SPG Response to the $30 Online Booking Error

by Adam

Did you see Gary’s post the other night on the $30/nt mistake rates at the Phoenician Resort? I went ahead and chanced it and booked a few nights for mid December. Though the hotel won’t be honoring the $30/nt rate, they have in my opinion a pretty generous offer. The offer is for a deeply discounted rate, full SPG benefits, and double SPG points for the stay. Nice job SPG! Here’s the email I just received:

Dear Adam,

I am contacting you today in regards to your December 2013 reservations for The Phoenician. Unfortunately, due to a systems error on March 27, the resort temporarily listed the incorrect and very low accommodation rate of $30 per night.  While the Terms & Conditions on our website indicate the right to cancel if a reservation resulted from a mistake or error, we value your business and would like to extend an exclusive, discounted rate of $130 per night, as well as double SPG points for this stay.  Currently, the correct, available rate for December 2013 is more than $400, providing you with a savings in excess of $300 per night.  We hope you will accept our redress regarding this matter.  However, as this was indeed an exceptional circumstance, we are also giving you the opportunity to cancel your reservation(s) without penalty.  We hope to hear from you soon so we may discuss and either finalize your accommodations, or cancel the reservations. To connect with a member of our Customer Service team please email us at Executive.Guest.Service@StarwoodHotels.com. If we do not hear from you by April, 12th, 2013 we will assume you no longer want to keep your reservations and we will cancel them on your behalf. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by our technical difficulties, and remain committed to providing you with our signature AAA Five Diamond guest service and experience.  All Starwood Preferred Guest benefits will be fully honored.  We look forward to having you with us!  

The currently best available prepaid non refundable rates for my booked dates is over $469 a night, making this offer quite a savings and allowing for double SPG point accumulation. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa is $219-$229 a night on the same dates while the W Scottsdale is $288 a night.  I’ll probably book a cheap flight and take advantage of the deal, though obviously flight costs need to be factored in as well. Of course, this is no deal at all if you are taking a vacation that you’re not interested in.  What will you be doing?

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Pointsanddtravel March 29, 2013 - 3:20 pm

I am trying to decide right now what I should do, since I live in the neighborhood of the Phoenician. Thought I might be out of the country for Christmastime, but nothing has been booked yet, so now I am weighing my options, it would be fun… and less expensive than Europe! ha! For my dates, the cash and points option is still available for $110 and 6000 points or 12,000 pts per night or $469.

adam March 29, 2013 - 3:52 pm

@Pointsandtravel – That’s a tough one. There are some great deals to Europe in the winter and I love me some outdoor holiday markets!

Curtis March 29, 2013 - 3:24 pm

Good response from them I’d say. I didn’t get in on the deal but sounds like a great offer still for those that did!

adam March 29, 2013 - 3:51 pm

@Curtis – Agreed

Mike March 29, 2013 - 3:26 pm

Just wondering If one booked airline flights then Recived a letter they will not honor would they be required to pay I the flights booked ? Just curious for future interest

adam March 29, 2013 - 3:50 pm

@Mike – Airlines tend to honor mistake fares due to DOT (Department of Transportation) rule 14 CFR 399.88 which sets rules on airlines raising prices on fully purchased tickets.

The Weekly Flyer March 29, 2013 - 3:39 pm

The same day when the $30 rate went away, a $117 rate was showing for me. I didn’t book it then and wouldn’t go just for the double points. But obviously depends on the person.

Saverocity March 29, 2013 - 3:47 pm

Seems like a solid offer, a nice way to deal with the hoards who jumped on this – keep them happy with a decent rate and show commitment to the loyalty program by spicing it up with double points. Win

adam March 29, 2013 - 3:48 pm

@Saverocity – Totally agree, well done SPG!

Carl P March 29, 2013 - 4:35 pm

It’s a good deal compared to $469. but then again I would never pay $469 a night (plus resort fee, taxes, etc.). But hat’s just me.

Its is definitley better than then just not honoring the deal at all and cancelling like others have done.

Starwood Honoring Phoenician Mistake Rate… With a Discount - View from the Wing March 29, 2013 - 5:15 pm

[…] Me to the Plane received the same offer and plans to jump on […]

Kyle March 29, 2013 - 6:01 pm

If you wanted you could challenge it. New DoT regulations prevent changing a price once the sale is final, even “in the case of a mistake”. From my interpretation this fully applies to hotels, tours and flights. I’ve had success with mistake fares when citing this and challenging the adjustment in private. It’s your call but they should be obligated to honor it, whether you want to pursue is another matter.

Steven March 29, 2013 - 9:11 pm

If anyone is keeping their reservations, which dates are you going? Would love to meet up with people, Maybe a Phoenix DO


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