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:
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.
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]