Monday, April 23, 2012

Priority Club Rewards Fail




Last week I made our reservations for our trip to see our oldest GRANDson graduate. We've been looking forward to this day a long time so planning our trip early was a good idea. I logged onto Priority Club Rewards, Holiday Inn's loyalty program that allows us to use our earned points for stays at any of their many locations world wide. My husband has traveled for years on business and racked up an enormous amount of points for free stays. How did he do that? Well, when you stay at a hotel for many weeks a year and your bill is in the $800 range for a period of several years, the points add up.  


I entered our membership number, then proceeded onto the reservation. Date of stay, date of departure, number of guests, type of room and then you click confirm. In minutes I got a confirmation email, odd it said "charged credit card $717."  I immediately called Priority Club back and they said, "No problem, let us fix it for you!" They said the queen room I had requested wasn't available with points and that's why the system charged me on the credit card on file. OK. He reserved another queen room and reminded me to call and cancel the first reservation. That's when my day got bad. The manager said the reservation was for advanced order (yes, 7 weeks early to be exact) and could not be canceled without penalty. The deposit she said, which was the full $717. "Do you want to keep both rooms," she asked. It just struck me as funny and I said, "Well I guess each of us could stay in separate rooms but I'd rather not!" The whole conversation I kept thinking she would say, "I'm so sorry for this mistake... let me correct it." But she didn't. Neither did Holiday Inn customer service or Priority Club Rewards complaint department. 


It seems a change to their "pricing structure" has implemented new ways that has allowed them to offer deeper discounts," their wording exactly when I received this response from from Myrna, an IHG Care case manager...


Dear Mrs. Tilton,

Thank you for your email. We appreciate you allowing us the opportunity to explain the choices available to you when making a reservation.

We have recently implemented a new pricing structure that allows us the opportunity to offer deeper discounts to our customers. In order to offer these rates we must attach restrictions such as cancellation fees or full prepayment. Some of our lowest discounted rates carry full prepayment requirements while others carry a cancellation fee.

It is certainly not our intent to inconvenience our valued customers, but to instead offer options that make sense. We always appreciate comments from our guests, and we will use this feedback in making decisions about our future pricing strategies.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. We value you as a Priority Club Rewards member, and hope you will continue to choose IHG for your future travel needs.

Sincerely,
Myrna M
Case Manager
IHGCare
Reference No. XXXXXXXXX



I wrote her back on their Facebook Fan Page Priority Club Rewards... 


Case manager Myra says that this morning's $717 cc charge instead of applying my points is part of a plan..."We have recently implemented a new pricing structure that allows us the opportunity to offer deeper discounts to our customers. In order to offer these rates we must attach restrictions such as cancellation fees or full prepayment. Some of our lowest discounted rates carry full prepayment requirements while others carry a cancellation fee." The more I look, the more I see a pattern of complaints. Beware.


Has anything like this ever happened to you? 



18 comments:

  1. Not yet, but I'm sure my day is coming. So frustrating. I hope you get it all straightened out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PriorityClub.com needs to change their website so that it doesn't automatically charge your cc if the room isn't available with points. Holiday Inn was just short of rude when I called less than 5 minutes later to get the charges corrected. Of course we are still going, and the trip to see our Grandson graduate will be one we fondly remember. Holiday Inn/Priority Club just won't be part of that "good memory!"

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  2. Thanks for the warning! I collect Wyndham rewards and I will be very careful when cashing in. If Holiday Inn doesn't do right by you and your husband no longer stays in Holiday Inns, they will lose far more than the $717 they are trying to get from y'all. Amazing they haven't considered the possibility of losing a good customer.

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    Replies
    1. I am still in shock that they won't correct this problem. It will certainly affect how we do business with them- as in no more, using our points up and then walking away. I just want to warn anyone that there are LOTS of similar complaints about Priority Club Rewards on their Facebook page so BEWARE!

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  3. Replies
    1. I was so upset when this happened last week, spent the rest of the day trying to get someone at Holiday Inn or Priority Club to correct a mistake. It amazes me they care so little about customers.

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  4. This got me frustrated just reading this. Sounds like dealing with the airlines! Customer Service seems to not exist very often nowadays. I think it's a great idea to post these kind of issues on social media. Good luck....these type of situations normally do not get resolved easily due to some company's stupidity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping that putting this "out there" will prevent this from happening to others who use Priority Club Rewards and Holiday Inn. Just know that they won't budge regardless of the site's failure to book with reward points. I'm that squeaky wheel when it comes to problems like this!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your warning with us (and on Facebook). As Bonnie Hunt would say, "That ain't right!" I hope you'll report this to the BBB and the state att'y general's office. This is nothing short of highway robbery, and the corporate deciders at Holiday Inn need to be called on the carpet for such underhandedness. I hope that you will be refunded, and with an apology, too.

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    Replies
    1. I've just about exhausted the complaints to both companies, it's move on and fuhgetaboutit! It may affect how my husband's company does business from this point on though.

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  6. I've been in some pickles but have always got it corrected in the end. This is wrong...very wrong. I can't believe they aren't bendin' over backwards to make this right for ya.

    I'm soooo sorry!

    God bless and I sure hope ya have a lovely week sweetie!!! :O)

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    Replies
    1. I don't think it matters to them, customer service I mean. It's just bottom line, paid and then no thought to customer loyalty. All those years of using Holiday Inn means nothing.

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  7. The blog is very helpful, maintain putting up beneficial info

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    Replies
    1. I try to share the good stuff, today was the bad stuff! Hope this helps someone else from trusting their site, it's not a sure thing points will be applied.

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  8. Fortunately...no, it hasn't! The Pres would have hit the roof!!!!...:)JP

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, my husband says we are going to use up our points and never use Holiday Inn or Priority Club again!

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  9. Wow! That's just wrong! I hope you can get it all worked out, with an apology too!

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    Replies
    1. I was sure surprised at the rudeness, all I can do is warn others not to place a reservation or you just might end up paying for the whole stay like us!

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