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Why Accor Sucks and What They Can Do About It

Despite boasting over 4200 properties worldwide, Accor Le Club doesn’t get the same exposure as more mainstream rewards programs like World of Hyatt and SPG. That’s probably because Accor doesn’t have a co-branded credit card And because Accor sucks as a rewards program.

Not only do they make it ridiculously difficult to redeem miles, but earning them is also a mystery. The lack of clarity and terrible customer service is what makes it a terrible rewards program. But enough about how bad they are. Here’s how Accor can improve its rewards program:

The Website

For starters, the Accor site is pretty horrendous. With its hideous design and awful navigation, it just offers an overall terrible user experience. Its shortcomings in the design area could be overlooked if it wasn’t so awful from a functional perspective.

Want to redeem a reward? Well, take a wild guess and figure it out yourself. While other hotel programs make it easy to redeem points for free nights (i.e. check off a “use points” box), Accor leaves you guessing about how it’s done.

For one, you have to filter your search results to show properties where “I can use my points” only. Then you simply book your stay like any other and it isn’t until you get to the booking page that you see an option to either pay the full rate or redeem points. If you fail to check off that “hotels where I can use my points” box, you might repeat the above step multiple times before you’re finally able to redeem them.

Customer Service

Have a customer service issue? Tough luck, because Accor doesn’t care. Their customer service is notoriously awful. I had a billing issue at an Ibis hotel in a small town in France. I was charged twice for the same room. After getting nowhere with the hotel manager or Accor customer service, I reached out on Twitter.

Know what it got me? A response several days later, saying nay request had been handed over to Accor customer service. It ended up going nowhere and I had to reach out to my credit card company to rectify it. Never have I dealt with such blatant incompetence and poor customer service – certainly not with a hotel chain.


The purpose of staying with a chain is a certain standard of hotel, service, and overall experience. With Accor, you’re pretty much on your own in terms of service and experience. Even their hotel brands are all over the place and tough to define. What is the difference between an Ibis, Ibis Styles, Ibis Budget, and Hotel F1? They’re all the same college dorm-type hotels with IKEA furniture. I don’t want to knock the entire Accor portfolio because they have quite a few high-end brands (Fairmont, Raffles, Sofitel), but they do take a kitchen sink approach to acquiring new properties.

Overall, Accor needs better messaging, branding, and service. The company needs to become more focused on the customer rather than the blind acquisition of hotels that won’t uphold their brand standards. More importantly, they need to provide more clarity on how members can earn and redeem points. And make the redemption process a clear and easy one. Because otherwise, they might as well turn into an airline.

[Image: Bob Hall/Accor]

Comments are Closed.
Mike_P August 30, 2019

I just stumbled across this dreadful article. You'd have to be pretty inept not to be able to figure out how to redeem points. I know some people don't like that the redemption system, because there are no hidden gems you can redeem on the cheap but it is plainly simple how it works. There are some valid points made but it's mostly a rant.

AlwaysFlyStar August 10, 2018

I realise I am seeing this a half a year after it was written, however, I do feel the need to comment, even if nobody ever reads it. Ha. First off, you say that it is difficult to redeem miles and earning them is a mystery. They make it very clear how many points you earn by brand and status. They even offer a calculator which allows you to put in your hotel brand and the rate (in the currency of your choice) and it will tell you how many points you will earn. This page is merely one page from the home page. And difficult to redeem? It is by far the easiest of all chains in redemption, as you can redeem at any hotel with availability at the rate of 2000 points to 40 EUR. Again, this information can be found one page from the home page. This is far more straightforward than any of the major American chains which actually make it quite difficult to know how much value your points will have. If you want to say you lose the ability to get some of the great deals available in other programmes, I would agree whole heartedly, but to say it is too complicated is just absurd. The issue of having to search where you can use/redeem points is merely due to the fact that some brands, such as Ibis budget, do not participate in Le Club. And in cities where they have a limited presence, they also partner with certain local hotels to offer them on their website. It is usually quite obvious, as these hotels are not any of Accor's brands. And as for the differentiation at the budget end? It is quite easy. Ibis Styles is typically more design orientated. A bit more trendy, but still budget friendly. Ibis is the workhorse budget brand. And Ibis budget is the more budget brand that is extremely standardised. And F1 is even more low-budget, more focused on the drivers needing a cheap place to sleep, generally near a motorway. Often F1 rooms do not have en suites, and instead you share the bathrooms. Ibis Budget and Styles were both originated in 2012 as a way to bring newly acquired chains into the Ibis family. And while to you, the lack of cookie cutter hotel rooms is a negative, to me, it is one thing that I like most about Accor. They have Novotel, which is very standardised brand, and then they have Mercure, which is very flexible, and I personally appreciate that a Mercure in Frankfurt, Germany will feel quite different than a Mercure in London. So you can dislike Accor and their strategy of picking up brands across the budget spectrum, but personally, I think that it is a good thing for one programme to be able to offer hotels the cheapest and the most expensive rooms in one city. So perhaps Accor isn't for you, but that's okay. There are many chains that seem to offer what you want. Personally, I am relatively satisfied with Accor and would not be happy for them to be more like the other large chains.

pointchaser February 24, 2018

@PabloM “Redeeming points is straightforward.” No it’s not. When you deviate from the normal award chart system, you need to make that clear. Especially during the search/booking process. @Kat007 That’s not the first robbery story I’ve heard. Sorry that happened to you. @Boris_T I have no hope. :) Just ranting into the universe in case someone listens. @VladQ Users shouldn’t have to navigate to that page to find out 2k points = 40 euros. Make that clear during the search/booking phase. And there’s no reason why you should have to check off “hotels where I can redeem points.” If redemptions are based on cost, every hotel should let me redeem points. From a user perspective, it would be so much easier if they listed the point redemption guidelines/rates alongside paid rates. @robbeck1 More stupidity from Accor. 
@Keisari To be fair, I did get a room upgrade as a Gold member. But thumbs down for everything else. @GLynRb Yes, she is. But come on - I’ve outlined exactly how they can improve on the things I’m complaining about. I’m glad you had a good experience - but this post isn’t about one person’s experience vs another’s. It’s about systematic customer service failures, poorly designed website, and brand inconsistencies.

GlynRB February 20, 2018

Ariana is having a rant. The problem with posting a rant when you are angry is that you end up undermining your basic point. The statement "you are on your own" at an Accor Hotel is totally wrong. Ariana might find that to be case, but my experience is the opposite. On a recent visit to the Mercure (an Accor hotel) the room was great and the staff incredibly helpful (and nice to be with). The only thing I didn't like was the charge of £8.00 for a sandwich (it was a good sandwich, but THAT good). Other visits to Accor chain hotels match my experience with Marriott, Hilton and others. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not so good. So "Sucks" is inaccurate

keisari February 19, 2018

Absolutely no elite recognition. I matched to Plat with Accor and stayed in a few properties in France and NONE ever recognized Plat elite nor did I get any of the benefits that are included.