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  1. #16

    • Sharing a Paopu Fruit
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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley815 View Post
    You get what you pay for. There are plenty of warnings on Hotwire that it's non-refundble. Besides, who in their right mind would pay for ANYTHING without knowing exactly what hotel you'd be staying at? That point alone should tell you something is screwed up.

    "Within walking distance" could be a mile or more from the park since maybe someone else could walk a mile just fine. "Close to Disney", well close to Disney compared to what? Las Vegas? You have to take some responsibility and not fall for cheap marketing/sales lines like that. Again, trusting a site that won't even tell you what you're paying for is insane.

    *ALWAYS* book directly with the hotel, otherwise you have no clue what you're getting.
    You're right, the way that Hotwire markets is completely suspicious.

    I used to (and am starting again) to think that they were basically a scam.

    My first Hotwire experience was actually through my sister-in-law. I trusted her to book a room for me during a family emergency, and she did so through Hotwire.

    I should have suspected something, because it was supposed to be at the same hotel she was booked at, and instead it was two hotels down the street. But the hotel was unbelievable for the price we paid, and we weren't inconvenienced at all. My sister-in-law said that she had NEVER had a bad experience with Hotwire, and she highly recommended it.

    But, alas, my first instinct appears to be correct. Sigh.

    Oh well, all I can do now is fight it and warn others.

  2. #17

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I should add that my post wasn't an attack on you, just really wanted to explain how bad those travel sites are. I feel bad for people they take advantage of- hopefully the word will continue to get out that it's *not* worth the cheap prices for dirty, unsafe, rude/scary hotel locations.
    -Wes

  3. #18

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    We did a few years ago and got the "Fantasy Suites" on Katella. It was absolutely one of the worst hotel experiences ever. We haven't used them since.


  4. #19

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I work with OTA's (Online Travel Agents) on a daily basis in Las Vegas. Here is the inside scoop on Opaque partners and how they work.

    An Opaque partner displays the room rate and star rating but not the hotel. The largest Opaque companies are Hotwire and Priceline, but both have completly different buisness models. Hotels use these companies to sell rooms below published rate to move excess inventory without competitors knowledge of the price point. This allows us to maintain rate integrity. Now onto the difference between Hotwire and Priceline.

    With Hotwire only the LOWEST rate a hotel offers will display for that regions star rating. This means the worst or most desperate hotel is what you will recieve when you make your selection. Hotels recieve reports letting us how low we need to go to beat out another property in our star category without being specific to the name. While this can be good from a price perspective for the consumer you will more often than not be disapointed with the hotel you are assigned.

    Priceline is best from both the hotel and consumer perspective. The hotel loads three tiers of rates. The consumer bids on a price they believe is fair. Priceline then finds the closest match which more often than not surprises the consumer as they were able to snag a great room at a pricepoint they determined was fair in their mind. You will not recieve the bottom rung rather a great value.

    I have also read some indifference on Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and the like. Hotels generally have parity clauses with these companies meaning that the hotel cannot have better pricing than these companies. I notice in Anaheim a lot of hotels actually have higher rates than these guys which in general is just bad buisness. Hotels pay anywhere from 15%-30% commision to OTA's depending on the hotel chain and the OTA (Expedia is by for the 800 pound gorrila). If you see a better rate on one of the OTA sites than on the hotels branded site, call the property direct and ask them to match. If the agent refuses ask to speak to a manager and ask where the logic is in not matching. To not match means that you will be booking the lower rate on Expedia and the hotel will have to pay an absurd commision on top of that. I have found this to work everytime I have had resistance from an agent matching. Another downside is that there are booking fees associated with you booking with an OTA. They are usually small so you do not notice but still anywhere from $2-$5 and they are very rigid on cancellation fees. Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity are very reputable and honest, but the hotels all appreciate you booking direct.

    I hope this is not to long winded and comes in handy for some, I have been reading posts like this forever and just felt compelled to finally chime in.

  5. #20

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    For what it's worth, I have gotten out of a Priceline booking twice with a full refund.

    I have only used Hotwire once and was satisfied.

  6. #21

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Well, since I had no luck with my phone calls, I emailed their customer service department. I included links to the "roach" reviews in my email. I calmly explained that I did not feel that they were abiding by their own contract in assigning clients to this hotel, and that I felt it only fair for them to refund my money since I will not be staying there.

    They sent back an email that started with "We understand that you are upset with your recent hotel stay..." and proceeded to basically state that they check all of their hotels, so if my stay was bad it's not their fault.

    So, now I know for sure that even if I were to stay at this hotel, and that I was unhappy, that they would do nothing to rectify the problem.

  7. #22

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I strongly believe in getawaytoday.com and suggest you check it out, I've never used anyone else since all the other sites cost way way more.


    DLR/DCA: 8x 1999,2003,2007,2008,2009,2010,2012, 2014
    WDW: 1x 2009
    Tall Ship Sailor: ​Lady Washington 2011


  8. #23

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I have to agree that Hotwire is shady and have set up their business so that they can pretty much get away with murder. However, to the people bashing EVERY travel booking site, Expedia is very up front about what hotel and what room you're getting so you can check reviews first and you know what you're getting into. Plus you can get a refund. I have used them for four trips to Disneyland and all were very successful, and I got them both for a very good deal compared to booking through the hotel! So, it's not every site...just saying.

  9. #24

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    I usually check Expedia or Orbitz for rates and then check if the same rate is available direct through the hotel. If it's not, I book it on one of those sites. Never had a problem at all. No way could I use Hotwire or Priceline for a vacation though. I need to know where I'm staying and what amenities the hotel has. I can't enjoy my late afternoon beer in the hot tub if there's no hot tub.

  10. #25

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Quote Originally Posted by moshilove View Post
    I have to agree that Hotwire is shady and have set up their business so that they can pretty much get away with murder. However, to the people bashing EVERY travel booking site, Expedia is very up front about what hotel and what room you're getting so you can check reviews first and you know what you're getting into. Plus you can get a refund. I have used them for four trips to Disneyland and all were very successful, and I got them both for a very good deal compared to booking through the hotel! So, it's not every site...just saying.
    Completely agree. I think both Expedia and Orbitz are running very upfront and on the level operations.

  11. #26

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    CinderellaStory, I understand you are upset... but I think you got yourself into this.

    As others have stated, you buy into a rating and zone. There are no such 'advertisements' such as 'closest to Disneyland', etc. Second, you bought into a 2 star tier. I can understand an ignorance of what that level entails, but any research would show you that this level normal equates to motels at best.

    As to your complaints to Hotwire... look at it from there side. You're calling and complaining about the hotel you got - yet you haven't even been there. From their POV, don't you think they have thousands of people calling with the same types of complaints every day... 'oh I thought I would get X, but you gave me Y'. That's part of the opague process and they must be stringent on enforcement of it.

    In short.. you bought into a two star tier... you were given a hotel in two star... you've looked up that hotel and you don't like the reviews you've read.

    If one wants to use sites like Priceline and hotwire, research is your friend. There is even a thread here on MC about tips on how to use it. With good information, you have pretty good idea of what hotels they are offering, at what prices - and you can decide what you are willing to risk.

    One simple word of advice.. never go below 3 stars.. even 3 stars can be quite low depending on the area.

    I've used hotwire in Anahiem as well and got the convention center hotels for a good rate - and that's pretty much what I expected.

    I could understand if you were upset once you got there and found the hotel to be not as the hotel advertised. Then you have a leg to stand on, and you can help improve the process they use to list and rate hotels. But right now you're coming across as the type who simply didn't like the hotel after you got confirmed. They aren't going to be very flexible on that.. and rightly so.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  12. #27

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Mickey View Post
    Did someone on the phone at Hotwire tell you that you would be in walking distance?
    More then likely they told them it was the closest zone to Disneyland. At worst, if it was a shady sales agent... shouldn't someone telling you this hotel is the closest to DL, yet you can't tell me what the hotels are... raise a flag that this info is in conflict with each other?

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFreak71 View Post
    I want to know my hotel and where it is.
    We like to walk to Disneyland and be across the street.
    It is soooo worth the money knowing where you are going and not having a surprise when you get there.
    Yup, and people are willing to pay for that 'knowledge' and some people are willing to sacrifice some things to pay less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley815 View Post
    I feel bad for people they take advantage of- hopefully the word will continue to get out that it's *not* worth the cheap prices for dirty, unsafe, rude/scary hotel locations.
    This acts like these services only hand out the crappy hotels which is wrong. If you pick a hotel tier of suitable quality, you will get a hotel generally of that quality. You ask to get a cheap thing, you will get a cheap thing.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  13. #28

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    1) The most effective way to resolve an issue (pending that you have booked ahead at least 3 months) is through the BBB. That way the tier I and II service reps are completely eliminated from the escalation process. You will be contacted by a manager or even a director and they will work out an exceptional resolution plan for you.

    2) Online travel services are not regulated by any modern standard of "Fair Play" policies so a website may suggest that the closest option is 1.2 miles away because it just so happens that the Fairfield resort, having tons of vacancies, doesn't play ball with Hotwire's terms of preferred recommendation policies as say the Motel 6 and thus the Fairfield gets pushed out to page 4 of your long list of hotels. There have been attempts at legislation in the past but this has not been enough to stop online booking agencies from picking and choosing based off kickbacks and business relationships.

    3) It's unorthodox but a good way to determine what options you have is google maps or google earth as it gives an up to date view of lodging accomidations in the area. So if by "Close" you mean across the street from the maingate then google maps will show you what's there. From there it's just a matter of determining whether the hotel or some online booking site has a better rate. What you never want to do is use the booking service sites to suggest where you should go because then you're just a pawn in their revenue generating game. I won't even begin to start a rant here about using priceline to book in Vegas but I'm sure that by now you get the idea.

  14. #29

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    Re: Beware of hotwire!!

    westside.. all nice - but doesn't line up with what actually is advertised on Priceline. They don't advertise anything about the hotel's location except in which zone it is.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  15. #30

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    Re: Hotwire

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFreak71 View Post
    I do directly through the hotel.
    I don't trust third party sites.
    I'll pay a little more knowing that, if there was a mistake I'm only dealing with the hotel (who made the mistake) vs trying to get the third party to admit their mistake, then them (3rd party) fiixng it and last but not least, the third party trying to get the hotel to fix their mistake.
    Iam same way
    I think it's smarter way to book a room and you can ask all your question same time!
    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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