If you don’t know that IHG is the biggest mess of a company, then you don’t know anything about IHG. If you’ve ever had a problem, called customer support, or tried to use any of their technologies you will probably want to pull out hair.
This last promotion has been an epic hotel promo fail. Epic. Why they launch a promotion without having the technology in place is a mystery.
But the biggest issues of all the issues happened last week. Basically, they switched most everyone’s promo to make it more difficult. Which is one of the most sleeze bag things I’ve seen any hotel do (although not surprising here). So you got an email saying you can earn two free nights in a few paid stays and then last week they silently switched them for difficult ones. Mine went from booking 3 nights on the app to 13 nights.
Apparently they had told some people that they were going to honor the original offers, and others that these were the new offers. In fact, many people got 10,000 points as “compensation” for the bait & switch, but then left the new promotion. I emailed and was specifically told that the new offer was the correct one.
The “Back To Normal”
Then, two days later all the promos got switched back. I logged on and my requirements were back to normal, 3 nights with the app.
And that’s that. The drama is over.
Well, as normal as IHG can be. However, there are a couple of pitfalls to watch out for.
Remaining Pitfalls of Into The Nights promo
1) Tracking “App bookings” is often a fail
One of the requirements for most (all?) accounts is booking at least one night with the app. Try to do this early on because a lot of people are having trouble getting this to show up. Might as well address it early on.
I personally went to IHG.com/freenights to download the app. But if you clearly completed the requirements and it’s still not working then go ahead and contact IHG. I think it’s important to know that their support is the worst in the world. This isn’t to dig at people in the Philippines who actually speak English well. It’s that they know nothing about IHG and aren’t allowed to make decisions and you’re never allowed to talk to a decision maker.
Thus, if you call and say that your app goal isn’t completed, they are going to tell you to do the exact same thing you just did, and nothing will change. So, better to give them the info of your phone and what not and have them call you with a solution. Don’t waste time on the rabbit trails.
Also, note that sometimes things take weeks to show up. That’s why I say take care of this now. Because the answer might be to wait a long time. Or you could be waiting for nothing. However, chances are, the solution is to wait for it to show up, or wait for the IT department to catch up. Either way, don’t stress too much about it yet.
Tip: Let them know about the problem and then wait.
2) General warning about Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels
If your requirement is to stay at a Holiday Inn, then a Holiday Inn Express will not qualify. Similarly, if it’s a Holiday Inn Express that’s the requirement, nothing else will work. Not Holiday Inns, Holiday Inn resorts, etc… But “Resorts” should qualify as a Holiday Inn. Basically, they are trying to build the “Express” as its own brand and identity, although that isn’t clear to most of us.
Tip: Read your promotion carefully
3) Nights that aren’t showing as “qualified” nights never show up
Every once in a while I book a night under my name and the second night under Carrie’s name (my wife) and it doesn’t give points to the second account. They just mark the second night as a non qualifying stay. Another time I checked in together with a friend, but we had different reservations and he didn’t get elite night credit because they were both seen as my room. This is probably because front desk agents don’t know the difference, but when problems like this happen, we didn’t get “qualifying night” credit, and we don’t get points at all.
So what do you do? You submit a claim form and they adjust the night so it gives points. But I found with the last Big Win that these nights never showed completed tasks toward the Big Win promotion. They adjusted it for the points’ sake, but still didn’t get the elite night credit.
How IHG doesn’t have the simple ability to adjust it to a qualifying night is mind numbing. So what you have to do is fill out another claim form when you would have completed the entire promotion saying you didn’t get the points for the promotion because one qualifying night showed as non-qualifying and needs adjusting.
At this point, they should just manually deposit the points missing.
Tip: Do all you can to not confuse anyone at IHG as they’re simple folk, and make sure you very distinctly check in and out, or check in separately.
Tip: If a paid night shows as non-qualifying, fill out a claim form for that night, and again when the Into The Nights promo would be completed.
4) Did you register on the first day? You may have problems.
Dizzy had a problem with this and I think I know what happened. Basically, she booked nights and they didn’t show up toward the promotion and they said she never registered.
When the promotion first opened up I registered. Then the next day all the promotion requirements changed. And then they went back to the original requirements. The odd thing is that when it went back to normal, when I logged on it basically re-enrolled me and sent me another email. Basically it voided the first enrollment.
So if you registered on the first day, and logged on to the Into the Nights site (IHG.com/freenights) later, it registered you. If you booked a night between first register and second, you’re screwed, because you have to have made the booking after registering.
However, check and make sure you got an email. If you got an email from the first enrollment forward that to them and show them that you did indeed enroll.
Tip: If they say you didn’t register for the promo when you first did, forward them the email from the first date.
The biggest problems for me have been the issue with qualifying nights. If they didn’t show up as qualifying the first time, their technology is so bad that even after updating it doesn’t change the status with the promotion. So submit claim forms and proof when they don’t believe you. Also be patient as things don’t update right away, especially with the app.
Still, I hold to my original stance, this is the best promotion in a long time. Incredible promotion. So I’ll be rocking it.
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