I've read another posting before to beware of HotWire, with a reply that not all gamblers win. So I guess that meant if I'm willing to take a risk and book a hotel without knowing the name of it, I should be willing to accept the end result no matter what it is. But the problem is HotWire is making claims that everyone is a winner. This might have been true in the past, but is no longer the case. Time to dump them. Here is why.
A booking was made under the Hot Rate and Best Value guarantees, specifically stating: "When brand-name hotels use us to fill rooms that would otherwise go unsold, their prices are deeply discounted. Hotels don't want to publicize rates this low, so we hide their name until after booking" and "With Best Value, you get an outstanding deal for a hotel of that star rating". The purchase price represented a savings of 87 CENTS over the price listed on the hotels' own website, which is nowhere near a deep discount. Would a hotel really be that afraid of publicizing a rate that is 87 CENTS less than what they currently have listed? Customer service initially claimed the Hotwire website had to list a specific percentage discount, otherwise they would not be able to help. The next day, they claimed that they cannot accept any emails with attachments after a copy of the hotel booking page showing the price was sent to them. They claim that they cannot provide the breakdown of the taxes/fees charge, as well as refuse to provide contact information for the finance department that calculated this charge and has the breakdown. The customer service rep claims the tax fee was over the amount charged by the hotel due to 3rd party fees. Completely misleading advertisement and unacceptable business practices.
These guys are middlemen. But they're no longer worth my money.