IHG Rewards Club Account Audits & Terminations

Discussion in 'IHG | Rewards Club/Ambassador' started by WilliamQ, Jun 8, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Over at LoyaltyLobby, readers of John's blog as well as two of his friends shared with him that IHG had closed their account and confiscated the points.

    The reasons for these closures appears to be due to the fact the members registered for promotions not targeted towards them.

    Some reported success having their accounts reinstated with a final warning (not always) but this latest wave of audit have scared a lot of folks as registering for multiple awards that stacks seemed to have been a norm amongst the "in-the-know" crowd.

    http://loyaltylobby.com/2014/06/07/update-ihg-rewards-club-account-audits-terminations/

    Did any MP members had their account audited / closed / reinstated by IHG?
     
  2. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    Risky move by IHG Rewards, they could potentially lose a lot of customers that way. I guess they think the move will probably pay off because they are dishing out too many points to make it worth it?

    Wouldn't it just be simpler to have less promotions rather than shutting accounts down?
     
  3. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Or simpler still to check if you were targeted. For example, Delta doesn't let you register for a promotion if you weren't targeted. Why does IHG? They could spend the resources used to audit the accounts to fix their broken system instead. As far as I'm concerned if they let me register for a promo they're telling me I'm eligible.
     
  4. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    IHG probably feels that if you're registering for a promotion you're not targeted for, that's dishonest and you're trying to take advantage of them, and that they'd rather not have you as a customer in that case.

    Or people could not register for promotions that they're not targeted for.
     
  5. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    But I see promotions all the time. Go to breakfast at a Holiday Inn there's a card at the table with a promotion. Find a card in the room with another. Go to a travel website, there's another. At the front desk there's likely to be yet another. So *probably* the ones on-property aren't targeted. Or perhaps they are targeted to people staying at that hotel? Or did the travel website hear of a good promo and post it not knowing it was targeted? I think the burden should not be on the customer to determine if a promotion is valid for them.
     
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  6. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    Agreed that we should not be registering for promotions that we are not targeted for, except that IHG did not make it very clear that we can only register for targeted promotions sent by email.

    Agreed. I don't believe the customer should have to burden to determine what they qualify for. And if the customer has that burden, then it should be more clear that these are targeted promotions.
     
  7. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    Totally agree, as I can rarely figure out if I am entitled to a specific promotion, or not, & it just seems easier to register & see if it works for me. Guess I should email CS now & ask, as I didn't realize trying to register for one of their promos could cause me to lose my points/close my account! Without an online warning, that just seems really frightening. Most programs geared toward customer satisfaction, DO NOT lay the burden of proving "do I qualify, or not" on their customers, especially their higher elites! IHG seems to be spending quite bit of money & attention on "catching" customers out, rather than fixing their rotten website & marketing promotions!
     
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  8. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    My suggestion is to stop the random registrations but go on with life. If the axe falls, then lay out the defence.
    Crying out for their attention (when they have not looked your way) sometimes do work but based on the way they are executing this, it stands a high chance of getting into unnecessary trouble. While there are "a lot" (no way to tell) of accounts closed, it is not all. They might be doing random stuff to discourage the public. Kind of like the United Carry-on sizers. Some initial high profile action and then it dies off.
     
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  9. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    I won't be calling IHG over past registrations but I will be quite careful on what promos I sign up for in the future.
     
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  10. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    I have about 700K points with IHG. I have three trips planned for the rest of the year. After reading about these account closures for a while I think I'll just use up all or most of my points on those trips and switch to Marriott and SPG for the next year. I'll still keep IHG CC though since one free night a year is certainly worth $59. But I don't think they will see a single dollar from me from now on.
     
  11. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    With 1.2 million points I'm scared to register for anything not targeted to me, it would suck to get shut down and lose my points.
     
  12. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    Sad to hear. I recently used up most of my points. Don't even have enough for a Pointsbreak night. I think what I might do is keep my balance low by redeeming ASAP if I even happen to earn points along the way. Otherwise it is SPG for me as well.
     
  13. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    I hate SPG, I just had a nine night stay at an Aloft, and when I checked in they asked me for my SPG number, but because it was direct billed to my company they refused to award points. So I only got points for a bar tab and some green points for foregoing room cleaning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
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  14. Rosalia

    Rosalia Silver Member

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    I do not understand this whole story, I have always signed up for any promotion and once I argued about a week-end promotion, IHG responded it was a targeted promotion, I replied that it is registered in my account and I sent them a copy of the registered promotion. Later on, I was surprised to see 5000 bonus points as a goodwill adjustment in my account. They must have other reasons to close accounts. We should really try to inquire once for all...otherwise we won't never be able to get advantage of any promotion.
     
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  15. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    They probably do have other reasons but may not always explain it. By the time they close the account they have no need to explain much if they do not feel like It so that we do not challenge their decision. I just hope to at least get some warning notice if we infringed on anything so we know not to do it again.
     
  16. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    They can't just close people's accounts at will. This is stealing. They might argue that those they closed accounts of had also stolen from them but IHG would have to prove it. As discussed on TOBB IHG did tell people that their accounts were closed because of the codes use. To me this is totally ludicrous. If a company allows for the code to register to your account they can't tell you later that you had violated some of their "policies", especially that the code use in question is not mentioned anywhere in their T&C. I've registered for targeted (not to me) promos with AA, got a confirmation but no bonus miles. every time I'd call them they'd say "sorry, you were not targeted". No one would ever consider closing my account for that!!!! And if IHG can't find decent web developers to address this issue then this is their problem and not consumers. I'm honestly surprised that there hasn't been a class action lawsuit yet filed against IHG.
     
  17. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    They can, actually. From the T&C (http://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/global/customer_care/member-tc) (bolding mine): "Membership Cancellation. SCH reserves the right to cancel any IHG® Rewards Club membership and revoke any and all unredeemed IHG® Rewards Club points collected by any member for reasons that include, but are not limited to: 1) violation of these Terms and Conditions; 2) misrepresentation of any information or any misuse of this Program; 3) violation of any national, state or local law or regulation in connection with the use of membership privileges; 4) failure to pay for hotel charges; 5) a check to a participating hotel brand that is returned for insufficient funds or is invalid for any reason; 6) commission of fraud or abuse involving any portion of this Program; 7) more than one active account per member; or 8) physical, verbal, or written abuse of hotel or IHG personnel; or 9) action, in any other way, to the detriment of the Program or any of its alliances; all as may be determined by SCH in its sole discretion."

    No, it's not. Again, from the T&C (bolding mine): "Points have no value. IHG® Rewards Club points are not redeemable for cash or any other form of credit and have no value until presented for redemption in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Program. Points have no fixed or ascertainable cash value. Members have no ownership interest in accrued points and accrued points do not constitute property of the members. Use of the word earn in marketing materials in relation to IHG® Rewards Club points shall mean collect and shall not infer that the points have any value until they are presented for redemption. Points may not be purchased or sold and are not transferable except as otherwise stated herein."

    Given the T&C, I'd be honestly surprised if a lawsuit (of any kind, class action or not) got anywhere.
     
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  18. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    No loyalty program in the world would have a right to close people accounts just because they feel like it no matter what their T&C says.
     
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  19. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    https://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/us/en/join/register#scmisc=wallet_register_6c

    At the very bottom of the sign-up form for IHG Rewards Club, there a box that you must click before they will let you join. That box has text that says, in part (bolding mine), "I have read and accept the Membership Terms and Conditions." So when you join, you accept that they can, in fact, close your account if they want. Any lawsuit based on T&C that you agreed to when you signed up would likely not get very far.
     
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  20. Rosalia

    Rosalia Silver Member

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    In that case, we should use the fastest way possible our collected points...
     
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  21. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Conventional wisdom is to use your points/miles as soon as you have enough for the award you want, although that's more to avoid devaluations than for the topic in this thread.
     
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  22. Rosalia

    Rosalia Silver Member

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    You are right, Letterboy, I have used 30.000 points in some ICs and now I need 50.000 points for the same hotels.
     
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  23. man on the move.

    man on the move. Silver Member

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    Yes but, for a $5k stay I get a lot more points than I use to... Like 150,000 com paired to 4,000.
     
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  24. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    I saw this when logged into my AwardWallet account. Another scheme to get our accounts closed?
    Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.35.22 AM.png
     
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  25. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    I kinda like a post by Head for Points today on this topic :

    http://www.headforpoints.com/2014/06/18/ihg-rewards-club-accounts-closed-points/, in which he listed some observations on those at 'higher risk' of account closures. Having said that, there are also reports on TOBB that some IHG accounts had some managed to have their accounts reinstated after closure, so at the end of the day, it seems to be IHG's review on perception of what they feel to be abuse based on the pattern of points accrued, stays, multiple account openings and registration of points, redemption stays in China where abuse appears to be more rampant.

    It may be that many of the account closures listed in TOBB may not have offered the full picture, and a fair share may have their accounts closed for + 1 reasons other than simply registering for IHG codes per se
     

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