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Old Aug 23, 11, 10:23 am   #1
 
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Thumbs down I'm not "economically viable" according to BW

Wow.... Talk about a kick in the teeth. A rep from BW rewards just told me in writing that I'm not "economically viable".

Here's the story. We have a contract with a particular BW property. The contract does not specifically state that we won't get points for the stays. In fact, our travel provider thinks we should, just as I do at every other hotel I stay at.

This BW property disagrees. When I took this project, I asked for a status match, was comped Diamond. The hotel refused to enter my number, so I'd submit them online after the fact. And BW would grant me credit. We have a great rate (but it's really about what this particular BW is worth). This week I was told that because the rate is more than 20% below the inflated rack rate for the hotel, BW won't give me credit.

I pressed the issue with Customer Support. I was told by a BW representative that the hotel refuses to go "above and beyond", and that I am not "economically viable" to Best Western. At this point I have over 20 BW nights this year, and my company has spent thousands of dollars at this particular property.

I understand that I don't spend as much as this property would like. But they offered the rate. I wouldn't earn as many points, but why is it an issue? Does it cost the individual BW properties that much to reward loyalty? My company has a loyalty program as well, and we don't set such a floor. We use the program to encourage customers to spend more.

The rep told me that I was not "economically viable" without knowing how much our company spends on hotels. We were approached by a BW property in another location in the past few weeks, trying to earn our business. I've already contacted our travel provider to make sure we stay where we are now. I've shortened or cancelled my personal stays, and since so many of my stays won't be credited, I've asked that my account be closed.

I know there's been talk of consistency (and lack thereof) at Best Western. The Rewards rep made it very clear that BW doesn't want my business unless I spend more, but to be honest, the property isn't worth it.

I won't name names, I won't name the hotel. But I'll be avoiding BW from here out whenever possible.
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Old Aug 23, 11, 10:48 am   #2
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Frustrating for sure, but the terms and conditions of BWR does state rates 20% below rack rate (or manager negotiated rates) will not be eligible for points/miles.

I do know some hotels within the chain will go 'above and beyond', giving you those points, but please do keep in mind that each hotel is independently owed (as opposed to the large chains). Your experience will vary between properties for that exact reason.

As for the 'corporate' policy with BW (the parent company), I completely agree it is ridiculous. I am an independent contractor and based on where I live BW is really the only chain that is a viable option for points earning, when I contacted them regarding acquiring a corporate discount I was told my company would need to spend 500 nights PER YEAR at BW properties. Ha, as I am only one person this was entirely impossible! I would have figured BW would be geared more toward "the little guy" as the Sheratons and Hiltons of the world get a large share of the business pie, but it appears that is not the case.

That is not to say all BW are awful, some are a great option, you just have to be clear in your negotiations what you are expecting to get from them.
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Old Aug 23, 11, 10:52 am   #3
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Originally Posted by duxfan View Post
Wow.... Talk about a kick in the teeth. A rep from BW rewards just told me in writing that I'm not "economically viable".

Here's the story. We have a contract with a particular BW property. The contract does not specifically state that we won't get points for the stays. In fact, our travel provider thinks we should, just as I do at every other hotel I stay at.

This BW property disagrees. When I took this project, I asked for a status match, was comped Diamond. The hotel refused to enter my number, so I'd submit them online after the fact. And BW would grant me credit. We have a great rate (but it's really about what this particular BW is worth). This week I was told that because the rate is more than 20% below the inflated rack rate for the hotel, BW won't give me credit.

I pressed the issue with Customer Support. I was told by a BW representative that the hotel refuses to go "above and beyond", and that I am not "economically viable" to Best Western. At this point I have over 20 BW nights this year, and my company has spent thousands of dollars at this particular property.

I understand that I don't spend as much as this property would like. But they offered the rate. I wouldn't earn as many points, but why is it an issue? Does it cost the individual BW properties that much to reward loyalty? My company has a loyalty program as well, and we don't set such a floor. We use the program to encourage customers to spend more.

The rep told me that I was not "economically viable" without knowing how much our company spends on hotels. We were approached by a BW property in another location in the past few weeks, trying to earn our business. I've already contacted our travel provider to make sure we stay where we are now. I've shortened or cancelled my personal stays, and since so many of my stays won't be credited, I've asked that my account be closed.

I know there's been talk of consistency (and lack thereof) at Best Western. The Rewards rep made it very clear that BW doesn't want my business unless I spend more, but to be honest, the property isn't worth it.

I won't name names, I won't name the hotel. But I'll be avoiding BW from here out whenever possible.
What are the terms of the contract your employer signed? That is what controls. If your employer doesn't like the deal, shouldn't sign.
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Old Aug 23, 11, 1:02 pm   #4
 
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Often, I was told that by our travel provider that I should be receiving points. And I was at first. Now it has changed. Yes, it's their right, I fully understand. But to be honest, it's different than other chains and puts BW at yet another disadvantage. Not a smart way to do business, and to communicate it in an insulting manner adds fuel to the fire.
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Old Aug 23, 11, 1:59 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by duxfan View Post
Often, I was told that by our travel provider that I should be receiving points. And I was at first. Now it has changed. Yes, it's their right, I fully understand. But to be honest, it's different than other chains and puts BW at yet another disadvantage. Not a smart way to do business, and to communicate it in an insulting manner adds fuel to the fire.
If you can cut a better deal with someone else, you should definitely do it. While what BT told you sounds harsh, at least they were transperent and told you the underlying reason. As a business matter, they've made the decision that a 20% discount + points isn't worth it to them. Maybe cut the discount to 15% and keep the points?

Last edited by Often1; Aug 23, 11 at 6:31 pm.
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Old Aug 25, 11, 4:35 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
If you can cut a better deal with someone else, you should definitely do it. While what BT told you sounds harsh, at least they were transperent and told you the underlying reason. As a business matter, they've made the decision that a 20% discount + points isn't worth it to them. Maybe cut the discount to 15% and keep the points?
why not to 19 % ?
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Old Aug 30, 11, 6:02 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by duxfan View Post
Does it cost the individual BW properties that much to reward loyalty?

YES
My company has a loyalty program as well, and we don't set such a floor. We use the program to encourage customers to spend more.

The rep told me that I was not "economically viable" without knowing how much our company spends on hotels.

THE REP SHOULD HAVE NEVER SAID THAT TO YOU.
My personal opinion would be to talk to hotel before signing any contracts and making sure you will be receiving points. Hotels are not obligated to give points if the rate is off by 20% or more.
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Old Sep 4, 11, 2:59 am   #8
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Oh "they are not obliged" means they have a free hand whether they want or not? Well that explains something to me. I had recently a dirty cheap stay booked via expedia and I got the points. Another hotels, which I booked via Orbitz had almost the same rate as the rate on the BW website. The second hotel didn't give me points "because you got a discount of 20 %"
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Old Sep 4, 11, 4:51 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Zurich Flyer View Post
Oh "they are not obliged" means they have a free hand whether they want or not? Well that explains something to me. I had recently a dirty cheap stay booked via expedia and I got the points. Another hotels, which I booked via Orbitz had almost the same rate as the rate on the BW website. The second hotel didn't give me points "because you got a discount of 20 %"
YUP It all depends on the property since they all are independtly owned. They leave it upto management to decided whether to give points or not at certain rate.

Most hotels will are usually same or cheaper than expedia, orbitz or any 3rd party website. It is always best to call the hotel for best price.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 2:31 pm   #10
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Margins are very tight these days and a customer filling a room a below cost is only marginally better than the room going empty. And points cost so giving them could drive the margin down even further to represent a loss on each night. Thus, you may well be "not economically viable".
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Old Apr 4, 12, 3:03 pm   #11
 
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Margins are very tight these days and a customer filling a room a below cost is only marginally better than the room going empty. And points cost so giving them could drive the margin down even further to represent a loss on each night. Thus, you may well be "not economically viable".
Why would filling a room "below cost" be better than having it empty? Or are you including fixed costs in there where the revenue is above the variable costs, so as long as you don't displace a customer paying more (or letting the higher paying customer know that they could have done better), you still make a bit to help cover the fixed costs?

For an idea of the various costs for the owner of the Best Western, see http://www.bestwesterndevelopers.com...le%20FINAL.pdf

It looks like providing points would cost 5.5% of your rate. Or more if the individual property owner pays the elite bonus, survey points, etc.

I also found it interesting that free night redemptions are only at 30%(min $30) of ADR if occupancy is less than 90%. Does that mean corporate BW thinks that your variable costs will be less than 30% of ADR? It also adds an indirect cost to a property giving you a low rate - it decreases their ADR and so their free night redemption reimbursements will be lower. Not giving you points for deeply discounted rates(quite legitimately under their T&Cs) helps offset this.

I found the number of various fees amazing. Surprising that they can make money at all. Something that may help you is the Customer Care fees - if they don't respond in 2 days or if their ratio is too high. If you're having problems, complain!

And the Best Westerns that give you good service...buy travel cards at them and use them at the bad ones! And make your reservations for the bad ones from the good ones. :-)
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Old Apr 9, 12, 11:27 am   #12
 
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Did you book this the same way any other would book it ? If its the same way, regardless of price, you are legally entitled to the points.

ie. If yo book it on their website and they quote you $x.xx and another person book it on the same webstie and they got quoted $x.xx.

Regardless of price, if the other person got points for it, you will too. If BW refuses, then take legal action.
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