Case dismissed: A suburban spat over a Hotwire hotel room

Here’s a relatively common problem with a so-called “opaque” booking site — with a relatively common resolution.

Unfortunately, it’s the wrong resolution, as far as Phillip McKeough is concerned. He recently booked a Hotwire room in Grand Rapids, Mich. Or thought he had.

Hotwire’s system is not like other online travel agencies. You get to select the room category and location, but don’t find out which hotel you’re staying at until after you’ve made the purchase. When McKeough selected his hotel, he was given a room at a property in Walker, Mich., a suburb about seven miles away from Grand Rapids.

“I believe there has been some sort of mistake,” he told me. “The brand of hotel and price are all fine, but I can’t use a room in Walker. I would like a refund or credit to use in the actually city I need to stay in.”
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