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Everything posted by BEAV

  1. Thanks for posting your experience, and especially your follow-up. The simple, honest mistake you made in your transaction is similar to the one I described in my own situation last week. In other words, a fairly simple "fix", one would think. I'm still a little bit disappointed in their "Express" service by the way they handled your first attempt to resolve this matter, however I'm glad you stuck with it and are happy in the end. If their express service is going to be successful from a customer service standpoint, then they need to be consistant in the way they handle conflicts, and in my opinion they weren't when you compare our two separate experiences. Just my thoughts! I'm beginning to wonder it they're sending these Hotwire Express letters/emails to anyone who has done business with them in the past? Unless I'm mistaken, none of us in this thread have done the volume of business one would expect to receive "elite" status.
  2. My letter finally arrived as well. The letter claims I was selected "given the volume of business you do with Hotwire". Again, I didn't think 5 or 6 hotel purchases a year warrants being some sort of elite member (especially compared with most frequent stay programs), however I won't argue with them. While any perks to the program remain to be seen, I will reiterate I used the Express service successfully without any hassle when I forgot to add $50 HotDollars to my most recent purchase. Score 1 for Hotwire Express, I suppose. A few days ago, I did call HW Express inquiring as to the whereabouts of my letter. The rep said they had received many similar calls, but to give it another week, and if no letter by then, call back again. Lucikly for HW Express my letter did show up a few days later. While on the phone I did ask the rep about Hotwire's double-the-difference program (or Best Rate Guarantee program). I asked her if we found a lower rate after making a Hotwire purchase if the claim could be processed over the phone with HW Express as opposed to submitting an on-line claim form. She checked around but said 'no' -- claims must still be filed on line. I told her my most recent experiences with double-the-difference (three times in 2008) were that I never received an email advising my claims were approved or denied. In each of my 2008 experiences, the only way I knew my claims were approved was about 10 days after-the-fact when I noticed the credits to my credit card accounts. She did say that in the event I file a future D-the-D claim to go ahead and call HW Express, allow them to see the lower price for themselves, and they will forward a screen shot of the competing rate to the folks in the D-the-D department in addition to my filing the claim on line. I thought that a fair enough response and will be sure to test the waters if/when I find myself in the position to file a claim. With regard to the team of "twenty Hotwire Express travel specialists who are based in the United States", I find this to be an admission on Hotwire's part that foreign-based call centers leave a lot to be desired when it comes to customer service. Expedia has the same type set up. After you've spent 15 hotel nights (within a calendar year) or $10,000 dollars (which ever comes first) you are considered Expedia ELITE and have a separate toll-free 800 number to contact a U.S-based call center vs their 'standard' centers outside the U.S. I mean no disrespect to the hard-working folks who staff foreign-based call centers for U.S. companies, however few would deny that language barriers can often be problematic. Last week I called Expedia, and although I had a pleasant conversation with one of their reps in a Salvadoran call center, the language barrier was a major stumbling block since the rep spoke very broken English and very FAST at that. So I think it's a bit comical Hotwire & Expedia save money (?) by having foreign call centers only to have to open U.S.-based centers for their 'best' customers?
  3. Thanks, thereuare, for yet another innovative feature to Better Bidding. On the occasion someone books a back-up reservation on Priceline's retail product off your link from BackUpBooking.com, will BetterBidding.com automatically receive "credit" for the booking? If not, is there a way to use this new feature and ensure BB gets the credit?
  4. BEAV


    You won't find any specific advertisement on Expedia regarding the $83 Le Meridien price. I just check SF prices frequently (4-5 times a week?) on Expedia and noticed the extra-low price at Le Meridien. As to the 10FEB discount code that gives you an additional $10 off per night, that was posted on the Hotel Deals forum at FlyerTalk.com. There are so many hotel deals out there these days, that I don't believe Expedia is capable of advertising each and every one of them separately. I just find these prices by surfing. I did book the $83 Le Meridien price when I noticed it on Monday. When it still there on Tuesday, I decided to post here since it's a terrific deal. I haven't checked today to see if it's still up. These deals tend to come and go quickly, however from my experience if you miss one, chances are it'll be back again. This economy isn't going to improve overnight, so in the meantime I think these hotel deals will be around for quite some time.
  5. BEAV


    For the next two weekends (Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun nights) Expedia is selling the Le Meridien starting at $83 per night, with a two-night minimum stay required. You can take an additional $10 off per night by entering the code 10FEB when you check-out at Expedia. Date are: Feb 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and Mar 1. As info, HOTWIRE is selling the Le Meridien this upcoming weekend for $109 (4.5 star in Embarcadero zone). For the adventurous, you could purchase from Hotwire and then apply for their double-the-difference claim against Expedia's $83 rate (make prints of the Expedia price in the event it's no longer available when Hotwire processes your claim). A successfull claim will result in a $57-per night rate (pre-tax).
  6. I noticed the Huntington earlier today on Hotwire before seeing this post, and found these amenties from the HW vacation package: Smoke-Free Fitness Pool Restaurant Business Internet Spa In looking up speedo2000's dates, a hotel with these same amenities is still displaying.
  7. This property has been upgraded 4 to 4.5 stars. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa - Concierge Tower 3800 South Virginia Street Reno, NV 89502 (775) 825-4700 Check-in Date: Feb 17 2009 Check-out Date: Feb 18 2009 Room Rate: $79.00 Taxes/Fees: $15.89 Total: $94.89 Amenities: Casino Airport Shuttle Restaurant(s) Business Center High-speed Internet Access Golf Nearby Tennis Nearby Spa Services Note: Complimentary breakfast appears as an amenity in the vacation package, and occasionally in the opaque hotel-only product. It comes and goes, so beware! Purchased through the Better Bidding link to HOTWIRE.
  8. I received the following email a little over a week ago. Dear XXXX, By now you should have received a letter in the mail detailing your new Hotwire Express support program. I want to again thank you for your business and encourage you to use this plan that includes an enhanced level of service and support. As one of our elite customers, you are entitled to: Faster response and issue resolution More flexibility when your plans change Proactive communication With a team of twenty U.S.-based Hotwire Express travel specialists at your service, traveling well for less is bound to be easier. Have a problem? Give them a call. We know that you appreciate the discounts you receive from Hotwire. But remember - those great discounts don't come at the expense of service. We're here to help you. Your preferred customer care number is: XXXXXXX For assistance: Call: (800) ###-#### Email: {removed} AT hotwire.com During business hours (8AM
  9. BEAV


    Forgot to mention you can take an additional $10 off per night on the Expedia deal under the following conditions: 1. Stay minimum two nights 2. Book by Feb 28 for stays through April 30. If you meet the above criteria, enter code 10FEB during check-out (click on "I have a coupon"). Please use the Expedia link off this website to support BB.
  10. BEAV


    Expedia is selling the Westin San Francisco Market St starting as low as $99. Prices vary by date and are being sold for a "limited amount of time". I've seen $99-$109 pricing now all the way into May. Le Meridien (formerly Park Hyatt) has a $119 Travelzoo rate (links to Le Meridien website) of $119 Thursday-Sunday nights now until May. Book by Feb 13. This hotel rarely comes up on Priceline due to the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and Hilton Financial District usually coming in at lower rates. This hotel frequently sells on Hotwire for $149 and up. http://hotels.travelzoo.com/california-hotels/531052
  11. You can also research HOTWIRE's vacation package product (air + hotel) to see if by chance there are any other 3 stars besides Staybirdge listed in San Bruno. No guarantee anything will show up, but worth a shot....
  12. We've stayed twice at the Intercontinental, and both times booked w/Hotwire. On our first visit, we received a very nice complimentary upgrade. We didn't ask for it, the desk clerk just searched for any available room w/king bed and it was an upgraded room (Executive King, all of which are corner rooms). It was simply a matter of being at the right place at the right time. On our second stay, we took whatever they gave us, mainly because we weren't going to be spending much time in our room. Even so, we received a very nice room -- it's hard to go wrong at this hotel. A few weeks ago we stayed at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental and I was interested in upgrading to a higher floor since the views are good from Nob Hill. In this economy, and the hotel seemingly empty, they were all too happy to offer us an $$$ upgrade. It's a buyers market right now, so speak up and make your preferences known.
  13. Hotwire Ft Lauderdale changes per vacation package search Mar 10-12, 2009. Hyatt Pier 66 Upgraded 3.5 to 4 stars Resort Near Beach Fitness Pool Restaurant Business Internet Golf Tennis Spa Renaissance Ft Lauderdale (Downtown-Las Olas) Downgraded 4 to 3.5 stars Smoke-Free rooms Fitness Pool Restaurant Business Internet
  14. If you were bumped from Wynn and reaccomodated at the Trump against your wishes due to no casino, Hotwire should refund your entire purchase if that's what you wish to do. You all booked a hotel that offers a casino and have been reassigned to one that doesn't. That alone entitles you to a full refund from Hotwire. Last month, Hotwire was advertising the Tuscany Towers at Peppermill in Reno as 100% non-smoking when in fact the property is not 100% smoke-free. I called Hotwire and they immediately refunded my purchase -- no questions asked (in addition to being given $50 Hotdollars). To anyone who wishes to get out of your original purchase, I suggest you contact Hotwire again and press the matter of casino vs no casino. Good luck!
  15. Although it would have been nice to get the Huntington identified and on the list, I'm fine with the Mark Hopkins. Any "disappointment" lies with HOTWIRE's differing amenities for the same property based on number of travelers entered! :)
  16. This was wierd. Initially, I entered my search for 2 adults and received these amenities in the display for $119: Restaurant Business Internet Note: No TripAdvisor info given Next, I entered 3 adults and received the following amenities for $126: Restaurant Fitness Business Internet TripAdvisor info was more-or-less a match for the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental. The amenites displayed were also an exact match for the Mark Hopkins on the hotel list as well as in Hotwire's vacation package. Based on that research, I was thinking the hotel for $119 was the Huntington, which has been discussed on a couple other threads as a possible new Hotwire participant. And of course the hotel for $126 was an all-around match for the Mark Hopkins (or so I thought!). I purchased the hotel for displaying $119 for two adults and was assigned the Mark Hopkins! :) So the question is, has anyone ever reported the same hotel displaying different amenities based on the number of travelers entered into the search? InterContinental Mark Hopkins Number One Nob Hill San Francisco, California Check-in date: Jan 22, 2009 Check-out date: Jan 23, 2009 Rate per Night: $119 Taxes/fees: $22.49 Total: $141.49 Amenities: Restaurant Business Internet Purchased through the BetterBidding link to HOTWIRE.
  17. BEAV

    Ex.pedia 48 hour sale

    Howdy! It started yesterday, so the sale will probably expire tonite at midnight. I tried calling the Fairmont direct hoping they'd match Expedia's price (I was looking for stay credit within the Fairmont President's Club). They will price match, however on a non-refundable basis. Since I'm looking to book Memorial Day weekend, I'll book through Expedia since their rate is refundable.
  18. Thanks for your reply. I wouldn't have expected success for a premium car at $20, so posting your bid was helpful. I just won a bid for a premium car in Orlando for $19 (started at $17 and worked my way up). I was assigned Avis as well.
  19. Started a couple days ago at $17, raising $1 each day until success at $19. AVIS - MCO Orlando Pick-Up Date: January 24, 2009 Drop-Off Date: January 31, 2009 Your Offer Price: $19.00 (per day) Total Rental Days: 7 days Subtotal: $133.00 Taxes and Fees: $76.18 Total Charges: $209.18 Florida car rental taxes are ridiculous! Bid placed through Better Bidding link to PRICELINE.
  20. Welcome to Better Bidding, Moosu. Note to thereuare: This is a new property to add to the hotel list. :)
  21. Welcome to Better Bidding. I've rented premium cars from Avis and have been assigned Buick Lucernes, Lincoln Town Cars and Ford Crown Victorias. I'm looking to bid Orlando for 1/24-1/31. Was $20 your initial bid for premium, or were you first rejected at a lower amount?
  22. A Hotwire vacation package search Jan 13-15 reveals the Concord Hilton (Oakland-East Bay/Concord-Walnut Creek) has been downgraded 3.5 to 3 stars. Amenities: Fitness Pool Restaurant Internet (new) Golf Tennis
  23. We toured the Tuscany Tower suites a few months ago while in Reno and I agree, they are beautiful accomodations. This past summer we stayed at the Summit at Grand Sierra and they, too, are wonderful rooms. The marble bathrooms, alone, are worth staying there. Although they don't have bathtubs, the showers are huge and could easily accomodate six people (talk about water conservation... :) )!
  24. Today I saw for the first time a 4.5 hotel in the South Reno/Airport zone. One of the amenities displayed was Smoke Free Rooms - Guest rooms at this hotel are always smoke-free.. Knowing there are only three 4* hotels in this zone (Summit, Peppermill and Atlantis) I set out to check the non-smoking status of each. The Summit's website said all rooms at their property are 100% smoke free. I couldn't find anything about 100% smoke free rooms (hard to believe at a casino/hotel) at Peppermill and Atlantis, so I called both properties and they confirmed they are not 100% smoke free. You can request a non-smoking room, but no guarantee (no surprise there). So with that information I figured this must be the Summit and that they had been recently upgraded from 4 to 4.5 stars. Although I didn't actually want to pay $155 per night at the Summit, I was hoping this was the Summit because Expe-dia is selling rooms there for $50 today only on a 50% off sale. I planned to apply for Hotwire's double-the-difference guarantee against Expe-dia's price, where I would actually come out ahead by about $75 on the deal (free room and $75 in my pocket). On the chance Hotwire was going to assign me the Peppermill or Atlantis, I knew I had an "out" with the smoking issue. So I made the purchase, and sure enough, Hotwire assigned me the new Tuscany Towers at the Peppermill. Awhile later I called Hotwire, told them about the smoking issue, they put me on hold, called the hotel and confirmed the rooms are not 100% non smoking, and further non-smoking requests are requests only, no guarantees. Without any hassle, Hotwire gave me a 100% refund in addition to $50 hot Dollars in my account for the "inconvenience". So we accomplished three things here; 1. Identified a new hotel for the list 2. Got my money back on a price I really didn't want to pay. 3. Received $50 toward a future purchase It will be interesting to see if Hotwire eventually removes the smoke-free icon when displaying this hotel. If they don't, then buyer beware you are not booking a guaranteed non-smoking room. Tuscany Tower at the Peppermill 2707 South Virginia Street Reno, Nevada 89502 (775) 826-2121 Check-in date : Fri, Feb 13, 2009 Check-out date: Sat, Feb 15, 2009 Hotel rate per night: $155.00 Subtotal: $310.00 Tax & Recovery Fee: $41.83 Total: $351.83 Amenities: Casino Smoke-Free Rooms (Hotwire should remove this icon) Airport Shuttle Restaurant Business Internet Golf Tennis Spa Purchased though the Better Bidding link to HOTWIRE.
  25. UGH...sorry to hear. What a time consuming task keeping these hotel lists updated, huh? I wish it were Priceline making what I feel are some much needed changes. Leaving Courtyard, Summerfield Suites, Residence Inn type properties common-rated at the 3 star level as full service Marriotts, Hiltons, Sheratons, etc, continues to be a major goof IMO.
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