Hotwire

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1.3 out of 5, based on 67 ratings and
137 reviews & complaints.

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Worst experience ever! Other sites charge the same so go with someone else!
Posted by on
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 Sandra 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 Sandra had directed me.

I first had misfortune to speak with Herbert. 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 Sandra 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 carrentals.com (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 Herbert 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 Collin (employee #1615). Collin might as well have been a computer. Actually, a computer would have given me better customer service than Collin. 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 Sandra a favor by agreeing to contact Alamo on Hotwire's behalf in order to process the refund. I could have told Sandra 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. Sandra 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. Collin 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 Collin yet again, detailing the entire interaction I had with the Alamo agent who said that Hotwire would refund me for the unused day. Collin 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 Sandra 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. Collin 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 Sandra 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 Collin 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 Collin 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 support@Hotwire.com. 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.
     
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momsey on 2011-03-02:
What are the terms when you book a rental car through Hotwire? Are you entitled to a refund if you return the car early?

I don't think you can use the fact that the Alamo agent told you you'd be refunded as any ammunition. She doesn't work for Hotwire, so she can't speak for their business practices. If the rules are that Alamo needs to provide confirmation to Hotwire that the car was returned early, then it seems like your beef should be with Alamo. I understand that you can't reach Alamo, but then I would presume Hotwire would have the same trouble reaching them.

It's a very frustrating situation. This is a prime example of why pre-paying for things like car rentals and hotels is just not worth it sometimes.
dan gordon on 2011-03-02:
First you are Hotwires customer NOT Alamo. Hotwire doesn't give refunds as everything is prepaid. You save enough on the 3 days to make up the difference. Alamo told you to talk to Hotwire cause Alamo is the customer for Hotwire and you bought from Hotwire.
iKnowtheanswer on 2011-05-17:
Actually,

Depending on your sibling's illness you could've gotten a partial refund for the day you did not use. I mean obviously you would have to send in some proof, which it sounds like you are more than willing to do. It's sad that you got treated like that, and as we all know some people just shouldn't be working in customer service. I know that's not the kind of values I promote! But the terms of use are very concrete with the Hot Rates.. so if you had just decided to change your plans that would not fall outside of the parameters of the terms of use. It all comes down to the severity of your sister's illness, or what the deciding factor was in you changing your plans. Otherwise, the price you pay for the Hotwire Hot Rate is final. :(
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Incredibly Disappointed With Hotwire
Posted by on
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.
     
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Pay 3 Star Prices for 0 Star Hotels
Posted by on
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 husbands 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.
     
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Hotwire Secret Hotel Deals Scam/Rip Off
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
MONTREAL, NEW YORK -- Hi,

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 3.5star 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.
     
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Old Timer on 2013-06-24:
Document everything, what you wanted, what they sold you, what you were told you would get, any documentation on their site to support you case. Then file a charge back with your credit card company.

Once Hotwire gets the charge back they will go in and change booking records, general info and lie in order to beat the charge back. So you need to document while the truth is still available.

Then, never use these 3rd party travel sites again. Find where you want to go and stay on Google and maybe Kayack. They call and book direct. Lower cost, less hassle, less grief.

They are all bad, Priceline, Hotwire, Travelocity etc. Not one of them cna bet trusted to be truthful.
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Hotwire Stole $1,650 From My Bank Account, Beware!!!!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CALIFORNIA -- I tried to book a vacation package that included air faire, 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!!!!!!
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2013-06-17:
I suggest going to your bank and calling Hotwire while at the bank with the representative. When they repeat their confirmation that no reservation exists they should be able to help initiate a chargeback on the funds.
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Don't Believe Hotwire's Low Price Guarantee, Nor Their Price Match Policy
Posted by on
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 Hot Wire 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 Miguel (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 Ala, mo 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 !
Tom Wallon Jackxonville, Fl.
     
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Old Timer on 2013-02-28:
Classic reason for staying far away from all these 3rd party sites. Better prices, better service to just deal direct.
trmn8r on 2013-02-28:
People will continue to use these sites, because of the premise that they will save money.

Personally, it is simply not worth the aggravation. IMO, if shopping is done with care, the customer will get a decent quote because of competition. Adding a third party logically adds another party that needs to make a profit.
BobSF on 2013-03-01:
I check with the rental companies first then with the 3rd party vendors.
bhskittykatt on 2013-03-02:
I'm confused...was the Hotwire reservation for an Alamo car, or a Hertz car? You say you found a cheaper rental directly through Alamo, but the person you called mentioned Hertz.

Either way, this is why it's always best to book direct with the rental company.
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Unbelievably awful company
Posted by on
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.
     
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Elizabeth_Claire on 2012-12-25:
Hotwire is able to sell airline's tickets for cheap, they do NOT have control over any changes to tickets. You buy it from them but it is treated no differently than if you bought from the airline directly, airlines reserve the right to make changes to tickets and if they don't sell enough of a certain flight, they WILL change the schedule to fill other flights. Don't blame Hotwire.
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Hotwire.com Is a Ripoff Don't Use This Website for Your Bookings!!!
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
TEXAS -- I'm writing this review to make consumers aware of what a big rip off Hotels.com 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 Hotwire.com 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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DELL Hell on 2012-07-12:
It's in their fine print that they can do what they do, because you agreed to their terms when you booked. All of these 3rd party re-seller sites are nothing nice to deal with. You have to be able to afford to lose your booking and or money when dealing with them.

Priceline is the worst of the bunch. Use Kayak for pricing then book direct. Screw these 3rd party scammers, heck they will screw you over in a heartbeat if given the chance to do so.
onlooker on 2012-07-13:
It is unfortunate, but when you confirmed the room, you agreed to certain terms.....and one of those terms is no changes. They gave you their solution, you chose to not accept it.
I do hope you get your visit to the gardens -
To CowboyFan on 2013-06-28:
It IS a rip off. When you send them the note, they deny you. I have seen this happen before. The note doesn't make a difference. Either way, it is common courtesy to accommodate those with disabilities. This site does not do that at all. To people with disabilities, don't work with United Airlines OR Hotwire.
Stacey on 2013-07-16:
I had the same experience! Worse thing ever!
nunya on 2013-07-23:
you may find it unfair but do you know how many people call in and say that they need to cancel b/c of a medical issue. what Hotwire asks you to send in is just a letter from a dr. stating that a medical issue has interrupted your plans and you need to cancel the hotel. they do not need specifics of what the medical issue is just that there is one. BTW read the terms of use before booking, It is not hidden it is listed in regular print that Hotrates can not be canceled.
diana hatch on 2013-07-31:
I went to a motel up by Mackinac island for a weekend. I went through hotwire.com. when I was in the motel a mouse ran through the room and the room smelled misty.I asked hot wire for a refund and they wouldn't. I just went to use the 50.00 credit they gave me and they said it expired. No one never told me that. What a rip off.they should be reported to the Better Business Bureau. Binky2601@hotmail.com
EL on 2013-08-21:
I booked a hotel through Hotwire.com and after finding out the hotel name I found out that there was no discount actually it was $0.50 cents less booking it directly through the hotel website. Hotwire website advertised that room with a saving of more than $110 per night which was false because after the fact the hotel website didn’t have that rate. I called Hotwire to let them know after making my research and instead of helping in some way to alleviate my disappointing experience, they were deceiving with their answers. They were coming with all sort of explanations that were not truthful. I knew because I researched before my call. They said that my room rate was higher when I was looking online at the hotel website rate and then they would change their tactics and say things like we offer assistance in case the hotel gets overbook… really??
So disappointing dealing with them, I no longer will do any business with them.. be aware of their tactics
Janis on 2014-04-21:
I booked a trip recently (just an overnight) for my husband and I through Hotwire and purchased their "trip protection" which states it covers your trip if it has to be cancelled due to illness. I guess somewhere in their little fine print it states that the only way they will cover it is if you go to a doctor who will attest to the fact that you had to cancel the trip. My husband came down with a stomach bug and we couldn't make the drive and I was denied coverage because we didn't have a doctor note to cancel the trip. I mean really!! Who goes to the doctor to incur an office visit charge for a regular stomach bug...but then again who drives 2-3 hours when they would have to stop every few miles and vomit?? This is the first time I used Hotwire (always a Priceline customer with NO problems) and will definitely be my last. I would warn anyone booking through Hotwire to not waste your money on the trip protection!!! Or better yet....go to Priceline, they are much better.
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Renter Beware and Be Warned
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
The Summer is Upon Us – Renters Beware

To begin with, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am writing this editorial as a promise to a certain manager for a national travel company that boasts customer service. I am also writing as a service to anyone who is thinking about making the most of an opportunity to enjoy some family time together in what they are thinking is an affordable way to “get away” as the corporate agencies so portray.

With the coming Memorial Day holiday approaching, I as many of you reading this thought of different ways to entertain the family while making the most of what is available. Together, my wife and I came up with the idea of renting a nice car and taking a short outing to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. My goal was simple, to watch my kids while my wife and I watched the sun rising over the Atlantic. So to work we went. Trip planned, motel reservations made and securing the car. Easy enough: My wife is used to making needed motel reservations from my old days of racing on tour. Me: Not so much and the reservation of the car of course fell to me. So I immediately jumped online and soon was “chatting” with a salesman for a national travel website. Lets call them “Warm Cable”.com.

The customer service I thought at the time was excellent. He helped me through the rental agreement and before I knew it, the rental agreement had been clicked and the money was deducted from my account. No problem; that is until we found out at work that contrary to what we were told earlier, the company would be down longer so in an effort to take advantage of the longer length of time, I attempted to extend my car rental reservations.

This is where things get a bit ugly. After several attempts to get through to “WarmCable”, I finally got through to a customer service representative and found out that the traditional definition of customer service meant something entirely different from her. I am not sure which was more offensive. Her belittling attitude or her matter of fact stance that there was nothing she could do, I would need to contact the car rental agency themselves. This went back and forth between “WarmCable” and Hertz until finally; my wife was more worried about my blood pressure than the car or vacation. After a 35 minute wait, I was finally connected to a manager at “WarmCable”. Apparently having read the notes about my attempts to extend the rental agreement, he calmly explained that the rental contract did not allow them or the rental company to make any changes to the contract. Then of course came the inevitable “Didn’t you read the terms of the agreement”? This, in case you do not know, is the little box that you have to check in order to complete the agreement when you do anything online. Generally beside it is a comment to “Click Here to Read the Terms of the Agreement”. OK: So I didn’t. After all, I was online with a helpful chap who was guiding me through the agreement. At this point, a slight chuckle came from the other end as I was informed that the agreement clearly states that the agreement cannot be cancelled or changed at all and by clicking, you are agreeing to this. What kind of idiot would agree to something like this? ME! And anyone else who feels that they are doing something special for their family.

So take it from me. Read the terms and understand them before you get railroaded yourself. Make sure you know what you are clicking and have everything planned out and in stone before spending the money you have allotted for your vacation. As for me, against my wife’s better judgment I wrote the fee for the initial agreement off as an investment. Like I told Sam after being laughed at by him, I considered the money lost and am making it my purpose to make sure that as many people as possible are aware of what they are doing and who what kind of businesses they are dealing with before agreeing to do business with them. If one person reads this and takes the time to look at the information and is educated and makes the right decision, then it was money well spent. So don’t let me down. Think before you rent anything.
     
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trmn8r on 2012-05-16:
I tried to browse this as it is lengthy, and what I came up with is it is a complaint against WarmCable. But it appears to be against Hotwire. I'm a little confused. I deal directly with companies like Hertz or National - the middle man thing has no appeal.
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Let them know at Hotwire
Posted by on
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Email Clem.Bason@Hotwire.Com to let him know of your displeasure with Hotwire. He is the president of the company but some woman who is so rude answers his emails. She called me today to make me aware despite my efforts to resolve The Dump they want to put me up in Charleston, SC that is supposed to be in the " historic downtown" only to be on the outskirts under a bridge 10-15 minutes away. I immediately called them to cancel and was willing to pay regular price to give my wife a luxurious hotel she deserves. Hotwire made it look as though you could get these same hotels at a greatly reduced price only to put you on the outskirts of their so called green zone . They make you aware of over the phone that you are choosing a hotel anywhere in that area only after you have found out they have given you a hotel miles from where you thought it would be. Oh, but they put 20 or so bullet points in their "green-zone" to make you think that's the area where your hotel is located. We want one that charges by the night, not hour. Seriously, I tried to explain and told them I wanted to pay more to get the hotel I wanted because I felt duped by their so called "hot deal". You would think emailing their CEO would bring a nice resolution and hey, I am wiling to pay $200 a night to get what I want, not the 68$ hot deal in "Cracktown" in Charleston. Send all you emails to Clem to let him know how bad is company is. I have never dealt with such horrible customer service who is unwilling and unsympathetic and are only trying to fill up the hotels they make a special deal with where they are making close to 40-50% commission. They have absolutely hands down worst customer service/experience in the world. I feel as though they are holding me hostage so I went on the Federal Trade Commission's website and filed a grievance through them. We'll see what happens but you would think my request was simple enough and that they would be willing to accommodate and satisfy a client, especially when I notified them immediately about this hotel and that I know it and refuse to stay in such a place. Their corporate contacts were horrific as well so that is why we need to send Clem as many emails as possible. Oh, I was referred to by the corporate contact today as the one that sent all the emails and that she filters them. You can also get his voice mail as well by calling corporate headquarters at 415-343-8400 and using the directory ans simply putting in the numbers that represent his last name" Bason" and hit the pound sign and you go right into his inbox and leave a message. At least we all as consumers can contact them to let them know they have a miserable company and are miserable people
     
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Prince Ceasar on 2011-11-29:
I've used Hotwire and Priceline. I always do my homework before bidding. Did you pick a one star hotel or something? I never pick anything under 2 stars. These services can be a good thing, but sometimes it can be bad too.
dan gordon on 2011-11-29:
to be fair Hotwire and Priceline work very well if you understand the risks. If you want some luxuary hotel for a special weekend with your wife I probably wouldn't use an anonymouse no name hotel to select from. You apparently picked a very low star level. Web sites such as betterbidding.com provides a Hotwire hotel list which minimizes some of the risk. The zones are quite broad so you may end up in the fringes of the 'zone'. Its the tradeoff for getting a good deal.
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