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Hilton Best Rate Guarantee or BRG

Hilton Best Rate Guarantee or BRG

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Old Apr 27, 19, 7:07 am   -   Wikipost
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We are trying to collate a list of the websites that Hilton's Best Rate Guarantee team consider eligible for the BRG. Please update the following wiki with you successful/rejected BRG claims.

Successful BRG claims have been made against:
muchoviaje.com - 26/09/2016
expedia.co.uk - 26/09/2016, Jan 2018
Expedia.com (US) - 18/09/2017
Expedia.ca - 1/20/18
happyrooms.com - 30/09/2016, 25/Jan/2017, 28/Jan/2017, 27/Feb/2017, 23/July/2017
hotelscombined.com - 17/Jan/2017
priceline.com (standard booking, not a bid or express booking)- 05/Oct/2016, 15/May/2017, 22/Apr/2018, 22/Oct/18, 25/Nov/18
prestigia.com - 24/Jan/2017
orbitz.com - Dec 2017
prestigia.com - Dec 2017, January 2018


Unauthorised Sites for BRG Claim:
roomertravel.com - 16/09/2016
prestigia.com - 27/09/2016 - 'does not instantly confirm'
hoteltravel.com - August 2016 - " there have been discrepancies in the way the website has been displaying prices recently, and we are not satisfied that the website's processes are fair and transparent."
destinia.com - 29/09/2016 - 12 EUR Administration Fee for any cancellation vs Hilton Fully Flex
Travel.AmericaExpress.co.uk - 29/09/2016 Amex Card holders only
Bedfinder.com 6/8/17 - The third party site bedfinder.com is no longer considered to be valid
skoosh.com - denied 10//4/18

BRG claims on non-refundable rates are a gamble at best. Hilton can ask 3rd party sites to remove rates when they "sell unbundled wholesale rates", and screenshots are no longer sufficient proof. You will end up with the non-refundable rate booked, if the rate is gone when your claim is being reviewed.

On 18 November 2014 (see post #1261 of the archived thread), the HHonorsRepresentative listed 15 third-party websites that were 'no longer authorized to distribute our hotelsí static rates':
  • Alpharooms.com
  • Amoma.com
  • Cleartrip.com
  • Despegar
  • Elvoline
  • Galahotels
  • Hotelpronto.com
  • Jumbotours
  • LMT.com
  • Secretescapes
  • Simplytravel.de
  • TravelRepublic
  • Wego
  • Worldwideholidays.com.au

However, on 19 December 2014 (see post #3 of this thread), the HHonorsRepresentative announced a change of policy, stating that:
Originally Posted by HonorsRepresentative View Post
Moving forward, we will approve claims from these sites as long as the offered rates meet the other BRG requirements we have in place, as we recognize that this is in the best interest of our members.

The Best Rate Guarantee exists so that our guests feel confident going to Hilton Worldwide channels to find the best rates that we offer. We strive for pricing accuracy in all our channels, and the BRG helps identify when that is not the case.
The HonorsRepresentative has not issued any subsequent statement suggesting another change of policy and a return to the previous 'blacklist'.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is the late 2014/2015 BRG thread - for the original thread please check here

Hilton Best Rate Guarantee, or BRG: The Definitive Thread

Thanks!

Squeakr
for the HH Mod Team of squeakr, Canarsie and Kiwi Flyer
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Old Apr 3, 19, 5:16 pm
  #766  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Homeless
Programs: M&M SEN; AC SE100k; Qatar Plat; HH Dia; SPG AMB100; Hyatt Globalist; Fairmont Plat
Posts: 1,851
When I started using Hilton BRG a while back, I got several claims declined because I was doing something slightly wrong and over time I learned how Hilton was picky and I adjusted how I file claims. My success rate subsequently improved significantly. At one point I was so successful that I started being more courageous and even filed BRGs on pre-paid rates because I was confident enough that I would not be stuck with a prepaid booking at higher rates if my BRG was being declined. For the most part this kept working well, on occasion I had BRGs declined but that's because the third party site had just changed their rates in the previous few hours since I filed my BRG claim so I felt it was appropriate for my claim to be denied. It happens, and it's part of the process. On occasion my claims were denied for questionable reasons, but if I responded to Hilton's email to challenge it, often times it was subsequently approved. Or sometimes I would cancel, re-book, and resubmit a new BRG claim, and be successful on the second try.

I could observe in this thread some people with very few posts complaining about their BRG request being denied. Without having the details of all such cases, I thought these people must not be very experienced with the subtleties of the Hilton BRG process, just like I was at the beginning. It does not make the Hilton BRG process completely useless - people just need to learn how to use it. Or so I thought. However there are also some people in this thread who for sure absolutely know what they are doing and whose opinion I respect, for example @craigthemif. He has previously expressed the opinion that Hilton BRG is a "scam", which was a surprise to me because it simply did not match my experience. I brushed it off and just assumed he (or others making similar comments) was having a bad day when he posted this and was venting?

But now I am wondering if I am starting to join that camp. Recently my experience has done a complete 180. I am getting refusals left and right for the most ludicrous reasons, for example:
1- Hilton says third party website has an admin fee, which is plain not true especially since I got several BRGs approved from that site before. I even provided a screen shot to prove the lack of admin fee, but Hilton's answer deflects the subject and uses another reason to decline since they cannot rely on the admin fee to decline.
2- Hilton says the third party website is in a different currency than the currency of the hotel so they cannot approve. In the past I had several claims approved in different currencies: they just convert at market rates, as one would expect.
3- I filed BRG with one website, it was denied, I canceled and re-book, submitted a new claim for the new reservation but using a different third party website, and my new claim is denied because the third party website is not the same as for the first booking I made. Why does the second claim have to be for the same site as the first claim which was denied? New reservation, new BRG claim. I have done so in the past and it never was a problem.

Etc.

So right now, nothing works for me. Responding and challenging to a decline email is met with another decline for equally bad reasons, sometimes during this challenge back and forth the rate on the third party website changes and it becomes a genuine decline so I give up. However cancel and rebook no longer works either, I now get more declines and sometimes like #3 above the decline seems to be related to having resubmitted the claim in the first place!

I find it hard to believe that I was simply lucky before and that now it's just bad luck. It's not like I suddenly became inexperienced and unknowledgeable. I am just speculating for the fun of it, but I am wondering if it could be that Hilton can mark someone as being a heavy BRG user and at that point how they handle BRG for that person changes? Could it be that other experienced folks who said Hilton BRG was a scam were actually correct but their experience was just different than mine because I was not labeled a heavy BRG user yet and they were? Or could it be that there has been a recent change and Hilton is tightening up the rules? Recent posts in this thread do not support this theory as others have had success.

Bottom line I feel like Hilton can do what it wants so if they just want to decline my BRG claims for ridiculous reasons, in all honesty they are free to do so, and in response I am free to go back to Marriott and other hotel chains; I won't complain about it; I can simply adapt to the new reality. My point here is not to complain, but more to submit a new data point for my experience for the benefit of others.

I am also curious to find out if others had this experience of seeing their success rate plummet.

Alternatively perhaps I should start using the phone route instead of electronic BRG and see if it's any better? What is the phone number that you guys use? Or perhaps I should take a time out from Hilton BRG and see if they take me out of the penalty box after a hiatus?
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Old Apr 3, 19, 8:47 pm
  #767  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 133
I call the Diamond Desk for my BRG...I get immediate results. Also, if a rep is playing ignorance as to where the room/hotel is on the website. I can guide them properly. I have had a 4 out of 6 success rate with BRG. Also, the sites that you use is a factor. I always call. Can't be bothered with the emails and I think there is a higher success rate with the phone .
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Old Apr 3, 19, 8:47 pm
  #768  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: DUD >> HKG/SIN?
Programs: BA Silver (OW Sapphire), Bonvoy LTTE, HHonors Diamond, LeClubAccor Silver, UA Silver
Posts: 1,439
I absolutely echo your comments: when I first started using Hilton's BRG 6-7 months ago I had no problems getting them approved. Over the last 3 months however, all of them are refused, for a number of ludicrous reasons. Most frustrating is the cancellation policy, which I've had refused because there was a 1min difference to the OTA's policy, and quite strangely even when the OTA cancellation deadline is more generous than Hilton's they flat oro refuse since they claim they must exactly match.

The few times I tried over the phones, the agents simply claim they can't see the lower rate so it's your word against theirs... I stopped bothering as it was costing me 30 mins of my life for each time I called...
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Old Apr 4, 19, 1:35 am
  #769  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,485
To be fair to @escape4, over the last 6-12 months I've had 2 successful Hilton BRG claims. (out of 50+ attempts)

Both were against Agoda, where at a couple of hotels there seemed to a glitch that matched the semi-flex cancellation policies with Hilton.com. Most of the time Agoda's semi-flex or flex policies simply aren't aligned (i.e. even though they say 3 days they actually mean 4). I am quite confident that this is Hilton guidance to its franchisees to avoid the cost of BRG claims.

As far as calling for prepaid rates, I simply avoid prepaid whenever humanly possible. Besides the obvious waste of time whilst the agents deliberately or ignorantly don't find the lower rates...
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Old Apr 4, 19, 7:58 am
  #770  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
over the last 6-12 months I've had 2 successful Hilton BRG claims. (out of 50+ attempts)
All I can say is that you are one resilient man
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Old Apr 4, 19, 8:07 am
  #771  
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Originally Posted by RafKa View Post
Most frustrating is the cancellation policy
On my side, I have seen declined BRGs even when they do not have a shred of legitimate argument to stand on such as the cancellation policy being off by one hour. One recent 'incident' is that they refused a BRG claim because the room types did not match according to them, yet on that BRG claim the names were a perfect match. The truth is that they can pull this off and I am not sure there is much I can do about it. It is what it is, gotta accept it and adapt.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 8:09 am
  #772  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Programs: ANA,Qantas,asiamiles,Royal Skies,Enrich
Posts: 77
Tried BRG for the 1st time few months back in September
so far no rejects yet 6/6 ( 1 of them was rejected initially and subsequently a few times with lots of email back and forth with proofs but after a few hours Hilton came back and said they can honour the match)
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Old Apr 10, 19, 5:41 am
  #773  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Programs: Eurobonus Diamond
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
I have also had those kinds of rejections, but I have also had successes occasionally in these situations. So I think it depends which agent you get. Bottom line is I sometimes try BRG knowing that it's hit or miss. If hit, then great, if not, oh well.
Just had a similar issue with trip.com and Conrad Singapore, where both where same flexibility but trip.com required prepayment. I asked if the purpose of the BRG service was to retain customers, not to make them book on 3rd party sites for which they had no answer to.

Any idea to try again? The difference was substancial (735SGD hilton vs 500SGD trip.com for a 2-night stay).
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Old Apr 11, 19, 5:31 pm
  #774  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SJC
Programs: AAdvantage 2MM+ Lifetime PLT; BA, CO, UA, US; SPG; HHonors Gold
Posts: 594
Priceline shows different rates

I was all set to declare Hilton a bunch of scamsters.

I saw a really good rate for Embassy Suites Boulder CO on priceline.com.
I called the Hilton phone number and they absolutely could not find the rates I was seeing.
Interestingly, the Priceline rate said "because you booked a rental car with priceline" (which I had done a couple of days ago).

I opened a new MS Edge window (Priceline was open in Chrome) and searched for the same date and location.
Lo behold Priceline was showing me (in a different browser) the same rates that the Hilton phone reps said they were seeing.
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Old Apr 11, 19, 11:16 pm
  #775  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by freppa87 View Post
Just had a similar issue with trip.com and Conrad Singapore, where both where same flexibility but trip.com required prepayment. I asked if the purpose of the BRG service was to retain customers, not to make them book on 3rd party sites for which they had no answer to.

Any idea to try again? The difference was substancial (735SGD hilton vs 500SGD trip.com for a 2-night stay).
Indeed I would try again. I have had approvals on prepaid & refundable rates before. Not all agents will refuse, some can accept.
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Old Apr 12, 19, 12:00 am
  #776  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Programs: BAEC, AsiaMiles
Posts: 9
I recently used the BRG service. As it was my first attempt, I tried the least risky option of not having a booking (which is a valid option under the Hilton BRG terms), but you have to contact them by phone for this purpose. It was a sizable saving I was pursuing - £250 saving on a 3 night stay, so I was fairly motivated to get it approved. The lower rate I found was on Hotels.com
In the end, I had to speak to 6 agents I think, and it took over two hours of my time.
Each agent decided to think of a new reason as to why they could not honour the BRG. And every time we reached an impasse, I naturally concluded the call, and tried again (not explaining to the next operator that I had been declined). Two of the operators hung up on me (I was not rude or abusive) so this seemed like they had run out of excuses to decline my claim so just hung up instead. Some of the reasons they used was that they said they could not see the rate (it was definitely a public rate and I was not logged in to Hotels.com), that the rate on Hotels.com did not include the service charge (it explicitly did), you can't do BRG if you don't have a booking already with Hilton (that's not what their T&Cs say) etc. etc.
I got there in the end, but what an incredibly frustrating experience it was. Saying that, for a big enough saving, I would go through it all again.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 5:07 am
  #777  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 13
Can the BRG agent price match against Hilton's Honors Discount rate? I told them that shouldn't be allowed because I would have to sign up for a Hilton Honors account to get that rate. They should compare the lower rate I found on Priceline against the "Best Available Rate" instead.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 5:44 am
  #778  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 133
Originally Posted by haledjian View Post
Can the BRG agent price match against Hilton's Honors Discount rate? I told them that shouldn't be allowed because I would have to sign up for a Hilton Honors account to get that rate. They should compare the lower rate I found on Priceline against the "Best Available Rate" instead.
I'm Diamond. All of my price matches have been against the Hilton Honors discounted rate or the Hilton Honors semi flex rate.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 4:03 pm
  #779  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,112
Originally Posted by rj123456 View Post
I was all set to declare Hilton a bunch of scamsters.

I saw a really good rate for Embassy Suites Boulder CO on priceline.com.
I called the Hilton phone number and they absolutely could not find the rates I was seeing.
Interestingly, the Priceline rate said "because you booked a rental car with priceline" (which I had done a couple of days ago).

I opened a new MS Edge window (Priceline was open in Chrome) and searched for the same date and location.
Lo behold Priceline was showing me (in a different browser) the same rates that the Hilton phone reps said they were seeing.
Yes, this is common with Priceline. I described this phenomenon a few pages back. Even if you're not logged in to your account, cookies evidently remember who you are and pull up these discount rates.

Having said that, I have successfully gotten Hilton to honor the PMG twice with such rates by sending in screenshots (but those rates didn't specifically attribute it to having booked a rental car--they were just random discounts).
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Old Apr 16, 19, 11:30 am
  #780  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,112
Hotel: Hampton Inn Dallas Ctrl Expwy/N. Park
Dates: 6/20-25/2019
Room type: 1 King
Original hilton.com rate: $127 Hhonors rate
Competing rate: $110.84 on Priceline
Actual confirmed rate: $83.13

I'm six for six on these claims now.
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