I love saving money, sometimes it means I would use sites like Hotwire or Priceline to save money especially with mystery hotel rates. For my recent trip to San Diego I decided to use Hotwire to get a good hotel in the downtown or the Mission Bay area. While searching for a good rate, I got a nice 4 star hotel in Downtown for $79 a night. The kind of hotels one could get were shown as Westin and its likes, I was thrilled to be able to get such a deal and booked it instantly alongwith a $16 discount the site was advertising at that time. I discovered it was a new Mariott in the San Diego downtown area called the Renaissance. Now for the big surprise, the hotel has a parking charge of $45 a night. Wow ! What a way to sell hotel rooms, sell them cheap on these sites and then have hidden fees such as these. The parking charge per night is more than 50% of the room cost washing down all your savings.
I immediately got in touch with Hotwire asking to cancel my order, unfortunately I got connected to the rudest agent I have ever talked to in my life. And I have talked to a lot of agents running this consumer blog. She actually started lecturing me on Hotwire rules and cut me off multiple times. She even told me, ‘Sorry sir, but I have to cut you off’. How can an organization accept such poor behavior from its agents. In order to not cloud your judgement and here are some facts about my call with this Hotwire agent which also summarizes what happened :
1. Agent cut me off rudely many times.
2. Agent did not want to listen to me.
3. Agent ‘lectured’ me on Hotwire ‘rules’
4. Agent kept on calling me by a wrong name
5. Agent was incompetent, unable to lookup a choice I was seeing on your website.
6. Agent lied that she cannot use the reference number to find which hotel I am talking about. Later when I didnt relent she looked it up.
7. Agent just refused to honor the $16 discount which had initially brought me to this site
Anyway, long store short, I did get a new hotel after going through my ordeal with this agent and asking to speak with a supervisor. I ended up complaining about her behavior towards me via multiple methods and finally got a response after I complained via social media. However the investigation agent came back with that the agent was ‘professional’ and something that sounded like everytime the agent did something wrong she apologised. Wow ! I did get $20 refunded for the issue, however its in the form of hotdollars which is only usable on Hotwire and has an expiry of one year. Dang it, it means I probably have to deal with this company again.
Just putting this out there incase you are about to book via Hotwire, the savings are not worth it. Will sent Hotwire a link to this also.