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-   -   Points plus cash - technical problem (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/choice-choice-privileges/1843756-points-plus-cash-technical-problem.html)

Donna49 May 21, 17 10:59 am

Points plus cash - technical problem
 
Tried to book different hotels on different days, using points and cash, but the option never became available on the website, as it has in the past.

Just called, and the agent says there is a known technical issue with points and cash, and they are working on it. But for now, that rate is not available.

sdsearch May 21, 17 6:33 pm

Keep in mind it's not really a rate. All points plus cash is at Choice is you buying some of the points at the time of the reservation. It's rarely a good value, because buying points is rarely a good value.

If you ever cancel a points + cash reservation, you don't get any cash back, instead you get the points you bought back.

Ie, there's never a better points plus cash rate or a worse one. There may be an illusion of that, but the cash portion is always the same for the same total points amount. It has nothing to do with the price of the hotel. That's why you can even find some cases where the cash part of points + cash is actually more than the pure cash value of the hotel, because points + cash is nothing more than buying some of the points with the cash (at a poor rate).

ChoiceHotels May 25, 17 7:45 am


Originally Posted by Donna49 (Post 28340904)
Tried to book different hotels on different days, using points and cash, but the option never became available on the website, as it has in the past.

Just called, and the agent says there is a known technical issue with points and cash, and they are working on it. But for now, that rate is not available.


You are correct. Due to technical issues, we have temporarily suspended the Points Plus Cash functionality on our website. We are working to get this resolved, and appreciate your patience!

road2elysium May 25, 17 10:11 am


Originally Posted by sdsearch (Post 28342106)
Keep in mind it's not really a rate. All points plus cash is at Choice is you buying some of the points at the time of the reservation. It's rarely a good value, because buying points is rarely a good value.

If you ever cancel a points + cash reservation, you don't get any cash back, instead you get the points you bought back.

Ie, there's never a better points plus cash rate or a worse one. There may be an illusion of that, but the cash portion is always the same for the same total points amount. It has nothing to do with the price of the hotel. That's why you can even find some cases where the cash part of points + cash is actually more than the pure cash value of the hotel, because points + cash is nothing more than buying some of the points with the cash (at a poor rate).

Pretty sure I read this exact word-for-word post from you already.

1. Other hotel loyalty programs (IHG) operate in the same fashion.
2. You said "In some cases points+cash > cash rates"
But that also means in some other cases, points+cash < cash rates.
3. Having an option to buy points at better than the typical purchase price rate is a good thing.
Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

nsx May 25, 17 12:28 pm

I wonder if the "technical issue" was discovery that someone was scamming points. Worse for us would be management's desire to close the loophole whereby we can buy an unlimited number of points at a reasonable price.

I suspect it's the latter, and that someone in management read a blog post about Points and Cash, belatedly discovering the loophole we have known about for years. That's exactly how Alaska miles for cheap Etihad First Class tickets ended.

GUWonder May 25, 17 3:44 pm


Originally Posted by nsx (Post 28359028)
I wonder if the "technical issue" was discovery that someone was scamming points. Worse for us would be management's desire to close the loophole whereby we can buy an unlimited number of points at a reasonable price.

I suspect it's the latter, and that someone in management read a blog post about Points and Cash, belatedly discovering the loophole we have known about for years. That's exactly how Alaska miles for cheap Etihad First Class tickets ended.

Scamming points how? By paying the price that Choice asked for and accepted?

Choice management had capped the number of points that could be purchased this way and then had lifted the cap. That's an indication of a loophole? I don't buy that. I'd be more inclined to bet that they've realized they can get more revenue from point sales than they've been getting; and/or that their points.com relationship is more in the picture. That, and/or they're still showing that they've got their technology management issues.

nsx May 25, 17 4:42 pm


Originally Posted by GUWonder (Post 28359743)
Scamming points how? By paying the price that Choice asked for and accepted?

Yes! From the corporate point of view there is no such thing as a poorly designed promotion. There are only demon customers who ruthlessly exploit the promotion and inflict massive losses on the faultless company. See how that works? :D

GUWonder May 25, 17 4:52 pm


Originally Posted by nsx (Post 28359936)
Yes! From the corporate point of view there is no such thing as a poorly designed promotion. There are only demon customers who ruthlessly exploit the promotion and inflict massive losses on the faultless company. See how that works? :D

CP'a points+cash wasn't a designed promotion. And points+cash stays don't count toward Choice Privileges promotions.

Massive losses for Choice from points+cash stays? That would surprise me. Losses for and complaints from Points.com over "the loophole"-come-"designed promotion"? That would be less surprising.

sdsearch May 25, 17 8:23 pm


Originally Posted by GUWonder (Post 28359965)
CP'a points+cash wasn't a designed promotion. And points+cash stays don't count toward Choice Privileges promotions.

Massive losses for Choice from points+cash stays? That would surprise me. Losses for and complaints from Points.com over "the loophole"-come-"designed promotion"? That would be less surprising.

I doesn't sound like you understand what the loophole is.

As I understand it, there's a limit on buying points outright.

But there's no limit on making points + cash reservations, then cancelling those reservations, and then getting all the points back (including the ones you bought with the cash portion). Ie, anyone can buy points at the points + cash rate ad infinitum if they just make and cancel, make and cancel, make and cancel, make and cancel, make and cencel reservations endlessly endlessly endlessly.

No one does this AFAIK at IHG because it's not that great a value at IHG. If it is as great a value as people in these thread claim, this loophole could be a big liability for Choice if they never intended to just plain "sell" points at this rate.

GUWonder May 25, 17 11:35 pm


Originally Posted by sdsearch (Post 28360546)
I doesn't sound like you understand what the loophole is.

As I understand it, there's a limit on buying points outright.

But there's no limit on making points + cash reservations, then cancelling those reservations, and then getting all the points back (including the ones you bought with the cash portion). Ie, anyone can buy points at the points + cash rate ad infinitum if they just make and cancel, make and cancel, make and cancel, make and cancel, make and cencel reservations endlessly endlessly endlessly.

No one does this AFAIK at IHG because it's not that great a value at IHG. If it is as great a value as people in these thread claim, this loophole could be a big liability for Choice if they never intended to just plain "sell" points at this rate.

The current CP terms include this language:

"A maximum of 250,000 points can be purchased in a calendar year through Points Plus Cash.".

It's been pretty much that same way since before 2016. And I'd call that a limit on playing CP's points+cash game.

iggyray Jun 5, 17 11:04 am

2 weeks into the issue and nothing happening
 
Called Choice, twitted Choice - no reply and no assistance.

How much time does it take to fix the damn thing?

road2elysium Jun 8, 17 9:51 am

Update: As of 6/8/2017, still not seeing C&P availability on the website.

lwildernorva Jun 8, 17 2:31 pm

Given the issues with the rollout of the "new" Choice website two years ago and the amount of time it took to fix them, I wouldn't hold your breath that this functionality will return in the next three to six (or even twelve) months.

lougord99 Jun 8, 17 5:26 pm


Originally Posted by lwildernorva (Post 28419901)
Given the issues with the rollout of the "new" Choice website two years ago and the amount of time it took to fix them, I wouldn't hold your breath that this functionality will return in the next three to six (or even twelve) months.

I agree. Especially since this is probably an extremely low priority.

GUWonder Jun 9, 17 5:23 am


Originally Posted by lwildernorva (Post 28419901)
Given the issues with the rollout of the "new" Choice website two years ago and the amount of time it took to fix them, I wouldn't hold your breath that this functionality will return in the next three to six (or even twelve) months.

That supposes this is nothing but a website issue.

When the website hasn't been working for some sort of things with regard to CP point use, the call center reps could still work things out even when the functionality was down on the website. That doesn't seem to be the case this time.

It seems that the functionality of using CP points for points+cash was deliberately pulled and that this isn't the function of just some programming error limited to the website.


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