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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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Last edit by: hotturnip
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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 hotels’ 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 19, 19, 9:19 pm
  #781  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,112
OK, I had to cancel the reservation above because I had to change the dates. But boy, getting this new reservation was an ORDEAL!

Hotel: Doubletree Dallas Campbell Center
Dates: 6/21-26/2019
Room type: 1 King
Original hilton.com rate: $116 Hhonors Advance Purchase, no cancellations
Competing rate: $106.53 non-refundable rate on Priceline
Actual confirmed rate: $79.90

This was a CRAZY one. It was my first time trying to use the PMG on a prepaid rate, but the savings were fairly significant (at least from my perspective), so I thought it was worth it to call in instead of doing the claim form.

First call was dropped a few moments into a hold.

Called back a couple of nights later. Second call initially confirmed the Price Match, then put me on hold for 25 minutes, then disconnected.

Called back immediately. This agent's accent was so thick I could barely understand her. After talking for 5 minutes and being on hold for 10, she came back and said, "Now I need to check Priceline's rate." A 15 minute hold. She came back and said, "Sir, I've checked with my supervisor. We can't honor a Price Match Guarantee because the street address listed on Priceline is different. It says 'Southern Methodist University/North Park." My jaw dropped. "That's not the address, that's Priceline's zone identifying the neighborhood. This is ridiculous; you can look at the picture and tell they're the same. You're just trying to avoid honoring the Price Match. Now, are you on Priceline.com? Go to the page with the different rooms and rates listed. Now scroll to the very bottom. See the map? There's the street address on the top of the map." "OK, please hold again." 10 minute hold. "OK, sir, we'll price match that for you." And a few minutes later she confirmed the reservation and sent an email which initially looked correct, so I bid her farewell. No such luck. On closer examination, the agent got the dates wrong! It was also booked as a semi-flex instead of pre-paid, probably because of the different dates. What a C.F.

Called back. Agent sounded much more professional. So naturally, I was disconnected inside of 5 minutes.

Called back. "Allen" turned out to be the best agent so far, even though I still had to explain everything twice. He got a supervisor to help him, and since I complained about the disconnects, he never put me on hold. He was able to figure it out in under 10 minutes, and had everything finished in another 15. He took the time to explain that doing PMGs was really complicated on their end, and that's why it took so long. He also didn't offer bogus excuses for not honoring it.

All told, this was about 2 hours on the phone for about $60 in savings (vs. just doing an online claim against a refundable rate). Hmmmm.

So I offer this as an example of what you're up against when trying to Price Match over the phone. You have to have incredible persistence. You have to be able to interpret impenetrable accents. You have to talk to the agents as though they are not-so-bright second graders. You have to be ready to counter every lame excuse for not honoring the guarantee. But you CAN win out.

(And now I'm 7 for 7 on PMGs.)

Last edited by hotturnip; Apr 19, 19 at 10:23 pm Reason: clarity
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:23 am
  #782  
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has someone ever been successful on a BRG where the third party website was for room type = "room selected upon arrival"?
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Old Apr 20, 19, 11:13 am
  #783  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
has someone ever been successful on a BRG where the third party website was for room type = "room selected upon arrival"?
Interesting question! I've never attempted it. Who wants to be the sacrificial guinea pig?

My guess is that Hilton would reject this out of hand. "This option is not offered by Hilton.com."
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Old Apr 20, 19, 5:35 pm
  #784  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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It’s just getting worse and worse especially with the Phillipine call centre. I had a “we cannot see the number of guests on the final confirmation page” on a Priceline booking but it was selected on the prior page. If they run out of ideas they hang up. Persistence has netted me a recent BPG but man I am sick and tired of this.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 6:40 pm
  #785  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,112
Hotel: Palmer House Hilton Chicago
Dates: 7/4-8/2019
Room type: 1 dbl
Original hilton.com rate: $113 Hhonors Long Weekender
Competing rate: $105.53 on Priceline
Actual confirmed rate: $79.12

This one was no problem. Confirmed via online claim form in 30 minutes.

Still batting 1000
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Old Apr 20, 19, 7:49 pm
  #786  
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Originally Posted by hotturnip View Post
Interesting question! I've never attempted it. Who wants to be the sacrificial guinea pig?

My guess is that Hilton would reject this out of hand. "This option is not offered by Hilton.com."
I just attempted it and was denied. No surprise, they said room type is not the same.

If I had booked a suite on hilton.com then of course it should be denied because on the third party website I might actually get a lesser room. But if I book the basic room type on hilton.com then "room assigned at check-in" can only be worth at least as much as the basic room on hilton.com which is why I thought perhaps using some logic it can be approved. Otherwise, they could be selling "room assigned at check-in" for $1 on the third party website and we will NEVER be able to be successful on any kind of BRG, full stop. That does not sound logical but I think it is what it is.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 8:20 pm
  #787  
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oops! duplicate

Last edited by IAN-UK; Apr 21, 19 at 10:19 am
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Old Apr 20, 19, 8:21 pm
  #788  
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
...That does not sound logical but I think it is what it is.
Don't expect logic to enter BRG discussions. Don't expect logic to be anywhere close to the fringes of those discussions. Leave logic behind when you open the BRG door.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 8:32 pm
  #789  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
Otherwise, they could be selling "room assigned at check-in" for $1 on the third party website and we will NEVER be able to be successful on any kind of BRG, full stop.
If a 3rd party site is selling a room for $1 (and assuming that the rate on Hilton.com is in excess of $50 or so) then you book on the 3rd party site, that is simple logic. You pay for breakfast out of your own pocket if needed, forgo the potential upgrade and the few HH points you would earn

Hopefully you can see why
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Old Apr 20, 19, 9:57 pm
  #790  
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Don't expect logic to enter BRG discussions. Don't expect logic to be anywhere close to the fringes of those discussions. Leave logic behind when you open the BRG door.
Mate, it is not logical to not use logic Just kidding - indeed you are right...

Originally Posted by pmarrsouth View Post
If a 3rd party site is selling a room for $1 (and assuming that the rate on Hilton.com is in excess of $50 or so) then you book on the 3rd party site, that is simple logic. You pay for breakfast out of your own pocket if needed, forgo the potential upgrade and the few HH points you would earn

Hopefully you can see why
Well I was making this extreme example just for the sake of the argument. Not that I want to plant ideas in their mind, but if Hilton is intent on not approving BRGs then the best route for them is to simply let lots of third party websites use "room assigned at check-in" on a grand scale and that way no need to worry about BRG anymore! Whatever the price is will not matter, all BRGs are dead in the water.

Or they can use logic such that if someone books the entry level room on Hilton.com, then BRG remains possible against "room assigned at check-in"
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Old Apr 24, 19, 4:15 am
  #791  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: CA/CZ/HU
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It seems that Hilton recently updated their BRG terms. Now, they have much tougher terms.

Failed attempt example follows:
Please accept our sincere apology for any confusion of the PMG. We've reviewed your reservation and compared it to the rate listed on the screenshot provided. Regrettably, we are unable to honor your claim as it did not meet the criteria to qualify for the Hilton Price Match Guarantee. The screenshot includes an Easter discount, not eligible for this program. The screenshot is incomplete, immediate confirmation is not confirmed, the rate requires prepayment and is not comparable to the rate booked and confirmed through Hilton. The confirmed booking is immediate and does not require pre-payment.

Official terms follow:
Difference in terms You booked a fully refundable room but this price is for a room with a 100% credit card deposit required upfront

So maybe all prepay but refundable are not accepted anymore? As in Hilton refundable rate will be paid at hotel.
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Old Apr 24, 19, 9:20 am
  #792  
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In not sure I follow this. You have a refundable booking with Hilton and you're trying to match it with a non-refundable rate from elsewhere. I thought this has always been outside the scope of the BRG.
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Old Apr 24, 19, 9:50 am
  #793  
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
In not sure I follow this. You have a refundable booking with Hilton and you're trying to match it with a non-refundable rate from elsewhere. I thought this has always been outside the scope of the BRG.
I think he has a pre-paid but refundable rate from elsewhere. So in other words, it's flexible, and it's not completely unreasonable to expect a successful BRG, in fact Marriott approves some of those.

In my experience those can get approved by Hilton but many agents do indeed reject on the grounds that you have to pay upfront with the third party and therefore it's not equivalent.
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Old Apr 24, 19, 9:54 am
  #794  
 
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Originally Posted by piaopiao View Post

So maybe all prepay but refundable are not accepted anymore? As in Hilton refundable rate will be paid at hotel.
This is the typical excuse to decline anything other than "pay at hotel" reservations offered by hotels.com and sometimes Agoda/Priceline/etc.

Occasionally you can get away with it. Or you get an agent who hasn't hit their quota for declining claims and you are rejected...

If I am quite sure about the other terms being equal, I just resubmit over and over until somebody approves it.
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Old Apr 24, 19, 2:52 pm
  #795  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
In not sure I follow this. You have a refundable booking with Hilton and you're trying to match it with a non-refundable rate from elsewhere. I thought this has always been outside the scope of the BRG.
My OTA rate is refundable but you have to pay by credit card when you make a reservation. However, you can cancel it and get every penny back when you cancel it before deadline, and the deadline is later than what it is in Hilton.com
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