If you have been following the terms and conditions of the Radisson Big Night Giveaway, you know that there has been some confusion and a resulting controversy about whether reservations made prior to registering will count for the promotion. Before the official terms were announced, a Radisson representative commented on their Facebook page and said that existing reservations would in fact count for the promotion. Before the promotion went live, however, Radisson deleted that comment from Facebook. Luckily, over on The Hustle Blog, Mike posted a screen shot that he took when the comment was still there.
After news went out that existing reservations would count, many people took advantage of a sale that Club Carlson was having and booked stays during the promotion period. It is important to note that the terms of this sale meant that these rooms were not refundable. When the Big Night Giveaway went live, the terms and conditions specifically excluded existing reservations, and a lot of people where rightfully upset.
Since the promotion went live earlier this week, several people have been waging a battle with Club Carlson, trying to get them to allow existing reservations since that is what their Facebook representative had told the public. @radisson on twitter had remained very quiet for the past several days, only stating that existing stays would not count and pointing people to the terms and conditions of the Big Night Giveaway. They ignored repeated requests for clarification and resolution from several members, and their poor handling of the situation led to several posts by bloggers expressing their disappointment.
You can read what others had to say about the issue over at Mommy Points, Deals We Like, The Hustle Blog, and Loyalty Traveler. Overall, many members have been disappointed by the way that Radisson and Club Carlson were ignoring the situation and basically telling people that even though they said something on social media, they were not going to honor what they said. To me, it seemed like a very poor move for a loyalty program to alienate so many of its members.
Of course, I was still going to participate in the promotion. No matter what kind of bad PR moves a company makes, it is hard for me to give up 50,000 easily earned points. I did, however, feel extremely badly for those people who had booked non-refundable nights thinking they would count for the promotion and were going to end up losing hundreds of dollars if they had to re-book. It was because of these people that we were all trying to get Radisson to change their minds.
Well, just a few minutes ago, I logged in to my Facebook account and saw the following post from Radisson. Needless to say, I was quite excited.
Unfortunately, there is still a small part of me that is skeptical. I guess when you learn that official company representatives may not be able to be trusted, you tend to think twice when you see something posted on Facebook. When I follow the link that they have listed, it takes me to the Big Night Giveaway page and that is still showing Terms and Conditions that say “Promotion is not valid on existing reservations”. I have to assume that they just haven’t changed that yet and it will be done in the next few days. I can’t imagine that Radisson would really try to retract something like this again. That having been said though, I would really feel more comfortable if I saw this posted by Radisson somewhere other than on Facebook. You can see in my screenshot above that I have already pointed this out to Radisson and hope to see an answer from them soon.
If it turns out that this post is in fact true, that is great news for many Club Carlson members who made reservations in the days leading up to this promotion. I am happy to see that by expressing our dissatisfaction through a variety of social media channels, we were able to show Club Carlson and Radisson just how much they were hurting their members. This issue may not have affected all of us, but if we stand together, we are certainly difficult to ignore. Great job to all of you who spoke up and made Radisson stand by what they said.
UPDATE: Loyalty Traveler received a phone call from a VP at Carlson Rezidor to let him know of the change. (he has a little more pull in the hotel industry than I do) Looks like existing reservations really will count!
Earlier today, I wrote a post about the return of the Radisson Big Night Giveaway. I also mentioned that there were some suspected Terms and Conditions posted over at FlyerTalk. A bit later in the day, Mommy Points posted the exciting news that this promotion B was happening at other Carlson brands as well, specifically the Country Inn & Suites and the Park Inn by Radisson. For more details, head over and read the post by Mommy Points. This was quite exciting for all of us miles and points addicts, but there was a worry that you would only be able to register for one of these offers. We would have to wait and see what the Terms and Conditions said when they were released.
Well, I am not one who can patiently wait around and see, so when I saw Radisson post something about the Big Night Giveaway on Facebook, I thought I would take a chance and ask for some clarification. Within a few hours, Dana from Radisson responded with answers for me and a couple of other people who posted.
Not only did she confirm that I would have to register separately with each brand, but she also added “Great way to earn even more points!” It’s almost like they are encouraging us to take advantage of all the offers. That would mean staying 1 night at each of three brands and coming away with 138,000 Club Carlson points. (only 44k points for each of the other two brands). That’s a pretty good haul for something that can be accomplished without a tremendous amount of effort or expense. Since the promotion is running through the summer, many of you might even be able to work the required stays into your normal travel plans. I am hoping that Chrissy and I can find a night or two we actually need somewhere during the promotion period, but if not, we may just have to plan a couple of weekend getaways without the kids.
The more I learn about this promo, the more excited I am getting. Now if US Airways would just announce that they are doing a Grand Slam promo again this year, this could be the best miles and points week I’ve had in a while.
If you are like me, you love earning miles and points. The more you can earn and the easier and less expensive it is, the better. Well, one of the easiest earning promotions last year was the Radisson Big Night Giveaway. The promotion required that you be one of the first 50,000 people to register and then all you had to do was stay one night at a Radisson property within a specified time frame. Once your stay was completed, you would be awarded 50,000 Club Carlson points, enough for one night at one of their top tier properties.
Of course, miles and points collectors of all ages jumped at the chance to earn so many points for just a single night stay. I have spoken with people who were able to reserve rooms for as little as $67 at a Radisson near them. Unfortunately, the only Radisson property near me is about a half hour drive from my house and the rates were not that low. I ended up paying $100.65 for a night at a hotel I didn’t even stay in. Actually, we paid twice that because my wife got a room too. We checked in, confirmed that check out would happen automatically, and drove back home. You can read the story of our adventure as I posted it back in January if you want all the details, but to sum it up, we are now 100,000 Club Carlson points richer.
Fast forward a few months and you may remember from my report on the Travel Executive Summit, that the topic of the Big Night Giveaway came up in the afternoon panel discussion. The representative from Carlson had told us that running that promotion was no different than any other promotion and it really wasn’t that hard to get approved. When asked when they were going to do it again, she just smiled coyly and said that none of the other executives were sharing the details of their upcoming promotions, so she wasn’t going to either. Little did we know how many details she could have shared.
Just over a week after the Travel Executive Summit, rumors started to fly about the promotion possibly returning later this month. If you follow me on twitter @JeffTheWanderer, you probably saw the retweets that I sent from @Radisson when they started to hint that the rumors might be true.
As promised, they officially announced today that the Big Night Giveaway was returning. The promotion website went live, complete with a countdown clock ticking away the seconds until registration begins. There is very little detailed information on the Big Night Giveaway page, other than it saying in a couple of places that Terms and Conditions apply. Unfortunately, they do not give us a link to what those terms and conditions may be.
Mommy Points reports that the thread on FlyerTalk that originally broke the rumored return of the promotion has the predicted terms and conditions listed, but we won’t know for sure that they are correct until it is announced officially. The big thing that stands out for me is that you have to be present at both check-in and check-out. They must have realized that like my wife and I, many people just checked in to a local hotel and then went home. I guess that this time we might just have to drive up to Scranton two days in a row.
Whatever the terms are, you can bet that I will be on the computer waiting to register at 12:01 AM CDT on May 15th, and I suggest that you be there too. This is a great promotion with huge earning potential and very little required work. As I mentioned before, you can use your 50,000 free points for a single night stay at one of their top tier properties, but you can also use them for multiple nights at some of their lower tier properties. Once we complete the required stay for this promotion, we will have 200,000 total Club Carlson points, assuming the predicted terms and conditions are correct. I’m not sure about you, but for me, that sounds a lot like several nights of free lodging on a few trips yet to be planned.
To receive the latest information, they suggest that you follow Radisson on twitter and “like” them on Facebook. You can get the links for both of those on the official Big Night Giveaway webpage. Myself and pretty much all of the other travel, miles, and points bloggers will be keeping you updated as well. I am super excited that they have decided to bring this promotion back, even if it ends up having more restrictive terms and conditions this time around. It is a great way to build up your hotel points so that you can experience more, spend less, and travel the world. So 7 days and 14 hours from now, I hope you will join me in taking the next step towards Indulging the Wanderlust in you.