Posted by Ric Garrido

This could become a new daily blog feature on crazy reasons why best rate guarantee claims are denied. My sixth and latest best rate guarantee claim this week was for Best Western Plus Savannah Historic District. As in other BRG posts, I’ll lay out the evidence for my best rate guarantee claim for this hotel.

BW Savannah 143

Best Western Plus Savannah Historic District, Savannah, Georgia.

Room Details: 2 Double Beds $143.10 room rate; $162.70 after tax.

 

Competitor Online Travel Agency Getaroom.com

BW getarrom 120

getaroom.com rates for Best Western Savannah Historic District.

  • Double Guest Room $119.85
  • Standard $120.48
  • Standard Double Room, 2 Double Beds $159.00

image

getaroom.com Double Room rate = $119.85;  $146.73 after tax.

Room rate difference is $23.25 less on getaroom.com.

Total Rate Difference after tax and fees = $15.97.

Best Western International denied my best rate guarantee claim citing these reasons:

We have processed your Low Rate Guarantee Claim and the claim has been denied for the following reason(s):

“Per getaroom.com website they are offering a special rate of $119.85, special rates, discounts and sale prices do not qualify under the low rate guarantee terms and conditions. Also, rate is for 1 double bed not 2 double beds that were booked on our website”.

I expected the claim might be denied due to cancellation rate differences with getaroom.com at May 1 11:59pm ET, and Best Western at 6pm May 3 for cancellation with no penalty. There is a 42 hour difference in cancellation times without penalty.

What I did not expect is to be told that an OTA website offering a discount rate is not eligible under Best Western low rate guarantee T&C.

“Per getaroom.com website they are offering a special rate of $119.85, special rates, discounts and sale prices do not qualify under the low rate guarantee terms and conditions.”

A link to the T&C were included in the email from Best Western.

I read the T&C. Sure enough, it actually says discount rates can’t be used for a best rate guarantee.

Here is the wording in Best Western T&C.

The competing rate must be for the same hotel, dates, length of stay, currency, number of guests and similar room type. Additionally, the competing rate must be publicly viewable and bookable via the internet at the time the claim is reviewed by a Best Western Customer Care Specialist. A viewable rate means that the general public can view the rate on the website. A bookable rate means that the rate is available and can be reserved online.

- Websites and online memberships or programs that require a password or login to view hotel rates and inventory are not eligible for the Program. This includes any memberships or programs in which membership is not automatic and (i) requires consumers to “opt in” to become a member, (ii) any online or mobile interface used by members that is password protected, and (iii) requires consumers to have completed a customer profile. – Affinity Partnership, Association, Corporate, Group, Negotiated, Package (e.g. those including flight, car, etc.), Wholesale, Opaque (i.e., those that do not reveal the hotel name and location until after booking, such as those available on Priceline.com and Hotwire.com), Discount, and Promotional rates are not eligible for the Program. – Best Western’s Customer Care Specialists have the sole discretion to determine the validity of a claim. In order to be valid, a claim must meet all of the Terms and Conditions contained herein.

This is truly a Catch-22. How can a rate from any online travel agency that is lower than the Best Western rate not be considered a discount rate?

So how many of those Best Western $100 travel cards have been given out for approved best rate guarantee claims? I suspect very few. 

The second reason is even more precious to me.

Also, rate is for 1 double bed not 2 double beds that were booked on our website”.

According to the hotel staff person I spoke with on the phone, the Best Western Plus Savannah Historic District has only two room types: two double beds or one king bed.

My BRG success average has dropped with only 2 of 6 claims approved and both of those were Marriott hotels.

I might just end up going Priceline for this trip.

*****

Related Posts:

Starwood Best Rate Guarantee denied when rate truly lower at getaroom.com (April 21, 2014)

Marriott Approves BRG and Hilton Denies BRG (April 22)

Choice Hotels Best Rate claim denied since $115 is same as $119 hotel rate (April 23)

HotelsCombined vs Kayak in hunt for best rate guarantee claims (April 21)

7 Responses

  1. Agree completely. This BRG by hotels is a sham. I will rather pay more for another hotel chain.

  2. I tried the BRG with 2 BW bookings this past week and both were denied.
    However, calling the hotel directly and asking to be matched to the lower rate worked, and I am paying $69 instead of $99 for the night just for the call. (Of course I wanted the travel card too, but that didn’t happen).
    I haven’t tried for the second hotel (my husband is staying there), but help him out next week with a call or two.

    Comment by LauraPDX on April 23rd, 2014 at 9:26 pm
  3. You live in California – probably grounds for a class-action law suit!

  4. Give HotelTonight App a try?

  5. Update on my pending IHG BRG claim: I get an email back about 36 hours after I make my claim–denying it. The property listed in the denial email wasn’t even the one I was claiming (nor was it one we even have a reservation at or have even searched for). The reason listed for the denial was I did not make the claim within 24 hours after I made the reservation. In reality, I made the claim within about 24 SECONDS after making the reservation. “Hitting my head on my desk”…

  6. @Denise – one of the biggest problems with IHG best rate guarantee is their terms do not indicate a response time. I think they are the only major chain to not have a posted response time in their T&C.

    I checked my email and realized there was no email from Best Western in response to my best rate guarantee claim submission.

    Typically there is an automated response from the hotel company at the time the best rate guarantee claim is filed and then another email informing whther the claim was approved or denied.

  7. BW just denied a best rate guarantee claim for me as well. Everything was exactly the same — same dates, king bed and same cancellation policy. Kayak was lower by $10. I was denied because BW had a ‘Pay in Advance’ rate that was lower vs the ‘Cancel 24 hours in advance’ rate. They claimed that the terms of payment did not matter. I won’t waste my time with BW again.

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