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What exactly does member rate flexible mean?

What exactly does member rate flexible mean?

Old Jul 14, 22, 8:36 am
  #1  
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What exactly does member rate flexible mean?

Silly me, I made a reservation at the Sheraton Nuremberg for September booking a member rate flexible cancelation policy, without clicking on the rate details.

Upon seeing the reservation, I now see that it shows cancel 90 days prior to arrival to avoid penalty of full payment.

I then called customer service if there is a grace period to cancel the reservation since I just booked it 30 minutes ago. He put me on hold and came back to me and said the cancelation policy was an error and the property would contact me within a few days.

So I called the hotel and they said they never got a call from Marriott. So I called customer service again to speak with a supervisor.

She told me that member flexible rate doesn't mean the rate is flexible. It could be a non-refundable flexible rate. The term flexible implies not prepaid but paid upon arrival. She also said that there is no 24 hour grace period to cancel my reservation because the rate is cancel 90 days prior to arrival.

So is that what it means? There is absolutely nothing going on in Nuremberg during my stay and the daily rate doesn't fluctuate so much during September and even October.

So take this as a lesson guys, just because it says Member rate flexible, have to click on the rate details to see the actual cancelation policy. It could be 90 days, 120 days, 180 days before arrival because you're SOL as there is no 24h grace period to cancel the reservation.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 9:35 am
  #2  
 
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Woof that's ridiculous. I have a habit of always checking cancellation policy and putting an alert the day before in my google calendar.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 9:37 am
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You realise this yourself now but I *always* expand the rate details to see the full cancellation policy before confirming, regardless of what it describes the rate is in the heading.

I even do this for points bookings because it's a good habit to reinforce.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by yurtripper View Post
You realise this yourself now but I *always* expand the rate details to see the full cancellation policy before confirming, regardless of what it describes the rate is in the heading.

I even do this for points bookings because it's a good habit to reinforce.
I agree that it's a good habit to check the policy every time. However, the language chosen to describe this room rate should mean what it implies. To me, "flexible" does not mean "pay later". I'm sick of these companies excusing this type of behavior by saying we should have read the full terms when they very easily could describe the rate as "nonrefundable" instead of "flexible".
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Old Jul 14, 22, 10:51 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by yurtripper View Post
You realise this yourself now but I *always* expand the rate details to see the full cancellation policy before confirming, regardless of what it describes the rate is in the heading.

I even do this for points bookings because it's a good habit to reinforce.
Actually I check the rate details too. But I've been doing several reservations today, and somehow this one slipped.

Prior to booking, I did check rate details of the same property the week after my current stay and other dates, same period. They were cancel 1d before arrival.

But it didn't fit my travel plans. So I booked the current dates on my reservation thinking that on this particular hotel, all member rate flexible would have the same cancel policy booked months from now. It's just a bit odd that it seems like every Tuesday to Thursday is cancel 90d before arrival. But Friday to Monday is cancel 1d before arrival under the heading "member rate flexible"
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Last edited by supatight80; Jul 14, 22 at 10:58 am
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Old Jul 14, 22, 12:46 pm
  #6  
 
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yeah all it takes is one personal screw up and a few hundred lost to never make that mistake again!

it is especially important for me given that my standard corp rate never required a deposit ever, for any category, and that changed with only very specific tourist hot spots last year (i'm looking at you domes miramare corfu), so i certainly keep an eye on it every time now--but good to remind about this because it is very easy for frequent travelers to get complacent before one gets bonvoy'd!
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Old Jul 14, 22, 1:05 pm
  #7  
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This is f$ckd up though...I looked at Major OTAs with same property Sheraton Nuremberg, with exact same dates of my reservation, # of pax, exact everything and they all offer Flexible Cancel Policy 1d before arrival.

But ALL of Marriott's flexible rate policy is 90d before arrival on my dates. It's the hotel that determines rates and cancel policy in all booking channels. So why is it that Agoda, Booking.com, etc have flex policy of 1d before arrival but Marriott is 90d on the exact same dates I accidentally booked.

If there was something going on during those dates, then all the OTAs should have 90d cancel policy too... Something doesn't add up...



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Old Jul 14, 22, 1:29 pm
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It would be simple enough for Marriott IT to require an acknowledgement check box that the cancellation deadline has passed when making the reservation.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 2:41 pm
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Well, rather than join the unquestioning chorus of “should have checked the cancellation policy”, I just tried a dummy booking at the Sheraton Nuremberg for 17 Sep.

The “Member Flexible Rate” is showing the same price, Eur142, with a 1 day before cancellation penalty.

The may well suggest that the OP inadvertently stumbled upon a rogue rate, and that there is a clear and obvious case for the OP to be able to cancel without penalty under the *proper* T&Cs for this particular rate.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 8:21 pm
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OP, I’m rusty on the BRG rules, but could you not submit a BRG for this reservation?

I totally agree that member flexible rate should mean fully cancellable. There is something fishy going on here!
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Old Jul 14, 22, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
OP, Im rusty on the BRG rules, but could you not submit a BRG for this reservation?

I totally agree that member flexible rate should mean fully cancellable. There is something fishy going on here!
I wish this was BRGable. But current BRG rules state that one must book the lowest rate available (which in this property was a non-refundable pre-pay rate). Also, they have rate parity. Agoda is just not showing taxes. But after taxes, same rate.
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Old Jul 14, 22, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by supatight80 View Post
I then called customer service if there is a grace period to cancel the reservation since I just booked it 30 minutes ago. He put me on hold and came back to me and said the cancelation policy was an error and the property would contact me within a few days.

So I called the hotel and they said they never got a call from Marriott. So I called customer service again to speak with a supervisor.

She told me that member flexible rate doesn't mean the rate is flexible. It could be a non-refundable flexible rate. The term flexible implies not prepaid but paid upon arrival. She also said that there is no 24 hour grace period to cancel my reservation because the rate is cancel 90 days prior to arrival.
The obvious explanation is that it's an error, like the first agent said. Maybe the first agent sent a message. Maybe they didn't. But it's clearly a mistake based on the fact that the OTAs have the 1-day cancel policy. Probably just got copy-pasted by whoever loaded the rate, maybe they copy-pasted the rates and rules from a holiday or something. Simple easy typo-like explanation. Way more likely than the hotel saying "okay let's screw people with a 90-day cancel policy 3 days a week but only if they book this rate on Marriott.com not if they book the exact same rate on an OTA where we pay a commission"...

Do you actually need to cancel the res? Surely if you do & you call up the hotel (not Marriott), they will cancel without imposing the penalty.

All that said, one thing I have seen a lot of is bookings that can't be "canceled" without a penalty (sometimes after a certain period of time) but can freely be "changed" etc. -- lots of squirrely stuff I don't tend to see over on the Hyatt side.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 3:21 am
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post

All that said, one thing I have seen a lot of is bookings that can't be "canceled" without a penalty (sometimes after a certain period of time) but can freely be "changed" etc. -- lots of squirrely stuff I don't tend to see over on the Hyatt side.
Actually, thats a good point, and something Ive used before. Marriotts IT allows changes even if you are within the cancellation window. So change your reservation to 4 months out, then cancel it (if you need to).
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Old Jul 15, 22, 4:01 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
Actually, thats a good point, and something Ive used before. Marriotts IT allows changes even if you are within the cancellation window. So change your reservation to 4 months out, then cancel it (if you need to).
OMG you guys are right. The rate details only say non cancellable (Unlike the prepay rates which clearly say non cancellable AND non changeable).

But in any event, thanks as usual to Christina and Robert (The Lurkers), they expedited my concerns to the hotel with screenshots of OTA and the hotel has reached out to me that they made a note on my reservation that my cancelation policy will be 1 day prior to arrival.

Now I just wish the CS team were all like the Lurkers..

BTW, I always thought that bookings made within 24 hours even non-refundable ones can be canceled without penalty. So that is not the case? I've never canceled a non-refundable before so don't know the answer.
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Old Jul 15, 22, 5:50 am
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Originally Posted by supatight80 View Post
...BTW, I always thought that bookings made within 24 hours even non-refundable ones can be canceled without penalty. So that is not the case? I've never canceled a non-refundable before so don't know the answer.
I was thinking the same thing. I've always seen reference to the 24 hour cancelation policy when making a non-refundable Bonvoy reservation.

IMHO, the terminology is flawed. If flexible refers to the rate, does that not indicate it may change by the time you consume your stay? I've not experienced such a concept.As well, it makes little sense to refer to when payment is settled, as the choices have always been either payment upon booking, or upon checkout. A logical interpretation would be a reference to the cancelation deadline. I would most likely have made the same "error" as supatight80, and we are both pretty seasoned travelers. Glad the lurkers were able to help you out.
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