Hotwire, Inc Complaint - Booking at hotel was cheaper than Hotwire!
BEWARE of Hotwire in Europe, it's a different mentality, hotels that are supposed to be in the city ARE MORE than 15 min subway. You calculate maybe 15 to 20 km or more away from the center. Usually they are in business areas. I just reserved on in Munich and I am really upset. Here is why. I asked the agent if the 4 star was an American known brand 4 star and she said, "Yes, that would be a Hilton, Sheraton, Omni, brands we have in America". Turns out that it was not. This is important in Europe because a Marriott in North America has clean rooms and very good service. A Marriott in Rome had a clausterphobic room with a very stinky toilet and a very rude snobby service at the reception. Anyway, back to the Munich thing. The hotel was more expensive on Hotwire than it was to book with the hotel itself. When I called back Hotwire they said, "Oh but that's in Euros!" True, but with the worst exchange it was 50 US cheaper anyway. WIth Hotwire you will never know your hotel and in Europe it's not at the center. It still cost me 80 US a night, with the hotel itself it was average 45 Euros all taxes in. They denied me the refund difference because they said that it was after 48 hours I contacted them. Then I dug out emails and call logs telling them theirs was not the cheapest rate six hours after the booking. Their next excuse was that in the 5 day booking I did, one night was more expensive than their rate so it's not in the total rate it's in the daily rate. So all five nights need to be lower than their nightly rate. So, if you have a hotel that charges 20US, 20US, 60 US, 20US and 20US, and theirs is 40US all the way, because of that 60 in the middle, you're screwed.
Hotwire also is non refundable. If you or someone in your family dies or has some accident, you need to supply a certificate (which would be the last thing you'd want to do if that would happen).
They also take your money right away, as soon as you book.
My experience in Munich was not to my satisfaction.
Another time I reserved in L. A. It was the Sheraton at the airport. I got there at 1pm. The hotel was beautiful but the front desk was rude (one of the guys). He said, "You're room is not ready, but if you get an upgrade and pay 30US more per night with breakfast, I can give you a non-smoking room."
ANd I said, "No, I want my room."
And he said, "Well, I only have smoking rooms available for Hotwire because you paid less than others."
So there you go. The parking was $12US a night for a car. Usually Hotwire in the US choses hotels in which you will pay a lot for a car. In the day it may have been 24 US.
Anyway, I did get the runaround from the agents, one told me I'd get the difference of the two and I got nothing!