Fair warning...this is a rant!
Well...as if I haven't been having enough to juggle...I am in this nightmare situation with the travel site, Hotwire.com
I have used several different sites to book hotels over the years, and this is the first time I have been so extremely disappointed and infuriated. The premise behind this particular site (Hotwire.com) is that you can choose a hotel based on its rating, but until you book the reservation, you won't know exactly which hotel you're getting...just that it belongs to a certain grouping that is listed. It's always worked out pretty well for us, we get an economical hotel and my husband has family in Fresno so when we go up to visit them, we usually book our room using this site. Or, I should say, we used to do so!
We convinced my BIL to try it on his last trip and he was thrilled with the room that we had booked for him at a hotel called the Picadilly Inn (on McKinley Ave.). So...when it came time for him to go up with several members of his family, we were happy when we were able to get him two rooms using Hotwire and they turned out to be at the Picadilly Inn-Airport. At the time I made the reservation, there were at least 5 more rooms available! I looked at the description of the rooms once we made the reservation and there were two types of rooms described...one with a king-sized bed and one with two queen-sized beds. We reserved two rooms for four adults...figuring that, even if he ended up having to take some of the grandchildren with him, they would be able to squeeze in on one of the beds.
Sigh. Now, this is a volatile guy who has gotten better at controlling his temper over the years...but we do our darnedest to keep things going smoothly for him...so you can imagine how we felt when he called us, REALLY annoyed because not only did they give him two rooms with a single queen bed in each...but there wasn't a BATHROOM DOOR in one of the rooms! Just a shower curtain or something like that. The desk clerk indicated that it is inevitable that there is some kind of mix-up with Hotwire and did nothing to try to make the situation better. He said the hotel was booked and these were the only two rooms available. This is at 4:00 pm. I can't imagine that this is considered a late check-in when check-in starts at 3:00 pm.
So, there I am, trying to call Hotwire.com to find out what can be done about this situation...and of course I get lost in voicemail hell at first, but eventually we get to the part where you start hearing the recording telling you how much they appreciate your patience and that someone will be getting to you as soon as possible. After about 10 minutes, we got to the part where the recording says that an operator will be with us in 3 minutes...and about 45 minutes later, some useless customer service representative comes on...and his response to the complaint about the wait time was that it was an 'approximate' estimate (somehow I think there is a big difference between about 3 minutes and almost an hour!) and that they were busy. So...his explanation about the hotel is that they have the right to assign whatever room they want to, use of Hotwire does not guarantee a certain room. My complaint that there is no place that indicates that either two queens or one king-sized bed is NOT going to be offered was that Hotwire doesn't have any control over what the hotel assigns to the guest (no problem if it's bait and switch, right?)...and, he wanted to know if they gave an explanation for why there is a SHOWER CURTAIN being used as the bathroom door? What difference does it make what explanation is given? Even outhouses have doors, don't they? Certainly a purported 3 star hotel should have a door on the bathroom, shouldn't it?
So...if you are going traveling, my suggestion is to use anything other than Hotwire.com to book your reservations because, heaven forbid you want to actually talk to anyone or want a room that matches the description on the site. And, beware of booking the Picadilly Inn Airport if you are going to Fresno...unless you don't really care whether you have a door on the bathroom (or maybe the explanation for why there is no door will be sufficient for you, lol)