This was posted to a facebook group I belong to. It's a closed group and you have to prove you're an owner of a VR to the administrators. It really sums things up how things have changed.
Andrew Wright to Say No to VRBO Service Fee·
Well boys and girls, I finally did it. I am shutting down my STR, thanks VRBO. (As soon as I burn out my repeats in April)
Today, I changed my rates to $1 a night and changed my listing description to the following. I can't wait for the smoke to come pouring out of Homeaway's ears. When you find my home for $1 a night, this is the description you will find:
Of course this home isn't $1 a night, its just to get your attention to the fact that Homeaway and VRBO are ripping you off with their rent with confidence fees. Would you really pay up to $500 in fees to book a hotel? Of course not, but Homeaway is trying to hide the fees from you to make you think that we the landlords are charging this fee. WE ARE NOT. The money is going right to the CEO's pocket. They tell you that if the home you have booked is not there when you arrive, they will protect you. Isn't that why you use a credit card, with no fees attached? Can you imagine you rent a home for the SuperBowl and show up and it isn't there. Have you asked what home, HOMEAWAY is going to put you in? They are all booked up. Want to save money on these stupid fees? Find a home you do like, copy the description of the property, such as this one you are reading, and then paste it in a search engine. The page for the owner should come up somewhere. Any legitimate owner should have a webpage, then book through them. You can also click and drag the picture of the house to an image search and drop it in. Don't pay the fees on here. This company has ruined so many peoples short term rental business. We are closing ours, but not before letting the public know what Travelocity has done. You would be a fool to pay a fee for a service your credit card company already provides. You can find most owners pages by clicking and searching images or descriptions to a search bar. By the way, the little question mark you see (?) next to a quote will tell you its a service fee. Its charged by Homeaway, but if we (the home owner) tell you this, they threaten to remove our listing. Its kind of like blackmail. Do yourself a favor and book direct. Hope I've been able to help.
I was going to delist myself, but I figured to let them do the work for me. Breaks my heart, I thought I was going to have a bit of retirement income, but between city fees piling up, and going from a 98% occupancy pre-Travelocity, to 11 days this year, I gave it up. I'm moving into the house.