BEWARE of HOTWIRE!!! A ripoff!!! 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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Hotwire assured us the price was included. Luckily I called Howard Johnson 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 Hotwire 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 overcharge of about 117.00... Oh the microwave had leftover sweet and sour Chinese covered on the spin plate.
ATLANTA, NEVADA -- I made a reservation for a rental car (Alamo) and had to cancel 55 minutes after I had made the reservation due to a project at work being canceled. I called them right back and after 35 minutes on hold was told that there was nothing they could do. I was informed by the agent that I would not receive a credit nor will I get my money back. I told him I would go online and fight the purchase with PayPal, write a bad review about this experience.
The agent said go ahead and join others it won't affect my paycheck nor my job. He said, "You should have read the reviews before making the purchase." What an arrogance piece of bad company this is. Hotwire has no sense of customer service. These guys are thieves. This is a rip-off company. Hotwire WILL STEAL FROM YOU!!! I will never use Hotwire or recommend them again.