Home rental portal refund policies during COVID-19 pandemic

Data pix.

MILWAUKEE -- People across the country are canceling spring break vacations due to the coronavirus, but whether they're getting a full refund depends on who they booked their trip through.

Tony Kaprelian's family trip to watch the New York Mets at spring training is off.

Tony Kaprelian

"About a week ago, everything started with the virus. I'm diabetic, so travel is very limited," Kaprelian said.

Kaprelian reached out to Airbnb, the website he'd used to book a house in Palm City, Florida. He got a refund of just $175 -- out of the $1,000 he'd paid in advance.

"I didn't think it was fair with everything that's going on right now," said Kaprelian.

He reached out to Contact 6, which, like many of you, is working remotely these days. After reaching out, Airbnb said it would be reaching out to Kaprelian.

"I actually got an email yesterday, after talking to you, and they are going to refund me fully," Kaprelian said.

Airbnb said since he got his partial refund, they announced a new policy. It allows hosts and guests to cancel reservations  -- with no charge or penalty -- if the reservation was made before March 14 and check-in was planned for before April 14.

It's a policy change Kaprelian agreed with, noting, "This is something that you can't control."

Not all home rental websites have the same policy. Vrbo is letting homeowners decide whether to offer full refunds, thought it wrote them a letter saying, "We strongly encourage you to offer a full refund."

Kaprelian is looking forward to another trip to Florida next year.

"I'm very grateful that I contacted you, and you got it done," he said.

For more information on Airbnb's and Vrbo's cancellation policies, CLICK HERE.

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