How to Get a Refund From Hotwire
Here are five ways to get a Hotwire refund. Hotwire has a track record of refusing basic customer service to people with a legitimate reasons for a refund or itinerary change. We all understand that Hotwire can’t cancel a hotel, airline, or car rental reservation for just any reason. But if you’ve been denied customer service by Hotwire, you may not realize that you have options. Hotwire refunds require work. If you have been truly ripped-off you owe it to yourself and other customers to stand up and let Hotwire Customer Service know that this is not how business should be done.
1. Be in control.
Keeping a cool and calm attitude is the most important thing you can do when getting refund. Be calm, professional, and insistent. Don’t apologize about your complaint or be afraid to insist on your request for a refund. Profanity and rudeness will not earn respect or validate your claim. Refuse to stoop to nasty behavior, even if it is being thrown your way, control yourself and the situation. It makes you look good no matter how rude a Hotwire customer service representative may be. See the excellent article How to fix your trip for some important tips before starting a confrontation.
2. Document your complaint.
Make sure that you have proof of the transaction and all details to prove your case for a refund or itinerary change. Record names and badge numbers of people you speak with. Make screen shots of online information relating to the case. Save emails. Take photos.
3. Exhaust all options.
Before logging a complaint online against Hotwire, give the system a chance to work. Start with Hotwire’s customer service department and work your way up from there.1 Customer service representatives are trained to keep problems from going to managers or supervisors. Keep asking. If you are stonewalled, politely ask Hotwire customer service to transfer you to a manager or someone else who can take care of your problem. Inform them that you can hold if they tell you a supervisor is not available. You may need to spend and hour or two on the phone with the rep before you can convince him or her that you are serious about getting the problem fixed. If your calls to the Hotwire Customer Service are ignored you may be able to reach a helpful representative at one of the alternate phone numbers such as the Outside U.S./Canada phone number. You may have success contacting the hotel directly to see if they can call Hotwire on your behalf.
Any calls to Hotwire Corporate Customer Care will get directed to voice mail. Return all phone calls. Always leave a message with your itinerary number and a phone number at which you can be reached. Keep record of any phone calls that have not been returned by customer service about your problem.
Hotwire Inc. Contact Information
655 Montgomery St Ste 600, San Francisco, CA 94111-2627
General Phone number: (415)-343-8400 and (425) 679-4484
Hotwire Customer Care: (866) 468-9473
Outside U.S./Canada: (920) 634-3150 (Select the prompt that applies to your situation to get the right representative. If none of the prompts fit your situation, press 0 twice, then 1 then #.)
Customer Escalations Lead: Amy Monfils: (Customer Care Relations)
Hotwire President and CEO: Clem Bason
4. Report It
• Better Business Bureau®:
Ok, you’ve tried everything. Hotwire customer service refused to make it right or give a refund. But you still have more options. First, log a complaint with any rating companies of which Hotwire is a member, such as Better Business Bureau. (See my BBB Hotwire complaint report) You are doing yourself and the public a favor by reporting it. If every wronged customer had the courage to protest instead of sitting down and writing it off as a loss, there would be an improvement in Hotwire business practices. Provide specific details of your complaint, and note if you have not been contacted by Corporate Customer Care to resolve your problem. Follow through on any communication. You may be offered a Hot Dollars credit to your Hotwire account. Be firm about a real, monetary refund that fairly covers your case.
• Credit card Company:
Call your credit card company and report the incident. Even if you have paid the credit card bill, they will still give you a refund if they decide in your favor. The credit card company may have a mandatory waiting period before you can log a complaint.
• Consumer Advocacy Sites:
File a complaint with Ripoff Report and InternetBlacklist.org. These are a sites for consumer advocacy. Email a copy of your Ripoff report to Hotwire at firstname.lastname@example.org and inform them that you are very willing to update your report with any positive response they give to your complaint.
If you have used PayPal for the transaction, log the complaint with them. First, you will communicate with the seller through PayPal. If the issue is unresolved, escalate the claim. PayPal will investigate it and make a decision between you and Hotwire. Make sure you provide any documentation PayPal asks for during the process. PayPal does a great job of protecting their customers.
• California Attorney General:
California Attorney General / Seller Of Travel
300 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA90013-1230
5. Get the word out!
• Social Networking:
Let the public know what kind of customer service you received. Social networking plays a large role in defining a business. Post your on Hotwire’s Facebook page, by logging in and “Liking” Hotwire so you can comment. The comment may be deleted. You will have better luck posting with other relevant comments than starting an obvious new post. Re-post if necessary and ask them to respect your comment but do not use abusive language or over-post your review. Be creative with your reviews.
Use Twitter to spread the word. Get your complaint noticed by tweeting Hotwire on Twitter. Ask your followers for advice. Someone who had the same problems with Hotwire may be able to give you some good advice.
Do you have video footage or photos of your deficient hotel room? Upload them to YouTube to share with the world. Be creative. Make a video spoof or slideshow. Extra Normal.com is a great site to easily make a text based video.
• Write and Rate:
After your Hotel stay, you will be able to rate your hotel and Hotwire experience. Do not confuse the two. The hotel rating is to inform other travelers about your experience and what to kind of rooms and service to expect at this location. You will be emailed a link for the hotel review after your stay. Review the hotel on Hotwire’s site. Also, post a hotel review with Trip Advisor® and include photos you have taken your room.
Hotwire will also send you a link to rate their service. If any complaints about the hotel have not been resolved, include the details in the review and rate the service you were given by Hotwire. This will be reviewed by customer service, and you may be contacted about your stay.
Other Review Sites:
Also, write reviews and rate Hotwire.com on sites that list ratings for businesses such as Google Maps, Viewpoints.com, Tripadvisor, Yelp, Epinions, Topix , Web of Trust and RateItAll. Ratings matter. It may get attention to your problem. List your review of Hotwire on customer complaint sites such as Complaints Board, Pissed Consumer, My3cents, or Complaints.com. Find travel blogs, guides such as Lonely Planet, or forums that address your issue and post reviews. Keep your comments relevant to any topics you post on and avoid profanity.
• Start a Blog:
Let others know about your experiences and what you did to resolve the problem. You already did the work and the research. Others may have tips or advice for addressing the problem. If nothing else, you are turning a negative experience into something good. You never know what part you might play in a company’s decision to revise its poor customer experience.