Report: #7402

Complaint Review: Hotwire Internet Service

  • Submitted: Mon, October 29, 2001
  • Updated: Wed, January 26, 2005
  • Reported By:
  • Hotwire Internet Service


Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I recently was a victum of deceptive marketing. I was looking for an inexpensive rental car and through a series of links came across HOTWIRE.

I wanted to know the price to rent an SUV for 3 days. The system is designed to only give you the information if you provide them with all kind of information and credit card information. I did receive the pricing information but decided not to rent through Hotwire because I got better pricing elswhere.

Imagine my surprise when I received my American Express bill and determined I had been billed for the rental of a SUV that I never rented.

I disputed the charge with American Express and in response to my inquiry HOTWIRE sends back a series of pages I completed when I was seeking rental information.

I was very unhappy with HOTWIRE and I would recommend never to use them. There web site is confusing and not user friendly.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/29/2001 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Speed Kills

AUTHOR: Mr - (U.S.A.)

I do not work for Hotwire. But I do work for a company that they deal with. Seeing that they can often beat my price I got curious so decide i'll log in and see whats what. The biggest problem I had with Hotwire was thier customers calling me and wanting to cancel or change thier reservations. But when that reservation opens a big bright-white pop up page with a message on it in large heavy bold type stating we can not touch this reservation. In other words all sales final. That also made me curious when said consumer flares up angry at me for something out of my control. So I just had to investigate so I am better armed next time I get a call from thier customers.

Well low and behold I had to offer any real id to get to see pricing. Matter of fact I used John Doe as a laugh and giggle. No e-mail adress requests were made. Matter of fact the request for the name didnt come till after the rates were listed. One page showed the basic daily rate offered nect page showed total number of days and taxes, next page restated the information and then askes for the drivers name. And WOW look right there in plain text, normal font sized not teeny weenie micro dot size.

So to the first person posting you just got a life lesson in learning to read the easily seen posted information. Copied directly off thier web site ........

The name of the car rental company will be shown only after you buy.
Prices are not guaranteed until a purchase is complete.
All purchases are final and cannot be changed.

This is above the actual price quote prior to the first time they even ask for the drivers name long before the page that would require the use of a credit card!!!

The only flaw in using hotwire is the fact they do not name the company before you actually commit to buy. I am sorry I will not use Rent-A-Wreck and have no confidence in a local this city only Happy Harry's Discount Car Rental type place. No Mom and Pop outfit renting cars that are 10 years old [I hope thats not a real company name] That and that alone will bar me from ever using Hotwire.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Rebuttal to the "Not correct" message above

AUTHOR: Cristina - (U.S.A.)

Yes it is true that you only need your email and name in order to navigate through Hotwire, but it is also true that to get details on the service you need to fill out more of your information. I tried to book a flight to another country, and I found a really good price for it (no information given as of yet). When I got to the part where they give you the price, it told me that times and flight info would be given AFTER I ticket was purchased. I didn't went trough with the sale because I know there are other sites that tell you all the information, before you have to give them yours. I am in the marketing business, and I do believe the customer is whom we want to please, by making it easier and more accessible for them to get the information. By the way, this Tim guy has taken more than enough time answering almost every report about Hotwire, with information in almost every type of transaction, which information that looks like an employee's point of view. If you are not one, why don't you let the company answer to these reports?
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#3 Consumer Comment

Not correct

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

The above post is wrong, and I hope its error has not caused any business for Hotwire, which I have had more success with than any other travel organization. You have never had to enter any personal information other than your name and email adress to check any rate on Hotwire. I am assuming that the above poster didn't understand what he ws doing. The total price of a rental car, including taxes and fees is displayed three times before you actually purchase anything: on the page you get before you enter any personal information, the page where you enter personal information, and on a subsequent page where you actually submit your order. I would advise the above poster not to conduct any more business over the internet if he "accidentally" rented a car on Hotwire. Furthermore, Hotwire's site is, in my opinion, the most user friendly of all the internet travel sites, especially comparable ones like Priceline.
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