IHG ‘Best Price Guarantee’… is it a farce?Back to Forum
While I am no IHG apologist, we have had good experiences from the Ambassador programme. For just US$200 a year, we get (among other things) guaranteed room upgrades. Not strictly relevant to the subject of this thread, I know, but a useful thing for anyone who stays at IHG properties sufficiently often for that to be able to offset the cost differential between different classes of room. http://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/ambassador13 May 2014
Very interesting reading – have received this from the BPG department
“Thank you for writing back.
Referring to the program’s Terms and Condition, clause 15:
Disputes. Any disputes arising out of these Terms and Conditions or the offer of the Best Price Guarantee shall be resolved individually, without resort to class action, and shall be governed by the laws of the State of Georgia, U.S.A., exclusively by an appropriate federal or state court located in the State of Georgia, U.S.A.
We would like to inform you that our only job capacity is to verify reservations whether they are valid for the free night eligibility or not, in compliance with the program’s Terms and Conditions.
Nonetheless, we may suggest contacting our Guest Relations Department for proper assistance. You may reach them through the following avenues:”
So have now written to the “proper avenues” – will let you know if anything is resolved – so far, four days and still waiting for a reply 🙁
Regardless of the correct T&C’s – doesn’t IHG realise that complaints are so individual anymore – forums like this, twitter, Facebook etc all help the dialogue..
Shame that customer service seems to be so far down the list.13 May 2014
Gee, Molly, what do you think would happen if one of these morons just picked up the phone and told Guest Relations to call you and solve the problem??? Nah, better to send endless emails about how sorry they are and what YOU can do to help them. Perhaps you’ll get bored and go away. Hilton must be licking their chops over this forum!13 May 2014
🙂 Think that’s their plan Judynagy…but they have no idea how much time I have on my hands to waste on this. Have NO intentions of letting it lie. I don’t expect to win, but I do intend to ruffle some feathers.
Will keep you all posted 🙂13 May 2014
IHG BRG dept do try many ways to decline claims, often minor things.
However, in your case you are claiming that a price found today is cheaper than when you booked in January
No hotel chain could honour such a claim. Hotel prices rise and fall intra-day, never mind over months. What was the going rate for your hotel, booking in january, will not be the going rate today. This is why virtually every guarantee from the major chains time limit such claims.
Moving the discussion sideways a bit, I am not a regular traveller, having maybe only 8 hotel stays per year. It is a while since I had need of an IHG hotel, but looking forward to some hotel stays towards the end of the year, I am having a much more difficult time finding a path to an IHG BRG claim than last I tried.
I am coming to the opinion that the “guarantee” is having the desired affect, i.e. hotels are much less likely to allow 3rd party websites to offer rooms cheaper than on the IHG website, which was the whole point of the guarantee.
With the BRG and as an ambassador member, one could get a 5 night IC stay including a weekend, for 1 paid night and 100K points, which is great value in anyones book.
Just a lot lot harder presently.13 May 2014
Thanks for your reply – I get that the 24 hour window is to counteract fluctuations in market rates – I’m objecting to the clauses that seem deliberately designed to flummox the traveller – currency, websites etc – it’s not what I think should be the practice of suppliers.
And where is the advantage of early booking? Win- Win for the corporations – they have your money for months and then offer the rooms at a lower price – might be good business but poor customer service.13 May 2014
Due to a rather odd change in company booking policy I’ve found myself back at a Holiday Inn that will remain nameless, and I’m kicking myself.
No recognition of my loyalty at all, excepting for a choice of either a 500 point bonus point voucher or free drink. Totally sterile staff going through process rather than engagement seems to confirm Al Danbergs comment. My loyalty has yet to be reciprocated at this particular hotel.
If they’re not going to reward extremely non bartering loyal guests like me, I’m afraid, believing their going to recognise a Best price guarantee marketing ploy seems to me a bit optimistic!
Next week, IHG’s loss will be Malmaisons gain.13 May 2014
JudyNagy wrote “Another wonderful story about clueless corporate management………………”
Judy – whilst I do empathise with all those on this forum who have fallen foul of these difficult rules, I have to advise that your description of clueless corporate management is very wide of the mark.
As well as being a platinum elite IHG member, I am also a shareholder, with a significant proportion of my pension in IHG shares. They are worth nearly four times what I paid for them 9 years ago, when special dividends are included. This is an astonishing performance, during a time of financial difficulty around the world. They are the most successful share I hold and I am delighted with the management. So, they are certainly not “clueless”.
One other thing: as a shareholder I have a special booking site. The room prices on this are usually better than on any public site.15 May 2014
tangy1…masses of information as to how to get IHG to honour their offers..but IHG should be expected to treat repeat clients with fairness and, in my book, fairness does not involve vigorous wriggling to avoid honouring what is essentially only a come-on marketing offer! Definitely a reason to avoid IHG15 May 2014
Thanks for your input – but I think most are talking on this forum as travellers and guests of IHG – your experience as a shareholder is a different thing and the very fact that they are trying not to give away free nights in the hotel is a good thing if you hold shares but not so much for the guests who try to implement the BPG.
With regard to the management and their “cluelessness” – this is subjective and directly related to the treatment one receives – again what’s good for shareholders might have the reverse effect on the guests of the hotel.15 May 2014
I replied as both a shareholder and a regular guest of IHG (as I noted with my reference to being Platinum Elite). I do not condone – repeat NOT condone any wrong behaviour by any individual person or corporation.
I purposely focussed on judynagy’s post as she seems to believe that the IHG’s management is “clueless”. They clearly are not.15 May 2014
ASK1945 – I think that all depends on your criteria for ‘clueless’. If a company sets up a scheme to entice people to book through its website (which I’d have assumed is better for it as there are no payments to third parties or middlemen) and then gets a reputation for not honouring that system by looking for ways to escape the obligation, then it’s not long before customers stop using it. That also has an impact on the wider perception of the brand – get a reputation for sticking it to customers in one way and people soon wonder how else they going to be stuck.
I don’t doubt that’s good for you as a shareholder in the short term but in the long term … You have to wonder.
1F15 May 2014
I’ve been IHG Platinum for years, staying at all levels, from the HIExp in Redwood City to the InterContinental Park Lane. IHG shareholders are not the subject here. One way clueless management can be defined is management who spends countless hours and resources on a marketing plan and can’t figure out how to make it positive. Indeed, they can’t figure out how to not be annoying to their customers. If your customer has a problem, someone should contact them, not ask them to jump through hoops. Pretty simple.16 May 2014
As I already wrote, I have had my shares for 9 years, and they have consistently risen during that period. By any measure, this is not “short-term”.
I do agree with you about customer care. I have worked for over 45 years in a service industry where this was paramount for success. I am not connected with IHG in any way, other than as a shareholder; whilst I do not support their process as described by you, I am afraid I stand by my contention that they are not “clueless”, even according to your definition. I am confident that the results speak for themselves.16 May 2014
What a timely reintroduction of this topic.
After a week’s stay I’ve just checked out of an IHG hotel.
Some advice to you ASK1945, if my experience was anything to go by I’d sell your shares because they don’t deserve to rise any further. Then again I’m not surprised that their revenue streams profitably flow.
Any recognition of my loyalty this morning …….. ehhhm NO
Over charges on my bill (Again) …….Ehhhh yep
I pointed out that my papers should be complimentary…. Blank look, check with the manger and a curt “just take them off” instruction back.
After that I didn’t even bother arguing the overcharge on last night’s dinner. Which incidentally was more than the papers!
And frankly I’ve had enough, so the only time I’m going to darken IHG’s doors again is on redemption stays. I’ve calculated a month or 2 of free stays.
Our relationship was good while it lasted, especially the personal letter from the top man 6-7 years ago thanking me for my custom. ( (Top 1% ) Now a days it’s a cold soulless franchise driven organization that’s sole purpose is to keep its shareholders happy apparently. Not a jibe at you ASK 1945, just my opinion : (16 May 2014