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-   -   Diamond reward override, only once per yer???? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hilton-honors/455576-diamond-reward-override-only-once-per-yer.html)

hhonorman Jul 23, 05 4:10 pm

Diamond reward override, only once per yer????
 
I just got off the phone with the Diamond desk and was told by the diamond representative that they are only permitted to do one diamond award override per yer per member.

The hhonors T&C state:

Enjoy HHonors Hotel Rewards without Blackout Dates: Diamond VIP members may redeem points for HHonors hotel rewards nearly any time, with the only exception being during specified Extraordinary Demand Dates at certain hotels. To make reservations for your reward stays, please contact the Diamond VIP desk at 1-888-HHONORS.


I just tried to redeem an award at a hotel during a non-extraordinary demand period, and was told that the hotel is sold out for award rooms, there are rooms for sale. The rep asked me if there was any other hotel I'd like to stay at. I inquired about getting an award as a diamond member and could they put in a special request. That's when he said "let me look at your history..... I see you've had an extraordinary amount of special requests....." I said that I didn't think so, I've only had about 4 or 5 total special requests over many years. He said they're only allowed to make one special reward override per member per year. (I haven't had an override request this year). I asked if that was something new, because I've never seen it written in the t&c before as a limitation. He said it has always been that way, and that getting an award when the hotel is sold out is not a specific perk of being a diamond member. He said he'd put in the request for me anyway, and I thanked him. He said it would take about 7-10 days to find out whether the diamond desk is able to get me the award room. In the past they've always come through for me.

I have always thought, probably incorrectly so, that one of the best perks of being a diamond member was that I could always get an award room unless it was an extraordinary demand period. Is this in fact a perk of being a diamond member or not? Can anyone clarify? The t&c seem to imply this is the case. If it is a perk, has anyone heard of this "once per year" limitation before?

satori Jul 23, 05 4:15 pm

Nearly every award I have had at the Amsterdam Hilton over the past several years has required a Diamond desk override to secure the award. I have needed to do this several times each year. I've never been told of a once-a-year policy.

wth Jul 23, 05 4:23 pm

News To Me
 
I wasn't aware of any limitation on such Diamond requests. I have never had more than one such request in any 12-month period, so I've never tested it, however, I'm sure there must be someone this forum that has.

As is so often the advice, I'd call again and see how a different rep handles it. Speak to a supervisior if they give you the same routine.

Dad to Rei Jul 23, 05 4:53 pm

Ive had more than 1 override at the same hotel in the same week, much less the same year.

Id try calling back and getting another agent.

Bondiboy Jul 23, 05 5:29 pm

Diamond Guarantee
 
The once a year limit is news to me also. If this is correct (and I don't have a problem with the concept), then the Diamond Desk should take steps to let us know - one way or the other.

How about it Adam Bourke????

GUWonder Jul 23, 05 6:13 pm

I've never had an issue with getting at least one 6-night Diamond override award room AND a few one-night or two-night Diamond override award rooms in a given calendar year. (I've had one issue where they claimed extraordinary demand period or something, but that's it.)

If this is a new policy, HHonors should come clean and inform us if there is such a change. However, given the ill-informed Diamond reps I seem to be getting more often, perhaps a "call back and try again" approach is useful (and sadly necessary) yet again.

I wouldn't be surprised one way or another, given that cost-cutting/-containment, even to the detriment of loyal customers, is often a low-hanging fruit -- especially for management being rewarded on the wrong (combination of) metrics.

Marq Jul 23, 05 7:00 pm

I have requested, and received, two in past couple of months. Of course, one was for 05 and one for 06. Each time I was able to get override for two rooms. I cannot see such a limitation saving Hilton much money but could lead to ill will.

Marc

donnak Jul 23, 05 7:57 pm

I just had a diamond override last month and one in January. No one said a word about "one per year." I think you should call & speak to someone else. I looked in my booklet and don't see any such limitation.

JDiver Jul 23, 05 8:10 pm

In aonther thread, there is a discussion on Diamond desk misinformation - I think you may have been given a load of bureaucrap ;). I believe I had more than one a couple of years ago, and nobody ahs ever told me of any limiation on overrides per year.

troyintn Jul 23, 05 10:24 pm

I have had several in a year. I think it was a new person. I have never had any one at the diamond desk say anything other then yes. The diamond desk is my favorite perk.

GUWonder Jul 24, 05 5:01 am

Could there be some kind of maximum payout (to the hotel) that HHonors will not exceed? (It does seem that the override involves HHonors paying the hotel something closer to market rate than for routine HHonors awards.)

hhonorman Jul 24, 05 3:55 pm

Thank you all for your input, it is greatly appreciated. What concerns me the most is that the Diamond desk rep. that I spoke with said that this is not a new policy. When I asked if he was certain, he replied that he was because for years part of his job was processing (allowing or denying) such requests. He seemed to have quite a bit of knowledge about the subject, and I did not get the impression that he was some newly hired representative not yet up to speed with all of the finer points of the program. That's what gave me the most concern. Nevertheless, he did say that he would put in my request and he indicated that he thought I had a very good chance of receiving the override. Our entire conversation was polite and cordial, despite being quite concerning to me. Of further concern was when he indicated that I have had an inordinate amount of "special override requests" in my history. I've only had four or five, maybe six at the most over several years, and none to date this year until this request yesterday. Does my history sound inordinate to any of you? From some of the responses listed above, it doesn't sound like I'm that out of the ordinary.

Another question for you all: When a hotel has rooms for sale on the date I need a reward, which is a non-extraordinary demand period, shouldn't a reward room for a diamond member be virtually automatic? Isn't that the huge distinction between the tiers of Gold and Diamond, besides the increase in bonus points?

fattires Jul 25, 05 1:34 am


Originally Posted by hhonorman
Another question for you all: When a hotel has rooms for sale on the date I need a reward, which is a non-extraordinary demand period, shouldn't a reward room for a diamond member be virtually automatic?

One would think so. I had a similar denial last week while trying to book a weekend getaway to either Austin or Corpus Christi, yet I was told that I could pay for a room, but not use points. I did not think about asking for an override because the trip was not that important, but two different cities with multiple properties (ES, DT, H) were supposedly unavailable.

"Diamond VIP members may redeem points for HHonors hotel rewards nearly any time, with the only exception being during specified Extraordinary Demand Dates at certain hotels," is the rule, but is seemingly applied inconsistently.

GUWonder Jul 25, 05 3:54 am


Originally Posted by hhonorman
Of further concern was when he indicated that I have had an inordinate amount of "special override requests" in my history. I've only had four or five, maybe six at the most over several years, and none to date this year until this request yesterday. Does my history sound inordinate to any of you?

No, but perhaps the above is an indication about the use of On-Q-related data for customer scoring (i.e., more ready access to customer level information) that helps them determine whether to (and how far to) push the pay envelope for Diamond overrides. As is said in the airline portion of FT on occassion, increasingly "we are our fare and nothing more"; apparently on the hotel side, with systems such as these, perhaps "we are our room rate (or series of room rates at that) and little more". :(

hotlancer Jul 27, 05 12:42 pm

More Revenue=more Points=diamond Status=more Requests=more Revenue ?
 
I am in the middle tier here at FT. I don't travel as much as I used to and when doing so concentrate my stays at Hilton branded properties to maintain my status. Consequently I am not earning the several hundred thousand or million+ points per year as some are. As such, I ONLY WISH I had the occasion to call Diamond Special Services and put in more than a few SPECIAL requests for reward stays. My fiancee and I just returned from the Cavalieri (on a reward stay facilitated by a Special Request) and really enjoyed it.

Doesn't it stand to reason that the MORE special request stays you make, the MORE points you are burning/earning and thus the more top-line revenue you are generating for Hilton? In broad and general terms, isn't it a good problem for them to have?


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