Hotwire Complaint - Hotwire Hotel Warning = SCAM, FRAUD, LIES
CALIFORNIA -- Please do yourself a favor and avoid Hotwire for hotels, unless you want this to happen to you---
I booked a "3-star" hotel near Santa Barbara on Hotwire. Hotwire listed "retail" value of this "3-star" to be $243. They listed their price as paid $116 + tax/fees (which they noted to be a "52% savings"!). Sound like a deal? WRONG. What I got was a room at the Holiday Inn Express. Hotwire's own site lists Holiday Inn Express hotels to be 2.5 star, so passing this off after my purchase as a 3-star is misrepresentation #1. Was told by a Hotwire "manager" that this particular property was reviewed by their own Hotwire staff and by Hotwire customers and based on that, they had given this particular property a 3 star. (sidenote - Both Priceline.com and Tripadvisor rate this very same hotel as 2*)
---so, my PROBLEM #1 is---
**You can't state one thing on your site, and then make a special exception for one specific property AFTER the fact.** Even the hotel itself does not consider itself 3 star, because I called to ask. Bottom line= MISREPRESENTATION
Furthermore, the price on the HI Express website was actually less that Hotwire --- worked out to be $1.88 cheaper than the Hotwire price, for total savings of... less than zero.
----so, my Problem#2 is---
You can't tell me that I am getting a 52% savings, just to sucker me to buy, when in reality I am getting 0% savings, because that is ...MISREPRESENTATION
Further, the "retail" rate for a standard room at this HI Express has never been, under any circumstance or any stretch of the imagination, $243 (which was confirmed to me by the Hotel staff, and evident on their website). Upon questioning this with Hotwire, I was told that the $243 rate is supposed to be a representation of what other 3 star hotels in the area might go for. But it doesn't explain this anywhere on the Hotwire site before you buy!
So, my PROBLEM #3 is---
The HOTWIRE site basically just lies--the "retail prices" listed do not represent the actual price of the hotel you are about to buy -- in this case, not even remotely close..
Hotwire completely misleads consumers with completely false information. Their slogan of 4* hotels at 2* prices and their listed "savings" percentages lead you to believe that booking through them actually saves you some kind of money, when in reality, you will probably pay less directly through the hotel's website or somewhere else. Plus you get the worst rooms and get treated like a leper by the hotel, as the manager of the Holiday Inn Express treated me when I asked to at least pay him for an upgrade to my room.
--- "Manager" at Hotwire call center was of course no help whatsoever - a robot reading from a script ---would not help even switch me to another hotel that meets the parameters that I thought I was signing up for == ie a REAL 3 star hotel, and or a real hotel with a retail value of $243 or anything close to it. Calls to corporate have not been returned.
I will be filing this complaint with the BBB.
Any one ever, ever had any luck with a Hotwire refund or switching of properties, due to their misleading business practices?