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.
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 -- Several month ago I reserved a car through Hotwire. As the holidays approached family plans changed. So I called Hotwire to cancel my reservation, I hoped at best to get a refund, at worst a credit to my account. No such luck, the customer service representative and her supervisor had the same rhetoric, "no refunds, no transfers or exchanges". They didn't care about my circumstances, they had my $140 and I was out of luck. They never even discussed a solution, simply kept parroting the same company line.
So instead of working with a customer to find a solution agreeable to both parties, they drove one away that is now going on every complaint forum and social media site to tell people about this farce of a company. In the end, the bad PR they will receive from me will cost them far more than the $140 it cost me. By the way, when I called Southwest Airlines to change my flight due to the same change in circumstances, they had no problem helping me. Maybe Hotwire should take some notes from Southwest, they know how to assist customers.
WASHINGTON -- I was driving to Yuma Az, so decided to use Hotwire, got scammed the very first time. They show you pictures of nice hotels but when we got there it was an old motel. We went to the check in, show the room and canceled. As for the price we were paying it was not worth it. For almost same price we stayed at another name brand hotel. Also Hotwire will not refund once you book it.
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.
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 time frame.
Why did I need to keep giving the agent my credit card number? Why was I paying the same for a 3.5 star 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.
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!!
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.
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!