ED Magedson – Founder
Hotwire655 Montgomery St #600 San Francisco, California USA
Hotwire Offered False Discount AND Higher Rates than the Hotel Itself!! San Francisco California
I scoured the internet for hotel deals and prices. Hotwire has named hotels and unnamed "mystery" hotels in specific areas. There was an unnamed mystery hotel offered for a bright red price of $138, stated to be a 70% discount from an original $492, which was in light grey and crossed out. What I failed to see was that there was an asterix underneath the light grey crossed out price which stated in miniscule font at the bottom of the page that the $492 was a median price of all the 3-star hotels in the area, not the specific hotel being advertised.
The hotel being advertised had a rate of $173, and thus Hotwire was offering a 20% discount not a 70% discount (and the hotel was in a completely different quality class than whan I had perceived with an original price of $462, having made myself familiar with all of the available hotels in the area). Thus the 70% "discount" was intentionally deceptive, as no one who speaks English could possibly suspect that discount would mean a price less than the price of OTHER hotels. It makes absolutely no sense and the addition of the tiny asterix is another indication of the company's deliberate deception.
When I called Hotwire in complete shock, thinking they had a computer problem, my shock was soon transformed to anger as the customer service representative explained the tactic above (he himself failing to see the asterix until he asked for help from someone else in the office) and simpley maintained that that's just the way it works - with no refund or offer to fix the situation.
The capper is that when I looked up the Hotwire named price for the very same hotel, it was listed at $200, 20% MORE than the $173 the hotel itself advertised on its own website!
Hotwire's website states that it offers "deep discounts", "unbeatable prices", "ridiculously low prices", and "by showing the name of our travel partner after customers book, Hotwire can get travel deals that are significantly below published prices." This was absolutely not the case. I could have gotten a 20% discount with my AAA card, and could have canceled or gotten a refund at any time. And I never would have picked the hotel I am now stuck with.
While Hotwire may have made money on me on this transaction, the company will eventually pay a huge price for these incredibly deceptive practices. I will never use it again and hope others will find this review in time to prevent the same thing from happening to them.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/24/2014 12:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hotwire/san-francisco-california-94062/hotwire-offered-false-discount-and-higher-rates-than-the-hotel-itself-san-francisco-cal-1118055. 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.
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