New IHG Best Rate Guarantee - Discussion & Feedback

    Hide Wikipost
Old Apr 17, 17, 12:51 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: FLYGVA
Wiki Link
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
Print Wikipost

Old Sep 24, 11, 11:10 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: QFF
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by Shimon View Post
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.
not having a go at you, but thats the lamest excuse.

from a customer's point of view, i honestly do not care how they conduct their business within their organisation. if they can not honour the policy they advertise, they should not be advertising it. simple as that.
frankxinyu is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 1:32 am
  #107  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: BOG
Programs: IC Amb, IHG Spire, Hilton Diamond, EY E+, UA*G, BA Gold
Posts: 64
If anyone is still interested in my IC Park Lane case, I spoke to them again last night. The BRG agent told me that they could not source a manager neither on the telephone nor email, thus I rang the hotel front office.

Although the front office member of staff had never heard of the guarantee. I was asked to email in my correspondence with the BPG office, which I did, covered with this:


Dear Sir,

Further to our telephone conversation, please find attached the correspondence with Guest Relations (Best Price Guarantee department).

Today at 2025 GMT I spoke to the Guest Relations agent who sent this message, who maintains that the hotel has been contacted by their department by email and telephone; but they are yet to receive a response with a confirmation.

I request that you deal with this and confirm the rate adjustment with the utmost expedition as I would like to confirm my travel plans: we are due to arrive at the hotel tomorrow.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance.


Yours faithfully,


This did the trick! Lo and behold, within five hours I had a confirmation email from both the hotel and the BRG office, showing the good ol' "HOUSE USE COMP" rate adjustment. Excellent service there.

I was very uneasy about paying the money and sending off for reimbursement as knowing the nature of the BPG office to interpret the terms and conditions of the "guarantee" with a machiavellian tendency, I had a feeling the cheque would never appear -- or take weeks to arrive from the US/Phillippines. I didn't even have any written evidence that my night would be complimentary from the BPG department until early this morning, other than that advising me to send in my receipt.

Therefore maybe it would be beneficial to step in if your reservation is impending within the next day or so and you still haven't had a confirmation from the hotel, whether it is and argumentative/non-complying property, or one that is unresponsive to the BPG staff. I surmise the latter with the IC Park Lane, although I am mystified as to how the corporate-owned properties seem to be the most deviant...

Good luck everyone; you are more than welcome to PM me if you need more info. about how I went about this.

Last edited by Errata; Sep 25, 11 at 2:52 am Reason: for clarity.
Errata is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 2:48 am
  #108  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: PC Royal Amb
Posts: 86
The Venetian, Las Vegas - 21 Oct (Part 2)

Just as I feared. BRG Guest Relations is claiming the "Bella Suite" on priceline doesn't qualify for the BRG.

"Please be informed that the lower rate you are claiming is for a different room type. This, as verified by Priceline.com that the USD 449.00 for a Venetian Bella Suite (Suite Features A Living Area, Personal Business Center And Large Bathroom With 17-Inch Flat-Screen Tv) is a smaller room with only 1 bed. Unlike the Bella-2 Qn Beds-700 Sq Ft-Marble Bath which is an upgraded version of the first room listed."

I've e-mailed The Venetian Reservation Desk asking if they have a Bella Suite with only one bed.

More updates to come.
MattGreenfield is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 5:35 am
  #109  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,653
Originally Posted by frankxinyu View Post
not having a go at you, but thats the lamest excuse.

from a customer's point of view, i honestly do not care how they conduct their business within their organisation. if they can not honour the policy they advertise, they should not be advertising it. simple as that.
You are right but this is something good for us. We shouldn't ruin it.

Originally Posted by al613 View Post
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.
Actually they may be getting a 25% commission from the chains but I have seen the small hotels pay expedia a 50% commission.
Shimon is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 11:58 am
  #110  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Four Seasons Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: London
Programs: BA, VS, HH, IHG, MB, MR
Posts: 25,968
But IC has a deal with the Expedias of this world that they will not undercut the headline rates, except with vouchers. They pulled ALL their hotels off Expedia a couple of years age when they started not playing ball . . . Expedia quickly changed their tune.
Raffles is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 3:31 pm
  #111  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: UK
Programs: IHG Plat; CC Gold
Posts: 845
Question

I am looking at booking a rioom for next week, the HI site, gives a prIce of £99 with breakfast on a flexible rate, which means I do not need to pay in advance (best flex are the only rates tnat show up when searching under best rate). The third party site gives a rate of £73 but I have to prepay, does this knock it out as they are not compraible.

Also, when going to pay on the third party web site it goes to Euros rather then Stirling, which may also muck it up, please what are your thoughts.


I think I may just book in at the HIX that has a bettter rate.
Amyrlin is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 5:27 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: PC Royal Amb
Posts: 86
Originally Posted by Amyrlin View Post
I am looking at booking a rioom for next week, the HI site, gives a prIce of £99 with breakfast on a flexible rate, which means I do not need to pay in advance (best flex are the only rates tnat show up when searching under best rate). The third party site gives a rate of £73 but I have to prepay, does this knock it out as they are not compraible.

Also, when going to pay on the third party web site it goes to Euros rather then Stirling, which may also muck it up, please what are your thoughts.


I think I may just book in at the HIX that has a bettter rate.
The T&C distinguishes between refundable/non-refundable and not between pre-paid/non-pre-paid so as long as the pre-paid third party site is refundable and includes breakfast you should be good to go. (Of course, subject to approval by BRG.)

The different currencies shouldn't matter as long as the price difference in US dollars is greater than $5.
MattGreenfield is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 6:19 pm
  #113  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: PC Royal Amb
Posts: 86
Originally Posted by blindman View Post
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
According to the T&C:
"For purposes of the Guarantee, “price” or "rate" does not include any taxes (unless otherwise noted), 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. Rates being compared to determine if the Guarantee applies must both either be with taxes included, or without taxes included. "

So you should be able to just use the base rate for the BRG.
MattGreenfield is offline  
Old Sep 25, 11, 11:01 pm
  #114  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Programs: hh Diamond,Marriott plat, ihg spire
Posts: 56
BRG-problems

Well, so far I have filed 6 BRGs and have gotten 5 approved. 2 Intercontinentals, 3 Crowne Plazas. Rejected - CP. All hotels were in Asia. Some agents will claim greater china claims are not part of the guarantee, but don't be ........ted, they are. So tell them to read the part of the guarantee that specifically says greater china is excluded. They cannot, because it doesn't exist.

Of the 5, 4 have been altered to reflect the comp night while 1 hasn't. I am still waiting for an appropriate response and it has been 96 hours. Good thing the trip doesn't come up til another 2 weeks.

I can say for sure that if you book a refundable rate which is cheaper then a non-refundable rate on the IHG website, it will be rejected and vice versa. Also if the cheaper rate includes breakfast but the IHG rate doesn't, your claim will be rejected.

Also, lets say the cheaper website allows you to cancel 3 days prior to arrival and the IHG site 24hours before, BRG claim will be rejected. The cancellation conditions have to exactly the same. Currency doesn't matter but make sure you site is at least USD$5 cheaper. To be safe, I made sure it was USD$10 cheaper due to exchange rate fluctuations.

Its a very, very frustrating process to get the BRG approved but, hey, so far I have managed to snag USD $1400 in total of free nights, so I guess it is worth it. But beware of the pitfalls as IHG rates are often non-refundable for the advance purchase rates and usually these are the only rates where you will be able to score a BRG hit.

In order of ease of use and claim filing, I rate the BRGs for the firms so far ( for travel in Asia Pacific) - I concede it will be different in US
1) SPG
2) Marriott
3) Hyatt
4) IHG

For value
1) IHG
2) Hyatt
3) SPG
4) Marriott
asian_journeyman is offline  
Old Sep 26, 11, 1:00 am
  #115  
FlyerTalk Evangelist & Ambassador: China
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: DEN
Programs: DL DM/MM, UA 1K, AA Exp, HH Dia, WOH Glob, IHG Plat, Marriott Gold, NA EE, Hertz PC
Posts: 17,239
Originally Posted by MattGreenfield View Post
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.
Thanks for your posts, FYI cross-posting is against FT T&C, I personally don't care but some mods do. I personally appreciate your posts. ^
mnredfox is offline  
Old Sep 26, 11, 2:09 am
  #116  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: PC Royal Amb
Posts: 86
The Venetian, Las Vegas - 21 Oct (Part 3)

After several e-mails to BRG Guest Relations (and one to V/P Reservations) I got APPROVED! Now I just have to wait for the hotel to confirm the rate adjustment.

If anyone is in the Las Vegas area and wants a free night Oct 21 at The Venetian the lower rate is still on priceline. I would hurry. I sure it's going to be pulled soon.

Hope to see a bunch of FTers there!

I haven't checked any other dates.
MattGreenfield is offline  
Old Sep 26, 11, 2:13 am
  #117  
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: australia
Posts: 5,157
Originally Posted by asian_journeyman View Post
Well, so far I have filed 6 BRGs and have gotten 5 approved.

I can say for sure that if you book a refundable rate which is cheaper then a non-refundable rate on the IHG website, it will be rejected and vice versa. Also if the cheaper rate includes breakfast but the IHG rate doesn't, your claim will be rejected.

Also, lets say the cheaper website allows you to cancel 3 days prior to arrival and the IHG site 24hours before, BRG claim will be rejected. The cancellation conditions have to exactly the same.
Thanks for posting your experience - the more date points, the more likely we will be able to assess what claims will and what claims will not be accepted.


Not wishing to be (too) contrary but with 1 rejected claim the only way to knowfor sure that all these parameters will invalidate a claim is if they all applied to the 1 rejected claim -no? It doesn't seem that the 1st point could apply fully to one reservation -especially the vice versa part

My experience with 4 accepted and 2 rejected claims is:
1) They sometimes have issues finding a rate that I can find - this resulted in the 2 rejections and I had options equally good available so didn't push them.
2)If you find a cheaper rate that includes breakfast then book a rate that includes breakfast on IHG - given you are expecting a rate match it doesn't matter if the rate you book on IHG is much higher because of the added breakfast (unless its non-refundable and your claim is rejected) I had 1 claim where Absolute lowest rate on IHG was AP at $370/night.Lowest rate with breakfast on IHG was $530 and fully flexible. Competing rate was $280 flexible with breakfast and claim was accepted with booking $530 IHG rate
3)All my reservations were fully flexible and the cancellation terms on the competing websites were also flexible but in each case there were some differences -usually the competing website required cancellation a few days before the limit on the IHG site and made a $20-$30 charge for amendments.

From all this what I can say for sure is this is what happened in my cases.I can't say anything for sure about what might happen to anyone else's claim or indeed to claims that I make going forward.

Last edited by 3544quebec; Sep 26, 11 at 2:48 am
3544quebec is offline  
Old Sep 26, 11, 11:13 am
  #118  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Anywhere
Posts: 4,108
Originally Posted by carrotjuice View Post
If I book an Advanced Purchase non refundable rate, then find a cheaper refundable rate elsewhere, will the claim be honoured?
Managed to get a successful claim. Thought I would share the agent's reply:

"Please be advise that we do not match cancellation policy, say third party site has a lower non refundable rate and IHG has a higher refundable rate – [your claim] would qualify (regardless if competing site is non cancellable and IHG’s is a flexible/cancellable rate).

Good to know.
carrotjuice is offline  
Old Sep 26, 11, 12:25 pm
  #119  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: BA Exec Blue, IHG Spire, HHonor Gold, Accor Platinum.
Posts: 894
Originally Posted by carrotjuice View Post
Managed to get a successful claim. Thought I would share the agent's reply:

"Please be advise that we do not match cancellation policy, say third party site has a lower non refundable rate and IHG has a higher refundable rate – [your claim] would qualify (regardless if competing site is non cancellable and IHG’s is a flexible/cancellable rate).

Good to know.
This is what I found and posted earlier:- Good to hear it from an agent source, but as we know YMMV

BTW
asian_journeyman
I can say for sure that if you book a refundable rate which is cheaper then a non-refundable rate on the IHG website, it will be rejected
is wrong :

Presently I and three others over this week have booked the same hotel for the same night under the BRG and all got a free night.

Wonder how many free nights they'll give away before pulling their cheaper rate from the 3rd party.
BTW Its only a Crowne Plaza, but over £100 per nght.
blindman is offline  
Old Sep 26, 11, 1:41 pm
  #120  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 28,362
Originally Posted by MattGreenfield View Post
Just as I feared. BRG Guest Relations is claiming the "Bella Suite" on priceline doesn't qualify for the BRG.

"Please be informed that the lower rate you are claiming is for a different room type. This, as verified by Priceline.com that the USD 449.00 for a Venetian Bella Suite (Suite Features A Living Area, Personal Business Center And Large Bathroom With 17-Inch Flat-Screen Tv) is a smaller room with only 1 bed. Unlike the Bella-2 Qn Beds-700 Sq Ft-Marble Bath which is an upgraded version of the first room listed."

I've e-mailed The Venetian Reservation Desk asking if they have a Bella Suite with only one bed.

More updates to come.
AFAIK, ALL Bella-Suite are the SAME Size.
Happy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: