As part of their Best Rate Guarantee program, Hyatt promises to match lower rates found on 3rd party sites and further discounts those rates by an additional 20%.
Hotel chains all have Best Rate Guarantee programs trying to get the booking public to think that if they are willing to offer a guarantee they also must have the lowest rates available on their on site as well. Wrong.
You can access Hyatt’s web page for Best Rate Guarantee program here.
Hyatt has been busy “enhancing” its Best Rate Guarantee program this year (meaning devaluing and complicating it as fast as they can).
First Hyatt made filing the claim only available via a web form on its site (read more here) and second it updated the terms and conditions to be extremely restrictive as to whicht 3rd party websites qualify for a match (read more here).
Now, Hyatt basically argues that most of the 3rd party websites are membership ones, even if they really aren’t, and deny the claim. The other excuse that Hyatt has started to use is to say that the 3rd party reservation is not immediately confirmable even when they really are and still deny the claim.
Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee Case: Zilara Cancun $392 Versus $337
I really thought that this would be a slam dunk. Although the 3rd party rate includes all the taxes and fees and could be considered a “package rate” per the T&C’s, so does the rate on Hyatt.com.
So, I filed the claim early in the morning on Hyatt.com and received the reply below 8 hours later.
Hyatt claimed that the 3rd party website doesn’t offer instant confirmation, but rather takes 24 hours to confirm. The email from Hyatt included an email address to Customer Relations. I sent the followings screenshot showing that the confirmation is instant and then waited and waited.
Hyatt never bothered to reply.
Why does Hyatt even bother offering a “Best Rate Guarantee” if their intention is not to match 3rd party rates and only come up with lame excuses? The competitive pressure from other chains and the fact that OTA’s are discounting Hyatt inventory heavily, must have made the executives feel that they need to offer something. For the uneducated traveler, this appears to be great, however in reality Hyatt is unwilling to match the rates.
These 3rd party sites that discount Hyatt inventory have healthy margins of 15% to 25%. Many hotels dump their excess inventory to wholesalers that bundle flights, hotels and car rental packages. Sometimes this discounted inventory finds its way onto regular booking sites as well.
Maybe Hyatt should better police its properties and ensure that they TRULY offering their lowest prices on Hyatt.com instead of having 3rd party websites undercut them, then have the gall to deny valid claims? It seems that the “Hyatt touch” has gone missing.