I am livid. I live in Canada. I was looking at Hotwire rates for hotels in Montreal, Canada. The Hotwire rate were posted as $84, $102, $101...nothing to indicate that the $ were not Canadian. Only as the booking was going through did the website show that the fare was in US dollars. Oh la la. I tried to hit cancel as the transaction was being processed but it was too late.
I immediately called their help line. After a 20 minute wait, I spoke with an agent who kept saying, "Our default rates are in US dollars. You should have modified the currency." I explained that my address shows that I am in Canada, I am booking a hotel in Canada, yet Hotwire presents rates in US dollars ...it simply didn't occur to me that the rates were not in Canadian dollars. Yes, there is a small box in the upper right corner of the screen that says "USD" - but the rates do not say "USD".
I asked to speak to a supervisor. After a 10 minute wait, the same agent came back on, and said that the supervisor had said there was nothing they could do. I was eventually able to speak to the supervisor, who said the sale was final, and that was that. Basically, it was my fault for not remembering that Hotwire is a US business.
Why does Hotwire even offer a helpline if their agents have neither the authority nor the interest in resolving problems?
There is an irony in the fact that a site dedicated to travel services is so US-centric. Internet sites do not wear flags, showing where they are based. People outside the US don't necessarily think in the same terms as Americans. If Hotwire doesn't want to show prices in local currency, it should be a simple matter f to show that the quoted prices are in US dollars. So - to everyone who lives outside the US and is looking to book outside the US - beware. Sadly, because of their refusal to try to resolve this problem, Hotwire has lost my business for all time.
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