Earlier in July, I covered a reader’s case where a Four Points hotel in Istanbul had basically told the guest that he is banned from staying at the hotel due to opening a a file with customer service (access the piece here). The stay had been prepaid and the hotel has not refunded the payment.
You can access Four Points Istanbul Batisehir here.
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Here’s a reminder what has happened so far:
Here’s the message from the reader (via Facebook):
I have had this bad experience with Four Points by Sheraton Istanbul Batisehir.
On 02/06/17 I booked 18 nights at this hotel, I chose Flexiable-Rate, with payment on arrival at the hotel. On 05/06/17, the hotel’s Sales & Resevation Executive contacts me by phone and tells me to immediately leave a 100% deposit by bank transfer, or they will cancel the booking.
I’m a little skeptical about making my bank transfer, but choose to do it when I need the room on these nights.
After the bank transfer it is quite silent, I try to contact the hotel management every day and the person who called me to confirm that the money has been received. I get no response to my mails to the hotel’s accounting department, and when I call the front desk they say that the person i have to talking with is not at work and I should try to call again tomorrow. I’ll never answer my emails! Nor do the emails I send to the hotel’s general manager.
Therefore, I contact SPG Corporate Customer Service, which creates a case for this. SPG customer service also says that now that I have prepaid, the hotel should also give me prepaid rate and they write to the hotel that they must send a receipt for the transfer received and consider whether the hotel can offer me prepaid rate, the hotel will respond quickly to SPG that they Has sent me a receipt, which is a lie! Which they also later recognize in regards to SPG Corporate Customer Service!
SPG says I have to cancel this booking and then the hotel will refund the money I have paid by bank transfer and I will then make a new booking at the hotel and choose prepaid rate (To get the prepaid rate I deserve after prepaying via Bank transfer) and pay by credit card on SPG website. I do this immediately and believe I will get the money I have paid by bank transfer refunded (It is a free-cancel booking).
16 hours before my arrival at the hotel I receive a wretched mail from the hotel manager, it is the first time the hotel answers my emails, he is telling I am expelled/banned from the hotel and all active bookings have been canceled. I am not welcome at this hotel ever in the future because I have established a case with SPG corperate customer service.
I contact a supervisor at SPG who says unfortunately can not help finding another hotel since Four Points by Sheraton Istanbul Batisehir. Is the franchise owned and they can therefore reject who they want without SPG can do anything. They can not tell if the hotel will ever refund the prepaid money.
I’m here now with 2 prepaid canceled bookings, and have probably realized I’ll never get the money back for these bookings. SPG says they cant help further, thats how to treat SPG gold members…
Here’s the email from the property:
The reader has been in touch with me and what is going on with this case. He has not been able to resolve it with SPG:
Here’s copy of the chat that the reader sent me the other week. Seems that Catherine C mistakenly copy/pasted something from the file (that she was not supposed to do). She promptly exited the chat afterwards.
I would assume that this means that the SPG’s PR has advised customer service not to communicate with the reader? Is this because he went public with the case?
The reader had tried to escalate this case to the CEO’s office too but got shot down as well. He now considers the money lost per the messages that I have received from him.
I don’t know the reader. Based on the messages that I have exchanged with him he does sound quite sincere. He just simply wanted to get his money back from the property that banned him as a result of him previously opening a file with SPG. Not too much to ask IMHO.
SPG does brilliant marketing but is not always very strong in service recovery. They definitely don’t like when their properties get negative publicity.
I have forwarded this case twice to Marriott to get their side of the story. Despite the ample opportunity to comment on the matter, I have never heard anything back.