Unbelievably poor customer service experience

Old Feb 23, 19, 7:06 pm
  #1  
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Unbelievably poor customer service experience

After 30 years as an IHG Ambassador member I'm ready to cut my membership card in half and send it back except I don't know if anyone would care. I have been Hilton Diamond for 30 years as well and had, maybe, 5 issues. IHG seems to be 1 in every five stays. The biggest issue is that their front line customer service people have poor communications skills, don't understand issues, and, even if they do, don't seem to be empowered to resolve them. They just read from a script about how happy they are to have me as a customer. The latest was the Venetian in Las Vegas. Arrived at check-in at 11 pm only to be told that they had three reservations in the system for me. I only made one and only one showed in the IHG app. The desk clerk showed them to me but they all had the same confirmation number. The same number that I had on the app showing one reservation. They told me that they would have to charge me for three rooms and that I would have to take it up with IHG. The next day I went to the app only to find yet another pending reservation for that day, checking in later that afternoon at 3 pm and checking out earlier that morning at 11 am. Obviously a problem with the reservation system. I called IHG and the person told me that the issue was between me and the property and he couldn't help me. He did, open a 'case', but he said that I would have to dispute it on my credit card. After I hung up I received a notice that the Hotel had charged my card again for another night. All four charges show the same reservation number. Obviously a problem with the IHG reservation system. Intercontinental properties are great but the rates are high enough as it is, without my being charged four times the rate.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by MitchR View Post
After 30 years as an IHG Ambassador member I'm ready to cut my membership card in half and send it back except I don't know if anyone would care. I have been Hilton Diamond for 30 years as well and had, maybe, 5 issues. IHG seems to be 1 in every five stays. The biggest issue is that their front line customer service people have poor communications skills, don't understand issues, and, even if they do, don't seem to be empowered to resolve them. They just read from a script about how happy they are to have me as a customer. The latest was the Venetian in Las Vegas. Arrived at check-in at 11 pm only to be told that they had three reservations in the system for me. I only made one and only one showed in the IHG app. The desk clerk showed them to me but they all had the same confirmation number. The same number that I had on the app showing one reservation. They told me that they would have to charge me for three rooms and that I would have to take it up with IHG. The next day I went to the app only to find yet another pending reservation for that day, checking in later that afternoon at 3 pm and checking out earlier that morning at 11 am. Obviously a problem with the reservation system. I called IHG and the person told me that the issue was between me and the property and he couldn't help me. He did, open a 'case', but he said that I would have to dispute it on my credit card. After I hung up I received a notice that the Hotel had charged my card again for another night. All four charges show the same reservation number. Obviously a problem with the IHG reservation system. Intercontinental properties are great but the rates are high enough as it is, without my being charged four times the rate.
I've noticed that the call center for IHG is useless. I'm a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium and they seem to understand me the first time I explain something. Not sure how Marriott routes their calls for Titaniums but so far I've always gotten someone in the US vs IHG which always seems to be offshore. FYI, I'm not renewing my Ambassador when it comes up for renewal either.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:20 am
  #3  
 
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Have you tried IHG on Twitter, I find them much more proactive than calling?
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Old Feb 24, 19, 11:35 am
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I guess that it is time that I get into the 21st Century and use Twitter. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 12:27 pm
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Email ambassador service centre and you get faster response and they are pretty quick to resolve the issue.

Let Venetian charge you and if it proves to be their platform problem or the mistake from their employee, ask Venetian to pay back 3 times damage and comp the room.

If you have done nothing wrong, this is the chance for you to show the hotel who is the boss.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 6:25 pm
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If exactly the same reservation number and each reservation is for 1room , then hotel has illegally charged you for anything more than the first room. Issue an immediate chargeback and email hotel stating this.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by scubaccr View Post
If exactly the same reservation number and each reservation is for 1room , then hotel has illegally charged you for anything more than the first room. Issue an immediate chargeback and email hotel stating this.
Agreed. Your credit card company can deal with this if the hotel cannot.

As an example. once after EBay tried to screw me around by saying the item had been shipped and I did not receive it, Mastercard took all of my copies of the correspondence with EBay and refunded me the money EBay "took" from me earlier. Never heard back from EBay.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:07 am
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IHG must be reading FlyerTalk. I called again on 2-25 and I was transferred immediately to a Case Manager. She understood the issue instantly and fixed it. Credits are now on my card. It was resolved but still a bit upset that I had to spend nearly two hours on this.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:27 am
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I had an upcoming reservation with Crowne Plaza Times Square NY in March for just over a week, I tried to adjust the dates from the link on the original reservation email and it failed to work. On the IHG website, when I cancelled the whole reservation, the cancellation confirmation showed different rates to my original reservation email and would have cost an extra USD109 if I had stayed and not checked the bill to my booking. I assume they have the correct rates I booked, but obviously not.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by Mick163 View Post
I had an upcoming reservation with Crowne Plaza Times Square NY in March for just over a week, I tried to adjust the dates from the link on the original reservation email and it failed to work. On the IHG website, when I cancelled the whole reservation, the cancellation confirmation showed different rates to my original reservation email and would have cost an extra USD109 if I had stayed and not checked the bill to my booking. I assume they have the correct rates I booked, but obviously not.
Sometimes when seeing what difference a modification would make the website holds this change even though you cancel it. The hotel should have the original rate and if not just the confirmation email usually fixes it.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by MitchR View Post
IHG must be reading FlyerTalk. I called again on 2-25 and I was transferred immediately to a Case Manager. She understood the issue instantly and fixed it. Credits are now on my card. It was resolved but still a bit upset that I had to spend nearly two hours on this.
The coda to this thread is that front-line customer service is increasingly useless and mostly there for show. To get actual resolution of problems, you have to find your way to the top of the food chain (such as by intuiting CEO email addresses) or seeking alternate routes, such as Twitter (which actually is a good way to accelerate response in many cases). But I'd prefer to put the ingenuity and effort thus expended into something more useful, like, say, finding a cure for cancer.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by MitchR View Post
IHG must be reading FlyerTalk. I called again on 2-25 and I was transferred immediately to a Case Manager. She understood the issue instantly and fixed it. Credits are now on my card. It was resolved but still a bit upset that I had to spend nearly two hours on this.
Now the case is resolved, file a complaint directly at:

File a complaint

Also you can try to contact Max Tappeiner, the VP of customer service in Venetian to make a formal complaint while you are in the hotel. You can try [email protected] or [email protected] to try to make a contact. Alternatively, LinkedIn seemed to be the best way to find the said person.
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Old Feb 26, 19, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Danwriter View Post
The coda to this thread is that front-line customer service is increasingly useless and mostly there for show. To get actual resolution of problems, you have to find your way to the top of the food chain (such as by intuiting CEO email addresses) or seeking alternate routes, such as Twitter (which actually is a good way to accelerate response in many cases). But I'd prefer to put the ingenuity and effort thus expended into something more useful, like, say, finding a cure for cancer.
What bothers me about this is you know that they aren't really fixing the problem but just giving in, whether I am right or wrong, because I woke the sleeping bear. I really only want to be right when I am actually right. If I am wrong, I am sorry for the trouble I caused.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Mick163 View Post
I had an upcoming reservation with Crowne Plaza Times Square NY in March for just over a week, I tried to adjust the dates from the link on the original reservation email and it failed to work. On the IHG website, when I cancelled the whole reservation, the cancellation confirmation showed different rates to my original reservation email and would have cost an extra USD109 if I had stayed and not checked the bill to my booking. I assume they have the correct rates I booked, but obviously not.
Except modifying a reservation (online or contacting IHG/Hotel) is always under the covers a "Cancel & Rebook at the on the day rates and terms" (eg things like minimum stay rate if make longer/shorter stay. The only modify about the process is tht the IHG Reservation Number remains the same

So if you sucessfully mod dates of reservation, the new rates as notified when modding apply to your stay, not the original no longer booked rates in the email sent when you first booked

This is why if you book say 5nights stay, 3months out at real low flex rates whilst hotel has many rooms left, and decide 5days before stay you only need first 4 of 5 nights, and hope to save $$'s modding res to just 4nights, you often find the cancel+rebook 4days 5days out when hotel now high occupancy, actually costs more rather than saves you money.

Only option to reduce 5->4nights is at checkin to mention to checkin clerk you now only need first 4 nights. Often clerks simply remove said last night, droping off final night at that nights booked rate, rather than reprice. They are not meant to, and it annoys the hotel revenue managers, but with a queue of guests, they just want to get you checked in and move on to next guest.
Also harder to do this now, as these days many/most hotels flex rates are cancel by "day before checkin". Luckily majority (not all) of corp rate staysare still cancel to day of checkin.

Alas not a possible trick if you need drop first night of multinight stay. On longer stays, I often book first/last nights as individual res's so easy to drop a first/last night if travel plan changes, and avoid costly repricing

Last edited by scubaccr; Feb 27, 19 at 6:51 pm
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Old Mar 20, 19, 7:11 am
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As it turns out, the issue was with IHG's system. Somehow they created three distinct reservations. When I log on to the IHG site it only shows one. When I looked on the app it showed that I only had one but it also showed me checking in at 2 pm on the day that I was leaving but checking out at 11 am the same day. I don't blame the Venetian, they were just doing as instructed by IHG. Fortunately it was a very light night and the extra two room would have gone empty anyway so no harm no foul other than the two hours of wasted time.
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