Old May 13, 14, 6:15 pm
  #110  
tMonk1
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 47
Been at this for some time and I thought I understood the rules -- until now. At an Ontario BW Plus, I found a room for 142.95 for two double beds. All rooms at this BW (Orillia) had the same price for two queen-bed rooms with minor variances, like one having a fireplace and another being pet-friendly and another no fireplace etc. Booked the Best Available rate because they did not even list an Internet Only rate. Checked a few of the usual websites and found a two bed queen listed for 128.65, same cancellation terms, not that it matters to BW. Was turned down twice, with the same reasons - room I booked did not "match" the book that the third-party was selling and the lower rate I was finding was a special "discount" sale. I challenged and asked for reconsideration and explanation. Here's what I got in response:

"We apologize Discount and Promotional rates given by the third party websites do not qualify for the Low Rate Guarantee Program. This [sic] rates are discounted by the websites and not by the hotel. Here is the paragraph from the Terms and Conditions:

Affinity Partnership, Association, Corporate, Group, Negotiated, Package (e.g. those including flight, car, etc.), Wholesale, Opaque (i.e., those that do not reveal the hotel name and location until after booking, such as those available on Priceline.com and Hotwire.com), Discount, and Promotional rates are not eligible for the Program."

From where I sit words like "Value Deal" and "$Value" or showing a price with a slash through it and an adjustment to a lower rate do not necessarily indicate a a "promotional rate" but they do represent a "discount" and isn't finding discounts that are lower than the BW website rate what the whole Low Rate Guarantee is about?
I did not get any response to my query about how a two-queen bed room could be different from a "similar room type" (ie two-queen) when "all" of the two queen rooms were similar and had the same amenities with minor variances - and the same price.

There was no room for argument, however. I finally found a lower rate for the date I wanted on expedia.ca, and it was approved within an hour by phone call. Getting to be a lot of work and I am also peeved that the Canadian Air Miles loyalty program no longer offers BW gift cards as rewards. I find myself collecting IHG hotel rewards points now through Air Miles and look forward to my "free" nights during the racing season at Saratoga Springs, which I managed to combine with one "free" night under the IHG BRG program for an executive suite (value over $500/night in racing season). It made me almost forget about Best Western....
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