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1.2 out of 5, based on 85 ratings and
155 reviews & complaints.
Company Profile
333 Market St., Ste. 100
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-343-8400 (ph)
415-343-8401 (fax)
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Horrible Service
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

SAN FRANCISCO, FLORIDA -- WORSE SERVICE EVER!!! When we arrived at the hotel I was informed that the hotel called Hotwire at 10:20 am to inform that they were sold out and had to cancel the reservation. The hotel was told by Hotwire they would contact me about the cancellation. I didn't receive any phone call and drove over 250 miles to find out we didn't have a room to stay in. The hotel representative called Hotwire and waited 35 minutes for someone to answer.

The representative who answered told her he couldn't do the rebook and I needed to call directly 866-hot-wire. It took 45 minutes for me to get a representative on the line while my whole family, including my 2 year old son and veteran father in law, slept uncomfortably in the car due to the incompetence of your company. I spoke to a representative who gave me NO solution and therefore asked to speak to a supervisor. I waited another 15 to 20 minutes for a supervisor to come on the line to finally tell me that since it was after midnight he couldn't book the reservation for me, I had to walk in and request the rooms.

I ended up at a very run down hotel not a 3 star like the one I booked. Due to no real solution I was forced to drive there and pay for it out my own pocket to find that the conditions of the hotel less than desirable. I was told by the supervisor that I needed to fax the receipt in and the research department would determine how much to credit me. Your company ruined my Memorial Day weekend vacation with my family. The gift of relaxation and visiting another city was ruined by your company.

Incredibly Disappointed With Hotwire
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

SAN FRANCISCO, WASHINGTON -- I used to be a diehard Hotwire fan, booking every business trip through their service. Today changed everything, when they not only wouldn't honor my hotel booking, but made me endure an atrocious customer service experience. Did you know that Hotwire can call you at 1:49 PM on the day of your reservation and say the hotel you booked and PRE-PAID for is full and you're out of luck?

Earlier this week I booked two rooms in Vancouver BC at a 4-star hotel. The hotel I selected was in the Burnaby area, close to where I had a customer meeting the following day. At 1:49 PM, shortly before I was due to check into the hotel, I received a voicemail from Hotwire Customer Service, informing me that the hotel I had reserved and paid for in advance no longer had a room. He said that I needed to contact Hotwire if I wanted to book an alternate hotel or get a refund.

Did you know that Hotwire's Customer Service processes are cumbersome, time consuming and ineffective? When I reached an agent, she said that they could see if another hotel might be available. The first alternate hotel she found cost more money, and she said Hotwire would cover the cost difference. However, she said that she had to do something with Hotwire HotDollars, and could I please be put on hold.

Ten minutes later (I kid you not, because my cell phone indicates the duration of the call) she finally came back and asked for my credit card information. I asked her why she needed it, since I had already paid for two rooms. She insisted that she needed to charge my card again, so I gave her the information. Then, when she went to book the rooms, they weren't available.

So we started again, and she found two rooms at the Westin Bayshore at standard pricing, and again said that Hotwire would cover the difference. She said that she would have to put me on hold again to take care of the HotDollars needed. Five minutes later she came back, got my credit card information again, and GUESS WHAT? The rooms at the Westin were no longer available.

She then said that nothing else was available. I insisted that there must be something available further out, so she eventually found a 3.5 star hotel in Surrey. By now, I had been on the call 35 minutes, and I desperately needed to call my colleague so that he didn't show up at the original hotel looking for a room that didn't exist. I asked the agent to quickly conclude the call, and I told her that I was very upset about the customer service exhibited by Hotwire. She offered to deposit 50 HotDollars in my account, and I told her that I didn't even care about the HotDollars, as I needed to get off the phone and call my colleague.

Sadly, the Customer Service Supervisor wasn't much better. Later, I called Hotwire Customer Service back. I requested a Supervisor and explained my experience. I posed questions such as: Why was a booked reservation paid for in advance not valid only hours before check-in? Why didn't Hotwire secure other rooms in Vancouver before calling me, instead of putting me through 35 minutes of torture and 2 thwarted attempts to book another hotel. Maybe a process that requires 10 minutes to get HotDollars approved isn't good when hotel rooms are scarce and rooms disappear in that timeframe.

Why did I need to keep giving the agent my credit card number? Why was I paying the same for a 3.5 start hotel as I originally paid for a 4-star hotel….that was 3 times farther away from my business meeting location?

The net result was that the Supervisor offered me a whopping 25 HotDollars for my trouble. What an insult! That's less than a dollar a minute for the first call to Hotwire, much less the time and trouble I took to bring this to his attention. My lasting impression is that Hotwire doesn't want to examine customer service issues, or improve processes. All they want to do is try to buy off dissatisfied customers with a dollar amount that is insulting. It's especially interesting in comparison to the 818.90 in HotDollars they would have spent when the agent thought when comparable hotels were available for booking.

I also tried emailing with Hotwire Customer Service, and the responses I got were boilerplate and impersonal. Each email said “over-bookings do occur in the hotel industry and are not unique to Hotwire customers.” They also said they looked forward to serving me in the future, which clearly shows that they don't think their service was that bad.
I'm still shaking my head. All of this is especially crushing when I have been a loyal customer and vocal advocate of Hotwire with friends and on social media. I don't ever plan to use Hotwire again.

Pay 3 Star Prices for 0 Star Hotels
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

WWW.HOTWIRE.COM, FLORIDA -- Please Share!!! BEWARE of HOTWIRE hotel reservations. For those of you who have never used Hotwire to make a reservation with a hotel let me explain how it works. You select a destination and they give you a general rate on hotels in a star rating system. For example, any hotel in that area with three stars will be one price, and any hotel with four stars will be more, but you are guaranteed a savings because they don't show you the name of the hotel until after you have booked.

So you are playing Hotel Roulette. However, you can feel comfortable booking a hotel without knowing the name because of the star rating that they have. I have used this service for years and have scored some pretty amazing deals, but last night was the exception, and the customer service on Hotwire's end to fix the problem was non existent.

A hotel room was booked under a three star rating, my husband wanted something affordable but nicer than a one or two star hotel. Three stars mean "Extra amenities and clean rooms that will make your stay comfortable." However upon arriving at the 'three star' hotel my husband was completely dumbfounded. If you were to give this hotel a star rating it would be negative stars. The room was absolutely terrible. The lock on the door was broken. The light fixtures were broken and were just hanging on the walls by string to keep them up. All the furniture had terrible stains and looked like it had not been cleaned in years.

There was silly string and grimy dirt on all the walls and door. The mirror in the bathroom was broken. The shower tiles were falling off the walls. The smell of the room was so acrid that by morning his lungs hurt. Plumping pipes were sticking up from the carpet near the broken air conditioner and the ceiling was caving in. Not only that but the hotel offered the exact same price through their personal website so no money savings at all through Hotwire.

Arriving after 11 o clock at night and driving for over 12 hours sleep was the only thing on my husband's mind so he hunkered down for the night and at first light he was out of there. Now am I upset about the quality of the hotel? Not really, you run into hotels like this but what you see is what you get. I am upset at the portrayal of this hotel through a once trusted site like Hotwire. So, OK, they got it wrong. Maybe they just needed to be informed of the situation, so I called them to let them know.

I told them about the hotel and the room and their response was, 'every booking is nonrefundable and cannot be changed'. Even after telling them that this hotel was no three star hotel I got the same response. They kept trying to pass the buck off on other site by saying that they get their star rating from what is already posted online by other sites. OK, so you offer a service but it's not your fault because other people are doing it? Ya OK.

Towards the end of the conversation I was being blamed by Hotwire customer service for not switching rooms. It wasn't like this place had an off chance bad room, the WHOLE place was like this room. It would be like switching sleeping in landfill A because landfill B might have better trash. There was no point.

So beware when you book a 'star rating hotel', you are playing Hotel Roulette even though they 'GUARANTEE' their stars ratings, and if you get scammed into a one star or no star rating hotel and pay three star prices their response is, "Oh well. Better luck next time." Well, there will be no next time for me. Quoting my husband on the quality of Hotwire's 'three star hotel' - "If I were to sleep with a prostitute I would be more scared of getting diseases from this hotel than the prostitute." - puts the 'three star rating' in perspective.

Hotwire Secret Hotel Deals Scam/Rip Off
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

MONTREAL, NEW YORK -- My complaint is regarding the recent scam at Hotwire. I was clearly told by the customer service representative that the room I am purchasing is a condo in a 3.5 star hotel in downtown Montreal. Once I paid and the hotel name a specs was revealed, neither of the specs were correct. I understand that no refund policy, but this was agreed to based on the specs stated.

The hotel was not 3.5 star, it was actually in the area of plateau Montreal and above everything my biggest concern was that this hotel is not a CONDO instead it is a LOFT. All rooms in this hotel are LOFTS. I have a 4 nights stay there, and my whole purpose of renting a condo was to have Privacy (separate closed room) due to two factors.
One being that I am pregnant and as needed and separate space to rest and secondly I am expecting frequent visitors during my stay.

As soon as they revealed the place to me I advised them that this is not a CONDO. I was transferred to another department that deals with such issues. The lady on the phone advised that we have tried to get in touch with the hotel and got their voice mail. "If this hotel does not have CONDOS we will refund your money. And someone from our review team will get back to you."

Later that evening, I spoke to hotel myself as well. The lady at the front desk clearly told me that this hotel does NOT have ANY condos. All rooms in this hotel are LOFTS. (Open concept rooms). 2 days later, I have gotten an e-mail from Hotwire team that they have checked with the hotel and the rooms have specs that meet the amenities of a CONDO. If the room has a kitchenette that does not make it a CONDO. CONDOS are not open concept rooms by all means. However they have mentioned on their own website that CONDO will have separate room, please see below Hotwire comments for a CONDO.

Condos are typically larger than a hotel room in size. Most condos offer separate sleeping and living areas and a full kitchen or kitchenette. For groups, condos can offer better value compared with multiple hotel rooms. Features typically include a separate bedroom and living room, full kitchen or kitchenette, and laundry facilities.

I plan to go there in August and would seriously require help to get my re-fund from Hotwire or else they should book a CONDO for me as committed in downtown Montreal in a 3.5 star hotel. LOFT Hotel in Montreal does not meet any of these specs as they have mentioned on their websites. Below is the list of hotels they have adversities as 3.5 star and after booking you get ripped off with 1 or 2 star rating hotels or a total fraud as in my case. The deal was Condo and they booked me 3rd class unknown pro claimed 3.5 star LOFT.

You can clearly see “LOFT HOTEL” is nowhere in their 3.5 star rating. At the time of booking they committed a CONDO and now they are forcing me to stay in a LOFT. This is a total RIPP OFF of innocent people and one should stop HOTWIRE for doing all these fraudulent acts. They are doing it so bravely (Cut throat) as NOBODY is out there to stop their fraudulent practice and bring them under the LAW Jurisdiction. I urge you please take up this issue as a fraudulent ACT and I want you to open enquiry against them on urgent basis. You can go online and just Google Hotwire SCAM or RIPOFF and you see how people are being victimized by them.

Worst experience ever! Other sites charge the same so go with someone else!
By -

I returned my rental car a day early to the Alamo located in Orange County. My sister became ill on our trip and we rescheduled our flights so that we could get home earlier. I did not have time to call the rental agency to advise them of this, however, upon the return of the rental car I asked the receiving agent if we had returned the car in time in order to avoid paying for a fourth day. She said that we had, but because we had prepaid through Hotwire we would need to call them for the refund.

Consequently, when I got home I called Hotwire for the partial refund. I spoke with a representative named ** who said that she would just need to get confirmation from Alamo that their representative advised me that Hotwire would refund one day of the rental. She placed me on hold and tried to contact Alamo to no avail. She offered me the Alamo manager's contact number and said that I could try contacting the manager at my convenience so that I did not have to continue to wait on hold while she tried to contact the manager.

She said that I needed to get in touch with the manager and tell her that Hotwire needed confirmation to process the refund. After trying to contact the Alamo manager for several weeks and leaving numerous messages, I called Hotwire back to advise that I could not reach the manager to whom ** had directed me.

I first had misfortune to speak with **. After recounting my situation to him, I immediately got the sense that he wanted to do everything in his power to deny me even the slightest amount of customer service. He did what he called "research" into my account and came to the conclusion that ** was mistaken. He informed me that Hotwire's rates are the lowest out there and that because I received such a discounted rate, Hotwire could not refund me for the day I did not use.

However, Hotwire was not the only car rental booking service to offer this rate, and the only reason I chose to book through Hotwire rather than (whom I normally book through and will return to from now on) was because that I have had good previous experiences booking hotels through Hotwire. I told ** that I understood he was just trying to do his job and asked if I could speak with his superior since he was not going to be able to accommodate my dilemma.

After some time, I was connected with ** (employee #1615). ** might as well have been a computer. Actually, a computer would have given me better customer service than **. I am infuriated at the way I was treated by him. After repeatedly explaining my situation to him over and over he would simply state that since I had failed to get in contact with an Alamo manager, I was not entitled to receive a refund. I tried to explain to him that essentially I was doing ** a favor by agreeing to contact Alamo on Hotwire's behalf in order to process the refund.

I could have told ** that I would remain on hold while she continued to contact Alamo, but I agreed to take the number and do it later on my own time on her behalf rather than waiting on hold for whom knows how long and wasting both her and my time. ** never told me that it was my responsibility to get in contact with Alamo to receive confirmation that I was entitled to a refund. She gave me the option to either do it myself or wait on hold while she pursued the issue. ** did not seem to understand this detail and maintained that I still needed to contact Hotwire myself in order to get a refund.

I repeated that I have been trying to contact them for weeks but that I was fed up with it and thought that it should be Hotwire's responsibility since Hotwire is the one that said I needed this confirmation to begin with. I recapitulated the whole situation to ** yet again, detailing the entire interaction I had with the Alamo agent who said that Hotwire would refund me for the unused day. ** then asked if I had this agent's name.

I said I did not, but that I do have a receipt which was given to me by the agent who said I would get a refund and that I could scan an image of it over to him and maybe he could decipher out the employee's name or number somewhere on the receipt. He said he could not do that, so I tried to ask him if any of the random numbers on the receipt might be the lady's employee number and he said that he would not be able to tell without looking at it and that since I did not know the agent's name he would not be able to call Alamo himself.

I asked him why then had ** been able to, and he said that he did not know but that it was not possible for him to call Alamo without the agent's name. Exasperated, I asked him what he suggested I do, and he said to continue trying to call Alamo because it was Alamo's responsibility to refund the money. Again I told him that I had already been told by the Alamo agent to whom I returned the car that Hotwire had to process the refund. ** repeated that Hotwire would only be able to process the refund if I got a hold of Alamo.

I told him again that I had agreed to call Alamo myself as a favor to ** rather than waste both of our time, but he again said that Hotwire could not process the refund because I had not gotten a hold of Alamo, and he was not going to contact Alamo without the name of the receiving agent. Essentially ** succeeded in talking in circles like this with me wasting my time. I got the sense that he was enjoying this "game" in which he was getting paid to argue with me on the phone.

I ** asked if there was any way I could get in contact with his supervisor and he repeatedly said no and that he had no supervisors. The only way to inform Hotwire about his lack of customer service was via I have never been so turned off from a company from such detestable customer service, especially from a supervisor. He was extremely unprofessional and apathetic regarding my situation. He snickered under his breath when I got upset and kept repeating jargon that did not address my complaint. $17.76 is a measly amount of money and I am confounded that I have had to spend this much time and effort on such a small sum.

But the fact of the matter is that I was informed both by the Alamo agent to whom I returned the car and the first Hotwire agent I spoke with that I would be refunded for the unused day. This situation was not about the money. It is simply a matter of principal that a company does right by its customers. I understand that apparently both the receiving Alamo agent and the Hotwire representative were mistaken regarding the information they conveyed. However, a company is obliged to fulfill the promises made by the employees who represent it.

Terrible Experience
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALIFORNIA -- I normally don't complain about being treated poorly by a company but I have to vent and warn everyone about booking airfare with My son is in the Navy stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. His grandfather died and he needed to come home as soon as possible, as cheap as possible. So under my recommendation he called Hotwire to book his tickets. I did some research and found that you would be the people who could best help him in this situation. Well I was wrong!

He called and booked at ticket with you over the phone. He was told he had a flight for $379 from Florida to Indiana and he would get an e ticket mailed to him. When he didn't get the email he called me because his phone kept dropping calls when trying to contact you.

So I called and gave the representative my email address to send the confirmation to and did not receive an email. I then emailed you but because the flight was for today I also called back only to learn that the person that took his information spelled his last name wrong. The person that took my email address spelled our last name wrong. Even though as I was giving the letter I was also giving words to go with the letter.

So after talking to another representative I was told that my son would need to cancel and rebook the flight because of the spelling of his name. I called him got his credit card information and called back. They cancelled his ticket and then told me that we would not be able to get the same price ticket, or the same flight when we rebooked. They told me that I would have to purchase the ticket retail. I asked to speak with a supervisor and explained the situation and they told me that I was LUCKY to be getting a refund.

Please explain to me how I was lucky? A flight was booked over the phone and because your customer service representative misspelled our last name now I am left at 8:30 at night with no ticket for my son to come home for the funeral and I am back to square one trying to find a flight at a reasonable price for the next day! I normally try to give a positive when I am complaining but frankly I don't have one when it comes to my experience with Hotwire.

Hotwire Stole $1,650 From My Bank Account, Beware!!!!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALIFORNIA -- I tried to book a vacation package that included airfare, hotel and car. On the last reservation page, it gave me the option of paying a $1,090 deposit and the remaining balance by August 5. That was my choice, and entered my VISA debit card information. When I hit the 'book this itinerary' button, the system stated: "We were unable to complete your booking at this time. You may wish to try again later. If your itinerary requires immediate action, please call our customer service center at 1-866-394-2015 for Vacation Packages support, 1-866-345-4007 for Activities support, or 001-817-983-0659 for international calls."

I decided to try again later, but in about an hour I discovered that my bank account (the one tied to the debit VISA card) had been charged $1,650 and $889 in separate transactions. When I called their customer service, they stated that this reservation IS NOT BOOKED, that there are no actual charges but a 'security deposit' hold because of using a debit card. That the amount should be back on my account in 24-72 hours.

Then I proceeded to call my bank, and they explained that this is NOT an amount on hold, but actual charges debited to my account. I called Hotwire several times again, only to find different employees telling me the same thing over and over "this is a security deposit", "our credit card authorization department is not available until Monday", and the last one "you have to call your bank, because they are the ones holding the amount".

I have cancelled my VISA because I am panicked that this people will debit more charges and they suggested that I request a bank investigation and reclamation. In the end, my account is WIPED OUT, I have NO RESERVATION and HOTWIRE representatives keep LYING and MISLEADING. DO NOT TRY TO DO BUSINESS WITH THESE THIEVES!!!!!!

Don't Believe Hotwire's Low Price Guarantee, Nor Their Price Match Policy
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

THEY WOULDN'T TELL ME WHEN I ASKED, FLORIDA -- Hot wire does not back up their advertisements! We were in Kauai, Hi and needed a car for 2 days. My daughter contacted Hotwire as she has used them many times before and the lowest price guarantee was offered, my daughter accepted and put it on her credit card. The next day I checked directly with Alamo and got the exact time/day/car type guaranteed price of half what Hotwire was charging my daughter for their "Lowest price". She called first and was given the company line.. "It was the lowest price that Hertz had when we checked".. I called and got the same line, plus, because we weren't in the "more than 48 hours" cancellation time slot, they refused.

I asked to speak to a supervisor and I got ** (he wouldn't say where he was located... It's against company policy).. I'm in Hawaii.. where is he??? I quoted the Alamo price (half of the "guaranteed low price").. asked him to price match.. company policy, can't do.. not outside of the 48 hour cancellation period.. I explained same pickup drop off time, same economy car, etc. He wouldn't budge... I asked if the call was being recorded, he said it was..

We had a more detailed discussion about company policy, company reputation and my feelings about his answers.. it made no difference... We had to cancel the Alamo reservation (which they were very pleasant about) and use the Hotwire reservation or be fully charged for it... and considering contacting the credit card company and registering a complaint and ask them to not pay.

Needless to say, we won't be using Hotwire again and I strongly urge anyone else to do the same... Once they get your money (twice as much as they should have) they won't consider anything except keeping it!!! Greedy SOBs. Customer relations stink!

Unbelievably awful company
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

UNKNOWN -- So we're going to Panama for Christmas this year. I went to Hotwire, which had the cheapest tickets. What a mistake. I booked on Saturday, and booked that we're going to take a red-eye that leaves Tuesday night (11 pm), returning on a 9:30 A.M. flight a week and a half later. Three days later, I got an email from Hotwire that notified me that my return trip has been changed from 10 A.M. to noon. I looked at the itinerary and saw that BOTH flights had been changed, and the flight TO Panama has been changed to a red-eye that leaves on Tuesday MORNING (1 a. m.)

I called Hotwire to explain that my kids wouldn't miss another day of school, and asked why the computer changed me to a red-eye that left at 22 hours earlier than I had booked, instead of two hours later. While I never got an explanation for that, after about an hour on the phone with Hotwire, they tell me they'll change the red-eye to Wed morning at 1 a.m., which is fine.

An absolute comedy (not) of errors then ensued, with the morons at Hotwire telling me that there is no 1 A.M. flight and the red-eye leaves at 11 pm and the 10 am flight has been restored. In fact, there is no 11 pm flight any more, and the 10 am flight from Panama has also been changed, per the airlines. I wasted literally hours trying to get this straightened out with Hotwire, United and its codeshare, Copa.

By noon, Hotwire had somehow managed to book my family on TWO flights TO Panama (same time, same flight number -- the 1 am, NOT the 11 pm that Hotwire kept telling me was the valid flight) then sending me confirmation after confirmation that we're on flights that don't exist. Finally, after I complained using their "contact us" link, I got an email from Hotwire telling me that United has "assumed ownership" of my reservation.

So, this morning, I checked the status of all, hoping it was cleared up. As of now, we're booked on TWO flights back from Panama (again, my family is booked twice, on the same flight), Hotwire has AGAIN confirmed me on flights that don't exist, and I have a duplicate charge on my card. Best of all, when I called Hotwire (twice) they just don't care. A customer service supervisor and a customer service manager each told me that they can only book per the airlines. I asked why I keep getting emails confirming flights that don't exist, and they have no answer. This is the most absurd waste of time and money I can imagine.

Replies Is a Ripoff Don't Use This Website for Your Bookings!!!
StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 2/51

TEXAS -- I'm writing this review to make consumers aware of what a big rip off is. My husband and I were going to make a trip to Galveston Island to Moody Gardens for the weekend and something came up medically where we were unable to make it. I called Hotwire consumer 800 number to ask if I could change the reservation to another day during the month. They stated that in order to do that I would have to fax a letter from the doctor stating that he had medical problems and was unable to travel etc. In my opinion it is none of their business what medical problems he is having.

We were willing to pay any extra fees it would cost to change the reservation but because we booked from we were unable to change the reservations and we were unable to obtain a refund. I am very upset because had I known that the discount they gave us was only $5.00 difference from what the hotel would have actually charged I would have called the hotel directly and booked us a room through the hotel. So in closing consumers beware... HOTWIRE IS A BIG RIP OFF. They only give you a small discount and there are no refunds once you book with them.

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