Refused Anniversary Night at Gibraltar Property: Compensation?

Old Jul 2, 2023, 2:12 pm
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Refused Anniversary Night at Gibraltar Property: Compensation?

We had an anniversary night about to expire so decided to use it in the Holiday Inn Gibraltar. All booked and good. On arriving at the property we were told at check in (desk clerk, then manager) that their system showed we still had to pay even thought they had the free booking in the system and I also showed them the booking in the app. We were told to call IHG so they could figure it out. No attempt by the hotel management to call IHG, make good or us happy. After literally an hour with IHG customer service (including them calling and speaking to front desk manager) the hotel still refused to honor the night. Another 30 mins past while I talked to IHG who could not convince the property to agree to the booking.

In frustration we left and checked into a rival property and paid $245 for the night. Extremely annoying as we only went to Gibraltar to burn the free night. IHG are profusely apologizing and have credited us 40k points so far without asking. Should I just forget it or pursue further? I don't blame IHG but I am extremely annoyed with this particular property and the way they handled the whole situation. They basically couldn't care less about customers or IHG for that matter. I wonder if they have pulled this crap with other customers. those who fly in would have no choice but to pay full rack rate?
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 2:58 pm
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Sounds like you were made whole with the 40,000 point deposit. 40,000 points may not be equal to 250 usd in your eyes but you could of went to a less expensive hotel.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Cthunder86
Sounds like you were made whole with the 40,000 point deposit. 40,000 points may not be equal to 250 usd in your eyes but you could of went to a less expensive hotel.
We wouldn't have even driven there for two hours if not to burn the free night for a quick fun vacation. The hours wasted in reception ruined the whole day, not to mention the stress involved and a half hour before hand parking up in a garage 200m away. Not easy to call a US help desk from an international location with no cellphone coverage etc either. There are no cheap hotels in Gibraltar let alone on a Saturday afternoon at 4pm. There is no way this property should have acted this way. Yes 40k from IHG makes up for the free night but not the stress and disrespect etc. Maybe I need more time to calm down but I think the property needs to be the ones paying and not IHG. Its clear this specific property are not interested in adhering to IHG policies etc.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Cthunder86
Sounds like you were made whole with the 40,000 point deposit. 40,000 points may not be equal to 250 usd in your eyes but you could of went to a less expensive hotel.
I'll never understand the tendency towards corporate bootlicking here.

What if he had flown in? What if he wasn't prepared to pay for alternate accommodation? What about his time attempting to resolve their error?

Of course compensation is warranted.

Compensation has nothing to do with not paying for what he didn't receive.

OP, we're I you, given your attempt to get customer service to act, I suggest you write a short letter describing what happened and mail it via some method requiring a signature to IHG global hq:

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC
Windsor Dials 1
Arthur Road
Windsor
Berkshire
SL4 1RS
UK

Letters employees have to sign for tend to get paid attention to.
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Last edited by SkyLich; Jul 2, 2023 at 7:17 pm
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by SkyLich
I'll never understand the tendency towards corporate bootlicking here.

What if he had flown in? What if he wasn't prepared to pay for alternate accommodation? What about his time attempting to resolve their error?

Of course compensation is warranted.

.
The OP didn't requre "alternate accommodation". The OP could also have paid whatever the hotel wanted to charge and then fought with IHG corporate to be refunded that cash amount - or a number of points that would have made the OP happy as being equivalent to $245 - with additional points compensation on top for the aggravation...

40,000 points does indeed compensate the OP for the certificate that was ultimately unused.

Now, it could be an entirely different situation if the hotel didn't want to provide a room for the night, and equally didn't want to accept its responsibility to "walk" the guest to a comparable hotel at no charge. But having moved "voluntarily" to a hotel outside of IHG does make it trickier to be refunded a cash amount...
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 1:43 am
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Originally Posted by jtatlanta
We had an anniversary night about to expire so decided to use it in the Holiday Inn Gibraltar. All booked and good. On arriving at the property we were told at check in (desk clerk, then manager) that their system showed we still had to pay even thought they had the free booking in the system and I also showed them the booking in the app.


In frustration we left and checked into a rival property and paid $245 for the night. Extremely annoying as we only went to Gibraltar to burn the free night. IHG are profusely apologizing and have credited us 40k points so far without asking.

Should I just forget it or pursue further? I don't blame IHG but I am extremely annoyed with this particular property and the way they handled the whole situation.
I'm not familiar with the concept of anniversary night and terms & conditions.

However, if you had a fully valid reservation, I don't see any reason why, except in cases of force majeure (which is obviously not the case here), it should not be honoured.

I can understand the stress of finding your reservation cancelled by a hotel without prior notice.

What reason did the hotel give you for refusing to honour your reservation?

What advice did IHG give you over the phone and what agreement was reached with you and the hotel?

My advice would be to send an email with a copy of your IHG reservation, a copy of the bill for the hotel you stayed at (unless IHG had explicitly asked you to stay at another hotel), a copy of the taxi invoice to take you to this second hotel, and a reminder of the facts (reservation validated, refusal by the hotel, call to IHG, need to book another hotel at the last minute, and if any reference of the case open by IHG).

I can't imagine that IHG won't cover the costs incurred, in addition to the 40,000 compensation points.
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 2:36 am
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What were you actually asked to pay for?

Was it the entire cost of the room or some local taxes which often still apply (especially fixed fees) to reward nights.

Personally I would have paid - making it clear it was under protest and would be challenged later - and the sorted a refund out later.
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 4:07 am
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Thanks for all the replies, to be clear:

Hotel wanted full cost of the room even though they could see the booking. They said "their" booking showed anniversary night but I still had to pay 170 ukp.
Hotel wanted me to sort it out with IHG, remember this is in an international location and most would not have cell service. Took 30 mins wait each time to talk to IHG and cut off a few times. No attempt by hotel to do this themselves. Ironically they thanked me for being platinum.........
IHG called the hotel direct and the desk manager still refused the booking. Desk manager said they needed someone senior at IHG to email them which of course not possible on Saturday. IHG customer care also indicated displeasure with property to me verbally on the phone.
The whole time we are stood around like fools at reception and my wife has to go back and forth to check on our parking situation.
To add insult to injury I look this morning and see a charge for the room on my credit card.

I will write to IHG as suggested to see the response I get.
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by nicolas75
I'm not familiar with the concept of anniversary night and terms & conditions.
nicolas75, what the OP is most likely referring to is the annual free night that is provided to holders of the IHG credit card. It's awarded on the anniversary date that the credit card account was initially opened, hence the use of the term "anniversary night." It can be used for a one-night reservation of a standard room valued up to 40K points. (The newer Premier card allows you to top off the 40K with points when booking at a property where the room rate is higher than 40K.) The anniversary night expires one year after issuance,
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 6:09 pm
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I had a similar experience a few years ago at an IHG hotel in Aberdeen Scotland. The same rigmarole about refusing to honor the anniversary award even after IHG called them.

I was so pissed off that I did a detailed review on Google, Trip Advisor, and IHG. I got an email about two days later with a very ungenerous offer from the manager of compensation points. I countered with a request to double
the offer. They matched it and asked me to remove my review from IHG. I waited a couple of days and removed the details about the refusal to accept my anniversary night award, but left the rest of the review up.

They did come through with the promised points and then IHG also provided some points in addition.
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Old Jul 4, 2023, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by Larrude
I had a similar experience a few years ago at an IHG hotel in Aberdeen Scotland. The same rigmarole about refusing to honor the anniversary award even after IHG called them.
Why are some hotels so reluctant to honour Anniversary Nights?
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Old Jul 4, 2023, 5:05 am
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Originally Posted by nicolas75
Why are some hotels so reluctant to honour Anniversary Nights?
I wonder if the Anniversary Night certificates have a glitch. Being US only certificates AFAIK, hotels in Europe might not be reimbursed properly for them...
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Old Jul 4, 2023, 6:16 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif
I wonder if the Anniversary Night certificates have a glitch. Being US only certificates AFAIK, hotels in Europe might not be reimbursed properly for them...
Perhaps, but disliking the level of reimbursement should not give them the right to decline to honor--at check-in, no less--an existing booking from the hotel chain in which they are a member. As for the anniversary night being honored outside of the US, I've used them at multiple IHG hotels in Europe, with nightly rates a lot higher than HI Gibraltar, and none of them had any issues accepting the free night cert.

Last edited by bob12403; Jul 4, 2023 at 8:55 am
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Old Jul 4, 2023, 10:22 am
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My sympathies to jtatlanta (and Larrude), and I agree with SkyLich that additional compensation is due.

Has anyone stayed at Hotel Indigo Bath on an anniversary free night? I have a reservation in the next few months and I'm a bit concerned after reading this thread.
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Old Jul 4, 2023, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Larrude
I had a similar experience a few years ago at an IHG hotel in Aberdeen Scotland. The same rigmarole about refusing to honor the anniversary award even after IHG called them.

I was so pissed off that I did a detailed review on Google, Trip Advisor, and IHG. I got an email about two days later with a very ungenerous offer from the manager of compensation points. I countered with a request to double
the offer. They matched it and asked me to remove my review from IHG. I waited a couple of days and removed the details about the refusal to accept my anniversary night award, but left the rest of the review up.

They did come through with the promised points and then IHG also provided some points in addition.
Thanks for this feedback, beginning to wonder if this is an issue with using anniversary nights overseas.
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