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ZZyzx000

Got screwed by Hotwire

By ZZyzx000,
in

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I'm driving to Louisville in a couple weeks to stay a week at the Senior PGA Golf Championship. I figured I could stay in my van Sunday night after driving there and then get a room for 6 nights. I usually use Priceline and only used Hotwire once before. It seems Priceline has more hotels and better deals.

So when I crapped out with Priceline I checked Hotwire and saw a 2 star offered for $32. I remembered that Hotwire ratings seemd to be more liberal than Priceline's so I clicked the 2 star icon and it said 'comparable to a LaQuinta or a Comfort Inn."

Good enough, I bought the room for 6 nights for $219. Then came the bait and switch. I was assigned the SUBURBAN LODGE! These places are 1/2 star at best and have office hours more like banker's hours, once weekly maid service, and are TINY and full of construction men who all fire up their deisel puckup trucks at 5:30 AM.

Not only that but you get the same room for 1 week for $169 plus tax on their web site, on their 800# or simply by walking in the door.

I made all these arguements to Hotwire and asked many times for them to bump it upstairs where someone has the authority to issue me a refund. It took 2 daily emails and several phone calls plus a complaint to the BBB of San Francisco and the Federal Trade Commission and finally after 3 weeks someone promised me a refund. It was too much work and I still have a bitter taste in my mouth. Why couldn't they listen to an experienced traveller who was telling it like it is?

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Please post this 'win' in the Kentucky state category along with the amenities so that others will know to avoid it (if they so choose) in the future.

I understand your disappointment, but to play devil's advocate here are some points in Hotwire's defense:

-both Expedia and Orbitz rate this property a 2* so their star rating is not necessarily too liberal in this instance

-there are some properties within the same brand that are great and some that are horrible... unless you've stayed or seen this particular location you don't know if it is one of the better locations in the chain and is indeed worthy of a 2 star rating

-you used Hotwire because you weren't successful with Priceline... at least Hotwire was able to get you a room at a time when i imagine most hotels were not available (or highly inflated rates) due to the golf tournament

-if the $159/week rate was available on their website for your stay you could have used the Double the Difference Guarantee to get this place for about $100/week (or $16/nite) which sounds pretty good, but i don't think you would have been happy there at any price

-even Priceline has some properties at the 2* level (Candlewood Suites, Residence Inns, etc) that only offer once per week maid service

I think the lesson for others to be learned from your experience is not to never use Hotwire, but more importantly to stick with the higher rated properties when you are making an opaque purchase (thru Hotwire or Pricelne) and don't have any idea as to the hotel's identity.

So did you make a Priceline purchase to replace this one (i haven't looked at the dates of your others posts yet, but thank you for posting them all... it's very much appreciated). Hopefully thru the use of this board users will know how to avoid properties such as this one if they choose to do so.

Thanks again for listing your previousl wins and in advance for adding this Suburban Lodge Hotwire win to the Kentucky thread.

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I did try the double the difference guarantee but they weasled out by saying I booked for 6 nights instead of 7. Any fool knows they can check out when they want to after paying a weekly rate.

So Hotwire was not opening their ears to my complaints. If they were I would have made this point: If a hotel is primarily an extended stay property, why not say so and quote a weekly rate? Answer: Because for $169 a week, there is not going to be any big discount nor any big commission for a 3rd party to make. Nobody is going to get a Suburban Lodge (who would want one anyways) for $100 for the week, so why does Hotwire even bother with them. All it does is tarnish their business. They lost me who stays 30 weeks per year in hotels.

And I failed to mention that Last year I reserved a Suburban Lodge somewhere and called ahead to arrange a 2AM arrival with the front desk (security guard has the key). This done, when I arrived 1/2 asleep, the guard said the hotel was sold out and referred me to another place 20 miles away. This was a paid VISA reservation with their own reservation system. I contacted corporate management and wasn't even givven an apology.

That aside, My ratings of a Suburban Lodge are accurate: 1/2 star. What others rate them is their opinion. But if you're comparing them to a LaQuinta or a Comfort Inn, they are not in the same league.

And a bit like apples and oranges. Compared to Extended Stay, if Extended Stay is a 2 star (and that's being generous to them), then Suburban Lodge is a 1 star and Homestead Suites are a 2.5 star and Candlewood Suites are a 3 star.

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not sure how you got screwed...disappointed...possibly...screwed...no...you weren't forced to buy anything...i see constantly where there is little to no savings using hotwire, i use them as a reference mainly, but i occassionaly purchase their offerings...it's also not uncommon for longer stays to reflect lower rates based upon the days of the week...7 can be less expensive than 6...the way i read their guarantee...your claim is not valid...that being said...stay away from hotwire if it makes you happy...people also complain about priceline constantly...distressed inventory is exactly that...but in the end...price typically dictates future actions...have i been disappointed by priceline or hotwire...yes...until i realize how much more disappointed i would have been paying 2-3 times more without them...it's amazing how quickly the disappointment goes away...

these services aren't for everybody...but then...even fresh fruit's a gamble...

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I repeat one point: I don't use an agent to book a $169 a week dive. There are no savings to be had. Any discounter who promises big savings and then puts a Suburban Lodge on the platter is looking for trouble.

edited by thereuare

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Or better yet - just figure that there's no such thing as a free lunch. of course they're going to give you the one-bed smoking room - that's the room nobody else will buy. The last time I used Priceline they stuck me in a Sheraton that was in the middle of nowhere, 20 miles from where I needed to be. This was supposedly a 5* property. I could have booked it for less by calling the hotel directly, but there's no way I would have because I would not normally have stayed at a Sheraton to begin with.

I've used Priceline twice and both times it was a total rip-off.

Moo

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I've used Priceline twice and both times it was a total rip-off.

If you would have done your home work on the area you were bidding on, we would not be here now reading this!

Many of us here use PL all the time and never have problems like this because we take the time to research the area before we bid.

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Very true, bbbb. Every once in a blue moon I hear a true Priceline horror story (like the Charles de Gaulle airport hotel with no plausible way of getting to the airport in a cost efficient manner), but these are extremely rare. In general, booking a hotel on priceline is about as "safe" as booking a hotel directly. The only real difference is that you don't get to choose your specific hotel (just your area and quality level), and you usually save a ton of money.

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Mookahn,

Welcome to BetterBidding!

We welcome both positive and negative experiences at BetterBidding, but your comments would have a bit more credibility if you posted your winning bids and exactly what was wrong with the hotels (as well, it would caution other people from bidding that area).

To complain that "the hotel was 20 miles from where you needed to be" doesn't sound like Priceline's fault... was it within the shaded boundaries of their map for that zone?

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBSEP20
(Express Deals or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 09/30/2020)

Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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