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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 (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 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:

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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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
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

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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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
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.

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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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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
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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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star 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 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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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 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.
EL on 2013-08-21:
I booked a hotel through 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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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
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 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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Hotwire refused to pay hotel after we were already staying there
Posted by on
I have used Hotwire many times in the past and had no problems. But the problem I am currently experiencing will make me NEVER use them again.

My wife and I booked a hotel at a great rate. She used her Hotwire account and credit card to pay for it and when we got to the hotel it turned out to be very nice and normally cost twice what we paid for the rooms.

All was good until the day we checked out and received a bill for all 4 days at the regular hotel rate. When we went to the front desk to ask why they were charging us again after we had already paid via Hotwire, they told us that Hotwire had contacted them and told them that our account was used fraudulently and refused to pay the hotel.

Nobody from Hotwire tried to call us, e-mail us or make any contact at all with us to explain why they decided to cancel our account (or to even check if it was actually us using the account).

My wife called her credit card company and they said nothing had been reported to them and they had not reported a problem to Hotwire about the account and that it was working fine. We then called Hotwire and were told that we had to contact someone from a special department because nobody at the regular help line could help us at all.

The problem with that was that this was a Sunday and their "fraud" office was only open during regular work hours during the week. We were left paying a hotel bill that was hundreds of dollars more than we thought we had agreed to pay.

On Monday my wife called the special number we were given but it just went to a generic voice mail box that does not even sound as if it has even been set up to take messages. She left a message and a phone number. And waited. No call, no e-mail.

So she tried back and got the same generic voice mail box. No matter what time of day you call you get the generic voice mail box. And nobody returns the call or e-mails back. So she tried calling the regular help line again and after about 20 minutes of explaining what the issue is she is again told to call that number. When she explains that nobody picks up and ask if they can transfer her to an actual person in that department they just transfer her to that same pointless generic vice mail box.

It has been several days now and nobody has returned any calls or sent us an e-mail or letter or anything to explain why they left us stranded at an expensive hotel without any support and refused to pay the bill as agreed to in the contract we had with Hotwire.

The only good news is Hotwire did refund the original charge on the credit card they took when we made the reservation. But we still ended up stranded and had to spend hundreds more than we thought we would for our hotel. We would have NEVER booked at that hotel if we knew we had to pay the full rate.

Since this horrible experience I have searched the Internet for Hotline stories and found that our experience is not all that uncommon. Many other people have been stranded by Hotwire after they got to their destination and found that Hotwire refused to pay their hotel or care rental company (or Hotwire does not send the required reservation information to the hotel or rental car agency so they have no room or car waiting for you).

So, since Hotwire will not make good on what it promises to its customers and will randomly just leave customers stranded having to pay hundreds more than what was originally quoted to them, I am telling everyone I know to run away and avoid Hotwire like it is a plague.
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Alain on 2011-10-16:
This sounds similar to
The best bet, it appears, is to avoid using Hotwire.
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Car Rental Goes to HELL
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I had the worst experience with Hotwire for a car rental with Enterprise company. My husband and I had to fly to Seattle, and our flight arrived at 10:30pm. We had scheduled for a car reservation for 10:30pm with Enterprise, which is at a off site location. We READ EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, I MEAN EVERYTHING on all the information sent to us by Hotwire before we decided to complete the reservation. After we got off our flight, and finished picking up our luggage, it was 10:57pm, We proceeded to the island to wait for a shuttle to take us to the off site location of Enterprise. After waiting for 1 hour to midnight, in the mid 50's weather, no shuttle from Enterprise ever came. So, we called Enterprise, and they told us, the ENTERPRISE OFF SITE location close at 11pm. Now, it is midnight, and we just found out we cannot pick up our rental car. We called HOTWIRE immediately because in no-where on our reservation did HOTWIRE say that Enterprise closed at 11pm. IF we had known the off site counter at Enterprise closed at 11pm, we would not have chosen this company, and we would not pay for the reservation. Instead, HOTWIRE claims they have no responsibility to tell us Enterprise closed at 11pm.

I don't understand why HOTWIRE feels that they have no responsibility to tell us that Enterprise closed at 11pm. Instead, HOTWIRE said we should have known ourselves. So, we called back Enterprise to see what they can do to help us, and Enterprise tells us that Enterprise had always told HOTWIRE that their location at Seattle International Airport closes at 11pm. So, HOTWIRE IS LYING, and NOT ADMITTING THEY ARE DECEIVING CUSTOMERS BECAUSE HOTWIRE DON'T WANT TO ADMIT THEY ARE AT FAULT.

I am posting this here because I want to make sure this never happens to anyone. I mean, imagine if you are a single mom with a young child or baby, and you found out at midnight standing outside of the airport at the shuttle bus island, and just found out that you now have to wait until the next morning, until 4am to pick up the car.

Just to be clear, Enterprise did not wrong us, because Enterprise always knew they would close at 11pm, and they sent over this information to HOTWIRE, but HOTWIRE NEVER DISCLOSED THIS INFORMATION TO US.

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jktshff1 on 2011-07-05:
Good review, welcome to m3c and stick around..
Ben There on 2011-07-05:
I always make car rental reservations for 30 minutes after my flight lands. This allows for small delays, standing in line to get off the plane, waiting for checked bags, take the shuttle for the car rental office, etc... If my reservation is really late at night, it will also reduce the chances of getting a rental company that will be closing at the time I realistically will be walking up to the counter.

You told Hotwire that you would be at the car rental counter at 10:30 pm. Unfortunately they did not know that you really meant that your plane would be pulling up at the gate at 10:30 pm, and it would take some time for you to get your bags and work your way over to the counter.

Next time you make a car rental reservation, be sure to give them the time you will be at the counter, not arriving at the gate. If you arrive early, you normally can get your car early too!
trmn8r on 2011-07-05:
Hotwire did not lie to you. They told you it was your responsibility to check on the Enterprise hours. If Enterprise lets Hotwire know what time they close, it doesn't require Hotwire to post it in their ads. Hotwire may have that information on file, and if you told them you were arriving at 11pm or 11:30pm, would have warned you the location was closed. But your arrival was 10:30pm.

I doubt *highly* that Hotwire does this to "deceive" and inconvenience their customers. This is a consequence of using third party services - you have to do homework. I'm sorry this happened to you - one more reason I will avoid third parties for car rentals, air tickets, etc.

By all means, "welcome to my3c." Stop over in the Community Ward if you get a chance.
trmn8r on 2011-07-05:
Great suggestions, BT, of making the reservation for 30 minutes after the flight is due and everything else you mentioned.
Tom2011 on 2011-07-14:
Horrible everything!!!! Customer service, supervisors and car company act like they are talking to an ignorant person and whatever happened was my fault because I did not research my choice. I insisted I filled in the correct information and found a "deal" but then a pop-up appeared with a lower car rental price so I fell for it. The car was 30 minutes away from the airport and I had to take a cab which the car rental rep at the airport said would be around $10 but wound up being $45. It cost another $35 to be able to return the car at the airport. I think the pop-up is misleading especially since it changed the destination away from the airport.
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