A few weeks ago I asked if Hilton Hotels Best Rate Guarantee is legit? Well I am happy to report that Hilton has issued me a refund for the difference between my initial purchase price via Expedia and the rate offered by www.hilton.com.
Here is the time it took me to have Hilton honor the request:
- At least eight phone calls over a six week process. I spent an average of ten minutes per call factoring hold times and begging sessions with representatives asking them to please transfer me to someone who could handle my concerns. Total time invested – 1 hour and twenty minutes.
- Sent at least eight emails over a six week period. Total time – 1 hour.
- Wrote one blog post. Total time 45 minutes. I include this time because I’m not sure if my blog was a factor in their response or not.
Total time I spent trying to resolve this issue: 3 hours and 5 minutes.
I think the only reason my case was ever resolved was because the supervisor I was forced to deal exclusively with (who never returned a singe call or email in six weeks) left Hilton (I hope he was fired!!!).
I am still unsure if Hilton will be sending me the $50 AMEX gift card, but at this point I am content to at least have broken even (minus three hours of my time). Sure, it would be a great business decision for Hilton to compensate me for my time and hassle, but I am not going to fight that battle.
I wanted to offer my suggestions for the Hilton Organization
- Require supervisors to reply to customers within a predetermined time frame. For example, 72 hours to return an email or phone call.
- If a supervisor is unable to make contact in the said time frame any Guest Services representative has the authority to (1) resolve the issue, or (2) reassign a new supervisor to handle the case. My greatest frustration throughout the entire process was not that my claim was denied, but that no one would contact me, nor did I have any access to the person who had the ability to make any decisions on my behalf. Essentially, the organization needs to delegate authority for the sake of the customer.
- Give Loretta a raise (and you should probably promoter her too!). She was the supervisor who ended up with my case. Within a couple of hours of my first phone call she had called me and sent me an email. She was polite and willing to do what was right. Thank you, Loretta.
- I would have suggested the previous supervisor get fired, but since he is no longer with the organization I guess that will not do much good.
Here is my suggestion to you regarding future purchases at a Hilton organization:
The best rate guarantee is not as simple as it may appear, so proceed as if they don’t offer one. Search multiple sites and purchase from the company who has the best rate. Don’t take the risk that Hilton might create a reason to deny your claim. Here were my reasons why my claim was not initially honored: (1) Expedia is an opaque website, (2) the rate cannot be verified, and (3) Hilton could not confirm that a no smoking room was available through Expedia. Don’t trust that Hilton will have the lowest price on their site. If you find it cheaper elsewhere, make the booking there.
Hilton is officially off my black list. I will book Hilton brand hotels in the future.