Reader Question: Hilton Best Rate Guarantee?

10 Comments

A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about this experience with Hilton’s Best Rate Guarantee when the price on Hilton’s own website has dropped significant three days later after he had made the reservation.

Reader Question Hilton Best Price Guarantee Bhosphorus

Remember that you can always email me, sent a message via Facebook or use Twitter and include photos too. I’ll try to cover Reader Questions & Comments here several times a week.

You can access Hilton’s web page for Best Rate Guarantee here.

Here’s the email from the reader:

Just wanted to share the below issue for my booking at Hilton Bosphorus Istanbul. On 10th August I booked and paid TRY 367.20 (before taxes) for 1 night stay under Hhonors special member sale rate on Hilton website. On 13th August, I found a rate of TRY ~275 for the same day on different sites like booking.com, Expedia.com etc. To my surprise, when I went to Hilton website, I found the sale rate of TRY 271 for the same room for the same date and even more shocking, the fully flexible and refundable rate for Hhonors members was also much lower at TRY 305 and non- member fully flexible rate was TRY 339 (please see the screenshot below)!

When I raised the issue with Hilton and BPR, they just used their T&C which says the claim has to be filed within 24 hours so I am not entitled for any compensation.

My question is when Hilton’s website is showing a much lower rate even with fully flexible conditions thann what I paid 3 days back as non- refundable member rate, shouldn’t I feel cheated by Hilton?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Here’s the denial email from Hilton:

Thank you for submitting a ‘Best Price Guarantee’ claim for your upcoming reservation at the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus. I have taken the liberty to review your claim.

We regret to advise that we were unable to approve your claim. As per the terms of the program, you must be submitted your claim within 24h of making your reservation. I show that the reservation was made on the 10/08 and the claim was submitted on the 13/08.

You can find more information about the program at http://hiltonworldwide.hilton.com/en/ww/ourbestrates/overview.jhtml

I regret to inform you that we are unable to approve this claim due the above policy. Should you require further assistance please reply to this e-mail.

We wish you a pleasant stay at the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus

Here’s the rebuttal by the reader:

While I agree that I submitted the claim after 24h, you should still consider my claim because even in the hotel’s own website the available rate is much lower than what was charged to me as HHonors special sale rate. Please see the attachment which shows the current rate offered directly by the hotel (it was the same yesterday or the day before also)!

How can the special sale rate for my room of TRY 367.20 (which is non-refundable, non changebale) be higher than HHonors member rate (fully refundable and changeable) of TRY 305 or even higher than the fully flexible rate (non-members) of TRY 339? And Hhonors sale member rate is TRY 271 (you can see below) and the same room with same conditions has been charged to me at TRY 367 just 3 days back?

This is totally unacceptable and being a HHonors Gold member I cannot believe I would be overcharged (~40%) by such a huge amount directly by Hilton.

I would kindly request you to consider the above facts and would request you to refund me the difference of between the above two rates (TRY 367 and TRY 271) and the tax on the difference amount. As a loyal member of HHonors, I expect a fair treatment by Hilton and not to be overcharged directly by Hilton.

And here’s the reply from the Hilton:

Thank you kindly for your time in contacting us at the Hilton BPG Team regarding your recent claim submission.

I have fully reviewed this claim once more and it is regrettable we are unable to approve this claim since it does not meet with the criteria

set out in our terms and conditions of the BPG program. I do understand your frustration with this; however, we must remain fair and consistent

with all our guests and cannot make any exceptions to our policies.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very pleasant stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you as our valued guest.

The time when the hotel prices were set in stone and would only increase closer to the stay date are long gone. Hotels have become very aggressive changing prices depending of the projected occupancy levels.

There is no guarantee that a prepaid rate this week is lower than a flexible one week late, although likely the case.

The reader should contact the hotel to see if they are willing to adjust the price to the current lowest one. I would use Linkedin to find the right person and then email him/her at firstname.lastname@hilton.com.

Most of the guests don’t request rate adjustments and most of the hotels are very accommodating. If they are not willing to adjust the rate lower, ask for a Food and Beverage credit for the same amount.

Conclusion

As I said above, most of the hotels are quite accommodating when guest contacts them with a request like this. They are, after all, in the hospitality business.

Considering what has happened in the Turkey lately the hotels must be even quieter than during my most recent visit back in May. One way to lure more business is to lower the price.

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  • Guilherme

    I had the same issue at the Anselmo Buenos Aires, I´ve booked a 98 usd rate and a few days later the rate droped to 68 usd. Got the same reply from hilton guest service so I contacted the hotel directly. Their reply was: rate is not changable.
    At least I score an upgrade at the hotel so the loss was less than imagined.

    • Traveller from Europe

      I have exactly the same issue, Hilton is not answering the Best Price Claims.
      I made the Hilton reservation on sunday 18.12.2016 and after making this made the claim. No reply by tuesday morning. Made a call and I was promissed a callback when people in Dallas starts working (I was told that claims are handled there). No callback, so called again and got a phone through into Dallas. They didn´t find my claim and asked me to make another Claim what I did. 24 hours after no responce, so talked with the hilton representative on chat. I was given instruction to send email to the address bestrate_responses@hrcc-hiton.com. After 25 hours no reply and another discussion through the hilton chat. Now I was given another email address bestrate_responses@hilton.com
      Lets see if this finally works.

      • C.S.

        This evening, I found a rate for $400 U.S. less than on the Hilton website at the same hotel (for 4 nights). One can not believe their saying about “stop clicking. You will get lowest cost on Hilton website” (or something like that).

  • Akira

    I also had bad experience with BPG. It was my first BPG claim for a booking at Hilton Madrid Airport, completed the form and submitted it within 24 hours as per T&Cs, got to confirmation page that say the claim has been received and I shall get an email from them within 24 hours. No emails in 24 hours. When I enquire they said I should have received a confirmation number immediately with a reference number (The confirmation page did not show a reference number, and I never received an email). I immediately submit a 2nd claim but by then it’s already outside of the 24 hours. I got the exact same 2 response templates as above. Their line of “Fair and consistent” really upset me as I did everything according to their T&Cs and I’ve been turned down for something likely to be an error on their side. The confirmation page (see screenshot) clearly stated they have received my claim. Both their Twitter & Guest Assistance line were not helpful.

  • Jose

    I never make a hotel reservation with Hilton, Marriott or IHG that is not cancelable. I then check prior to the cancellation date, if there is a lower rate. On hilton for HHonors members , there will be a lower nonrefundable rate available that is lower than my original reservation.So
    i cancel my previous reservation and book the nonrefundable rate.

  • matthewsf

    Just had the same issue come up for a Hilton stay in central America. Luckily, it was only for $10 (plus tax $16) so not a bid deal financially…I was lucky. But I pursued it on principle. The feedback I got from Hilton was that while these are non-refundable advanced purchases, the rate is considered to be a promo price from the Hotel, which can indeed change. so HH can’t/won’t help with an adjustment. Advanced Purchases rates are different and they do have an credit/adjustment page that you can process (with a small fee) if your rate does change. These rates are with Hilton (not the property) which is why they will make adjustments.
    As a side, when I complained about this to guest assistance, which then contacted the property per their regular protocol and there was no response addressing the issue, I thought the matter was over. However, the hotel did process a credit for me to use while I was there. So I got my money back. Lesson learned is that these special HH advance rates provide no guarantee that there won’t be a lower rate in the future if the hotel deems it necessary.

  • David

    Would you have paid Hilton the cash difference if price went up after booking? The same situation could arise with flights or indeed any mode of transport or travel service. If I buy a suit in the High Street and after purchase, the same item is for sale at half price in a promotion, then that is just tough!. Like all purchases, I pay a price I am content with and don’t bother persistently checking the price for the same product -why should I as I already have what I want? You pay you money and take your chance.

  • DeeCee

    Had the same issue /w Hilton 3 or 4 times in the last years – called the hotel directly and always got a F&B credit. Normally I book a cancelable rate and change that shortly to arrival, if better prices occur.

  • Fred

    no John it is not true that hotel can be accommodating because they are in hospitality business what a rubbish!
    You would be very very lucky to come across a manager who is really understand and practice hospitality when things go wrong in their hotel.
    You said you spend a lot of time in hotels, I presume that you see a lot and that cannot be true. they never practice what they preach and please do not repeat that garbage.

  • BatSheva

    Funny, I have always found Hilton to be the most responsive of all the chains. No one likes giving money back though so on the odd occasion when something has gone wrong, including finding a lower rate outside the BPG conditions, I just ask for points or a F&B credit or a meaningful upgrade. I have always been offered something. It also partly depends on how much business you give them and how you ask. Also “Hilton Gold” sounds good but it is really not that high a loyalty level. Anyone can get it for about $75 a year with a credit card. The free breakfasts soon equal that if you really do travel a lot!

  • Markus

    I had a quite similar case here with Hilton Tokyo as well.
    Thanks to the Status Match (posted here earlier) I just received the Diamond Hilton card recently and also bought immediately the points with buy-one-get-one-extra option. For this summer we tried to book Hilton Tokyo but the amount of points needed was unreasonable, therefore selected the cheaper HHonor-rate for that particular hotel.
    A few weeks later, Hilton posted much cheaper rates and I called the global hotline directly to complain. Although we were firstly rejected but I still insisted in a direct communication with the hotel in Tokyo. After two days we finally got an email from Hilton Tokyo and they told us that they refunded the difference to our credit card, “Due to advance purchase / non-refundable booking condition, we would not accept any change after confirmed reservation normally. However, I would like to offer rate change to 50% off special sale rate only for this time as an exception..” – This is exactly what John meant, please try to contact the hotel directly, it could help a lot. At the end, they would feel the result directly if you are not satisfied with them, not the person at the hotline.
    I am SPG Platinum member since a few years and must say though, the program in total and the service around it, I felt much more “taken care off” with SPG than with HHonors and I really hope this would continue, we will see what future brings to us.