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Hotwire - Scam

Discussion in 'Travel agencies' started by BruceK, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. BruceK

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    10/09/2017

    Still have not heard from a manager of your company.

    Still trying to screw me with $144 that I paid for a level of hotel and you then put me in a lower class hotel.



    Its funny how you really don’t care about having a customer hate you so bad after spending 3 hour trying to get to a person with common senses. And that is not in the Philippines .

    I have advised my bank to stop payment on this and I assure you I will do everything to let people know to never use hotwire.

    Negative advertising for only 144. That’s a good deal if the competition was paying for it.


    Hotel Choice Level at the time of booking was Clarion, La Quinta, Comfort Inn Suites, Ramada Inn. Then you gave me a booking on Days Inn ?? Where the differences is 50/50 chance according to the reviews that you will be happy. I even called before I hit enter and the agent told me it would be that level. She also said I could pick my hotel but she gave false information as well. So many issues with Expedia

    Tue 10/3/2017 8:11 PM
    First was an issue with my first booking via Hotwire is with a car rental. When we arrived at the Atlanta Airport location we found that the pickup location had changed from the normal location to pick up the cars. No notice from either the car company or Hotwire. Certainly something you need to work out together. We now would have to go 2 hour in Atlanta with heavy traffic at that time a day. That was not going to get us to our appointment on time. However the first time they at least agreed to reverse the charge after leaving us stranded at the Atlanta Airport and finding another car company. But enough about that one.


    I am a very loyal person and I like to find one company that can say what they do and actually do what they say. I also very aware that mistakes happen however it is how you react to provide a solution which can easily help overcome the error. I gave Hotwire another chance even though the first situation really did not end satisfactory but at least provided the very minimal return of the money.


    This time I booked a hotel room via Hotwire. First you have a very deceptive website when it comes to showing different hotels than you actually are looking at. You really need to correct that and I am sure you know it.

    I spent plenty of time sorting through the locations in New Orleans. So once I looked at the locations in the airport area that were obviously cheaper.

    As I searched from rate or booking to booking it appears the 4 hotels changed accordingly. This time is was Clarion, (My first Choice) La Quinta, Holiday Inn, Comfort Suites. This was for a Hotel with 2.5 Stars.

    If you go to the lowest rate for a 2 Star Hotel once again the hotel choice changes. Same if you go up to 3 to 5 stars. After the fact I know seen the fine print. However before booking I called to an agent to see how I would know which hotel I would get. She pulled up my record and then advised me that before the booking goes through, I would be able to decide on what Hotel I was going to get. When that didn’t happen and it was a hotel I did not want I called again to seek a cancelation. The agent they hammered me that it is non-refundable and out of their ability speech. She was very reluctant to send me to a supervisor but finally did and I spoke to Mary. She again read me the riot act that the systems did not work that way. I advised he that just minutes before I called and was advised exactly what I should expect. The system would let me pick hotels before it locked in the booking. Of course that did not happen.

    If she was an experienced supervisor she would have found a solution. If it was that I could get that hotel with a reasonable upcharge or just refunded the booking or even help me secure a new booking and hotel.

    Neither was even discussed. She had a hard time believing I wasn’t aware of the two different processes. She would not even say she would go to the recording of the previous call.

    However she did promise to send me to another manager. And as I write this a person Named Joy called me from PHX number to discuss the situation. She started off with the same rehearsed response when I had to stop her and tell here about my phone call minutes before to confirm the process with one of your agents.. It seemed to me that part was not documented or at least had very limited notes on it.


    Joy agreed to research the previous phone call or sent it to the proper channels to do so however it would take up to 3 to 5 business days. I advised her that would not be acceptable because rooms are going fast to that destination. I asked to please do it in 24 hours. I cannot wait 5 days to be held hostage to come out with nothing. I explained the steps and hours I put into this already and at most she seemed to think the best was again, just return the money. Seems it is ok to screw over customers at Hotwire just to say we are so sorry for the inconvenient and move on. I advised her that I was sending this email to this group. I will then send it to a bulk of your partner companies and file a claim with BBB. Perhaps some hotel chains as well because of how all this is being handled after I given Hotwire a fair chance to correct it.


    I have already spend time with my bank on this issue and advised the Insurance company I also paid with this what had happened.

    I can go farther to advise people to stay away from Hotwire but I think you understand my dilemma and frustration here.

    So I will wait the day to see what Joy comes up with. If not resolved in a satisfactory matter I will continue the quest forced on me with my Experiences with Hotwire.

    I was going to hold off on this letter to you but I am going out on a limb that Joy will need some guidance on how and what should be “doing the right thing”. I really need to get a hotel for that weekend.

    I hope someone from this group can actually find a suitable solution for all I have been through using Hotwire.


    Ps: perhaps you should look at this as a good opportunity to know what’s really going on the front lines and where you need to focus attention to including the management that is supposed to be preventing things like this.
     
    #1
  2. Neil

    Neil Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

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    Did you want help with filing a complaint? This letter is not an effective complaint letter.

    We need some facts- was this a Hotrate Hotel? The disclaimer when you book these days "these are the hotels you might get" and it lists the hotels. It doesn't say you will get them one of them- it says you "might".

    These kind of deals are not for everyone as you have found out. You need to really be flexible and understand you might get the bottom of the rung hotel. What did you bid for? 2.5 stars? If so Days Inn in considered that on par with LaQuinta.

    And in major cities that have airports away from the popular areas, such as the French Quarter- of course the rooms will be cheaper because they are inconvenient to the French Quarter.

    We have company contacts on top of our page - you can write to the corporate offices but you need to totally re-write this. Remove the insults and don't threaten them with never using them again because then they have no incentive to help you at all. You want them to try to win you back as a customer.

    You need to rewrite this and state facts only in bullet form.

    Asking for a resolution in 24 hours is also not reasonable. We tell you to leave a week in between letters. That's a reasonable time frame.

    You might want to write to the first executive shown and ask if he can expedite. Do NOT email all of them or even cc them. Your letter may go in their spam folders.

    http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/hotwire/
     
    #2
  3. technomage1

    Staff Member Forum Director

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    I think I got out of this that they offered you the money back. Take their offer, because that is likely as good as you're going to get and the fastest solution as well, and book a hotel directly. You shouldn't be paying up front for the reservation if you use a credit card, so this should give you time to get the refund in the promised 5 days without going into the red.

    I personally use either expedia or google search to see what hotels are availble, then I book directly at the hotels website. Usually the cost is the same or a very small difference and when you have an issue you're not going through a middleman like hotwire to solve it.
     
    #3
    jsn55, Carrie Livingston and Neil like this.
  4. SKroot

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    This is why I would NEVER use any OTA. It is not worth the extra savings.
     
    #4
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  5. Just A Guy

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    Your call, of course, but opaque booking sites can save a smart shopper a LOT of money, if you know what you're doing, and it's for the right booking.

    If you're booking six months in advance for a romantic getaway when your relationship is currently on the rocks, probably not a great idea, since you don't control the hotel, the room within the hotel, or have the ability to cancel if she/he leaves you before the getaway date arrives.

    If you need a room for tonight in downtown Chicago, and you don't really care if it's at the Sheraton, Hyatt, Wyndham, or Marriott, and you don't really care if it's a king or two doubles, then opaque bookers like Hotwire or Priceline can be great tools.
     
    #5
  6. SKroot

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    #6
  7. SKroot

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    I agree that if you want a one-night stay at a 4-5 star hotel in downtown Chicago, an OTA would work. But, for a few days or a week in a specific area of a specific town, I would call the hotel directly. I have read too many horror stories from Chris' readers regarding flights, hotels, and rental cars that were booked on OTA's.
     
    #7
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  8. Just A Guy

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    Really, I think that attempting to use the posts here as a guide for just about anything is a futile exercise. The big OTAs are so big (Expedia sells more plane tickets a day than most brick and mortar TAs will in a lifetime) that, even if their problem rate is a lot lower than direct books or brick and mortar TAs, they're going to appear here with some frequency.

    Also, it's worth remembering that Chris has chosen an OTA (Fareportal, which owns Cheapoair, among other brands) as a site underwriter, so that's a level of endorsement of OTAs by elliott.org itself.
     
    #8
  9. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator
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    We don't endorse our underwriters, but we vet them to make sure they are honest businesses.
     
    #9
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  10. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    BruceK visited the site today at 12:45 but didn't post - maybe he was just venting and didn't want advice.
     
    #10
    Just A Guy likes this.
  11. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    I think you're both right. A sophisticated traveller can probably do very well price-wise by using the online booking websites. I'm sure it's a fun game, much like playing with loyalty points. Who doesn't want to save $50 a night on a nice hotel with a comp breakfast and free parking?

    I see the issue as the infrequent traveller is the one who uses these sites and isn't aware of how much detail he has to understand about each booking. He ends up in trouble. The lucky ones come to us for guidance.
     
    #11
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  12. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    The lucky ones come to us for guidance before they book - and we save them from this scenario.
     
    #12
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