Crown Plaza La Concha, Key West, FL, Escalation

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Dec 21, 2019
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To the OP, if you want to provide additional information, please include a screen shot of the TERMS of your original reservation, including the cancellation policy.
The precise language regarding cancellations has been stated here in one of the other comments. As I have said, I accept that I am accountable for misinterpreting the cancellation policy, or interpreting it in such a way that I assumed that my points would be refunded. That is a part of the overall issue but not all of it. I am certainly culpable for mistakes that I made and have learned some valuable lessons, especially "measure twice, cut once".
 

Neil Maley

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In the future, I would suggest that you never book anything unless you know for sure the dates you are traveling. We have seen too many incidents of people booking non refundable rates, or not understanding what they were booking as in your case that results in things like this. The hotel did nothing wrong. But this is a first here of trying to "pay" to get a hotel manager to break policy and unfortunately if you pursue that - it could get you banned from IHG.

I am glad that we were able to explain the program to you. I hope you can still travel Dec. 30.
 
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justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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"Refunds are provided in points only" just specifies the method if the refund. It does not state whether the way/rate you booked is completely refundable. You'd need to look at the entire T&Cs, not just that one phrase, to see if there were any restrictions on when or how you had to cancel for a refund of points.

Without seeing the full T&Cs it sounds like the policy is to have a cancellation fee of one night - which on a one night reservation means all the points.
 
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Dec 21, 2019
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How do you know Dec. 29 is a slower night? It's Key West and every night near New Years is a party night there.

I have to agree with my colleagues - you didn't read carefully or understand what you were booking - that isn't IHG's or the Managers fault. It is how the booking works when using points or booking special dates. There are usually links to click on to read the details.

Do not bring up the "payment" or the Manager. Take it as a lesson learned about ensuring you understand what you are booking before you book and you may not have clicked on the link. Or just plan on staying the original night you booked so you don't lose anything.

That's what I plan to do, Neil. I might just stay for the night I booked in Key West and cancel the night at Disney we found at the last minute, as Disney's cancellation policy allows up to five days prior. I encourage you to retrace the steps I took, book a night on points-only at IHG, and see if you can align to any of my comments. Again, this is a part of the bigger overall issue, but I can understand your perspective if you are focused on the wording of the cancellation policy. Do you believe it is made extremely clear to any IHG member booking on points that they will lose their points? I do not remember any mention of a cancellation deadline being mentioned to me when I booked. In any case, I encourage you to completely retrace my steps. As for the other issue, I am certainly not going to ignore it, but you are the moderator and seem to be leaning toward minimizing any issue but for the words used in the cancellation policy. I am accountable for some things, I agree, especially as can be applied to the expression "measure twice, cut once". There is a bigger issue, but I will let it go at this point.
 
Dec 21, 2019
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That's what I plan to do, Neil. I might just stay for the night I booked in Key West and cancel the night at Disney we found at the last minute, as Disney's cancellation policy allows up to five days prior. I encourage you to retrace the steps I took, book a night on points-only at IHG, and see if you can align to any of my comments. Again, this is a part of the bigger overall issue, but I can understand your perspective if you are focused on the wording of the cancellation policy. Do you believe it is made extremely clear to any IHG member booking on points that they will lose their points? I do not remember any mention of a cancellation deadline being mentioned to me when I booked. In any case, I encourage you to completely retrace my steps. As for the other issue, I am certainly not going to ignore it, but you are the moderator and seem to be leaning toward minimizing any issue but for the words used in the cancellation policy. I am accountable for some things, I agree, especially as can be applied to the expression "measure twice, cut once". There is a bigger issue, but I will let it go at this point.
PS. Again, staffer Edina told me that Dec. 29 was a slower night as I mentioned before. Neil, it's been a great conversation. I will sign off at this point. I see that your point you're making is that all culpability is on me, IHG did nothing wrong here, the hotel manager did nothing wrong, and that I completely misinterpreted the cancellation policy. Therefore, I have no advocacy or support from you in this case. Thank you for your perspective and I will try to see things from your viewpoint. Goodbye.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,018
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
That's what I plan to do, Neil. I might just stay for the night I booked in Key West and cancel the night at Disney we found at the last minute, as Disney's cancellation policy allows up to five days prior. I encourage you to retrace the steps I took, book a night on points-only at IHG, and see if you can align to any of my comments. Again, this is a part of the bigger overall issue, but I can understand your perspective if you are focused on the wording of the cancellation policy. Do you believe it is made extremely clear to any IHG member booking on points that they will lose their points? I do not remember any mention of a cancellation deadline being mentioned to me when I booked. In any case, I encourage you to completely retrace my steps. As for the other issue, I am certainly not going to ignore it, but you are the moderator and seem to be leaning toward minimizing any issue but for the words used in the cancellation policy. I am accountable for some things, I agree, especially as can be applied to the expression "measure twice, cut once". There is a bigger issue, but I will let it go at this point.
I did exactly that and the check box I had to check off clearly said that it was nonrefundable.

Can you do a screen shot of the confirmation you received that spells out the cancellation policy? Just remove any identifying information. If there is something in there that could help your case, we can help craft a response.

Without seeing what your confirmation actually says- we can’t see if we can guide you towards a better resolution.

Even though I am a moderator, I am not an expert on everything. That’s why we have so many who post- there is always someone who knows more. I just make sure that everyone behaves, lol.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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... I see that your point you're making is that all culpability is on me, IHG did nothing wrong here, the hotel manager did nothing wrong, and that I completely misinterpreted the cancellation policy. Therefore, I have no advocacy or support from you in this case. Thank you for your perspective and I will try to see things from your viewpoint. Goodbye.
To the OP
I will not speak for any of the other advocates, but to put it bluntly, yes, the culpability is on you and IHG did nothing wrong here.

Key West at the end of December is peak season. Most hotels and resorts in Key West during this time frame require a minimum of 7 days to as much as 45 days cancellation. When you booked your room with points, the cancellation policy will be clearly spelled out (ie Changes or cancellation must be made by XX-XX-XXXX date, YY:YYPM hotel time)

There is a reason why the cash rate of your hotel is in excess of $600 for the dates of 12/29 whereas the rate drops to under $240 a night for a night in the summer.

The hotel that you booked at Crowne Plaza La Concha has a cancellation of 14 days during the time frame from 12/25-1/1.

Therefore when you attempted to modify the date, you were past the cancellation period, which is why the change could not be made by you, or by reservations. The reservations center (regardless of whether it was overseas or domestic) would not be able to make the modification. Since you are past the cancellation date, only the hotel can make changes.

I have done exactly as you stated, attempt to book a reservation using points, and under rate rules the cancellation is clearly stated
"Cancellation Policy

Canceling your reservation before 4:00 PM (local hotel time) on Sunday, 5 January, 2020 will result in no charge. Canceling your reservation after 4:00 PM (local hotel time) on 5 January, 2020, or failing to arrive will result in forfeiture of your deposit. Taxes may apply. Failing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reservation will result in cancellation of the remainder of your reservation. Points + Cash bookings are charged immediately in USD, and cancellations are refunded in points only."

The cancellation being refunded in points is applicable ONLY if you are within the cancellation period.

Perhaps another advocate can offer something else, but there is nothing to advocate here from my perspective.

To anyone else reading this...
- Always confirm the cancellation policy prior to booking. The cancellation policy should spell out the exact terms. Cancel by XX for a full refund, or Cancel by XX for a refund minus a $XX administrative fee, or non-refundable, non-changeable etc.
- Even if you book by points, there is still a cancellation policy
- Be aware that some of the terms and agreements state that if you no show on points, you could also be CHARGED the RACK RATE of the room.
- If you are past your cancellation policy, contacting the hotel management team may yield an alternative solution. But don't attempt to bribe a staff member.
 
May 30, 2019
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Even if 12/29 is a potentially 'lighter day' compared to 12/30, late cancellations and date changes are a determent to lodging companies. A late cancellation is less likely to be replaced, even for peak dates. That's why many vacation locations have this type of policy for peak periods. The smaller the property or company, the harder it is to replace a cancelled reservation and the larger the impact on the bottom line. For example, I know of B&B owners who apologetically enforce their cancel policy to the letter because they learned this dynamic the hard way. When a couple books a room for a peak weekend then chooses to cancel because rain is in the forecast, the B&B Proprietor can lose out on contributing to mortgage payment.

OP wrote in post #9:
Even if 12/29 is a potentially 'lighter day' compared to 12/30, late cancellations and date changes are a determent to lodging companies. A late cancellation is less likely to be replaced, even for peak dates. That's why many vacation locations have this type of policy for peak periods. The smaller the property or company, the harder it is to replace a cancelled reservation and the larger the impact on the bottom line. These are the facts. Interpret them as you will.
My interpretation is that "Mike" could be an owner / manager of a franchise property. He may have interpreted the $100 offer not as a bribe but as an attempt to pay for a reservations differential. Because the property could have charged $700 for the room, but might have to discount if made available at this late point for just one night.
 
May 30, 2019
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(reposting with correct quote. sorry about that)

OP wrote in post #9:
These are the facts: 1) switching nights was not considered until I offered a cash gratuity of $100, 2) I was told that Mike needed "more cash", like hundreds of dollars, in order to make the switch 3) there was room availability at that time for the slower night (Dec 29). These are the facts. Interpret them as you will.
My interpretation is that "Mike" could be an owner / manager of a franchise property. He may have interpreted the $100 offer not as a bribe but as an attempt to pay for a reservations differential. Because the property could have charged $700 for the room, but might have to discount if made available at this late point for just one night.[/QUOTE]
 
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