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-   -   Points booking - non-cancelable? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/intercontinental-hotels-ihg-rewards-club-intercontinental-ambassador/1883319-points-booking-non-cancelable.html)

Pookynubbers Dec 17, 17 8:12 pm

Points booking - non-cancelable?
 
Hello -

Looking for some advice. I'm considering cancelling my res at the Intercontinental HK. I booked 2 nights for 60,000 points each, they (Twitter and voice line) are saying that if I cancel, they will charge me one night's rate (but the points go back) No depoist shown on my card, and the T/C says...


"Canceling your reservation or failing to arrive will result in forfeiture of your deposit. Taxes may apply. Failing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reservation will result in cancellation of the remainder of your reservation. Points + Cash bookings are charged immediately, and cancellations are refunded in points only."
​​​​​​​

Has anyone had experience disputing this charge with the hotel direclty? or even their credit card?

Thanks in advance for tips

Dave Noble Dec 17, 17 9:57 pm

What is there to dispute? you have a non cancellable rate

demue Dec 17, 17 10:07 pm

Slowly, OP needs to give more info. A points redemption in general is cancelable and refundable up to a certain day (e.g. 24 or 48hrs prior to check in). It is not clear if OP already at that stage. Unless it some special period like New Year or so where special restrictions may apply.

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 12:25 am


Originally Posted by demue (Post 29186589)
Slowly, OP needs to give more info. A points redemption in general is cancelable and refundable up to a certain day (e.g. 24 or 48hrs prior to check in). It is not clear if OP already at that stage. Unless it some special period like New Year or so where special restrictions may apply.

thanks for calming Dave down. So the details; stay is 12/28 and checkout on New Yearís Eve. (3 night total) the terms and conditions state cancellation will result in loss of deposit. And that cash+points will result in the points being refunded but not the cash. (Again this was an all points booking)

So what they are saying is tfat I made a deposit...?...
and that itís equal to 1 night....

Except that isnít really clear in their T/C - so thet is what is in dispute. Perhaps interpreting the policy differently and donít know how others would understand their intention. Or perhaps Iím not seeing the full TC

Dave Noble Dec 18, 17 4:45 am

The terms that you have posted indicates that it is a restricted booking which has no free cancellation that was made

If you cancel, then you are liable for the cancellation penalty


Originally Posted by demue (Post 29186589)
Slowly, OP needs to give more info. A points redemption in general is cancelable and refundable up to a certain day (e.g. 24 or 48hrs prior to check in). It is not clear if OP already at that stage. Unless it some special period like New Year or so where special restrictions may apply.

Not always - it is possible to have points bookings which are inflexible


Originally Posted by Pookynubbers (Post 29186890)



So what they are saying is tfat I made a deposit...?...
and that it’s equal to 1 night....

Except that isn’t really clear in their T/C - so thet is what is in dispute. Perhaps interpreting the policy differently and don’t know how others would understand their intention. Or perhaps I’m not seeing the full TC

What it is stating is that there is no cancellation allowed and if you cancel/fail to show, then there will be a penalty ; this is no different to any other points reservation cancelled after latest cancellation time

being the christmas/new year period, it is not that surprising that a hotel may have stringent cancellation penalty - if on the original booking confirmation, then it is something that was agreed to

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 5:11 am


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 29187257)
The terms that you have posted indicates that it is a restricted booking which has no free cancellation that was made

If you cancel, then you are liable for the cancellation penalty



Not always - it is possible to have points bookings which are inflexible



What it is stating is that there is no cancellation allowed and if you cancel/fail to show, then there will be a penalty ; this is no different to any other points reservation cancelled after latest cancellation time

being the christmas/new year period, it is not that surprising that a hotel may have stringent cancellation penalty - if on the original booking confirmation, then it is something that was agreed to

I think the issue is that there is two different paragrpahs of T/C one on the email and one on the reservation details. The reservation agent over the phone never told me about the T/C of cancellation policy when I made the reservation. So I will make an attempt to cancel once more with the hotel (10 days notice should suffice) and if they don't change their mind - I'll do a chargeback. No card present and not telling me about the cancellation policy should make it an easy dispute.

Dave Noble Dec 18, 17 5:27 am


Originally Posted by Pookynubbers (Post 29187307)
I think the issue is that there is two different paragrpahs of T/C one on the email and one on the reservation details. The reservation agent over the phone never told me about the T/C of cancellation policy when I made the reservation. So I will make an attempt to cancel once more with the hotel (10 days notice should suffice) and if they don't change their mind - I'll do a chargeback. No card present and not telling me about the cancellation policy should make it an easy dispute.

The hotel has the details of the confirmation that it gave and that there was no cancellation allowed. 10 days is irrelevant is the policy does not allow the cancellation

You have even posted the confirmation that it is non cancellable

1 nights cost sounds like a lot better value than the other being 120,000 points tbh

tentseller Dec 18, 17 5:35 am


Originally Posted by Pookynubbers (Post 29186890)


thanks for calming Dave down. So the details; stay is 12/28 and checkout on New Yearís Eve. (3 night total) the terms and conditions state cancellation will result in loss of deposit. And that cash+points will result in the points being refunded but not the cash. (Again this was an all points booking)

So what they are saying is tfat I made a deposit...?...
and that itís equal to 1 night....

Except that isnít really clear in their T/C - so thet is what is in dispute. Perhaps interpreting the policy differently and donít know how others would understand their intention. Or perhaps Iím not seeing the full TC


Originally Posted by Pookynubbers (Post 29187307)
I think the issue is that there is two different paragrpahs of T/C one on the email and one on the reservation details. The reservation agent over the phone never told me about the T/C of cancellation policy when I made the reservation. So I will make an attempt to cancel once more with the hotel (10 days notice should suffice) and if they don't change their mind - I'll do a chargeback. No card present and not telling me about the cancellation policy should make it an easy dispute.

High season for IC HK at your booking time.
Good luck with your chargeback.

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 6:15 am


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 29187328)
The hotel has the details of the confirmation that it gave and that there was no cancellation allowed. 10 days is irrelevant is the policy does not allow the cancellation

You have even posted the confirmation that it is non cancellable

1 nights cost sounds like a lot better value than the other being 120,000 points tbh

10 days is irrelevant I agree. But whatís not irrelevant is that the hotel did not disclose this policy at the time of booking which was made over the phone.

Im not sure what you mean by 1 nights cost sounds like a lot better value than the other being 120,000 points but itís probably also irrelevant.

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 6:18 am


Originally Posted by tentseller (Post 29187340)
High season for IC HK at your booking time.
Good luck with your chargeback.

well, if itís high season then they know they can fill the room and might not want to burn a client. Who knows their corporate philosophy though.

The chargeback shouldnít be hard - no CC present, and not disclosing the T/C should be enough for Chase.

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 6:19 am

Iíll be sure to keep everyone updated though.

Lionheart Dec 18, 17 7:42 am

Interesting that this seems so clear cut to others.

As a casual IHG member, I would always believe that the deposit is your points. And so you will lose the points you booked with (The deposit, is after all, your 120,000 points).

Of course the others here know what they are talking about & are almost certainly technically correct, but as a consumer/customer, it's very easy to argue that you have been misled & your CC should be all over it as an unauthorised / fraudulent transaction if needs be.

Deposit: "a sum payable as a first instalment on the purchase of something or as a pledge for a contract, the balance being payable later."

You can prove what your deposit was (120,000 points) and that these points are non-refundable. Therefore you lose your deposit of points, you've made no cash deposit whatsoever. Very simple for a credit card company :) Unless they have a different definition of deposit, they are ambiguous.

scubaccr Dec 18, 17 7:43 am


Originally Posted by Pookynubbers (Post 29187441)


well, if it’s high season then they know they can fill the room and might not want to burn a client. Who knows their corporate philosophy though.

The chargeback shouldn’t be hard - no CC present, and not disclosing the T/C should be enough for Chase.

It is extremely well known Flex and award nights on premium dates often come with less flexible than normal cancelation terms. You can never simply assume award/flex are cancel always upto 24hours before checkin, especially Xmas, New Year, Chines New Year, Easter periods.
On a Flex-rate cash booking the IC would no doubt have charged cost of first night at booking time against guest cancel/noshow, with award night the IC won't charge as then refunding at checkin/departure is a bit of a pain.
(Note on booking IHG hotel can charge the room booking fee ADR (full payment) Flex Rate deposit, at any time post booking including upto arrival/checkin. Not taking a CC deposit with 1-2day of booking from supplied CC does not let you off, whilst noshow on flex/award can will be collected usually after no show at checkin date)

1. You seemingly admit you booked a non-cancel 2night stay, where penalty is 1nights cost. Looks like you would rather get 60k of 120k points back, versus 120k refund and $$$ CC charge for the first night.
2. Unfortunately with award nights in this circumstance, similar to a noshow on a 2nighter/multinight award booking, IHG t+c's are that hotel refunds the points (120k for your 2nights) and charges the BAR for your first night to your CC provided at time you booked your stay.
3. Do not attempt CC chargeback, your CC provider will take a dim view of trying to avoid a legit hotel fee, and the hotel can in any case defend the charging of 1nights room cost

Lionheart Dec 18, 17 7:51 am


Originally Posted by scubaccr (Post 29187651)
It is extremely well known Flex and award nights on premium dates often come with less flexible than normal cancelation terms. You can never simply assume award/flex are cancel always upto 24hours before checkin, especially Xmas, New Year, Chines New Year, Easter periods.
On a Flex-rate cash booking the IC would no doubt have charged cost of first night at booking time against guest cancel/noshow, with award night the IC won't charge as then refunding at checkin/departure is a bit of a pain.

1. You seemingly admit you booked a non-cancel 2night stay, where penalty is 1nights cost. Looks like you would rather get 60k of 120k points back, versus 120k refund and $$$ CC charge for the first night.
2. Unfortunately with award nights in this circumstance, similar to a noshow on a 2nighter/multinight award booking, IHG t+c's are that hotel refunds the points (120k for your 2nights) and charges the BAR for your first night to your CC provided at time you booked your stay.
3. Do not attempt CC chargeback, your CC provider will take a dim view of trying to avoid a legit hotel fee, and the hotel can in any case defend the charging of 1nights room cost

With regards to point 2 - if this was booked over the telephone (which appears to be the case), then it would have needed to be explained that IHG T&Cs are a refund of the points and instead a Credit Card charge will be made for a no-show. A website can just show the T&Cs which would instead need explaining over the phone. OP can claim it was mis-sold (depending on what was said, I can only speculate) and they, IHG, should listen to the call again.

EDIT: Unless you're willing to argue a CC chargeback (and then potentially risk IHG Rewards Suspension), convincing IHG will be hard work, I'd just like to think you do have a small chance, rather than no chance :)

scubaccr Dec 18, 17 7:53 am


Originally Posted by Lionheart (Post 29187647)
Interesting that this seems so clear cut to others.

As a casual IHG member, I would always believe that the deposit is your points. And so you will lose the points you booked with (The deposit, is after all, your 120,000 points).

Of course the others here know what they are talking about & are almost certainly technically correct, but as a consumer/customer, it's very easy to argue that you have been misled & your CC should be all over it as an unauthorised / fraudulent transaction if needs be.

Deposit: "a sum payable as a first instalment on the purchase of something or as a pledge for a contract, the balance being payable later."

You can prove what your deposit was (120,000 points) and that these points are non-refundable. Therefore you lose your deposit of points, you've made no cash deposit whatsoever. Very simple for a credit card company :) Unless they have a different definition of deposit, they are ambiguous.

No not at all, advance CC payments from CC is always taken by the hotel, any award points do not goto hotel but IHG corporate. IHG Corporate then pay the hotel post guests stay for guests award nights, and if guest noshows (or cancels a non-cancel/non-penalty award stay) reported by hotel to IHG corporate, IHG refunds points to guest rather than IHG paying hotel, and the hotel then needs bill the guest.

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 5:27 pm


Originally Posted by Lionheart (Post 29187675)
With regards to point 2 - if this was booked over the telephone (which appears to be the case), then it would have needed to be explained that IHG T&Cs are a refund of the points and instead a Credit Card charge will be made for a no-show. A website can just show the T&Cs which would instead need explaining over the phone. OP can claim it was mis-sold (depending on what was said, I can only speculate) and they, IHG, should listen to the call again.

EDIT: Unless you're willing to argue a CC chargeback (and then potentially risk IHG Rewards Suspension), convincing IHG will be hard work, I'd just like to think you do have a small chance, rather than no chance :)

thanks! I hope Iíve got a chance.



​​​​​​​yeah I always think I have a good chance.
​​​​​​​

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 5:28 pm


Originally Posted by Lionheart (Post 29187647)
Interesting that this seems so clear cut to others.

As a casual IHG member, I would always believe that the deposit is your points. And so you will lose the points you booked with (The deposit, is after all, your 120,000 points).

Of course the others here know what they are talking about & are almost certainly technically correct, but as a consumer/customer, it's very easy to argue that you have been misled & your CC should be all over it as an unauthorised / fraudulent transaction if needs be.

Deposit: "a sum payable as a first instalment on the purchase of something or as a pledge for a contract, the balance being payable later."

You can prove what your deposit was (120,000 points) and that these points are non-refundable. Therefore you lose your deposit of points, you've made no cash deposit whatsoever. Very simple for a credit card company :) Unless they have a different definition of deposit, they are ambiguous.

thanks I agree!!!

minz56 Dec 18, 17 7:07 pm

I am curious as to why the hotel has your CC details? Did you provide the details over the phone at time of booking? I am also confused by the fact that you say you had a three night booking but only two on points. Was one night paid in cash? This would then explain why you gave your credit card details.

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 7:23 pm


Originally Posted by minz56 (Post 29190483)
I am curious as to why the hotel has your CC details? Did you provide the details over the phone at time of booking? I am also confused by the fact that you say you had a three night booking but only two on points. Was one night paid in cash? This would then explain why you gave your credit card details.

honestly - I donít remember if I gave them or not. I was booking 6 flights and 4 hotels in 3 countries - all in a 2 hour span. It was also 2am. I did have the first night on my IHG anniversary free night.

MSPeconomist Dec 18, 17 7:48 pm


Originally Posted by Pookynubbers (Post 29190532)


honestly - I donít remember if I gave them or not. I was booking 6 flights and 4 hotels in 3 countries - all in a 2 hour span. It was also 2am. I did have the first night on my IHG anniversary free night.

If you have two nights on points and one night not on points, this would probably be treated as two separate reservations with a different cancellation penalty for each one.

Pookynubbers Dec 18, 17 8:04 pm


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 29190606)
If you have two nights on points and one night not on points, this would probably be treated as two separate reservations with a different cancellation penalty for each one.

correct. The free night award shows as cancelable but the points booking says no dice.

I was hoping their would be some better treatment as opposed to some draconian policy that makes no real sense. They wonít have trouble selling the room - so creating a disgruntled customer is a poor business decision - the customer is almost always right. Iím a Hyatt globalist and would like to stay somewhat loyal to ihg but they are making it difficult.

utgypsy Dec 18, 17 8:46 pm

May I be the outlier here and just offer a perspective that may not apply in this particular circumstance, yet is worth being aware of. I booked an IHG stay over Christmas week on points 11 months ago and fortunately kept the original email confirmation showing that I could cancel without any penalty up until day prior to check in. Each night was booked as a separate confirmation to allow some flexibility since I couldn't yet book my flights. Fast forward to this week, I had need to cancel just one of the nights and when viewing the reservation through my IHG account it showed as being non cancelable. I contacted customer service and they were able to pull my original booking terms and refund the points.

serpens Dec 19, 17 9:40 am


Originally Posted by utgypsy (Post 29190764)
[...] kept the original email confirmation showing that I could cancel without any penalty up until day prior to check in.

[...] IHG account it showed as being non cancelable. [...]

Poor business practice by IHG, in my opinion. Poor business practice made even worse if IHG did not notify you that it wanted to change the terms.

olympian Dec 19, 17 10:49 am


Originally Posted by serpens (Post 29192498)
Poor business practice by IHG, in my opinion. Poor business practice made even worse if IHG did not notify you that it wanted to change the terms.

Agreed, but that could have simply been because the hotel noticed all of the single-night bookings and tried to merge them tomgether somehow to keep you in the same room for the whole stay. But at least IHG corrected it when contacted.

Dave Noble Dec 19, 17 1:04 pm


Originally Posted by Pookynubbers (Post 29190648)


correct. The free night award shows as cancelable but the points booking says no dice.

I was hoping their would be some better treatment as opposed to some draconian policy that makes no real sense. They wonít have trouble selling the room - so creating a disgruntled customer is a poor business decision - the customer is almost always right. Iím a Hyatt globalist and would like to stay somewhat loyal to ihg but they are making it difficult.

If the customer makes a booking and the original confirmation states that it is non-cancellable
The customer then wants to cancel
The customer is not right in trying to insist that the terms should not apply

There is no reason to be disgruntled if the company is simply keeping to the terms at time of booking

vsevolod4 Dec 21, 17 12:34 pm

Another tack you may want to try is instead of canceling, to change the booking. For this, you may need to contact the hotel reservations directly. Change it to a future date when you can use the rooms. This can work for "noncancellable" paid reservations as well, especially if you're a frequent guest and/or have status.
I wouldn't abuse this, but I've done this a few times (both free and prepaid reservations) due to flight disruptions; if the reason you're not there is you got stranded due to a flight cancellation/misconnection/etc., then they are likely to be sympathetic. But not the central reservation; this is at the discretion of the hotel. Some hotels, when you call them and ask for the hotel reservation transfer you to the central 800 number. Hang up, call back, talk to the front desk and explain your problem.
But if you knew it was noncancellable when booked, then you likely have no case. Or if it was cancellable up to 48 hours, and now it's 24 hours before, it's no noncancellable.

I also agree with other posters; I think the penalty for a "noncancellable" points reservation is that you lose the points; in this case 1 night.

Pookynubbers Dec 22, 17 3:20 pm

Hello - final update:

Reservation Was canceled and all points and free night certificate was posted back to my account. No charges for the cancellation. It took a little effort and not accepting no a couple of times. But that’s somewhat the norm in the customer service industry. I’veearnsd you just gotta keep trying and eventually they will see that it’s more beneficial to have a happy customer if it doesn’t “cost” them anything at all.

sosafan Dec 26, 17 12:28 pm


Originally Posted by Dave Noble (Post 29193454)
If the customer makes a booking and the original confirmation states that it is non-cancellable.
The customer then wants to cancel.
The customer is not right in trying to insist that the terms should not apply

I think the customer was right to ask and the hotel was right to comply.
Terms and Conditions might (or might not) be clear. But they weren't written with every situation in mind.

Sisyphus1carus Jun 18, 19 3:18 pm

Hello, I have a free night 'certificate' from my IHG Creation credit card in the UK.
If I need to cancel the night will the free night certificate be returned to me for use again (within the expiry date of course).


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