Never use them! Obscenely long wait times! Don't value customers or their time in any way! Worst customer service I've ever experienced! Just pay the extra $25 or so and go with a different company! Or book directly with the hotel - they usually match the rate anyway! I promise it'll be better than this!! Expedia is their parent company fyi!!
I booked a hotel with Hotwire online and when we arrived the hotel was fully booked. (It was 10 pm at this time. My husband and I were driving/moving cross country. Tired.) The hotel was helpful and tried to find us accommodations. We drove to a few of these options, but the hotels they offered were far below the caliber of their hotel - what we already booked and paid for. We just booked a new reservation through a different hotel altogether.
We were never contacted by Hotwire at the time of the error or the next day, although the hotel told us Hotwire would contact us to refund us (the hotel did notify Hotwire of the problem). In my opinion, it's Hotwire's mistake, so they should be making up for their error by offering us a better hotel, at the very least. Anyway, we had to call them the next day for a refund and spoke to about 4 people and finally they gave a refund 2 hours later.
The bigger issue was this: I asked how they could compensate us for this, maybe a voucher? It took a lot of discussion, and then they offered a voucher, but they said I had to book on the phone to redeem it. Ok, that's fine. How do I do that? Well they said the representative would just know when I called. Um, right. I don't think so. I finally got a reference number for the voucher and hung up with them.
Then, comes time to book another hotel on our driving move. That reference number doesn't exist!!! It took literally 3 hours of phone calls, transfers (they never explain what happened to the person they transfer you to, so you waste your time, and it seems no one can even help with the problem because "it's not their department" and they transfer you again and again, and it's an infuriating cycle that goes nowhere!). I asked for a supervisor several times, after it became clear no one could help me and I kept being transferred ugh!
Oh, I should mention they were extremely reluctant to transfer me to a supervisor, and once transferred me and then turns out that person wasn't even a supervisor, another useless transfer. So now, I'm cursing and screaming (This is so not my personality btw, but they were infuriating and refused to let me talk to a supervisor!) I got a supervisor after being on hold for 40 minutes. So talked to the supervisor, and yeah, she said they "don't do vouchers". Are you kidding me? This supervisor I actually was patient with, giving the company one last chance to redeem themselves.
So, yup, they "don't do vouchers" and could offer nothing for the hours of waits, disgraceful service, the error on the first booking, and the person who basically lied by saying we could get a voucher. So, no resolution. Yep. Don't waste your time or get yourself angry/ruin your day/hour/vacation for them!!
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- Rented 2 cars on 2 separate reservations, got a reservations confirmed under CAD currency as Hotwire offered quotes in different currency that you are living. I'm from Canada, and I booked 2 cars for my family so I used the site to get a quote under Canadian $ at the time I booked. I got the price quote and reservation confirmation under CAD $.
When I returned the cars back to the rental, they said, price are in USD. So from $85.75 CAD, I had to pay $85.75 USD and the conversion is $116.81 at the time. So I called Hotwire and agent looked into my complaint stating that Hotwire is misleading customers at the time we went on to shop on their site. The site offers you to get price quote in whichever currency you like and that you like to pay for when you get there.
But she told me that her manager said, that even though the site offer currency, all have to pay in USD even if you book your car in Europe/Jap/Australia. The sneaky part of the site is that I got a confirmation of my reservation under CAD dollar quote and stating that I will pay $85.75 CAD when I pick up the car at the dealer.
I returned the cars and went back on to my reservations on their site. The amount is still the same, BUT they took out the CAD beside the amount. I booked these cars 2 mos advance, so I checked the site and my reservations to see if any changes on my invoice. Nothing. Until I got my car and return the cars and my reservation for the 2 cars CHANGED as well.
I will NEVER use this site for any booking. It's sneaky and scamming and misleading to customers. You get promised for one price and you end up paying another price when you get to the dealer and they will dodge their mistake stating "computer technology" not advance so the currency changes themselves.
ON LINE -- I called and placed reservations for my nephew to visit for Christmas. A week before he became sick and I called Hotwire to find out what would happen if he ended up not being able to travel. The lady did not speak English too well and we had a terrible conversation. After about an hour of back and forth I thought that she had gotten the message of what I wanted and was going to send me the information to my email.
4 days later I look into my email and see a cancellation notice from Hotwire. I talked with a guy named Luis on Saturday, 12 December at 7 p.m. and got the rudest customer service I have ever received in my life. After him basically calling me a liar he told me that he was the supervisor and I could not talk to someone over his head. I told him that everyone has a boss and I want to speak to his. He told me it would be about a 45-minute wait and I said that I would wait. Boy did I not now know that I was getting the next level of rude named Victor.
OMG. He was short and told me to basically take it up with the airlines. I asked for his boss and he told me that there is not higher level than him. He cut me off and said he would refund my money but he was not going to do anything else because he did not believe my story. I asked "Don't you guys record all calls?" And he said "Yes." I told him to listen to the call and he basically said "No."
He again cut the conversation and told me to hold and the hold music started. I was blown away. He came back and said "Refund is done" and "Goodbye." I will share this story on every blog I can until I get a call from Hotwire. I also have a recording of the call and will go public with it as much as possible. This is crazy!
I used to have good deals with Hotwire. Reserved more than 30 times with them over the years and was generally satisfied. I have now changed my opinion as this seems to be a different company. In my last 5-6 bookings with Hotwire, I find that the amount you pay is very close to what you would have paid with another site or directly from the hotel. You even sometimes pay more as they will remove breakfast and charge you a little more than you would have paid with breakfast with a regular site.
You get screwed twice: pay more and do not know where you are going before you commit. You systematically get the worst room in the hotel (e.g. basement room with mold in a 4.5 star hotel, B&B in a pub when you booked a 4.5 star hotel) even if you pay more than $300 a night. If you want to complain for a specific issue, they will let you wait for very long so you are better off to forget about it. In my case, I finally found the magic (and easy) solution to these problems -- just bring your business elsewhere.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Beware!! Customers please utilize other websites and you'll find much better bargains. They impose heavier taxes for hotels than the norm just to increase their profit. Also, they will book you for smoking rooms without you even choosing them in the first place and without that option even being given. They imposed a smoking room on me and I was traveling with an infant.
Called emir customer service to let them know this isn't right! They could care less over in the Philippines. I stated I've contacted the hotel after I made a booking to select double beds and they informed me Hotwire booked me for smoking queen. I said this was never even an option on the site for me to select. Just simply stated special hot rate room, nothing more and stated on their page bed type will be selected by hotel, not room type!!! These people are scammers and rob you blind imposing huge heavy taxes than the norm compared to other websites. Somebody needs to file claim with these people and take them to court.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I was ripped off by paying more for a lower rate hotel and worst than that I haven't been able to talk to a customer service representative. Every time I start explaining my issue, they hang up the phone. I called them over 10 times in the past 24 hours hoping one would listen. After reaching out via email and Facebook explaining my frustration and asking to be contacted by someone with authority who is not based in India, I received an auto reply from each source advising me to call toll free number again. This was my first and last time using Hotwire!
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We booked hotel on trivago.com. That site directed us with a decently priced and cheap hotel for the remainder of night and morning. We arrived at the hotel roughly 4 am and after handing the guy my Florida DL and FOP, he stated that we were about to give our information nosh but not check in until 3 in the afternoon, which is almost 12 hours past the current time.
So now after prepaying for a reservation that we confirmed because it had matched out itinerary, we had to go find a new hotel, very inconvenienced, and pay more money than what the Hotwire.com booking is. Our plans changed later on, while searching for a number to contract trivago, and the number seems not exist. We go back to the hotel and decide it would be best to just stay there for the night. Upon arrival the clerk grabs the FOP & DL and instantly responds by saying they won't rent to people with Florida IDs.
So we called Hotwire now to issue us a refund for letting us book at a certain date and time that we requested. I let them know that I wanted more so, trust me you will get use to it for just a couple weeks more, complete refund on Ralphs FOP and a certificate of credit. Two times inconvenienced at the hotel, gas, more expensive.
This website is a big scam. They change the information in order to trick you into booking bad hotels. I was promised a 4 1/2 star hotel 100% recommended and got one terribly recommended. Called right away to cancel and the attendant kindly asked me to check for myself and if something was wrong they would help. I'm here, lost my entire day looking for the place since it was not even in the city I had booked and It's just as bad as the worst reviews. As for Hotwire? There's nothing they can do, they already have my money!
We booked two rooms for 4 adults and 4 children. Not sure how Hotwire can get rooms where smoking was allowed. We could not enter into rooms, so tried booking rooms in other hotels. After requesting so many times and waiting for 30 minutes got one non-smoking room. All 8 people had to sleep in one room. Some on bed and some on floor.