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Frustrated with Condo booking experience

Cleveland, Ohio
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80 posts
21 reviews
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Frustrated with Condo booking experience

I am planning a trip to the Alabama beaches this summer but am concerned about how difficult it is to book a condo. Have I just had bad luck or is this just normally how it goes in Alabama. While on Vrbo I have found units that I was interested in only to be told that the units weren't available when the calendar clearly shows them as available , but that they could book me into other units. (bait and switch?)

Today I was going to book another unit and was waiting on a brochure of the condo complex (Beach Club) which the owner said they would send before giving a deposit today. I was patient because the owner said she was out and couldn't send it with her phone. When I emailed back that I didn't receive it, she said it was booked.

I have never experienced anything like this while booking anywhere else , and I travel a lot! Does this happen often? Or have I just had bad luck?

Tyler, Texas
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8,140 posts
125 reviews
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1. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

I use vrbo a lot ...currently have two under contract..one in Alabama. But I have used them in Fl ,CO etc.

You are experiencing the norm all over. Some never repond, some don't keep up their calendar. I think this is particularly true when you are trying to book rather late for high season.

I try to book about 9 months in advance..just after the season I want. This way I get what i want in size and price and at that time I am a valued customer...money in the bank so to speak

So chalk it up as a bad experience and enjoy your trip.

Alabama
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1,940 posts
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2. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

I've experienced the same frustration trying to book through VRBO in Gatlinburg, Jackson, WY, and Naples, FL.

Birmingham, Alabama
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3. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

It's officially high season along the Gulf coast and some owners are probably getting booked up so quickly that they are not updating their calendars. Also, because many condos rent only weekly they can book up the entire summer and the calendar may look open for the month but it is actually booked solid.

If you continue to have problems, you may have better luck simply calling one of the big condo management companies like Spectrum Resorts (Beach Club), Brett-Robinson (Phoenix) or Meyer.

Cleveland, Ohio
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80 posts
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4. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

Thanks for the suggestion. We may try that if our next condo doesn't work out. I was just highly annoyed to actually have a conversation with an owner, let them know I was ready to book, they said it was available, yet they asked for some time to email information to me and then tell me its booked when I emailed a few hours later to let them know I was still waiting to receive so that I could book. (Same day)

Thanks for the comments, sounds like I've just been lucky in the past.

5. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

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Birmingham
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371 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

You really should book nine mos. in advance. Blame on luck or some geographical area is misplaced. If you have never had this happen before I would venture to say you were a 'victim' of GOOD luck. Hopefully it will continue. Have a great trip!!

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68 posts
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7. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

We stayed at the Beach Club last August and had reserved the unit in October. If you have flexible dates try shooting for mid- August, rates are cheaper and schools in the south are in session so demand is lower than in June/July also look at different sized units if you have only been looking at a certain number of bedrooms. You can also look on Home Away. Good luck, it's a great vacation destination!

8. Re: Frustrated with Condo booking experience

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