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Why is this board so quiet when there are thousands of Choice Hotels?

Why is this board so quiet when there are thousands of Choice Hotels?

Old Dec 9, 09, 1:55 pm
  #1  
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Why is this board so quiet when there are thousands of Choice Hotels?

As one who lobbied to get Choice its own FlyerTalk forum, I'm still wondering... I have a couple of theories, but will just leave the question wide open for starters.
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Old Dec 9, 09, 3:23 pm
  #2  
 
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I'll offer three hypotheses with the understanding that they are, to varying degree, mutually contradictory:

1) The number of FTers that preferentially stay at Choice properties is small.
2) FTers have seen such wide variability within the Choice product, but incredibly consistent lack of response from Choice management when complaints are filed, so what is there to talk about?
3) The promotions from Choice are so weak relative to other chains at this point in time that FTers are focusing their attention elsewhere.

For me, personally, it's #3. I'd guess that for FTers at large, it's mostly #1.
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Old Dec 9, 09, 4:50 pm
  #3  
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I've wondered this myself. But then again, the same can be said about Best Western and I believe there are more BW hotles worldwide than Choice properties.
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Old Dec 11, 09, 10:43 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Firewind View Post
As one who lobbied to get Choice its own FlyerTalk forum, I'm still wondering... I have a couple of theories, but will just leave the question wide open for starters.
My guess is due to the lack of teeth in the Choice program. I've reported problems with properties and pretty much told it is up to ME to negotiate a solution. I've had issues with points posting and again pretty much told just wait a bit longer for the property to do the posting. And let's not forget about their poor QC on eMails, three times now in the last two years I've been told I've made Diamond when I haven't.

So why bother to complain about a program that doesn't work?
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Old Dec 11, 09, 3:30 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by jtaft View Post
I'll offer three hypotheses with the understanding that they are, to varying degree, mutually contradictory:

1) The number of FTers that preferentially stay at Choice properties is small.
2) FTers have seen such wide variability within the Choice product, but incredibly consistent lack of response from Choice management when complaints are filed, so what is there to talk about?
3) The promotions from Choice are so weak relative to other chains at this point in time that FTers are focusing their attention elsewhere.

For me, personally, it's #3. I'd guess that for FTers at large, it's mostly #1.
All three actually for me.

I was a huge fan of CP but the lack of consistency within brands has driven me to look more to Hilton and Hyatt lower priced brands. If they were all as good as the Comfort Suites at ONT I would cheer. Most of the properties need a good updating. The premium hotels offered for points have the most ridiculous reservation system that actually discourages use.
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Old Dec 11, 09, 6:16 pm
  #6  
 
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I think Choice has a horrible customer service and loyalty program. Unfortunately, I have to stay at a choice becuase of its locations for one of my main trips I routinely make. (The hotel is actually really new, clean, and very professional staff) But bottom line, their CS and their reward program is pathetic IMHO and that is coming from one of their elites becuase of their one property I use. I still havent received reward posting for a stay in September...and every agent gets a different response and does not have the authority for any real action...such a shame...becuase of this they loose me in every market but the one i stay at!
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Old Dec 12, 09, 9:53 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jtaft View Post
I'll offer three hypotheses with the understanding that they are, to varying degree, mutually contradictory:

1) The number of FTers that preferentially stay at Choice properties is small.
2) FTers have seen such wide variability within the Choice product, but incredibly consistent lack of response from Choice management when complaints are filed, so what is there to talk about?
3) The promotions from Choice are so weak relative to other chains at this point in time that FTers are focusing their attention elsewhere.

For me, personally, it's #3. I'd guess that for FTers at large, it's mostly #1.
Agree with all 3 to some extent, but sometimes Choice has had some great promos, if you are willing to stay in a $30-45 hotel. Conversion to WN credits to top off for a Companion Pass used to be awesome for me. But that's been a long time ago.

I'd add #4: Choice has made huge devaluations with little or no notice, for example here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/choic...-july-9-a.html

A Flyertalker accidentally stumbled upon this devaluation; otherwise, none of us would have known about it in time.

I understand that companies will devalue, but if I've spent months or years piling up points for something, I expect to have a chance to redeem at roughly the rate I thought I was going to get. If a company keeps burning me, I will head elsewhere. My Choice stays are nil at this point, and the Choice Visa is in the sock drawer.

Last edited by toomanybooks; Dec 12, 09 at 10:00 am
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Old Dec 12, 09, 10:10 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
A Flyertalker accidentally stumbled upon this devaluation; otherwise, none of us would have known about it in time.
When I first saw your post before you added this to it, I was going to add, "Thank God for FlyerTalk!" in that instance.
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Old Dec 12, 09, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Firewind View Post
As one who lobbied to get Choice its own FlyerTalk forum, I'm still wondering... I have a couple of theories, but will just leave the question wide open for starters.
As one who kept saying (during the lobbying phase) "we have more Choice posts [in the old combined forum] than Best Western has in its own forum), I note it sill stands. There's way more activity here than in the Best Western forum, and they have yet more hotels (but a much lousier program in terms of promos and such).

And there's also even more slowness in the WynhamRewards forum. If it weren't for the "10k for 3 stays" thread, there'd be hardly a message there the last few months!

Basically, the vast majority of the hotel forum activity on FT is from people who do business stays, and most people who actively puruse business hotel programs seem to focus only on midscale-and-up programs (you know the ones, the ones which have boards here with lots of activity!). Most of those people either never stay at budget properties of any sort, or figure it's not worth the programs at such properties on their occasional stays.

And the other issue is that while many companies have cut back on business class air travel, few companies have restricted their hotel stay policies to only budget hotel families. So people who have to fly coach (even US to Austrailia!) can still get reimbursed for staying in $$$ hotels from the "big names" when there are $$ hotels around the corner but only in families like Choice, Best Western, or WyndhamRewards (fomerly TripRewards).
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Old Dec 13, 09, 9:39 pm
  #10  
 
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In addition to the theories in the above posts, here are additional theories and guesses about why this forum is so quiet when there are thousands of Choice hotels:

1. Many of the hotel-related posts in the busy hotel forums are not about the hotels themselves as much as they are about the upgrades and amenities--special floors, special lounges, room upgrades, welcome gifts, toiletries, free bottles of water, etc.--that the elites get at the hotels. In the Starwood forum, there is a single thread--"Report Your Platinum Upgrade Successes"--that has almost as many posts as the combined number of posts in all threads in the Choice forum. I don't think there's much to say about Choice elite benefits.

2. At a typical Fairmont hotel, typical guests fly in and then take a taxi, shuttle or rental car to the hotel. At a typical Choice hotel, typical guests arrive in their own cars or company cars. The typical Choice guests may be active Choice Privileges members, but maybe they aren't frequent fliers. If they aren't frequent fliers, they may not think to visit a website called "flyertalk".

3. If I want reviews of a particular Choice hotel, I may find dozens on tripadvisor, but none here. If I want to compare it to other hotels in the same town, tripadvisor lets me do that. Flyertalk was not set up for that--flyertalk's "Miles & Points" was set up for discussion about miles and points, not hotel reviews. On the other hand, if I want to read about the ins and outs of Choice Privileges as a frequent stay program, I go to flyertalk because it's the best place to go.

4. Not all the posts about Choice are in this forum. The Southwest forum had a thread about Choice-to-Southwest conversion with over a thousand posts.
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Old Dec 19, 09, 5:30 pm
  #11  
 
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I can speak only for myself, but I don't post much about Choice becuase I'm not a fan of their frequent stay program, and only stay at Choice properties when I have no other option. I'm just not a fan of point expiration and the 30 day reservation policy using points. It's just not competitive, IMO.
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Old Dec 22, 09, 10:35 pm
  #12  
 
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I think alot of us have a preferred program, but keep a second-tier program for small and medium towns with limited choices. No Starwood in Spokane. No more Marriott in Coeur d' Alene. Hilton in Missoula is booked from here to 2012 etc., etc.

Then when you go to choose a second-tier program based on wide coverage, you quickly find out two things about CP: Minimal promos and Points expire.

From that angle, IHG and even BW trump CP.
Points expiring sucks.
(says the guy who lost a bunch of LaQuinta points last month)
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Old Dec 23, 09, 12:40 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by shanny19 View Post
I think alot of us have a preferred program, but keep a second-tier program for small and medium towns with limited choices. No Starwood in Spokane. No more Marriott in Coeur d' Alene. Hilton in Missoula is booked from here to 2012 etc., etc.

Then when you go to choose a second-tier program based on wide coverage, you quickly find out two things about CP: Minimal promos and Points expire.

From that angle, IHG and even BW trump CP.
Points expiring sucks.
(says the guy who lost a bunch of LaQuinta points last month)
Well that Marriott in CDA is now a Comfort Inn and it barely makes that cut - can't help but wonder why they let that hole have a Marriott brand for so long.
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