LoyaltyLobby readers left comments the recent piece I wrote about the latest Le Club AccorHotels promotion for 6,000 points after three stays (read more here) and thought that one of them was worth highlighting.
You can access Le Club AccorHotels here.
Here’s the comment from the reader:
Firstly, Platinum was too easy to obtain so I understand that Accor has made it more difficult to reach. However, I think they have now made it too difficult. The $$$ threshold is obscene. A minimum of 5600 euros is required but in reality the minimum spend is significantly higher than this as status points are not earned on taxes, redeemed loyalty points, and additionally you earn half the status points when staying at Ibis/Ibis Styles/Mama Shelter and even less when staying at Adagio). A typical guest would need to spend 7000-8000 euros to reach Platinum! I would argue that it would be difficult (or rather impossible) to achieve this threshold as the majority of Accor’s properties are priced too low. Eg, you could stay at a 100 euro a night Novotel in Bangkok (excluding taxes) for 55 nights and you would still not have enough status points to reach Platinum. That’s a ridiculous prospect!
Secondly, I’ve also found the loyalty benefits extremely inconsistent. Both my partner and I are Platinum (and will both retain Platinum again for 2018 as we were fortunate to spend most of 2017 travelling to cities with strong Accor footprints). This year we’ve had outstanding stays at the Sofitel in Krabi, Pullman Kuching, Novotel Berlin Tiergarten, and even the humble Ibis in Carlisle. On the other hand we’ve had absolutely appalling stays at several hotels where our status was actually a disadvantage. Then there are hotels which aren’t bad but just deliver the bare minimum.
Thirdly, it is pretty disappointing that Accor have drastically increased how difficult it is to reach Platinum without actually making a single improvement to the benefits. I’m tentatively hopeful that they will improve the benefits in 2018 when many Platinums from 2017 fail to maintain their status. However, we are disappointed that we’ve made a huge commitment in 2017 to retain Platinum for 2018 (in other words we’ve significantly increased our loyalty to Accor) without receiving anything additional in return. Personally, the way Le Club has looked after their Platinum members in 2017 who will retain Platinum in 2018 is a significant oversight and unless they lift their game I’m unlikely to remain loyal in 2018. My verdict as of Sep 2017 is that the loyalty program is asking too much and not giving enough back.
Fourthly, returning to the article, these 6000 point offers are fantastic! They are one of my favourite aspects of the Le Club program. I have an upcoming trip to Bali in December with my partner and mum. All three of us should be able to earn the 6000 points which will add value to our trip. Although it is worth adding that you can benefit from this offer with Classic status (so again no real incentive to be Platinum).
Fifthly, while not directly to the article, one of my biggest frustrations with Accor is their abysmal online support. They are just shocking. If you email their customer care email address you won’t receive a reply. If you email a hotel directly you are unlikely to receive a reply (my success rate is about 20%). Even the most basic issue submitted through their online help portal often takes weeks to resolve (and on several occasions I’ve failed to receive a response). Recently my partner earned a new Le Club Places Facebook App badge but the points failed to post to his account. I submitted a query using their online portal and it took them 5 days to assign a case number, and it has been a further 11 days and we’ve still not received any further communication (let alone a resolution). This is such a minor issue that should be resolved in 24 hours. And then Accor had the nerve to send an email announcing that their smartphone app now has ‘5 fun background images for your digital card’ like it is the most amazing, important and revolutionary thing that their customers have been pleading for. Priorities! When I read emails like that it makes me so disillusioned with the program and it is clear that many of Accor’s executives operate from an Ivory Tower.
Some valid points here and that is the reason why I decided to feature this. I will start updating the Pros & Cons of various hotel loyalty programs next week and Accor is first in the alphabet.