Hotwire - Pay 3 Star Prices for 0 Star Hotels
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. Plumping 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 husbands 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.