Offensive & discriminatory actions by front desk management against IHG platinum member

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Sep 19, 2015
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Yes I believe it is franchised as well but the management company, not IHG has offered most of the already stated accommodations. The front desk manager is instead running the place like it is her own bed and breakfast. They have to uphold certain hopitalities to uphold the IHG logo and retaliations and descrimination do not fit with the company inwhich I have brand loyalty.
What I am not seeing is discrimination. What I see is that the hotel manager thought you complained too much -- about no one at the desk, the elevator not working.... You wrote that it was a busy weekend and that may made people short tempered.

I am confused about something -- upon check in you wanted a discount? "From being promised a price adjustment at check in".... was the elevator broken and that was the problem? Is that the $40 dollars?

And you seem not to understand the nature of elevator repairs:

My initial complaint about the elevator was ignored. It was out for 6 hours

Elevator repair people are highly regulated and licensed, -- it is not the same as getting a handyman to fix something, like a minor plumbing problem. You seem upset still that it took 6 hours. I do not like hauling my luggage up stairs at all, and I have not been happy when the elevator has gone out at my building and I am on a higher floor -- as in more stairs to climb than the average Holiday Inn Express. Sometimes in life one has to improvise; I understand that the stairs were not good for your elderly relative, well then one has to meet in a more accessible place. You say you made plans based on an elevator being there -- well the same can be said for any coop, condo or rental -- that amenity was part of the package in chosing to live there -- and certainly an elevator building costs more than a walk-up.

Now I have no idea how franchise hotels work, or even how much power the regional manager has over the general manager when it comes to individual guests. It seems that the individual hotel can decline a reservation. No that may be an issue for the corporation to works out with the franchise. Can the hotel overrule the corporate office? It appears so. And have done so.

At this point it is not certain that the front desk manager was the one to say no to future reservations; but someone at the hotel with enough power has decided that they do not want you as a guest. May I ask what is your desired resolution? Perhaps ask for points equivalent to the discount?
 
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Aug 8, 2018
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At check in I pointed out that I could have gotten the total reservation $15.00 cheaper per night on Priceline and I was told by that person my final bill would reflect the adjustment I left this alone and did not bring it up again until the $40 accommodation was still denied nearly a month later. The $40 was the accepted resolution for the elevator being out, instead of either of those accommodations posting my final bill was $18.00 higher than what I signed for without explanation well over $700. I was happy with the management company’s resolution inwhich I got the above price adjustments to my bill and my future reservation was reinstated at an unbelievablely good rate that I did not ask for nor ever expect. That future reservation was taken away, and I was again called unfit: my desired resolution is to train and have customer service professionals not to have personal vendettas in an effort to one up the guest rather accommodate to the best of their ability even if it’s with a simple apology for the circumstance that’s out of their control. I have been ignored and undermined from the start and really just expected a certain standard at all Ihg properties where the service at this one fell short; yet came with one of the highest price tags I have had to date. Likewise if I am spending over $700 at a property and am making a future reservation for the same amount that suggests patronage and willingness to overlook short comings likewise I should be welcomed back with the hospitality one should expect from a global hotelier franchised or not. Franchise does not mean expect poor quality or lesser service rather it should mean expect more personalized concern and care. Remember all of this stemmed from someone’s personal reasons for not wanting to extend a corporate influenced $40 accommodation like it came out of her pocket, I actually would not have brought up Priceline again, then after that it has been a domino effect up to leading me to feel offended and descrimated because I traveled to the hotel with my significant other thinking I had shown him one of my favorite parts of the country, that in turn said your not welcome back here. Points equivalent to the discount or a similar roomtype and rate at a near by Ihg property that welcomes me would be acceptable if I’m really not welcomed back over an issue over whether someone thought I should have $40 off my bill or not.
 
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Neil Maley

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Honestly - there has to be more to this then you are admitting. It sounds like you might have come in with an attitude if you were asking for a discount right off the bat. Why didn’t you just book with Priceline to save the $15 a night if it was that important? (You most likely would have gotten a worse room then booking directly) Then you complained the elevator was out 6 hours on a Saturday without any awareness of the fact that it isn’t like calling a plumber to fix an elevator.

Did you ask if they could have moved your room to the first floor in view of the elevator being out?

It seems you are doing what you can at this point. I believe that a hotel can put you on a do not rent list if they deem you a problem. Airlines and car rentals do it. They cannot refuse to rent based on race, creed, color, sex, physical disability, or national origin. And from your own side of the story, it doesn’t sound like the refusal is based on any of those reasons.

But honestly why would you want to stay at a hotel that treated you poorly? Are there no other hotels in the area? Why give your money to them?
 
Aug 8, 2018
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Honestly - there has to be more to this then you are admitting. It sounds like you might have come in with an attitude if you were asking for a discount right off the bat. Why didn’t you just book with Priceline to save the $15 a night if it was that important? (You most likely would have gotten a worse room then booking directly) Then you complained the elevator was out 6 hours on a Saturday without any awareness of the fact that it isn’t like calling a plumber to fix an elevator.

Did you ask if they could have moved your room to the first floor in view of the elevator being out?

It seems you are doing what you can at this point. I believe that a hotel can put you on a do not rent list if they deem you a problem. Airlines and car rentals do it.

But honestly why would you want to stay at a hotel that treated you poorly? Are there no other hotels in the area? Why give your money to them?
There was no attitude about Priceline I simply asked as I was signing and the desk attendant said “of course we will take care of it” I booked with IHG because I have been advised that hotel brands prefer you to book with them if your a member of their points system ect, better rooms as you noted above. My room and rate that I was paying included what I felt like was a water view for my grandmother to enjoy while resting In my room, on the first floor that view would have been non extent for the same rate, i had to post pone her visit till the elevator was back in service disrupting family reunion plans that had been set into motion months prior. Again after my reservation was canceled twice I opted to book with the Cambria suites, when the managing vp emailed me and advised that I had not received the hospitality I should have and he was reinstating my reservation at 50% discount. I was estatic at that very unexpected accommodation, canceled Cambria and thought it was all over until a week later and the new reservation at 50% was canceled as well. The new reservation rate is better than anything I could ever hope to find in the area.
 

Neil Maley

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From the research I’ve done just googling, the hotel can refuse to rent as long as it isn’t based on one of the reasons mentioned above.

If it were me, I’d use it as a learning experience and not give that hotel another penny of my money. Holiday Inn has many brands under their umbrella. Use one of the others if you travel enough to earn points.

Let us know how you make out with using our contacts.
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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Well I am getting even more confused.

You complained that you could have paid less via Priceline— which likely was more restrictive with cancellation policies— and once checking in you want the Priceline price? If I pay for a more flexible rate and make it to the hotel should I demand a rate match for a more retricted room?

Perhaps this is not the best way to start a hotel stay.

There is communication lacking from the hotel they are not without fault. But there is also an unrealistic expectation from you, saying the complaint about the elevator was ignored: ignoring would have been waiting until Monday.

Discrimination is horrible and should not be tolerated and is a serious accusation. But I see no evidence of discrimination.

But given the service shortcomings why go back? If one franchise was lacking why not chose another place?

If I stopped flying an airline over one bad flight or check in staff I would likely have to take a boat across the Atlantic for my next trip.
 
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Again I did not complain about the Priceline pricing I simply asked not demand as you suggest you were not there, they said ok to this request but there was no follow thru and I initially left it alone; in the past rather than book thru third party websites if in fact a better rate is found I have been advised to ask at check in, I never made an issue of this and likewise only returned to it when the alternate $40 accommodation was repeaditly refused. Guest relations initially advised I would hear from the hotel regarding an accommodation for the elevator disruption within 24 hours, that never happened and as a curtesy my second call was accommodated with advice that they would instruct $40 off my first nights stay. The hotels unwillingness to have any thoughtfulness or subsequent communication with me and canceling reservations behind my back and denying approved accommodations suggests undermining descrimination to me. Again I initially did not want to go back but the rate, location and brand said give them a second chance, so I did. This second chance has been refused not once, not twice but three times even after senior level management intervened and gave me a rate no one would turn down for a holiday weekend.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Again I did not complain about the Priceline pricing I simply asked not demand as you suggest you were not there, they said ok to this request but there was no follow thru and I initially left it alone; in the past rather than book thru third party websites if in fact a better rate is found I have been advised to ask at check in, I never made an issue of this and likewise only returned to it when the alternate $40 accommodation was repeaditly refused. Guest relations initially advised I would hear from the hotel regarding an accommodation for the elevator disruption within 24 hours, that never happened and as a curtesy my second call was accommodated with advice that they would instruct $40 off my first nights stay. The hotels unwillingness to have any thoughtfulness or subsequent communication with me and canceling reservations behind my back and denying approved accommodations suggests undermining descrimination to me. Again I initially did not want to go back but the rate, location and brand said give them a second chance, so I did. This second chance has been refused not once, not twice but three times even after senior level management intervened and gave me a rate no one would turn down for a holiday weekend.
Have you considered that you may be caught between a corporate/ franchise issue? Perhaps the senior manager should not have offered said good rate — that it was not acceptable to the franchise— again I have no idea how autonomous a franchise is — I never seen what the agreement is— but it appears the rate and reservation cannot be forced through. If that is the case, what would resolution would be acceptable from IHG?
 
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The senior vp works for the managing company hired by the franchise, not Ihg. He was physically at the franchise when the reservation was reinstated and personally instructed I was to receive future hospitality. He did also tell me the reinstated reservation would hold even though it is still showing as canceled on the Ihg website. Yes after communicating in this forum I do see the disconnect between corporate and franchise; the $40 Ihg offered me and the fact that it was never fully vetted by the hotel with that said I still don’t see how that simple accommodation would be denied so vehemently unless there was some personal reason I am unaware of.
 

Neil Maley

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Weekend, use our contacts and go up the IHG executives. They need to get to the bottom of this. There is a real disconnect between the management company you are dealing with and corporate.

Michigan Law states that hotel can refuse to allow a guest to stay as long as it is not due to discrimination and one of the reasons I posted above. This appears to be based on your conduct at the hotel, no other reason.

If it was a discriminatory action you would be able to sue them.

Read the main Company Contacts Page where we tell you to to escalate one by one. Don’t use regular mail- email the executives from the bottom up one at a time.
 
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I suspect there is a bigger argument going on where the franchise and the individual hotel are having internal issues, such as who are you to tell us who we have to book and you maybe caught in the crossfire. Not that this helps you at all, but it would explain the somewhat extreme reaction.

But follow Neil’s advice.
 
Jul 21, 2018
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I think the poster should file a Complaint with the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. The treatment of this customer certainly smells of discriminatory action based on sexual orientation. Does the hotel bar heterosexual guests that complain? I doubt it. In any event an investigation by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission would appear warranted in this instance. https://www.michigan.gov/mdcr/0,4613,7-138--473528--,00.html
 
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Neil Maley

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Jeff if the writer hadn’t started out complaining right from the start - I would have agreed with you and advised him to do that.

However as he started writing more (and we purposely ask questions because we need to know exactly what happened as we are fully aware many times there is information often withheld)
it became clear that there were several incidents caused by the OP that contributed to this.

He arrived and immediately started asking for discounts and he criticized taking six hours to repair elevator without thinking it was a Saturday and a licensed elevator repairman has to be used.

I also suspect there is more than we are being told happened because a hotel wouldn’t do this based just on this.

So I don’t believe this was based in anything other than his actions at the hotel. He can certainly file a complaint but he needs to be absolutely sure his actions didn’t cause this. If there is more than what he is telling us- that will be carefully investigated by filing a complaint of this nature.

If he chooses to pursue it based on a civil rights violation- he needs to be absolutely sure that he can prove that it had nothing to do with his actions. It’s a slippery slope to claim discrimination and hotels document what happened for instances like this.

I would imagine the hotel has a list of their side of what happened and if our writers pursue this, the hotel gets to tell their side of the story.
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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I think the poster should file a Complaint with the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. The treatment of this customer certainly smells of discriminatory action based on sexual orientation. Does the hotel bar heterosexual guests that complain? I doubt it. In any event an investigation by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission would appear warranted in this instance. https://www.michigan.gov/mdcr/0,4613,7-138--473528--,00.html
Unless one is certain that it is discrimination and has evidence it may be a bad move.

Hotels are allowed to put a guest on a do not rent list for being verbally abusive to staff, demanding money back for unjustified reasons, unwarranted complaints and such.

Complaining about a hotel repaireman taking 6 hours on a Saturday during the summer and asking for Priceline price matches may be enough to put some one on a do not rent list.

jeff001 customers have been banned for excessive complaints, Northwest airlines was sued in the late 2000s for expelling a complainer from the FF program.

Search hotel dnr and you will find anecdotes of people being banned for excessive complaints.
 
Jul 21, 2018
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You miss the point of my post. Yes a hotel can ban a guest for excessive complaints but it must treat all guests that make similar complaints equally. For example they cannot ban same sex couples but allow the same conduct in heterosexual guests. Here is a U.S. Supreme Court case that is analogous. Both black and white employees were caught stealing from their employer but the employer decided to only fire the black employees. Since they did not treat both groups equally, the employer was potentially guilty of a civil rights violation. Here is a citation and link to that case. McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 US 273 - Supreme Court 1976.
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_...owed+to+remain+on+the+job&hl=en&as_sdt=400003
 
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You miss the point of my post. Yes a hotel can ban a guest for excessive complaints but it must treat all guests that make similar complaints equally. For example they cannot ban same sex couples but allow the same conduct in heterosexual guests. Here is a U.S. Supreme Court case that is analogous. Both black and white employees were caught stealing from their employer but the employer decided to only fire the black employees. Since they did not treat both groups equally, the employer was potentially guilty of a civil rights violation. Here is a citation and link to that case. McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 US 273 - Supreme Court 1976.
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_...owed+to+remain+on+the+job&hl=en&as_sdt=400003
My boyfriend is black, he was also the only black person staying in the hotel. Frequently during our three night stay he was seen smoking in the designated smoking area. I never demanded a Priceline price match, I only suggested I could have gotten a better rate there, they actually offered the price adjustment at check in, I have been advised by other IHG hotel managers at other IHG properties, never to mess with online forms or IHG best price guarantees rather prove the better price at check in as they are authorized for price matches, I only brought it up again because the $40 elevator accommodation was so adamantly refused.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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You miss the point of my post. Yes a hotel can ban a guest for excessive complaints but it must treat all guests that make similar complaints equally. For example they cannot ban same sex couples but allow the same conduct in heterosexual guests. Here is a U.S. Supreme Court case that is analogous. Both black and white employees were caught stealing from their employer but the employer decided to only fire the black employees. Since they did not treat both groups equally, the employer was potentially guilty of a civil rights violation. Here is a citation and link to that case. McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 US 273 - Supreme Court 1976.
https://scholar.google.com/scholar_...owed+to+remain+on+the+job&hl=en&as_sdt=400003
Um Jeff001 you completely mischaracterized the legal case; you are flat out wrong. McDonald is Caucasian and he claimed he was given more harsh punishment because he was white and that the Union did not intervene in his behalf in regards to his dismissal; he claimed the black person was treated better. MacDonald sold property from the railroad to the black employee who claimed he did not know the item was stolen/

The Black employee stayed on the job. This case was about a Caucasian claiming his civil rights were violated and this case discusses whether Whites are eligible for Title VII Section 1981 complaints as the lower court dismissed his claim.

So the case you cited is completely irrelevant and is in the context of a crime, Union representation and Title VII and a protection for a Caucasian. .
 
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jsn55

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I believe this thread has ballooned way beyond the scope of this forum. It needs careful, hands-on investigation to determine the facts of the matter. I suggest our OP contact an attorney who can hire an investigator to pursue this; I don't believe we can be of further assistance.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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That's just it nothing actually happened other than the elevator breaking down on a busy travel day and my calling customer relations to complain as there was never any one at the front desk other than a door bell to ring for service. I don't think the only elevator out of operation warrants the premium I paid especially considering my elderly grandmother was to visit the room for an afternoon. When I filed the initial complaint with guest relations they said the hotel would be in contact with me regarding a resolution which never occurred, when I called guest relations back they said they would advise $40.00 off my bill which never occurred. A few days after check out when I called the front desk to question why I had actually been over charged this was the response, "I'm not dealing with this now its time for my break", she got on the phone heard my requests and stated, "ill look into the over charge but your not getting the $40 on my watch" so after I waited several days and the appropriate credits never appeared I filed another case with guests relations. My initial future reservation disappeared a few days later with out warning or there otherwise. When I called IHG reservations the only response I got after they checked with the hotel was that they could not reinstate the future reservation as I was seen as an unfit future guest that I was free to make a reservation at any IHG property elsewhere for my preferred travel dates.
What would your elderly grandmother have done if there was a fire or a fire alarm? Things break and things get fixed. I was in a hotel when the elevator was broken. I was on the 4th floor and I had hurt my neck a few days before. The hotel hadn't fixed the elevator all weekend. I didn't raise a big fuss over it because I know things break and sometimes the part isn't right there. They are required to have stairs. If it was a big enough hotel where elevators are necessary, they have more than one. If they have one, you can get by on stairs. Your story leads me to believe there are things that aren't mentioned or they felt you complain too much.
 

Neil Maley

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The elevator was fixed as soon as they could get a licensed repairman.

At this point- jsn55 is correct- this thread has gone as far as it can go.

To our OP- we have company contacts you can use to escalate to the Executives at the hotel chain.

If you believe that this still was based om anything other than your interaction with hotel staff, you should contact an attorney.

I’m going to close this thread and if our OP has further information to add after going through Corporate or an attorney he can contact us and we’ll add to the thread.