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1.3 out of 5, based on 71 ratings and
141 reviews & complaints.

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Hotwire.com Risk Management Fraud Scam
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SAN FRANCISCO, FLORIDA -- I booked a room through Hotwire.com and paid in full. I got to the hotel and checked in. Hours later I was called by hotel management and asked to leave because Hotwire sent them a fax alleging my credit card purchase might have been fraudulent! My 83 year old grandfather and I were thrown out into a blizzard snow storm in 18 degree weather over 1,000 miles away from home. We had to have family Western Union us money to get us to another hotel because Hotwire didn't refund our money. After reading other complaints online it is clear that Hotwire kicks people out when the demand for a room is higher and prices can be increased. THIS IS CRIMINAL! I placed over 20 calls to their "risk management" department which goes straight to a voicemail and NO ONE HAS RETURNED MY CALL. I have left at least 15 messages and sent 5 emails. I want my $380 refunded. And I want them investigated. They deserve a class action lawsuit filed against them because they are greedily ripping off and embarrassing customers with allegations of potential fraud when really they are just using that as a clever ploy to resell rooms at a higher rate!
     
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jonthethird on 01/25/2014:
Book Direct: you can usually get the same rate and, as a customer of the Hotel, better rooms and service
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Account Blocked For Fraud? No Flights Booked But $ Taken...
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- While booking two airline tickets, upon finalizing my order, received error and according to them my account was deactivated for fraud?

On 1/7/14 I tried booking two round-trip tickets from Albany NY to San Juan, Puerto Rico (1/25-2/3/14). Upon completing the booking process, instead of receiving my confirmation of flights on the screen, an error message showed up saying there is a credit card issue. Immediately I checked my cc/debit card online account and long and behold, my card was charged $830.00 and $1 sales fee. I called them right away. Rep at Hotwire stated that my account has been activated for possible fraud and that it is now being handled by Risk Management dept. They gave me # and transferred and it went directly to voicemail. I tried 3 more times with Hotwire representative and each time they either hung up OS stated that you need to leave a voicemail and wait for them to call me back.

They were extremely rude and said we can't tell you anything, you need to speak to Risk Management. I called US Airlines as tickets are for their airline; they don't have me booked on the line and they did not charge my credit card for fare. It has been 3 days since all that happened and I have left about 5 voicemails to risk management and no one calls me back and Hotwire representative today again refused to do anything about my charges and to refund my money to me as there is NO ticket! According to their site, Hotwire does NOT charge credit card until booking is confirmed, but they did charge mine WITHOUT booking confirmation.

*** After flooding their VM, they have refunded the money into my account on 1/7/14. I will never do business with them.
     
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Obsfucation on 01/07/2014:
First, there is no such thing as a cc/debit card. Your card is either a credit card, or a debit card. From your description, you used a debit card. Never a good idea for an online transaction.

If it was indeed a credit card, just call them and they will reverse it immediately. If it was a debit card, call your bank and dispute the debit. They will generally give you immediate credit for the disputed amount, but it is conditional on their investigation before becoming final. Since you never got the tickets, it isn't likely that they would find any reason to reverse the charge.

You will *always* have more protection by using a credit card instead of a debit. As a general indicator, you should limit your debit card used to small, in-person purchases, or any purchase where you would have written a check in the past. Think of it as a replacement for writing a check.
Obsfucation on 01/07/2014:
One more thought, since you got your money back after 3 days, it is likely that Hotwire did nothing. On the original transaction, they placed a hold on your funds, but created no actual debit. (it is a two step process) Since your bank never got a debit to match the hold, they deleted the hold. This happens automatically, typically after 3 days, but can range from 1 to 5 days.
Cwazychicken on 01/07/2014:
Guessing what happened was something did not match on your card, and so is now on a hold. Your credit card should release that hold eventually..might take a couple days (at least with my bank card, it takes 3 days). Might take longer if they feel is a fraud investigation. It is a hassle but that's their security for you....They didn't get the money, its on a hold obviously since no ticket was bought. I had this same problem with kohls.com. They held 300 dollars of my money for 3-5 days. Then it was returned. Because I had wrong zipcode.
Derrick on 01/08/2014:
A similar thing happened to me this week, and I was a member of their alleged "Hotwire Express," which they say values their customers. When I complained that they allegedly had NO CUSTOMER SERVICE SUPERVISORS available to speak with me, per their frontline representatives, the next day my account wouldn't allow me to log in.

When I called, they said there was some "fraud" detected on my account. It seems that others who have complained about its poor service also have been deactivated.

I am filing a complaint with the BBB -- which remarkably has Hotwire as A -- and also the California Attorney General's Office. Others should do the same.
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Hotwire Will Not Change Name on a Car Rental
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
I made a reservation paid $136.66 for car that my husband and I were to pick up in Tucson AZ. The car pick up was under my name. I sit here with a 102 temp and will not be able to make the trip. HOTWIRE REFUSES to change the name for the pick up to my HUSBAND!!! Not a stranger but the same person with the same credit card and my HUSBAND. We have now paid all the money and are being RIPPED OFF! Do not use Hotwire!! Go directly to the car companies it may cost a little more but you will not have this situation and be out over $136.00. Due to the policy that Hertz has with them they will also not help you.
     
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Hotwire's "Low, low" Rates a SCAM
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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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Paid For 4.0 Star Hotel - Got A 3.5 Star Hotel. Hotwire Would Not Remedy Problem.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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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FoDaddy19 on 11/25/2013:
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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Hot Rate Is Completely Inflexible, Will Not Be Using It Again
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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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Lawl on 11/15/2013:
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 on
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 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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Over Charged $60
Posted by on
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.
     
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HOTWIRE Sold Me a Worthless Car Rental Insurance Policy
Posted by on
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.
     
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Hotel Not 4-Star as Booked
Posted by on
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.
     
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Paul on 10/31/2013:
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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