On The Topic Of BRGs

56

I posted a BRG (Best Rate Guarantee) deal yesterday that had been posted on several other blogs and forums (including DDF).  It had originated on The BRG Blog as I credited in yesterday’s post for finding the deal.

IHG offers a best rate guarantee policy chain-wide to make sure that the best rates can always be booked directly through them at IHG.com.  It is against the hotel’s franchise agreement contract to offer cheaper rates on 3rd party sites.  The BRG program is for IHG’s benefit so that their franchised hotels don’t offer cheaper rates on 3rd party sites to circumvent the IHG program.

The BRG Blog has flagged a new abuse policy that has been added to the IHG BRG program. He even apologizes to me for the flak I am taking on the internets because of a deal that he post, which is completely unnecessary though it shows what kind of class he has.

At DansDeals I love locating a great deal and post my finds daily.  They are usually deals that interest me and hopefully will interest my readers.  But I also don’t post lots of deals daily.  These include deals that are typically not found elsewhere online and would normally last a long time if they weren’t posted online. Some of these airline and hotel tips that I’ve accumulated over the years and aren’t found online are covered to far smaller audiences in the DansDeals seminars that I occasionally offer.

If I feel that my posting a deal online will have negative repercussions then I don’t post it, simple as that. Except it never is as simple as that and obviously that’s a very fine line to walk on and I do it based on the best judgement I can make.

I have posted BRG deals in the past but never one that received the response that yesterday’s received.

I apologize for underestimating that response, had I known what it would turn into then the post wouldn’t have been made.

Some other blogs that covered the deal before me pulled the post completely though I don’t generally like to do that.

The new abuse policy as per BRG Blog is as follows,

“Abuse of Best Price Guarantee. IHG reserves the right to cancel a previously awarded free night and to cancel the lower prices for the rest of the nights of a multi-night reservation if it is found that a customer has violated or circumvented the Best Price Guarantee Terms & Conditions. Resale of rooms eligible for the Best Price Guarantee is strictly prohibited. In the event IHG believes that a room eligible for the Best Price Guarantee has been resold, or the Best Price Guarantee is otherwise being intentionally abused or manipulated to circumvent its intent, we reserve the right to cancel the previously-awarded free room night and to cancel the lower prices for the rest of the nights of a multi-night reservation, and to reject future Best Price Guarantee claims from any persons who participated in such actions.”

The wording on abuse is a bit vague but it seems to me that they are saying if you try to abuse the system by booking consecutive free nights or if you try to sell the nights that they can ban you from the IHG program.  Which sounds fair to me.  Hopefully that will be the only change they make and you will still be able to file BRG claims in the future.

However I don’t think that people booking rooms within the BRG terms will qualify as abuse and thus I expect that they will honor the free room nights.

At any rate yesterday’s post will be my final post on this site about a BRG opportunity.  I do once again apologize for any other problems that yesterday’s post may have caused or may cause.

-Dan

P.S. As far as the age-old question of when I should post a deal and when I should refrain from posting a deal, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Leave a Reply

56 Comments On "On The Topic Of BRGs"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Sort by:   newest | oldest
J. Doe

Unfortunately it seems that, for better or worse, you’ve become too popular. You can no longer post a deal that only a few people, or few dozen, will make use of. I think this is somewhat directly attributable to the El Al price mistake and all the buzz/media coverage. I think I’ve seen a marked drop in quality of questions/comments coming from overflow noobs. Before the El Al posting, people utilizing this site were motivated, interested, and took the time to familiarize. Now others have seen the light though they may not be willing to put in the effort to understand. Hence the jump in page visits, etc. which comes with the corresponding issues such as are raised in this post. No reason to change, but helpful perhaps to bear in mind. Keep up the fantastic work and don’t let this stuff get you down!
Still gotta love Dan the points Gaon

CS

How about you have a separate blog or Forum with all of the deals that you dont feel comfortable positng on the main page. I think we would all love to see all the deals that you are not posting.

eli

How about show us how u do your research and we can find our own deals?

Redbull3

Keep rockin’ Dan.
Post Away (anything and everything, including the stuff you save for seminars).

Just my $0.02.

Redbull3

yo

This is great!

Rots5

Said to perfection. Your here to help us, i think deals that can last at least the day is ok to post.

Kevin

The problem wasn’t you posting a deal. The problem lies with the people abusing the deal. Many booked a room that they had no intention of using(for the purpose of reselling it) or booked multiple days so that they could stay for a week for free.The company may not catch it at first,but once they notice the number of calls they are getting they are going to sit down and review the bookings.Dan keep posting and tell people if they abuse it no one will get the deal.

Nafti

There is often a fine line between aggressively taking up offers made and taking unfair advantage of commercial policies. The piece on the IHG BRG fell firmly in the later category. I say that as one who has had free IHG nights when I have found cheaper offers. I stay in IHG hotels fairly frequently and always check prices after I have booked but using their guarantee to just rack up a free night seems morally shaky. To take the free night and then try and sell it is unquestionably on the wrong side of the divide.

Drago

@@CS:
And then e/o will read that forum or blog instead.
How would it help at all?

landz124

How about a VIP club that has a membership fee and only has the limited deals. all other deals will still be posted on the main site

Rob

I think you should structure these sensite deal posts like this.
Title: 1 free night in a NYC hotel in Dec 2013
Public Body: There is a hotel that an ability for a BRG for some nights in december. You can use hotel comparison sites like wego and hotelscombined to try to find dates.
Private Body: The hotel is barclays intercontiental, I verified for 12/6 , 1/06, etc. I compared against HotelTravel.com.

Limit the private body to the 1st 100 people that view it.
Make the public body so that if people work hard enough they can find it.
I think thats a good compromise of allowing newbiews to get into the game, but rewarding putting in some effort.

dovi

I would break this down to two separate issues: 1. The volume of readers taking advantage of the (“gotcha”) deals you post; this is perfectly legit and a result of the popularity of your site. 2. Abuse on the other hand ie; ordering 20 sets of Artscroll Shas, or grabbing 10 free BRG nights, is wrong. This type of behavior has seemingly resulted in the retro active cancellation of many great deals, and as a result we all loose. Take one- and enjoy it, pigs- get slaughtered.

MESSI

KEEP POSTING ITS JEALOUS HATERS

sam

The extra new traffic to ihg is good for their business. even though most that got it cannot afford. If they ever come to afford they will remember the great experience they had and give more business.

@dan I always make sure to shop at Amazon through your site. Always make sure to use your credit card links. Keep posting deals like these.

dhalpern1

@Drago:

You are right, it would never work.

Agree w BRG

I also felt the “opportunity” was crossing good taste, this is something I can not do with clear conciounce, and therefore passed.

My values are greater than $ making opportunity, if it doesnt feel right.

My evaluation: always think if you owned the biz, would you be happy of consumers acted as posted.

Some deals are fair. some are a bit of a strech…

Gary

@landz124: Agreed. Folks who are paying for the service hopefully wont be the type to take advantage and kill it for all. Costco members (like me) aren’t at street corners reselling Costco bought Killington lift tickets or other great deal items from Costco. Perhaps the time has come for elite versions of Dans deals to be accessed via a fee or knowledge test.

Mo

Dan, just do what you’ve done until now that got you to this point in your career. Don’t let hiccups derail you.
Keep up the great work! We all appreciate it.

Jeff

Maybe registering and signing on with an agreement not to abuse deals, offers, and guarantees would help. I agree with Kevin, Nafti, and Dov especially ! I am thrilled to just get to stay one night complimentary, but I hope that IHG will benefit more from profitable patronage. Trying to get anything more and causing a wholesale loss is simply wrong.

Andy

Dan,
I would say don’t post any deal that gives out something for free. Any deal that needs people to spend at least a little to gain something is fine. If something is for free, people will abuse it. If they have to spend something (even if its very little), they will think twice before abusing it.

Chulent Fresser

Dan,
Such deals like this that will get instinanteously killed upon posting or price mistakes should be limited to the forums, where people are more knowledgeable and won’t abuse it. This deal and many others that originated in the forums should stay there, no point in circulating it in the web to millions of random people that will just kill it.

Credit where credits due

How about start charging a nominal yearly fee?
After all, hasn’t Dan earned it?

hunch

Great to see all the n00bs saying that you should keep on posting deals.
It’s the n00bs that can’t think about the bigger picture,

frozy

@cs
@Drago
Or subscription to the private blog can be limited to those with Status on ddf, say this with a minimum of fifty post in the past twelve months.

And google wallet definitely feel into the category of abuse potential… Especially by making it so easy via conga

Shmuel2004

As far as your concerned it makes no difference if the deal lives or dies as long as you build traffic to your site. So, why not post as many deals as possible and keep building your fan base?

Mp

So really constructive comments here regarding not posting on the main blog – IHG will most definitely kill the programme now IC NY Barclay will probably have lost out on Hundreds of thousands of dollars! That is bang out of order, and to the people who keep saying to Dan keep posting, you selfish people
how about you try and locate a BRG rate for yourselves and actually earn it!

blah

can you please at least UPDATE your original post to advise people not to abuse and warn people of the potential danger of using a BRG? I this is ethically irresponsible that you don’t provide such a disclaimer and warning! People who see this page will see $$$… and then maybe get screwed later…

papa

We are all family. You gotta tell us every thing!

Dani aka @YeahThatsKosher

@Dan,
IDEA:

1) Start a pay subscription service to receive only the BEST of the BEST or “sensitive deals” such as BRG, etc. via TEXT MESSAGE or separate login website.

2) Require users to sign a pledge (perhaps before reading each deal) that they will not abuse, violate TOS of vendor, or disseminate deal publicly.
— Also blocking copy&paste / print screen / screenshot functionality to prevent sharing. Ban users / charge users $500+ for violating terms of service.

3) Once a month post the titles of the deals to the public blog encouraging readers to sign up for paid subscription service.

Allows you to maintain credibility, but also reinforce the honesty and dissuades abusers. Also, a modest way to bring in some additional revenue.

I could help you build this if you’re interested. Think this option could make the hardcore DD followers happy without even notifying the masses.

JDoe2

The point of the BRG is to keep hotel managers honest and keep them from posting lower rates on third party sites. Obviously this hotel was playing dirty and they got caught. Normally, if it is a mistake (and not a case of a GM selling lower rates through many channels) a few people will get the free room, the hotel manager will get a warning and pull the rate, and everyone is relatively unscathed. The Intercontinental Barclay was obviously selling much lower rates across a large variety of channels, so I can’t really feel sorry for them here. IHG can take steps to limit abuse, but this couldn’t have been abused so much if the hotel was playing by the rules.

todah

first of all dan is the man and likes helping people… problem is when ppl are chazers and take advantage!!! seriously think sometimes!! anf be happy with what u get!

mishpacha reader

i think this is what the letter to the editor referred to in the mishpacha magizine the week after the write up of dans deals saying that allot of the deals and shtick,ideas and so on posted are against halacha and Torah values, until this post i just didn’t get what the guy wanted saying to stay away from those deals now i realized what he meant, anyway Dan i love your work, keep it up you will always have my support i don’t see anything wrong here you have to be stupid not to take advantage of the good deals that come your way..

A

@J Doe agree wholeheartedly w/ the last part of your comments, most people do not want to take the time and figure out the perks and learn on their own

Serge

I think that you should consider the chillul Hashem factor. Despite that you are mizake es harabim by posting super bargains, there’s a fine line to consider when posting on how to beat the system or take advantage of a weak link that might inundate a website or business and perhaps indirectly cause the business a great loss. Even though it might be legal or within halachic limits of ta’os akim, and even though no laws are broken, it will likely cause the host nations to like us even less than they already do.

Isaac R

@Mp you do realize that a big part of Dans Deals, is letting people know about wonderful opportunities. if you think that this specific deal was taken too far, that’s fine. however, telling people to try and EARN their own deal, kind of defeats the entire purpose of “dans” deals.

Mo

Why are ppl giving Dan the idea of a paid subscription website? (Even though I’m sure he thought of it)
First of all it wouldn’t benefit Dan bec his advertisers wld now pay less for the ads bec the traffic to the site is lower. Second of all, just because this happened its not the biggest deal. Everyone’s gotta calm down. So big deal u didn’t get a free night. U didnt deserve it anyways! They don’t have an obligation to give u a free night.

Dave

You keep on posting the deals. That is the purpose of the site and the reason that you have gained the following that you possess. If you change your format and start posting mediocre deals, you will lose your following and people will search for another elite forum. Dansdeals will become a relic of the past and people will talk about how they used to use Dansdeals “back in the good old days” before the website became a sellout. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. You deserve the respect and the following that you have acquired. DON’T GIVE INTO PRESSURE FROM ANYONE and/or stop doing what makes you better than the rest. Being a member of the predictable establishment is nothing special. It is the innovators who establish themselves as unique, as experts worth consulting. Your website is called DansDEALS for a reason. There are tone of sites that post discounts. But your deals separate you from the pack. DON’T LET THAT CHANGE or this site will cease being unique.

HM

If you want a deal to last then don’t talk about it in public. It is that simple. For those that think a paid service is the answer it will never work. The info is out there for free. You just need the tools to find it.

bob

I have appreciated every deal till now that dan has posted, tnis one though I can only see a negative outcome though which dan has already admitted

Chulent Fresser

I heard there will be a minyan in the month of Janruary at the Intercontinental Barclay

Mp

@HM:

ISSAC,

Honestly dont be stupid, Because this was posted on a blog, you just don’t understand the repercussions to the programme – this is inevitably going to end “free” nights, people do you understand he wont be able to post any more FREE nights because after this its all over!!
If it was kept quiet the programme would be fine , just think how many claims have gone through and how hard the hotel probably was hit (unethical in my opinion but w/e.),and all the claims for this particular hotel are coming from one 3rd party site not multiple so I don’t think they were playing “dirty” at all.

I suggest the majority of people really go and read a little about IGH BRG.

Mp

@Dave:

What about after no free nights? Dont you know how much damage this has caused to the BRG programme? you sound so selfish…
hos about you spend a hour trying to locate a better rate for YOURSELF?

HM

@Mp: You lost me on that one.

Watcher

@Dave:

Dave, then please tell me:
Is it ok to post a deal and this one deal kills a whole programme (where more deals would have evolved in the future)?

Why don´t YOU sit down and look for some tools to find these deals (it is easy, I can tell you, but it involves some commitment and time)?
People are so lazy nowadays, they want to have everything “chewed” and prepared so they just have to open their mouths and swallow!

Watcher

@Admin (Dan):
Even if it is not what you would normally do:
Please delete the BRG post! Or at least edit the text so the comments are still there…

I am tempted to report your blog to IHG.
I do not know, if there would be any reaction but this is not OK what you are doing… you regret posting it but you do not anything (like editing it)??

dhalpern1

@Dan – can you check the IP addresses for MP and Watcher? Would be curious if they are the same person, or from the same town.

Watcher

@dhalpern1:

Haha, rest assured that I do not know Mp.

What we have in common is a very similar mindset… and I have the feeling that he is also active on flyertalk.com (where this topic is also discussed).

Mp

Check my Ip for what exactly? I’m not trolling here?
Im giving my opinion on this situation, perhaps you should read around regarding this BRG incident, its really bad.

elikay

Post these types of things for active forum members that can view only after xx amount of posts.

yup

I would pay for a vip service

Redbull3

@Watcher,
Report Dan to IHG? Do you seriously think they have no idea people are snatching up rooms? You don’t think they noticed a teensy spike in call volume this week?

I am amazed at how the issue of what Dan “should/shouldn’t” post has come up for a deal that is STILL ALIVE AND WELL.

Watcher

@Redbull3:

Ehm, of course they have an idea – of course they saw a spike, thats what we are talking about the whole time! It could be enough for them to overthink the whole BRG-programme. That is not just a fear, there are signs for that.

Just calculate, how much the hotel lost on each single room and how many people probably filed a claim related to that post here… you easily come into 5 digit numbers or even low 6 digit numbers. I can understand IHG calling this an abuse!
I think, a hotel manager or the brand might have an interest to know who initiated that abuse, don´t you think so? 😉

At least an interest in cancelling that persons night or blocking his Priority Club account (if he has one)…

Grant

Why doesn’t the IC hotel in question just pull the lower rate off the competing websites to avoid more claims? Isn’t it odd that the deal is still alive and well?

Mp

@Watcher:

+1, its easily reportable we will see the repercussions of this event soon i guess. I did notice the BRG phone line amended their hold message as well!

FT

@Watcher:
I’d think twice before turning someone in like that as Karma can be a B-

jelly fish

any updates?

wpDiscuz