A LoyaltyLobby reader from Japan dropped me an email regarding a Best Rate Guarantee-case with one of the IHG affiliated ANA hotels.
You can access IHG here.
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Here’s the email from the reader:
Do you know the official website of IHG hotels reservation?
Yes, you know that it is http://www.ihg.com/.
I booked 1 KING CLUB SUPERIOR WITH RIVER VIEW Room at InterContinental Hotel Tokyo Bay
for 40,000 JPY on ihg.com (from 03 Dec 2017 to 04 DEC 2017, 2 Adults, 1 Room).
Immediately afterwards, I found the same room selling for 31,000 JPY under the same condition on
Rakuten Travel that is a famous OTA in Japan (https://travel.rakuten.co.jp).
So I submitted the Best Price Guarantee claim form.
However, it was rejected, because the same room was sold at 31,000 JPY at http://www.anaihghotels.co.jp/.
The following is a mail from IHG Best Price Guarantee Helpdesk.
Thank you for your reply.
A lower room rate was found offered on the IHG ANA website for the same room type booked based on the details found for the reservation on your claim. Please be advised that IHG ANA hotels also have a specific web site which can specifically be foundthrough http://www.anaihghotels.co.jp/. This, however, is written in Japanese since it is operated by our IHG ANA properties. Upon checking this site, it shows that the lowest nightly price is JPY 31,000.00 (tax included).
Since the lower rate is also available on an IHG-owned web site, your claim will not qualify for the Best Price Guarantee.
We understand that you want to enjoy the lowest rate online. Please make a new reservation on http://www.anaihghotels.co.jp/.
We apologize for any inconvenience. Should you have further questions regarding the specific Terms and Conditions of the program, you may visit www.ihg.com/bestprice.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail.
http://www.anaihghotels.co.jp/ is the local site of Japan and in Japanese only, but it is treated as an official website at IHG.
And it seems that IHG hotels in Japan are often sold cheaper on that site than ihg.com.
You need to check http://www.anaihghotels.co.jp/ before submiting for the Best Price Guarantee of IHG Hotels in Japan.
Could you tell me the other LOCAL OFFICIAL website of IHG?
It certainly is weird that IHG claims to have the lowest prices for all IHG hotels on IHG.com and here they openly admit that this certainly is not the case with IHG affiliated ANA hotels in Japan.
Best Rate Guarantee teams advises the reader to go to the ANA’s website in Japan and book the hotel from there. This is not an issue for the reader in question but how about those that are not fluent in Japanese? How are they supposed to get the lowest price if they are not available on IHG.com?
Not sure why it is not possible for the ANA to distribute their lowest rates on IHG.com if they do it on Rakuten? Seems that on this instance their prices on IHG.com are more than 30% higher than on their own website + Rakuten.
And the response from the Best Rate Guarantee team is borderline hilarious. Wonder why English speaking guests are being discriminated here?
I have no idea why they have this set up in Japan (must be something to do with the distribution costs) and I am not aware of any other local IHG sites that would offer such pricing.