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I have a couple of vacation rentals and we have used VRBO for years. Back in the day I could call and the owner would answer. His name was Chris. When he sold out things didn't change much except that when you called you got a tech support person. Then Homeaway bought them out. They got more difficult to deal with and the prices went up. But when Expedia bought out Homeaway things changed drastically. They try and make it impossible for renters to contact the owner directly. They charge the renter a percentage on a sliding scale according to the entire rental amount. They use fear tactics to make renters feel they will be scammed if they don't go through Homeaway. They block your access to an inquiry if you don't respond to them within 24 hours. At the website, when a prospective renter looks at our page, in the margin it says "If you like this place you may like these", and they show them three similar rentals in the area. That's not what I am paying for; to advertise for my competitors. It's like everything else in this corporate world today; they have gotten so big there's nothing you can do to fight them; you have to join them.
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