A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email regarding an audit issue he is having with IHG Rewards Club that has remained unsolved now for more than a month.
You can access IHG Rewards Club here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I was reaching out after coming across a couple of your posts about readers getting “randomly audited” by IHG rewards.
I unfortunately have recently become one of those readers. Around November 19th, my account was placed under random audit. When trying to login to my account, I received the message, “we have temporarily disabled your account due to a possible conflict with the IHG rewards club terms and conditions”.
I’ve called them numerous times over the last few weeks to try and get more information on this. The only things I suspected I did that may have been an issue were:
1. My fiance stayed at an IHG property and used my rewards account to earn points for the stay
2. I also used my account number to earn points on another IHG stay in which I was staying at the property but was not on the reservation.
3. I was signed up for the recent accelerate promotion and also booked a points break stay. What I’ve read on your blog is that they have been known to terminate accounts that have done things like this.
However, after digging as deep as I could, I discovered from a phone rep that the stay in question was at a property that I have never stayed at, tagged my account to a stay at, or have otherwise been affiliated with in any way. They won’t tell me more than this, and have continually told me that this will be resolved in 3-5 days… Clearly not the case.
I was wondering if you could post this on your blog to see if any readers have suggestions of what I can do to get this resolved as I have numerous reservations over the next month that I currently cannot access.
It is really unfortunately (unfortunately not uncommon) that it has now taken more than a month for IHG Rewards Club trying to resolve the issue with your account and I blame the mostly non-functional contact/call center in Manila for this.
Let’s tackle the issues point by point:
1. This is the only stay where you didn’t comply with the program T&Cs. If you were the main guest (whether showed up or nor) and your fiance was the second guest, there is likely no record that anything would have been wrong with the stay.
2. IHG Rewards Club members can collect points for more than one room at the time as long as they are staying at the hotel as well. This is not in violation of the T&Cs.
3. Registering for the Accelerate and making a PointBreaks booking is just fine. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you don’t make more than two PointBreaks booking per hotel, although this limit is buried in the T&Cs and never clearly communicated to the members.
I believe that what might have happened here is that someone at the property level either looked up member number for guest’s stay or miskeyed one. Someone may have tried to use points in your account to redeem an awards stay as well.
It is really unfortunate that the contact center is just passing the buck and not resolving the issue. As I said earlier, this is unfortunately not uncommon with IHG Rewards Club that is definitively not known for being timely and customer oriented.
Let me be direct and say that this has nothing to do with the contact center that is based in Manila per se but rather the management of the IHG Rewards Club customer service overall. I (and probably others too) don’t care where contact center is as long as they can resolve issues.
I have tried to resolve my issue with the IHG Rewards Club Share Forever summer promo issue now for 6 months and have been promised resolution number of times but nothing has happened. I’ll probably take InterContinental Hotels Group/Six Continent Hotels (latter manages the loyalty program) to small claims court and document the process here.
The customer service that IHG Rewards Club promises is appalling and eventually it will be downfall of the program.
If issues go unresolved for months and the first thing that they do is to freeze account (see my piece here when they did this when I tried to purchase points for third party), you know that some (or several people) are not doing their work at the IHG Rewards Club management level.