A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a note after my Compensation Clinic-case this past Sunday that Hilton Honors appears to close accounts that complain.
You can access Hilton Honors here.
Here’s the email that a reader sent after my Compensation Clinic-case (read more here) this past Sunday:
I would be very careful making a complaint with reference to a service issue at any Hilton property.
I had a very bad stay at Hilton Garden Inn Brindley Place Birmingham where I had many advertised TV channels not working, no working air conditioning, no working WiFi and the hotel did not upgrade me but I never asked for an upgrade but they then direct billed Hilton £12:15 for the upgrade.
I made a complaint and the Hilton Garden Inn awarded me 10,500 points but when Hilton were asked to add the points to my account they decided to close my Hilton Honors account and cancelled my Diamond status and kept all the points I had earned.
I complained to Hilton but after a week and numerous email exchanges they refused to reinstate my Hilton Honors account.
I had received an email informing me of the closure of my Hilton Honors account from Hilton Finance and signed Nicole Anderson. I finally managed to track down Nicole and she denied sending the email.
I am only sending you this email so you can warn you’re members that Hilton will close an account without notice or any evidence. I personally did nothing wrong but my opinion the reason for the closure of my account was to cover up the fact the hotel had direct billed Hilton for an upgrade I never asked for or had. My stay was in the standard room I checked in via the Hilton app. It was disappointing to lose all the Hilton points I had earned over the past 24 months and my Diamond status which I have had for the past 2 years but I will get over it.
My advice to you’re members is not to complain about any service issues at any Hilton hotel or have any exchange of emails with Hilton guest assistance if you don’t want you’re account close and lose the Hilton account. In my case some of the points I had purchased from Hilton and 45,000 points transferred from Virgin Atlantic. This cost me money which I cannot get back.
The Hilton Garden Inn Brindley Place sent me an email saying they look forward to welcoming me back to the hotel and mentioned the 10,500 points they awarded me but as my account was closed I can not use them or any of the points in my account. I also lost the points in my points and money reservations. Hilton also left live reservations in my account and they refused to cancel them and I had to go searching through my emails to find the reservation numbers and cancel them myself. I also could not remove my credit card from the Hilton app as I cannot sign into my account and that’s why Hilton should have cancelled all the future reservations as my credit card could could have been charged and the reservations were at the Honors rate so I could not have stayed at the hotels with that rate as my Hilton account had been closed and I was no longer a Hilton member.
I think Hilton have changed as a company since they updated their IT systems at the end of October 2018. The amount of IT issues Hilton have had in the past 12 months has been unacceptable.
I enjoy viewing you’re website and wanted to wish you all the best.
I found this email very interesting and decided to find out what exactly happened.
Here’s one of the email that reader received from Hilton on October 16 and was forwarded to us:
This e-mail is with respect to your concerns regarding the decision made to close your Hilton Honors Account.
We have thoroughly reviewed all facts presented, and given the high value of compensation offered during the last 24 months, we must reiterate our decision outlined to you in our email from 8th October and advise you that we will not be re-opening or creating you a new account as originally anticipated.
We further wish to clarify that Hilton will not be issuing a refund or awarding an alternative gesture for your stay at Hilton Garden Inn Brindley Place, Res# 3148525974. The stay was booked with Hilton Honors points and any Hilton Honors Points that may have been offered as service recovery in relation to this stay are forfeited in line with paragraph 9 of the Hilton Honors Terms & Conditions:
“Hilton Honors reserves the right to suspend or discontinue Hilton Honors membership, including any Elite Tier status (including Silver Elite Member, Gold Elite Member, and Diamond Elite Member status), for any Member who appears to be using the Program in a manner inconsistent with the Terms and Conditions or intent of the Program or any portion of the Program, (…). Such discontinued membership may result in the loss of all accumulated Points and the cancellation of Hilton Honors Certificates, benefits and privileges, including the loss of any associated Elite Tier status.”
Here’s an email that a reader had received from Hilton on October 9:
Greetings from Dallas!!
My sincerest apologies about all the back and forth and account closure. I know you are thoroughly displeased and I am sorry and I am looking to make this right quickly for you.
I wanted to share I am working to restore your account and just need a little time to do that. It might come with a new account number (I hope you are ok with that).
With all the emails as well I had a quick question … I thought I saw you had an upcoming stay? If so can you share the confirmation number? If I am mistaken, sorry.
I wanted to find out what was going on here and asked the reader what was compensation, when and how much:
I was compensated twice in 24 Months.
The compensation was offered and not requested for poor service at 2 hotels.
The majority of points in my account this year were from purchased Hilton points and transferred points from Virgin Atlantic and 7 (9 Nights) stays at Hilton.
At the end of the day both the Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow and Hilton Garden Inn Brindley Place both were not up to standard and advertising amenities they don’t have.
They were also supplied photographic evidence of the service issues. The Brindley place hotel also direct billed Hilton for an upgrade I never asked for or received.
Finally I did not get to use the compensation points as they closed my account.
The compensation points were offered but not requested so in hindsight it’s not wise to accept any points compensation.
I feel if you want to keep your Hilton points to spend its wise not to say a word about any issues.
The Make it Right Guarantee is just to get the business and nothing more.
The amount of compensation:
10,500 points and 32,000 I never requested they gave me any points. The hotels in question made that decision.
Here’s one previous account closure case from 2017:
Here’s my case this past Sunday:
This account cancellation doesn’t make much sense. How can Hilton Honors somehow determine that the reader would have been compensated 121%?
I guess that Hilton Honors appears to have an issue if members redeem their points for award nights and then ask for compensation.
It doesn’t seem excessive if a reader has had issues with hotels twice in 24 months, and hotels have provided compensation. I have requested clarification from a Hilton Honors spokesperson but haven’t received a comprehensive reply by this date.
I just had a look at my Hilton Honors account, and this HGI-case was my second complaint within the past 12 months. The previous one was in November 2018. I have had something like 70 nights most paid in-between.
The reader is right that if Hilton aggressively closes accounts that utilize their satisfaction guarantees, they should discontinue them (the guarantees).