Family unhappy with rental found on popular website - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Family unhappy with rental found on popular website

Source: Ashley Walker-Cole Source: Ashley Walker-Cole
Source: Ashley Walker-Cole Source: Ashley Walker-Cole
Source: Ashley Walker-Cole Source: Ashley Walker-Cole
Source: Ashley Walker-Cole Source: Ashley Walker-Cole
  • Inside KLTV.comMore>>

  • WMBF News Investigates: Rental Rip-offs

    WMBF News Investigates: Rental Rip-offs

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:57:40 GMT
    MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Reports of rental scams associated with Craigslist have surfaced. Thieves try to rent homes they don't own, leaving renters out a lot of money. Recently, it appears criminalsMore >>
    Reports of rental rip-offs associated with Craigslist have surfaced. Thieves try to rent homes they don't own, leaving renters out a lot of money. It appears criminals have extended their reach to other home sites.
    More >>

GARDEN CITY, SC (WMBF) - A family booked one week condo at Whispering Sands through the online site VRBO for $700, but soon after walking through the door, they knew they could not stay. 

The listing's pictures on VRBO.com, an acronym for Vacation Rentals By Owner, show granite counter tops, new cabinets, and a clean living room with captions like "completely remodeled" "brand new tile floors" and "brand new appliances."

But that is not what Kelly Blankenship and her family say they walked into.

Instead, they were greeted by stained mattresses, dirty tables, and collected dirt and dust around the AC unit. At first she was going to try to make it through the night, because it was so late by the time they had arrived. 

"I took the mattress cover off the bed, thinking I could take two sheets and put them together or what have you, just to make do, and when I took the mattress cover off it was filled with holes and stains!" Blankenship said.

Neighbors say many people own condos at the Whispering Sands and rent them out, but the conditions vary by owner. Through VRBO you can see the listings, pictures, rates, and contact information.

Another family using VRBO this week sees it as a hit or miss because you never quite know what you are going to get, and the process can be scary, but her husband pointed out they should at least have an agreement.

"Yeah he definitely wanted an agreement, which I didn't even think about that. I was like she wants my card number! I'm giving her my card number! A random private person!" explains Sarah Swisher.

The family says the owner said he would refund their money in the beginning, but after multiple conversations it was clear he was not going to.

Blankenship called VRBO and even though they guarantee their properties and provide insurance, she says VRBO told her she had to go through the owner and they would get back to her. 

"Things aren't portrayed as they are on websites, whether it's a hotel website or it's on VRBO, they only show the best," Kelli Blankenship says.

Blankenship has used VRBO in the past, but she never had an experience quite like this.

She says she is now wishing she looked deeper into the reviews. She says although not everyone has the best experience, she believes the reviews are your best bet to really know what you are getting.

The other family using VRBO says although they did not share the same traumatic experience, they spent a 12-hour car ride thinking "what if."

"You read the reviews and they all say it's a nightmare...the process is scary."

Blankenship is still waiting on VRBO to get back to her. A VRBO spokesperson says they are looking into the matter. 

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Officials check lake safety for Memorial Day Weekend

    Officials check lake safety for Memorial Day Weekend

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:21 PM EDT2018-05-28 02:21:10 GMT
    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer boating and recreation season in East Texas, and also a critical time for game wardens to make sure everyone is being safe on the water. Swimmers and boaters crowded lake Gladewater, as the traditional recreation season begins. "We're going to be checking boats, a lot of these folks out here this is their first time on the lake, this is the first holiday so to speak of the summer," says Gregg county game warden To...More >>
    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer boating and recreation season in East Texas, and also a critical time for game wardens to make sure everyone is being safe on the water. Swimmers and boaters crowded lake Gladewater, as the traditional recreation season begins. "We're going to be checking boats, a lot of these folks out here this is their first time on the lake, this is the first holiday so to speak of the summer," says Gregg county game warden To...More >>
  • DPS investigating single-vehicle fatal crash

    DPS investigating single-vehicle fatal crash

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:46 AM EDT2018-05-27 14:46:22 GMT
    crashcrash

    A man was killed in a one-vehicle wreck in Harrison County. According to a press release, a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 was traveling eastbound on US-80 when the vehicle went off the south side of the roadway and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle is identified as Lawrence C. Walls, 49, of Marshall. Walls was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Mike Smith. His body was transported to Meadowbrook Funeral Home. DPS states that the crash is under investigation. Copyright 2017 K...

    More >>

    A man was killed in a one-vehicle wreck in Harrison County. According to a press release, a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 was traveling eastbound on US-80 when the vehicle went off the south side of the roadway and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle is identified as Lawrence C. Walls, 49, of Marshall. Walls was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Mike Smith. His body was transported to Meadowbrook Funeral Home. DPS states that the crash is under investigation. Copyright 2017 K...

    More >>
  • Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:36 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:36:26 GMT

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly