My eighth best rate guarantee claim this past week was for Country Inns & Suites Savannah Midtown in Georgia. In the past week, I have had best rate guarantee claims approved for three Marriott brand hotels and denied for hotel rooms booked with Starwood, Hilton, Choice, and Best Western.
Carlson Hotels gives 25% off lower rate for an approved best rate guarantee claim.
As in other best rate guarantee claims, this post presents the evidence and the reader is left to decide whether the claim should have been approved. Carlson is the only claim of the eight best rate guarantee claims to take more than 24 hours for a response. Their best rate claim policy is a response within 48 hours. In fact, the company has not responded to my claim yet after 69 hours.
Country Inns & Suites Savannah Midtown was priced lower on Expedia with a 30% discount rate for 48 hours, lowering the $104 Carlson website room rate to $73.
Country Inn Savannah Midtown $73 King room on Expedia compared to $104 on Carlson site caught my attention on Thursday morning, April 24.
30% off is a significant discount rate. Even, better was finding a King Suite at 30% off for this hotel.
$124.00 for 1 Bedroom King Suite at Country Inn & Suites Savannah Midtown is the room I booked at $140.12 after tax.
My best rate guarantee claim was filed within minutes based on a 30% lower rate for a King Suite found on Travelocity. Expedia now powers Travelocity and the same room rates are generally found on Expedia, Hotels.com and Travelocity.
Travelocity offered same King Suite room type at 30% discount and the time stamp shows the sale rate still had more than 36 hours to go at time I submitted my best rate guarantee claim with Country Inn.
$75 Suite is a bargain rate, even for a midscale hotel.
An approved claim should reduce the room rate for the King Suite from $124 to around $66 and under $75 all-in after tax for the room night.
‘You will be contacted by Customer Service within 48 hours.’
Country Inns & Suites acknowledged the best rate guarantee claim with this message at 9:32am California time Thursday, April 24. I also received an email notification that my best rate guarantee claim was received at 9:39am.
Email response does not reference my best rate guarantee claim or give a response time, except to say, “we have received your inquiry and will be responding as soon as possible.”
48 hours is a long response time for a hotel chain best rate guarantee. The only hotel chain with a potentially longer response time is InterContinental Hotels Group, who do not even post a response time for a best rate guarantee claims. IHG is the only hotel chain without a response time policy of 24 or 48 hours. Hyatt is the best response time policy as best rate guarantee claims are handled in real time over the phone. IHG and Hyatt are two major hotel chains where I did not find a rate discrepancy this week to file a best rate guarantee claim.
Travelocity’s 30% off sale expired at 10pm California time on Friday, April 25. Country Inns had not approved or denied my claim within 36 hours. I went to bed Friday night assuming the claim was stalled until the room rate changed after the 30% sale rate ended. On Saturday morning I expected to see the ‘claim denied’ email from Country Inn.
To my surprise on Saturday morning, April 27, the Country Inns best rate guarantee response had still not come. And the 30% discount on Travelocity was gone, but a new 20% discount rate had taken its place.
Travelocity.com King Suite room rate at 20% off for $99.20 compared to $124 on Carlson website. This $99 rate has been available from 37 hours after my best rate guarantee claim filed on 4/24 and is still present at time of this post, nearly 70 hours after I submitted my BRG claim based on the $124 Carlson rate I booked for a King Suite.
$99.20 with 25% off should be a room rate around $75 before tax and $85 after tax.
Bottom line is this best rate guarantee claim was closest for room cancellation terms of any of my eight claims this week. My Carlson reservation has no penalty cancellation up to 4pm May 4 and the Travelocity room offers no penalty cancellation until 3pm on May 4. Not identical, but I have never had a best rate claim denied for a one hour difference. Often the cancellation penalty is a full one day difference on approved claims.
Eight best rate guarantee claims filed this week. Each hotel had a legitimately lower rate I could have booked through a major online travel agency like Expedia, Travelocity, Booking.com, or a more obscure OTA like easytobook.com, easyclicktravel.com and getaroom.com.
Marriott Hotels approved all three of my best rate guarantee claims and reduced the lower room rate found by an additional 25%. Best Western, Choice, Hilton and Starwood denied my claims within a few hours for a variety of reasons. And Country Inns & Suites never responded to my claim within their posted 48 hours response time.
Best Rate Guarantee pledges from the major hotel chains are certainly no guarantee that you will get the lowest rate booking through the hotel chain’s website.
Marriott Approves BRG and Hilton Denies BRG (April 22, 2014)
Best Western denies best rate claim due to OTA offers discount rate? (April 23, 2014)