Consumer advocate Chris Elliott not a fan of Best Rate Guarantees



The lengths to which some hotel chains will go to find a reason to deny our claims can be so blatantly ridiculous! Over the years, we've gotten used to this. Consumer advocate Chris Elliott would certainly agree with my statement. In fact, I don't believe he'd shed a tear if all BRGs were banned. In an article he wrote yesterday, he basically says this, in so many words.

The Best Western BRG, with it's promise of a $100 travel card if a valid claim is approved, is spotlighted in his most recent article. Not wanting to validate his claim, Best Western denied one man, not once, but countless times after he provided them with verification of a lower rate from 5 different competing websites! Reasons given for his denials were varied, though most were all nonsense! I mean things like currency matching issues I can see, but what about a difference in date formats between the competing sites? Come on, give me a break! (Remember folks, this is supposed to be about room type comparisons, remember?) As Chris Elliott explains, this sort of thing is happening in the BRG world.

The bottom line is that common sense in determining whether two competing sites offer the same room type should be applied in these claim reviews, and sorry to say, too often claim agents don't (or won't) use theirs. Attention is being diverted away from room type and directed towards other meaningless comparisons. Agree? Don't get me wrong, I'd say 8 out of every 10 claim agents do their very best, are honest, and try to play fair. I speak of not just those who work for Best Western, but Expedia, Choice and all the rest. You always have the good with the bad. And we thank the honest ones - you guys are the best and work very hard!

My rant should also include the Best Rate Guarantees themselves. My feeling is that the more popular they become and are used, the more the chain(s) will toughen the rules to make it nearly impossible to receive an approval on one's claim. Please don't offer a guarantee if your intention is to gradually, little by little, bring it down with the addition of new restrictions. Develop reasonable terms and conditions, abide by them, and don't alter your Guarantee based on increased awareness or utilization of it.

But still, we love the BRGs! Sorry Chris that we disagree on this!

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