A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question by email that many loyalty program members face throughout the year. A hotel where they have confirmed booking is changing flags (switching from one chain to another).
You can access Pullman Khao Lak’s website here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I have been informed that Pullman Khao LAk is leaving Accor. As I am platinum with Accor and I have some prepaid bookins, you can imagine that I do not want to stay there. I have sent an email to the General Manager Michael Boele asking him to have my booking canceled and all my money back.
I would like to know if in your opinion I have the right of been reimbursed or if I have to stay at the hotel without points, upgrades and all the related perks coming from the Platinum status.
Thank you very much for the beautiful website you have ad the service you give.
Couldn’t find any information that this hotel would be leaving Accor. This hotel was recently Le Meridien then changed to Pullman two years ago in November.
Hotels try to claim that your contract is with the property regardless under what brand it might operate. I disagree.
Loyalty program members book specific hotels due to elite benefits received such as upgrades, early check ins/late check outs, breakfast, points, elite qualifying nights/stays etc. Trying to argue that these are not part of the product purchased is wrong.
I would try to escalate the issue through. They are not very good at replying to emails but you will get a faster response by leaving a message on Le Club AccorHotels Facebook page or sending a Tweet.
If the hotel is exiting Accor (sometimes there can be last minute changes), I would ask Accor to provide a refund. There is also a possibility to do a chargeback through your credit card issuer based on the fact that the hotel will operate under different name and you won’t receive the promised benefits for being elite Le Club AccorHotels member.
I had a reader question back in 2014 when an SPG member received an email that this very same hotel was exiting Starwood system and rebranded under Accor’s Pullman brand. Seems that the hotel is now switching flags yet again.
Usually hotels that are rebranded frequently means that the hotel owner is very impatient, the hotel is not performing financially, or the chain is unable to bring in the promised guests/financial performance.
I hope that the hotel does the right thing and refunds the prepayments made by guests that wanted to stay at the Pullman and not at some XYZ Khao Lak hotel.