I was making some PB (5000 points) reservations, and didn't read the cancellation policy clearly enough until after... The following is what I usually see: (bolding mine)
Canceling your reservation before 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on xxx date 2012 will result in no charge.
Canceling your reservation after 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on 7 September, 2012, or failing to show, will result in a charge of 1 night per room to your credit card.
This is what I saw at one of my reservations:
Canceling your reservation after
6:00 PM (local hotel time) on xxx date 2012, or failing to show, will result in a charge equal to the first night's stay per room to your credit card. Taxes may apply. Failing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reservation will result in cancellation of the remainder of your reservation.
It is missing the explicit statement that I can cancel BEFORE my check-in date and incur no charges. I called the reservation desk and they tell me not to worry and cancel with no charges until the date, as I assume, but we all know how reliable the ICH phone agents are...
Any actual experiences here, positive or negative?
I actually cancelled one of the reservation (to change dates) and the points went back to my account, just like all my previous reservation/cancellations. What is interesting about this hotel reservation experience is that it gave me the option of making the reservation without providing my credit card info. (Its the Alpena MI Holiday Inn).