A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about issues that they were having with IHG’s Best Price Guarantee that I have previously taken advantage of numerous times and also covered here several times.
You can access IHG’s website for Best Price Guarantee here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
And the last reply from IHG Best Price Guarantee team:
I am trying to get a best rate guarantee at the Intercontinental Estoril in Portugal.
I found a rate at Amoma for 202 EUR that included breakfast and is cancellable.
I found a rate that was both cancellable and included breakfast at IHG and booked it and submitted a claim (the rate was close to 400 EUR). They came back and said this was not the lowest rate available on their site and showed me the rate that was and sort of indicated that by booking this it would make the BRG valid. I then changed the rate to a Advance rate only for them to come back and say that the advance rate I booked did not include breakfast as shown at Amoma. So I then changed the rate to Advance with breakfast to which they said that this would also not be valid as the lowest rate on their site is a advance rate with no breakfast and the one at amoma includes breakfast.
I think they are flat out lying about their BGR programme in order to get people to book advance rates and then not accept claims. At all stages I felt that the agent was pushing me towards booking a rate that would qualify and actually in the end didn’t.
If they had simply been honest from the start and said the lowest advance rate on our site must be booked in order for the BGR to be valid but in your case this still would not be accepted as amoma includes breakfast but our advance rate does not, then that would have been the end of it but I feel they simply misled me into booking.
I really need your help. I have asked them to allow me to cancel the booking without penalty but have met no response yet. I have also asked them to escalate this but still no reply.
I cant understand why they are applying the breakfast issue when they wont apply the fact that the rate at Amoma is cancellable and their one isn’t, they cant have it both ways, either you match the other site on the same terms as the other site or they need to be more flexible. Seems like they have designed their BGR to not beat any deal anywhere.
I attach the email correspondence.
Here’s the last response from IHG:
IHG’s Best Price Guarantee has definitely become more of an advertising program than a guarantee that would ensure that their properties TRULY have the lowest prices available on branded websites.
I still cover the Best Price Guarantee program changes here on LoyaltyLobby but simply don’t have the time trying to take advantage of it by myself due to the issues that you noted on the email.
It is simply ridiculous that you cannot compared 3rd party breakfast inclusive rate to a higher non-breakfast inclusive rate on IHG.com. Properties can simply continue dumping rooms at a lower price on third party sites by simply adding a breakfast or different cancellation terms.
I would call the IHG Consumer Relations when they are open in the US and ask them to cancel the reservation for you. If they don’t do that, I would contact the consumer ombudsman in the country where you live and open a case against IHG for improper advertising/disclosure.
It would be great to hear from readers that have had claims lately. Have they been approved or declined?