Hotwire / hotel swindel
Swindled by hotwire - nov 2010
In mid-november 2010, through kayak I linked to and booked a hotwire “hot rate” hotel room at $333.21 for 3 nights with “restaurant on premises” in frederick md at a “3 star” accommodation.
On nov 14th I arrive with my daughter at an empty (250 rooms w/maybe 10% occupancy) 1970-80’s era facility that sprawls at least an acre under one roof (Old convention center with conference rooms, indoor pool, kids play areas, and lots of large common spaces with tables – all totally empty). We planned to have dinner at the restaurant but were told it was closed (Due to low occupancy) and we could order food in the cocktail lounge.
Our assigned room was on a peripheral hallway (Accessed via long empty corridors and metal doors) that looked on a hall with about 40 doors to rooms. It was isolated, the carpet and halls worn, and there was a strong dog odor. The room was dingy and adjacent to a very large, empty, and poorly lit parking lot. It was creepy.
At this point I called hotwire customer care to request a change to a more satisfactory hotel. Krista, listened to my complaint, and then called george at the holiday inn frederick-holidome & conference center front desk, who verified my complaint (Awkwardly, as he and I stood 2 feet apart). After several minutes on hold krista returned and told me nothing could be done.
Next I asked for a manger (Krista said it would do no good, but I (Erroneously) thought hotwire would make good on the 3 star rating, on-site restaurant, and value for money deal they advertised. I was transferred to carl the supervisor (Id 1312). The following exchange occurred:
Me: the room is isolated, worn, creepy and on a long and isolated hall far from earshot of anyone. It feels unsafe. The hotel has 250 rooms and hardly 10% are occupied. No restaurant is available as advertised by hotwire. We want to transfer to another hotwire affiliated facility.
Carl: when hotwire advertises a ‘restaurant on premises’ we don’t guarantee how many hours it is open. As far as transferring to another hotel, nothing can be done because the hotel has already been paid (Thus hotwire can’t recoup $). Furthermore, hotwire just inspected the hotel the day before and rated it as a 3 star facility.
Me: that is incredible! This place is dirty, dingy, with no restaurant and definitely not 3 star hotel. I’m at the reception desk looking at torn upholstery in the reception area furniture. Please tell me what the hotwire inspector’s comments were on this facility?
Carl: (Again) this is a 3 start hotel that we just inspected yesterday. Also, before thanksgiving holiday most hotels have low occupancy. There is nothing we can do.
Me: (Again) this in incredible. This is not a 3 star facility. Can you tell me what the hotwire inspector’s comments were about this hotel?
Carl: (Hedging about what a “hotwire insptection” meant) said the inspections were not always on-site and sometimes they use other website ratings to claim it is a “3 star accommodation”.
Bottom line: i’m physically there describing a hotel that is not what hotwire advertised, nor is it what I paid for. With my own eyes I describe the conditions. And carl is assuring me (That I am mistaken) this really is a 3 star facility based on no inspection evidence. That’s crap. I ended up losing $332.21 I paid to hotwire and then paid a similar amount at the hampton inn & suites in frederick md (Btw, booked to capacity before thanksgiving) for a clean and comfortable room.
Hotwire swindled me.
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