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.
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.
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.
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.