IHG “Into the Insanity” Promotion Flops Then Flips

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Y’all, I think IHG must have gone temporarily insane.  As I wrote earlier today, the terms changed on the “Into the Nights” promo for many folks in recent days.  Since the promo has been running for over a month, and many people have spent actual time and money based on the terms that were displayed to them, the reasonable conclusion behind changing terms was a “tech glitch”, right?  They wouldn’t really think you can change terms of a promo mid-stream since people had spent cold hard cash based on what the IHG promo had shown them.  That seems like a sure-fire way to open up a can of all kinds of problems.

Turns out, at least someone at IHG thought that changing the terms in the middle of the promotion was okay.  Well, at least until they decided that it wasn’t.

Right after writing the post this morning I tweeted to IHG to get some help with the changing terms.  I was told to email their customer care department at a certain email address, which I promptly did.

A few hours later I received this response (bolding mine):

Dear Mr. Ms. Hull,

Thank you for your contact via Twitter.  We are sorry for the confusion regarding the “Into the Nights” offers changing.

Initially you were not given the correct set of offers. Upon IHG Rewards Club Service Center realizing this, the correct set of offers were assigned.  The offers you now have are the correct set that have been personalized for you.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us as we value your patronage. Should you require further assistance, please feel free to contact the IHG Rewards Club Service Center again.

Are you quacking kidding me?  In that email they confirmed my offer had indeed changed and they decided the correct course of action was then to say that the new version is the correct one.  I didn’t agree, so I wrote back and said basically that I had spent real money in good faith based on the terms presented beginning in September, and that the revised terms would not work for me.  I needed the original terms honored or comparable credit issued based on what I had spent.

I also then tweeted about their quacking crazy response, because in 2014, like it or not, that’s what you do to get problems solved.

All this happened while I was on my iPhone at the dentist, so when I got to a real computer I saw both a comment on my site and a tweet from IHG that IHG had responded to this issue on Flyertalk.  Their response on Flyertalk had actually happened hours before the email I received from them that told me to pound sand and go with the new terms, so it seems that the left and the right hand needed to communicate a bit better.

The Flyertalk response from an IHG rep said:

We have been advised of the following:

All affected IHG Rewards Club members who we know have made progress towards the offer, but then received a revised hurdle offer, will have their offer marked as “completed.”

IHG Rewards Club will be sending a direct email communication to those members who have made progress toward their offer. We will be letting them know we will be honoring the original offer and marking their progress as complete.

IHG will be honoring their original offer and IHG Rewards Club Members will see their offer as complete if they made progress toward it. If the members have yet to stay toward their offer, but have already registered, it will transition back to a hurdle of one stay to complete.

IHG will not be changing any point values, so the members will receive the original amount of points that the offer showcased.

IHG Rewards Club Members who have yet to register or to see their offers will receive the variable stay amounts. To those who may inquire why they have a variable amount, we are honoring the original offers that members saw when they received their offers. All members who are newly registering are receiving the correct variable amounts.

So, it seems that the original terms will be honored after all for those who registered for them.  I’m not clear how all of that will play out exactly, but certainly good news they have made a statement about honoring the old terms.  Horrible, horrible news that anyone at IHG thought it was okay to tell people they can change a promo mid-stream and that’s okay.  Some folks were told that the offer had changed and then were offered amounts ranging from 2,000 – 15,000 IHG points as a consolation.  I wasn’t offered any points to make it better, just got a cold hard email.  That is very worrisome for me because I don’t want a program to have my back only if someone decides that they legally have to have my back (which I am guessing is what happened here).  I want a program who actively wants to do right by their customers.

I also don’t think you should have to be a Flyertalker to get up-to-date info from your program of choice.  I hope they are re-emailing anyone who reached out with questions about the terms because it can’t be assumed that those people will notice they changed their mind about changing the terms.  Or something like that.

This whole thing was nuts, and since I’m someone who lives and breathes points, I get pretty disappointed when a points program shows signs of not valuing the customer’s time and money.  I’m glad that it seems IHG has gone full circle in such a short time to decide they will honor the original terms, but that doesn’t make the changing of the terms totally alright.

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Comments

  1. No Summer, they are not communicating. I found out that they would honor the original challeng by reading on FT. I suspect that there is someone in the IT department that screwed up this promo. Love the new name, “Into the Insanity.” I will wait and see if they ever email me back with the correct information. For now my dashboard still shows the revised, “insane” version.

  2. My initial offer was stay one night get one free. I called today AFTER the Flyertalk post (and before I saw it).

    My new offer was stay 2 nights, get one free or 25K or some airlines miles.

    Rep said that was my new offer and they were sorry bu I had to stay 2 nights now. So not sure if things have really changed. Not sure if I can get my first offer. I emailed the Flyertalk rep so hopefully someone will respond. I just can’t deal with the phone reps again.

  3. Just signed up for IHG this year to credit a stay, but based on this fiasco I’m writing them off. Plenty of competition for my lodging dollars elsewhere.

  4. This is what happens when you continue to offer more loyal customers varied and worse offers than the general non active members. My offers didn’t change much from the original because they couldn’t make them much worse. Well I guess they could change mine from 19 required stays to 50 or something like that.

    • I guess I am pretty bummed about the whole situation. I have never liked how they are trying to entice new guests while making these promotions very difficult on loyal guests (sorry, but stay 1 night get 1 free is ridiculous when I got stay 16 nights, stay in 5 different HI Express hotels, book 2 bonus breakfast stays, etc). And to top it all off today with the bait and switch! Did they think that no one would notice??

  5. I am so happy to find a web site I can express my frustration with IHG and their stupid promotion. I am a platinium member who stays at IHG lots. Yet my offer was impossible to achieve. How about 60 stays in four months using their phone app (that’s almost a stay every two nights over the 4 month promotion period. And if I do 5 of 6 of their crazy offers – I get 2 nights or 11,000 points (as if)!!!! Anther was 38 days…. A colleague who almost never stays at IHG got easier and better overall rewards… I will also be choosing other hotels in the future

  6. IHG promotions? Who cares? If I have to pay, (not very often), I’ll use one of the Club Carlson hotels, both here and overseas. IMHO, CC’s points are more valuable than IHG’s, especially when one considers the redemption opportunity for “two for one” —-

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