Hirewire used to be a reputable service, it was a cool business model where everybody was a winner. But that has changed, I was looking for a upscale hotel in my city and Hotwire booked me in a hotel and charged me more than the same hotel was charging on their website! So not only did I end up paying more, the lower rate on the hotel website would have allowed me to cancel up to two days before the date of arrival for a full refund, plus I could have selected a king non-smoking king room. Of course when you use Hotwire you give up those privileges.
But my main complaint Hotwire leads the public to believe they will be saving money and get more hotel for their dollar by using the blind booking service. Bottom line is I was placed in a inferior property I have absolutely no desire to stay in. They mislead me into thinking I would get a hotel similar to what was in their sample same star category list, and I was not. I would have been satisfied if I was placed in any sample hotel listed. I am not staying in this property and will eat the $100+. If I would have wanted to stay in the dump they placed me into, I would have done so on any number of sites.
I called Hotwire and of course the customer service person kept repeating its their policy they don't cancel bookings. I knew the Hotwire rules and I am more than willing to live by them if only they performed as promised, which they did not.
I strongly recommend avoiding Hotwire since they no longer live up to their promise as they once did. Apparently new business practice is to fleece the customer for higher profits.