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Friday, August 31, 2012

Reader Bruce Shares His Rejection E-mail from Choice

Reader Bruce sent me this email - a response from Choice in regards to his most recent claim. Now we know what all the hype has been about lately! ..

The e-mail reads as follows:

Thank you for your interest in participating in our Best Internet Rate Guarantee program.

I am unable to approve this for the Best Internet Rate Guarantee. The cancellation policies do not match. Our reservation allows cancellation by 4pm local hotel time on the day of arrival. The third party website requires cancellation by 24 hours in advance.

The reservation and cancellation policy must be the same on the competing website as the reservation you made at www.choicehotels.com.

If you find lower rates at this hotel on a competing website that is a cancellable rate, within the 24-hour time frame, please resubmit your claim form and we will be happy to begin processing your request at that time.

If you have additional questions please see our
terms & conditions page.


Thank You

Wade
Best Internet Rate Guarantee


This pretty much confirms it - Choice is taking our otherwise valid claims and tossing them in the trash! So what about those other claims we sent in for all those months? (you know, the ones with non-matching cancel policies that got approved) Ooops! .. their mistake I guess!

Well, okay then, it may be a little tougher to get a free night but many will still succeed.

As one of our readers so brilliantly stated, get ready to be matching the menu items at the continental breakfast .. "I am unable to approve this for the Best Rate Guarantee. The continental breakfasts do not match. Our breakfast offers hot waffles with your stay. The third party website offers only assorted pastries with bacon and eggs" .. seems far-fetched, doesn't it? .. maybe not!

Please note that many of our "archived" BRG deals for Choice may not work now. Compare those cancel policies before attempting any of them!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also was rejected on Friday for this reason. The competing rate was $3 less and had a 12NOON cancel time, instead of 4PM. I had gotten 4 approved claims in the past few months (ended up cancelling three of them). At least I enjoyed one free night. Choice has really been promoting the "best rate or its free" promotion, mentioning it on nearly all TV advertising. I suspect this new denial reason is going to bite them if a few mainstream travel columnists start mentioning the ridiculous denial reasons.

David said...

They aren't winning over any potential new customers by doing this, that's for certain! This may sway a few individuals to book with the lower priced website instead of them.

I've had a fair number of readers book with Choice through our blog (paying for rooms; aside from the freebies) which tells me that they appreciate the BRG and are opting to book additional nights of lodging at cost. Choice may now lose some of those extra bookings because of this policy thing. It will upset many.

Anonymous said...

I have had two approved the last 4 months and don't like it either. But in all fairness, it is included in the terms and conditions; "Available for the same hotel, dates, room type, number of guests, type of currency and length of stay with the same rate terms/restrictions (including but not limited to, advance purchase requirements; pre-payment and deposit requirements; and cancellation and change policies"

TJ Kid said...

I tried to book a Quality Inn and had a lower price on Priceline. Priceline says i can cancel up to 5:59PM the day of my reservation while Quality Inn said i have to cancel two days prior. Here is a copy of my reply from my claim.
----------------

Thank you for your interest in participating in our Best Internet Rate Guarantee program. ,

The Best Internet Rate Guarantee program terms & conditions state that the rate located on a competing website must match the rate terms/restrictions that you made at www.choicehotels.com including the cancellation policy. The competing website information you submitted is for a different cancellation policy. The competing website requires guests to cancel the reservation up to 6pm local hotel time on the day of arrival. The reservation you made at www.choicehotels.com is cancellable up to 48 hours prior to your date of arrival.

The reservation and cancellation policy must be the same on the competing website as the reservation you made at www.choicehotels.com.

If you have additional questions please see our terms & conditions page.

Thank You

Tiffany
Best Internet Rate Guarantee

David said...

So even if the competitor offers a better cancel policy you will still be denied. When they say match they really mean it!

Anonymous said...

Are there certain websites that have a matching cancellation policy, or does this generally go by the specific hotels instructions and it wouldn't be a general site to look for?

David said...

Based on what I'm noticing, Hotels.com often shows identical cancel times/policies as Choice offers. Occasionally, you'll find a lower (usually sale) rate on Hotels.com which makes a claim possible. Booking.com is hit 'n miss with matching cancel policies - and the same holds true for Expedia. Whatever the site, always verify the match before filing.

As time goes along, we'll learn which competitor sites show the most promise and which are generally useless for Choice claims. You will eventually see a pattern to it.