MONTREAL, NEW YORK -- 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.
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. The deal was Condo and they booked me 3rd class unknown pro claimed 3.5 star 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 RIP 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.
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 ** 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 ** had directed me.
I first had misfortune to speak with **. 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 ** 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 ** 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 ** (employee #**). ** might as well have been a computer. Actually, a computer would have given me better customer service than **. 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 ** a favor by agreeing to contact Alamo on Hotwire's behalf in order to process the refund.
I could have told ** 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. ** 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. ** 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 ** yet again, detailing the entire interaction I had with the Alamo agent who said that Hotwire would refund me for the unused day. ** 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 ** 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. ** 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 ** 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 ** 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 ** 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.
I just received a survey asking whether I picked up the rental car for Itinerary **. The answer is no, because there should not have been an itinerary at all.
Although there was an error on your website and I did not plan to use your service for my recent travel plans on August 9, you sent me an itinerary (**) via email. As soon as I accessed my email on August 8 in the evening and saw your email, I responded by calling your customer service and explaining the situation. Your customer service rep, ** #3759, stated there was no error message and my credit card was appropriately charged $389.77. He did not care about my explanation and very rigidly stated that is not the responsibility of Hotwire and that no credit would be issued.
I made other plans and did not pick up the Alamo rental car on August 9 in Detroit and, as a result, have registered a dispute with my credit card company. I was a loyal customer of Hotwire until this incident. Now, I will never use your service again and I have told this story to over 20 people, including the customer service representative at my credit card company (who already had heard the story several times!) Those 20 people will probably tell 20 others and so forth and so on.
You have lost a loyal customer and many potential customers all over a few hundred dollars. Not a good business model in this economy. I wish you would reconsider your error and credit the charge to my credit card. It is the honorable thing to do.
The reservation was caused by an error on your website. I did not authorize the reservation or the charge for it. As I stated before, I have used your service in the past without a problem, however, due to your lack of accountability for your error, I am disputing the charge with my credit card and will not use your service again.
With deepest regret, Hotwire.com and their affiliates have disappointed me to no avail. I am shocked and offended at how my vacation planning took place with the Hotwire team, and will NEVER seek your services again. To begin, my vacation was quoted at $910.64, Hotwire took my credit card number, charged it, and was authorized to $910.64 of my U.S. dollars. To my surprise I did not receive my vouchers or hotel info via email, as stated. I called my bank, collected all information pertaining to the $910.64 authorization, including the terminal ID and toll free number.
Upon calling the toll free number I sat on the phone or hold for an hour or more, just for the CSR to inform me the price had risen $51.00 and I would have to pay that amount, regardless of Hotwire already holding my account for $910.64, the initial price of the vacation package. I then had to wait another hour for my bank to straighten out the charge and release it. I was instructed to call back, not use the website, to book the vacation. I voiced concern to ** the CSR and he advised to ask to speak to a supervisor for a favorable outcome.
As it just so happens, I call back, lose connection with the first CSR, then call back and talk with a second CSR who listens to me, offers little help, so I ask for a supervisor. The supervisor via CSR offers a $50.00 coupon -BUT WAIT- the price has risen another $50.00! I could not believe my ears! Could this be real? Supervisor ** had no understanding, no ability to see the obvious error from Hotwire charging $910.64, then saying, "No, that's not quite enough. Make it another $50.00." If there were ever a scam this is it. It didn't happen once, but twice, IN ONE DAY.
By the end of my 6 hour debacle with Hotwire and their affiliates I had nearly $1000 dollars tied up and unusable for future transactions, and no vacation to show for, but a horribly orchestrated fear tactic that my vacation destination was rising $50.00 on the hour, so I better make my purchase now. On closing, I want to make Hotwire and affiliates aware of the current and future business they have funneled to the competition. I will no doubt pay $900-950 for this trip. I will gladly pay more to another company, just so long as it doesn't benefit Hotwire or affiliates. I will not use this site for future trips, which is 2-3 a year.
Lastly, I will make very certain every companion on the trips (June will be me and four friends, all of which no longer consider Hotwire or affiliates trustworthy). I intend on my network of other business owners, friends, and family knowing that above all, Hotwire dominates but one market, con artistry. Being a business owner, I know all too well the power of referral. I also know it takes ten good referrals to counter one really bad referral. Good luck with that.
I recently used your site to complete a car rental using a debit card. The verbiage on the site as I started to book the car under the heading "KNOW BEFORE YOU GO" was as follows: The rental agency will require a credit card or debit card in the primary driver's name. Sufficient credit must be available for a deposit. Funds used for debit/check card deposits cannot be accessed until the car is returned. Amount of available credit required depends on car type, rental period, and optional items. If using a debit card for your deposit, contact the rental agency for its policy.
After receiving the confirmation the verbiage changed to the following: ** must be present at pick-up with a valid driver's license and a credit card with sufficient credit for a deposit. Amount of available credit required depends on car type, rental period, and optional items. Debit cards may not be accepted. Funds used for debit/check card deposits cannot be accessed until the car is returned. If using a debit card for the deposit, contact the rental agency for its policy. Some drivers presenting a debit card will need to show a roundtrip itinerary.
Now being that I selected that I was using a debit card and thought after reading the initial disclosure I thought I was going to be fine. After printing and reading the confirmation I was concerned. Not only did the wording change, but it was no longer an option for debit cards to be used.
As most travelers, I wanted to call and clarify, so I went to the source of the policy, so I could get a definitive answer. Especially after getting such a mixed sign from Hotwire. Alamo was very clear that there was no way for me to rent with a debit card since I did not have proof of a round trip ticket. Well, after requesting if I could add my father to the rental and use his credit card I was told "no they cannot be changed" and I would have to contact Hotwire.
That is where the fun began. I contacted the customer service line. I was informed that I would have to go to the airport to be "denied" and Hotwire would have to verify that fact. At that point, I would then be able to work on the refund process.
I think they are forgetting something, I need a car and having to travel to the airport to find out that no I can't get a car even after talking directly to Alamo today to find out it's not going to happen was not suffice for me to receive a refund. Not sure what sense it makes to have a customer travel there to find out something that we all already know, but that's the policy of Hotwire.
I need a vehicle for a week rental using a debit card and proof of full rental liability insurance through my local car insurance policy, but after several calls to Hotwire I have gotten nowhere. I spoke with a Supervisor ** (no last name provided) in Pensacola, FL and was explained that was Hotwire policy. She also indicated that if I bring another driver with a credit card to the counter that I might get it worked out. Not sure how comfortable you would feel handling the might work part, but obviously reading over your verbiage and seeing it change Hotwire is used to providing a service that might work or might not.
How they were ranked by JD Powers as the "highest customer satisfaction independent travel websites" I am just amazed. Given my experience with them in the past I was very pleased, but this is totally out of context and there's nothing that can be done?
Bottom line, my fiance flies in Wed 10/21 early am from Brazil and I need a car for a week. I am seeking assistance with a refund since I cannot use the current reservation provided and do not want to have to travel to TPA to be able to get this done. I have been a loyal customer to Hotwire and in fact you can see that I have about $1300 in travel on Nov 3rd already booked with you. Can someone provide a solution to this issue?
CALIFORNIA -- Please do yourself a favor and avoid Hotwire for hotels, unless you want this to happen to you - I booked a "3-star" hotel near Santa Barbara on Hotwire. Hotwire listed "retail" value of this "3-star" to be $243. They listed their price as paid $116 + tax/fees (which they noted to be a "52% savings"!). Sound like a deal? WRONG.
What I got was a room at the Holiday Inn Express. Hotwire's own site lists Holiday Inn Express hotels to be 2.5 star, so passing this off after my purchase as a 3-star is misrepresentation #1. Was told by a Hotwire "manager" that this particular property was reviewed by their own Hotwire staff and by Hotwire customers and based on that, they had given this particular property a 3 star. (sidenote - Both Priceline.com and Tripadvisor rate this very same hotel as 2*).
So, my PROBLEM #1 is - *You can't state one thing on your site, and then make a special exception for one specific property AFTER the fact.* Even the hotel itself does not consider itself 3 star, because I called to ask. Bottom line = MISREPRESENTATION. Furthermore, the price on the HI Express website was actually less than Hotwire - worked out to be $1.88 cheaper than the Hotwire price, for total savings of... less than zero.
So, my Problem #2 is - You can't tell me that I am getting a 52% savings, just to sucker me to buy, when in reality I am getting 0% savings, because that is... MISREPRESENTATION. Further, the "retail" rate for a standard room at this HI Express has never been, under any circumstance or any stretch of the imagination, $243 (which was confirmed to me by the Hotel staff, and evident on their website). Upon questioning this with Hotwire, I was told that the $243 rate is supposed to be a representation of what other 3 star hotels in the area might go for. But it doesn't explain this anywhere on the Hotwire site before you buy!
So, my PROBLEM #3 is - The HOTWIRE site basically just lies - the "retail prices" listed do not represent the actual price of the hotel you are about to buy - in this case, not even remotely close. Hotwire completely misleads consumers with completely false information.
Their slogan of 4* hotels at 2* prices and their listed "savings" percentages lead you to believe that booking through them actually saves you some kind of money, when in reality, you will probably pay less directly through the hotel's website or somewhere else. Plus you get the worst rooms and get treated like a leper by the hotel, as the manager of the Holiday Inn Express treated me when I asked to at least pay him for an upgrade to my room.
"Manager" at Hotwire call center was of course no help whatsoever - a robot reading from a script - would not help even switch me to another hotel that meets the parameters that I thought I was signing up for = ie a REAL 3 star hotel, and or a real hotel with a retail value of $243 or anything close to it. Calls to corporate have not been returned. I will be filing this complaint with the BBB. Anyone ever, ever had any luck with a Hotwire refund or switching of properties, due to their misleading business practices?
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. Let's 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 ** 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.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Email ** 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 and 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
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, email 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 voice 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 car 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.
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- Hotwire designated hotel class ratings are unreliable. Hotwire hotel specialist ignored information that "three star" hotel placed guest in one star accommodation. The Hotwire customer is one bad roll of the dice away from a bad value deal, particularly when the hotel booking is for multiple nights. Since Hotwire quotes only the price, general location and a designated star rating of an unnamed hotel, the customer is especially reliant on Hotwire 1) that the hotel class rating is accurate, and 2) that the paid-in-advance Hotwire guest will not be placed in a sub par accommodation by the hotel.
My wife and I did not expect to get the nicest room when we booked a three star hotel through Hotwire, but we did expect to get a room and treatment commensurate with the star rating that Hotwire said we'd get. This did not happen when the hotel we booked turned out to be the Executive Inn and Suites in Oakland from June 10-13. While our expectations were met at three other Hotwire booked hotel stays, this was the only hotel that relegated us to second class hotel "citizen" status on account of our Hotwire booking.
Although I emailed the hotel in advance of our stay requesting a room away from the traffic noise or one in the newer building if available (I had read the online reviews), the manager declined unless we paid extra; and so I know that better rooms were unoccupied. He then gave me a card for a special web promo offering a better deal (treatment?) my next stay if I booked directly instead of through Hotwire. We were not advised of the superior amenities and fitness room in the new section of the hotel either at check-in or by info provided in the room.
The accommodation and amenities we received did not measure up to the three star rating that Hotwire claims is based on "family style rooms" and "on-site dining". None of the hotel website photos depict the older hotel building room in which we were placed. Our dark and dingy room, too small for even a closet, overlooked (in order) Embarcadero Drive, I-880 and a busy rail line. The steady drumbeat of vehicle and train traffic noise made it nearly impossible to sleep past 6:30am.
Our so called family room was so bad that it would have most likely gone unoccupied in the absence of a Hotwire paid-in-advance guest. The continental breakfast selections were not comparable to the hot food and fresh fruit choices that are now common in many budget hotels like Comfort Inns. While the coffee and juice selections were good, the lone hot food dish was the self serve waffles, which were not as good as those at a Comfort Inn in San Diego where we stayed. The pastries tasted no better than 1-2 day old packaged pastries from Safeway. The silverware was plastic and the coffee cups styrofoam. There was no fresh cut-up fruit.
On our return home, the Hotwire hotel specialist refused to even look at my fax indicating that this so called three star hotel was overrated. He said "We just gave this hotel its annual rating of three stars on June 12th." When I pointed out that the 12th was the last night I stayed there, and I didn't even email my information until the 24th, he made no offer to reconsider. While apparently reading from a script, he just kept repeating "Hotwire is confident that the hotel star rating for this hotel accurately reflects the quality of accommodation and amenities provided."
Hotwire does not back up its own star rating description guide claim that it determines its star ratings by "customer feedback" and that it "adjusts its ratings accordingly." Moreover Hotwire's claim that it "researches and acts on customer rating concerns" is contrary to my experience. Perhaps this is because the Hotwire star ratings guide promises to compensate hotel guests who have stayed at a Hotwire booked hotel within 60 days of a downgrade.
I was not even looking for compensation when I contacted the Hotwire hotel specialist, just a reason to believe that if I ever booked a hotel through Hotwire again that I could rely upon the star rating promised to reasonably reflect the quality of accommodation received. This did not happen. So book through Hotwire at your own risk.