Disappointed with Hotwire

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Belle & Ariel, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Belle & Ariel

    Belle & Ariel DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 2008
    I did my first booking with Hotwire today and feel I got a bait and switch.
    I could choose on the hot deals between a 2 star, a 2.5, and a 3. I researched on other sites (Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, etc.) what hotels were in the 2.5 and 3 categories--was not interested in a 2 star.
    This hotel had features that only matched a Holiday Inn Express and tripadvisor gave very good reviews, so I went with it. I was given a Ramada which all the other sites rate as 2 star and have VERY BAD reviews. I had not looked at the 2 star hotels as I did not want to stay in one. If this came up as a possibility, I would not have chanced Hotwire.
    The Hotwire site said 90% of reviewers liked and referenced tripadvisor. On tripadvisor, 79% give this hotel a thumbs down.
    I do not feel the hotel I booked and their description matches the hotel I was assigned in any way.
    I called and was told all sales are final. I said I know that but I booked a 2.5 star with highly favorable reviews and got a 2 star with terrible reviews. She said they make their own ratings.
    I understand you do not get to pick your hotel but there should be integrity in giving a customer what they have agreed on.
    Any suggestions?
  2. sunshine1178

    sunshine1178 DIS Veteran

    May 21, 2008
    Suggestion: don't buy from "blind" sights anymore.

    I had to learn the lesson the hard way, too.

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  4. Halloweenqueen

    Halloweenqueen Whenever Candle Lights Flicker...

    Mar 21, 2007
  5. canadianjovigirl

    canadianjovigirl DIS Veteran

    May 18, 2009
    I to have had great luck with hotwire and price line, but i do use betterbidding.com to have a great idea of what i will get. Sorry your not happy, hope the hotel turns out better than your expecting.
  6. Lucille1963

    Lucille1963 DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2005
  7. FoodLover

    FoodLover Founder of MouseSavers.com

    Dec 19, 2000
    That is a HUGE discrepancy and totally unacceptable. (It is also, in my experience, very unusual for Hotwire and Priceline.)

    I would not let this drop. Unfortunately, talking to the phone reps at most companies is a total waste of time, as they are seldom empowered to do anything for you, plus you have no record of your complaint.

    I would recommend sending them an email pointing out that you didn't get what you paid for. That creates an electronic record of your complaint. If the response you receive doesn't fix it, escalate the problem to a supervisor.

  8. Mrs D

    Mrs D I realize most people don't hear editing.

    Mar 8, 2008
    I love this travel writer!

  9. DianeV

    DianeV DIS Veteran

    Dec 13, 1999
    One thing I noticed is that ratings at Hotwire are different than Priceline and other places. They always rate hotels higher so a 2.5* might actually be rated a 3* etc.
  10. ugadog99

    ugadog99 <font color=blue>Has been waiting patiently for a

    Feb 8, 2001
    Us, too. We tried priceline for one night. What they called a 3 star was at best 2.5. Will never do that again!
  11. jenn y

    jenn y Earning My Ears

    Aug 23, 2007
    I feel the same way...I bid on a 2&1/2 star for an overnight stay on the way home from the beach in June. I got a quality inn that didn't even show up as a possibility when searching their site. The place was so bad we didn't even stay and drove 4 more hours home with 3 little kids in the car late at night. It smelled horrible, had mold all over the shower, and had filthy carpet. There were cigarette burns everywhere even though it was non smoking. I couldn't believe the place was even open! I won't be bidding with them again.

    Oh and this was in Winchester, VA
  12. librarygal

    librarygal Mouseketeer

    Nov 10, 2005
    They also hide some amenities so you cannot figure out what the hotel is. We recently booked a three star hotel in Richmond on Hotwire and got the Country Inn and Suites. Not a three star but the place has fantastic reviews so I am happy. The Country Inn was NOT on any of the bidding sites and we did not think it could be it because the Country Inn has free breakfast and that amenity was not listed.

    By the way, if you have the Entertainment Book you can get a $20 rebate on Hotwire bookings. Our hotel in Richmond will only cost $21 plus taxes and fees.
  13. mtblujeans

    mtblujeans DIS Veteran

    Mar 25, 2004
    This was what I went thru when I took my DGS to Disneyland last summer. I won't be doing that type of booking again. :sad2:
  14. Lewisc

    Lewisc <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    May 23, 2000
    Did the Hotwire site say the hotel you selected was recommended by 90% or did you assume the hotel was the Holiday Inn Express and do your own research on travel advisor? You might have grounds to attempt to cancel if Hotwire said 90% liked the hotel. It's possible 90% of the hotwire customers gave the hotel a favorable review and you're out of luck.

    The Ramada Gateway and Ramada Maingate West are listed on betterbidding as 3* hotels. Hotwire tends to let hotels over-rate themselves. Using sitess llike Expedia and Orbitz to identify hotels is a waste of time. betterbidding.com is one of the best ways to identify hotels.

    There are far too many hotels in the Orlando are for you to be able to positively identify lower * hotels. Too many hotels with the same posted amenities.

    JMO but PL and Hotwire work far better for higher * rated properties. Getting a hotel like the Gaylord Palms or Hyatt Grand Cypress for under $100 is a great deal. People who want to stay at a 2*, 2 1/2* or 3* can probably get a better deal elsewhere. The few dollars you save isn't worth it if you get a bad property.

    When is your trip? I wouldn't book a reservation which can't be cancelled months in advance.

    Suggestion--Assuming Hotwire won't do anything for you keep checking better bidding. Try to look up your reservation. The hotel might get downgraded between now and your trip. That happens you'll have grounds for a refund.

    edited to add--A poster was going to book an opqaue hotel on lastminuute travel. It was a 4.5* hotel, aroiund $80. The poster checked hotel ratings and thought the only 4.5* hotel was the Portofino Bay. The hotel was the Crown Plaze. Many websites are "creative" with what * rating they assign to a hotel.

  15. kt_mom

    kt_mom DIS Veteran

    Jan 27, 2007
    The better bidding site is such a great resource for hotwire and priceline.

    We travel to the Northern Va area freqently and I always bid on our room on priceline. We usually stay in the same area and I know which hotels are in the level I bid on and always get an awesome deal.

    We traveled up there a couple weekend ago for our anniversay and wanted to try a different area. So I posted on better bidding and got some great tips for both priceline and hotwire but I ended up going the priceline route. I ended up getting the Hyatt in Old Town a 4* for 2 nights for $75 a night and the Hyatt in National Harbor also a 4* for $90 for one night.

    I would try posting over on better bidding and see if they have any suggestions on how to handle your situation.
  16. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    Ohhh, I was skipping something when I first read the post.

    "I was given a Ramada which all the other sites rate as 2 star"...

    That was the problem. You can only go by what THAT site rates a hotel at. And that's why sites like betterbidding.com are so great, because they go with what the individual site uses. They cover both hotwire and priceline, and you can see that each of those sites has different ratings for the same hotels.

    What a bummer. :hug::hug:
  17. Disney845

    Disney845 I miss my custom tags

    May 30, 2002
    I totally agree with all of the other posters who suggest using betterbidding in the future. I have had great luck with Hotwire in the past, but I tend to use it to get a "deal" on higher star hotels. I think you can usually find the lower star rated hotels as cheap or cheaper with a little leg work of your own.

    Also, comparing star rating across different booking sites doesn't do you a whole lot of good as the different sites might have different criteria for their rating systems.

    Even using things like betterbidding it is still a gamble. They clearly state that not all hotels are reported on their site, and the list of amenities can and does vary.

    Sorry you are unhappy, but I don't really think you have any recourse when you use these blind/mystery sites.
  18. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    What was the TripAdvisor rating? The reviews that they mention are from Hotwire customers, not TripAdvisor reviews. There should be a TripAdvisor "dot" rating too. That might have helped you in knowing to stay away from that particular hotel. I would double check the TA "dot" rating that Hotwire attributes to the Ramada and what TA's true "dot" rating is. If it's really off, you might be able to get a refund or credit if you work hard enough for it. Unfortunately, getting a hotel you are not happy with is the risk you take when you use Priceline/HW/or LMT. It's something that has happened to all of us who are frequent users at one time or another. I remember staying at the TraveLodge on 192 once because I didn't think there were any 1* hotels in the area and was trying to get into the nicer 2* I booked for my mother a couple weeks before. What a pit!

    If you click on the hotel and then click "see all" next to the amenities more of them sometimes show up.
  19. lovehoney

    lovehoney DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 2005
    I am sorry you had such a bad experience. When I am bidding on Hotwire I usually have 3 or 4 windows open. Better Bidding, TripAdvisor, and priceline (regular price not bid). It usually takes me about an hour of research before I place a bid.

    As long as I do my research, I'm usually happy with the results. If I can't figure out the hotel, I have to decide if I want to make the risk. 4* hotels are usually a safe bet.

    The opaque sites are always a gamble. You can just make the odds better with research. I hope this doesn't deter you in the future. You can save a lot.
  20. puffkin

    puffkin DVC Owner- SSR & AKV

    Apr 30, 2001
    Definitely sounds like you went wrong on a few counts. I'm sorry you had to learn the hard way :goodvibes

    1. I personally will never book below a 3.5* on Hotwire. Usually only 4-4.5*
    2. The star rating is based on how Hotwire customers rate it, not other sites
    3. You have to click on the details to get the trip advisor rating...that usually gives you a clue
    4. Use betterbidding to match up the amenities and ratings of your hotel. I also take it a step further and look back over the last month or so to see what other people have been getting to see if I can match things up

    I'd estimate about 95% of the time I guess correctly on what hotel I am going to get.

    I had one horrible experience with a 2.5* in Atlantic City. It was a complete dive (even for Jersey Shore standards). Think "hourly rate" kind of motel. Not to mention we showed up to check in and they moved us a mile down the street to their "sister" hotel which was even worse. We looked at the room, turned around and left. Drove down the street and checked into a brand new Holiday Inn Express because it was so bad. I was very pleased with how Hotwire handled the situation on our return. They actually refunded us the entire cost of the Holiday Inn (after I sent them my receipt) within 5 business days. I was only expecting to get my Hotwire payment refunded as the Holiday Inn was about double that. I learned my lesson though and will only book 3.5* or above through them from now on.
  21. Belle & Ariel

    Belle & Ariel DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 2008
    OP here.
    I went to the hotel, hoping for the best. My room was hilarius. There was gold foil wallpaper peeling off the walls at almost every seam. The carpeting screamed the 60's and was so filthy there is no way I would take off my shoes. The doors along the hallway had scratches and dents and looked terrible. The hallway carpeting was stained and had food crumbs all over. The room was very small--maybe 10 x 10. The light switch did not work. The room smelled terribly musty/moldy and the a/c was set at 75 and would not come on. I called Hotwire and got a new room which smelled worse. I was ready to pay OOP to stay at another hotel if Hotwire did not move me.
    I sat in my car in 94 degree heat on my cell with Hotwire for over 30 minutes while they changed me to the next star category hotel (which I gladly paid for). They gave me a $25 dollar credit which covered the increase.
    I would probably not usually book a 2.5 star, but our 20 year old daughter is working down here (Atlanta suburb) today and tomorrow and her job pays mileage but not hotel. I wanted to get her something cheap but nice so she would not have to spend all her pay on a hotel. She eagerly takes these out of town assignments and if mom paid, she would be doing it every week!
    I wonder if the hotel described when I booked sold out and they shifted me to the Ramada dump.
    My new hotel is very nice and I think Hotwire fixed the situation. The aggravation I went through though was not worth the money I saved and I doubt I will trust them to book again. I have used Priceline over the last few years and always felt I got what they advertised or better.
    Thank you all for your advice and encouragement.

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