I have never seen ANYTHING as screwed up as Holiday Inn and IHG

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by Jim, Apr 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jim
    Original Member

    Jim Silver Member

    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    922
    Status Points:
    770
    Where do I begin....

    After a few years of travel (25), by accident, I booked a room in Savannah GA for one night. The accident was that I selected the four dollar discount for pay in advance rate. In fact, I ended up booking two rooms as I was supposed to be traveling with a colleague this week.

    As it turns out, he will not be making the trip so I went on line to my PC account to cancel the rooms and they do not show as reservations. ??? Puzzled, I look up the confirmation email and cancel it with the confirmation number. It let me cancel one room, not the other. ????

    I called the hotel this morning to cancel the other room and I am told that even though I was able to cancel the room, I did not cancel the charge. (I have never, ever heard of this before, being able to cancel a room and still be charged for it. but... I digress) The young lady who answered the phone advised me the manager who can assist me with this will not be in until 9:15 - 9:30.

    I call back at 10 and am put directly into her voice mail.

    I call back at 11 and am advised that she knows of my voice message and the duty manager is taking an "incident report" from a guest and he can not help me. I am also told the "only person who can really help me is the manager himself and he does not take these things lightly." I leave my name, phone number, and reservation/confirmation/cancellation numbers."

    I called IHG Customer Service and explain the situation to them and am advised that I will get a call back "within 48 hours."

    When I came in from the lake this afternoon, there is a message on my cell phone. Name, number to return call, and case number was the entirety of the message. Out of curiosity, I called the number and asked who I was calling. I was told, IHG. <Surprised>

    I reviewed this with a "Micheal," who basically agreed that it was wrong to have been mislead. He agreed that the $4.00 savings for an advance purchase was not enough to make a seasoned traveler bite, but the only thing that can happen is for me to await a call from the hotel manager.

    Right now, I have "uncanceled" the now paid for rooms and I plan on going to the hotel, picking up a homeless person on the way and letting them enjoy the second room. While I really don't have an extra $350.00 to burn right now, it is a cheap price to pay to learn to stay the HELL OUT OF ANY IHG Property. I will sleep under a damned bridge before they see another damned dime from me.

    I suppose that I have been spoiled by Hilton Honors who actually empower people to listen, think, and act in the name of customer service.
     
  2. KIXman
    Original Member

    KIXman Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,836
    Likes Received:
    12,161
    Status Points:
    10,575
    Hi Jim, as you may know the advance purchase rate is a discounted rate that, even if the reservation is cancelled, will not be refunded.

    http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/pc/1/en/c/8/content/dec/teaser/pc/0/en/lp/advance.html
    I've done the same mistake in the past but in my case they allowed me a refund. Ymmv I guess and I wish you luck in getting some goodwill from the hotel.
     
  3. Jim
    Original Member

    Jim Silver Member

    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    922
    Status Points:
    770
    The issue is not so much the policy, it is the way it was handled from the onset to the end.

    As I said, I plan on using the prepaid nights.
     
    Tim O'Brien likes this.
  4. I have only had three HIE stays, the first was an award stay only for a few hours in Detroit, but recently had a property in NY play hardball on discounted rate being non qualifing, they called it Family & Friends, but it wasn't, they put a negative spend in the account (that I only saw on the invoice when i clicked on the non-qualifying stay, then on the '0' points, and found what they'd done) so points wouldn't apply which I considered pretty sneaky, I called PC, explained, they fixed it, had a stay the following weekend, same $ cost per night and they put in F&F rate, when i rang PC, I said it was the same per night cost as previous weekend and was established it wasn't F&F, (it was higher than the F&F rate, it was simply a negotiated rate but satisfied the criteria for qualifying stay) the PC operator reinstated it as qualifying stay and points were awarded. The fist weekend was just one night 6000 points, the second weekend, four nights, 10,000 points so it was worth pursuing. I wasn't impressed with a negative spend being put in the bill after the first stay. And the reason we were checking it out is for conferences in the summer, with 11 pre booked rooms for three weeks, and conference room space, looking now for alternative locations. If they just did the right thing from a CS perspective, they would have had the business.

    Food0.00Beverage0.00Phone0.00Additional Hotel Bonus0.00Meeting & Banquet0.00Other Qualified Spending0.00Other Non-Qualified Spending-199.40Total Spending-112.70Total Qualified Spending0.00
     
    NewCokeandTaco likes this.
  5. DesertRose
    Original Member

    DesertRose Silver Member

    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    768
    Status Points:
    670
    Your title must surely be hyperbole, because you have seen the kludge that is the Hilton brand websites. ;)

    I agree that the customer service sounds crappy, and I also think $350 is an expensive for a lesson about pre-paid rates.

    Be sure and get a smelly person with bedbugs and lice for the extra room so that the stay will end up costing the hotel a mattress and an exterminator bill. :eek:
     
    gomike likes this.
  6. Canadi>n
    Original Member

    Canadi>n Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,956
    Likes Received:
    1,617
    Status Points:
    1,120
    T&Cs are quite clear on prepaid rates. You can't just change dates or do other things that the fully flexible rate provides and not expect to pay. Gosh, the sense of entitlement around here seems enormous: demanding 2 for 1 rates, misusing government rates, refunds on prepaid rates! This is a company out to make money, not give you everything you think you're entitled to...
     
    IMGone and no-backpacker like this.
  7. Jim
    Original Member

    Jim Silver Member

    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    922
    Status Points:
    770

    Where is the entitlement you speak of?​
     
    Tim O'Brien likes this.
  8. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Certainly a bad customer experience. For something like this I'm not sure why one phone call can not suffice.:(
     
    Tim O'Brien likes this.
  9. IMGone
    Original Member

    IMGone Silver Member

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    327
    Status Points:
    575
    The manager of one hotel was not immediately available for your call and front desk clerks in the hotel are not empowered to forgive your charges. The program is not able to forgive your charges due the hotel immediately. I don't see the reason for the outrage, were you not aware of the policies and the Prepaid nature of your reservation - a newbie mistake, but possible. I have frequently noted that when canceling a reservation, eg with starwood, that it tells you that you may incur charges based on the terms of the reservation. Did you not see something similar here?

    Requests like this always need a manager type to talk with, why would this hotel be different? And I concur with the comment above, that a 350 rate is a lot of money for a prepaid, and the point that for just four dollars more, it could have been refundable. You definitely messed up your reservation from the outset, but don't seem to be stepping up to that.
     
  10. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    Rather agree with IMGone.

    It's a prepaid, non-refundable reservation. Kind of you to cancel the room so the hotel can offer tit to another traveler if the place was otherwise sold out, but they aren't obligated to refund your money.

    Sometimes I've gotten exceptions:
    * I've managed to get web support to upgrade a non-refundable reservation (that hasn't been charged yet) to a cancellable rate ("I just realized I made a mistake, I'm supposed to book a more expensive rate type by company policy, am going to get in trouble, can you help? :) ")

    * Hotel has been willing to cancel/refund as a courtesy

    * Hotel hasn't been willing to refund but would allow me to change dates.

    Now, I'm a bit confused that you say you cancelled one room online, but not the other, but that you still plan to go and check in and bring a homeless person for the second room, I thought you had only one reservation left?

    Perhaps it's not unreasonable to ask for quicker, smoother communications. But you've been told consistently that only the manager can make a decision on the exception you're asking, you've left a message and this wasn' the #1 thing they dealt with. If they're supposedly taking an 'incident report' there could be something much more pressing than your request for an exception. And there's really no hurry. In fact the delay in responding could help your case to get an exception. And second, this is a Holiday Inn so I wouldn't expect Four Seasons responsiveness... :)
     
    sobore likes this.
  11. DenverBrian
    Original Member

    DenverBrian Silver Member

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    529
    Status Points:
    670
    I am flabbergasted that you could have 25 years of travel under your belt never having been exposed to the extremely common protocols around pay-in-advance rates.
     
    TennisPro, IMGone and wanderlust like this.
  12. ScottC
    Original Member

    ScottC Silver Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status Points:
    165
    Freudian slip?
     
  13. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    No, just a typo....
     
    Tim O'Brien likes this.
  14. Ant
    Original Member

    Ant Silver Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    119
    Status Points:
    300
    When I've had a non-cancellable, advanced purchase the hotel in question has allowed me to move the date — so hopefully that's an option available to you.
     
    NewCokeandTaco and Tim O'Brien like this.
  15. yes I've had an advanced purchase with IHG and they have allowed me to change dates also. That is a reasonable solution/compromise.
     
  16. IMGone
    Original Member

    IMGone Silver Member

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    327
    Status Points:
    575
    ... but again, it is at the discretion of the hotel.
     
  17. Yes
     
  18. Jim
    Original Member

    Jim Silver Member

    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    922
    Status Points:
    770




    What part of that was not "stepping up?"
    The FIRST line of the post, I admit I made a mistake.....

    Sheeze...:rolleyes:
     
    Tim O'Brien likes this.
  19. IMGone
    Original Member

    IMGone Silver Member

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    327
    Status Points:
    575
    I'm sorry, but saying oops and then expecting the other party to drop everything to clean up your mistake, without acknowledging that this would be an exception and favor is not Quite stepping up in my book, but clearly our expectations are not in sync anyways

     
  20. Exactly. Policy is simple and straight forward - that's why it's called "advance purchase" rate. if this is simply a customer service issue, what's the deal with bringing a homeless person to the hotel? :confused:

    As far as the title of this thread goes - dramatic much? Seriously, if this is THEE MOST SCREWED UP THING you've ever seen in 25 years of travel, count yourself as the luckiest traveler ever.
     
    TennisPro likes this.
  21. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    I think the point is that once you acknowledge that it was your mistake, it's not really reasonable to declare this as the biggest, most shocking screw up ever on the hotel chain's part in terms of how they handle your mistake. That's where the disconnect is.

    Could they handle things better? Maybe they could be quicker, drop everything to accomodate you. They're a Holiday Inn and giving an exception likely isn't the highest priority when a manger is taking an incident report.

    I'm wondering whether there's any update on the situation, how was this resolved if at all?
     
    TennisPro likes this.
  22. Bob Smolinsky
    Original Member

    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,346
    Likes Received:
    14,569
    Status Points:
    10,575
    Can't wait to see the party that homeless person has in the room while trashing it......and the final bill to be charged to the CC ;)
     
    IMGone likes this.
  23. I think you've all been too tough on Jim, we all know what it's like on the road, make a quick booking on the fly, Jim has acknowledged he made the advance booking for $4 disc mistake, he was just disappointed about the customer service aspect and frankly I've encountered that at two of my three HIX stays. And dare I speculate further I think there's a good chance Jim wrote this when from his perspective he had no responses or inadequate communication back from the property and was venting, which we all do from time to time. My experience with HIE from market test of three stays, too small a sample for reliable conclusion but have been not that happy with the customer service perspective, I always feel at IC's they welcome you and go out of their way to make pleasant stays, ie the bigger picture ongoing business etc, I find HIX the polar opposite. I've even noticed some resentment when producing the RA card for the number, ie instead of the PC card, I have had much better customer service at Crown Plaza. And frankly i couldn't bring myself to criticize Jim, I have nightmares about his avatar.
     
  24. Jim
    Original Member

    Jim Silver Member

    Messages:
    517
    Likes Received:
    922
    Status Points:
    770
    Excuse me?

    Just where did I say "oops?"

    Where did I say, I expected them to drop everything to clean up my mistake?

    My consternation was with the WAY IT WAS HANDLED!

    Do NOT put words in my mouth.
     
    Tim O'Brien likes this.
  25. TennisPro
    Original Member

    TennisPro Silver Member

    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    229
    Status Points:
    420
    Another idea, is to speak with a different manager, and be very nice, and tell them your story, without complaining.

    If they still don't offer you a refund, I would ask them to let you use the night on a different date. To me, being able to use the night in the future, is better than the homeless person retribution option.

    And you might be on the hook for any damages to the room, with the retribution option.

    Plus, I don't want to get lice or bedbugs, if I end up staying in that same room someday. :)
     
    Tim O'Brien likes this.

Share This Page