On Wednesday I wrote about a Wyndham Rewards offer that allowed members to earn 16,000 bonus points per stay at several new Wyndham hotels. That’s especially attractive because there are several inexpensive new hotels, where the bonus points are worth well more than the cost of the rooms (either to redeem for other hotels, or to transfer to airline miles).
And since Wyndham Rewards permits points earning even when members don’t show up for the stay (if you pay for the room, you earn points for it), it was convenient for plenty of people to make reservations without actually having to check-in.
Wyndham made a similar offer earlier on that was targeted, the rules said you had to receive an email invitation in order to participate although it seemed as though most folks subscribed to receive emails to their Wyndham Rewards accounts were receiving that email.
This time, the promotion said all you had to be was a Wyndham Rewards member and book a stay at one of the new properties during the promotion period.
Yesterday Wyndham declared that they meant for the promotion to be targeted for people who received a direct mail piece. And they weren’t going to honor it for people who didn’t receive the marketing mailing.
Of course plenty of people were already induced by Wyndham’s offer to make prepaid, non-refundable reservations — and in full compliance with the published rules of that offer.
Some people were being told over the phone that they would receive the points, that Wyndham meant to target the offer but since they messed that up the promotion would be honored. Some of those people were having their accounts notated to that affect.
Today Wyndham has gone in and changed the language of their offer. In the description of the promotion, at the top of the offer page, they have added:
Only members who received the direct mail invitation are eligible for this offer.
Here’s a shot of the top of the offer page from yesterday, October 18th:
And here’s the current offer page, today, with new language.
Oddly enough, they can’t even do a coverup properly to make the offer look as though it’s always been targeted.
Because the terms and conditions at the bottom of the offer page still haven’t been changed.
And they remain quite clear that the offer isn’t targeted.
To qualify for the “16,000 bonus Points” promotion (the “Promotion”) and earn 16,000 Wyndham Rewards® points, the member must (i) be an active member (ii) book a stay at any of the 20 participating properties at a qualifying rate between 9/12/12 and 12/31/12 and complete their hotel stays by 1/3/13 (the “Promotion Period”). Members will receive 16,000 Wyndham Rewards points for up to three stays within the Promotion Period at any of the 20 properties regardless of the number of rooms booked.
The terms and conditions still say anyone with a Wyndham Rewards account, whose account is not inactive, will receive the bonus as long as they stay at one of the included properties during the promotion period.
This one’s getting bungled worse than the Watergate break-in. Which is why I still have to believe that everyone who participated in the offer prior to the change in promotion description will have their bonus points honored. Or at an absolute minimium anyone who incurred costs in reliance on the clear language posted on Wyndham’s website will have to be refunded.
It’s just a matter of time for this to get sorted out.