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Friday, June 27, 2008

Skirting the Wyndham BRG Prepaid Requirement: A Reader Shares Her Thoughts

Reader Misty shared the following information with me, which I'd never have thought of. Now, this method may not be for everyone (probably not even for myself) but it's an interesting (and some - probably even most - may find it morally wrong) idea if nothing else.

Basically, you book a Wyndham Hotel Webrate using a Mastercard or Visa Gift Card that has only a couple of cents left on it. Misty reports that Wyndham does not charge the full amount immediately, and only checks if the card is valid.

Then, after securing the reservation, you'd file a claim for a free room. If you get it, good, but if not, you can basically let the reservation slide. Tell the hotel you're not coming, and if they try to charge the card, they'll be denied.

This method is clearly against countless terms and conditions, and of course we will not condone ripping off hotels intentionally, but this evidently does happen and is a preferred method for getting Wyndham BRGs approved. We'll leave this up to your own moral judgment as to whether this is wrong for you to do.


SterlingMist said...

You could also use a Virtual Credit Card with, say, a $5 limit on it. I know Visa and AmEx offer those.

Dave said...

It is actions like this that will result in:

1. Closer monitoring of this board by the folks at Wyndham, and
2. The death of this program and programs like it.

Anonymous said...

what a crook. i bet you Misty doesn't have a job, just sitting at home thinking how to cheat or steal something

Anonymous said...

Just because you give them a credit card that can't cover your obligation wouldn't likely relieve you of your duty to pay for what you have agreed to pay. This is bad advice for people to follow.

Optix said...

Just by posting such an idea you are at least implying that you also endorse it.
This could possibly also lead to the hotel sending the charge to a debt collection agency, as well as marking your credit history.

Smail said...

Wow, that's shady. I'd think they'd start tracking names if they noticed a lot of repeat cancellations.

SterlingMist said...

Dave, I agree with you. I was simply adding on to the blog entry. I have never done this, nor even considered the possibility.

"Anonymous," you have no right to question my life. It's none of your business, as I am, for your information, a decent, honest, hard-working individual. I work for what I have, why don't you do the same instead of making snap assumptions about someone you know nothing about?

SterlingMist said...

Arg, I somewhat apologize for my response to the first "anonymous." I don't think Misty actually intends to attempt to defraud (or however you want to see it) Wyndham Rewards. I'm sure someone out there has already done this, though.

Dave @ The BRG Blog said...

As expected, this one has spurned some emotion.

Let me be perfectly clear in that this was not posted to endorse (which I specifically said in the post) but to basically let you all in on what's happening in the BRG world - whether or not you think this is an amazing idea or a horrible act of fraud is up to you. I'll just take the objective stance and act as the messenger.

I do agree that actions like this will cause the BRG to end. Guests who agree to pay for a nonrefundable room should pay for that nonrefundable room if their claims are denied. It's a contract clicking that "book now" button.

Personally, I'd never do this, now that I've thought it over. But, some people evidently do.

And again, I will never endorse fraud in order to get a BRG approved - we have enough valid opportunities that follow the T&C's right here.

Anonymous said...

I agree with dave: I'm sure our friends at WR are monitoring this board and posting negative comments like this is in no way going to foster a positive relationship with them. They are probably not too happy about the existence of this blog as it is, and comments/suggestions like this will only suit to further aggravate them... I would suggest removing the post.

Dave @ The BRG Blog said...

I'm not about censorship here. If the Wyndham Rewards staff see this post, perhaps they will change their credit card processing to authorize credit cards immediately for non-refundable room types (right now they just check that the credit card is valid). I don't think any of us would have a problem with that, right? If someone clicks "Book" for a non-refundable room, then they should accept the bill immediately without the chance of backing out. Removing the post would do more harm than good, IMHO, keeping it under wraps so this illegal activity can continue longer.