VRBO and its parent company HomeAway began as simple, high-end home rental advertising sites in the early 2000s, and still today do not offer any of the renter-friendly services that have made AirBnB so popular.
Among the difference are controlling all financial transactions, verifying the identities of people who use the site and providing renters with last-minute listings and flexible cancellation policies.
HomeAway never pretended to offer such protections either. It was just an advertising service - until Expedia took over.
"There's some underlying things... that make it impossible for them to be like AirBnB,” she says, yet Expedia is presenting its venture as an AirBnB alternative anyway, complete with flexible-looking cancellation policies and an in-application payment platform and messaging system.
"There are a lot of scenarios on AirBnB where you [as a customer] can get all your money back,” says Switzer. “That is not so on Homeaway.”
Get the full story at Consumer Affairs