ChoiceHotels BRG is a scam

Old Aug 16, 13, 4:25 pm
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ChoiceHotels BRG is a scam

Ok. I found a better rate on otel.com and submitted BRG claim.
The first response was that the rate on otel.com was non-refundable.
Not true. It was fully refundable.
Resubmitted again with screen shots.
The second response - the rate on otel.com is for 1 king, but you booked 2 queens. Again not true. The rate on otel.com was for 2 queens.
Resubmitted again with screen shots.
The third response - the same as the first one - the rate was non-refundable.
Not true again.
Resubmitted again with screen shots.
The next response - 24 hrs have passed, we cannot review it.
Ok, cancelled and rebooked again.
Resubmitted again with screen shots.
It took almost a day to get response back. They manipulated rates and reduced the rate on choicehotels.com by $20 to make it lower, but they made it available only for 1 room and responded they their rate is lower and they rejected my claim.
Ok, no way to win playing with cheaters.
But 1 day later they removed this 1 "cheap" room (or somebody purchased it), so I could file a new claim which I did.
New day - new reason invented, they said: otel.com is "manipulating rates" because their taxes is $5 more than taxes on choicehotels.com. Ok, nowehere is T&C it is said about this, they say only about the base rate. And even with taxes the total on choicehotels.com is $14 more than on otel.com, so this $5 difference in taxes doesn't change anything.
I resubmitted again.
New response was sent with a screen shot and it displayed the higher price otel.com. BUT: they entered 2 adults + 2 children in the search when my reservation was made only for 2 adults. I did not book 2 children! This is simply a cheating made by BRG department!
Ok, the last attempt. I wrote about 2 children being incorrectly added to their quote and their response was just amazing:
"in order to view the room with 2 queen beds we must show 2 adults and 2 children in the room. The rates are not affected by showing 2 children in the room. We are not manipulating the rates."
Can you understand this response? So if you have 2 people travelling they will compare your rate of 2 people on choicehotels.com with the rate of 4 people on another we site! Amazing!
And the most interesting thing is that when I tried to enter 2 adults+2 children on otel.com it didn't let me to select that hotel at all, it said it's not available. So there is no way they could get this screen shot with the higher rate. They simply edited the "screen shot" from otel.com, entered whatever price they wanted and sent it to me!
Based on all of that I have to conclude that ChoiceHotels BRG program is a scam. They are not going to give any free rooms if they don't want to. They are inventing different fake reason to reject your claim, they are manipulating rates on their site as well as they are editing screen shots from other sites.
My only question is where is better to address all this information? I am going to submit a claim to BBB. What other places could I sent it to?
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Old Aug 17, 13, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by usamovara View Post
...They manipulated rates and reduced the rate on choicehotels.com by $20 to make it lower, but they made it available only for 1 room and responded they their rate is lower and they rejected my claim....
This sounds familiar to me. Especially Hilton use this technique to cheat their custuomers. And Marriott are also scamers.

The only non-cheaters are SPG (mostly) and Swiss˘tel!
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Old Aug 17, 13, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by TallestHotelInJapan View Post
This sounds familiar to me. Especially Hilton use this technique to cheat their custuomers. And Marriott are also scamers.

The only non-cheaters are SPG (mostly) and Swiss˘tel!
I get over 95% Marriott LNF success, and that's on average doing one LNF every other week the whole year. (I actually tend to do them in clumps: A few one week, then hold off for a few weeks, then repeat. But that's because I'm often LNFing the same hotel over and over and over again. And I succeed over and over and over again, usually on the first try, almost always on the second try.) I do, however, "guide" them a lot in the Comments field on the LNF form about anything which might be the least bit confusing about the particular third-party website. (And some of those third-party sites are indeed very confusing!)

90% of my nights at Marriott are on LNF, and typically I get $150ish rates reduced to $75ish or less, and I still earn all my Marriott points and all my bonuses.

So I'm sure what "scam" you're referring to with Marriott LNF.

IME those BRGs which give you a discount (like Marriott and SPG) work more reliably than those who are trying to give you "too much" (a totally free night) like Choice and IHG.

And I'd much rather get 50% or even more off every night of the month (possible at Marriott) than get only one totally free night a month (the max in all those programs where BRG gives you free night, including at Choice). And you often don't earn points or bonuses on those totally free nights, which is another reason I prefer the programs that give you a deep discount rather than a free night.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
I get over 95% Marriott LNF succes...
Ohhh.... If this is so easy, I am sure you can help me with some websites which work outside North America, e.g. for the Courtyard Basel for 23 Aug 2013 or for the Courtyard Zurich for 23 Aug...
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Old Aug 17, 13, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by TallestHotelInJapan View Post
Ohhh.... If this is so easy, I am sure you can help me with some websites which work outside North America, e.g. for the Courtyard Basel for 23 Aug 2013 or for the Courtyard Zurich for 23 Aug...
If I've got to put my chips on a horse here, I'll go with sdsearch on this one. . .
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Old Aug 18, 13, 2:13 am
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
If I've got to put my chips on a horse here, I'll go with sdsearch on this one. . .

As I said, if it is so easy, why don't you proof it? Each and every claim outside North American is refused due to the "vocuer" thing. And this is nothing but Sam!
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Old Aug 18, 13, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by usamovara View Post
...
Based on all of that I have to conclude that ChoiceHotels BRG program is a scam. They are not going to give any free rooms if they don't want to. They are inventing different fake reason to reject your claim, they are manipulating rates on their site as well as they are editing screen shots from other sites.
My only question is where is better to address all this information? I am going to submit a claim to BBB. What other places could I sent it to?

OP, I fully agree with you. ChoiceHotels BRG is a SCAM and I will also submit a complaint to the BBB

I found yesterday a lower rate for the Comfort Hotel in Zurich. Today, when the answer from Choice arrived - surprise, surprise - we find the same rate on both websites. Yes, this is manipulating!
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Old Aug 18, 13, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by TallestHotelInJapan View Post
As I said, if it is so easy, why don't you proof it? Each and every claim outside North American is refused due to the "vocuer" thing. And this is nothing but Sam!
It's far different to have a claim refused because of something that is public knowledge (no "vouchers" on non-North-American stays) than to have Choice change the reason 5 times about why your claim is invalid.

The Choice scenario the OP here described seems a real scam to me. The Marriott "voucher" situations for non-North-American stays is an annoying rule, but I think it's excessive to call that a "scam", just because you haven't yet figured out how to make it work. Other people clearly have figured out how to make it work. You simply haven't done enough research into how to use Marriott LNF properly!

People are obviously getting successful LNFs at non-North-American locations like Singapore, Rome, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Berlin, Lima, Moscow, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Cologne, Phuket, Paris, Hamburg, Istanbul, etc, etc, etc. You might try searching in that thread for Zurich or Basel (or whatever city you're interested in), then politely (without talking about "scams"!!!!) PM the people who made those posts and ask them if they could tell you which website they used. (Yes, a number of people in that thread do report success with LNFs in Zurich, as recently as this April! And there are multiple success reports for Basel there too!)

Last edited by sdsearch; Aug 18, 13 at 10:39 am
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Old Aug 20, 13, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by TallestHotelInJapan View Post
OP, I fully agree with you. ChoiceHotels BRG is a SCAM and I will also submit a complaint to the BBB

I found yesterday a lower rate for the Comfort Hotel in Zurich. Today, when the answer from Choice arrived - surprise, surprise - we find the same rate on both websites. Yes, this is manipulating!
Do you think BBB claim may work?
You may PM me.
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Old Aug 21, 13, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by groundhog View Post
Do you think BBB claim may work?
You may PM me.
Nope - not unless you want Choice to pull the whole program together due to annoyances by people like you. Penny wise, pound foolish. It's best to leave this one alone and move on with your life.

People - this complaining about Choice's BRG being a scam is getting tiresome. Nobody's forcing you to book with Choice nor is a free night the standard. You're only concern should be getting the lower price, which you can easily do by booking on the other site and cancelling your reservation booked on choice's site (since chances are, your original night was booked as a refundable flex fare).

I've done about 15 claims at Choice for free nights, 12 of which were approved...the other 3 were a case of the rate was no longer available. I highly doubt they asked the competing site to pull the rate, and if they did, no biggie. I just booked elsewhere.

If "usamovara's" story is accurate, I'll concede that it's frustrating...but I dont think the problem is with Choice as it is with their inept employees, which I've dealt with from time to time at all hotel chains who have BRG's (Carlson's being the worst).
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Old Aug 22, 13, 9:27 am
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I've been going back and forth with Choice BRG on the same issue (otel.com). There reps are idiots.
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Old Aug 22, 13, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by groundhog View Post
Do you think BBB claim may work?
You may PM me.
Most likely it won't help. But Choice might get a lower rating. But it cannot hurt to submit a claim. What they do is not right. Either they offer a BRG and honor it or they should not offer such a BRG.
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Old Aug 23, 13, 9:13 am
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My persistence paid off and they approved my BRG. Took a few back and forths but they finally found the competing lower rate.
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Old Aug 23, 13, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingHigh20 View Post
Nope - not unless you want Choice to pull the whole program together due to annoyances by people like you. Penny wise, pound foolish. It's best to leave this one alone and move on with your life.

People - this complaining about Choice's BRG being a scam is getting tiresome. Nobody's forcing you to book with Choice nor is a free night the standard. You're only concern should be getting the lower price, which you can easily do by booking on the other site and cancelling your reservation booked on choice's site (since chances are, your original night was booked as a refundable flex fare).

I've done about 15 claims at Choice for free nights, 12 of which were approved...the other 3 were a case of the rate was no longer available. I highly doubt they asked the competing site to pull the rate, and if they did, no biggie. I just booked elsewhere.

If "usamovara's" story is accurate, I'll concede that it's frustrating...but I dont think the problem is with Choice as it is with their inept employees, which I've dealt with from time to time at all hotel chains who have BRG's (Carlson's being the worst).
I agree. The BRGs I have done with Choice have been pain-free affairs considering the trouble they are with Hilton, and the benefits provided by an approved BRG with Choice are much greater. Each person will have positive and negative experiences with every hospitality provider, but my experiences thus far have been positive. Others will have different experiences, but I believe that Choice is fair, and the benefit of an approved BRG is excellent.
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Old Aug 30, 13, 12:57 pm
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I just had a successful BRG claim this week for an overnight stay near FLL next spring.

I've submitted a few where the rate on the competing website would suddenly change to match. Manipulation? I dunno, but I just move on, be patient and usually can find something else that will get approved that matches my travel plans.

It's not as easy to find free nights as the old Wyndham system was, but I have two upcoming trips that I needed hotels pre-flight for and have them in hand for both. But it's a game of patience, definitely, which works for some and not for others.
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