This is a guest post by my very good friend, FlyingDetective.
I was in the planning stages of a trip to Puerto Vallarta when I started looking at Hyatt options. I quickly found the Hyatt Ziva and it captured my attention.
With rates on their website being easy to search, I tried many rate options including AAA to see what may be best for me. The Hyatt website listed the room rate at $838 / night for a regular rate.
AAA and other discount yielded only slightly lower rates. I decided to try using the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking system for the same room and found it for $309 / night.
This is a huge difference but thought maybe I could do better. A different online travel agency listed the same room for $250 / night. The price differences are incredible, for the exact same product.
Note that all quotes are for the same room. The Zivas are all-inclusive so the rates changes based on occupancy.
Thinking about the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee program, I decided to apply for it to see if I could save even more money. I submitted the third OTA quote by way of the BRG claim form. About 24 hours later I received a message from the BRG team asking for more information, a link to the OTA site. I had previously supplied this but supplied it again. I was told to submit a second BRG claim. I then re-submitted everything a second time.
After not receiving any communication from the BRG team a second time I reached out to Hyatt via Twitter. I was told to DM the Twitter account. I contacted them and they were very responsive, but told me they could only “update my file” that I needed contact from BRG. I should also note I followed the BRG terms and conditions and did book straight through the Hyatt site before I submitted the BRG claim.
After more than 7 days waiting on some answer from BRG my travel plans were about 72 hours away, I had no choice but to cancel the direct booking on Hyatt’s site and book with the third OTA.
For me, dealing with Hyatt has been a pleasure, except for BRG. Is BRG even real or is it just a mechanism to confuse and frustrate guests? I am going out on a limb here but I would think most people would not try as hard as I did to go through the BRG hoops – maybe that’s what they want. Booking a hotel should be painless, especially for loyalty members. You know the industry has a problem with these programs when services like bestrateguaranteeme.com exists to walk you through the process in hopes of maybe getting the best deal. It’s time for BRGs to go away unless hotels are going to step up and put some value into this product.
Meanwhile, I had a fantastic stay at the property.
– TFD (FlyingDetective)
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