First, of course, this post may be removed or not published…but I'll take the chance. We are older, experienced European travelers (from US) with a lot of vacation rentals under our belt. For the first time last month we used TA for a rental in Nice, France. We booked through their purchased-last-year affiliate, HolidayLettings (UK). Perhaps some of you are familiar with TA's massive acquisition of just about any travel booking site they can get their hand on --- so be aware that regardless of the name of a website you may still be dealing with TA.
The first of the problems surfaced when all of TA's websites (except HolidayLettings) did not show our paid, confirmed booking dates for the property - but continued to show the time slots as "available" on the owner's calendar. That took several emails - with slow, unconcerned and lackluster responses from TA to clear up. Next, TA issued invoices that included a refundable security deposit and charged our payments through PayPal --but, incorrectly -- not through our existing PayPal account! This later caused currency conversion problems (fees) with PayPal. And, finally, the legal trustee of our funds, TripAdvisor, mishandled the refund of the security deposit and would not even respond to multiple emails until we included their "legal" email (found in the very fine print of some terms and conditions). They had "forwarded" the security deposit to the owner - for the first time in the owner's dealing with them! Fortunately, both the rental and owner were delightful. We certainly won't use TripAdvisor again and will in the future - as in the past - deal only directly with the owners of a property.