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.
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
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
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.
Marriott Approves BRG and Hilton Denies BRG (April 22)