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Hotwire / fraudulent activity

1 United States Review updated:
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Just a heads up on the 'discount' travel website Hotwire...Hotwire advertises that their website can save you substantial amounts on travel bookings by making deals with the hotel, airline, or car rental facility you may potentially be booking with to give you a low rate. The trade off is that the name of the company remains anonymous until after payment is received by Hotwire for the booking.

When the payment is received you then are confirmed for the booking and the name of the company is revealed. You may then google the company and compare prices...I just recently used this website (having used it once before) and found that there was no savings on the hotel I booked in Dallas/Fort Worth.

I challenged Hotwire as to why I should use their service again, when I received no savings and didn't know the name of the hotel. The manager, Chad, told me that they guarantee the lowest available rate. He said they could not advertise that this rate may be equal to that of the actual company's rate because no one would use the service. I told him that was exactly my point. Who wants to not know the name of the hotel you will be staying at and pay the same available rate that the hotel has on its website. Chad offered no compensation and no compassion or concern for brand loyalty.

Please be aware of this stipulation if using Hotwire.

Na
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Comments

  • Pa
      10th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I recently booked several hotels through Hotwire for our family's spring break trip. I had used Hotwire once several years ago and felt I got a great deal, but this time the results were disappointing. Hotwire tacks on such high fees that you end up paying a lot more than you think. What's worse, even though they have the "double the difference" guarantee if you find a cheaper rate for the same stay, their high fees make it so that you STILL lose out! I did find a cheaper rate on one hotel's own website ($4 cheaper) and a MUCH cheaper rate for people over 55 or over (which I am), but of course Hotwire wouldn't recognize that rate since it was not available to the general public. So I got my $8 back from Hotwire, but still lost more than $20 over what I would have paid if I had paid the over 55 rate on the hotel's site and avoided the Hotwire fee.

    Like other people, I noticed Hotwire seems to be fudging on the star ratings.

    Another thing I have grave doubts about is that a clerk in one of the hotels accidentally gave me a printout of Hotwire's statement when I checked out. I had paid Hotwire a rate of $45 for that hotel, plus taxes/fees. The statement showed that Hotwire was paying the hotel only $33.

    I thought Hotwire was supposed to be making its profit on the high fees it tacks on to the rate, but based on this it looks like they are double-dipping: inflating the rate and then adding fees on top of it. I sent an e-mail to Hotwire questioning this practice, after I got home. But all I got was a standard form e-mail in reply saying how they seek to provide us the best rates available.

    The whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If I can find lower rates AND choose exactly the hotel I'm going to stay at, AND in the process avoid Hotwire's questionable policies--I'm pretty sure from now on I'll just forget about Hotwire and book my hotels directly.

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