Old Jul 8, 13, 11:43 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: FLYGVA
Recent discussion (After January 01, 2016) could be found in this thread.

Most important points to consider for a valid BRG:

1. The comparison website MUST bill in the same currency as the hotel .

2. The cancellation terms must be equal or better, than the terms by the hotels.

3. The Website needs to provide INSTANT confirmation.

4. The room names should match, but if you can demonstrate, that the room is comparable, it will also work with discrepancies in the name.

5. The price difference has to be more than either USD 1 or 1% (whichever is higher).
5.b In regards to hotels located in australia and New Zealand the price difference must be greater than 3% .

Hotels for which you will get reimbursed:
(Note: There have been significant problems with getting full reimbursements from IHG, especially for reimbursements in other currencies than USD)

IC Istanbul ( BRG claim from the 17.05.2013/ "Technical Difficulties")

IC Frankfurt ( BRG claim from the 20.08.2013/ "Technical Difficulties")

Link to the Terms and Conditions : https://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/cus...rms-conditions
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New IHG Best Rate Guarantee - Discussion & Feedback

Old Oct 3, 11, 10:43 pm
  #226  
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,055
Originally Posted by Happy
Are you kidding yourself? If they have any common sense, they would know that it is impossible to control the number of free night if they truly honor what the program's Ts and Cs say - or from the surface what a reasonable person would understand it.

The way they twist the interpretation / implementation of the Ts and Cs, proves this is a scam, plain and simple.

By now pretty much most of us posting here know IHG customer service dept is useless. Good luck if you need their help to get you out of a no show on a non-refundable, even it is a free night to begin with.
I don't know. Until proven otherwise, I always assume large corporations are fair and honest. Incompetence is usually a much bigger problem than dishonesty.

I truly believe that the folks who came up with this plan did not realize how many "loopholes" existed to find lower rates. Outside of flyertalk, the world is not filled with "gamers" who get this type of thing.

They will have to modify it, though. The current set-up is upworkable and is just going to get everyone (employees and customers) unhappy.

I would never do a BRG with them (certainly on a non-refundable rate) unless my travel plans were completely firm. That said, as we all know, things happen. If they did, I would hope I could contact the hotel management to simply cancel my BRG reservation. I don't want to test this "hope" out, however!
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Old Oct 4, 11, 1:10 am
  #227  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
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Posts: 9,977
Advanced purchase rate

I filed a BRG with a flex rate (the 3rd party full flex rate is lower than IHG's non-refundable rate). BRG got back to me and told me to change my reservation to Advance Purchase non-refundable so they could proceed my claim.

Has anyone tried this and what's the result?

Thanks
nacho is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 1:13 am
  #228  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,653
Originally Posted by Happy
Unless you are staying at an IC, whether it is or not does not make any difference since PCR status is earned by points, not by stays. BRG night is free therefore no points on stay, qualified or not qualified. Incidentals should still earn you points though.
Non-qualifying rate.

Please do not upset the employees handling our cases. They don't make up the policies. Management does and I don't think we want to draw too much attention from management.
Shimon is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 2:25 am
  #229  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 35
My Response

After multiple years at platinum status all this marketing hype has done for me is to end my relationship with ICH. Going from hotel group of choice to being the one I will use when my new favourites are not convenient.

Unfortunately this is the world of customer service - the level of service has to be consistant.
Hawkwind1966 is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 2:37 am
  #230  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: AC*P, SPG
Posts: 290
Claim #1: Approved by BPG desk, hotel is refusing to play nice, I will have to pay first and then be reimbursed.

Claim #2: Denied by BPG after 2 hours on the phone. Denial was on the basis that the 3rd party website had to check availability with the hotel first. When I asked where in the website T&C it mentioned "instant confirmation" (her words, not mine), she pointed to this clause

The Guarantee does not include prices that have been negotiated by the hotel with corporations, membership rates (e.g., AAA, Entertainment Card, Industry Rates), government rates, promotional rates or travel agency rates. Only immediately viewable and publicly available rates apply.
Her rationale was that the rate was not publicly available. I mentioned that the spirit of this clause was to prevent "fenced" rates from being claimed, but she insisted that "publicly available" meant that the 3rd party website had to provide "instant confirmation".

I then asked her why this "instant confirmation" clause was not on the website and she had no answer.

I am extremely unhappy with IHG, especially since I am willing to abide by THEIR rules as posted on their website. Unfortunately, it appears that the BPG desk can make up any additional T&C on the fly and not have to have it backed up in writing.
incognism is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 4:47 am
  #231  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Programs: IHG Plat; CC Gold
Posts: 845
I have noticed an emerging trend over the last few weeks here in the UK (esp. with HI's), increasingly the rates that are available on the third party web sites are not available on the IHG web site.

I think the hotels are using this as a work around to the guarantee, make sure they place a rate on the third party web site that has a different element so it canot be compared. It really undermines the price guarantee.
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Old Oct 4, 11, 6:50 am
  #232  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Programs: IC Amb :-(, UA silver, BA Gold, SPG Plat, A-Club Plat, Marriott Plat
Posts: 912
Originally Posted by Shimon
Non-qualifying rate.
I do not mean to be rude, but is this based upon experience or a statement from PCR support or is it simply an assumption on your part? - the previous BRG rates (10% off) were qualifying - and while I could understand these rates not being qualifying I have not seen anything concrete to this effect in the Ts & C's

Originally Posted by Shimon
Please do not upset the employees handling our cases. They don't make up the policies. Management does and I don't think we want to draw too much attention from management.
+1 ^
catharsis is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 7:32 am
  #233  
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Originally Posted by incognism
Claim #1: Approved by BPG desk, hotel is refusing to play nice, I will have to pay first and then be reimbursed.
This kind of worries me, as the BRGs I have are for overpriced rooms worth several hundred a night. I suppose if IHG puts it in writing that they're paying me back, I will believe them.

After IHG contacts the hotel to honor the BRG, do you get a new email from them? What's the timeline on these things? Do I have to keep pushing IHG?
iahphx is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 10:27 am
  #234  
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Originally Posted by incognism

Claim #2: Denied by BPG after 2 hours on the phone. Denial was on the basis that the 3rd party website had to check availability with the hotel first. When I asked where in the website T&C it mentioned "instant confirmation" (her words, not mine), she pointed to this clause



Her rationale was that the rate was not publicly available. I mentioned that the spirit of this clause was to prevent "fenced" rates from being claimed, but she insisted that "publicly available" meant that the 3rd party website had to provide "instant confirmation".
IHG are perfectly correct to deny such a claim. If the 3rd party has to contact the hotel to check if inventory is available at that rate, it is not freely available with an instant confirmation, as is IHG, Expedia, Orbitz, etc.

Those rates are frequently seen with websites that will quote you a rate and you will pay with a pre-paid 3rd party voucher -- these sites are also not the same as IHG.com and the rates advertised are not commensurate with the instant confirmation from IHG.com

They are correct on this one.
NJUPINTHEAIR is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 10:27 am
  #235  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: The Dakotas
Posts: 607
Fishy circumstances and perhaps a take home lesson for best price guarantee

I recently had a claim denied for the Best Price Guarantee when the price for a room (same room/same Best Available Rate type) on Travelocity increased between the time I submitted the online claim form and the time I received the denial from the Best Price Guarantee Support Desk. I concluded that the online claim submission is flawed because the guest submitting the claim has no assurances that the mere submission of a claim would not serve as an alert to price discrepancies and that could then be fixed before the claim was processed. I received further reason to believe that this may well be the case when I received a call on my cell phone yesterday asking for "Miss Hyphenated-Name". I informed them they had the wrong number, they asked if they had dialed xxx-xxx-xxxx (which was my home phone number)- I told them them that was not the number they dialed. It was a little unsettling to me that a caller had both my home and cell number associated with another name. Upon returning home there were 2 messages on my home answering machine- the first message said, "Miss Hyphenated-Name" this is "John Doe" general manager of the IHG hotel (the property I had submitted my claim on) and I was calling to discuss the incident I just became aware of." The second message was addressed to me from "John Doe" asking me to disregard the first message but to still call him back. Since "Miss Hyphenated-Name" sounded vaguely familiar to me I went back to my BPG denial email and sure enough it was signed by "Miss Hyphenated-Name" I returned the call back to "John Doe" (several hours later). He said he did not mean to call me. I then asked if this was in regards to the Best Price Guarantee Claim I had submitted- he said "I kind of saw something about that" and that "sometimes we're asked to adjust our rates". I asked him if it was possible that the rate was adjusted before my claim was processed. He responded that he didn't really know how the BPG worked and he had to read up on it a little bit. He did say he would "see what we could do" about my rate and get back to me. I have not heard back from him. I am not sure why the hotel property would have to receive the claim information if the BPG support desk is denying the claim. I can only conclude that the property is given a chance to "fix" the price discrepancy before they have to "pay out"-in the form of a free night. So my take home message is don't use the online claim submission form- call the number. This whole BPG is very user-unfriendly and might well backfire and create ill will for the IHG brand.
Redeemed is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 10:30 am
  #236  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Milwaukee, Wi. USA
Posts: 675
In response to NACHO

I have had three BRG claims "approved" so far.

The first one was at the Intercontinental Miami and my experience was similar to that of NACHO. Originally I made my IHG reservation at a higher rate than the non-refundable rate. The BRG staff said they could not approve that claim, but walked me thru changing my reservation at the Intercontinental while they were still on the phone, to a nonrefundable one; then orally said I would be approved; and in fact, that now appears on my Priority Club account as complimentary.

The other two were approved orally by the BRG staff but I and they are still awaiting response from the hotels, which are tardy. I made one eight days ago; a followup call to IHG customer service resulted in a telephone call to the hotel and a promise that they would send an email confirming it was complimentary with 48 hours: call from IHG customer service was to the "invoice manager" at the hotel, who did not know how to reverse the change to me and send a charge to the BRG department for the night but would learn how to do it soon.
LegalEagle is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 2:25 pm
  #237  
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Originally Posted by iahphx
I don't know. Until proven otherwise, I always assume large corporations are fair and honest. Incompetence is usually a much bigger problem than dishonesty.

I truly believe that the folks who came up with this plan did not realize how many "loopholes" existed to find lower rates. Outside of flyertalk, the world is not filled with "gamers" who get this type of thing.
I think it is a bit of naive thinking to assume big corporations would always do the honorable things...

This is not related to "loopholes" - the 3rd party sites listing IHG hotels are NOT "loopholes" - nobody but the hotels themselves agree to list their properties at 3rd party's sites at the rates the hotels agree upon.

I dont see how this can be viewed as "loopholes".

The marketing dept coming up with such campaign should have thought it thoroughly over about how to administrate the hotel listings on 3rd party sites before offering a blanket guarantee then realizes that many 3rd party sites exist and prices for same categories are often LOWER. After being hit by such FACTs, they then came up with the ridiculous twist of making YOU, the customer, to book a Non-refundable in order to get them honor the BRG on a Refundable readily offered on 3rd party sites at rate LOWER than the IHG's own Non-refundable - what kind of logic this is?

Originally Posted by iahphx
They will have to modify it, though. The current set-up is upworkable and is just going to get everyone (employees and customers) unhappy.
Only until then. Otherwise this by all reality, is a scam. Instead of gaining customers, they are driving customers away to the competitors who have a more standardized, reasonable BRG policy. More importantly, the approval or denial lies with the BRG team instead of lies with the individual hotel. And of course you are not forced to book a non-refundable rate in order to have the BRG honored. Or even have to pay first and then wait for the hotel chain corporate office to reimburse you... The latter is by far the most ridiculous element of IHG's BRG on top of forcing customers to book a non-refundable rate just to be eligible for the BRG.

Originally Posted by iahphx
I would never do a BRG with them (certainly on a non-refundable rate) unless my travel plans were completely firm. That said, as we all know, things happen. If they did, I would hope I could contact the hotel management to simply cancel my BRG reservation. I don't want to test this "hope" out, however!
You are counting on a "Hope" which to me is a very fluid, uncontrollable thing. I would never want to be in such situation that I would be at the hotel's mercy to get me out of a no-show on non-refundable booking when the hotel had to be pressured to honor your BRG...

I would much prefer a well-defined, apple to apple BRG process so I am not forced to book a non-refundable rate even though the night would be free.

A reduction on the rates to match the 3rd party sites, with additional discount thrown in, would be a far better approach - both the hotels and the customers are satisfied and far less work / time is involved as in the current form.

Originally Posted by iahphx
This kind of worries me, as the BRGs I have are for overpriced rooms worth several hundred a night. I suppose if IHG puts it in writing that they're paying me back, I will believe them.

After IHG contacts the hotel to honor the BRG, do you get a new email from them? What's the timeline on these things? Do I have to keep pushing IHG?
Yes, you may be getting a free night, but on the other hand you are also subject to a lot of uncertainty. Not to mention that as you have mentioned, it is really an over-priced room that you are possibly getting a free night at...

The hassle may be worth to some, but so far, it seems a lot depends on one's luck - as to how the hotel would react, as well as how competent the BRG rep is... not to mention the less than stellar PCR customer service when you need its assistance to resolve issues...

Last edited by Happy; Oct 4, 11 at 2:43 pm
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Old Oct 4, 11, 3:29 pm
  #238  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Tyrone,EU
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Originally Posted by LegalEagle
call from IHG customer service was to the "invoice manager" at the hotel, who did not know how to reverse the change to me and send a charge to the BRG department for the night but would learn how to do it soon.
Thats the first suggestion I've seen that IHG corporate are paying for these claims, rather than the hotel itself ("send a charge to the BRG department")

I have had a claim verbally accepted on the phone, and have received a reference number. I am now waiting on the hotel to do its bit, as the BRG person said "we are negotiating with the hotel".

Had a poor experience on the phone, once i had given the details, the guy put me on hold to do the check...on hold...on hold, 35 minutes later I assumed this was eithe a ploy to get rid of me (it is an expensive rate, $8 difference on a $750 rate, but nice in that IHG had no APR) or he'd forgotten, so I hung up.

I was busy for the next two hours, so I phoned back, this time had to wait in a queue for 10 mins, spoke to alady, recounted what happened earlier with her colleague. When I confirm that the colleague was male, she put me on hold and came back and told me he'd left voicemail on my mobile. What i get from the above is that there was onle 1 male working that shift, which might imply a quite small staff.

Anyhow voicemail was indeed on my phone, he left an apology for the really long hold time, and confirmed the BRG was accepted, and gave me confirmation number.
tangey is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 4:59 pm
  #239  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 485
The terms and conditions have changed substantially. Here is a summary of notable changes. The quoted paragraphs are extracted from the terms and conditions on the official website:
  1. Comparison of rates in different currencies is not allowed.
    Before revision of the terms and conditions, rates in different currencies can be compared given that OANDA's rates are used and the difference is greater than US$5 when converted to US Dollars.
    • The price difference between IHGs website and a competing website, when comparing the same currencies, must be at least $1 per night in order to qualify for the Guarantee.
    • Price on competing website must be in the same currency as the reservation made on the IHG website. Currency conversions will not be considered.
  2. Comparison is allowed when the competitor's rate is less or equally restrictive on cancellation and refund policies.
    Before revision of the terms and conditions, cancellation and refund policies are not compared.
    • All terms, including but not limited to , cancellation or advanced purchase policies, must be equal or more restrictive when comparing IHGs rate to a competitors rate.
      • For example: when you book a refundable rate on IHGs website it cannot be compared to an advanced purchase or non-refundable rate on a competing site, however, when you book an advanced purchase rate or non-refundable rate on IHGs website, it can be compared to a refundable rate on a competitors website.
  3. ANA Hotels are included in the Best Price Guarantee scheme.
    Before revision of the terms and conditions, ANA Hotels are not included.
    • The Guarantee applies to all IHG hotel brands.
  4. Extra person fees cannot be included in the comparison except for IHG hotels located in Japan and for ANA website.
    Before revision of the terms and conditions, extra person fees may be included.
    • The Guarantee does not include extra fees such as extra person charges, however, for IHG hotels located in Japan or for the ANA website only, the Guarantee applies on websites to room rate and extra person fees only. Other fees or charges do not apply.
  5. Taxes and service fees are excluded when rates are compared.
    Before revision of the terms and conditions, it was stated that taxes are either included in or excluded from the rates when they are compared.
    • For purposes of the Guarantee, price or "rate" does not include any taxes, tariffs or fees imposed by any governmental authority (e.g., federal, state or local) on either IHG or the guest for the duration of the guest's occupancy.
samwkchan is offline  
Old Oct 4, 11, 5:22 pm
  #240  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
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Posts: 9,977
They are practically removed a lot of 3rd party sites because a lot of the cheaper ones uses USD as their currency rather than the local currency.

In the T&C they first said all IHG hotels are included, then in the later paragraphs it stated
The Guarantee does not apply to ANA hotels.
I called earlier today regarding my claims and I got oral approvals. BRG said they will contact the hotels for these claims and will get back to me. How long would it take for the hotel to respond my claims?

Thanks
nacho is offline  

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