Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hotwire Rant ~ Unwanted Blockbuster, Today's Escapes, Zoobooks!

We recently purchased airline tickets for my son and his *former* fiance through Hotwire ~ she wasn't his *former* fiance until AFTER the tickets were purchased, go figure. (we purchased the tickets when she was 100% gung-ho to come home and get married - if only we had waited two more days. Of course, Hotwire does not offer refunds, so we had to eat the ticket with no offer to be paid back, which is a whole other rant not related to THIS rant. But, while I'm at it, even though we were two weeks from the flight date, Hotwire couldn't transfer the ticket to one of our son's friends so it wouldn't be a total loss either - again, that's another rant).

Today's rant is the extras that Hotwire fails to tell you about when you purchase your tickets through them. For shame, for shame, Hotwire!

We purchased out tickets using our PayPal debit/credit card, which has up to the minute account information. Two days after the ticket purchase through Hotwire, I noticed a charge on my card for Blockbuster for $10.76. At first I didn't associate the two ~ but, I knew we hadn't been anywhere near a Blockbuster for years....yes, I"m talking YEARS. I called PayPal and got the charge reversed, only to have it show up again the very next day. I called PayPal again and also noticed a pending charge for Today's Escapes and Value Max. By this time, I was thinking somebody had gotten ahold of our credit card number.

PayPal was very helpful and also very proactive. We ended up disabling our current PayPal Mastercard and they reissued us another one. It took about 10 days to get our new card ~ so, that's 10 days without access to our PayPal balance other than online payments (like eBay for instance). We use our PayPal card at the gas pump, when ordering pizza, to reserve a hotel room, etc. So, thanks to Hotwire, we were without the ability to do this for 10 days. We travel, therefore, this was more than a *minor* inconvenience.

After getting all of this straightened out through PayPal - well, actually, I am STILL trying to get Blockbuster to comprehend that I did NOT intentionally sign up folr their service and I do NOT WANT their service ~ c'mon Blockbuster, get a flipping clue!

Anyway, after hopefully getting this all straightened out with PayPal, I just got not one, but two notices from ZooBooks that my credit card had failed to authorize (ya think???) and they were billing me for my subscription.

I'm not sure what happened or how exactly we got all this headache through using Hotwire. Is it a survey after the purchase that my husband filled out? Is it that we didn't go through and UNcheck all the little boxes? What a farce! You would think with a responsible company that wants repeat customers, you would make it where you have to physically check boxes to receive all this crap and not that you have to UNcheck boxes in order NOT to receive all this crap. And, it is crap. If I wanted Blockbuster or ZooBooks, I would go to their website and get it myself. I don't need Hotwire deciding what I need and signing me up for it automatically.

I am a very, VERY unhappy FORMER Hotwire customer. I would rather have paid the 50.00 or so that I saved by using Hotwire, and dealt with a reputable, responsible company and not had three weeks (and counting) credit card headaches that I've had to deal with.

Twittering this, too. Hope it helps somebody else!

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