By The Hospitable Team
Travelers who book their stay on Vrbo intend to complete it most of the time. But sometimes, they may have to cancel their trip, for example, due to personal reasons, emergencies, and other factors.
That’s why determining a transparent and fair Vrbo cancellation policy that will protect your interests when guests unexpectedly cancel their stay is very important for all hosts. It will also give travelers concerned about wasted money on their bookings all the necessary information about refunds, allowing them to book confidently.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Vrbo refund policy from a host’s perspective.
If you are new to Vrbo, you may want to check out our blog post, where you can find helpful information and answers to the Vrbo FAQ.
Vrbo Refund Policy
Guests can cancel their booking through their traveler’s account and get a refund automatically based on the cancellation policy that the Vrbo host has chosen for their property. If you have a pay-per-booking pricing model for your listing, you’ll be charged a Vrbo fee only on the payment amount you kept.
You can offer no refunds for any reason or timeframe, but remember that listings with flexible cancellation options are more popular among potential guests. So it’s always better to find a middle ground to benefit you and your guests.
Then you’ll be able to attract more travelers and get more bookings. And if you opt for vacation rental software like Hospitable, you’ll be able to automate your routine operations and have more time to focus on scaling your STR business.
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You can also override the cancellation policy and refund some of your guests a custom amount. If you decide to refund more than your cancellation policy allows, you can process the refund in your Reservation Manager.
You can process refunds as an owner through the Vrbo dashboard. Let’s look at the different situations in which you may have to process cancellations and refunds for bookings on your vacation rental property.
Approve a traveler’s cancellation request.
When a guest who has booked a stay requests a cancellation, here is what you must do to confirm it.
- Log into your Vrbo owner account and click on the listing the guest wants to cancel.
- Go to the Inbox and filter your conversations in the All Messages drop-down menu.
- Select the guest’s name and click on Confirm cancellation to cancel the reservation.
Cancel a guest’s reservation.
You may need to do it occasionally, but remember that if your specific situation doesn’t qualify for a cancellation waiver, it can negatively affect your ranking metrics. Here is how you can cancel a guest reservation as an owner.
- Login into your account and select a listing where you want to cancel a reservation.
- Select Inbox and then Filters to filter your conversations.
- Select the guest’s name and then choose Cancel booking.
- Choose the reason for cancellation in the drop-down menu and review the refund amount.
- Finally, select Confirm to process the refund.
Remember that according to Vrbo refund policy, full refunds are required for all cancellations initiated by hosts except if they happen because of natural disasters, violations of house rules, and overdue payments.
Refund a guest without canceling the reservation.
Such situations most commonly happen when guests cancel their stay after checking in. The reason is that Vrbo doesn’t allow guests to cancel a booking themselves after check-in, and if you cancel the reservation for them, it could negatively affect your metrics.
You may also want to refund your guest without canceling to compensate for such issues as broken air conditioning in your rental property or a natural disaster during their stay. You can send a refund without canceling a reservation from your Vrbo account. Filter the conversations in your Inbox to select the guest’s name and click on Send Refund in the Payment Schedule section. Then enter the refund amount and select Continue. Finally, click on Send Refund.
If you refund a guest without canceling a booking, the reservation officially stays active, and Vrbo guests can still leave reviews essential for your success. Authentic reviews from travelers serve as social proof for potential guests and influence their decision-making. Check out our blog article to learn how Vrbo guest reviews work and how to manage them as a host.
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Vrbo Deposit Refund
Vrbo guests can have refunds for payments and fees for several reasons, and each type of refund has its own rules and conditions. For example, if a guest paid an upfront refundable damage deposit at the time of booking, it is automatically refunded to them at the end of their stay.
But Vrbo will hold the refundable damage deposit for 7 or 14 days after check-out, depending on the option you’ve selected for your listing. And if you report damage to your property that occurred during the stay, the guest might not receive their Vrbo deposit refund in full.
Vrbo Service Fee Refund
If a guest cancels their reservation and is within the window to get a 100% refund, Vrbo will return the service fee to them automatically when the cancellation is confirmed. It usually takes up to 5 days for a Vrbo service fee refund to appear in a guest’s account.
When the traveler receives a 100% refund, Vrbo returns the commission and payment processing fees on the booking. But when it comes to partial refunds for canceled reservations, booking and service fees are not refunded. The payment processing fee is reversed for the amount refunded to the guest and is only charged on the funds kept.
How to Avoid Vrbo Refund Problems
Although Vrbo clearly states its refund policy, the company can’t tell property owners what to do. Vrbo encourages hosts to set flexible cancellation policies and refund travelers if they have to cancel their upcoming stays for any reason.
But a guest can only make a cancellation request, and the property owner has to confirm it and initiate the refund. So to avoid Vrbo refund problems, hosts must have a full-proof cancellation policy, and guests must check it out to be fully aware of what they are signing up for when booking.
You, as a host, should be ready to go the extra mile to provide your guests with a great experience that can help you earn 5-star reviews and win more bookings. You must prepare your property for guests and ensure it is always well-stocked with the basic items and extras to make travelers happy they booked your home over another.
If you are not careful enough, you can fall victim to internet scams even on a secure site like Vrbo that has comprehensive security procedures to keep users safe. The best way to protect yourself from Vrbo scams is to recognize warning signs and red flags to avoid them.
Vrbo cancellation policy is a must-have for any host. It will allow you to provide your guests with the necessary information about their booking and be covered if your guests don’t show up. Explore the options and best practices in our guide.