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133 Reviews & Complaints
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Consumer Beware: Hotwire Voided My Flight Reservation W/o Notice
Posted by Minhaja on 12/16/2013
PLEASE do not use Hotwire to book any sort travel. I booked a flight from Philly to Chicago on Hotwire, received a confirmation email, had money taken from my account, and was under the reasonable impression that everything was fine. I arrived at the airport well before take off to print my boarding pass (my flight had assigned seating, so there was no incentive to check in online beforehand, and I only travel with a carry so the check in process takes mere seconds). At this time, I was informed by Delta that Hotwire had voided my ticket from there end (with absolutely no notice given to me, despite Hotwire having a phone number and email address on hand). I immediately called Hotwire and was informed that my account had been deactivated by risk management and only they could resolve my problem. So what do I logically request? To be put in touch with risk management of course. Turns out, they ONLY have a voicemail system (so you never actually get to speak with anyone). After leaving multiple voicemails, I called customer service again and they informed me that risk management can "choose" who to get back to. If they conveniently decide to never return your call, your left with absolutely no recourse. Hotwire's entire risk management system is flawed, lacks transparency, and is prone to be abused since there is no accountability to customers.

As a result of this ordeal, roundtrip airfare which originally was $334 cost me upwards of $700. This was purely the result of Hotwire's unilateral error and failure to notify when unable to render services which had been paid for (clear breach of contract which requires mitigation of damages incurred). I have spent hours on the phone with customer service over this issue, and like others have noted, they were rude, unhelpful, and literally offered to assist me by giving me the number for Kayak. In years of traveling, I have never experienced such a failure to assist customers who have done absolutely nothing wrong.

If you have been similarly affected by Hotwire I suggest you file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Also, lets see if we can get a critical mass going and file a petition with Hotwire, or use another channel (change.org etc) to hold this company accountable for it's poor and abusive business practices.

     
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Posted by Chevyfan1234 on 2013-12-17:
Always book directly with the airline. Frontier Airlines has dirt cheap flights to Chicago from Mercer County Airport (Trenton Nj) or wilmington Delaware.
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3-Star Hotel was 1-Star Homestay
Posted by Alinbali on 12/06/2013
USA -- Hotwire sent me a promo offer for 3-star Hotel, advising me that it would name the hotel after I'd paid. They sent me a booking for 1-star Homestay. When I replied to them I got the standard reply, telling me that they had checked out the hotel, and it was clean and up to standard. I replied that that was not the issue. I'd been promised a 3*Hotel. They refuse to budge on this matter.

Allen Bali
     
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Hotwire's "Low, low" Rates a SCAM
Posted by Sam283 on 12/05/2013
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I just booked a hotel in FL for three nights. There were only four hotels at this exit, so I checked rates, then booked three nights with Hotwire for $60/night, which I thought was a good deal. Then I discovered that the "low, low rate" of $60 was actually the STANDARD rate for this hotel. Add to that, that of the four hotels, this was, by far, the most run-down, filthiest mess. I tried to resolve this with Hotwire, but they acted like robots, spouting, "All reservations are final." Really? In my world, there is always room for black and white, and as far as customer service, in my world, the customer has rights.

The bottom line? FALSE ADVERTISING. I am actually paying more for this room than I would have been willing to (actually, NO price would have been attractive). I have used Hotwire in the past with success, but this is the final time. Their "customer service" is abysmal, even downright shameful.

Save yourself a headache. Know what hotel you are booking!
     
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Beware of Hotwire
Posted by Golf4250 on 11/25/2013
Hotwire does not share customer reviews for one reason. They would be out of business. Its at least good to know that they are being investigated for fraudulent reservation activity and charging credit cards without authorization. Please be aware to never use Hotwire for anything.

     
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Paid For 4.0 Star Hotel - Got A 3.5 Star Hotel. Hotwire Would Not Remedy Problem.
Posted by Momcat4 on 11/25/2013
BEWARE of HOTWIRE!!!!! A rip off!!!!!! Went on Hotwire to book a four star hotel in our city. We are very familiar with area and knew that there were only 3 possible 4-star hotels in the downtown neighborhood that we were requesting. Hotwire booked us into a 3.5 star hotel in an inconvenient area and when we checked Expedia, their direct price for this same hotel was ten dollars cheaper than the "bargain" we got on Hotwire. Hotwire's customer service would do nothing to remedy the problem even though I pointed out that we were paying for a 4 star hotel and not getting what we paid for. She said that there was no industry standard for the number of stars.

So, we paid more and got less and the company would do nothing to make this right. NEVER AGAIN.
     
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Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2013-11-25:
That's true, there's no set-in-stone standard for what constitues a 4 star hotel or any other star rating. It's purely subjective. What may be a 4 star hotel to someone may only be a 3 star hotel to someone else. It's hotwire's opinion that whatever hotel you stayed at was by their standards a 4 star hotel. It does seem that many of these third party booking sites are pretty liberal with their star ratings.

Techincally hotwire didn't go anything wrong.
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Crooks. Stay Away!!!!!
Posted by Pdade01 on 11/15/2013
Hotel was shown to be on the coast line. After booking, hotel was 15 miles inland. Hotwire basically told me
"screw you" no refund or changes.
     
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Hot Rate Is Completely Inflexible, Will Not Be Using It Again
Posted by Jessaymackk on 11/13/2013
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- I had a meeting scheduled for the morning in a city several hours away so I went through Hotwire Hot Rate for a better deal on a hotel. I've used the service once before for the same purpose, sunk several hundred dollars into it in fact, as well as to book flights, so I was coming back to use it again. I have many meetings coming up due to my line of work and was planning on being a repeat customer, using their service exclusively every time I need to stay out of town because I was impressed with the rates. However, after my meeting was canceled last minute and I was flat out refused a refund or any sort of incentive to continue being a customer, I will not go through this service again. Anything I save booking through their service is negated when I am not allowed to cancel. Saving a little money should not be contingent upon the agreement that you will actually lose an upwards of $100 if your plans wind up changing.

Additionally, there is no contingency for a hotel that is filthy/infested/unlivable, which is completely irresponsible on their part. This complete lack of flexibility tells me that they have no sense of customer loyalty and really don't care about or appreciate my business. Because of this, I will be forced to take my business to a company that does.

Just to note: the hotel itself accepts cancellations, understanding that plans can change, but because they get paid through Hotwire, I had to go through Hotwire's customer service in order to do so. Hotwire refuses to honor the policies of the hotels they work with.
     
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Posted by Lawl on 2013-11-15:
It states all over their website hot rates are final and no changes are allowed. You wanted the lowest rate, you don't get that for nothing.
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Website Hotrate False Information - Couldn't Use the Room
Posted by Winegolfdr on 11/09/2013
VANCOUVER -- My wife and I decided to go downtown for dinner. We don't drink and drive - so thought we'd book a last minute room. We have a small dog - so went on Hotwire - saw a hotel that is 'pet friendly'. Did not know which hotel, of course. No other info. Got the booking - then phoned the hotel to confirm they are 'pet friendly'. I was informed they have a $100 fee to bring the dog, and the dog can not be left alone in the room. Therefore defeating the purpose of going out for dinner. Called Hotwire 'customer service' - talked to a clerk, then a supervisor. I explained there was not proper or enough info on their website - would not have booked that room. I was told over and over that the Hotrate is not refundable or changeable. The fact that I booked a room based on bad info on Hotwire website, and now was out $130 with a room we can't use made no difference to them.

No offer of a credit, even. Basically - I'm out $130 because of Hotwire's misinformation, and they told me Too Bad - Bye-Bye.

Priceline next time!!

     
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Terrible Experience
Posted by Campask123 on 11/08/2013
CALIFORNIA -- I normally don’t complain about being treated poorly by a company but I have to vent and warn everyone about booking airfare with My son is in the Navy stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. His grandfather died and he needed to come home as soon as possible, as cheap as possible. So under my recommendation he called Hotwire to book his tickets. I did some research and found that you would be the people who could best help him in this situation. Well I was wrong! He called and booked at ticket with you over the phone. He was told he had a flight for $379 from Florida to Indiana and he would get an e ticket mailed to him. When he didn’t get the email he called me because his phone kept dropping calls when trying to contact you.

So I called and gave the representative my email address to send the confirmation to and did not receive an email. I then emailed you but because the flight was for today I also called back only to learn that the person that took his information spelled his last name wrong. The person that took my email address spelled our last name wrong. Even though as I was giving the letter I was also giving words to go with the letter.

So after talking to another representative I was told that my son would need to cancel and rebook the flight because of the spelling of his name. I called him got his credit card information and called back. They cancelled his ticket and then told me that we would not be able to get the same price ticket, or the same flight when we rebooked. They told me that I would have to purchase the ticket retail. I asked to speak with a supervisor and explained the situation and they told me that I was LUCKY to be getting a refund.

Please explain to me how I was lucky? A flight was booked over the phone and because your customer service representative misspelled our last name now I am left at 8:30 at night with no ticket for my son to come home for the funeral and I am back to square one trying to find a flight at a reasonable price for the next day! I normally try to give a positive when I am complaining but frankly I don’t have one when it comes to my experience with Hotwire.
     
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Posted by Pete on 2013-11-10:
Sorry for your loss and the problem with your son getting back.

"...come home as soon as possible, as cheap as possible." I did a random date search from JAX to IND. Departure 11/12/2013 - Return 11/16/2013. Delta: $881. Hotwire: $379. USAirways: 12 flights $325 or less.

Never accept a 3rd party site's fares without checking directly with the airlines.
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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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