Teaching in Monterey and living in San Jose can be inconvenient when I’m assisting both open water and advanced water courses. I used to drive back and forth but recently I started to stay at hotels for convenience.
Priceline and Hotwire
This is where Priceline and Hotwire come into play. Oftentimes I can book on these sites and save about $20-30 a night. The risk is that there is no cancellation.
I always have trip insurance (currently world nomads) so I’m covered for natural disasters and what not.
Trip insurance covers the following:
- trip cancellation due to weather (flights only)
- stolen / list items
- medical coverage for unexpected events
My scuba course was recently canceled due to high waves/ swell in the area. I called world nomads and they said it wasn’t covered. So much for trip insurance.
I googled ways to get a hot rates Hotwire refund and found that some people were able to plead with the customer service representative for mercy. I tried my best and called customer service. Pleaded my case. Nope. The response was “my hands are tied with hot rates hotel reservations. We have a contract with he hotel that can not be broken.”
I waited a few days and called the hotel and explained to them that I was teaching a scuba course that got canceled at the last minute. I could reschedule when the class is sorted out. The woman was really nice and said to call her reservations department to cancel. So then another phone call and same explain to the reservations department. The woman was understanding and said she would cancel if she could, but the reservation is paid to Hotwire. I thought I was stuck but then she said something new….
I could call Hotwire back and explain that I talked with her and that the hotel approved of my cancellation and would allow me to get a refund. She gave me her name and contact info for reference.
The Solution: How to get a Refund
Next step- call Hotwire. I get another customer service agent. Instead of giving a sob story, I go staring into the information.
I understand it’s hot rates and no cancellation, but I spoke with the hotel and they agreed to cancel my reservation and that Hotwire can call them back for confirmation.
Instead of the usual “my hands are tied” he asks for the name of he representative I spoke with at the hotel and to wait a moment. He then puts me on hold while he calls the hotel.
Five minutes later he says they are going to refund me. Yay! So – in essence the hotrates hotel reservations can be canceled in the event that the hotel agrees to the cancellation and hasn’t received payment from Hotwire.
I was so relieved. I haven’t tried this again, but I’m hoping I don’t have to. In some cases, I bet the customer service at other hotels might not be so accommodating.