HomeAway is a world leader in online listings for vacation rentals, with one of the largest selection of properties across the world and back. The company, which also owns VRBO, VacationRentals.com, Stayz, Travel Mob, and more, provides an online marketplace for people looking to rent a house, apartment, condo, or bungalow for any travel occasion.
But being a trusted name doesn’t mean that everything always goes smoothly. In this article we’ll look at HomeAway’s customer support, discuss what they can answer for you and the best way to reach them, when to avoid reaching out to customer support, how support works for the family of HomeAway companies, and how support compares to competitors.
How to Contact HomeAway Support
If you are looking for general customer support from HomeAway, your first and best bet to get an answer is at their online help site, help.homeaway.com.
HomeAway Help Site
Use of this website will allow you to get a whole host of questions answered, from questions about cleaning fees to credit card refund information to security to what you agree to with acceptance of the HomeAway contract, and a whole lot more.
A nice feature of the site is that it allows you to filter content that is tailored to travelers, property managers, and owners. To filter content that way, go to the site, then select “Filter” in the top left corner near the search bar.
From there, select how you would like to filter the content:
Now when you search, your answers will be filtered to only include topics relevant to travelers, so you won’t have to sort through results for property managers and owners that won’t be relevant to your query.
If you aren’t finding an answer to your specific question, you can reach out to the HomeAway support team via the help website, though it’s a little hard to find. To reach out, you have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the homepage, and there you will see a button that says “Contact Us.”
When you click on it, you will be prompted to select whether you are a traveler, a property manager, or an owner. Once you select one, you will be prompted to select the general category of your issue. These categories range from reservation management to how to contact an owner to what to do in the event of suspicious activity.
Once you’ve selected the general category for your issue, you’ll be taken to a new pop-up that offers answers to common questions on the topic, plus the ability to talk to a customer support staff member either via online chat or by phone.
HomeAway Phone Number
If you’d like to speak to an actual person without going through the help site, you can reach out to the HomeAway support team even outside of normal business hours. The phone number in the United States is 1 (877) 228-3145.
If you are looking for contact information for travelers or owners in other countries, they recommend you contact them via the help website, as described above.
Is HomeAway Support Different Than VRBO Support?
HomeAway and VRBO are two of the biggest names in vacation rental services, and after HomeAway acquired VRBO in 2006, they are functionally the exact same site. HomeAway was founded in 2004 in Austin, Texas and quickly took on an aggressive acquisition strategy, buying up 22 companies over the next decade, several based in the United States but also companies headquartered in France and Australia as well. This strategy allowed them to build one of the largest collections of rental properties online, and the company now boasts over 2 million rentals listed over 190 countries on its family of sites.
Every property listed on HomeAway is also listed on VRBO (as well as the rest of the family of HomeAway sites), so no matter what site you are searching on, you will find the same results listed.
The online help center for VRBO is an exact replica of the HomeAway help site. If you are renting with VRBO, you simply go to help.VRBO.com and the use of the site works exactly the same as the use of the HomeAway site.
The phone number for VRBO customer service? The exact same as the one for HomeAway: 1-877-228-3145. No matter which company’s help site you use, or which service you use to book your rental, the support team will be the same. And as all these companies have the same policies for owners, renters, and property managers, the same booking fee model, and the same listings, the support team for HomeAway will be able to help you no matter what site you’ve booked with.
Compared to competitors, HomeAway’s support staff is one of the stronger selling points of the company. Booking sites like Expedia and Orbitz are really just middle men that connect users with a wide range of hotels, airlines, rental car companies and more, and usually will refer people requesting customer support to the company that provides the service.
Airbnb, which is a main competitor to HomeAway when it comes to short-term rental properties, has a similarly strong commitment to customer service, and has the added benefit of local customer service numbers for every country they are in, with experts in local laws and practices. You can learn about Airbnb’s customer support at their online help center.
When to Avoid Contacting HomeAway Support
The support page is excellent for general information for travelers and owners alike, and their customer service support team is great for detailed questions about your renting experience, but there are certainly times you shouldn’t contact HomeAway support.
The first and most obvious one of these is in the event of an emergency. If the property you are renting is catching on fire, it’s not the best time to meander to the support website and search through a list of topics — you need to call the fire department.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are questions that HomeAway support is simply not going to be able to answer for you. If you need to connect with the property manager to find a key, the HomeAway support team is most likely not going to have that information on hand. You will need to use the site to directly reach out to the property manager. (When you book, you might also receive a contact sheet with a direct line to the owner or manager, but you are also able to message the manager directly using the site.)
If there are some water bottles in the fridge and you’re not sure if they are fair game to drink, again, probably a question the support staff won’t be able to answer, but a good question for the property manager.
The HomeAway help site has a handy video for how to ask owners and managers a question directly through the site, even before booking, and you can watch that video here.
Basically, customer support is not great for major emergencies or minor questions, but really good for everything in between.
A Helping Hand for a Host of Sites
HomeAway support offers a mix of online and phone resources for travelers, owners, and property managers who may have questions on a host of topics. They also have the added bonus of offering an identical service experience across a wide range of sites they own, and a standard set of policies, fees, and practices so that a question for any of their services can be answered by one support team.
While they can’t answer everything for you, and shouldn’t be contacted in the event of an emergency or with a specific question best suited for the individual property manager or traveler, the support team can offer you answers on site use, refunds, cancellation policies, and more.
If you have a question, start with the online help center and see if you can find an answer there. If not, they’ve made it easy to reach out and speak with a member of the support team via live chat or phone call, always a nice option for a traveler looking to get a quick answer after a long journey.