Reader Email: SPG Hotel Cancels Reservation & Bans The Guest Due To Corporate Customer Care File

56 Comments

A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a rather bizarre case where hotel had requested the reader to wire the best flexible rate payment in advance and later banned the guest after he had opened a case with SPG Corporate Customer Care.

Reader Question Four Points Istanbul Batisehir Main

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You can access Four Points Istanbul Batisehir here.

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Here’s the message from the reader (came via Facebook):

I have had this bad experience with Four Points by Sheraton Istanbul Batisehir.

On 02/06/17 I booked 18 nights at this hotel, I chose Flexiable-Rate, with payment on arrival at the hotel. On 05/06/17, the hotel’s Sales & Resevation Executive contacts me by phone and tells me to immediately leave a 100% deposit by bank transfer, or they will cancel the booking.

I’m a little skeptical about making my bank transfer, but choose to do it when I need the room on these nights.

After the bank transfer it is quite silent, I try to contact the hotel management every day and the person who called me to confirm that the money has been received. I get no response to my mails to the hotel’s accounting department, and when I call the front desk they say that the person i have to talking with is not at work and I should try to call again tomorrow. I’ll never answer my emails! Nor do the emails I send to the hotel’s general manager.

Therefore, I contact SPG Corporate Customer Service, which creates a case for this. SPG customer service also says that now that I have prepaid, the hotel should also give me prepaid rate and they write to the hotel that they must send a receipt for the transfer received and consider whether the hotel can offer me prepaid rate, the hotel will respond quickly to SPG that they Has sent me a receipt, which is a lie! Which they also later recognize in regards to SPG Corporate Customer Service!

SPG says I have to cancel this booking and then the hotel will refund the money I have paid by bank transfer and I will then make a new booking at the hotel and choose prepaid rate (To get the prepaid rate I deserve after prepaying via Bank transfer) and pay by credit card on SPG website. I do this immediately and believe I will get the money I have paid by bank transfer refunded (It is a free-cancel booking).

16 hours before my arrival at the hotel I receive a wretched mail from the hotel manager, it is the first time the hotel answers my emails, he is telling I am expelled/banned from the hotel and all active bookings have been canceled. I am not welcome at this hotel ever in the future because I have established a case with SPG corperate customer service.

I contact a supervisor at SPG who says unfortunately can not help finding another hotel since Four Points by Sheraton Istanbul Batisehir. Is the franchise owned and they can therefore reject who they want without SPG can do anything. They can not tell if the hotel will ever refund the prepaid money.

I’m here now with 2 prepaid canceled bookings, and have probably realized I’ll never get the money back for these bookings. SPG says they cant help further, thats how to treat SPG gold membersโ€ฆ

Here’s the email from the property:

Reader Question Four Points Istanbul Batisehir

Conclusion

It is always funny when Starwood (or any other chain) says that there is nothing that they can do because they don’t own the hotel that happens to carry their flag because it is merely franchised (this is usually when something negative happens).

Not sure exactly what happened here? I would have never ever wired money to someone random in Turkey based on someone calling me. Who knows to whom the bank account even belonged to where the reader wired the cash? Why would the hotel suddenly demand prepayment for Best Flexible rate reservation? Just doesn’t make much sense.

The hotel decides to cancel readers reservation and ban him because he contacts SPG Corporate Customer Care when the hotel itself doesn’t response to emails? Yet they advertise themselves as the โ€œ2016 Best Select Service Hotelsโ€ on the emails going out. Just ridiculous.

I understand that the trading conditions in Turkey are very bad at the moment. Occupancy and average daily rates are both in the toilet. Hotel employees and management, however, shouldn’t let this affect how they interact with the paying guests. This is hospitality business after all and guests vote with their wallet.

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  • Jay Daniel

    The idiot totally deserves this. I would NEVER ever send anyone money via bank transfer for ANY sort of purpose, be it hotel, goods purchased etc. That just leaves you with no recourse. Always always pay for everything with VISA/Mastercard/Amex be it debit or credit for the visa/mastercard you will always be protected and regardless of what anyone says you will get your money back. If you give anyone cash you are then at a disadvantage. NEVER EVER DO THAT EVER.

    • Kfitzat HaDerech

      No need to kill people when they are down

      • Caroline Hansen

        Correct! Do not go for the person ( the guest) but go after the ball ( the hotel)

        • Jay Daniel

          Nope, although the hotel deserves to be boycotted and Ive posted all over my own social media. You cannot go around like a bungling idiot and not protect yourself and put the blame on everyone. If he had not sent the money there would be no problem, beyond the irritation. there are tons of great hotels in istanbul with great rates.. ie. Hilton Bomonti. which is better than most conrads or even the conrad in istanbul….

    • The_Bouncer

      Agreed. Paying for hotel accommodation by bank transfer is just a bad idea.

      Frankly I would have cancelled the booking and run as soon as the hotel demanded it.

    • Patrick Yu

      Idiot? So you mean you are better than him? I don’t think it’s such a good idea when you read this ridiculous story and attacked the person who experienced this. It does not make you a better man, Jay.

      • Jay Daniel

        Yes chinaman, I am better than him and better than you. I am not that dumb to let someone get a hold of my cash without providing services/goods and put myself in a position that I would have no recourse ahhahahahah.. do you know how many properties there are in istanbul……

        • Patrick Yu

          Alright, I better let you stay in your dream. And no, because I don’t care how many properties in Istanbul.

          • Jay Daniel

            of course you dont chinese people have no logic they just continue banging their heads on the rock wall and demanding what they want LOL hey people don’t want your money.. take your money elsewhere.. have you no pride? haha so if I was in his position I would have said no to their wanting a bank transfer and I would take my business to one of the MANY other hotels in Istanbul… idiot…

          • Patrick Yu

            Sir, I am from Taiwan not China. And please don’t attack other people’s race, you fucking racism.

          • Jay Daniel

            then don’t behave like a fucking teng sua idiot

          • Tom O

            Bully.

          • RickJames

            I am confused. Is “Republic of China” not China?

          • Patrick Yu

            Hi Rick, the history is actually quite complicated. Republic of China (ROC) is Taiwan and People’s Republic of China (PRC) is China. We are currently two different independent countries.

          • RickJames

            If “Republic of China” is not China I don’t know what is.

          • Patrick Yu
          • RickJames

            I guess changing the name to “xxx Taiwan” or declare independence will do the job. Before that Taiwan is neither a country nor independent

          • Patrick Yu

            Really don’t want to discuss this further. It’s not up to you to judge.

          • RickJames

            Yea. An independent country with literally no diplomatic ties with major western countries? The truth hurts man ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Patrick Yu

            oh wow another ass…

          • Patrick Yu

            interesting to know that USA gives us “visa-free” entry…hmmm

          • RickJames

            Still not a country LOL

        • ihg newbie

          “chinaman” is a racial slur, you idiot. someone ban him please.

          • Jay Daniel

            omg that’s gonna make me so sad lol

    • Mike Dos Santos

      Don’t call him an idiot, it’s impolite. You may judge him for sending the money, but I’ll tell you, in some countries (f.ex. Brazil) a hotel may request it (Courtyard by Marriott has done it before, also smaller hotels).

      He justified why he sent the money and we should accept his justification, since it’s legitimate.

      • Jay Daniel

        i’m sure there are hotels that will not require you to do so, if you still choose to stay at a hotel which does regardless of the chain or brand then that is your choice, I wouldn’t do it and if no hotels will take just the card i’ll go somewhere else. That’s the power i have as a consumer

    • superduper

      hey! stop that!

      i always get emails from nigeria that they need me to send money into their accounts before they can send me millions! do what they ask you to do!

      same here!

      he is not an idiot!

    • Waleria Aden

      I have to repete myself: Jay Daniel you are a fucking moron

  • Caroline Hansen

    The problem is not that the guest has paid with bank-transfer (It is normal procedure for many hotel, when a guest makes long bookings like this, widely used in Scandinavia area i know).

    The problem here is the GM cancel the guest PAID booking, 16 hours before check-in.

    It really amateurish of the hotel!

    SPG should also be in charge of their responsibility as a chain to the guest and offer the guest some form of compensation.

    • Nick Hevelian

      No, the problem is that….

      1) The hotel demanded pre-payment in full for a Flex booking (and called it a ‘100% deposit’)
      2) The hotel demanded that this payment be done specifically via bank transfer.
      3) The guest made the bank transfer (and then the hotel went strangely quiet)

      All of these steps are inexplicable. Seriously, who would book with a hotel that demanded prepayment in full with a wire transfer for a Flexible rate booking? It’s a permanent red flag to avoid that property like the plague.

      Like John says, given the situation in Turkey at the moment you’d think that hotels would go the extra mile for the shrinking number of tourists that still want to go there, rather than trying to shake them down.

      • Caroline Hansen

        Thats my point!
        Its very bad service from the hotel, especially when you also take the reduced tourist number into consideration

        But I do not think the guest has acted in bad faith when the person transferred money. The guest may think that the reasoncould be the unrest in the country, and therefore the hotel wanted some form of security if credit card / bank systems become inoperative for a period, like Greece when it went State-bankrupt.

        I also believe the guest before the bank transfer has examined if the account number belonged to the hotel.

        But again, let’s not go to the guest who is already down, but instead focus on the poor service of the hotel, cancel a booking and ban a guest from the martricel, because the guest has been in contact with SPG

        • Jay Daniel

          if a country is experiencing unrest … hint… dont go…if greece is not accepting cards…I wont go.. why am I gonna get a million bucks by going to spend money in some shit country that cannot even process cards? No so what reason do I have ?

      • Gaijinsan

        I’ve seen the same in Egypt since their country took a nosedive. Not the ridiculous wire-transfer payment, but a shake down of the few remaining tourists has become the norm. If it weren’t a world class diving destination I’d never go back as it gets pretty annoying.

    • Jay Daniel

      You are crazy, naive and reckless with your money (which is your right) if you go around doing bank transfers to hotels. I would NEVER pay for ANYTHING other than maybe for a meal or drinks with cas(bank transfer is cash) Everything else goods and services needs to be paid with a card so you can dispute said transaction if they failed to deliver.

  • Jeffrey Kostbar

    Spent a long time working in law enforcement. This smells. Even the hotel letter instructing the accounting department to refund the money. What if this is crooked employees? They send this letter to the man to get him off their back………they “ban him from the hotel”, so he does not show up. They have no intent to return the money and he may never get it. I would like to hear from this man to see if he ever actually got his money back in his bank. That would be my main concern.

  • Richard

    The flexible rate is 45 Euro. The prepaid rate is 40 Euro. @ 18 days the total prepaid rate is 720 Euro. Obviously not as simple as it would appear, but cancelling the flexible rate booking would have solved the second issue; and a subsequent prepaid rate booking would have solved the first issue. A credit card transaction would be the better option in the end. Wiring money for a booking is not out of the ordinary for the independent small hotel but SPG is not the independent small hotel.

    Oddly enough, the hotel had a room and the hotel had payment for the room but the hotel turned away the customer due to a complaint with corporate. Hard to imagine under what circumstances a hotel would willingly choose to refund payment in full unless no rooms were available.

  • Stanley Kaye

    I would like to relate to the role of SPG in this. SPG is a brand and as such should have some control of franchises standards or it really has no business in existing. The customer had his booking cancelled for talking to SPG service and they can do nothing to help him? SPG needs to do one of 3 things. Either resolve the issue, or throw out the hotel from the group or issue a warning on its website that contacting customer service could be dangerous and cause you to lose your booking and money and have noone to help you. I am following this case and for now i will not book any SPG hotel anywhere in the world.

    • Patrick Yu

      That is really an unbelievable response from the hotel.

  • Antonella Rojas

    It is so obvious that a hotel employee scammed him so the hotel wanted the guest off their back because they know what happened.

  • BenniHK

    “SPG who says unfortunately can not help finding another hotel since Four Points by Sheraton Istanbul Batisehir. Is the franchise owned and they can therefore reject who they want without SPG can do anything. They can not tell if the hotel will ever refund the prepaid money.”

    It is so ridiculous!!! I can’t believe spg dare to provide such response!!! It really scares me!

  • Waleria Aden

    Jay Daniel, you are a fucking moron

  • Mike Dos Santos

    “We appreciate that you are feeling frustrated!”

    Since he’s traveling to Istanbul, I would print everything and present the documents to the Tourist Police and request an investigation.

    About the Prepaid reservation, initiate immediately Charge Back with the card issuing bank, including a copy of the email posted in this article.

    • nostresshere

      He WIRED money, not a charge/credit card.

  • nostresshere

    And,what part of this deal are we NOT hearing about? You know there is always more to the story.

  • Flyboy

    Guest should have said to get the deposit through his credit/debit card. That way, you are always protected. Why bank transfer then…

  • RickJames

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/875462f406f5a390d06e3b7293d5549c56e8e4f41128f5c8eff7bba94ab47b03.jpg This Jeremy Daniel from Toronto/Ottawa, Canada is showing how one could be f***ed by some rich Chinese so bad that causes his hatred towards Chinese people in general.

    Oh what a pathetic troll @jdanielca.

    • RickJames

      this face looks Asian BTW ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • RickJames

        southeastern Asian, am I right Jeremy?

        • Jay Daniel

          jeremy lol did you lose the ability to read in your old age?

    • Jay Daniel

      lol fucked up by rich chinese lol lol I’m not going to respond to that because you look like a dirty old pervert and I would prefer not provide you anymore information about myself.

      • RickJames

        doesnt matter you f*ing imbicle we know all about you. Go cry to your doctor wife she probably still couldnt fix you

        • Jay Daniel

          hahahaha you are very amusing, go on ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Jay Daniel

          Am I supposed to be like impressed by your 80 year old man style internet sleuthing? hahahhahahaha cmon old timer go to bed, it is bed time.. for you stop boring me with your juvenile games

  • superduper

    avoid turkey. youll get bombed.

    • Sade

      This is possible for every country so stay at home dont move anywhere

  • Ron Dolton

    Some 4 years ago I had booked a Sheraton in Istanbul.I applied SNAs to the booking and at the 5 day out mark instead of an upgrade I had my booking cancelled and although not told I was banned told they couldn’t make another booking.SPG couldn’t help and I ended up staying at the Doubletree.
    Seems a problem with Turkey and SPG.