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 Nov 7, 11, 5:19 pm
  #751  
Company Representative - InterContinental Hotels
 
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Originally Posted by mabramovich View Post
Isn't the desk supposed to be open 24 hours a day? I'm trying to call in now and I'm just getting a recording that they are open from 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Sunday (Eastern), although I've called them outside of these hours before and right now it's within these hours anyway.

I'm also trying to just call the regular Holiday Inn line and it's just dropping my call.
Hello mabramovich:

I have sent you a PM to obtain additional detail about your experience so I can investigate further.

Regarding coverage, there should be 24 / 7 Coverage from the phone numbers located off of the Best Price Guarantee link from www.priorityclub.com.

My apologies,
Kevin
IHGCare
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Old Nov 7, 11, 5:57 pm
  #752  
 
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Originally Posted by IHG Care View Post

The rate adjustments must be made at the hotel level because the hotel level is responsible for inventory and rate loading. Generally, IHG doesn't have direct access into the hotel's Property Management Systems.

Additionally, the hotel's sold the rooms to the 3rd Party Site, so it's also their responsibility to ensure additional Best Price Guarantee Claims are avoided by managing their inventory and rates.


Kevin
IHGCare
To anyone out there familiar with the inner-workings of hotel booking, rate, inventory and 3rd party involvement, my thinking is the other major chains do it in much the same fashion as described above? In other words, a local revenue manager sets rates and handles 3rd party contracts themselves as opposed to it being done for them at the corporate level???? If I'm at all correct, then how can a BRG-adjusted rate be modified by their corporate-sponsored BRG department while IHG claims they have to pass it on to the local hotel for handling? I'm sure when I call Hyatt with a successful BRG claim where they adjust the rate on-the-spot, this "information" is later passed down to the local property for review and the proverbial "hand slapping". I see this as nothing more than IHG keeping the innocent customer in the lurch while corporate insists the local property "make good" on the claim. The customer doesn't need to be stuck in the middle. At least they aren't with all the other major hotel chains with regard to their BRG programs. Over there, successful claims and their corresponding rate adjustments are handled simultaneously.

If I'm way out in left field here, someone please enlighten me how IHG differs in their booking policies and operations compared to other chains.

Stepping down off my soapbox now.....
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Old Nov 7, 11, 6:51 pm
  #753  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,145
Originally Posted by IHG Care View Post
Hello mabramovich:

I'm sorry for the problems you encountered and would like to investigate this further.

In order to research this issue further, can you please tell me which number you called so that I can ask our Telecom to check the line. We did have a problem with one of our lines our of the EMEA Region, but I have been told this has been resolved.

Also, may I ask which website you got the number from. As far as I know the BPG link from www.priorityclub.com has all the right numbers.

Thanks in advance for your assistance,
Kevin
IHGCare
Hey Kevin, I'm located in Boston and I called both using Skype and using my cell phone. I actually called all the english speaking numbers listed here:

http://www.holidayinn.com/hotels/us/...bwc_lp/support

All day on Sunday it was saying the line was closed and open only from 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Sunday, although it was within those hours anyway. I got through around 6 pm eastern.
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Old Nov 7, 11, 8:46 pm
  #754  
 
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Originally Posted by BEAV View Post
To anyone out there familiar with the inner-workings of hotel booking, rate, inventory and 3rd party involvement, my thinking is the other major chains do it in much the same fashion as described above? In other words, a local revenue manager sets rates and handles 3rd party contracts themselves as opposed to it being done for them at the corporate level???? If I'm at all correct, then how can a BRG-adjusted rate be modified by their corporate-sponsored BRG department while IHG claims they have to pass it on to the local hotel for handling? I'm sure when I call Hyatt with a successful BRG claim where they adjust the rate on-the-spot, this "information" is later passed down to the local property for review and the proverbial "hand slapping". I see this as nothing more than IHG keeping the innocent customer in the lurch while corporate insists the local property "make good" on the claim. The customer doesn't need to be stuck in the middle. At least they aren't with all the other major hotel chains with regard to their BRG programs. Over there, successful claims and their corresponding rate adjustments are handled simultaneously.

If I'm way out in left field here, someone please enlighten me how IHG differs in their booking policies and operations compared to other chains.

Stepping down off my soapbox now.....
Bingo.

Perhaps that's my confusion in it all. I've have many successful BRG claims over the years. I've never once encountered a chain needing to have the hotel itself adjust the rate or ask me to front them money and wait for a reimbursement. I just stayed at the Hyatt Andaz Wall Street for $196.00 per night down from $340.00 (2 nights) and $455.00 (1 night). All I had to do was book on Hyatt, call in my claim and within 20 minutes I received an email reflecting my new rate. It was that easy. Yes, that's a demi-brag

And it's not just match + % off claims either. I never encountered this situation when Wyndham and Red Lion had the same BRG program. Once the claim was approved, it was a set it and forget it proposition. Every time I received a confirmation of my free night within 24 hours of submitting the form online. If I looked up my rate on the hotel's site it reflected the rate adjustment. No further action was needed and never once did I encounter a problem.

I understand the concept of franchising and this is what makes it even more frustrating. For example, a Subway located in the airport doesn't have to honor the $5.00 Footlong promo and may not accept company coupons. However, in both the promotion and on the coupon, the consumer is made aware that "Prices and participation may vary". There is NO such disclaimer in the T&C. There is no list of hotels excluded from the guarantee. If I search for hotels on IHG's website, the hotel I'm trying to stay at is listed as being under the IHG umbrella. That's mind boggling to me. How can you ask people to make travel plans with a promise that may or may not be valid? To boot, even if your claim is accepted, IHG can go back into your reservation and cancel it without notice if it suspects that you are abusing the program. Being refunded is a rebate program, not the spirit of what is being offered. If I thought that I would have to send in a rebate, I never would have booked my hotel room as it is well beyond my budgeted price range for one night.

I'm sorry to be complaining so much, but this has really got me frustrated. I just want to know if IHG is going to honor my claim like they said they would so I can actually enjoy the first half of my vacation instead of wondering whether or not I'll have accommodations in Rome. Had I known that this was in question, I would have been more frugal with the rest of my plans.

Last edited by spankytoes; Nov 7, 11 at 8:54 pm
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Old Nov 8, 11, 12:48 am
  #755  
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Thanks IHG Care for your posts! ^
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Old Nov 8, 11, 3:17 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Tyrone,EU
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Originally Posted by spankytoes View Post
Kevin,

.....As a result, I took the IHG CSR for her word when she told me via phone, and later in an email, that my claim was in fact valid. This was on September 28, 2011. It is now more than a month later and my rate has yet to be adjusted. I’ve since moved forward with my travel plans by booking airfare, making hotel reservations and purchasing travel passes for the rest of my itinerary. Now I’m faced with the daunting prospect that I may be required to pay for my room while in Rome and hope that IHG, who is the same company that assured me that my night would be comped as a result of a valid BRG claim, will send me my funds in a timely fashion. In my case, which I acknowledge to be extreme, I will be out of pocket over $4,000.00 for a single night. (Penthouse Suite with terrace) I would have been more than happy to book a lower class of room had I been granted a valid BRG claim when I first called.....
I share a similar frustration to you. My IC Rome claim made at the start of Oct, was validated on the phone, the rate remains unadjusted. It is clear from this forum, that IC rome is determined NOT to abide by the guarantee. I have a similar situation in IC Madrid. IC madrid have even totally failed to respond to an email I sent asking for the status of the booking, that is just totally rude, do they ignore enquiries that they don't like. ?

.... If you give me my first night for free, how will that cost the hotel anything different than letting me book my room with points…which WILL be accepted by all hotels chain-wide? Why am I, as a consumer, asked to front my funds because your hotels aren’t cooperating? Why doesn’t IHG write a check to the hotel on my behalf instead? I would be more than willing to trade my $4,000.00 room for 2 nights in a standard room, provided that they are available to book with points on my firm dates. I’m happy, you’re happy and the hotel can potentially make a $3,200.00 profit in the exchange. It’s win/win/win.
You have a couple of misunderstandings.

When you book using points, the hotel receives a cash payment from IHG corporate, which can be almost the full value of the room, depending on occupancy levels. So a BRG claim and a points stay are light years away from each other from a hotels point of view.

Also far from IHG supplying a payment to the hotel for the free night, what will happen should a hotel not honour the free night, is that IHG will pay you, and will then invoice the hotel for the payment, i.e. the hotel will ultimately give the night for free, just not at the point of delivery (which is entirely what a customer SHOULD get). In fact, in my case, I am using a sterling cc, paying in Euros. IHG corporate have told me they will reimburse my costs in full, specifically my currency conversion costs. In my case that will be close to €100. IHG corporate also speicfically told me that the hotel will have to repay IHG corporate the full amount, including €100 cc fee. So in fact, by not providing the room for free at the point of delivery, it will COST the hotel €100.

Last edited by tangey; Nov 8, 11 at 3:58 am
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Old Nov 8, 11, 3:22 am
  #757  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by IHG Care View Post
Hi All!

Question: Why does it take so long to get a response from the BPG Team with confirmation that the hotel has adjusted the rate.

Answer: You should receive emailed confirmation approving or denying your claim or giving a status update within 24 hours of submitting the claim. If you have not received an email notification of your initial claim, you can contact the BPG Team at 800-447-2981 to inquire on the status of your claim.
Your answer did not answer your own question. Your question relates to delays in getting a confirmation of rate adjustment, your answer does not.

Question: Can you offer any solid insight with regard to the growing problem of people with successful BRG claims who are not receiving timely confirmations that the hotels have adjusted their rates?
Answer: This can sometimes take a little while to get the hotel to update the rate. We are trying to pin down the SLA on this, otherwise the guest will be reimbursed by IHG and notified of such.
Can you explain what an SLA is ?

Also, I am disapointed that 2 weeks ago your instigated a PM to me regarding my BRG issues, and asked me for the claim numbers and my PCR number and stated you would look into why they were so slow. Having replied to you that day, you never came back.

Can I ask, what was the point of private messaging me ?

Last edited by tangey; Nov 8, 11 at 3:28 am
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Old Nov 8, 11, 3:30 am
  #758  
 
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No BRG for me!

I had booked the Venetian in Las Vegas, found a better rate and sent in a BRG request. It was denied. The competing web site shows all rooms as "Standard Room". The room I booked at Venetian was a King Suite. When I got the denial, I emailed the BRG people back and explained that the Venetian has no Standard rooms, and that they are all suites. It didn't matter, still denied. I cancelled the reservation. Never had this kind of issue with Marriott or Hyatt BRG.
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Old Nov 8, 11, 3:37 am
  #759  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by IHG Care View Post
Hello mabramovich:

I have sent you a PM to obtain additional detail about your experience so I can investigate further.

Regarding coverage, there should be 24 / 7 Coverage from the phone numbers located off of the Best Price Guarantee link from www.priorityclub.com.

My apologies,
Kevin
IHGCare

Did you read the page you referred to on that website before quoting it as a source of 24 hr numbers ? Surely not, otherwise you would know that not one of the quoted numbers is 24/7 ????

http://www.priorityclub.com/hotels/u...antage/support

"You may also choose to contact the IHG Best Price Guarantee Support Desk directly during the hours of operation listed below.

From U.S. and Canada

An English speaking agent can be reached at:
● +1-800-447-2981 (Toll Free)
● +1-801-401-5206 (Not Toll Free)
Hours of operation: US Eastern Daylight Time: 9 am to 9 pm

From Europe, Middle East and Africa
An English speaking agent can be reached at:
● +44 871 942 9115
Hours of operation: UK (GMT) Time: 2 pm to 2 am

From Asia Pacific including Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific
An English speaking agent can be reached at:
● +632 857 8765 (Not Toll Free)
Hours of operation: Hong Kong Time: 9 pm to 9 am

A Japanese speaking agent can be reached
●+81 3 6230 4811
Hours of Operation: Japan Time 9:30 to 17:00 (except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)

A Korean speaking agent can be reached at:
●+81 3 6230 3714
Hours of Operation: Japan Time 9:30 to 17:00 (except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)

A Mandarin or Cantonese speaking agent can be reached at:
●+86 20 3419 8288
Hours of operation: Hong Kong Time: 9:00 to 18:00 (except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)


And yet many of the exact same numbers on the crowneplaza website ARE quoted as being 24/7.
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/crownep...bwc_lp/support

Alternatively:
You may also choose to contact the IHG Best Price Guarantee Support Desk directly during the hours of operation listed below.

From U.S. and Canada
An English speaking agent can be reached at:
●1-800-447-2981 (Toll Free)
●+1-801-401-5206 (Not Toll Free)
Available 24 hours a day.

From Europe, Middle East and Africa
An English speaking agent can be reached at:
●+44 871 942 9115
Available 24 hours a day.

From Asia Pacific including Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific
An English speaking agent can be reached at:
●+632 857 8765 (Not Toll Free)
Available 24 hours a day.

A Japanese speaking agent can be reached
●+81 3 6230 4811
Hours of Operation: Japan Time 9:30 to 17:00 (except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)

A Korean speaking agent can be reached at:
●+81 3 6230 3714
Hours of Operation: Japan Time 9:30 to 17:00 (except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)

A Mandarin or Cantonese speaking agent can be reached at:
●+86 20 3419 8288
Hours of operation: Hong Kong Time: 9:00 to 18:00 (except Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays)


When IHG can't even agree with itself across its websites when it will take calls, its starting to get ridiculous.
Someone want to tell their customers what is going on ???

Last edited by tangey; Nov 8, 11 at 4:02 am
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Old Nov 8, 11, 5:14 am
  #760  
 
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My last BRG claim raised on 5th October with my CC being charged on the same date has finally been completed.

Last week the BRG people finally confirmed (from the hotel) it was a free night (they had been at the "We'll get back to you when the hotel confirms" )and yesterday my CC charge was reversed.

I lost about 3.00 due to currency conversion, so not exactly free

Luckily the stay is next year otherwise this long wait for confirmation\refund would have been more tortuous.

So if anyone else is waiting for the final steps, it may take over a month before it's sorted
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Old Nov 8, 11, 8:50 am
  #761  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York, NY
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Originally Posted by tangey View Post
You have a couple of misunderstandings.

When you book using points, the hotel receives a cash payment from IHG corporate, which can be almost the full value of the room, depending on occupancy levels. So a BRG claim and a points stay are light years away from each other from a hotels point of view.

Also far from IHG supplying a payment to the hotel for the free night, what will happen should a hotel not honour the free night, is that IHG will pay you, and will then invoice the hotel for the payment, i.e. the hotel will ultimately give the night for free, just not at the point of delivery (which is entirely what a customer SHOULD get). In fact, in my case, I am using a sterling cc, paying in Euros. IHG corporate have told me they will reimburse my costs in full, specifically my currency conversion costs. In my case that will be close to 100. IHG corporate also speicfically told me that the hotel will have to repay IHG corporate the full amount, including 100 cc fee. So in fact, by not providing the room for free at the point of delivery, it will COST the hotel 100.
Thanks for the response and clarification. I wasnt aware of how the points system worked between corporate and a hotel.

However, for arguments sake, why couldnt IHG do the following?:

1. Award me the applicable amount of points relative to the class of hotel and room I have booked per their BRG program.

2a. Compensate IC Rome for the points I used on my booking and send them a bill for my stay as a result of them failing to adjust my rate per the program

2b. Refuse to compensate IC Rome for my points booking as a result of failing to adjust my rate per the program.

Its the same outcome for both parties in either scenario. The major difference is that they are honoring their Guarantee instead of asking their customers to wait for a rebate check. I understand that its not that simple from a bookkeeping aspectbut thats not my problem. I am just asking IHG to deliver on their Guarantee, for which I complied in full, without holding me to the unwritten terms of fronting them the money. I dont think thats an unreasonable request.
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Old Nov 8, 11, 8:57 am
  #762  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,145
Originally Posted by tangey View Post
Did you read the page you referred to on that website before quoting it as a source of 24 hr numbers ? Surely not, otherwise you would know that not one of the quoted numbers is 24/7 ????


And yet many of the exact same numbers on the crowneplaza website ARE quoted as being 24/7.
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/crownep...bwc_lp/support

When IHG can't even agree with itself across its websites when it will take calls, its starting to get ridiculous.
Someone want to tell their customers what is going on ???
I agree. It's very strange. I followed the link from Crowne Plaza, so I was calling these (supposed) 24 hour numbers. I have called after midnight before so maybe they really are 24 hours. Sloppy implementation...
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Old Nov 8, 11, 10:18 am
  #763  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by spankytoes View Post
Thanks for the response and clarification. I wasn’t aware of how the points system worked between corporate and a hotel.

However, for argument’s sake, why couldn’t IHG do the following?:

1. Award me the applicable amount of points relative to the class of hotel and room I have booked per their BRG program.

2a. Compensate IC Rome for the points I used on my booking and send them a bill for my stay as a result of them failing to adjust my rate per the program

2b. Refuse to compensate IC Rome for my points booking as a result of failing to adjust my rate per the program.
Consider the following.

IHG hotels are NEVER supposed to allow 3rd party sites to have cheaper rates than what they put onto the IHG corporate website. My understanding is this is part of the agreement into coming under the IHG brand (and has always been there, totally separate and irrevelant from the BRG). I don't know the actual reason, but I assume that IHG corporate takes a cut of the booking when its done via their website, and so they don't want hotels using the brand recognisation and advertising capability that being an IHG hotel provides, and yet having most of their bookings not coming thru the IHG website.

The BRG acts as a punishment from IHG corporate to the hotels. You are not supposed to have rooms cheaper anywhere, so if a punter finds one, and we verify it, YOU will have to provide the room for free.

The last thing that IHG corporate wants to do is to have non-compliant hotels NOT to be out of pocket. What IHG actually want the hotel to do is to ensure that it doesn't enter into agreements with 3rd party websites or room wholesalers, that results in IHG being a more expensive booking platform for their hotel.

In my opininon, where the system falls down is that IHG are prepared to let CUSTOMERS be messed about when there is a disagreement between IHG corporate and individual Hotels.
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Old Nov 8, 11, 10:56 am
  #764  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by tangey View Post
Consider the following.

IHG hotels are NEVER supposed to allow 3rd party sites to have cheaper rates than what they put onto the IHG corporate website. My understanding is this is part of the agreement into coming under the IHG brand (and has always been there, totally separate and irrevelant from the BRG). I don't know the actual reason, but I assume that IHG corporate takes a cut of the booking when its done via their website, and so they don't want hotels using the brand recognisation and advertising capability that being an IHG hotel provides, and yet having most of their bookings not coming thru the IHG website.

The BRG acts as a punishment from IHG corporate to the hotels. You are not supposed to have rooms cheaper anywhere, so if a punter finds one, and we verify it, YOU will have to provide the room for free.

The last thing that IHG corporate wants to do is to have non-compliant hotels NOT to be out of pocket. What IHG actually want the hotel to do is to ensure that it doesn't enter into agreements with 3rd party websites or room wholesalers, that results in IHG being a more expensive booking platform for their hotel.

In my opininon, where the system falls down is that IHG are prepared to let CUSTOMERS be messed about when there is a disagreement between IHG corporate and individual Hotels.
Completely agree. I have to assume that IHG let each property know the terms of the BRG well in advance so that they could get all their ducks in a row. My claim was a full $19.00 less than IHG's website with the currency conversion. (I made my claim before the T&C were first altered and there had to be a $5.00 or more difference in rates for foreign currency) If that's the case, I fully support IHG's stance on making the hotel pay the piper for lack of awareness on the hotel's part.

What is confusing to me, however, is that the day after I made my booking the lower rate had vanished. In fact, if I pull up my itinerary on Kayak they aren't even offering that hotel as a bookable option through them anymore. It begs the question of who exactly is forcing that hand. If it's IHG, then I find it hard to believe that they can make a 3rd party vendor vanish but cannot manually adjust my rate. If it's the hotel, then why are they so eager to silence their 3rd party but dragging their feet to adjust my rate as a result? Do they think that I will simply forget or didn't properly document the process? I'm left in the lurch while the hotel and corporate point fingers at each other over who's to blame.
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Old Nov 8, 11, 5:21 pm
  #765  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Milwaukee, Wi. USA
Posts: 673
Thumbs down Rat e quickly changed

Today I spotted a BRG at the Hotel Indigo in downtown Chicago. The lowest rate on the IHG website was actually a REFUNDABLE rate of $159.99 compared to a refundable rate of $153 at Kayak and a non-refundable rate of $145 on Kayak. I booked and made a claim on the phone --they denied it on the basis that I had a successful claim at the Intercontinental in Miami within the prior 30 days.

However, since the shopping trip down to Chicago was actually for Mrs. Legal Eagle, she then made the same reservation for herself directly on the website and called to make the claim. --they denied it again, on the basis that the rate had changed on Kayak and Orbitz to the same as IHG --all within an hour.

Well, she will still get the shopping trip --but she'll have to stay at a less expensive hotel.

Stand warned: once the telephone center finds out about a lower rate, they appearently take steps to see that it is changed quickly.
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