Yesterday we mentioned that you might not want to take the “S” icon—it stands for “suite”—too seriously on a Hotwire hotel room listing, because Jeff did and ended up in a room that was definitely not a suite. When he called Hotwire, they told him that the icons only show what’s offered at the hotel, not what he’s actually getting.
Hotwire read the post, then contacted Jeff to clear things up. Apparently the CSR he spoke with initially was wrong.
A representative of Hotwire corporate called me at 4 pm ET this afternoon after he said several members of the company’s customer care staff, who monitor web sites, blogs and social networking, forwarded the Consumerist story to him. (I have no clue how they found my name or number.) He explained that the hotel can’t assign a room to a Hotwire guest [if the room] doesn’t have the amenities that the hotel advertised. The customer service rep who I had called, he said, gave me incorrect information.
Hotwire has removed the “S”uite icon from the hotel and refunded half the cost of the reservation in “HotDollars.” I would have been pleased with only the removal of the “S”uite icon, so the offer of the HotDollars was extremely generous. As I said in the original post, I’ve used Hotwire on plenty of occasions and it’s really a wonderful service. In the past decade or so, this has been the only hiccup. To the commenters who mentioned they would avoid Hotwire, I’d recommend they give the company a chance. As you can see, they stand behind their service.
Well, that makes more sense at least, since the “S” icon doesn’t mention anything about it being optional.