Apr082015

Best Western gives dumbest reason ever for Best Rate Guarantee claim denial

Like Rory McIlroy hoping to secure the Grand Slam of golf this weekend with a win at the Masters Tournament, I felt assured my Best Rate Guarantee claim filed with Best Western Hotels last night would be approved and secure my Grand Slam of Best Rate Guarantee claims across all hotel chains.

Best Western always seems to find an excuse for denying a best rate guarantee.

My Best Western best rate guarantee claim was denied and I think Best Western gave the dumbest reason I have ever received for a best rate guarantee claim denial in the hundred or more claims I have filed with hotel chains.

Best Western Plus Vancouver Uptown $129.99 reservation for 2 Double Beds for $149.49 CAD total.

 

Best Western Vancouver Uptown BRG-1

Booking.com is one of the largest online travel agency sites, if not the largest worldwide for hotel room bookings. Major OTA sites tend to have more credibility and less wiggle room for hotel chains to weasel out of a best rate guarantee.

Booking.com Double Room with Two Double Beds $125 CAD.

Best Western Vancouver Uptown BRG-2

Booking.com has room rate displayed in Canadian Dollars, just like Best Western site and same cancellation policy of April 17, like Best Western website. These are the most perfectly matched rate details I have ever submitted for an international best rate guarantee claim with any hotel chain.

Booking.com screenshot above was made after receiving the email my Best Western best rate guarantee claim was denied. The $125 CAD double room rate can still be booked on Booking.com.

Here is the reason given by Best Western for my best rate guarantee claim denial.

Dear Mr. Garrido,

Thank you for contacting Best Western International.

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

“Bestwestern.com is sold out of the room type 2 queens nonsmoking;  Room type must be bookable on both websites in order review”.

Terms and Conditions:

http://www.bestwestern.com/deals-offers/special-rates/low-hotel-rates-terms.pdf

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please let us know and we appreciate the opportunity to be of service.

Best Western is denying my claim due to the room type I already have a reservation for and booked on the Best Western website is no longer available on the bestwestern.com website.

Best Western Vancouver BRG-4

Only room type shown on bestwestern.com this morning is 1 Queen Bed, about 12 hours after booking my two double beds room on bestwestern.com.

This is not even logical. I booked the two double beds room type on BestWestern.com and the same room type is still available for a reservation at a lower rate on Booking.com. Seems like an easy way to get out of any Best Rate Guarantee claim if they can simply pull the inventory off their own Best Western website and then deny a claim.

And if the room is no longer available at the hotel, then why are two double beds still available to book on Booking.com?

Best Western Vancouver BRG-3

Best Western.com room rate = $129.99 CAD and total after tax = $149.49 CAD

Booking.com rate room rate = $125 CAD and total rate after tax = $143.75 CAD.

No $100 Best Western Travel Card for me for an approved best rate guarantee claim – once again.

Best Western has an awful reputation when it comes to Best Rate Guarantee claims. I had one claim with Best Western denied several years ago, and after writing about the reasoning for the claim denial, Best Western corporate contacted me to say they had a meeting to change their policy following my case and my claim should have been approved originally. They even sent me a Best Western $100 travel card as compensation.

Have any readers had a Best Western Hotels best rate guarantee claim approved in the past two years?

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 »

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Comments

  1. What a joke! Any sense resubmitting this one? That almost seems like an overzealous agent.

  2. Chains need to understand how much business they lose when they pull things like this. They offer BRG to compete and then enforce the rules in a way that encourages us to look at their competitors for alternatives. I was turned down for a IHG BRG because they lowered the rate on their website after my claim. I had a confirmed reservation at the higher rate, but they claimed that the only rate that mattered was the rate on their site when they verified. Given that it took them four days to “verify” the rate on their site, it seemed convenient for them and pointless for me. I don’t submit BRG unless I know the claim meets the terms and conditions, so it is aggravating when they are able to interpret the rules as they wish.

  3. I think I commented on best western brg before. Mine got denied because the competing OTA rate was ‘discounted’ which apart from stating the obvious was the dubest reason I’ve heard to deny a clai

  4. @Victor – I have received that reason too from Best Western in the past year for a denied best rate guarantee claim. I’ll admit that is probably a dumber excuse when they say the claim is denied because the competing OTA has a discount rate.

    Isn’t the point of filing a Best Rate Guarantee to show there is a better discount rate available from a competing online travel agency?

    @Anne – IHG is really bad about response time for best rate guarantee claims. Seems like they hold out for days waiting on a rate change on the competitor online travel agency site.

  5. The prize for the dumbest reason should go to Orbitz when they rejected my claim for it to be a “Deluxe Room” although still 2 Queen bed!

    Orbitz:
    “Thank you for your e-mail.

    With reference to your e-mail regarding the Hotel Best Price Guarantee claim, we would like to inform you that the base rate of your Orbitz reservation is $109.00 for per night before taxes and fees. Upon validation, we found that the same room type (2 Queen bed non smoking room with free wi-fi, mini refrigerator and microwave.)at http://www.getaroom.com is listed at the same base rate.

    Moreover we are unable to validate the claim on the basis of your screen shot as the room type are not same.

    Please be advised that the rate quoted by you in your screen shot is for a different room category (Deluxe Room,2 Queen Beds). However, we have also validated your claim as per our findings (for the same room type 2 Queen bed non smoking room with free wi-fi, mini refrigerator and microwave.) and the same room type at http://www.getaroom.com is listed at the same base rate $109.00 before taxes and fees.

    We appreciate your patience and understanding in this regard.

    Sincerely,

    Orbitz Customer Care

    Customer By CSS Email (01/27/2015 02:01 PM)
    The screenshot I had sent you clearly shows a base rate of $89 for 2 Queen bed non-smoking with free wifi. It also has microwave and mini refrigerator as those are standard amenities included with all rooms.
    What’s more my rate also include Free Breakfast. I went to getaroom.com to try to get your rates but I’m still getting $89 for a fully refundable 2 Queen bed non-smoking free wifi room. Screenshot is attached.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experiences about Best Western. I’ll absolutely stay AWAY from them effective immediately. They have no idea how much business they stand to lose with a post like this.

    Hey Best Western, if you’re reading this, I don’t do business with crooks. I hope your entire chain goes under.

  7. Well, I had a claim denied by Best Western because the OTA had a sale rate on offer, and the Best Western representative replied that only a regular rate would be used for comparison, not a sale price.

    Not only is that a ridiculous reason for denial of a BRG claim, but it’s just insulting.

    I’ve not stayed in a Best Western property since then. I plan to continue to avoid them until I hear that their policies become more coherent and consumer friendly.

  8. Did you notice that the rejection from them is for 2 QUEENS nonsmoking, while you booked and showed a booking.com screenshot for 2 DOUBLES? I would reply to them and say you don’t care if 2 QUEENS are not available, you are doing a BRG on 2 DOUBLES.

  9. Thinking about, I checked further out…they don’t have any rooms with 2 queen beds.

    But booking.com does show 1 2 double room still available – at $215 though.

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