Dec172010

Hyatt short-changed me 4.85% in base points. What about you?

This piece requires some reader feedback to determine if there is a systemic problem with Gold Passport base point earnings or just my account posting incorrectly.

I have stayed at four different Hyatt Hotels in the past month. Looking over my account I notice that the base points posted for each hotel stay is slightly less than the expected 5 points per dollar awarded for base room rate I paid.  

My base points posted for my last four hotel stays are 4.85% less than what I calculate I should have received for the room rate I paid using the 5 base points per dollar earn rate for Hyatt Gold Passport.

I have questioned Hyatt Gold Passport about this issue twice. The response I received is the hotel is responsible for keying in the room rate used to calculate base points.

I can understand one hotel incorrectly keying in a room rate, but to have all four hotels I stayed at this past month incorrectly key in the room rate is highly unusual.

 

A discrepancy almost too small to detect with the naked eye

The difference in base points posted and what I estimate should have been posted is so small that it could easily go undetected. My account has been corrected after going through each hotel stay folio with a Gold Passport Diamond member customer service representative.

But I sure would like to know how widespread this issue is for Hyatt Gold Passport members. That is why I want you to check your accounts and provide some feedback.

Here are my actual numbers from my last four Hyatt hotel stays over the past month.

2,866 base points actually posted and I estimate 146 missing points for $602.80 in hotel rate base spend that should have earned 3,012 base points. I rounded down in all calculations and I am only considering the room rate before tax.

My account was short-changed 146 base points from 4 hotel stays on $602.80 in spend. Basically I was shorted $29 worth of base points which also affects my 30% Gold Passport elite bonus points by another 43 points. Missing 189 points after $600 in hotel spend is such a small discrepancy that I might have easily overlooked the difference.  

Overall, this is a 4.8% short-change in base points earned for my four hotel stays.

The reason I noticed the base points discrepancy is I did not receive 5,000 bonus points for two of my hotel stays booked with the Hyatt 5000GP rate for two-night stays in participating California hotels. The base points discrepancy caught my attention as I looked over the different hotel stay folios from the past month.

My real question for readers is “How widespread are these discrepancies between room rate paid and base points earned?”

 

15 Million Points would be a Big-Change Discrepancy

Multiply my short-changed account of 146 points on $602 in hotel spend by 100,000 Gold Passport members. Assume a nearly 5% shortfall in base points per person and you have a cumulative 15 million missing points from Gold Passport members’ accounts.

Now that would be a serious issue to be redressed for Hyatt Gold Passport members .

I am reminded of the movie “Office Space” where the software engineers who are about to be fired plant a virus in the computer system to siphon a fraction of a cent from each transaction and end up embezzling a large amount of money.

Please comment Hyatt Gold Passport members  so we can all see if base points short-changing is a common occurrence.

Is base points short-changing an anomaly specific to my Hyatt Gold Passport account or do others see a base points discrepancy with Hyatt Gold Passport earning on recent stays?

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. I will check my own records shortly – I did some quick math to see if it was a consistent error percentage, but none of your 4 amounts are consistently off. You got anywhere from 92% – 99% of the points you should have.

    Not sure what that means, but it does point away from a systematic/programmatic issue.

  2. Two points I want to make clear.

    Firstly, I am not mounting an attack on Hyatt.

    200 missing points is not worth my time. And I fully intend to be staying at Hyatt Hotels in the next month. (Please don’t banish me Hyatt Hotels!)

    The base points issue was just a minor points discrepancy that I brought up.
    I am just trying to figure out why I am getting these minor discrepancies in base points.

    My real interest in the base points issue is how a simple 5 points per dollar calculation can be incorrect on four consecutive hotel stays? And is this happening to other Hyatt Gold Passport members?

    Multiplying by 5 points/$1 is a really simple calculation for base points.

    In all my years of loyalty travel I have never seen four consecutive hotel stays post base points earnings not matching the base points earn rate for the hotel loyalty program.

    Secondly,attention to detail is fairly important for frequent guests working hotel and airline loyalty programs.

    My first call this morning was to Starwood Preferred Guest to request over 3,000 Starpoints not posted to my account for two different hotel stays from the past two months.

    That was a free Starwood category 2 weekend night added to my account.

    Then I called Hyatt Gold Passport to get 5,000 bonus points missing from my account for my last hotel stay. That was a free night at a category 1 hotel added to my account.

    Auditing my points from 6 hotel stays earned two free nights in my accounts this morning. That is why it is valuable to track your account earnings in some detail.

    I still have to audit Priority Club. But Priority Club usually surprises me the other way with bonus points I did not expect.

  3. VG – Hyatt has set my accounts right and so did SPG this morning.

    Bonus points are commonly omitted.

    Missing base points is something I rarely see when dealing with USA hotel stays paid in US Dollars. And this occurred my last four Hyatt hotel stays.

  4. Whether or not this is intentional, it happens all the time, Ric. You’re probably one of the few people that actually catch it.

    There’s this bar I go to in Koreatown here in LA. I noticed that they always add 10% as the tax (instead of 9.75%) and round up to the nearest dollar so that the bill is always a round number. I did some back of the napkin math (similar to yours) and found that they’re netting something like $75,000 annually because of this one trick.

    It’s not enough for me to get mad about it (the food and drinks there are really good!) but at the same time, when you extrapolate the Hyatt shortages system-wide, that’s a lot of missing points!

  5. It happens to me EVERY TIME — and I mean EVERY TIME (Count 28 stays over 10 different hyatts in the past 3 months). I have to call in, talk to the CSR and have them correct it. I feel like a crazy loon calling and whining about 7 points or 10 points, but it bugs the hell out of me that this is inaccurate. I guess it’s not that bad since they can never seem to get my 5000GP bonus and the G bonuses to apply correctly anyway, so I just roll it all up into one gigantic call:

    Hi. My name is blah! Account Number is blah. Please adjust my last stay at ____ checking in on ______ with the following:

    1) 5000GP
    2) G Bonus
    3) You guys messed up my base points. Please adjust it, and the elite bonus accordingly.

    Ugghh! I love Hyatt, but they keep fraking up something that should be automated. Why o why! I’ve talked with a senior manager, and they keep ducking the issue.

  6. My boss said he just called someone fairly high up on the food chain at Hyatt and they’re looking into the issue! We originally thought it was just an isolated incident, but could be a bit more endemic. Good looking out!

  7. I’ve rarely been able to reconcile precisely the base points for a stay – sometimes its a little short other times its somewhat over. As long as the difference is not significant (up to say 200 points per stay – I ignore it). The bonus points are much more significant and I pay attention to those.

  8. My recent stay at Waikiki cost exactly $400. My base points should have been 2,000. Actual 1,889.

    5.55% lower than expected. I put it down to no points for the breakfast element of my AAA rate.

  9. Yep, just short-changed 3.42% of my base points for a 5-night stay at GH San Francisco. I’d be very interested to hear Hyatt’s explanation for such regular “mistakes.”

  10. It’s quite common, but can be confusing since I believe they are not allowed to award points for alcohol in certain states (for example, California).

    Although the most dramatic example is our recent stay (2 weeks ago) at Park Aviara – they awarded only 950 points when our folio was almost $2,000.

  11. Calculations on my stays suggest that the tip & tax portions of things charged to my room are not being included in the points calculation. My understanding is that tax and tip are never included whether embedded in another charge or explicitly noted in the folio. If I rework my estimates based upon only the base food or spa service charge exclusive of tips and tax then things are usually near exact. Unfortunately the folios only show the total amount charged to the room so you can’t work out the adjustment unless you have the actual receipts.

    What I would complain about, though, is that the links to past folios rarely work and then are often wrong even if you do get a file. For instance I had two stays at Scottsdale a month apart and the two pdf links in my profile for the two stays both retrieve the same file (the earlier one, oddly…).

  12. I love the Hyatt Diamond program and have over 300K in points. I am also the highest level on Starwood and Hilton and missed the Marriott by 10 nights. By far,the Hyatt is the worst at giving the correct points. I would estimate that almost 50% of the time I need to call. It is usually the stays at the Hyatt Places that are the issue. It is fairly complicated when you get normal stay points, Platinum bonus, Gold passport offer bonus and whatever else they are giving at the time. They don’t seem to give the bonus points that have been earned. Marriott and Starwood is the best at this, with a Hilton being third.

  13. I got to your website from flyertalk.com while reading a related thread there.
    Just completed a stay at the grand hyatt in sao paulo. was short changed in points awarded. Contacted GP several times to get it fixed finally.
    I rarely use Hyatt, but i had a significant issue identical to this one with SPG. It took many months and numerous emails to get that fixed. my past stays in the last few years were reviewed one by one. Most involved forex, and inappropriate forex was the biggest issue.

Comments are closed.