Reader Question: Accor Plus Customer Service Insanity? (Status Downgrade)

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an Accor Plus status downgrade case that is just mind-boggling. Reader’s Platinum status was basically downgraded/not honored due to being an Accor Plus member.

Reader Question Accor Plus Customer Service Insanity

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You can access Le Club AccorHotels here and Accor Plus here.

READ MORE: Le Club AccorHotels Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here’s the email from the reader:

Herewith I send you the correspondence with Accor plus in Thailand about the renewal of my Accorplus membership.

I expected to have platinum status but suddenly Accorplus is changing the rules. My membership is ending end of January this year. Now they already applied the new rules effective 2017 over my points and stays in 2016.

All the points I made in 2016 (26900) are now already divided in reward and status points so just silver status.

This is maybe good to know for other Accor plus member to prevent future disappointments.

Here’s the email conversation between the reader and Matthieu Sneyers (Program Manager with Accor Plus in Bangkok):

Reply from Accor Plus (Mathieu Sneyers):

Regarding the renewal of your membership there are 2 issues :

1) As you may have noticed, as of the 1st of January 2017 two (2) types of points are earned via Le Club – 1. Reward Points and 2. Status Points. 

  • Use your Rewards Points to book nights, to enjoy a Dream Stay, to take advantage of Elite Experiences or convert them with one of our partners. Rewards Points are valid for life, subject to one eligible stay per year.
  • The new Status Points define which status level you are, based on your staying in Accor Hotels during a calendar year. The more you stay, the more Status Points you have, the higher your status.

If you are a Gold or Platinum member that was upgraded in 2016 such as yourself, your membership will be assessed upon the renewal day based on the number of Status Points you have earned in the previous membership year (01 Jan 2016 – 31 Dec 2016). 

Unfortunately the total amount of status points you have earned in 2016 is 1,672 points or 28 nights, which is not enough to maintain your Platinum status tier. I have attached the calculation for your kind reference. 

2) Each year due to the Festive Season there is always a slight delay with the printing of our cards, we will receive our next stock by the end of this week and it will take another 5 to 7 days to reach you in the Netherlands. Hence you won’t receive the card before 20th of January.

Let me know if you agree on being downgraded to Silver after renewal we can do manual upgrade to Gold if you can stay 2 more nights before 14 February 2017.

Reply from the reader:

The 28000 Points I made where under the old rules by Accor. If I had no Accor plus last Year but just my Accor club card I would have made platinum status and now you are telling me I have silver status?…

So I Am punished because I Am a Accor plus member.

You make the points calculation with the New rules but with these rules the points calculation will start in 2017 and not 2016

So I definitely made Platinum status 

Can you ask again because I can not believe this calculation

Reply from Accor Plus (Mathieu Sneyers):

Thank you for your email and I share your disappointment.

However we are different from Le Club in the sense that our membership offers dining and accommodation benefits which Le Club does not offer. Also as mentioned in our Terms and Conditions, your Le Club Accorhotels membership is separate from your Accor Plus membership, your Le Club Accorhotels membership does not expire and your status will be defined according to the level of activity during the calendar year prior to the expiry or renewal date of your Accor Plus membership. 

The best I could offer at this stage is if you agree on being downgraded to Silver after renewal we can do manual upgrade to Gold if you can stay 2 more nights before 14 February 2017.

Reply from the reader:

Thanks for your reply but I am totally confused and I disagree with you. If you take the activity during the calendar year prior to the expiration date my points should counted as status points according to the printed online rules. So you are telling me now if I cancel my membership with Accor Plus I will get Platinum status by Le Club Accorhotels membership.

So can you make sure that my transfer from Accor plus to Le Club Accor goes well and that I will keep my points, platinum status and that my online profile stays up and running. 

It is amazing that one company has different rules. I think I will not be the only Accor Plus member who will be disappointed because every member will count the points and stays in 2016 as status points according to the printed online rules.

A very disappointed Accor guest

Reply from Accor Plus (Mathieu Sneyers):

Indeed we will have many more dissapointed members since this new rule was applied as of 1 JAN 2017, it will affect many of our Platinum members who had little amount of hotel stays but large amounts of bonus stays. The logical reason why Accor Hotels is changing the rule by separating Reward and Status points is because it benefits frequent stayers and not those who only stay on bonus point campaigns, which gives a true indication of status/loyalty to Accor Hotels. 

From the history record, you obtained Platinum Tier as of 14 September 2015 and joined Accor Plus membership on 18 January 2016.

On the joining date, the status was not downgraded and the Platinum status was maintained following Accor Plus validity, back then both reward points and status points were counted up all together.

If you would decide not to renew your Accor Plus membership with us this year and switch back to Le Club your status will also be downgraded to Silver because you have only 28 nights and 1672 status points. After switching back, you will only be a Le Club member and I have no authorisation to do manual upgrade.

Where we also differ from Le Club is you have a personalized service with fast and efficient reply to your inquiries.

Again I share your disappointment, as I am facing many cases similar to yours.

Accor Plus is a semi separate program from Le Club AccorHotels that offers paid memberships for members in Asia-Pacific. This program price depends of the country where it is purchased and comes with free night certificate(s), dining and accommodation discounts.

Many hotel programs are offering dining programs in the Asia-Pacific region trying to get local members to wine and dine hotel F&B outlets. Buying a membership can make sense for members in other regions too if they travel to Asia-Pacific and prefer consuming F&B at hotels.

Note that I don’t normally publish the names of the people replying from companies’ behalf but in this case his title is Program Manager.

Conclusion

This is pure insanity. The reader is basically punished because she had signed up for Accor Plus previously. Her choice is to revert back to Le Club AccorHotels where she is threatened to be downgraded to Silver or take the offer of getting Gold by having couple of nights.

Readers have many times criticized the Le Club AccorHotels and Accor Plus customer service (or lack there of). My advice has always been to go public with the issue by posting on Accor’s Facebook page and start Tweeting them. These venues usually offer faster problem resolution.

Accor really should understand that they are a customer facing global business. French inflexibility, indifference and the customer is always wrong-attitude must go if they wish to have any chance of succeeding in the long term.

Also, they really need to do better integration between Le Club AccorHotels and Accor Plus. There have been many horror stories for accounts being left in a limbo after member had decided not to continue with the paid membership and revert back to Le Club AccorHotels. Why this Accor Plus couldn’t be just an additional flag on the Le Club AccorHotels account?

I have been contemplating of joining the Accor Plus (for the dining discounts, free night cert(s) and accommodation discounts). If this really is their way of running business (and seems that they think that it is the right way to run it), I won’t and would encourage everyone else to stay away as well.

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