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.
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 email@example.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.
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.