Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > Starwood | Starwood Preferred Guest
Reload this Page >

Best rate guarantee - successes and failures 2008 on [Master Thread]

Best rate guarantee - successes and failures 2008 on [Master Thread]

 
Old Jan 21, 08, 4:23 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Beijing, China
Programs: BA/A3 Gold/SPG Plat
Posts: 500
Best rate guarantee - successes and failures 2008 on [Master Thread]

Sheraton Miyako Osaka

Date: Feb.25
Original Rate: JPY$9300 included taxes but spg.com required Internet Full Prepaid
BRG Rate: JPY$9300 included taxes without any prepayment
Competing Room Provider: www.jalan.net

Email reply from BRG team:
Thank you very much for your reply.

The Best Rate Guarantee program is comparing rate offered on our website and competing website(s) and, if the rate offered on the competing site is better than ours, we are offering reward.

When the rate offered on competing and our website are the same, we are comparing rate limitations.

We are reviewing your claim for the Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka on 25th February for 1 night, and found the rate offered on our website and jalan.net for its Standard Single room was the same, then we compared their rate limitation. The rate on our website requires full prepayment and is non changeable, though the cancellation period of the rate offered on jalan.net was 24 hours prior to arrival and no deposit was required. Therefore your claim was approved.
/mod

Earlier posts can be found here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...er-thread.html

/mod

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Apr 14, 10 at 12:25 pm
MattTaiwan is offline  
Old Jan 29, 08, 3:20 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris, France
Programs: IHG, CC, HH, AF, AA, UA
Posts: 821
Here's an interesting one : I recently made two bookings at a Le Meridien hotel in Germany and filed BRG claims which were approved.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail which is quite intriguing :

Dear Mr. [...],

Thank you very much for your reservations made and your interest in our house.

Yesterday, Starwood informed us about your best rate guarantee claim.

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you rooms at the same rates you saw via Octopus Travel and Hotelclub.

We have a lot of alliances with several travel agencies based on contract rates. We hold room allotments at special contracted rates, which can be picked up via these travel agencies. Therefore the rates are lower than our best available individual daily rates and are not comparable.

Octopus Travel and Hotelclub are Internet provider, which go back to the travel agency Gullivers Travel Associates (GTA) and therefore they provide lower rates.[...]
Has anyone had something similar happen to them ? How should I go about resolving this issue ?

Thanks,
Yann
yann is offline  
Old Jan 29, 08, 5:44 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris, France
Programs: IHG, CC, HH, AF, AA, UA
Posts: 821
Quick update : I contacted the BRG e-mail desk about this issue, and they resolved it directly with the hotel.

I should thus be getting the BRG rates and bonus points as promised.
yann is offline  
Old Feb 8, 08, 9:20 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: australia
Posts: 5,213
Will this qualify for the BRG?

I always approach BRG claims with great trepidation as the hassle factor usually far outweighs the benefit in my experience but I thought I would ask anyway.

I found a rate on Expedia for a Westin at $US230/night for 4 nights. It lists it as a superior room and breakfast is included.

On spg.com the rate is $US440/night for a deluxe room and the only rates quoted all include breakfast.

Checking through multiple dates on spg.com the lowest quoted room is always a deluxe room with the next rooms up being grand deluxe and Westin Workout rooms. So I assume that Expedia's Superior room is the same category as the deluxe room.

Secondly, the T+Cs of BRG say:

The Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to packaged rates. Packaged rates include (a)Hotel accommodations sold as part of a travel package, in which the property does not provide the extra service, including, but not limited to accommodations plus airfare and/or car rental and/or cruise, and (b) hotel accommodations sold with value added amenities, including, but not limited to, free breakfast and hotel parking.

Surely, the wording of this means that if a hotel only offers rates that include breakfast or if the hotel has free parking then SPG never has to honour the BRG for such a hotel.

Bottom line - are they going to knock me back because Expedia calls the room a different name and offers the same breakfast that spg.com offers?

And yes, I realise that the correct answer to my question is probably that only the BRG desk can say. But it just illustrates again the arbitrariness and consumer unfriendly nature of the policy and its implementation.
3544quebec is offline  
Old Feb 9, 08, 7:24 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 544
3544quebec: I think in your case, the key question really is whether the superior room and deluxe room are actually the same room type as I have found that in some hotels, I will be upgraded to a deluxe room and it will seem like a standard (superior) room to me.

Has anyone ever submitted a BRG claim where starwood actually lists the hotel as sold out (best rate would be to use platinum guarantee reservation by calling the reservation desk and booking at the rack rate). However, Expedia shows the hotel as available and the rate would be lower than the rack rate. By reading the BRG rules though, I would actually have to book the room on spg.com to qualify which leads to my post of whether I would have a case for BRG.
Mahalo is offline  
Old Feb 16, 08, 2:51 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Terra Australis Cognita
Posts: 5,346
ITC Sheraton New Delhi

Date: 5 nights, Feb
Room type: Executive Floor
Original Rate: INR 20,000 plus tax, ~US$504
BRG Rate: INR 17,740 plus tax, ~US$447
Competing Room Provider: orbitz.com

Orbitz actually offers the room at INR 16000 or 19000 depending on the day, 17740 is the average for the nights. BRG turnaround was very fast, I got an approval within a few hours. ^ Weirdly, I now have a confirmed booking at INR 15500/17000, with a special request attached by the hotel saying that my rate is 17740... let's see how this pans out.

Bonus: I live in a country that's not supported by orbitz.com, so it would have been difficult to actually book that rate

Last edited by jpatokal; Feb 18, 08 at 7:58 am Reason: corrected name
jpatokal is offline  
Old Mar 21, 08, 1:55 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris, France
Programs: IHG, CC, HH, AF, AA, UA
Posts: 821
Cancelling a BRG claim

I recently made a BRG claim with a Le Meridien hotel, which I needed to cancel afterwards.

Since it had disappeared from the spg.com website, I needed to call SPG reservations.

After 3 unsuccessful tries with the call center (telling me that the rate was non-cancellable, where the confirmation clearly it said it was), I ended up calling the hotel which did it, although they couldn't send me an e-mail confirmation.

How can I confirm that the reservation was indeed cancelled ? Is there any reason for this process to be so burdensome ?

Thanks,
Yann
yann is offline  
Old Mar 21, 08, 8:31 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: SPG Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 368
Thumbs up Cancelling a BRG claim

Originally Posted by yann View Post
I recently made a BRG claim with a Le Meridien hotel, which I needed to cancel afterwards.

Since it had disappeared from the spg.com website, I needed to call SPG reservations.

After 3 unsuccessful tries with the call center (telling me that the rate was non-cancellable, where the confirmation clearly it said it was), I ended up calling the hotel which did it, although they couldn't send me an e-mail confirmation.

How can I confirm that the reservation was indeed cancelled ? Is there any reason for this process to be so burdensome ?

Thanks,
Yann
The simple way is once connected to the call centre, you immediately ask to be transferred to the "web help" desk, then the representative at the web help desk will be able to cancel the reservation. Since this is a BRG reservation, a regular call centre rep will not be able to modify anything. I just did this last night without any problem with the web help desk and the rep even helped me to scan thru my account to make sure that I do not have any active reservations in the same hotel that have not been cancelled when I asked.
So Pang is offline  
Old Mar 21, 08, 4:25 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: YXU, ON Canada
Programs: AC LT E50K; AC*MM; SPG LT Gold
Posts: 4,633
I've only had one experience of BRG, but I was very impressed with how it was handled. Found a rate of ~300 on Expedia for Christmas at the Moana Surfrider in Wikiki, compared to $450 on the website. I had a response overnight approving the claim and for a better room than the original booking.
Academic is offline  
Old Mar 22, 08, 2:30 am
  #10  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Singapore
Programs: SPG
Posts: 4,002
Hi yann,

Are you referring to LM Turin?

I have managed to retrieve your reservation.

Please send me a PM if it is positive.

Thank you and have a nice day!

[email protected]
Starwood Lurker II is offline  
Old Mar 24, 08, 11:10 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris, France
Programs: IHG, CC, HH, AF, AA, UA
Posts: 821
Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
Hi yann,

Are you referring to LM Turin?

I have managed to retrieve your reservation.

Please send me a PM if it is positive. [...]
Thanks for your offer. It was actually for the LM in Milan. I did receive an e-mail confirmation just before leaving for my trip, so everything was fine afterall.

Whether or not it was from your intervention, thanks again.
yann is offline  
Old Apr 3, 08, 10:54 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: lax
Programs: DL DM, SPG Plat
Posts: 781
just did my first brg claim- booked sheraton maui over memorial day weekend at spg.com for cheapest available rate of $370- found $299 on orbitz.com and submitted a claim- matched (and took 10% delta) for a rate of $269 w/in 2 hours. ^
edscholl is offline  
Old Apr 5, 08, 3:59 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris, France
Programs: IHG, CC, HH, AF, AA, UA
Posts: 821
BRG claim cancelled without my knowledge

I recently made a stay at the LM Art+Tech hotel in Turin for which I had successfully made a BRG claim. After not receiving the 2000 points that I was expecting (as usual), I e-mailed Customer Services in order to get them.

What I found out this time, is that the hotel somehow disputed my claim after it was confirmed, and that the claim was cancelled without my knowledge.

I then claimed that I should have been informed of this before staying at this hotel, and that I didn't see anything in the BRG Terms & Conditions which allow for this situation.

The answer I got was that "The Additional Terms on the terms and conditions page basically sums up the decision" (which I don't find acceptable, see quote below).

Additional Terms
- Any disputes arising out of or related to the Best Rate Guarantee or these Terms and Conditions shall be handled individually without any class action, and shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.
I was also offered 1000 "GOODWILL GESTURE" points for my trouble, but I still somehow feel dissatisfied about this situation.

Is this an official BRG procedure, and if so, shoudn't it be advertised in the BRG terms, and shouldn't customers at least be informed when their claims are disputed ?

Thanks,
Yann
yann is offline  
Old Apr 7, 08, 4:11 am
  #14  
Company Representative - Starwood
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Singapore
Programs: SPG
Posts: 4,002
Originally Posted by yann View Post
I recently made a stay at the LM Art+Tech hotel in Turin for which I had successfully made a BRG claim. After not receiving the 2000 points that I was expecting (as usual), I e-mailed Customer Services in order to get them.

What I found out this time, is that the hotel somehow disputed my claim after it was confirmed, and that the claim was cancelled without my knowledge.

I then claimed that I should have been informed of this before staying at this hotel, and that I didn't see anything in the BRG Terms & Conditions which allow for this situation.

The answer I got was that "The Additional Terms on the terms and conditions page basically sums up the decision" (which I don't find acceptable, see quote below).



I was also offered 1000 "GOODWILL GESTURE" points for my trouble, but I still somehow feel dissatisfied about this situation.

Is this an official BRG procedure, and if so, shoudn't it be advertised in the BRG terms, and shouldn't customers at least be informed when their claims are disputed ?

Thanks,
Yann
Hi Yann,

I am sorry to hear about the misunderstanding created when you found out that you have not received your 2,000 bonus points.

I won't be able to comment on procedures over here as there are currently a number of mistakes I have picked up during my investigation.

Let me take over from here. I would write to my colleagues for assistance.

Will update you through PM instead.

Thank you and have a nice day!

[email protected]
Starwood Lurker II is offline  
Old Apr 27, 08, 10:53 pm
  #15  
 
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
Thumbs up

I've long been a critic of the BRG program, but I'm very pleased to finally be taking advantage of it.

My BRG claim for two nights in early May at the Westin Maui was approved tonight. BAR for a Garden View room was $350. (AAA was around $250 or so.) But I got a BRG rate of just $185.50 including taxes as offered on www.wotif.com!

I was already holding 3 reservations for these nights in Maui: a C&P reservation (4800 Starpoints + $90) for these two nights at the Westin hotel, a $179 rate at the Sheraton, and a C&P rate at the Westin Ka'anapali Villas. But I desperately wanted the stay credit (which the C&P rates don't provide), and really did not want to change hotels. So this BRG should let me stay where we are, get the stay and night credits, and save 4800 Starpoints for an additional cost of $95.50 (2.0 cents per point). Plus I selected the 2K Starpoints bonus for my BRG.

My first 5 nights of this 7 night stay are on a Vacation Ownership promo package that includes a resort credit and rental car credit for a mid-size car with Avis for up to 7 days. (Rental car taxes of about $55 are extra, and we needed an 8th day that added about another $40.) From what I have been told, our reservation has already been upgraded to an Oceanview due to my Plat status.

My BRG was approved less than 1 hour after I submitted the claim.

wotif.com only offers rooms available in the next 28 days. FWIW, the Westin Ka'anapali Villas are offered there for $194 including taxes, and the villas do not have a resort fee.
sc flier is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: