New IHG Best Rate Guarantee - Discussion & Feedback

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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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Old Sep 24, 11, 9:19 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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I hope no one complains to authorities. Give them a week or two to try and make right on their wrongs. If they keep on playing games with us in two weeks then we should start complaining.

It is quiet possible that staff are not properly trained and with us complaining to authorities this program will be cut sooner than later.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 11:02 am
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by Shimon View Post
I hope no one complains to authorities. Give them a week or two to try and make right on their wrongs. If they keep on playing games with us in two weeks then we should start complaining.

It is quiet possible that staff are not properly trained and with us complaining to authorities this program will be cut sooner than later.
for a business this size, rolling out a programme without training your staff is not acceptable.

staff performance makes me believe this programme is simply deceiving.

so in my opinion, report away.

BTW, this is not the first time hotel chains or airlines have offered Lowest price guarantee. i have filed claims with other companies before and every single time they managed to beat the claim price.

just not with ICH
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Old Sep 24, 11, 11:27 am
  #93  
 
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A marketing gimmick yet again. How many people actually make such claims?
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Old Sep 24, 11, 12:50 pm
  #94  
 
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We requested the hotel to deduct adjust the first night of your reservation to be complimentary. Unfortunately, the hotel is unable to adjust the rate. In an effort for us to honor our guarantee, please fax a copy of your hotel receipt showing the amount paid to (801) 975-1846 you may also send this to us via email at [email protected]. Once this is received, we will mail you a reimbursement check. Please include reference number xxxxx in your information.

So it looks like the BRG people are reimbursing when the hotel doesn't toe the line...
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Old Sep 24, 11, 1:41 pm
  #95  
 
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
So it looks like the BRG people are reimbursing when the hotel doesn't toe the line...
Great data point!

Maybe this could be the resolution for the Paris Le Grand mixup?

Could you share which hotel this was related to? If it's a hotel outside of US, will they have to mail cheques internationally? Currency/cheque cashing charges etc. rushed to my mind.

hmmm...still better than nothing. I just wonder how the accounting is going to feed through...
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Old Sep 24, 11, 2:08 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by ldnhlj View Post
If it's a hotel outside of US, will they have to mail cheques internationally? Currency/cheque cashing charges etc. rushed to my mind.
I had something similar in the past (when it was a 10% off guarantee), and at that time I was able to get ICH vouchers in US$ denomination for the non-paid rate-difference...they would have mailed a cheque to Germany if I had asked them to do so as well, however.

Greetings - Dirk
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Old Sep 24, 11, 2:19 pm
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by ldnhlj View Post
Great data point!

Maybe this could be the resolution for the Paris Le Grand mixup?

Could you share which hotel this was related to? If it's a hotel outside of US, will they have to mail cheques internationally? Currency/cheque cashing charges etc. rushed to my mind.

hmmm...still better than nothing. I just wonder how the accounting is going to feed through...
This was the Park Lane IC. I called them up and spoke to the agent dealing with my case, who explained that a manager had responded by email and telephone to validate the case. Therefore I was to obtain a receipt and send it in. I am also in the UK but was told that the cheque is despatched from Guest Relations, whether that is from the UK facility or not I do not know. I assume it would be issued in the same currency as the booking.

It's still rather annoying, as this means that I will have to part with almost 400 for an unknown length of time, hoping that the cheque will come. I'm going to ring the hotel directly and try and speak to someone in the reservation office.

I also asked the agent whether hotels are likely to argue with the rate. She said she is aware that many hotels have argued, but stated that as per the terms the hotel is obliged to comp the night, otherwise the BRG department shall reimburse with a cheque and take it up with the hotel, therefore I think this is the solution to the issues at Le Grand. Fortunately they're not forcing us to do the leg-work here.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 2:40 pm
  #98  
 
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
This was the Park Lane IC. I called them up and spoke to the agent dealing with my case, who explained that a manager had responded by email and telephone to validate the case. Therefore I was to obtain a receipt and send it in. I am also in the UK but was told that the cheque is despatched from Guest Relations, whether that is from the UK facility or not I do not know. I assume it would be issued in the same currency as the booking.

It's still rather annoying, as this means that I will have to part with almost 400 for an unknown length of time, hoping that the cheque will come. I'm going to ring the hotel directly and try and speak to someone in the reservation office.

I also asked the agent whether hotels are likely to argue with the rate. She said she is aware that many hotels have argued, but stated that as per the terms the hotel is obliged to comp the night, otherwise the BRG department shall reimburse with a cheque and take it up with the hotel, therefore I think this is the solution to the issues at Le Grand. Fortunately they're not forcing us to do the leg-work here.
Cheers for the info. Did you speak to someone through the US tollfree or the UK number? As far as I am aware, the BRG department is located in the US (or at least the number suggests so, could also be an ICC though).

I guess at least this way you get to keep the stay credit and points for it since you will be checking out with a paid for receipt. And they should rightly allow you to keep them even when the costs are subsequently reimbursed as a gesture (or interests for that matter ) for your trouble.

When is your stay btw? would like to hear how things go down in the end.

If you have not already, ask the BRG manager to put something down in writing for you, in case things get shifty unexpectedly. This way at least you have some valid grounds if you have to take it up via credit card dispute. Oh, and of course pay with a CC in the first place.

oh joy...
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Old Sep 24, 11, 2:53 pm
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by ldnhlj View Post
Cheers for the info. Did you speak to someone through the US tollfree or the UK number? As far as I am aware, the BRG department is located in the US (or at least the number suggests so, could also be an ICC though).
You're very welcome. All the numbers direct to the same call centre in the Philippines. I rang the US toll free number via Skype as it saves the 10p/min charge from my UK landline.

Originally Posted by ldnhlj View Post
I guess at least this way you get to keep the stay credit and points for it since you will be checking out with a paid for receipt. And they should rightly allow you to keep them even when the costs are subsequently reimbursed as a gesture (or interests for that matter ) for your trouble.

When is your stay btw? would like to hear how things go down in the end.
Nice point! It's tomorrow night. I shall update on here how things go...

Originally Posted by ldnhlj View Post
If you have not already, ask the BRG manager to put something down in writing for you, in case things get shifty unexpectedly. This way at least you have some valid grounds if you have to take it up via credit card dispute. Oh, and of course pay with a CC in the first place.

oh joy...
I'll try, but I never got the standard email about rate verification, so everything at the moment's by verbal communication. I'm about to ring the hotel this minute so if it doesn't get sorted tonight I'll be onto the BRG agent to get something in writing.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 4:17 pm
  #100  
 
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
She said she is aware that many hotels have argued, but stated that as per the terms the hotel is obliged to comp the night, otherwise the BRG department shall reimburse with a cheque and take it up with the hotel, therefore I think this is the solution to the issues at Le Grand. Fortunately they're not forcing us to do the leg-work here.
That does sound promising... I'd be more than happy if Le Grand oddness ended up being resolved that way. Thanks for posting that - very good to know. And the fact that they have a procedure in place for cases involving over-argumentative hotels does give me a bit more confidence in the process.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 4:39 pm
  #101  
 
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The Venetian, Las Vegas Oct 21

I just submitted a claim on The Venetian for Oct 21. Priceline has a "Bella Suite" for 449. (They also have a "Bella-2 Qn Beds" for 509.) IHG has "Bella Suite 2 Queen Beds" for 509. Since the Venetian site itself says a "Bella" is a suite with 2 queen beds I'm hoping they don't nitpick my claim. You can't get a "Bella Suite" with only one bed nor can you get a "Bella 2 Queen Beds" that isn't a suite.

I will update when I get a reply.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 7:02 pm
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
This was the Park Lane IC.
.....
otherwise the BRG department shall reimburse with a cheque and take it up with the hotel
Park Lane is still a corporate-owned property, isn't it?

They should not be having properties that they own refusing to take part (Park Lane and Le Grand?), but it seems more likely that they will happily issue a refund if they get the room money - and I guess less likely if it is a franchise.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 8:41 pm
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by frankxinyu View Post
for a business this size, rolling out a programme without training your staff is not acceptable.

staff performance makes me believe this programme is simply deceiving.

so in my opinion, report away.

BTW, this is not the first time hotel chains or airlines have offered Lowest price guarantee. i have filed claims with other companies before and every single time they managed to beat the claim price.

just not with ICH
They are small headoffice with a few thousand branches (hotels) and each one has a number of departments. Not something easy to manage. Plus the BRGs seem to be outsourced.

I don't blame them for outsourcing. I don't think they could run such a program if they were paying employees $20+/hr + $5+/hr in overhead.

With each claim taking about 1 hour of manual work that is a lot of money per claim.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 9:26 pm
  #104  
 
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I think no one can really prevent 3rd party site from selling at discount no matter what hotels sell them. 3rd party get like 25-35% commission on the rate, so, why not give you 5-10% and get your business? That's why we see coupons on 3rd party sites all the time on all properties. The point of BRG is to direct bookings from 3rd party to their website because seeing BRG promise 99% of people will never double check. So, it's just another marketing tool that has it's cost - free nights for FTers So, if they pick up 3-4 customers per 1 night given under BRG, they are OK. Of course, it benefits all hotels, but only some of the hotels pay for BRG.
Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
Hotel companies want all bookings to go through them to maximise their revenue and minimise commission being syphoned off by third parties. That I am sure is why many stopped giving loyalty points and elite benefits to guests who didn't book through the company channels.
They almost certainly have conditions in their contracts with their hotels that the hotel will make the lowest public rate available for booking via the company website and there would be a penalty if the hotel does not do this.
The whole point of BRGs is not about rewarding customers its about punishing non-complying hotels. The only logic behind IHG making their BRG more beneficial to us is that its industry standard BRG of a discount of 10% off any better rate we find was not achieving its goal -ie wiping out instances of hotels providing lower rates to 3rd party sites. So it gives us a bigger carrot to notify it of hotels that are non-compliant with their management contract, so IHG can whack them over the head with this bigger stick.
IHG must have been seeing that there was no increase in the % of bookings coming through its portals despite the 10% discount BRG and surmised that the lower rate was not sufficient deterrent to the hotels to provide lower rates elsewhere.
Of course for this new deterrent to work IHG have to have a management contract that does allow them to penalise the hotels in this way and have to be prepared to put up with some short-term flack from the hotels. But they will only get this flack if the penalty is hurting the hotels and if it hurts the hotels and IHG sticks with it then the hotels will fall into line. Otherwise they will keep losing revenue. When the penalty of giving away all these free nights outweighs the benefit the hotels feel they get from offering lower rates on 3rd party websites they will stop doing it and IHG will have achieved its aim (and we the consumers in the long term will be worse off, with less choice and less competition regretting that we were the instruments that IHG used to destroy this competition for the paltry recompense of a few free nights )

All the problems that people are reporting are problems of implementation of the policy. IHG won't achieve its aim by allowing hotels free choice as to whether they will participate or not although some individual hotel contracts might allow individual hotels to not participate. The BRG desk may even actively look for reasons to deny the claim but behind the scenes I'm sure each claim we make (accepted or rejected) results in a compliance team contacting the hotel and asking why they are selling rooms on cheaphotels.com for less than the rate on priorityclub.com. As I said before this is not motivated by wanting to reward us but by wanting to increase hotel group revenue - if they can do that with us acting as police but only paying one in 5 of us, they would much prefer to do it that way.

The only way that this is not going to work or be withdrawn is if the feedback they are getting from the hotels makes them seriously believe that they are going to drive a significant number of hotels to consider branding with another hotel group.

Its up to us to hold them to the Ts&Cs that they publish.

All of the above of course is solely opinion with no inside knowledge of what is going on
al613 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 11, 9:54 pm
  #105  
 
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I've found cheaper rate on Agoda.com in $ compared to IHG Palazzo

Agoda is $146 before hotel tax and service fee of $17

IHG Palazzo is $152 before tax of $18

Does anyone reckon I have a valid claim, not too sure how they will compare the prices with these extra taxes
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