IHG Censoring Negative Reviews

Old Aug 5, 16, 7:45 am
  #1  
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IHG Censoring Negative Reviews

It appears that IHG or the Crowne Plaza Beijing Wanfujing is censoring my factual (albeit negative review) of their property. It has been rejected twice for the following reasons:

-specific references to other hotel brands.
-irrelevant or inappropriate content.
-the mention of specific dollar amounts and/or rates.

My post did not include any references to any of the reasons they cited. The property does not like what I have to say. Below is the exact review. Any ideas on how to get posted? I've already reached out to their executive liaison.

Review:

"First - This hotel actively engages in unwanted "dynamic currency conversion". When checking out I was presented with a credit card receipt (full page of text) and towards the bottom it referenced a specific USD amount. The hotel attempted to bill me at the USD amount, not the agree upon CNY amount. Three lines above it referenced a specific CNY amount. However, the USD amount was much more than CNY amount (the hotel attempted to "exchange" the currency on my behalf at a terrible exchange rate versus charging my credit card in the local CNY currency). The issue is that I never agreed to or was made aware of this dynamic currency conversion scheme at this property. The hotel made the choice to "convert" this transaction on my behalf without my consent at a terrible exchange rate. Further, they actively worked to hide this transaction. Fortunately, I caught this during checkout and had the original amount in CNY billed to my credit card avoiding paying additional money to the hotel and their bank. Again there is no easy way to stay this other than, in my opinion, these factual circumstances was attempted fraud.

Second - There was a large amount of hair in the bathtub when we arrived.

Third - There was a very large and noticeable water stain on the ceiling near the window. Two nights later it developed in black mold. At this point I was too lazy to change rooms.

Fourth - On the third night the air conditioner started leaking and water was continuously (and loudly) dripping from the ceiling (near the door). The leak caused a huge water stain and plaster from the ceiling started coming down and we finally went to the front desk. They promptly put us in a suite and offered free breakfast. The suite was great (1-night), but still showed major signs of "tiredness" and was not well maintained. For example, an electrical outlet was coming out of the wall, there were stains on the carpet, the bathroom door did not lock, etc.

I do not recommend this hotel.

Title: Tired, Dirty, and Unwanted Dynamic Currency Conversion"

Overall, I cannot believe that IHG or their properties are allow to censor for literally made up reasons. I'll never trust hotel ratings again especially IHG. The funny thing is that I do not think that this property gets it. I'll continue to complain and won't stop. They can't shut me up and this is not China - they can't act like this.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 8:38 am
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Maybe it's because I'm cynical but I have never considered the reviews posted to IHG.com or spg.com as reliable. I would suggest that you instead post your review on tripadvisor. Perhaps the property will actually feel compelled to respond once it's in a more public forum.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 8:57 am
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It's interesting. For a laugh I was reading the terrible Barclay reviews yesterday. The glossy website proudly announces it is rates IIRC 3.5 out of 5, which would obviously convince you to book.

I can see IHG stopping the 'book direct' campaign as once you see some of the online ratings it is likely to put you off ......
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Old Aug 5, 16, 9:16 am
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As per dw I would suggest TripAdvisor as a far better place to post your review - although I've never had negative reviews rejected by IHG I'd consider it more reliable.

One thing that did cross my mind is that maybe your review is being automatically rejected because of the various currency references? I know you don't contravene any of the rules that they suggest you do, but it might be that they've put some kind of controls in place to automatically detect currency references. You might want to try paraphrasing or trying to explain that without the specific currency references.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 9:36 am
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My advice on your problem:
1, Soft your tunes. Say something like: this is a good hotel but I had some problems with my room. Here are the problem....1,2,3
2, Do not mention the DCC problem. Instead, write a customer service complaints to IHG via IHG website, which will generate a case reference number and be dealt with by IHG customer care.
3, Do not give scores like 1 or 2. But give 3 for all options.
4, Post another review in angry tunes in Tripadvisor as other has suggested.

Posting every review of my stay had taught me something as below:
1, Any hotel with an overall score of 4.6 is great quality
2, Any hotel with an overall score of 4.3-4.5 is 'noting special'
3, Any hotel with an overall score of 4.0-4.2 is 'hit or miss'
4, Any hotel with an overall score of 3.9 or below is 'avoid at any cost'.
So consistently give scores of 3 would get your review approved, while drag down the overall score a bit. If other reviewers agree with you, you are likely to see that hotel in the range of 4.0 or below, which is enough to raise alarm bells for people like me.

Of course there are too many reviews in some of the hotels. No one is going to read all of them. Your complaints will disappear quickly as more reviewers post their reviews. The only thing you can do is to make sure your review counts and a low score is likely to put some pressure on the overall score (which IHG can not amend).

And for something serious, post on Tripadvisors. Nowadays I look at the overall score first, if it is below 4.2. the first thing I do is to look at reviews in Tripadvisors to see if it is tolerable.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Austin180 View Post
It appears that IHG or the Crowne Plaza Beijing Wanfujing is censoring my factual (albeit negative review) of their property. It has been rejected twice for the following reasons:

-specific references to other hotel brands.
-irrelevant or inappropriate content.
-the mention of specific dollar amounts and/or rates.

My post did not include any references to any of the reasons they cited.


Originally Posted by Austin180 View Post

Review:

"First - This hotel actively engages in unwanted "dynamic currency conversion". When checking out I was presented with a credit card receipt (full page of text) and towards the bottom it referenced a specific USD amount. The hotel attempted to bill me at the USD amount, not the agree upon CNY amount. Three lines above it referenced a specific CNY amount. However, the USD amount was much more than CNY amount (the hotel attempted to "exchange" the currency on my behalf at a terrible exchange rate versus charging my credit card in the local CNY currency). The issue is that I never agreed to or was made aware of this dynamic currency conversion scheme at this property. The hotel made the choice to "convert" this transaction on my behalf without my consent at a terrible exchange rate. Further, they actively worked to hide this transaction. Fortunately, I caught this during checkout and had the original amount in CNY billed to my credit card avoiding paying additional money to the hotel and their bank. Again there is no easy way to stay this other than, in my opinion, these factual circumstances was attempted fraud.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by nicolas75 View Post
"CNY" or "USD" without a specific reference to a numerical value is not prohibited per their terms. There is nothing in the t&c that prohibits me from mentioning a currency. A particular rate, such as $190 USD is prohibited.

Further, people need to be advised that this property defrauds consumers by purposefully hiding DCC. I stand by my claim that my review is completely within their t&cs.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Austin180 View Post
Further, people need to be advised that this property defrauds consumers by purposefully hiding DCC. I stand by my claim that my review is completely within their t&cs.
Almost all IHG in China, and probably most other hotels in China as well, do automatic DCC. In many cases they don't even know how to reverse it. It took me lot of effort to fight it, and often they had to call their bank or payment provider to find out how to do it. Once they "got it", it was no longer a problem.

I don't think it's the hotel, it's the payment providers who try to get their cut in these transactions.

HTB.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Austin180 View Post
"CNY" or "USD" without a specific reference to a numerical value is not prohibited per their terms. There is nothing in the t&c that prohibits me from mentioning a currency. A particular rate, such as $190 USD is prohibited.

Further, people need to be advised that this property defrauds consumers by purposefully hiding DCC. I stand by my claim that my review is completely within their t&cs.
You might consider that reviews are automatically checked.

So when the software detects references to currency, it says: no.
As simple as that.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 3:31 pm
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Tripadvisor / Yelp / Google Reviews...there are plenty of other places to post your review, which will probably get read more than on IHG's site. To be honest, I've never read a review off IHG's, but have done plenty of TripAdvisor/Yelp reading.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 3:39 pm
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I submitted a review of a Candlewood that said it was a nice hotel with great staff, and the only problem I had was the bedbugs.

That one got blocked too, with this email:

Your review has been rejected.

As a valued guest, your concerns are of the utmost priority. Therefore, rather than posting your review, we have alerted our Customer Care Team. One of our agents will be reaching out to you immediately. We apologize for the experience you had at our hotel, and thank you for bringing it to our attention.
I haven't done a review on the IHG site since.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 4:36 pm
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Stayed in many ihg hotels in China and never had a DCC imposed or even offered to me. Must be something new... or limited to certain properties.
I would be jumping up and down if they tried to cheat me with this. Fully support the poster, this is fraud and nothing else.
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Old Aug 6, 16, 8:19 am
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My review of the CP London Heathrow was also rejected as "irrelevant content". Although I generally praised the hotel, I was negative about an apparent change in policy to not upgrade Spire members to lounge access automatically. Instead, the policy is to charge 34 per night per room for lounge access.

I would agree that they censor negative reviews, but also think why not if you can?
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Old Aug 6, 16, 11:24 am
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Crowne Plaza Beijing Wanfujing is the only hotel ever do DCC on me without mentioning about it. Lucky I saw it when I hand the signed invoice back to them.

They said they'll send me welcome fruit plate and it never happen. I had to ask for it the next day.

One day when I came back there were stacks of bath/hand towers all over the bath room. I took a photo and showed it to the FD.

This was for a stay in July. Not major problem but still, annoying.
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Old Aug 6, 16, 1:17 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by OnePassLover View Post
Crowne Plaza Beijing Wanfujing is the only hotel ever do DCC on me without mentioning about it. Lucky I saw it when I hand the signed invoice back to them.
The majority of hotels in China I stayed at had DCC set as the default. I hate it. You must have been lucky in the past.

HTB.
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