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Hotwire Consumer Reviews - Page 5

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Terrible Experience
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

Hotwire Stole $1,650 From My Bank Account, Beware!!!!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CALIFORNIA -- I tried to book a vacation package that included airfare, hotel and car. On the last reservation page, it gave me the option of paying a $1,090 deposit and the remaining balance by August 5. That was my choice, and entered my VISA debit card information. When I hit the 'book this itinerary' button, the system stated: "We were unable to complete your booking at this time. You may wish to try again later. If your itinerary requires immediate action, please call our customer service center at 1-866-394-2015 for Vacation Packages support, 1-866-345-4007 for Activities support, or 001-817-983-0659 for international calls."

I decided to try again later, but in about an hour I discovered that my bank account (the one tied to the debit VISA card) had been charged $1,650 and $889 in separate transactions. When I called their customer service, they stated that this reservation IS NOT BOOKED, that there are no actual charges but a 'security deposit' hold because of using a debit card. That the amount should be back on my account in 24-72 hours.

Then I proceeded to call my bank, and they explained that this is NOT an amount on hold, but actual charges debited to my account. I called Hotwire several times again, only to find different employees telling me the same thing over and over "this is a security deposit", "our credit card authorization department is not available until Monday", and the last one "you have to call your bank, because they are the ones holding the amount".

I have cancelled my VISA because I am panicked that this people will debit more charges and they suggested that I request a bank investigation and reclamation. In the end, my account is WIPED OUT, I have NO RESERVATION and HOTWIRE representatives keep LYING and MISLEADING. DO NOT TRY TO DO BUSINESS WITH THESE THIEVES!!!!!!

Don't Believe Hotwire's Low Price Guarantee, Nor Their Price Match Policy
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

THEY WOULDN'T TELL ME WHEN I ASKED, FLORIDA -- Hot wire does not back up their advertisements! We were in Kauai, Hi and needed a car for 2 days. My daughter contacted Hotwire as she has used them many times before and the lowest price guarantee was offered, my daughter accepted and put it on her credit card. The next day I checked directly with Alamo and got the exact time/day/car type guaranteed price of half what Hotwire was charging my daughter for their "Lowest price". She called first and was given the company line... "It was the lowest price that Hertz had when we checked".. I called and got the same line, plus, because we weren't in the "more than 48 hours" cancellation time slot, they refused.

I asked to speak to a supervisor and I got ** (he wouldn't say where he was located... It's against company policy). I'm in Hawaii... where is he??? I quoted the Alamo price (half of the "guaranteed low price") asked him to price match... company policy, can't do... not outside of the 48 hour cancellation period. I explained same pickup drop off time, same economy car, etc. He wouldn't budge... I asked if the call was being recorded, he said it was.

We had a more detailed discussion about company policy, company reputation and my feelings about his answers... it made no difference. We had to cancel the Alamo reservation (which they were very pleasant about) and use the Hotwire reservation or be fully charged for it and considering contacting the credit card company and registering a complaint and ask them to not pay.

Needless to say, we won't be using Hotwire again and I strongly urge anyone else to do the same... Once they get your money (twice as much as they should have) they won't consider anything except keeping it!!! Greedy SOBs. Customer relations stink!

Unbelievably Awful Company
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

UNKNOWN -- So we're going to Panama for Christmas this year. I went to Hotwire, which had the cheapest tickets. What a mistake. I booked on Saturday, and booked that we're going to take a red-eye that leaves Tuesday night (11 pm), returning on a 9:30 A.M. flight a week and a half later. Three days later, I got an email from Hotwire that notified me that my return trip has been changed from 10 A.M. to noon. I looked at the itinerary and saw that BOTH flights had been changed, and the flight TO Panama has been changed to a red-eye that leaves on Tuesday MORNING (1 a. m.)

I called Hotwire to explain that my kids wouldn't miss another day of school, and asked why the computer changed me to a red-eye that left at 22 hours earlier than I had booked, instead of two hours later. While I never got an explanation for that, after about an hour on the phone with Hotwire, they tell me they'll change the red-eye to Wed morning at 1 a.m., which is fine.

An absolute comedy (not) of errors then ensued, with the morons at Hotwire telling me that there is no 1 A.M. flight and the red-eye leaves at 11 pm and the 10 am flight has been restored. In fact, there is no 11 pm flight any more, and the 10 am flight from Panama has also been changed, per the airlines. I wasted literally hours trying to get this straightened out with Hotwire, United and its codeshare, Copa.

By noon, Hotwire had somehow managed to book my family on TWO flights TO Panama (same time, same flight number -- the 1 am, NOT the 11 pm that Hotwire kept telling me was the valid flight) then sending me confirmation after confirmation that we're on flights that don't exist. Finally, after I complained using their "contact us" link, I got an email from Hotwire telling me that United has "assumed ownership" of my reservation.

So, this morning, I checked the status of all, hoping it was cleared up. As of now, we're booked on TWO flights back from Panama (again, my family is booked twice, on the same flight), Hotwire has AGAIN confirmed me on flights that don't exist, and I have a duplicate charge on my card. Best of all, when I called Hotwire (twice) they just don't care. A customer service supervisor and a customer service manager each told me that they can only book per the airlines. I asked why I keep getting emails confirming flights that don't exist, and they have no answer. This is the most absurd waste of time and money I can imagine.

Car Rental Goes to HELL
By -

I had the worst experience with Hotwire for a car rental with Enterprise company. My husband and I had to fly to Seattle, and our flight arrived at 10:30 pm. We had scheduled for a car reservation for 10:30 pm with Enterprise, which is at a off site location. We READ EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, I MEAN EVERYTHING on all the information sent to us by Hotwire before we decided to complete the reservation.

After we got off our flight, and finished picking up our luggage, it was 10:57 pm. We proceeded to the island to wait for a shuttle to take us to the off site location of Enterprise. After waiting for 1 hour to midnight, in the mid 50's weather, no shuttle from Enterprise ever came. So, we called Enterprise, and they told us, the ENTERPRISE OFF SITE location close at 11pm. Now, it is midnight, and we just found out we cannot pick up our rental car. We called HOTWIRE immediately because in nowhere on our reservation did HOTWIRE say that Enterprise closed at 11 pm.

IF we had known the off site counter at Enterprise closed at 11 pm, we would not have chosen this company, and we would not pay for the reservation. Instead, HOTWIRE claims they have no responsibility to tell us Enterprise closed at 11pm.

I don't understand why HOTWIRE feels that they have no responsibility to tell us that Enterprise closed at 11 pm. Instead, HOTWIRE said we should have known ourselves. So, we called back Enterprise to see what they can do to help us, and Enterprise tells us that Enterprise had always told HOTWIRE that their location at Seattle International Airport closes at 11 pm. So, HOTWIRE IS LYING, and NOT ADMITTING THEY ARE DECEIVING CUSTOMERS BECAUSE HOTWIRE DON'T WANT TO ADMIT THEY ARE AT FAULT.

I am posting this here because I want to make sure this never happens to anyone. I mean, imagine if you are a single mom with a young child or baby, and you found out at midnight standing outside of the airport at the shuttle bus island, and just found out that you now have to wait until the next morning, until 4 am to pick up the car. Just to be clear, Enterprise did not wrong us, because Enterprise always knew they would close at 11 pm, and they sent over this information to HOTWIRE, but HOTWIRE NEVER DISCLOSED THIS INFORMATION TO US.


By -

I haven't used Hotwire in a couple years and will NEVER use it again!!!! Today I used Hotwire to book a hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. I saw that they had a good deal on a three star hotel at $95 and because I know the city well I figured I had it narrowed down to three possible hotels. Boy was I wrong! I ended up with a reservation at what used to be the Pittsburgh Hilton, but is now known as the Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. The Grand Pittsburgh Downtown doesn't even have a friggin website I come to find out!

Moreover, I find that Hilton stripped the place of the Hilton name only a month ago because they failed numerous inspections! Also, according to the Tribune-Review and USA Today, the management company that owns the hotel has filed for bankruptcy because the owner of the property filed for foreclosure after Hilton removed their name. All of this is easy to find out online, but apparently Hotwire doesn't care to research the hotels that supply them. Furthermore, no other travel sites I could find were offering rooms at this hotel for my travel dates! I wonder why?????

I called Hotwire customer service to voice my concerns and change my reservation but was greeted with company line after company line about their reservation policy. I was told that I could not change my reservation, and in fact I didn't have to use it but I would still be charged for it! Even after talking to a supervisor who said they understood my concerns, they still in the end, gave me the same company line and would not change my reservation. To me a sign of a bad and struggling business is the willingness to partner with bad and struggling companies to try to survive. Hotwire is exactly that, a bad business with shotty practices!

How can you send people to a hotel with bad reviews, a bankrupt owner, and no website and call it three stars? What a rip off! Hotwire is a joke! I recommend paying the extra fifty or so dollars to know where you're staying instead of ending up at some mom and pops place with no website and bad reviews!!!

Hotwire Cancels Reservation, No Notification
By -

On Saturday, July 17, 2010 I was scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale, FL with a hotel reservation at the Crowne Plaza Airport/Cruise Port, booked through When I arrived at the hotel I gave them the printout of my confirmation from Hotwire with my reservation number. I was advised that the reservation was canceled by Hotwire and that I would need to contact them for more information. Keep in mind, this is a reservation that was completely paid for in advance.

I called Hotwire and was told that my account was deactivated and that I would need to call the "Risk Management" department on Monday at 9am for more information, then number given was 415-343-8808, a number which leads directly to a voice mail not even indicating that it is the "Risk Management" department. So here I am in the lobby of the hotel arguing with Hotwire customer service. My main problem at the time was that I received no emails or phone calls from Hotwire informing me of the change.

Second problem is that I was told that Hotwire issued a refund and I have yet to see that. I asked the customer service agent when they decided to cancel and was told on July 14, 2010. I have since called my credit card company and placed a dispute. Here we are on Monday July, 19 and I have not received a return phone call from the "Risk Management" department. Furthermore, the customer service agent was very friendly until he read that "Risk Management" canceled the reservation, then I was treated like a second rate criminal.

I want to stress that this is my credit card that I am using, and have never had any other issues with it. I also verified with the card issuer that there are no problems with my account. This trip ended up costing a whole lot more than I originally anticipated, and hold Hotwire completely responsible. If I were to have advance notice, I could have rescheduled a hotel and then dealt with Hotwire. Needless to say I will never recommend Hotwire to anyone, and urge you the reader to not use them either.

Lack of Customer Service
By -

This is the email that I sent Hotwire after speaking with 2 customer service reps and a manager, not asking for a refund but simply asking them a change in location. Until this evening, I have had no complaints about Hotwire. I have been happy with the services that I have paid for through Hotwire and have received what I have requested and paid for until today. After making a hotel reservation for near the Detroit Airport by selecting DTW but being placed in downtown Detroit, I called customer service not to receive a refund but to be relocated to a hotel near the airport as I had selected because I do not have the transportation to get downtown.

I had 2 customer service reps suggest that I take a taxi. When I told them that not only was the issue one of transportation to the downtown hotel but also financially. I could not afford to pay a cab to the hotel 18 miles from the airport which is why I selected DTW. Their response was that my circumstances did not merit your company to honor my request for a change in hotel. I believe that not honoring what I requested is having no merit. I again was not asking for a refund but to simply honor what I had requested.

I know you have rules, regulations and policies to abide by and I respect that but I also know that sometimes, there can be extenuating circumstances that allows for those policies to be overruled as in with most businesses. This was a situation that your management could have made a judgment call that allowed a family impacted by the economy an opportunity to have one less stressor, not by refunding any money but by simply providing what I paid for which is a hotel closer to the Detroit Airport. So that I would not have to spend extra money taking a taxi 18 miles further which will cost me about what I will pay for the hotel you routed me.

Thank you for the forum to voice my comments. Not that I am looking for anything to come of it but that when your representatives and management speak of merit, they should talk from a place from which they show it. I will post this comment on every website that I found that has launched other complaints about your service and email, facebook and twitter everyone I know and ask them to pass along my story. I hate that I had this experience but I will not make the mistake of using your services again.

Do Not Use
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

I booked a car rental through that cost $307.20. My wife called me 2 days later and states that we were charged twice, once on February 27th and again on March 2nd of 2015. I call Hotwire, someone from the Philippines answers and tells me that "I'm one of those customers whose been charged twice" and that'll I'll be refunded within 24 hours. As of writing this review still no refund of my money.

A few minutes later I email Hotwire and tell them I want some form of compensation since I paid for this reservation with a debit card aka cash from my bank and not a credit card. (Unlike other vacation booking sites Hotwire ALWAYS requires immediate payment with no cancellation whatsoever with no option of cancellation which is shady) So that's an additional $307 that could be in my account but isn't available to me.

They email me back assuring me my account wasn't debited twice, while I'm literally looking at my bank of America account seeing it was, without any mention of compensating me for the inconvenience. They told me this is how they authorize a credit card charge. So basically if I'd of booked a $3000 trip, I'd have been charged $6000 to authorized. I emailed them that info that I clearly see it was and I was never email back. The Chicago Sun-Times back in 2008 wrote that this is something Hotwire does, Google Hotwire charges twice to read article, and obviously they still up to it. SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM. (transcript below)

"Thank you for contacting Hotwire Customer Care regarding your reservation with Hertz at the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport, scheduled for pick up on itinerary ********98. I understand you were charged twice on your reservation. I would be willing to check and provide details regarding this matter.

I can assure you that you were only charged once for this reservation. What you are seeing is an authorization on the card or account. These authorizations occur when we validate your card at the time of booking. Most financial institutions remove authorizations routinely within a few days. For more information about your specific financial institution's policies and your credit card or account, please contact your bank or credit card company. If you have any questions, please reply to this message or call Customer Care at 1-866-HOTWIRE (468-9473). Thank you for choosing Hotwire."

Poor and Rude Customer Service. Fail to Provide the Offer Service That Promoting Their Website
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

CAMAS, WASHINGTON -- Urgently need to travel to San Francisco to sign documents in the consulate of my country. On January 06, 2013, I visited a few website and show up in the search result, offering tickets with a tentative discount. By filling my information to find out my schedule, Hotwire required to put my credit card information to verify and confirm my identity. The next step was assumed that would give me the option to select the time of my flight (like any other flight service website).

I continued the steps, and with surprise that this “company” selected, reserved and collected the ticket payment, and they “choose” the time of departure and return. It was landing in San Francisco at 1:15 pm, and taking off to return to my city (Portland OR) at 3:35 pm. This is completely “ridiculous” they just gave me 2 hours and 20 minutes, is no way in the earth I would have time to leaving the airport to downtown and come back to the airport. National flight is supposed to be 1 hour prior flight, so this leave me 1 hour and 20. It is impossible that I would make it on time!

On the same day, few minutes after this happened, I contacted Customer service to 1866 468 9473 and I spoke with **, she refused to give me her last name. I explained my situation, she agree with me that this flight schedule was ridiculous. After I explaining her, I asked to make some changes in the flight, either leaving early or return a few hours late. ** deny doing any change on my ticket, so I asked to ** to cancel this ticket and return my money, explaining her that the service that this company offers is not real. Of course she deny one more time. I did not get help from her in any way, so asked to talk with her manager. She refuses and hang up on me.

After this situation, I did some online searches and I am speechless for the quantity of complain this site has. I always used, they offer an amazing customer support. I should never buy from this scammer company. Now I am so afraid because they have my credit card information!! I was advised to fill out a complaint with BBB. This case will be reviewed by a complaint specialist at the Better Business Bureau.

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Hotwire Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.2 out of 5, based on 101 ratings and
171 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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