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133 Reviews & Complaints
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Over Charged $60
Posted by Dmiller048 on 11/08/2013
I booked a "hot rate" room on Hotwire quoted at a total $209 (including all taxes and fees). Then, the confirmation page and subsequent confirmation email indicated a total cost of $270, apparently charging me the standard rate instead of the discounted "hot rate". Knowing I was booking blind on the "hot rate", I was toggling browser tabs between the "hot rate" screen and the standard rate screen to try to get a sense for which hotel I may be booking. Perhaps this is why the Hotwire system messed up and charged me the higher $270 rate. That said, I know for certain that I booked it on the "hot rate" screen which asked me for final confirmation of the $209 charge. (I never was on the standard rate booking page).

I spent about an hour on the phone with the Hotwire customer care people who were decidedly unhelpful and dismissive, repeating the same "all bookings are final and we're unable to give refunds" line over and over, and unwilling to acknowledge their system error or to examine even the possibility of the error on their side. If anyone knows whom I can contact to report this, to get a proper response, and to get back my over-charged $60, please let me know.
     
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HOTWIRE Sold Me a Worthless Car Rental Insurance Policy
Posted by Polka2uke on 11/04/2013
FLORIDA -- Flew in Tampa airport, no problems. Got to car rental desk (Thrifty) and was told they do not honor the car rental insurance policy Hotwire sold me because Hotwire has been told repeatedly it is through a 3rd party insurance company. Called Hotwire, was told they can't help because that's what I chose. Stated I chose because that's what I was OFFERED as part of the package deal. Hotwire stated to me they can't help me, then gave me a telephone number and told me it was my responsibility because I chose to use their car rental insurance service. Called to number I was provided with and connected to someone with horrible English speaking skills.After many, MANY attempts to explain my situation I was told that's what I chose and again I stated I didn't choose anything, that I was given that only option by Hotwire and is why I chose it. To make a long story short my calls ended after 1 hour 20 minutes and I walked away with a measly 32 dollar refund and my car rental ended up costing me double due to Hotwire screw up. Oh and the car rental clerk said that Hotwire does this all the time and refuses to help their customers. So I am 1 of many that was treated this way.
     
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Hotel Not 4-Star as Booked
Posted by Imannettegreen on 10/30/2013
FLORIDA -- I have never used Hotwire before but for an overnight stay near Miami airport thought it would worth a try. They claimed that it would be a 4-star hotel but when we got the name of it and read all the recent reviews no one gave it more than 1-star.

It was the Trump hotel in Coral, which I accept might have been a 4-star, and will be again, but not whilst it is undergoing major renovations. The reviews all complained that only one small restaurant in the gym area was available and was small and dark. The main pool was full of rubble, you had to check in at the spa area which was a shuttle ride away from the rooms. A further complaint was the wait time for the shuttle.

The list of complaints in the reviews - on Hotwires own website is endless. I initially emailed them, pointing out the major renovation causing such bad reviews and was told that it had been given the 4-star rating despite them.

I wrote again requesting to be changed to a different hotel - this time the response was that I should read the terms and conditions! My response was that I had agreed to book a 4-star hotel and that it clearly wasn't they were breaking their own terms and conditions - I have not, over a week later, received a response. Do not use Hotwire, they can call construction site a 4-star hotel and there is nothing you can do about it -they have your money - they make the rules fit whatever they want.
     
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Posted by Paul on 2013-10-31:
IMO, these companies will continue to do business as they are, because they know there will always be a stream of customers looking for a deal. Kind of like Dell Computer. Personally, I would never use HW, PL, Orbitz, any of these guys. I shop around myself and book directly.
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No Refund for Car Rental Cancelation Even Through the Cancelation Request Is Made 8 Days Before the Rental Date
Posted by Nader.n.mansour on 10/11/2013
Made a car reservation through Hot Wire. The car reservation was with Hertz car rental. Neither Hot Wire nor Hertz would allow me to cancel the reservation even though my cancelation request was made full 8 days in advance. I would not go through Hot Wire again and any company doing business with Hot Wire beware that your association with Hot Wire will reflect badly on you.
     
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-10-14:
The terms and conditions that you agreed to states that their reservations are non-refundable so why were you surprised?
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Scam - Wedding Canceled - No Refund on $160 Car Rental
Posted by Dmroyce on 10/09/2013
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I booked a Dollar car rental through Hotwire for a wedding (this was my first excursion into Hotwire world). The wedding was postponed so I canceled the[sic] with Dollar. Then I got a confirmation email from Hotwire stating that the rental was confirmed and ready for the original date. I thought "What??". So I called Hotwire to explain that I had canceled the rental with Dollar. I was told that Hotwire does not cancel, refund, change or modify any online purchases. There will be no refund, not even a service charge that I would gladly pay. This is an example of a company that chooses to prey on the unsuspecting and innocent to make a bigger profit. I will never use their services again and I will be extremely suspicious of other such agencies in the future.
     
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-10-09:
Where's the scam if you agreed to their terms and conditions. Even if you don't bother to read everything, you still agreed to it by contract. No scam here, just a customer not paying particular attention to the terms and conditions.
Posted by Ben There on 2013-10-09:
Some rental cars rates are nonrefundable - even if you book directly with the car rental companies themselves. It is always best to read the terms and conditions, and don't book anything nonrefundable if your plans might change as there is never a guarantee you will have the rules waived for you.
Posted by Old Timer on 2013-10-09:
Most all of the sleazy 3rd party travel sites operate the same way. Priceline, Travelocity etc. The airline or rental car company is happy to make a refund, but Hotwire refuses, you the customer get caught in the middle. These crappy 3rd party travel sites are making a killing off the breakage, whats left over after the supplier refunds and the money they keep that really belongs to the traveler. That's if Hotwire even paid Dollar anything in the first place.

If you can prove Dollar refunded or better yet never paid Hotwire, you might make a case with your CC company for a chargeback. But be prepared for Hotwire to find some obscure rule in their TOS agreement that allows them to steal the money. Can't hurt to try at least, they may be to busy to fight your charge back.
Posted by Lily on 2013-10-10:
No refunds is a well-known fact on pretty much all 3rd party reservation sites. Hotwire has it in writing on their site. It's pretty hard to miss.
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At Hotwire, the Customer Is Always Wrong! Worst Experience Ever. Do Not Use Hotwire Ever.
Posted by Jennyjones728 on 09/19/2013
To begin, their "get a hotel like..." was completely misleading. We got a hotel that was nothing like the ones listed in the category. When I called them the agent said, "I can tell you, you'll never get the hotels listed." O.k. first strike! Then they agreed to "allow" us to book at a higher rate a different hotel. During that rebooking the month of the booking was changed (agent error), to the month before we wanted. We did not find that out until we showed up at the hotel on the original dates and there was no booking. We had been counted as no shows a month earlier. I spent so much time on the phone with Hotwire (nobody with any apparent authority, however) trying to resolve the issue. They apparently went back and listened to the phone call and at the end of call when they were reviewing the reservation, we said, yes and that was the HUGE mistake.

Our mistake was so much more meaningful than their mistake that we had to pay for the 3 nights twice over. They did nothing to amend for their agent's mistake, NOTHING. The agents all gave the same pat response, basically pushing it off, wearing down the customer. The whole review process took a month and a half. Please do not use Hotwire.
     
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Hotwire Over Charges and uses Legal Power To Enforce Ugly Rules
Posted by Jdaddio on 09/16/2013
NEW JERSEY -- We decided to take a short weekend at the New Jersey Shore to go Kayaking and beaching @ Island Beach State Park from New York a lovely natural beach park.

My initial reservation included our dog Muddy where hot-wire assured us the price was included luckily I called Howard Johnston to find that there was a 50.00 extra charge. Upon finding out about this I decided to adjust the only way allowed which is called cancel and rebook and rebooking cost us 182.00 with tax for a 2 star room at the Red Roof Inn. Luckily I enjoy loud Indian music because there was a festival for 4 hours in our parking lot right out the window. In addition the sign out front all evening long had rooms for 53,00 per night.

I called Hot wire to see if they would make a fee adjustment and they told me they would call the hotel and review the policy notifying me of their 48 hour policy. I immediately received an email notifying me that after 48 hours they did not guarantee any competitive pricing. Well that means do not make any reservation in advance. Hotwire is a cold-hearted company online difficult situation all around never give out your card until you have all the facts from them because they are a one-way ticket to legal aggression.

Bottom line 2 hours on the phone and over charge of about 117.00.. Oh the microwave had left over sweet and sour Chinese covered on the spin plate.
     
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-09-17:
Fee adjustment? You actually thought they would give you back the money that you had already agreed to pay? How would they make any money if they charged you what the hotel charges them?

I also don't see why you think Hotwire is to blame for the party or the sauce in the microwave.
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Pay 3 Star Prices for 0 Star Hotels
Posted by ErinRoyal25 on 09/13/2013
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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Scumbag Alert
Posted by FamManDan5 on 09/08/2013
This company made me eat $353.11. I called to them within 51 minutes because the funeral arrangements were randomly changed by my brother in law. They hide behind "their terms and conditions" and do not have any customer empathy. At 51 minutes, they stated "there is nothing we can do." This company is scum. I will make my $353.11 back through spreading the word on these scum bags. Their operators aren't nice either. "Oh we'll, there is nothing we can do" is the consistent response even from their supervisors. This company will steal your money without any regards for you as a person. They are rotten. Avoid Hotwire at all costs.
     
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Posted by cmthru on 2013-09-09:
They are not hiding behind anything. When you booked you agreed to their terms. They ought to have some empathy but then they would have to change everybody's reservations on demand. Not going to happen. You asked for a refund after agreeing to a non-refundable purchase. Even if you had purchased so-called travel insurance there would be no refund.
Posted by jonthethird on 2013-09-09:
Book direct: you can often get the same deal and have better benefits then with one of the third party bookers.
Posted by John on 2013-09-09:
I will get my lost money back 10 fold by posting how rotten they are on every forum that I can find. If I can help hundreds of people avoid doing business with Hotwire, I will be satisfied.
Posted by Bee on 2013-09-10:
It isn't just hotwire. You booked a non-refundable ticket. This would have the same outcome had you booked directly with the airline or through a travel agent. When you agree to a NON REFUNDABLE ticket, you agree to the terms that come with it. It doesn't matter if you want to change it 50 minutes or 50 days later. They aren't hiding behind anything. You agreed to their terms.
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Car Rental Hell
Posted by OLIVIAGREENEYES on 08/28/2013
I made car reservations back in may 2013 for pick up and drop off in Las Vegas and in July 2013 my nephew was in a serious motorcycle accident in California and I live in Georgia as well as my husband and mother. Well my mother needed to get to California and was already headed to Vegas with my husband and i. I had all airline tickets to depart from California so I could take my mother to help her daughter and grandson.

My nephew just graduated high school in June with a scholarship to play football at university of Hawaii this august. They wanted proof he was my nephew told me to have my sister leave ICU while he was in surgery and go home and find his birth certificate showing my sisters maiden name and send in my birth certificate with my maiden name. I told them days later I could not get her to leave and do this, so they insisted I got a letter from the hospital.

After I was finally able to get this letter, my sister also text me a copy of the birth certificate. I also had my contract that clearly stated with the extra insurance I purchased for unforeseen circumstances I could cancel and have money refunded. I just wanted a different drop off location and couldn't do it. I faxed everything and received an email stating they hope my nephew is doing better but are still unable to refund my money... I called them up and they said they still are unsure its my nephew and they needed a release date which was stated in the letter as unknown.

I argued with them and they reluctantly agreed to refund my money after over 10 hours on the phone and countless hours of wasted time locating this stuff and stressing my family out. Needless to say this past Monday my nephew had his leg amputated from the thigh down:( so very unhappy!
     
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Posted by Pete on 2013-08-28:
Hope all is OK. This is a big reason to deal directly with the rental companies.
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