HOTWIRE: misleading, deceitful, frustrating, fraudulent

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Jan 31, 2015
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#1
Dear Mr. Elliot,
I have read your postings and would like herewith to seek your advice and support.
Just this week I have had a very frustrating experience with Hotwire.
Let me please summarize the events:
- Searched for a room in Dubai
- Hotwire had suggested a few areas to choose from
- Chose ‘Dubai North’ covering an area from the very downtown of Dubai to the northern suburbs
- Purchased hotel room in ‘Dubai Nord’ via Hotwire.
- To my greatest surprise, when I arrived, I had to find out that the hotel is not in Dubai, but in Sharjah, which is a separate Emirate, not connected to Dubai by public transportation, and requiring 2 hours and USD 60 each way to and from Downtown. And of course, Taxi drivers would simply refuse to drive you from Downtown Dubai to Sharjah because of traffic
- Contacted Hotwire to complain and requested to be provided a place in Dubai
- HOTWIRE has so far refused any assistance, on the grounds that the hotel is within the area defined and called by Hotwire ‘Dubai Nord’
- I had to skip 2 diners with customer and also skipped the last day of attending the Arab Health Expo due to the inconvenience of commuting to and from it. There were 4 meetings scheduled for that day.
- I have spent thousands of Euros and a week of my time in organizing for this event and travelling from Luxembourg to Dubai
--> Hotwire has basically tricked me by giving a misleading description / Name (Dubai Nord) to an area that has its own and very clear name (Sharjah) and is / belongs to a separate Emirate
--> Hotwire has abused my trust as a customer
--> Hotwire has profited from my higher willingness to pay for a hotel in Dubai, and has sold me something that is not worth this amount of money, claiming I am getting a great rate for DUBAI (which is correct, but the property is not in Dubai)
--> Hotwire has offered me today on behalf of Mr. Kjellberg (CEO) USD 50 in credit for future booking to forget the Story

I thought it was ridiculous, insensitive, inconsiderate and insulting.

Would be great to hear from you.

Kind regards,
Dimitar
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Having received an offer from the CEO, your options are limited. It's unlikely in my opinion that Chris could persuade the CEO otherwise. You could initiate a credit card dispute, but that would likely be denied or overturned because Hotwire has complied with it's stated policy. Your final option would be to take legal action, which would be expensive, time consuming, and again may prove fruitless.

Could they/should they have disclosed that this hotel was in another emirate (with all that entails)? I would think so.

That said I reviewed the area on Hotwire and Google Maps and found that there is a very small area in the Northwest portion of Dubai Nord that is in the Sharjah Emirate.

I wish I had a better answer for you ...
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,020
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#3
Having received an offer from the CEO, your options are limited. It's unlikely in my opinion that Chris could persuade the CEO otherwise. You could initiate a credit card dispute, but that would likely be denied or overturned because Hotwire has complied with it's stated policy. Your final option would be to take legal action, which would be expensive, time consuming, and again may prove fruitless.

Could they/should they have disclosed that this hotel was in another emirate (with all that entails)? I would think so.

That said I reviewed the area on Hotwire and Google Maps and found that there is a very small area in the Northwest portion of Dubai Nord that is in the Sharjah Emirate.

I wish I had a better answer for you ...
I'm not sure that Mr. Frangov actually approached the CEO. He says the offer of a $50 credit was made "on behalf of Mr. Kjellberg," but according to our updated 1/29/2015) Priceline contacts page, the CEO is someone named Chris Soder.

Mr. Frangov,

According to our Priceline contact information (which was updated two days ago), Mr. Kjellberg is not the CEO.

In cases like this, we recommend that consumers send a series of short, polite emails to the company executives. If you wish to do so, you will find them listed here:

Start by emailing the Primary Contact. Give her a week to get back to you. If she doesn't or you don't like what she has to say, escalate your appeal to the Chief Executive (CEO).

Don't use the kind of inflammatory words you used in your post here, and keep in mind that VoR61 "reviewed the area on Hotwire and Google Maps and found that there is a very small area in the Northwest portion of Dubai Nord that is in the Sharjah Emirate."

If the hotel you were given was in that very small area, then Priceline did nothing wrong, and you will be asking them for a favor.

Should you not receive satisfaction, and wish for Chris to take a look at your case, feel free to complete and submit the form you'll find at:

Good luck!
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
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#4
I'm not sure that Mr. Frangov actually approached the CEO. He says the offer of a $50 credit was made "on behalf of Mr. Kjellberg," but according to our updated 1/29/2015) Priceline contacts page, the CEO is someone named Chris Soder.

Mr. Frangov,

According to our Priceline contact information (which was updated two days ago), Mr. Kjellberg is not the CEO.

In cases like this, we recommend that consumers send a series of short, polite emails to the company executives. If you wish to do so, you will find them listed here:

Start by emailing the Primary Contact. Give her a week to get back to you. If she doesn't or you don't like what she has to say, escalate your appeal to the Chief Executive (CEO).

Don't use the kind of inflammatory words you used in your post here, and keep in mind that VoR61 "reviewed the area on Hotwire and Google Maps and found that there is a very small area in the Northwest portion of Dubai Nord that is in the Sharjah Emirate."

If the hotel you were given was in that very small area, then Priceline did nothing wrong, and you will be asking them for a favor.

Should you not receive satisfaction, and wish for Chris to take a look at your case, feel free to complete and submit the form you'll find at:

Good luck!
Sorry, Grant, but he used Hotwire, so the CEO is indeed Mr. Kjellberg ...
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,020
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#5
Sorry, Grant, but he used Hotwire, so the CEO is indeed Mr. Kjellberg ...
Ha! What a boob. Sorry about that. Ya know, I'll bet that's why Mr. Kjellberg isn't shown as CEO of Priceline. :) Thanks for the catch.

Still, if the $50 credit offer was only made "on behalf of Mr. Kjellberg," and not by Mr. Kjellberg, maybe Mr. Frangov didn't actually contact him. He doesn't say he did, so maybe some lower-level Hotwire employee just invoked the CEO's name to cow Mr. Frangov.

Mr. Frangov,

Sorry about the mixup. If you contacted Mr. Kjellberg and got a "No," that's pretty much "Game over." But if you haven't approached the Hotwire executives, yet, and would like to give it a try, here's a link to their contact info:

Same drill. Start by emailing the Primary Contact. Give her a week to get back to you. If she doesn't or you don't like what she has to say, escalate your appeal to the Chief Executive (CEO).

Grant
 
Jan 31, 2015
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#7
Thank you guys,
i indeed contacted Mr. Kjelberg from the very beginning. He responded that it will be looked in to the case.
After that i did not hear back from him. Just received a call by an unnamed person offering me USD50 voucher for future bookings. I told her it was ridiculous.
Then a few days after, i received the same offer in writing from 'customer service'.

One important remark, i am not arguing with Hotwire about whether the Hotal i got has or has not been within the highlighted area "Dubai Nord'. I am actually saying that if it were, it is a trick and a nasty one. It is misleading, because they assign a 'name' of an appealing and expensive area to an actual area: Sharjah, which is not appealing and generally far less expensive.
So what seems to be a 'deal' for Dubai, is actually a rip-off for Sharjah, if you look at it financially.
But there were a number of other inconveniences to it...that led to my trip being a complete waste of time, money and energy.
Thank you all.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,112
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San Francisco
#8
I'm not sure that Mr. Frangov actually approached the CEO. He says the offer of a $50 credit was made "on behalf of Mr. Kjellberg," but according to our updated 1/29/2015) Priceline contacts page, the CEO is someone named Chris Soder.

Mr. Frangov,

According to our Priceline contact information (which was updated two days ago), Mr. Kjellberg is not the CEO.

In cases like this, we recommend that consumers send a series of short, polite emails to the company executives. If you wish to do so, you will find them listed here:

Start by emailing the Primary Contact. Give her a week to get back to you. If she doesn't or you don't like what she has to say, escalate your appeal to the Chief Executive (CEO).

Don't use the kind of inflammatory words you used in your post here, and keep in mind that VoR61 "reviewed the area on Hotwire and Google Maps and found that there is a very small area in the Northwest portion of Dubai Nord that is in the Sharjah Emirate."

If the hotel you were given was in that very small area, then Priceline did nothing wrong, and you will be asking them for a favor.

Should you not receive satisfaction, and wish for Chris to take a look at your case, feel free to complete and submit the form you'll find at:

Good luck!
I think Hotwire and Priceline are two separate entities? Although with all the recent consolidations and buyouts, maybe they merged and I missed it.
 

Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,020
113
#9
D
Thank you guys,
i indeed contacted Mr. Kjelberg from the very beginning. He responded that it will be looked in to the case.
After that i did not hear back from him. Just received a call by an unnamed person offering me USD50 voucher for future bookings. I told her it was ridiculous.
Then a few days after, i received the same offer in writing from 'customer service'.

One important remark, i am not arguing with Hotwire about whether the Hotal i got has or has not been within the highlighted area "Dubai Nord'. I am actually saying that if it were, it is a trick and a nasty one. It is misleading, because they assign a 'name' of an appealing and expensive area to an actual area: Sharjah, which is not appealing and generally far less expensive.
So what seems to be a 'deal' for Dubai, is actually a rip-off for Sharjah, if you look at it financially.
But there were a number of other inconveniences to it...that led to my trip being a complete waste of time, money and energy.
Thank you all.
Dear Mr. Frangov,

Thanks for letting us know how things worked out... or, in this case, didn't work out. What was done to you is, unfortunately, not uncommon in the "opaque" sales world. Geez. Fifty bucks! Sure hope they could spare it. :-(

Grant