When will substance win over celebrity?
Hilton really did it. They wheeled out A-list celebrities like Anna Kendrick and launched a truly massive international terrestrial ad campaign which saturated every household in the world. The campaign had one message: you never need to look anywhere further than Hilton for the best prices, and if you find better elsewhere, there’s a no-hassle policy which gets you a 25% discount. It was entirely designed to help you trust Hilton, and feel like they want to do the right thing.
- Booking direct means chains don’t need to pay online travel agencies a commission.
- If you have a great experience with your claim, you’ll look at other brands less.
- You want to book direct because it’s how you get points and benefits.
- The only reason not to book direct is a better price. By giving you both they win.
Not only were our prices never matched, nor was any discount ever received – there was nowhere to send a bill for wasting our precious leisure time. Hilton’s “price match guarantee” was designed to build trust, and amongst anyone savvy enough to use it, it’s only eroded it. The inbox has officially flooded. When will a hotel chain design a product does what it says on the tin?
“I just tried this – the online chat agent said I would get the reduced rate and told me to book the room and submit the form. I get a reply less than 30 minutes later saying the booking site i used was “ineligible”. No information is given about which sites are eligible.
There was a significant difference in price too – 146 euro vs 98 euro.
Next time i’ll be booking the cheaper 3d party rate.”
“Be careful – this may not be what it seems. I had exactly the same room, same dates, same # of people, same cancellation policy. I spoke to several people at Hilton and ultimately told that they do not honor price match from the particular site I used. I was disappointed because I found a lesser price that should have been honored by this price match and it was not. Lost my confidence in Hilton advertising.”
We really owe you an apology, because we bought it too. We got an email, read through the briefing and wrote a piece about why Hilton’s guarantee really should work, and really could be lucrative. It sounded so good and so simple, but then the floodgates of comments and emails opened up. Of them all, not one said, “yay, this worked.” Instead, they all shared a similar thread: Hilton would find a meaningless technicality, or at least claim one and then deny the claim.
“I had a similar problem last night. I found a Hilton room that had a ‘special rate’ on hotels.co.uk which was £20 cheaper per night (for 10 nights) than on hilton.com. I phoned the helpline BEFORE BOOKING and was told that they would not price match as hotels.co.uk was offering a special rate. The person I spoke with told me that I should just book on the 3rd party website (which I did). This makes no sense to me as we all know that Hilton will only receive a fraction of the price I paid, as hotels.co.uk takes a huge cut, but their loss!”
It’s why the world was mad at Tiger Woods. No one cares what someone branded as a dirtbag does in their extracurriculars, but that’s not the way Tiger Woods was marketed to anyone. We were sold the dream of the perfect husband, father and sporting hero who had overcome adversity – only to find out that he either is or was a dirtbag. It makes you mad for being sold a marketing lie, rather than just an indifferent traveler.
If the travel world is skeptical of major brands, it’s because of this. Just like when an airline ignores your first 7 emails, and then relents on the 8th, making something impossible ruins loyalty forever. By the time you get what you want, they’ve lost and so have you. Why not just get it right the first time? Surely it would save on staffing costs? The goodwill from making the claim process easy and ridding the brand of paying commission to online travel agencies is priceless. Telling whoppers to customers and paying Anna Kendrick to sell them – costly.