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Award stay - why cash forfeiture instead of points after cancellation deadline?

Award stay - why cash forfeiture instead of points after cancellation deadline?

 
Old Feb 13, 06, 2:17 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 379
Award stay - why cash forfeiture instead of points after cancellation deadline?

Why is there a cash forfeiture instead of simply losing starpoints if one cancels after the cancellation deadline?

"If you cancel after specified time on specified date the forfeiture amount will be speficied amount"

The award is for a stay over the Christmas holiday and the cancellation deadline is early November (I'd be less interested if the cancellation deadline was same day or the day prior to arrival). The value per point is 16.9 cents so the cash forfeiture amount is really quite high.
speedytimmy is offline  
Old Feb 13, 06, 3:00 pm
  #2  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Marriott Employee Level
Posts: 31,593
Originally Posted by speedytimmy
Why is there a cash forfeiture instead of simply losing starpoints if one cancels after the cancellation deadline?

"If you cancel after specified time on specified date the forfeiture amount will be speficied amount"

The award is for a stay over the Christmas holiday and the cancellation deadline is early November (I'd be less interested if the cancellation deadline was same day or the day prior to arrival). The value per point is 16.9 cents so the cash forfeiture amount is really quite high.
Because it says so in the Terms and Conditions of Membership?

10. Credit cards may be required to guarantee a Hotel Award reservation. Standard guarantee policies apply for all Hotel Awards. Members who fail to cancel a guaranteed Award reservation within the permitted cancellation time will be charged the lowest business (COR) rate applicable on the arrival night as a cancellation fee and/or such no-show may result in a loss of the redeemed Starpoints.
If you are asking why it is in the Terms and Conditions of Membership, my best guess is that it is a decision that is revenue-driven. The hotel stands to make more money from your default than from SPG for the Starpoints redeemed.

That being said, the T&C's are written in a fashion so that the hotels have a choice to either take the Starpoints redemption from SPG or the money from you; however, we would not want to see them take both, so I may have to get the wording adjusted on this a bit. Regardless, you are told of the possible worst-case scenario consequences in advance, which usually holds true in 99.9% of the cases I've seen.

Sincerely,


William R. Sanders
Customer Service Coordinator
Starwood Preferred Services

[email protected]
Starwood Lurker is offline  
Old Feb 13, 06, 3:29 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Programs: SPG Lifetime Plat, AA Gold, UA Gold, DL Silver, HH Gold, Vail Epic
Posts: 9,096
Originally Posted by speedytimmy
Why is there a cash forfeiture instead of simply losing starpoints if one cancels after the cancellation deadline?

"If you cancel after specified time on specified date the forfeiture amount will be speficied amount"

The award is for a stay over the Christmas holiday and the cancellation deadline is early November (I'd be less interested if the cancellation deadline was same day or the day prior to arrival). The value per point is 16.9 cents so the cash forfeiture amount is really quite high.
Hurry up, speedytimmy, and share info about your destination!

I encountered this problem when booking the St Regis Aspen in peak ski season for March 2005. If we didn't show up, my credit card would be charged $830. The cancellation deadline was 30 days prior to arrival. My stomach turned when the booking agent on the phone told me the penalty after taking my reservation. With such a huge penalty, the hotel even called me before the deadline to reconfirm our stay.

Nice place, but not worth $830 to me. My greatest concern was how the hotel would handle the situation if there was a snow storm or something that prevented our plane from arriving.
sc flier is offline  
Old Feb 13, 06, 3:59 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: YHZ
Programs: AC super Elite Starwood Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 71
I had the same fright with a Honolulu reward stay... and when my flight got changed, I called the hotel, and they graciously refunded the points, no cash penalty ^ . Was about $400 at the time...
Like anything, need terms and conditions... but need flexibility given the individual circumstances.

regards

WG
weatherguy is offline  
Old Feb 13, 06, 7:06 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 96
If you get into a bind and have to cancel....try requesting that the reservation date be changed. I've been successful with this at the St Regis on several occasions doing this on the date of arrival (with a 3-7 day cancellation policy). (You can mention that your wife/girlfriend has the flu or something.) I've found most hotels are more willing to change the dates then cancel...you can also change the date far enough in advance that it can then be canceled by SPG.

Richard_SVO_SPG_Platinum is offline  

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