IHG Rewards Club Relents, Will Honor Their Free Nights Offer!

Yesterday I wrote,

My offer for IHG Rewards’ “Into the Nights” promotion — the most generous hotel offer in the market by far — has not changed. But others are reporting that the requirements for them to earn free nights are shifting after the promotion is underway. I’ve reached out to IHG to see whether there’s some sort of technical glitch, or something more nefarious going on.

IHG Rewards initially gave the wrong — too generous — offer to many members. Their intention to was target different offers to different members, but ‘too many’ (relative to their intention) got the super generous one that I got and still had.

Here’s what they were telling folks who complained about registering for an offer, staying at IHG Rewards Club hotels to complete the offer, and then having the rug pulled out from under them:

Initially you were not given the correct set of offers. Upon IHG Rewards Club Service Center realizing this error, the correct set of offers were assigned. The offers you now have are the correct set that have been personalized for you.” Here is a screenshot of the entire email.

In other words, ha ha, tricked you!

That was never going to stand. It was simply an untenable response. Lots of attention yesterday on frequent flyer forums and blogs, and I queried them as well. Ahd here’s their statement about what they’re actually going to do — anyone who registered for the original offer gets to keep it, anyone that hadn’t registered yet and didn’t see their offer gets whatever is in their account now.

We have been advised of the following:
· All affected IHG Rewards Club members who we know have made progress towards the offer, but then received a revised hurdle offer, will have their offer marked as “completed.”

· IHG Rewards Club will be sending a direct email communication to those members who have made progress toward their offer. We will be letting them know we will be honoring the original offer and marking their progress as complete.

· IHG will be honoring their original offer and IHG Rewards Club Members will see their offer as complete if they made progress toward it. If the members have yet to stay toward their offer, but have already registered, it will transition back to a hurdle of one stay to complete.

· IHG will not be changing any point values, so the members will receive the original amount of points that the offer showcased.

· IHG Rewards Club Members who have yet to register or to see their offers will receive the variable stay amounts. To those who may inquire why they have a variable amount, we are honoring the original offers that members saw when they received their offers. All members who are newly registering are receiving the correct variable amounts.

So they’re honoring the offer after all. Good for them. They screwed up, and shouldn’t have tried to ‘slip in’ the fix, to members’ disadvantage, in the first place.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Almost like the Susan G Kommen Planned Parenthood abortion funding mess in 2012. Sometimes it’s hard to turn back the clock and get loyal supporters back.

  2. So they had a technical glitch and then committed a crime to cover it up? If their guests did something like this they would delete their points accounts. Didn’t IHG General Counsel once threaten to do that to a FT enthusiast?
    This is at very least a FTC violation, a CFAA crime and arguably a RICO action. The cat is out of the bag, that IGA wants to make nice does not erase nor excuse the original criminal action that had a clear intention to defraud their customers in the most deceptive way possible using wire fraud (CFAA). Only that frequent flyers and biz travelers have no pull demonstrates that the hospitality industry knows they can get anyway with criminal activity and no one will defend the victims rights or even the law.
    Shocking, to the very core and undermines the legitimacy of all loyalty programs.

  3. “Good for them”? Last commenter summarized well the egregious nature of their misdeeds, but you think a simple mea culpa deserves our praise. View from the Boardroom indeed.

  4. Bait and switch is illegal. They were required to honor what they offered. Period. The crap offer — which is sadly the one I got to begin with — isn’t worth doing so I don’t blame people for being angry.

  5. Thank you Gary.
    point three is a little unclear, it seems to imply that if you registered for the promotion a few weeks ago, but have not stayed towards your promotion yet, you only need to complete one stay to get the original points.
    If that is correct, it is now much more generous than needing to complete the original challenge. Unless I misunderstood? Thanks!

  6. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more talk raised of people contacting their state AG, FTC or else to file a complaint for what was essentially a deceptive trade practice and offer, when IHG did the switch-a-roo.
    Sure IHG walked back, but their response seems to imply the problem wasn’t so much their ‘bait-n-switch’ as opposed to the pushback they got.
    I find it ironic that this is the same IHG which has been shutting down accounts of loyal customers who had signed on to multiple promo codes; all this because their IT department is clearly incompetent.
    Loyalty AND trust is a 2 way street…

  7. Meanwhile it also seems like the stays take almost a full month to post on their promotion site after they post in account activity. Pretty strange in this day and age to have to wait that long.

  8. This promo is a disaster. They can’t keep anything straight. They’ve miscounted my nights and now have taken away bonus points they gave me for allegedly meeting my night requirement. My page shows both 2 out of 3 and 3 out of 4 requirements met.

  9. Has anyone received an email advising of this correction? I believe I have satisfied the criteria for my initial offer but only show 2 of 4 completed against the modified offer.

  10. I sent an email to IHG last week, and they responded back that they will not honor my first initial offer!
    Has anyone else experienced this?

    My email:
    Hello,
    I registered on September 4th, the first day, for the Into The Nights promotion, email below.
    When I log into the Into The Nights promo it is still Not showing my original offer which was:
    500 download app
    2000 stay 3 nights
    2000 book 2 stays web/app
    4000 stay 2 saturdays
    2000 stay 2 holiday inns

    my promo changed back and forth SEVERAL times, not just once.. but I still don’t see my original.
    I stayed at a Holiday Inn on Friday XX/XX at Holiday Inn XXX, but do not see the stay under the promotion.

    Can you please help with my account and promo to make sure I am set up with the original offer IHG gave to me.

    Thank you,
    XXX


    Then this week they responded with:

    Dear XXX,

    Thank you for contacting IHG Rewards Club regarding your account. We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

    Your comments have been documented and shared with the management staff of the IHG Rewards Club Service Center. The information is also available to our corporate executives who make decisions pertaining to future enhancements of our program.

    Further, please be advised that for some reason your account were not assigned the
    correct offers in the system. Upon realizing the error, we have assigned them their correct offer set which are personalized for you, as such, your offers have changed from what you had seen initially.

    Due to this inconvenience, we would like to offer you 5,000 points as goodwill and encourage you to stay with the corrected offers. Should you agree, kindly reply to this email.

    Should you require further assistance, please feel free to contact IHG Rewards Club Service Center again.

    Sincerely,

    RXXX R. LXXX
    Account Manager
    IHG Rewards Club

    REALLY????
    Thank you for any helpful feedback,
    gpks00

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