Report: #1098911

Complaint Review: Hotwire

  • Submitted: Tue, November 12, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, November 12, 2013
  • Reported By: FreelanceFilmTravel — Asheville North Carolina
  • Hotwire

    Internet, Select State/Province

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

I had a meeting scheduled for the morning in a city several hours away so I went through Hotwire Hot Rates for a better deal on a hotel. I've used the service once before for the same purpose, sunk several hundred dollars into it in fact, as well as to book flights, so I was coming back to use it again.

I have many meetings coming up due to my line of work and was planning on being a repeat customer, using their service exclusively every time I need to stay out of town because I was impressed with the rates. However, after my meeting was canceled last minute and I was flat out refused a refund or any sort of incentive to continue being a customer, I will not go through this service again. Anything I save booking through their service is negated when I am not allowed to cancel. Saving a little money should not be contingent upon the agreement that you will actually lose an upwards of $100 if your plans wind up changing.

Additionally, there is no contingency for a hotel that is filthy/infested/unlivable, which is completely irresponsible on their part. This complete lack of flexibility tells me that they have no sense of customer loyalty and really don't care about or appreciate my business. Because of this, I will be forced to take my business to a company that does.

For every person who I raved about their deals to, I'm going to go ahead and warn them about how much they stand to lose if their plans fall through. It's just not worth it.

Just to note: the hotel itself accepts cancellations, understanding that plans can change, but because they get paid through Hotwire, I had to go through Hotwire's customer service in order to do so. Hotwire refuses to honor the policies of the hotels they work with which I consider to be sleazy.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/12/2013 07:54 PM 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

Standard Response..

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 The "I don't like what you are saying so I am going to accuse you of being an employee".

Well sorry to burst your bubble, but I do not or have I ever worked for this or any other travel company.  And if you actaully took a look around this site you would see how you saying that makes you comming off as the one looking silly.

Interesting how you had no problems with the "ethics" of the policy when you reserved the room.  You only had an issue when their policy no longer matches what you feel you should be entitled to.

If a customer has a problem with the policy the time to deal with it is BEFORE you reserve the hotel room, by NOT reserving it.   If enough people disagree with their policies and they start to loose sales because of them, they have a couple of choices.  Change their policy or continue to loose business.  But if you go through the entire process, including saying you agree to the terms...well then that is on you.

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#2 Author of original report

Nice attempt at condescension, you're part of the problem

AUTHOR: FreelanceFilmTravel - ()

I don't care how much you claim this is "standard" for the industry. If customers don't push back against it, they're going to continue to take people's money without having to deliver the product that was paid for. 

What makes me "so special?" I don't know, maybe the whole concept of customer loyalty. The fact that I would have continued to book through them at least once a month for the rest of my career, maybe even more frequently, had they chosen to act like other companies and worked with me when I a colleage canceled on me. Had they offered to transfer the money to a future purchase through them, ensuring my money stayed with them, I would've have no problem with that. But they offered me absolutely nothing because they have no regard for their customers.

Most companies will offer SOMETHING to customers, and just because these companies have gotten away with it for so long, that does not make it justified or ethical. When you throw your hands up and accept things because you feel you have no other choice, these shady companies win. 

Your consistently rude rebuttals to these very valid criticisms of Hotwire leads me to believe that you're a rogue employee who is probably getting paid minimum wage to deal with customer complaints, and that the company has you believing that denying refunds is the "right" thing to do. I get it. I used to work for a company and get angry when they would try and get me to bend the rules for them. But when the rules are not ethical and keep the money for a product not delivered, customers are justified in pushing back against them.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Well aren't you special

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

 So what makes you so special that the "No refund policy" applies to everyone else except you?

Saving a little money should not be contingent upon the agreement that you will actually lose an upwards of $100 if your plans wind up changing

- it is specifically contingent on you having agreed to restrictions that do not allow you to cancel.

Apparently you don't travel much.  With the travel industry for the last couple decades at least, the more restrictions there are, the lower the price you pay.   The reason you are getting lower fares is this guarantee that you can't cancel.  This way the airline or hotel doesn't have to build in the "risk" of you cancelling and possibly loosing the ability to sell the seat or room at a later time.

Oh and if you don't believe me.  Well just go try and book an UNRESTRICTED airline ticket, that is one that allows you to change/cancel your flight without any penalty.  You will find that on average the cost is 2-3 times the price of the DISCOUNTED restricted fare that you would get. 

Just to note: the hotel itself accepts cancellations, understanding that plans can change

- Yes, so book it through the Hotel..most likely a HIGHER rate.  Sites like this are great if you are not going to have a change in plans, but if there is even a possibility or you have any sort of special better be prepared to pay a bit more to get what you need.




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