Not Honoring the Best Rate Guarantee

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#1
Hi,
I made a reservation for the Even Hotel NY Times Square.
I made the reservation for the Even Better King City View Room, I also Included Breakfast.
The base rate came to $ 416.50, Total Cost: 481.43
This is the LOWEST rate available for this package on their site.

I then noticed that the site www.getaroom.com is cheaper in both base rate, and total costs (Same exact room, same conditions, breakfast also included).
I sent in my Best Price Guarantee, and I got denied.
This is what they said:
"The Terms and Conditions require that the claim be for “a valid room booking with the lowest available price (room rate)” on the IHG website, regardless of the package inclusions or cancellation policy. Please be advised that a lower room rate was found offered on the IHG website for the same room type booked based on the details found for the reservation on your claim. The lower room rate that was found for the same reservation details, including but not limited to: room type, check-in date, number of guests and length of stay is listed below."
They also sent me a link: http://www.ihg.com/bestprice
The issue is, no where on their terms and conditions does it actually say what they have quoted above!!
My belief is that they are denying me because of "regardless of the package inclusions"

What it DOES IN FACT SAY is: #8: 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.

Any way I can get IHG to honor their policy and grant me the free night? They are denying me based upon non-existant terms, while the existing terms indicate that they should honor it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 
Sep 19, 2015
2,143
3,457
113
48
#2
I just read the terms and conditions. Did you use best available price search and chose the lowest price room available? That criteria is listed as #3 on the website terms that I pulled up.
 

Attachments

Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#3
I just read the terms and conditions. Did you use best available price search and chose the lowest price room available? That criteria is listed as #3 on the website terms that I pulled up.
I did the best available price search. I did NOT choose the cheapest room, I chose the cheapest rate for the room that I wanted. The terms and conditions do not state that the cheapest room must be booked in order to use a BRG, only that the cheapest rate available for chosen room (regardless of room type), must be used.

I believe that I've followed their rules, the issue is that they are rejecting me (I believe) based upon rules that are NOT listed in the terms and conditions.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,665
12,684
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
So let me clarify- you made a booking on the IHG site for a specific room with breakfast. Then you found a lower price On getaroom.com for the exact same hotel, room category and taxes and it was lower than IHG within 24 hours and sent them a screen print and they denied it?

Was this for a one night booking? I am not reading in the t and c is has to be the lowest room category.

I would use our company contacts and escalate this up the executive chain in our company contacts and ask them to Clearly explain what portion of the terms you violate because what they sent you to read shows you followed the terms.
 
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#5
That is exactly what I believe is happening.
The reservation is for one night.
Any suggestion for which executive on the list I should contact?
Thanks
 
Sep 19, 2015
2,143
3,457
113
48
#6
Sorry to the OP my post was unclear. Like Neal I am not reading it as the lowest priced room in the hotel but the lowest priced room in a particular category i.e. Comparison has to be like to like.

I do not see the text that the denial email quoted in the terms and conditions.

I would follow Neil's advice on using the customer contacts
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
336
530
93
Poole
#7
Hi all

I read the reason for refusing the request slightly differently based upon the following;

Please be advised that a lower room rate was found offered on the IHG website for the same room type booked based on the details found for the reservation on your claim..." "

To me they were saying that they had found a lower rate on the IHG site for the same type of room and stay dates etc. However the inclusion of the preceding sentence "regardless of the package inclusions or cancellation policy.." indicates that they may have had a room which was non refundable or pre-paid.

If they are trying to argue that under their own T&c's they are wrong. Section 5 Matching terms states "... or other requirements must be equal in all respects to the terms found on an IHG website for your claim to be valid. For example, when you book a room that may be cancelled without penalty on an IHG website, you may not compare it to a room with a pre-paid or non-refundable price on a non-IHG website."

Jay - was your rate a non-refundable or pre-paid rate?
 
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#8
The room rate is a refundable rate.
No non-refundable rates are offered for this hotel for the date I requested .
 
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#9
This just got weird. The hotel just left me a voicemail that they will be matching the competitors rate.
So they agree that I meet the conditions but still won't give me the free night?
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
336
530
93
Poole
#10
Hi Jay

That is really strange. I take in on the voicemail they did not say why?

Also when you say there weren't any non-refundable rates for your stay, did you check on the IHG site?
 
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#11
Hi Jay

That is really strange. I take in on the voicemail they did not say why?

Also when you say there weren't any non-refundable rates for your stay, did you check on the IHG site?
He said that the hotel was contacted and they will be MATCHING the rate. $389 base rate plus 2 breakfasts. I have the voicemail in my email, should I require a paper trail later.

I mention the refundable rate since I have been denied before due to cheaper non-refundable rates. I agree with your interpretation, but I believe IHG is saying, book the cheapest rate for the room (even if it is non-refundable), but we will only compare it to a competitor that has equal terms (i.e. if their terms is pay upfront, and the cheapest on IHG site is pay later, they wont consider it to be a good comparison)
 

John Galbraith

Staff Member
Director
Jan 22, 2017
336
530
93
Poole
#12
Hi Jay

I also agree with your interpretation and that is how i read the published terms and conditions that i. However what they save said to you seems to say something different:

""The Terms and Conditions require that the claim be for “a valid room booking with the lowest available price (room rate)” on the IHG website, regardless of the package inclusions or cancellation policy."

That to me says they are trying to argue that even if there is room is cheaper on the IHG site because it is non refundable and you have booked one that isn't refundable they can use their cheaper room to compare to yours. So you get nothing back.

However we can not be sure. Follow Neil's advice, email the contacts and make them come back and say why you do not qualify for the promotion.


 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,665
12,684
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
If they are honoring the rate then I would still fight for the free night because that rate was not there when you booked. Use the first (lowest) executive on our list and if you don't get it after a week, write to the next and go up the chain weekly.

If you didn't book a non refundable rate they shouldn't refer you to a non refundable rate on their website if that is what they are saying was lower.

It sounds like they were looking for any excuse not to honor.
 
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#14
Thanks Neil,
I just sent an email to the Vice President of Reservations and Customer Care. I figured that would be a good place to start.

I would agree that they are nitpicking at reasons not to honor it, but that wouldn't explain why the hotel left me a voicemail saying that they are matching the rate, and including breakfasts.
Their Terms and Conditions state that they will make the first night free (I'm only staying one night), if I don't qualify, why match? If I do qualify, why won't they honor it as they are supposed to?
Something doesn't add up here (unless they are trying their hardest not to honor their own promotion).
Anyways, thanks for all your help, I'll try to keep you all posted. Oh, and btw, I have the ability to email the voicemail that the property left for me, meaning that I can include it into the paper trail.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,617
6,629
113
San Francisco
#16
This just got weird. The hotel just left me a voicemail that they will be matching the competitors rate.
So they agree that I meet the conditions but still won't give me the free night?
Jay, I've been a good IHG customer for many years. They are based in the UK. A business travel forum that I'm part of, also based in the UK, runs a query like yours at least 3x a year. Apparently, IHG is notorious for rolling out these grande schemes (a British term, not a derogatory one) but torturing their customers when they try to take advantage of what they're being offered by IHG. Only you are able to decide how much time you are willing to devote to your goal.
 
Likes: JayMatt19
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#17
I called the hotel property directly a few hours ago, I asked them about the room being free, and they had no idea what I was talking about. I politely asked them to send me documentation of their matching the rate, and they quickly sent it to me.
A few hours later they called me back (voicemail again), they looked into it, sent it to escalation and they are giving me the free night!! They even sent me the documentation saying as much!!

Obviously I'm not going to pursue this further.

But just to share the following, hours AFTER hearing that I got the room for free, the BRG helpdesk dest sent me the following email:

Thank you for your email. We appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

As per the Terms and Conditions: 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.” A “valid room booking” means a complete booking with a valid form of payment. Please note that the IHG Best Price Guarantee does not apply to Kimpton® Hotels bookings. Kimpton® Hotels and Restaurants offers its own Best Rate Guarantee with distinct terms when you book directly on KimptonHotels.com. The Best Price Guarantee is not applicable to hotels in Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Please be advised that booking the best available rates is one of the initial requirements of the Guarantee. The reservation must be booked under the best available rate, regardless of the package inclusion, before we can proceed with the verification of the competing website. In your case, we have verified that you did not booked the best available rate since there is a lower rate offered on the IHG website which is YOUR RATE by IHG Rewards Club. The Clause 7 in the Terms and Conditions will only be applicable once you met the initial requirements. Thus, your claim will remain invalid for the Guarantee.

Moving forward, we have been informed by the hotel that they already matched your rate to the lower rate you found inclusive of Breakfast. Please know that it is the hotel’s discretion and our decision will remain the same.

Should you have questions, please let us know.


Sincerely,

Mayette Nicolas
Best Price Guarantee Helpdesk
IHG

The issue here is that I DID BOOK THAT RATE, they keep coming back with bogus, non existent reasons to deny.
Here is a screenshot of the reservation, with private stuff blocked out: http://img.techpowerup.org/170403/res-screenshot427.png

Like I said, I am not going to pursue this any further, as I have already received what I am requesting. But something here just isn't Kosher.
It is one thing to make very difficult rules as per the terms and conditions (as is their right), it is another thing to change the rules in the middle of the game, and quote non-existent rules.
 
Likes: jsn55
Mar 27, 2017
54
4
8
37
#19
Only thing that I could hypothesize is that I took a room with breakfast, and I could have chosen the same room without breakfast.
They keep telling me "The reservation must be booked under the best available rate, regardless of the package inclusion, before we can proceed with the verificationof the competingwebsite."
But no where does it say that on their terms and conditions.
I did send 2 executives an email before I learned I was getting a free night.
I'll keep y'all posted if I hear from them.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,665
12,684
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#20
It might not be a bad idea to ask them to look at the wording to clarify what exactly the best available rate is- is it without any package, is it non refundable? If they put it in terms the public can actually understand instead of guess at maybe they would get less claims that they have to refuse.