New IHG Best Rate Guarentee Issue (11/2017)

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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#21
As a travel agent, we have many suppliers we will use that price match online prices, such as JetBlue, Travelocity, etc. However we must provide a current screen shot showing the exact pricing and package components AND then supplier has to be able to go in and re-create the price. Without all of that- the price match doesn't get done.

I would suspect IHG could not recreate that price and might have suspected you are trying
to manipulate the price guarantee system.

You might find yourself kicked out of the program if you continue to pursue this because it sure sounds like you were trying to pull a fast one in my own opinion. Otherwise you would have simply booked it and canceled the IHG res since it appeared to be a refundable rate.

If you read the Elliott blog- there are CASE DISMISSED stories - this could well be another of them.
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#22
Just got the following email.

Thank you for contacting us again.

We have reviewed your claim under the website **** and checked that the lower rate offered is a Senior Discount rate. This means that the lower rate found is only bookable by seniors. We understand that you have seen a lower rate for the same room on the competing site; however, since the program is open to the general public, so should the rates being used to claim for it.

Comparison Prices Must Be Available to the General Public Online. The Best Price Guarantee applies only to prices both advertised and available to the general public on a non-IHG website at the time of verification. The Guarantee does not apply to prices offered on membership program websites; corporate discounts; negotiated prices; group, rewards program, loyalty program, incentive, meeting, convention, consolidator or interline prices; prices obtained via auction or similar process; or prices available only by using a coupon or other promotion not offered to the general public. The Guarantee also does not apply if the average nightly lower price is obtained from a website where you call to get the price, or from an e-mail that you received.

We appreciate your interest in filing for the program; however, at present we will still be unable to extend the free night to this reservation. To view the full Terms and Conditions of the Guarantee, you may visitwww.ihg.com/bestprice and click on the corresponding link found on the website.

With regard to your reservation, we are currently coordinating it to the hotel and requested this to be reinstated. Once we receive an update from them, we will send you an email as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via return email.​

I then sent a screenshot, showing that it isn't the case.
So I currently do not have a reservation, and my claim has been rejected.

I will admit that I did this for a laugh.
I knew that I nailed all the T&C, but I really didn't think that IHG would stand by their offer (due to the price of the room), but I figured it would be a cool gift for my wife if I was able to get it for us.

Nevertheless, IHG should stand by their offer. When a company makes a promotional offer, the "spirit" of the offer doesn't really matter. What matters is whether the company stands by the rules that they created or not.
I have screenshots to prove that the rate I found was NOT a seniors rate. IHG is not playing fair. (But I also totally understand that there are many here that think that I am going against the spirit of the BRG, and therefore don't want to lend a hand. I totally respect your choice. but there is a difference between choosing not to assist due to the spirit, and choosing not to follow the rules due to the spirit).
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#24
Thanks for the offer, but I think I'll pass (as I feel like I will be wasting someone's time with this), it is obvious that IHG doesn't want to honor their BRG.
After the BRG department emailed me that the rate that I was matching to was a "senior rate" (it wasn't, and I sent them a screenshot), I asked them to send me a screenshot showing me that the rate, was in fact, a senior rate. This was their response:



Thank you for your email.

Upon review, we have verified the website **** and were unable to locate any comparable rate type which would match the rate features you have booked on the IHG website. As previously shared, the verified “Senior Discount” rate at **** is not part of this “Best Available Rate” category which is required for guest to book on the IHG website or the IHG mobile application. When searching for a room on IHG and specify “Best Available” as price preference, guests will be shown with qualifying price types like the "Best Flexible" and "Advance Purchase" options.

The required rate category is not offered on the third-party website, while the verified “Senior Discount” rate can be confirmed by clicking the “Get Details” feature then explained on the “Rate Remarks” section. The site’s customer service representative also confirms the rate description.

In reference with the program’s Terms and Conditions, clauses 1 and 8:

Book. Complete a valid room booking with the lowest available price (room rate) on any IHG website for any IHG branded hotel using the “Best Available Rate Search.”

Packages Comparison. The Guarantee applies to comparing exactly the same packages or inclusive prices with the same included items. Thus, room prices that include food or beverage items such as breakfast or dinner, entertainment items such as tickets to a show, and/or free local calls, parking or other bundled items will be considered as packages, and must be entirely equivalent to be eligible for the Guarantee.


We hope this clarifies your inquiry. If you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact us.
So, to recap, they aren't honoring the deal because my reservation got canceled (not by me), cause the matching rate is a Senior Rate (it isn't), and they cant find the matching rate (I thought they did, and it wasn't a senior rate).

This all sounds foul, if you REALLY want, I'll send you the stuff, but as Neil said, I'm sure this will all just end up in the "Case Dismissed"
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 27, 2014
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#25
If you can book that same rate, then do it. If you are still using an old screen shot and they can't go to the same website and get that same rate, that's why why aren't matching.

But honestly- you admit you tried to play them. You publicly state here you" Did it as a laugh".
Now what are you going to do if someone copies the link to this thread, sends it to the price match department and they decide to ban you from booking with them at all?

I think you are making a good decision not to take up Dwaynes offer because your real name would be printed if they took on this story and you have a lot to risk by admitting you played a game.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
308
383
63
St. Louis
#26
Thanks for the offer, but I think I'll pass (as I feel like I will be wasting someone's time with this), it is obvious that IHG doesn't want to honor their BRG.
After the BRG department emailed me that the rate that I was matching to was a "senior rate" (it wasn't, and I sent them a screenshot), I asked them to send me a screenshot showing me that the rate, was in fact, a senior rate. This was their response:



Thank you for your email.

Upon review, we have verified the website **** and were unable to locate any comparable rate type which would match the rate features you have booked on the IHG website. As previously shared, the verified “Senior Discount” rate at **** is not part of this “Best Available Rate” category which is required for guest to book on the IHG website or the IHG mobile application. When searching for a room on IHG and specify “Best Available” as price preference, guests will be shown with qualifying price types like the "Best Flexible" and "Advance Purchase" options.

The required rate category is not offered on the third-party website, while the verified “Senior Discount” rate can be confirmed by clicking the “Get Details” feature then explained on the “Rate Remarks” section. The site’s customer service representative also confirms the rate description.

In reference with the program’s Terms and Conditions, clauses 1 and 8:

Book. Complete a valid room booking with the lowest available price (room rate) on any IHG website for any IHG branded hotel using the “Best Available Rate Search.”

Packages Comparison. The Guarantee applies to comparing exactly the same packages or inclusive prices with the same included items. Thus, room prices that include food or beverage items such as breakfast or dinner, entertainment items such as tickets to a show, and/or free local calls, parking or other bundled items will be considered as packages, and must be entirely equivalent to be eligible for the Guarantee.


We hope this clarifies your inquiry. If you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact us.
So, to recap, they aren't honoring the deal because my reservation got canceled (not by me), cause the matching rate is a Senior Rate (it isn't), and they cant find the matching rate (I thought they did, and it wasn't a senior rate).

This all sounds foul, if you REALLY want, I'll send you the stuff, but as Neil said, I'm sure this will all just end up in the "Case Dismissed"
Totally up to you.

I've worked quite a few of these cases, and have yet to see a successful one. In every case the comparison between the bookings were not exactly the same. In most cases, it was the cancellation provisions that were different. I've noticed that the terms offered on the 3rd party sites are normally not the same as the hotel offers on theirs. I wouldn't be suprise if this isn't by design. Difference in the rate types and room types are the next two most common issues that I have seen.

If you would like me to take a look, send me your booking confirmation and the screen shot of the compariable booking to help@elliott.org. I'd be interest to review it.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

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#27
. "In most cases, it was the cancellation provisions that were different. I've noticed that the terms offered on the 3rd party sites are normally not the same as the hotel offers on theirs. "

And that's another thing folks don't take into
account. Everything including the cancellation policy, has to be the same. But if the same price has changed since the original screen shot was taken and IHG can't go to the website and create the exact same booking- it wouldn't be honored anyway. That protects them against fat fingered price errors
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#28
I don't understand why you would pretend to make a reservation for a room you didn't intend to pay for. Would you go to the grocery and load up a cart full of prime ribs, and then back out at the checkout counter? This is very confusing.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#29
Thank you for listing the facts; it's very obvious what you're trying to do. It's no wonder that bureaucracy has taken such hold ... people book a hotel room they don't want so that they can try to scam the hotel into honoring some guarantee that doesn't apply ... it's just low class. IHG has offered this guarantee as a legitimate marketing tool. You're just having some kind of sick fun and wasting everyone's time.
 
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#30
Thank you for listing the facts; it's very obvious what you're trying to do. It's no wonder that bureaucracy has taken such hold ... people book a hotel room they don't want so that they can try to scam the hotel into honoring some guarantee that doesn't apply is just low class. IHG has offered this guarantee as a legitimate marketing tool. You're just having fun and wasting everyone's time.
Too bad I can't "like" this more than once!
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#33
Thank you for listing the facts; it's very obvious what you're trying to do. It's no wonder that bureaucracy has taken such hold ... people book a hotel room they don't want so that they can try to scam the hotel into honoring some guarantee that doesn't apply ... it's just low class. IHG has offered this guarantee as a legitimate marketing tool. You're just having some kind of sick fun and wasting everyone's time.
sorry, whilst you might disagree with my attempt at cashing in on this promotion, it is by no means a scam.
There is a HUGE difference between "going against the spirit" and scamming.
Scamming would be if one were to doctor screenshots, or make a fake competing site.
Back when Wyndham had this promotion, there where many blogs which posted how to get free nights, where you could find cheaper 3rd party sites, etc.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#34
Thank you for posting the name of the website. I went in to re-create the booking. The hotels are the exactly the same price. That's probably why they aren't honoring the price match. There is nothing to match- the price in the other website is not lower than the IHG.

Both prices are $1700 - there is no best price guarantee. While you may have seen it when you screen shot for $1715, it works exactly as Intold you- IHG goes to the website and recreates the booking to verify the price. If the site was down to $1700 on the day IHG went to check it- you had no claim.
 
Mar 27, 2017
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#35
Thank you for posting the name of the website. I went in to re-create the booking. The hotels are the exactly the same price. That's probably why they aren't honoring the price match. There is nothing to match- the price in the other website is not lower than the IHG.

Both prices are $1700 - there is no best price guarantee.
Totally agree with you here Neil, but when I got the email on Sunday from them, they did NOT say they couldn't find the matching rate, they said:
"We would like to inform you that we are currently researching the room accommodation you have found on www.hotelpower.com. Once we have checked the lower rate and room accommodation you have found on the third party website; and verified that all the Terms and Conditions have been met, you will receive an immediate update from our office."

On sunday it was lower, and they saw it on sunday (per their email)
Here is the link to the screenshot I sent
https://imgur.com/a/c6xD4
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#36
Neil are the cancellation policies the same? I have had the same experience as Dwayne, seeIng a refundable room on an OTA has to be canceled before (ie 2 days before arrival) the same room on the hotel website (cancel day before).

I looked at that website and they have all sorts of strange coupons, sell their own travel club and also for some rooms if one wants a refundable rate it pushes one to buy an insurance policy. I wonder about this website does it actually give real time confirmations?

I also have to admit that I find the entire idea of someone searching out websites to find a lower price just to get a free room -- and then chosing the Presidential suite at 1700 a night -- to be distasteful. There was no intention of staying unless it was free. It may not violate the letter of the guarantee but it was an attempt to game the system.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#37
As a bystander in this issue, having no experience at all my thoughts are as folows:
-seems that these websites make sure the deals are not comparable and IF someone does find a comparable, they fix their mistakes quickly;
-I don’t find it especially distasteful for someone to want to know just how genuine these offers of a free room are; and the vendor has set himself up for scrutiny if someone does attempt to use the deal, as they are getting the benefit of the offer they made in then first place. It must be a good tool for them.
-it would actually be wise of them to let someone ‘win’ the game once in a while. After all, Vegas would not still be there is no one ever won.
-the offer is there and people are free to try to use it with judgement.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#38
I don't understand why you would pretend to make a reservation for a room you didn't intend to pay for. Would you go to the grocery and load up a cart full of prime ribs, and then back out at the checkout counter? This is very confusing.
Imagine that supermarket A has a sign that says "we have the lower price on prime rib - find it cheaper anywhere else, and it's free." Prime rib is $10/lb at supermarket A. You see that supermarket B is advertising prime rib at $9.99/lb. So, you take the ad flyer from supermarket B, go to supermarket A, load up your cart with prime rib, go to the checkout, and say "it's only $9.99 at supermarket B, so honor your guarantee and give it to me for free."
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#39
What you received is a standard reply when they receive a request. That simply says once they research the price match and verify it meets the program they will notify you. It is merely an acknowledgment that they received the request.

What your screen print says doesn't mean anything because they most likely were not processing it at that time. Your request goes into a que behind everyone else that has applied and they will check the pricing in order of the receipt. I think in this case that the price had already changed by the time IHG did the research, this nothing to match.

And to Christina - no the cancellation policy was not the same. When I checked the policy on the other website, the booking was already in full cancellation penalty at the time of booking. On the IHG site, they had until today I believe to cancel with no charge.

So the cancellation policy was not the same and yet another reason to not match.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#40
As a bystander in this issue, having no experience at all my thoughts are as folows:
-seems that these websites make sure the deals are not comparable and IF someone does find a comparable, they fix their mistakes quickly;
-I don’t find it especially distasteful for someone to want to know just how genuine these offers of a free room are; and the vendor has set himself up for scrutiny if someone does attempt to use the deal, as they are getting the benefit of the offer they made in then first place. It must be a good tool for them.
-it would actually be wise of them to let someone ‘win’ the game once in a while. After all, Vegas would not still be there is no one ever won.
-the offer is there and people are free to try to use it with judgement.
In Vegas one has to play to win -- i.e. actually have to pay. There is a difference between that and searching for a difference just to get something free -- with no intention to actually being a customer at that point. And then actually going for the presidential suite as a laugh - hey go big or go home. Gaming the system often leads to a backlash against customers. I may be coming off as harsh as this reminds me of too much bad Wall Street behavior -- which was not illegal but certainly caused problems.