Summer vacation on Cape Cod is an annual tradition for families in New England and a fun in the sun destination for others across the country, like Jen Harriman.

“We were just planning on going to the wedding, making a nice beach vacation out of it,” says Jen, a mother of two from Georgia.

Jen and her family started planning their Cape escape last year when they found out that a family member was getting married in Mashpee.

The Harriman’s got together with other relatives and used the website VRBO to find a place to stay. The site connects rentors with property owners. The family found the perfect six-bedroom house not far from the wedding venue.

“We were looking forward to just having a good time with family there for the week,” Jen says.

She reserved the home and put down a deposit of more than $3,000. But a few months before the planned trip, life changed for all of us because of the coronavirus pandemic. The bride and groom decided to cancel their wedding and Jen and her family decided to cancel their trip.

VRBO agreed to give her back their service fee of about $600, but the property owner was refusing to refund the rest.

“He has specifically stated he will not give us any type of refund whatsoever,” Jen said.

Looking for help and wanting her money back, a friend from Boston told Jen to call Solve It 7.

We contacted VRBO and the representative told us they are encouraging property owners to issue refunds, which they also state on their web site. But in the end, they told us, it’s up to the individual property owner to decide whether or not to return the money.

So we reached out to the property owner. A woman who works for him said he was struggling financially along with many others who rely on season rentals for income. However, she said he agreed to give Jen’s family back half of their deposit. Jen received the money back in her account a few days later.

She’s relieved to have some of that money back in these tough times, and thankful to Solve It 7 for helping with her rental refund.

“Just very grateful,” says Jen. “Thanks to Solve It 7 for getting involved and helping us get part of our money back.”

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