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IHG Account Terminated (after registering for several promotion codes)

IHG Account Terminated (after registering for several promotion codes)

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Old Mar 8, 15, 5:34 pm   -   Wikipost
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IHG Account Termination Fact Summary

1) IHG has been terminating accounts due to abuse since approximately 2010 (#244).

2) IHG account terminations happen suddenly and without warning. If your account is terminated, you will not be able to login. You will have to call customer service, who will either reinstate your account and warn you, or refer your case to another office, in which case your account is probably permamently closed.

3) No one except for IHG knows exactly what the trigger for account cancellation is. The reason given is usually excessive use of promo codes. In the past, it was thought that most of the people who got their accounts canceled was due to either selling points or excessive point break bookings, but it appears that mere registration of promo codes now can sometimes trigger a cancellation.

Who has gotten their account terminated?

(If you, or someone you know has got their account terminated, please list your username here, and reference the post you made on this thread).

bgmike (#1)
lcpteck (#5)
DavidAL - father - (#85)
Dolphinyong - friend - (#155)
Bakkie (#180)
Tim O'Brien (#187) reinstated
chongcao - good summary, esp. of events from flyertea forum (#244)
soitgoes (#262) deactivated temporarily; reactivated after phone call
travelismylife - brother inlaw - (#329)

Also, LoyaltyLobby has a number of data points in the comment thread.

FlyerTea (a Chinese site) also has a number of data points.

What do we know about terminations

1) The usual reason IHG gives is non-targeted promo code usage. We don't know which promo codes IHG considers invalid, although IHG told Bakke (#180), that he used a code that was supposed to be for platinum members when he was not.

2) Status does not matter. Gold members, Platinum members, even RAs have all had their account terminated.

3) Credit card does not matter. Some people terminated did not have the IHG Chase card, some did, for more than 3 years (#329).

4) Stay history does not matter. Some people had their accounts terminated before any stay, some had their accounts terminated after one stay that accrued many points, and some had a history of lot of paid stays.

5) Termination usually doesn't cause a loss of booked nights. Apparently, even though your points are gone, any nights reserved stay booked in the system.

6) Some account terminations are caused by calling customer service on incorrectly credited nights. A number of people who had their accounts terminated called in on a stay that posted as non-qualifying, only to have their account cancelled shortly thereafter.

IHG Terms and Conditions downloadable PDF, including:

4. Membership Cancellation. SCH reserves the right to cancel any IHG®Rewards Club membership and revoke any and all unredeemed IHG® Rewards Club points collected by any member for reasons that include, but are not limited to: 1) violation of these Terms and Conditions; 2) misrepresentation of any information or any misuse of this Program; 3) violation of any national, state or local law or regulation in connection with the use of membership privileges; 4) failure to pay for hotel charges; 5) a check to a participating hotel brand that is returned for insufficient funds or is invalid for any reason; 6) commission of fraud or abuse involving any portion of this Program; 7) more than one active account per member; or 8) physical, verbal, or written abuse of hotel or IHG personnel; or 9) action, in any other way, to the detriment of the Program or any of its alliances; all as may be determined by SCH in its sole discretion.
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Old Jun 2, 14, 3:51 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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IHG Account Terminated (after registering for several promotion codes)

I'm an infrequent guest at IHG properties and, from memory, did not have many accrued points. I recently stayed at a property for work and before doing so, signed up for a number of active promos found on Gary Leff's blog. Not surprisingly, the system rejected me for several. The week following the stay, I tried logging into my account and was given a password error. This problem continued for a week so I emailed IHG support. The next correspondence I received was an email: "It has come to our attention that some of your recent IHG Rewards Club account activities are in violation of the terms and conditions of IHG Rewards Club. Such violations are considered fraudulent by IHG Rewards Club and IHG. As such we have terminated your IHG Rewards Club account, including forfeiture of all points accrued."

I called the customer care rep on the email and long-story short, my account has been terminated for 'signing up for offers that I was not targeted'. I was informed the decision is final. The rep was very straight to the point. I've found a couple of references to members having their accounts terminated online but scant information if they were able to have their account re-instated. Has anyone else had their account terminated? Were they able to have their accounts/points re-instated? Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help!
bgmike is offline  
Old Jun 2, 14, 7:08 pm
  #2  
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You tried to defraud them, so they fired you as a customer. Now, you want back in?

I would start off with a new program at another chain, carefully read the t&c and stay within them.

What happened to OP is more and more common and less & less tolerated.
Often1 is offline  
Old Jun 2, 14, 9:08 pm
  #3  
 
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This is sh*t. IHG suddenly closes so many accounts recently because of PROMOTION which was made for customer. Other chains never had this problem. They may close some accounts due to violation of something else, but not because of promotion.
scienm is offline  
Old Jun 2, 14, 9:58 pm
  #4  
404
 
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I disagree with the allegation of 'fraud'.

What is the 'intent' by the customer 'signing up' to a Promo ?

The customer 'intends' to stay at the company properties ( whether or not they are independently owned ).

'Fraud' is where there is 'intent' to steal or otherwise obtain goods or services without paying, or by financial deceit ( eg. passing worthless cheques ).

There can be no evidence of such an allegation, simply by virtue of the Company allegation of 'you weren't targeted' for one or more promos.

I admit, that I've gone through this. I think it depends on your account status at the time. Eg. RA ? AMB ? Plat ? Number of points in account ?

Having said that, I didn't receive the email the OP received. I simply got the 'error' at log in ( for a month ). I rang them ( 3 -4 times ). Eventually, they fully re-instated me. They referred to an 'infamous' promotional competition - where quite a number of account holders 'entered' too many times.

The argument has been, that if the 'system' allows you enter a promo, then the promoter MUST accept a degree of responsibility ... and THAT negates any reasonable potential allegation of 'fraud' on the part of the customer.
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Old Jun 2, 14, 11:28 pm
  #5  
 
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Welcome to the club

My account was terminated as well bgmike. They would not re-instate my account so I just moved on and now concentrating on other programs.

Last edited by FLYGVA; Jun 3, 14 at 12:00 am Reason: edited reqeust for trade out of post
lcpteck is offline  
Old Jun 2, 14, 11:36 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by 404 View Post

The argument has been, that if the 'system' allows you enter a promo, then the promoter MUST accept a degree of responsibility ... and THAT negates any reasonable potential allegation of 'fraud' on the part of the customer.
That is like arguing that if someone steals from a shop that it is the shop's fault for putting goods on display
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Jun 2, 14, 11:55 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
That is like arguing that if someone steals from a shop that it is the shop's fault for putting goods on display
Surely it is more akin to going into a shop that has a sign in the window saying Free Coffee for all Seniors and being a teenager asking for a free coffee. If the shopkeeper then gives you a free coffee can they turn around later and say you stole it because you were not targeted for this offer even though they are the ones who control the handing out of the free coffee. It doesn't quite sound like stealing to me.
I can't go and take the points, IHG has total control over their dispensation. They just choose not to exercise that control very well.
3544quebec is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 12:21 am
  #8  
404
 
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Hear hear ...

Well put ...
404 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 12:23 am
  #9  
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They simply don't value the business of those willing to sign up for offers they know they don't qualify for. Probably based on the assumption that someone that is willing to break the rules will eventually try to rip them off in other ways.

Sounds like a good way to do business to me.
RTW1 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 12:29 am
  #10  
 
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I find it hard to believe IHG would boot anyone purely for signing up for multiple promos - I actually doubt this is against any T&C. Many many members of this FT forum as well as blog readers routinely register for everything under the sun but stories of account termination are quite rare.

Did OP by any chance have another account with IHG? Perhaps requested too many price matches? Resold award rooms? Run quiz registration a few thousand times? There are many ways to run afoul of T&Cs but generic promo registration is unlikely to trigger it by itself...
azepine00 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 12:52 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
I find it hard to believe IHG would boot anyone purely for signing up for multiple promos - I actually doubt this is against any T&C.
They do indeed actively pursue people now who register for multiple non-public promo codes. If you are in good standing with them, you get warned. Otherwise your account is closed.

Probably it's related to overall improvements in their IT.
paulmoscow is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 1:14 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
Surely it is more akin to going into a shop that has a sign in the window saying Free Coffee for all Seniors and being a teenager asking for a free coffee. If the shopkeeper then gives you a free coffee can they turn around later and say you stole it because you were not targeted for this offer even though they are the ones who control the handing out of the free coffee. It doesn't quite sound like stealing to me.
I can't go and take the points, IHG has total control over their dispensation. They just choose not to exercise that control very well.
Except that there isn't a storekeeper standing there all day. The sign may say "free coffee for OAPs" and rely on the honesty of people who are not OAPs not to take the coffees

Should a teenager be spotted taking a coffee, nothing wrong with the shop taking the coffee back and banning them from the store

Again, its blaming the owner for trusting its customers
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 1:38 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by bgmike View Post
"It has come to our attention that some of your recent IHG Rewards Club account activities are in violation of the terms and conditions of IHG Rewards Club. Such violations are considered fraudulent by IHG Rewards Club and IHG. As such we have terminated your IHG Rewards Club account, including forfeiture of all points accrued."
Additional information should be given to make sure this story is simply true and/or if other reasons may explain the account closed.
nicolas75 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 1:39 am
  #14  
 
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The thing that always baffles me with this one is they know there is a problem and they keep banning people who try/do it. Why don't they just fix the system and close the loophole?

Surely that would be much easier for everyone.

It's a joke that they send you a link to a promo and you need to enter your membership number and a code. They have sent you an email with your membership number imbedded in it why do you need to enter things again? It should be a case of one click and you're registered and their system picks up the promo
You have been targeted for.
chrism20 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 14, 1:49 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Except that there isn't a storekeeper standing there all day. The sign may say "free coffee for OAPs" and rely on the honesty of people who are not OAPs not to take the coffees

Should a teenager be spotted taking a coffee, nothing wrong with the shop taking the coffee back and banning them from the store

Again, its blaming the owner for trusting its customers
Still disagree. The shop/stealing analogy was your's and needs to be applied consistently to have any validity. The fact that the shopkeeper is virtual in IHG's case does not mean the shopkeeper is not there. The teenager taking the coffee is very different from the teenager being handed the coffee by those in control of the coffee. IHG has possession and control of the points and IHG gives them out - it is the virtual shopkeeper. The correct analogy is not a teenager actively taking a coffee, it is a teenager asking for a free coffee and the shopkeeper handing it to him.

In fact, an even more rigid analogy would be a sign in the window saying Free Coffee for Those Eligible. Someone goes in and asks for a free coffee is given it and then afterwards charged with theft because the shopkeeper mistakenly gave it to an ineligible customer even though the customer had no way of knowing the eligibility criteria.
The customer has no idea if they are eligible or not. Sometimes when you register for IHG promos you get a rejection saying you are ineligible. Is it not then reasonable in the absence of being provided eligibility criteria to rely on the system to decide given that it clearly has that capability.
Is there actually anything in the Ts+Cs that says you can't attempt to register for promos that you have not been targeted for. The great majority of promos that IHG runs I get no personal invitation to participate in - I have no idea if they are targeted/restricted or not. To expect customers to discern which offers are general and open to all and which are not is unreasonable.
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