wrote on this blog about my delight in being a member of the Holiday Inn Priority Club. Not so this time. Far from it, she snarled. Or mooed.
Yesterday I had occasion to contact the Priority Club to make reservations for our upcoming visit to North Carolina. Last year when we stayed at one particular property, the points value for that property was 10,000 points. This year it has more than doubled -- to stay there would cost 25,000 points. For the same property as one year ago. I had enough points to cover the two nights I wanted to spend there, but thought I might save the 50,000 points and use them sometime in the future at a property that was still 10,000 points. We could have a nice extra vacation at some point by doing that.
Thinking it over last night, it occurred to me that the company may well be in the process of converting all of their properties to the higher price, and I might as well go ahead and use my points to cover the two nights; so today I phoned to make the change.
And they refused. Absolutely not; no discussion, as Joanna and Ryan's mom used to say.
Because I had booked the accommodations at the Advance Purchase rate (which, incidentally, they didn't offer me until I told them I had seen this rate on the internet), they wouldn't make the conversion. I had understood yesterday that by going with the Advance Purchase rate, the reservations could not be canceled. But the English-as-a-second-or-third-language clerk didn't tell me that I could not modify the reservation if I wanted to.
Over the years, we've spent a little more to use the Holiday Inns because of the predictability of the quality, partially, and also because of the "points" option. It's worked well. But apparently that is changing. The points cost is going up, the policies are inflexible, and full information isn't given. Not at all certain this is something we'll want to continue.
I explained my displeasure to the clerk, to her supervisor, and to the manager over that person, after being put on hold for more than fifteen minutes. But they were rigid.
Wouldn't you think that they would want to be helpful to a loyal customer and do whatever they could to maintain that loyalty?
I guess not.
Oh, and for the record, they never acknowledged the nice things I wrote about Holiday Inn last year, either. Even though I sent the post to them.