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Hot "Wires" Crossed
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 A Greenville woman says hotwire.com was the scrooge that almost ruined Christmas. All she wanted was to get her sister's family home for the holidays, but a costly mistake almost cost this family it's reunion.

Patti Melaragno, Consumer

"We really wanted to bring them home."

Patti Melaragno was in the midst of a crisis, and was desperately trying to get her family home for Christmas.  It was December 20th, and she knew booking a flight last minute would be expensive, that's what led her to hotwire.com.


"I had heard that 'hotwire' offers the best, lowest tickets."

In fact, Patti did get a good deal, $1,300 for 4 round trip tickets from Houston to Providence...or so she thought.


"The downside to 'hotwire' is they don't reveal your iteniary until after you pay for the tickets"

When Hotwire confirmed her flights, that's when Patti realized she had made a huge mistake!


"I booked the wrong flight."

 Instead of flying her familiy from Houston to Providence, Patti mistakenly booked them from Providence to Houston.


"I immediately called Hotwire."

 But Hotwire made it clear that they do not offer refunds..but they were willing to make one exception and rebook the correct flight.


"He said the good news is, I have flights from Houston to Providence on those dates, but it is more expensive."

 Nearly $3,000 dollars more. Patti' did ask Hotwire to try changing the dates to see if the price would go down...Hotwire refused, saying her only options; pay the difference or pay $1,300 for useless tickets.


"I am grateful to Channel 12 for negotiating on my behalf, but it is disheartening that I as the consumer had no influence over this company."

 Call for Action contacted Hotwire and they said their policy is clear, no refunds. But honest mistakes do happen, and it's hard to believe that this company leaves no room for error. Well, after several phone calls with a Hotwire representative Call for Action got action when Patti couldn't.


"Because I know, after my conversation I had with Hotwire that had you, Channel 12 not intercepted on my behalf, I would not have a refund today."

 Hotwire told Call for Action, after reviewing how Patti's case was handled, they admitted they should have deviated from their "no refund" policy. As for Patti's family, they did get home, no thanks to Hotwire, Patti found a better deal on another website, all she had to do was change the return date home, something Hotwire wouldn't do.

If you have a problem you need help solving, contact our Call for Action hotline Monday thru Thursday from 11:00 until 1:00. The number is 228-1850. I'm  Problem Solver Susan Hogan Eyewitness News.

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