A LoyaltyLobby reader emailed me a question regarding Hilton HHonors Diamond brand standards in the UK and recently diluted benefits.
You can access Hilton HHonors web page for Diamond benefits here.
Here’s the email:
As you’re probably aware, the $/£ factor has now hit UK generated points allocation. Not much we can do about this. However, Hilton really do need to get their Brand Standard sorted out. The UK core Hilton Brand seem to have stopped giving drinks vouchers at non-exec lounge hotels. As a Lifetime Diamond member I really don’t know what to expect when I check in now. I often don’t even get water unless I ask for it although most are usually still quite good with room upgrades.
No-one can point me to an up to date summary of current Brand Standard Diamond benefits that the brand must provide and is accurate. They seem to modify the Brand Standard without communicating the changes to either their customers or the Hotel Brands themselves. Clearly this should be picked up by their Audit Teams but it appears not to be the case. You’d also expect an American Company to be keen to manage this process well.
Often I get the response from Management that ‘its up to us whether we offer that standard or not’ which I believe to be used as an excuse.
Hilton discontinued the drink vouchers at properties in the UK that didn’t have executive lounges (guess this!) due to brand consistency! I wrote about the discontinuance of the complimentary drinks five weeks ago (read more here) that includes a reply from the Hilton spokesperson as well.
The brand standards book for Hilton branded property is probably close to 400 pages (I kid you not) that includes the minimum required bandwidth depending on the number of rooms among to breakfast settings and everything in between. I was trying to pull up a new one off the Internets but couldn’t locate one (there were quite a few for other Hilton brands).
The problem is that there are very few GUARANTEED benefits for Hilton HHonors Diamond members. You get bonus points, premium internet (how’s the internet access at the regional UK hotels?) and, at the minimum, continental breakfast.
Obviously hotels that want to get repeat business offer beyond what is the absolute minimum required but usually under performing hotels don’t. My advise is to move your stays to other hotels within the Hilton HHonors or to completely different chain.
Those hotels that only offer the absolute minimum required are usually not worth staying at. I believe that many chains and brands have older hotels that basically taint the brand and should either be brought up to compliance or reflagged.
Hotels have come up with something called “amenity creep”. The internet is nowadays complimentary for everyone so offering it free is no longer competitive advantage (offering something that is FAST and WORKS still could be in many countries). Diamond members are now eligible for Premium access where available.
I have started to be brutal and leave frank reviews of these under performing hotels on TripAdvisor with rankings that long term will hurt their business far more than giving feedback through the brand.