Hilton Honors updated its Price Match Guarantee last week (read more here) making claims within 24 hours of arrival eligible but only by calling the reservations and processing the match over the phone.
I would like to hear from the readers if they have had any luck with this new procedure because I didn’t. The Guest Assistance agent processing the claim ended hanging up on me (unfortunately didn’t record the call).
You can access Hilton’s Price Match Guarantee here.
The match should have been clear cut. The Hilton’s price was $243 with breakfast while the same room on the third party site was $173. As the booking would have been for the following day, the Hilton’s rate nowadays are noncancelable.
The agent refused to even look at the third party website because she couldn’t see their price on her screen. She claimed that all the approved third party sites were selling the hotel at a higher price such as Expedia, Travelocity, CheapTickets and Amoma (these were the four sites that she mentioned). Seems that they can match to Expedia and Booking.com (formerly Priceline) owned websites (most OTAs) and some random others.
I assume that they have some kind of matrix that automatically pulls up the prices from these major OTAs with whom Hilton has “price parity” agreements with (meaning that they all should have the same price). She said that the third party site must charge something in order to make the booking without even having a look and this denied the claim.
When I mentioned that I had successfully matched against this same site back in July 2017, she said that it doesn’t matter. Then she said that she would end up the call and hangs up. I guess that they have number of calls that they need to process in an hour and I was hurting her numbers.
Then I checked some other random hotel in Colombia for this coming Sunday:
Trivago Price Matrix
Seems that this third party site is selling the same hotel at much lower price. They shouldn’t be, however, charging a tax because it is waived for non-residents.
They didn’t have availability at the advertised rate.
This OTA would have availability at half the rate of Hilton’s price.
When I was in touch with Hilton spokesperson, she stated that they maintain list of websites that have previously had qualified and non-qualified rates but that each claim should be processed case by case basis against the terms.
The Guest Assistance agent refused to even look at the third party site because their price wasn’t shown on her screen.
Most of the time these Price Match Guarantees are merely marketing promises. The only fair one was the Starwood’s that looked at the room type and price only. Payment and cancellations terms weren’t taken into account at all.
Hilton affiliated hotels can dump inventory on third party platforms at 50% or more off if they just make sure that those are prepaid rates and only flexible ones are available on branded website. What kind of “Price Match Guarantee” is this?