IHG Best Rate Guarantee FAIL!

I’ve only recently started playing the “Best Rate Guarantee” game. I wrote about it awhile ago, for the various hotel chains.

I’ve had substantial success with Starwood Preferred Guest, earning Gold status for 2014 on the basis of 6 Best Rate Guarantee nights/stays (gaining 2,000 bonus Starpoints each time) in the last couple of months.

I had never tried to claim with IHG Best Rate Guarantee. Its policy of “first night free” is the most aggressive of the major chains but, with the Big Win promotion going on, I actually wanted to pay for my IHG nights, as odd as that may sound. But with a trip coming up to Buenos Aires for the holidays, I thought I should look for a hotel to give me some space from the in-laws!!  I duly managed to find a lower rate at the Intercontinental Buenos Aires and claimed a Best Rate Guarantee. The reply was so hilarious, I have to share it with readers…

As verified on www.olotels.com, we are unable to locate the rate you’re claiming for which is at USD 109.09. Instead, we found Single Standard for USD 141.32 average room price, amounting to USD 282.64 without tax = USD 342.00 with tax overall total. Although, we understand that this rate is lower compared to what you booked, we still cannot qualify you for the guarantee since the rate is non-refundable / non-cancellable whereas your booking has free cancellation. See below:

ihg brg

Errr… OK… the exchange rate changed over the 3 days I waited for a reply, so that USD 109.09 became USD 107.44. There was even a rate of USD 132.23 for a “Single Room Superior”. But even that was overlooked in favour of “Single Standard” which surprise surprise, matches the IHG non-refundable rate.  I guess my English is poor and “standard” is much nicer than “deluxe” or “superior” and therefore costs more!!!

Luckily I had only booked a refundable rate before attempting to claim the Best Rate Guarantee. So, I cancelled and booked elsewhere…

But, really, it’s mind-bogglingly daft for IHG to provide me with a screenshot proving the lower rate. Except I’ve seen a report on Flyertalk where somebody replied to a similar email from IHG, trying to claim the lower rate AS VERIFIED BY IHG! The reply from IHG… “we can’t verify the source of this screenshot”… er… you sent it IHG!!

I really wish IHG would come to their senses on the Best Rate Guarantee. It only creates ill will by offering a free night and then doing absolutely anything to avoid approving the Best Rate Guarantee. Just offer to match the lower price, offer some bonus points, and get a lot more revenue for yourself, rather than pushing people to other chains or the online travel agents…

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One comment on “IHG Best Rate Guarantee FAIL!
  1. Dannyrado says:

    I’ve given up with IHG BRG. It used to be fairly straightforward, but recently I’ve been given some crazy refusals, my favourites:

    We have verified the lower rate on another website, however that rate includes breakfast where ours does not, hence conditions do not exactly match and we cannot BRG.
    We have verified the lower rate, but the booking website states that a voucher is issued for your stay, where our rate is instant confirmation, we cannot BRG. (Hilton have done this too.)
    I actually once found a lower flexible rate, where IHG were only selling pre-paid, of coarse it was refused.

    But really why do the still bother with this silly BRG?

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