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Website Hotrate False Information - Couldn't Use the Room
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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 cannot 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!!

Over Charged $60
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

HOTWIRE Sold Me a Worthless Car Rental Insurance Policy
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

Hotel Not 4-Star as Booked
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

Pay 3 Star Prices for 0 Star Hotels
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
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. Plumbing 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 husband's 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.

Hotwire Secret Hotel Deals Scam/Rip Off
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

  • 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. 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.

Worst experience ever! Other sites charge the same so go with someone else!
By -

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 (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 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.

Hotwire does not take responsibility for its errors
By -

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.

Advertisement Dominates Con-Artistry
By -

With deepest regret, 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.

By -

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?

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Hotwire Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.2 out of 5, based on 95 ratings and
165 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
333 Market St., Ste. 100
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-343-8400 (ph)
415-343-8401 (fax)
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