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By tafr_admin
#901
So #TAFR decided to probe one of the world's largest hotel chains, namely Hilton and put their promise to the test.

The Best Price Guarantee is a promise they market as "It's simple, right? Booking directly with Hilton is quick, easy and guarantees best value.." where they boast they'll not only match any rate but beat it by twenty five percent, but we found the experience to be quite different. Essentially you need to make a booking within twenty four hours and meet the following criteria for fair comparison;

Same Hotel
Same Room Type
Same Dates
Same Cancellation Policy
Price / Booking Available on a Public Page
Language of said 'Page' be in a Supported Language

Let's look at that last point first of all, a supported language or as is most likely the case American English which is frankly ridiculous for a global brand such as Hilton. So alright in fairness they probably qualify more than just English as an accepted language but one of our test bookings was made on Roomdi, a Spanish based company and the 'claim' was rejected and the language policy was mentioned as a reason. Sorry Spanish speakers... (on behalf of Hilton). The page and screen print was actually English - editors note.

The other qualifications you'd think would be easy to meet and we created no less than five different bookings, all the claims were denied for trivial reasons. We selected flexible rates with no cancellation penalties for obvious reasons, a room with two queen beds and all on a room only board basis via three different third party booking sites. What happens is that the room is decribed (the cheaper room on third party sites) as either 'Run Of House' or 'Double' which we argued could apply to practically any room in this hotel, specifically the Double Tree at the Gates of Universal in Orlando Florida because a run of house or double occupancy would be applicable to any room they physically have.

Initially Hilton said no as we'd booked a King Room, so we booked a basic Two Queen and that was denied because there is a view to Universal Studios - well of the multi-level at IOA / US car park at least but I guess that's still a view of Universal for some folks - again denied. Actually no matter what we did the best price guarantee was not accepted.

But we’re a tenacious bunch here at TAFR, so we considered all our collective experiences and like a military unit planned our campaign. We complied with every rule, we took screenshots of the third party booking before, during, expanded the rate breakdown to show the daily rates and finally the confirmation. We used Photoshop to circle the prominent facts in red to make it easier for the Hilton agent to find, actually we did it to make it harder for them to wiggle out of the guarantee and -drum roll- it worked. Well eventually, they still argued the point and initially denied the claim(s) we replied to each email with our visual proofs and these were the key.

Hilton published rate for our stay roughly $2300, the Hotels.com rate $1300 and with a further 25% discount thanks to the guarantee now under $1000 which is quite a saving. Just remember to toggle the currency to match Hilton, now you are booking direct and can therefore benefit from Hilton Honors membership. Read our article for more advice on how to get even more, not limited to a free breakfast...
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User avatar
By tafr_admin
#1789
So a little update...

Learning from our own advice and playing Hilton at their own game we succeeded in two Rate Guarantee claims, it saved quite a bit. We ticked every box, we took all screenshots and they still tried to reject the claims. Even when one had been accepted, we emailed asking a question and a different representative reversed the claim which we of course fought.

We won! So yes they will honour their Honors but you need to go in prepared to battle, take onboard what we did and if you need help just ask because that’s why our forum is here.

“Not everything you read is true...” s[…]

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