Have you ever made a purchase and regretted it the moment the transaction went through? Well that’s exactly what happened to me when I made the idiotic decision to book through Hotwire for an upcoming trip to Brussels, Belgium. The doubts in the pit of my stomach were screaming NOOOO but the images of all those happy penny-pinching people in the adverts flashed before me and that was enough to reassure me that there shouldn’t be an issue with choosing the secret hot rate hotel. STUPID, but the price was reasonable and looking at the hotel description, area it was tagged in, and the other hotels close to my secret hotel – I was where I wanted to be so what could go wrong right? Apparently everything and nothing can be done about it as there’s a non-refundable clause. ARG!
Now, I play the role of unhappy customer wishing I had never heard of Hotwire as I don’t resemble any of the happy people in the TV commercials or share the sentiments written by other customers that are posted on their website. Instead, I’m the panicked customer that desperately wishes for an abort button. After a moment of self-pity, I make the last-ditch effort to contact customer support to see if there’s any way this could be rectified. Turns out that customer support is not all that supportive. The email that I fired off was greeted with nothing but cold resistance. I was politely told that they understood the location of the hotel and regret any inconvenience this causes me but if I look at the area selected on the map, it encompasses all of Brussels which includes where this hotel can be found…SUCKA (okay, truth be told, the email didn’t include the actual word SUCKA but trust me, it was there in-between the lines!).
I guess it doesn’t matter that the other hotels that were tagged as “in the neighbourhood” were anything but or that this was labelled as Brussels and not Brussels North like the other hotels that could actually be found near to where this one is. Maybe it’s just shame on me for relying heavily on this information instead of factoring the map into the equation when making my decision. Damn, I should have known better than to have dismissed a map that highlighted all of Brussels! At this stage, the two choices before me is to either deal with the hassle this location will cause or loss the 178 euros that I forked over and book elsewhere. Right now, I’m not sure which of these scenarios is the better option but what I am sure about is for the rest of my travels throughout Europe (and forever after), I will not make the mistake of booking through Hotwire. EVER AGAIN!