Hotwire.com Complaint - Hotwire refused to pay hotel after we were already staying there
I have used Hotwire many times in the past and had no problems. But the problem I am currently experiencing will make me NEVER use them again.
My wife and I booked a hotel at a great rate. She used her Hotwire account and credit card to pay for it and when we got to the hotel it turned out to be very nice and normally cost twice what we paid for the rooms.
All was good until the day we checked out and received a bill for all 4 days at the regular hotel rate. When we went to the front desk to ask why they were charging us again after we had already paid via Hotwire, they told us that Hotwire had contacted them and told them that our account was used fraudulently and refused to pay the hotel.
Nobody from Hotwire tried to call us, e-mail us or make any contact at all with us to explain why they decided to cancel our account (or to even check if it was actually us using the account).
My wife called her credit card company and they said nothing had been reported to them and they had not reported a problem to Hotwire about the account and that it was working fine. We then called Hotwire and were told that we had to contact someone from a special department because nobody at the regular help line could help us at all.
The problem with that was that this was a Sunday and their "fraud" office was only open during regular work hours during the week. We were left paying a hotel bill that was hundreds of dollars more than we thought we had agreed to pay.
On Monday my wife called the special number we were given but it just went to a generic voice mail box that does not even sound as if it has even been setup to take messages. She left a message and a phone number. And waited. No call, no e-mail.
So she tried back and got the same generic voice mail box. No matter what time of day you call you get the generic voice mail box. And nobody returns the call or e-mails back. So she tried calling the regular help line again and after about 20 minutes of explaining what the issue is she is again told to call that number. When she explains that nobody picks up and ask if they can transfer her to an actual person in that department they just transfer her to that same pointless generic vice mail box.
It has been several days now and nobody has returned any calls or sent us an e-mail or letter or anything to explain why they left us stranded at an expensive hotel without any support and refused to pay the bill as agreed to in the contract we had with Hotwire.
The only good news is Hotwire did refund the original charge on the credit card they took when we made the reservation. But we still ended up stranded and had to spend hundreds more than we thought we would for our hotel. We would have NEVER booked at that hotel if we knew we had to pay the full rate.
Since this horrible experience I have searched the Internet for Hotline stories and found that our experience is not all that uncommon. Many other people have been stranded by Hotwire after they got to their destination and found that Hotwire refused to pay their hotel or care rental company (or Hotwire does not send the required reservation information to the hotel or rental car agency so they have no room or car waiting for you).
So, since Hotwire will not make good on what it promises to its customers and will randomly just leave customers stranded having to pay hundreds more than what was originally quoted to them, I am telling everyone I know to run away and avoid Hotwire like it is a plague.