Frustrating RA (Non)Renewal Experience

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by Pete, Apr 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pete
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    Pete Silver Member

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    I want to share my recent experience with failing to be achieve a Royal Ambassador renewal, and try to get a feel from the community as to whether I have a legitimate beef. I am (was) a first-year RA.

    In Month 8 of my RA year I knew that I might have a chance at a renewal (working under the assumption at the time that I would need 50 nights, including 3 stays at separate ICs). Up to that point all of my PC stays in the past 12 months had occurred within my RA year (so looking back any further than 8 months was irrelevant). I had a multi-night stay in Month 8 that failed to post because I had been walked to another property; it took a while to get it straighted out with PC and I was uncertain whether I had received the stay credit. So I called the Ambassador Sercvice Center specifically to inquire as to how many qualifying nights that I had toward an RA renewal. After gewtting the usual run-around about top 1%, 85 nights, 50 IC nights, etc., I was told that I was at 39 qualifying nights.

    I booked a number of additional PC stays. Because I was still uncertain about the "problem" stay, I called the SC again early in Month 9, and was then told that I had 43 qualifying nights. Several more stays in Month 9.

    Received the dreaded downgrade letter at the begining of Month 10. I knew that I must be getting close to the magic number, so I made another call to the SC in Month 10. The only reason for the call was to determine the number of RA qualifying nights (although I still got the usual BS, I made it very clear that I was not asking to be upgraded/renewed, nor was I asking for the magic number, I just wanted to know how many qualifying nights that I had). This time I was told that I was at 45 qualifying nights. I knew that the numbers were not adding up (based on the totals previously provided to me and my recent stays), so I sent an e-mail to the SC listing all of my nights, which came out to 57 (6 IC stays). I knew that a few of these might not be qualifying nights, but I also knew that I had a few more months to get in some additional stays if necessary. I just wanted to get an accurate number so that I could book additional nights as necessary, and also to be told which nights were not qualifying so that I did not repaet the "error".

    After a series of unresponsive e-mails and telephone calls over many weeks (during which I had several additional qualifying nights), I received an e-mail advising that my account had been thoroughly reviewed and it was confirmed that I had only 20 qualifying nights! Repeated requests for further explanation have been unsuccessful (in fact I received a follow-up e-mail that stated that I had 43 qualifying nights). I have tried in vain to explain that I was relying on advice given by the Ambassador SC, given on at least 3 separate occasions, in attempting to qualify for an RA renewal, and I made a number of additional PC stays based on that advice. There has been no attempt by IC to resolve the issue or explain how the error occurred, only that the agents must have been wrong and I should try to stay at more ICs in order to qualify for RA. In trying to recreate what occurred, I believe that I may have been given night credit improperly for multiple rooms in a single stay(s); however, I assumed these to be true qualifying nights, as confirmed on numerous occasions by the SC.

    Legitimate beef? If so, how do I best run this up the IC chain of command in order to get it to somebody who will actually take the time to address it?
     
  2. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    assuming you have all the folks/dates/times/info documented, then yes IMO. Sorry I don't have an idea about how to escalate.

    But is RA really worth it when repeatedly they seem to have treated you very poorly? If me, I'm taking my business elsewhere.
     
  3. Pete, you really have to identify if you've had 50 qualifying nights and minimum three IC stays within the required time-frame, if you have an online account, this is pretty easy to check. When you look at you online account, you will see if the stays are qualifying or non qualifying, once you have that sorted, you should phone ambassador services and politely request a supervisor because you have had an ongoing issue that hasn't been easy to sort out. All the best.
     
  4. no-backpacker
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    no-backpacker Silver Member

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    With RA, it is impossible to know if you requalify or not. This is the only thing I know about it... Rumors are 50-55 nights, but nobody know exactly.... As long as it is by invitation only, I don't thing you have any "legitimate beef", it's up to them.

    Use this link:

    https://secure.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d...ransaction=365

    And you will very easy manage to count your stays 365 days back in time.

    Xxx.
     
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  5. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    50-55 nights is the rule of thumb. I've qualified with less than 40 nights, before too.

    Trying to squeak into RA doesn't always work. I have about 20% of my stays not post right, and after contacting the service center, about half post right. Not great, and I haven't called in on any of the stays, but probably will to see what happens.
     
  6. Pete
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    Pete Silver Member

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    Tough call. I have had 6 IC stays as an RA, and with one notable exception (which may become the subject of another thread), I have been treated extremely well by the properties. My real issue is with the miserable customer service through PC and the Ambassador Service Center. I don't pull the DYKWIA stuff and I'm not looking to have my ass kissed, but as a top-level eliteI just want a modicum of respect and answers to some pretty basic questions when I contact the SC (and then be able to rely on the answers that I was given)..
     
  7. Pete
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    Pete Silver Member

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    Therein lies the problem. I had a number of nights not post post correctly, and the whole point of me calling in to the SC was to try to determine where I stood. This was my first year as an RA (I was referred), and I had no intention of trying to requalify so I never really paid much attention to whether stays were posting correctly as "qualifying", because I knew I would not have anywhere near enough to requalify. Then circumstances changed (travel pattern and CTC & Sweet Dilemma promos), and RA qualification looked to be in reach. My issue is not how many qualifying nights I have now, but the fact that I was relying on the Ambassador SC when they told me that I had 39, 43 and 45 qualifying nights (and I had plenty of nights after those dates to push me over 50). BTW, I had 6 IC stays at 5 separate ICs: 3 paid, 1 award, 1 Sweet Dilemma, 1 combo award/Sweet Dilemma.
     
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  8. Pete
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    Pete Silver Member

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    Understood.

    But I have not been demanding that I be renewed - - I just want to get an accurate accounting of the number of qualifying nights so that I can make an informed decisoion as to whether I want to continue to pay for PC stays and try to requalify. I am perfectly comfortable taking the calculated risk of getting in 50 (or 55) nights and then not requalifying.
     
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  9. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Do you have the address ambassador@ihg.com. Give it a try if you have not. Go to http://www.ihgplc.com/index.asp?pageid=35 to meet the top management. Write one at headquarters. Andrew Cosslett is Chief Executive. This might be the address.

    InterContinental Hotels Group
    3 Ravinia Drive
    Suite 100
    Atlanta
    Georgia 30346-2149

    Call 1 770 604 2000 to be sure.
     
  10. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I would recommend going back through all your stays by using the one year or more history feature that I think was pointed out to you, and actually see how many nights are showing as qualified. It may be as simple as trying to get some of them counted correctly.

    IHG is certainly weird about RA in general. The agents have quoted other folk 80 nights, 100 nights or more, and as we well know this is not the case.
     
  11. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    I would say based on my experience that even if you have 50 nights you probably don't qualify. I had 58 nights and got the declined letter, shortly after I had a 4 night stay. I then called and spoke calmly with with an ambassador agent who informed me I needed 75 nights this year to make the top 1% and to re-qualify. She then offered to try to make an exception and get me in. An hour later she emailed and processed my RA. See this thread for more details. http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/royal-ambassador-qualification-helpful-tips.4410/
     
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