Hotwire.com Complaint - Fraud - Do Not Book Online With Hotwire
ONLINE -- DO NOT BELIEVE THE HOTWIRE DISCLAIMER THAT YOUR CREDIT CARD WILL NOT BE CHARGED IF YOU CANNOT BOOK A ROOM.
My experience with Hotwire has been a disaster and their customer service is pitiful and totally incompetent. I attempted to book a hotel in Las Vegas.In my first attempt, Hotwire stated that the room was available with an "anonymous" hotel.
After filling in all the necessary information, including my credit card number, I hit the CONTINUE button. The next window stated that the room was no longer available but my credit card would not be charged.
I tried 3 more times (once with an online Hotwire agent and once for a different hotel in Las Vegas) and each time the page stated that the room was not available. AND MY CREDIT CARD WOULD NOT BE CHARGED !!!
The fraud department of my bank called to inquire about a rash of suspicious transactions. I realized that Hotwire was charging my account every time I attempted to complete my reservation even though my room was never booked.
It took a three-way conversation with Hotwire, my bank, and myself to have the charges reversed. Or so I thought ...
My bank required a fax from Hotwire detailing the charges; Hotwire said it would be sent immediately but instead they waited two hours and by that time it was past my bank's Saturday business hours. My second and third calls to Hotwire were fruitless. Their response to the fraudulent charges was:
1) that "technically" my money was on hold until my bank reversed charges (and therefore not really a charge);
2) that Hotwire "technically" did not charge my account but it was the "anonymous" hotel;
3) that Hotwire was not "responsible" for erroneous postings of hotel accommodations on their website (I could see one hotel being overbooked and the posting was not removed fast enough, but I tried a different hotel and was also charged without completing the reservation);
4) that since Hotwire was not "technically" at fault there was no need for compensation.
I was out over $1600 in fraudulent charges until Monday morning when the charges were finally reversed.
My response to Hotwire is as follows:
1) Hotwire's disclaimer is fraudulent.
(I was charged.)
2) The availability of hotel rooms is suspect.
(Two different postings of hotel rooms came back as unavailable.)
3) Hotwire is responsible for the posting of information on their website. (Hotwire has no method to verify if the rooms are really available.)
STAY AWAY FROM HOTWIRE. YOU CAN FIND CHEAPER PRICES FROM REAL HOTELS ON VARIOUS LAS VEGAS WEBSITES.
I plan to take this issue to the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Protection Agency, and any other organization that deals with consumer fraud.