If you rented a luxury condo, you should have received one. But how do you define “luxury” — is it having a certain set of amenities, like a hot tub or a gourmet kitchen? Unfortunately, there’s no commonly agreed-upon definition of “luxury” that I’m aware of.
A better measure would be comparing the property’s listing on HomeAway against the photos you took. Based on the images you sent to HomeAway, I don’t think anyone’s going to mistake that property for a “luxury” condo — let alone spend $1,886 on it. That seems like a misrepresentation to me, and HomeAway should have stepped up and sent you a refund.
HomeAway sees itself as a classified listing service for vacation rentals, but that’s not how consumers like you view it. When you book through the site, you view HomeAway as a trusted intermediary that vets the listings and that you can lean on when something goes wrong. In my experience, HomeAway has done little to dispel that perception.
HomeAway shouldn’t just stand behind your rental — it should stand behind all of its rentals. (You shouldn’t have to pay extra for it to guarantee its products, either, but that’s beside the point.)
I’m impressed that you took so many photos of the shabby condo and that you documented your dispute in writing.
Unfortunately, your next step would be to either dispute the credit card payment to the property owner or to take that person to small-claims court.
Neither of those options sound like fun, so I contacted HomeAway on your behalf and asked it to review your claim a fourth time.
It did, and after taking another look at your photos, it decided to honor its rental guarantee.