Help Return My Chase UR Points Back After Horrific Travel Experience

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Jun 13, 2019
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#1
Hello Team Elliot,

I received an email from Michelle Couch-Friedman telling me to post my travel issue here on the forum. In advance, I'd like to thank all of you for taking the time to read and help.

I recently went on a vacation with my wife who has now entered her third-trimester of pregnancy. We were looking forward to staying at the Okeanos Suites Herzliya by Herbert Samuel for three nights. When we got there we were checked in to a room on the first floor that was supposed to be a Deluxe Room with a Sea View.

In reality, we had a room that faced the road and was directly underneath a rather noisy restaurant/bar (none of this was obviously not described anywhere online for if it was we would have chosen another location). We were coming for quiet and relaxation -- not to be below an eatery that had outdoor seating, smoking that reached our first floor room (I'm asthmatic) and loud music.

Moreover, the pictures on the website show that the room features an outdoor porch with two chairs (you know...so that you can sit on a porch and enjoy the sea view). Our room did have a sliding room window that only I was able to open with brute force and it allowed you out on to a "porch" that was at best..one foot long and one foot wide..at best. I took a picture to prove it and can send it to you all if you need! The other rooms to the right and left of us had such porches.

I called Chase Travel Services to see what they could do to correct our room as we redeemed 63,050 Chase Points for this three-day-stay and they said that as long as you can "see" the sea somewhere from the room there's nothing that they can do as this is still a Deluxe Room with a Sea View. I was floored...

Putting the above aside, within minutes of being in our room we noted that the room remained unbearably hot. When we went to adjust the thermostat it didn't function or seem to change the room temperature. The thermostat just flashed. We alerted the hotel who told us that we should try again to adjust it and leave it at the desired temperature. We told the hotel that the temperature just kept "flashing" and they said that this was fine it will go down in temperature. We simply needed to be patient as it just takes a while for it to go down to the temperature of our choice.

This (speaking with Chase and hotel management) back-and-forth was not how we wanted to spend our vacation. Likewise, merely staying in an unbearably hot room was not a place that we could relax (it was nearly ninety degrees in the room and certainly not a place for my wife/a pregnant woman looking to get away to celebrate her birthday). As such, we left the room, assuming innocently that it would be cool as the person at the front desk told us (his name was Leon) and headed for a local restaurant for dinner.

When we arrived back to the hotel several hours later....our room was still hot/hovering at nearly ninety degrees (I took a picture of the thermostat that I could provide you all with as well). I went down to the front desk who told me that there's nothing that he could do. Leon had left for the day, and this person said that he is just a stand-in person here and we'd have to wait until the morning. (Parenthetically, another time that we went to the front desk the person there couldn't help us. He said that he was just the security/doorman who was asked to stand there while the morning manager ran out to a kiosk to get cigarettes. I wish I was making this up...I'm not :-(...)

Anyways, When I explained to this fellow AGAIN how hot the room was and that my wife was pregnant he didn't bat an eyelash and showed no real sympathy. I asked him to move us to another room and he said that he wasn't authorized to do so and that someone would come to fix the air conditioning in the morning.

It was nearly midnight and we were left with having to stay/sleep in that room. We used little to no blankets and got very little sleep tossing and turning. At 8AM I went back down to the front desk and the manager of that day by the name of Shai told me that there's nothing that they can do until maintenance comes to fix the air conditioner at 10AM. We were still stuck in this hot (and once again loud) room.

I called Chase Travel Services as I booked the room through them. In turn, I eventually was moved up the phone-call-chain until someone from Chase called the hotel and that only further showed the Chase Telephone Representative how difficult Okeanos Suites Herzliya by Herbert Samuel were being to us as guests. Finally, the representative said that they couldn't even assure us of when the repair person would come and managed to get them to agree to move us to another room. However, that was not going to occur for several more hours!?!?!

I'm thankful to Chase for facilitating the room change (something that the Herbert Samuel affiliated hotel was not doing for us !?!?!). In fact, a repair person did come to the room as we were leaving (no way could we stay there -- at least it was the daytime and we headed for the beach -- more on why the beach and not the pool in my P.S.) trying to fix the air conditioning. This repairman admitted that the air conditioning had been broken this entire time. He did not come at 10AM -- he came at 11AM.

That said, I was shocked to hear from Chase that they would not return the points from this hot and sticky night...to say the least...this is a lose of serious points/money.

The Chase Rep. over the phone said that we did use the "services of the room" and only after much pressing the supervisor that I was eventually transferred to said that as a compensation they'd give me only 2500 points. This is ridiculous. It costed 21,016 points to stay in such a room and to have my wife and I experience such aggravation for nearly 24 hours!?!?!

I have banked with Chase for decades and both my wife and I hold Chase credit cards. Despite this, and after spending hours on the phone with Chase and even speaking to the above mentioned supervisor I was told that this is the most that I could receive and that's that or I could mail a letter to a P.O. Box in Delaware. That's just a way to get me off the phone....after spending way too many hours on the phone and going back and forth it was time to just try and salvage our stay.

What's my desired resolution?

Anything involving a hot room and a pregnant woman is not a good look for Chase or Herbert Samuel.

We lost a day of vacation (and that's being nice as it put a damper on something that we were planning for months) and had a tremendous amount of heat/frustration.

At the very least, we would want to receive the points back for compensation of what we experienced.

Thank you all for your insights and help.

All the best,


Mr. LearningEveryDay

_______________________
P.S. As an aside, it's worth noting that the while their website mentions that the pool is open during this season, in actuality it's not something that a guest can count on using. There's signs up everywhere that say that the pool is only open from 10am until 4pm and can only be used if/when a lifeguard is present. That said, there was many hours on numerous days that a lifeguard was not there and no one could tell you when/if the lifeguard was returning. This experience was also astounding for a hotel that is nearly rated 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor. As such, the pool was in effect a pretty thing to see -- but was not an area that we could ever count on entering even -- let alone going into and enjoying.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
It sounds like you were caught up in the “book with points, get the worst room in the house” problem. This is similar to booking through an OTA. You didn’t pay cash or you paid a very low price and you are given the worst room. I also believe that I recently read that Chases travel division is run by Expedia- which might be why you were given the room you received. Did you offer to pay to upgrade your room to a higher category? Was the hotel sold out?

It is 100% true that a room is considered an
“Oceanview” as long as you can see a sliver of
ocean so take that out of your complaint.

As far as real pictures of a resort, there is a website called oyster that people post real pictures of resorts - not the glossy brochures pictures.

I looked at reviews online and you are correct- they are generally good but the ones that aren’t pretty much say Management was dismissive. But one complaint said the pool was “only” open until 7 pm.

The problem you are going to have is that you stated the entire stay instead of calling Chase to move you somewhere else.

We have company contacts for Chase and you can try writing further up the chain:

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/chase-jpmorgan-chase-bank/
 
Likes: jsn55
Jun 13, 2019
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#3
1)

Thanks for your reply! I'm willing to swallow the reality that we were booked in the worst room of the hotel (anyway to avoid that when redeeming points). Fine..ya get what ya pay for.

BUT....

How can Chase rightfully treat a banking and card member(s) this way by saying that we received the service of the room. We certainly didn't receive the room we booked ... forget about the view ... but the hot and sweaty nearly 90 degree room...with a pregnant woman? I'd like to believe that they'd right the wrong for a loyal customer(s). Instead, we weren't just being stabbed by the hotel, we were being hurt by Chase.

Should we be writing then to Chase? Or...to Marriot? Both? Someone should want this apparent PR-nightmare on their hands to go away...no...?

2)

I have no way to know if it was "sold out." The parking lot didn't indicate that it was. There was one time that we were told that they couldn't move us because we are sold out but that in the morning we could move you to another room or the first floor or the fourth. Then again, he was looking at a screen seeing this/saying this and saying though that he wasn't authorized to do so at the same time:rolleyes:

It sounds like you were caught up in the “book with points, get the worst room in the house” problem. This is similar to booking through an OTA. You didn’t pay cash or you paid a very low price and you are given the worst room. Was the hotel sold out?

It is 100% true that a room is considered an
“Oceanview” as long as you can see a sliver of
ocean so take that out of your complaint.

As far as real pictures of a resort, there is a website called oyster that people post real pictures of resorts - not the glossy brochures pictures.

We have company contacts for Chase and you can try writing further up the chain:

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/chase-jpmorgan-chase-bank/
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
The pool hours are odd to say the least. But the hotel is not in the US so I am not sure if there are rules in other countries that would apply.

Your beef is with Chase so that’s who you need to work with.
 
Apr 3, 2016
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#6
For the pool- In some places local laws demand an lifeguard (determined by town in my state). Hotels can have a hard time finding certified lifeguards so they have to limit the hours of the pool.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
For the pool- In some places local laws demand an lifeguard (determined by town in my state). Hotels can have a hard time finding certified lifeguards so they have to limit the hours of the pool.
In Israel, lifeguards have been arrested if a drowning occurs during their watch. Apparently they can be charged with manslaughter.

This may be why they have limited hours for the pool- the hotel then could be liable for a drowning occurring when no lifeguard is on duty.

I also checked the website for the inclusions for the room type you booked- it does not say that there are balcony chairs or even a balcony in that room category- or air conditioning. If you look at the picture, it’s of a corner room. That’s the only place that fits those two chairs- the rest of that balcony had no room for anything but standing but their own website says nothing about a balcony- the Executive Suites say they have a balcony.
Sized about 18-Sqm, our Deluxe Rooms with a Sea Views face the Mediterranean Sea and also include.

  • Complimentary high-speed WiFi
  • 50″ LCD TV with Satellite and cable channels
  • King-size bed
  • Desk
  • Telephone
  • Radio
  • Safe
  • Safety deposit box
  • Nespresso coffee machine and coffee/tea station
Each and every suite at Okeanos Suites Herzliya Boutique Hotel features a spacious living area with sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, while equipped with comfortable furnishings and technologies, such as LCD TV and wireless internet.
Experience the best of Herzliya in well-appointed accommodations that include an expansive bathroom, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and ample storage space for clothes and luggage.

It doesn’t even say air conditioning is included. Not anywhere on the hotel website does it say there is air conditioning.

When air conditioning is not specifically stated- you need to ask questions before you book. Many hotels overseas don’t have air conditioning. Does the Chase website you booked through specifically state the rooms are air conditioned? If it does, make rust your focus because that is a legitimate issue. And it sounds like they admitted to you they have it but couldn’t fix it. I would absolutely push that point.

It also only says the pool is open during spring and summer season but no hours are shown. If the pool was open- they met the description.

You need to really look at room descriptions and read them carefully- you actually received what the hotel shows. Unless I am missing something- you received what the hotel website says was included. If I am missing something on the hotel website- someone will come along and find it.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#8
I also looked at TA reviews for photos that travelers post and there were a few of a room with just sliding windows that had a sea view (other photos showed rooms with a balcony/seaview)

I would think there would be some sort of possible recourse if you booked a certain category of room and received only a lesser category of room. But, I never use points for rooms so have no idea what Chase may or may not be willing to do - seems they have decided already.

In the negative reviews, there is one where someone was surprised to learn the pool closed at 4 p.m. because he/she thought it closed at 5 p.m. and so refused to leave with his kids - to the point where supposedly the police were called and a hotel staff member threatened to electrocute (!) his kids - something that is truly hard to believe.

I always take photos all along the way of my bookings with accommodations and only ever book directly with a hotel/B&B/whatever. If you have a screenshot showing you booked a room in a specific category that has a seaview AND a balcony, you might get a little something for that discrepancy in rooms.

Not sure about the temperature; you said you have a photo of the temperature in the room - if so, did you provide that to Chase. 90 degrees is very hot - for anyone.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#10
It sounds like you were caught up in the “book with points, get the worst room in the house” problem.
Did LW make the reservation through the Chase Travel site? If so, the hotel sees a cash transaction, not points, just as when an American Express points user makes a reservation through the Amex Travel site. In either case, there is no sulfurous points stigma following you around on the trip.

BUT: Did LW use Chase points to buy into a hotel chain's own points system, rather than reserving through Chase Travel? If so, then the property would see it as an award transaction.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#12
Chase just uses the Expedia booking engine. You're not actually booking through Expedia. That's why people complain that they see deals on Expedia that they don't see on the Chase site. They can't have it both ways: if they book on Expedia.com themselves, they could save money, but it would be an Expedia reservation, with whatever negatives that might involve.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#13
Chase just uses the Expedia booking engine. You're not actually booking through Expedia. That's why people complain that they see deals on Expedia that they don't see on the Chase site. They can't have it both ways: if they book on Expedia.com themselves, they could save money, but it would be an Expedia reservation, with whatever negatives that might involve.
I must disagree with you, Alan. Expedia makes the reservations of people booking with Ultimate Rewards. That's been going on for several years, just recently the partnership was announced formally. I know this because the first hotel I ever booked in Hilo Hawaii with URs showed Expedia and I thought the hotel's front desk was just mixed up.

Our OP had high expectations that were not met. The room should have been changed the minute he walked in to find the location over a noisy establishment. People forget to check little things like A/C, sea view, and balcony size ... they read the words and form a mental image. Then are incensed when reality rears up in their faces. Experienced travellers know that every single aspect of a hotel must be checked through outside sources such as TripAdvisor, not to mention reading the hotel's information very thoroughly and asking questions before you book. Chase Ultimate Rewards offers very good bargains on hotels, but they just list them for their card holders ... it's up to the traveller to be sure the hotel meets his needs.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#14
There has been a lot of commentary on sites like FlyerTalk about Chase's switch to Expedia as a booking engine, which according to the commentary only took place in August, 2018. Previously they had been using an engine with a name like Connectix (I know I don't have that name quite right). I remember setting up a roundtrip PHX-IND early last year with Chase, with the old engine in effect. It had the disadvantage that it only let you book Basic Economy. This year I reserved PHX-SEA on the new engine and was able to easily specify the class, but it wouldn't recognize my Chase card until I called CSR, had them run it and encounter the same error, and then go up several levels of escalation until they found someone with the authority to complete the transaction manually. It must have helped that I was booking F this time.
 
Jun 13, 2019
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#15
Did LW make the reservation through the Chase Travel site? If so, the hotel sees a cash transaction, not points, just as when an American Express points user makes a reservation through the Amex Travel site. In either case, there is no sulfurous points stigma following you around on the trip.

BUT: Did LW use Chase points to buy into a hotel chain's own points system, rather than reserving through Chase Travel? If so, then the property would see it as an award transaction.

Thank you ALL for your time and feedback:

1. Yes. I booked my travel using the Chase Travel site directly.

2. All other rooms on the floor had porches.

3. Can a hotel be rated nearly 4.5 stars (and part of a H. Samuel) and not offer air conditioning/expect one to stay in a nearly 90 degree room and assume that this is my using of the services...

4. No fan was offered.

5. Re: pool...OK...so there is local law and practice in effect.
 
Jun 13, 2019
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#16
It sounds like you were caught up in the “book with points, get the worst room in the house” problem. This is similar to booking through an OTA. You didn’t pay cash or you paid a very low price and you are given the worst room. I also believe that I recently read that Chases travel division is run by Expedia- which might be why you were given the room you received. Did you offer to pay to upgrade your room to a higher category? Was the hotel sold out?

It is 100% true that a room is considered an
“Oceanview” as long as you can see a sliver of
ocean so take that out of your complaint.

As far as real pictures of a resort, there is a website called oyster that people post real pictures of resorts - not the glossy brochures pictures.

I looked at reviews online and you are correct- they are generally good but the ones that aren’t pretty much say Management was dismissive. But one complaint said the pool was “only” open until 7 pm.

The problem you are going to have is that you stated the entire stay instead of calling Chase to move you somewhere else.

We have company contacts for Chase and you can try writing further up the chain:

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/chase-jpmorgan-chase-bank/

1. I did call Chase to move me. They said that they'd have to cancel my current stay and my points would be pittons for a last-minute check-in elsewhere. Plus, once the Chase Telephone Supervisor got them to switch our room (which still took hours) she reneged on that offer saying that she has resolved the issue and that's that.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,181
16,298
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
1. I did call Chase to move me. They said that they'd have to cancel my current stay and my points would be pittons for a last-minute check-in elsewhere. Plus, once the Chase Telephone Supervisor got them to switch our room (which still took hours) she reneged on that offer saying that she has resolved the issue and that's that.
They are correct that moving you last minute wouldn’t leave you with enough points for another last minute hotel. These are issues when you use points. Did you offer to add cash to be moved?

Despite the website not mentioning air, it’s obvious that they had it if they fixed it the next day so that truly is the only legitimate gripe you have through all of this- there was no one who could fix it and they didn’t move you to another room. The “I’m not authorized to move you “ is baloney in a room that is 90 degrees. This is the issue you should focus on.

While the other rooms may have had balconies and yours didn’t, the room description doesn’t mention it so that issue is moot.

It really sounds like you were given the worst room in the place. Someone has to get the lousy rooms and hotels give the worst rooms to those who pay the least for them. There is a book called “Heads in Beds” that is an eye opener about the hotel industry by a hotel insider.

I don’t think you will get all your points back - if they fixed the air then there is air conditioning and that’s the only legitimate gripe you have. You can try to negotiate for more than the 2500 points they gave you and that’s what you should try to get using our company contacts. You can go back and say that the 2500 points is not enough to make up for the hot night or the clerks response they couldn’t move you to another room even if it was just one night until the air could be fixed.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,218
8,136
113
San Francisco
#19
There has been a lot of commentary on sites like FlyerTalk about Chase's switch to Expedia as a booking engine, which according to the commentary only took place in August, 2018. Previously they had been using an engine with a name like Connectix (I know I don't have that name quite right). I remember setting up a roundtrip PHX-IND early last year with Chase, with the old engine in effect. It had the disadvantage that it only let you book Basic Economy. This year I reserved PHX-SEA on the new engine and was able to easily specify the class, but it wouldn't recognize my Chase card until I called CSR, had them run it and encounter the same error, and then go up several levels of escalation until they found someone with the authority to complete the transaction manually. It must have helped that I was booking F this time.
The name "Connectix" rings a bell, Alan. Maybe they did the air for Chase Travel. I've only booked hotels with my URs. When I checked into the Hilo hotel, the agent told me my res had been booked through Expedia; this was 3 or 4 years ago I think. I loathe Expedia, so I remember the conversation very clearly; I just thought she was not too bright.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#20
And I've only used the Chase site to redeem points for air travel. I always book hotels directly, usually at one chain where I have status, because I use up all my points on air and have no need to use the site for hotels.

I did some checking, and Chase's portal partner before 8/18 was Connexions. Could they have had some sort of backdoor relationship with Expedia for hotels during the time Chase was still using Connexions?