Hotel Forces Communication Via Gmail

Old Jan 14, 20, 4:38 pm
  #1  
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Hotel Forces Communication Via Gmail

Recently, my colleague was stopped at check-in and the physical card was requested. Obviously, this was impossible because I was in a different city. The front desk agent told me over the phone that I needed to fill out a credit card authorization form due to "recent instances of fraud". He also asked for a photo of the front and back of the credit card. I was uncomfortable with this, and he said my guest would have to stay elsewhere. I complied, and he indicated that the forms should be emailed to "[email protected]". I said I wasn't comfortable sending the info to a non-Hilton email and he said "that's the only email we have". I reluctantly complied and luckily there were zero issues afterwards.

How is it that a Hilton-family property doesn't have a formal email address?

Last edited by aww3583; Jan 15, 20 at 7:12 am
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Old Jan 14, 20, 8:01 pm
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Iíve run into needing to provide some documentation of the credit card used when booking rooms for staff at work. Not often but it happens. The last time they wanted me to fax a copy of the card lol.

Never seen the gmail thing. What hotel is this? I imagine you could see if the have contact info on the website.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 8:59 pm
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Couldn't the guest use their own card?
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Old Jan 15, 20, 1:59 am
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They won't use your card immediately if they compromised it.

I sure would not send my card information via Gmail...

I'd request a new card number. I wouldn't go into details with your bank as to why you are requesting a new card. If you tell them you sent the front and back of the card via Gmail, tough to know what their reaction will be.

I'd probably contact the card issuer (not the issuing bank, rather, Visa/MC/Ax/Ds itself) and file a complaint over this practice. The merchant is not supposed to be retaining copies of credit cards anymore.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 2:10 am
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Isn't what the OP is doing technically against the rules?
It seems they would have the right to refuse the guest checking in because the person whose reservation it is is nowhere to be found.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 2:47 am
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Admittedly, this would be a great way earning and maintaining status. No problem at all, if OP would check-in in person. However, it still might be into the grey area to then leave the hotel to not check-out in person. Nevertheless, this might work.
OP, however, says that front desk mentioned ďrecent fraudĒ. I would be alarmed that Hilton might have detected any irregularities due to OPís practice. I personally would think twice and better refrain from that practice. We read a lot about Hilton closing accounts here.
My thoughts apart from the email address question OP brought up.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 4:05 am
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You should never send anything like your credit card number via email. That's true for Gmail or Hilton official email addresses. Never do it.

Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
Over the years, I've made reservations for others. In every single instance, I've made the reservation and entered their name in the "additional guests" field. Each time, the guest has been able to check-in without incident and my credit card on-file has been billed accordingly.
You've been making fraudulent reservations for years, it seems.

If you're not staying at the hotel, your name shouldn't be on the reservation. If you included your Hilton Honors number on those reservations where you're not present, you violated the terms of the frequent guest program. Like all similar programs, Hilton Honors is a frequent guest program. You must be a guest of the hotel, not just the person paying.

If you complain about this hotel to anyone, it might get back to Hilton Corporate. If they investigate, you're subject to having your account closed. The hotel will also get in trouble, but I'm guessing you'd see that as a hollow win.

From the Terms and Conditions (emphasis mine):
"To earn Hilton Honors Points or credit toward tier status for hotel stays, a Member must be a registered, paying and staying guest at a participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio and meet all of the conditions described herein."
Under Accrual of Points #2 : https://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/terms/index.html
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Old Jan 15, 20, 4:41 am
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Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
Over the years, I've made reservations for others. In every single instance, I've made the reservation and entered their name in the "additional guests" field. Each time, the guest has been able to check-in without incident and my credit card on-file has been billed accordingly.

Recently, my colleague was stopped at check-in and the physical card was requested.

I get the idea of using points to pay for my sister's stay in a hotel. But i don't get at all why you'd pay for a colleague's stay on your card - unless maybe its a small enterprise and he/she is your employee. But even if that's the driver, I'd try to follow a more rational procedure.

Maybe you do this to garner points in a deeply grey area. Who knows.

But once caught in he situation you describe, surely the solution is to avoid byzantine scanning/faxing, worrying about data leaks, and suggest your colleague use his/her own card. Or maybe I'm missing something.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 7:13 am
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There's nothing fraudulent about this. The stays are for employees who do not have access to company credit cards, nor carry cards of their own. No one earns points/stays for these stays.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
You should never send anything like your credit card number via email. That's true for Gmail or Hilton official email addresses. Never do it.



You've been making fraudulent reservations for years, it seems.

If you're not staying at the hotel, your name shouldn't be on the reservation. If you included your Hilton Honors number on those reservations where you're not present, you violated the terms of the frequent guest program. Like all similar programs, Hilton Honors is a frequent guest program. You must be a guest of the hotel, not just the person paying.

If you complain about this hotel to anyone, it might get back to Hilton Corporate. If they investigate, you're subject to having your account closed. The hotel will also get in trouble, but I'm guessing you'd see that as a hollow win.

From the Terms and Conditions (emphasis mine):
"To earn Hilton Honors Points or credit toward tier status for hotel stays, a Member must be a registered, paying and staying guest at a participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio and meet all of the conditions described herein."
Under Accrual of Points #2 : https://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/terms/index.html
I have been told many, many times by Hilton this is the way to do this. And only a couple of times have they told me this is not to the way to do this. I recognize it isn't but when the company itself tells you to book them this way sometimes saying it is fraudulent and saying they might close an account is extreme.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 12:11 pm
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To respond to the OPís question

To respond to the OPís question
If I felt up against the wall that I had to do with the hotel ask, I would certainly email the credit card number and other information in three or four emails and not just one. And I also wouldíve used a VPN.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
There's nothing fraudulent about this. The stays are for employees who do not have access to company credit cards, nor carry cards of their own. No one earns points/stays for these stays.
I have stayed when the company paid. No need for a credit card, except for incidentals.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
There's nothing fraudulent about this. The stays are for employees who do not have access to company credit cards, nor carry cards of their own. No one earns points/stays for these stays.
In that case, all the stuff about Hilton Honors doesn't apply to your scenario.

However, you are making these reservations incorrectly. If you're not staying at the hotel, your name shouldn't be on the reservations. That's coming from someone who worked in hotels for over a decade.

If you want an employee to stay at a hotel and you don't want them to pay, you need to contact the hotel directly to set it up. Many will want a copy of your company card on file. Never email it...just old school fax instead.

Originally Posted by indufan View Post
I have been told many, many times by Hilton this is the way to do this. And only a couple of times have they told me this is not to the way to do this. I recognize it isn't but when the company itself tells you to book them this way sometimes saying it is fraudulent and saying they might close an account is extreme.
In that case, you'd be off the hook. Sadly, training of employees isn't as robust in many industries as it should be. And, in your situation it appears that you aren't doing it just to get points.

That said, the Terms and Conditions are what they are. Purposely including your own name and frequent guest number to earn points/stay credits when you aren't at the hotel is fraud. It's fraud that will never get prosecuted. It's fraud that might not even get caught most of the time. And a single instance of this type of fraud isn't probably sufficient to get a hotel company to close your account. But, it's still fraud.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
To respond to the OPís question
If I felt up against the wall that I had to do with the hotel ask, I would certainly email the credit card number and other information in three or four emails and not just one. And I also wouldíve used a VPN.
VPN doesn't matter. Email is inherently insecure.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by aww3583 View Post
There's nothing fraudulent about this. The stays are for employees who do not have access to company credit cards, nor carry cards of their own. No one earns points/stays for these stays.
I hate to break it to you, but youíre not a corporate travel agency; that isnít exactly how these things are supposed to work. Points for creativity for inventing your own channel though.

Also, how do your employees eat? Do you give them MREs, or wads of cash?
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