Beware the IHG "Enrolling Stay" - Lost 90K points!

Old Jul 29, 15, 3:32 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Beware the IHG "Enrolling Stay" - Lost 90K points!

I stayed at the Intercontinental Beijing Beichen for 34 days for work in May-June of this year, and I signed up for Ambassador when I checked in. It was a really long haul being away from home for so long, but I figured I'd at least get a lot of points out of it that I could use with family. A few weeks after I got home, I checked my account and it only had 1,000 points total, but had registered my 34 nights.

I sent an email wondering why I had so few points and got a response, which I confirmed in a call to customer service. If you sign up at an IHG hotel during your stay, that stay gets a FLAT RATE of 1,000 points. My bill came out to around $9,000 dollars, and so at ten points per dollar, I forfeited about 90,000 points!!! I had no idea about any of this, and it's just horrible. I don't recall this ever happening with another program, and I also don't know how this policy does anything except rob people of points, since the entire initial stay earns the equivalent of $100 of spending.

There is apparently nothing I can do at this point, other than vent about it and warn others of this really awful IHG policy, but if anyone has any possible options, I'm all ears.

Relevant language from terms and conditions (wasn't told this at the desk when I enrolled, and wouldn't have imagined such a thing existed):

If you enroll in IHG® Rewards Club at the time of your initial stay in any IHG branded hotel excluding ANA partner hotel worldwide, you will be awarded 1,000 points for that qualified enrolling stay.

InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express® , EVEN® and HUALUXE® hotel brands worldwide, you will receive ten (10) points for each USD dollar or local currency equivalent paid toward Eligible Charges on your individual hotel room bill, when you pay Qualifying Room Rates, or the applicable airline miles.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 4:06 pm
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Wow, that's crappy.

Hopefully your warning will save someone else from the same fate.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 4:39 pm
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Thanks. Yeah, I feel pretty bamboozled by a loophole that seems to be specifically designed to stop people from earning more points for no reason at all. I wouldn't be so upset about it if it weren't such a large number of points, and if during that whole trip I was like, "Well, at least I'll get some points out of all of this work."
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Old Jul 29, 15, 4:43 pm
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I think there is a lot that can done. First you signed up at check in which is technically before your stay began. When IHG talks about during your stay they are referring to in the middle of your stay or at check out.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 5:52 pm
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Make sure you next high dollar stay is at another brand, and send IHG the receipt... That really sucks!
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Old Jul 29, 15, 6:05 pm
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The wording on the terms and conditions is

If you enrol in IHG® Rewards Club at the time of your initial stay in any IHG branded hotel excluding ANA partner hotel worldwide, you will be awarded 1,000 points for that qualified enrolling stay.
I'm guessing they could successfully say that standing at check-in could easily be classed as "The time of your initial stay". They would argue the minute you walk in your stay begins and so on.

I agree it sucks though - totally!! I'm not sure why they do that as with higher costing stays the new member would earn a decent wedge of points and that large early deposit may just encourage them to book their next stay with IHG and maybe change their behaviour resulting in less stays at a competitor whereas this has probably encouraged the OP to look elsewhere first in future.

Also isn't there something about extended stays not qualifying for points or am I thinking of another programme? If it is IHG would 34 nights have been too many for points?

Last edited by chrism20; Jul 29, 15 at 6:13 pm
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Old Jul 29, 15, 6:19 pm
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I would bet the original intent of this policy is to benefit the new member with AT LEAST 1,000 points upon the first stay. Surely you can escalate the matter of how this policy unintentionally short changed you up the ladder to someone with the power to make it right. Don't give up.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
I would bet the original intent of this policy is to benefit the new member with AT LEAST 1,000 points upon the first stay. Surely you can escalate the matter of how this policy unintentionally short changed you up the ladder to someone with the power to make it right. Don't give up.
I'd imagine they will get the same response as they have already had. Even the literature in the hotel says 1,000 points for the first stay. They haven't tried to hide it either it's in the regular text on the leaflet not the small print.

They might get a small gesture of goodwill but I can't see them going for 90k when it's crystal clear on the marketing in the hotels.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 6:47 pm
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Originally Posted by chrism20 View Post
I'd imagine they will get the same response as they have already had. Even the literature in the hotel says 1,000 points for the first stay. They haven't tried to hide it either it's in the regular text on the leaflet not the small print.
I absolutely understand that it is in the material. My main issue with it is I'm trying to understand WHY they would do it that way, aside from deleting a huge amount of points. I am quite sure this is in no way industry standard, for ANY reward program that you would get a token amount instead of what you spend the first time. I can't imagine it is for Hilton or Marriott, anyway. They KNEW I was going to be at the hotel for 34 days when I checked in, and they didn't mention that little detail that I would get 1K points instead of 90K.

Oh, and I did email them back to attempt to escalate it. We'll see where that goes. Maybe nowhere, but it's worth a shot.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by zaunstar View Post
If you enroll in IHG® Rewards Club at the time of your initial stay in any IHG branded hotel excluding ANA partner hotel worldwide, you will be awarded 1,000 points for that qualified enrolling stay.
Ouch!
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Old Jul 29, 15, 7:25 pm
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The purpose of the rule is that if a guest discovers the IHG Club during a stay they only receive a 1000 point token for that stay. If they knew about the program and enrolled a week before they stayed they would receive full points. Also you should know that the property should and will step up and give you the correct amount of points.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by zaunstar View Post
I absolutely understand that it is in the material. My main issue with it is I'm trying to understand WHY they would do it that way, aside from deleting a huge amount of points. I am quite sure this is in no way industry standard, for ANY reward program that you would get a token amount instead of what you spend the first time. I can't imagine it is for Hilton or Marriott, anyway. They KNEW I was going to be at the hotel for 34 days when I checked in, and they didn't mention that little detail that I would get 1K points instead of 90K.

Oh, and I did email them back to attempt to escalate it. We'll see where that goes. Maybe nowhere, but it's worth a shot.
No chance to escalate it I am afraid, as that is the rule. The hotel gets incented for enrolling you, and it's flagged in the system as such, you pay for it in reduced points.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by markis10
Originally Posted by zaunstar View Post
I absolutely understand that it is in the material. My main issue with it is I'm trying to understand WHY they would do it that way, aside from deleting a huge amount of points. I am quite sure this is in no way industry standard, for ANY reward program that you would get a token amount instead of what you spend the first time. I can't imagine it is for Hilton or Marriott, anyway. They KNEW I was going to be at the hotel for 34 days when I checked in, and they didn't mention that little detail that I would get 1K points instead of 90K.

Oh, and I did email them back to attempt to escalate it. We'll see where that goes. Maybe nowhere, but it's worth a shot.
No chance to escalate it I am afraid, as that is the rule. The hotel gets incented for enrolling you, and it's flagged in the system as such, you pay for it in reduced points.
I agree escalating is not the answer. Let the property know its not the Hilton HHonors program they participate in and to get serious and have IHG Club post the correct amount of points.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 10:46 pm
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No harm escalating it. Maybe it reaches someone a bit more empathic, as it is a nice way to drive away potent customers otherwise. Make sure to voice your bitter disappointment upon your first stay (of hopefully many) with IHG.

HTB.
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Old Jul 29, 15, 11:06 pm
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Originally Posted by zaunstar View Post
I stayed at the Intercontinental Beijing Beichen for 34 days for work in May-June of this year, and I signed up for Ambassador when I checked in. It was a really long haul being away from home for so long, but I figured I'd at least get a lot of points out of it that I could use with family. A few weeks after I got home, I checked my account and it only had 1,000 points total, but had registered my 34 nights. [/I]
When being advised to sign up - did anyone (e.g. from the hotel) tell you that you would be earning x points for the stay/per dollar?

If so, you could mention this, as well.
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