leave the Vrbo app and communicate with her through Facebook Messenger because it was more convenient for her. Diecidue said she had no idea it wasn’t advisable.
âIf I had known, I never would,â she says. “I would have stayed in the network and their system.”
Diecidue says she started to panic.
âIt was a lot of money for us,â she said. âThe only thing I could think of was to turn to NBC and the mainstream lineup because I’ve seen your shows and seen how you can help people.â
The NBC10 Boston Responds team reached out to Vrbo and after reviewing the details of Diecidue’s situation, the company gave their reservation a full refund.
Vrbo told NBC10 Boston in a statement, âWe recommend that guests and hosts always communicate through Vrbo’s messaging platform, which is a secure private system that can help protect users from phishing and fraud. . “
NBC10 Boston Responds is helping an Arlington woman who has spent over a year trying to get a refund for a canceled flight.
Diecidue has collected her $ 4,435 and is heading west.
âYes, we are using that money for this Christmas and we are staying an extra week because we can and it will be a very merry Christmas,â she said. “Thank you!”
Vrbo offered some additional tips to protect yourself when booking a rental: choose an ad with multiple reviews and read them carefully; search for announcements with the Premier host badge; and read and understand a property’s cancellation policy before booking.
NBC10 Boston Responds helped dozens of viewers struggling to get their refunds. And we can try to help you. Contact us about your consumer concerns by calling us at 1-888-521-NEWS or by visiting https://www.nbcboston.com/consumer-form/.
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