Wyndham Refused To Honor Their Own Program Terms – Even When Shown To Them

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Resort Fees Are Included On Wyndham Award Stays

Resort Fees Are Included On Wyndham Award Stays

We stayed at the Wyndham lake Buena Vista Disney Springs Resort Area this past weekend in Orlando.  The stay was positive overall until it came time to check out.  I had noticed on our check in documents that it showed resort fees on our bill.  We had booked a Go Free award stay.  I knew from reading Ian Snyder’s post that Wyndham’s terms specifically say resort fees are included on Wyndham award stays.  The terms in section III C-1 state:

“…A Go Free Award is valid only for the room rate for one (1) single or double standard hotel room for up to the maximum occupancy of the room, including local taxes and resort/facility fees…”

So I was ready for a fight come check out time.

RELATED: Not So Fast Wyndham: Their Shady Cancellation Policy Change

Checking Out

When it came time to check out I had the program terms pulled up on my phone.  After explaining the situation to the desk agent he said he wasn’t sure and left to get a manager.  The manager came over and refuted my claims.  So I pulled up the terms and let her read them on my phone.  Hilarity ensued when she tried to tell me this is for a different kind of award not the award I was on.  She claimed there were two types of awards and that I was on the other kind.

There are two kind of awards, a go free and go fast.  Go free are 15,000 points a night and go fast are 3,000 points a night plus cash.  I was obviously on a go free stay since the room rate was covered.  The terms specifically say go free award…so she was fabricating rules on the spot.

After a little back and forth she refused to refund the charges. She offered to call another manager and see if they could come down to discuss it.  I was over it by that point so I said I would take it up with Wyndham Rewards. I did this because I didn’t feel like waiting around for someone and I wanted to see how responsive Wyndham would be.

Resort Fees Are Included On Wyndham Award Stays

Contacting Wyndham

I ended up contacting Wyndham Rewards 3 different ways.  They all received a response but one response was completely worthless.

Contact Us

The first thing I did was file a complaint with Wyndham Rewards via their contact us feature on the website.  I explained the situation and asked them how they have hotels that don’t follow the terms even when shown to them.  This is the response I got:

Thank you for contacting Wyndham Rewards®.

Here at Wyndham Rewards, we are unable to assist with billing issues regarding the hotels that participate in the Wyndham Rewards program. You should contact the property directly when it come to credit card charges.

If you feel you have not been able to resolve your issue with the hotel, each hotel brand does have their own customer care department to deal with such issues. When a member has an issue with one of our participating hotels, they need to contact the hotel’s customer care department…

So Wyndham Rewards can’t work with the hotel on your behalf in regards to billing disputes.  I have to say that is the first time I have seen something like that from a hotel rewards program.
Twitter

The next place I went was to Wyndham Rewards Twitter.  I wasn’t expecting much here because they have been very unhelpful in the past.  They surprised me though and showed concern and were willing to reach out to the hotel on my behalf.

Contact The Property

Not wanting to put all of my eggs in one basket I googled for the properties own contact us page.  I emailed them the details and even added in that I shutter to think how many people pay these fees when it is against the program’s terms.

Which Ones Worked?

I know for a fact that my email to the property got through because a few hours later I had a missed call from the property on my phone.  The reservation was under my wife’s name but I gave them my info in the email.  My wife also received a call and they agreed to refund the fees.  They also asked for info about the employees involved so they could correct the issue with them.  This could have come from them checking the info on the reservation or the Twitter people got through as well with my wife’s info.  My guess is the Twitter people got through as well. They have since refunded the fees to her credit card.

RELATED: Wyndham is At It Again… Promo Terms Changed Without Notice!!!

Conclusion

Why is the billing program not automatically removing these fees on award stays?  If the billing was set up properly things like this would never happen.  I am sure they have made a lot of money off of people who don’t know the terms. I think this happens at many, if not all, Wyndham properties.

If you run into this issue be sure to try to correct it at checkout.  Most people will back off just to avoid conflict but you may want to have the terms ready on your phone. It is sad it has come to this but you need to be proactive and hold companies to their own terms.  If that doesn’t work then reach out to the Wyndham Rewards Twitter team or the hotel’s customer care department.  Don’t expect Wyndham HQ to help you out though. Always remember that resort fees are included in Wyndham award stays and just say no to overcharging!


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21 COMMENTS

    • Saul Goodman I love it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one in the future though. I have to imagine they have charged into the 100’s of thousands across the properties, at least.

  1. I’m staying at the Bonnett Creek property tonight using a 15k award. I hope they dont pull this on us, but at least I know how to fight it. Thanks!

  2. Too many steps and hassle. In your scenario and the hotel manager would not honor the rate as clearly stated in the terms and conditions. I would have paid and disputed the charges with the credit card company.

    • Can you do a partial dispute? Never tried it before but there were other charges on the bill (parking/dining).

      • Yes you can. If a merchant overcharges you, you can dispute the amount of the overcharge. Amex has handled this well in my experience but it’s been quite awhile since I’ve had to do that. As always ymmv

  3. Freaking Wyndham, am going back now over the past yr & disputing them all. Has NEVER been waived on any of my stays. Grrrrr

  4. Glad it worked out for you, Mark!! Bummer it came down to doing this much legwork. Hopefully enough instances of people holding hotels to this and complaining will result in some policy changes with Wyndham. 😉

    • I don’t get why they don’t have the system properly bill it except it is a profit machine for them and they don’t really want it fixed.

  5. Background – former Front desk Manager, current Accountant at an AccorHotels property in the US.

    First off, bad manager for fighting something obvious, when shown point blank the terms. It’s not always true, but you really have to think ‘the client is always right’ because even when they aren’t, their perception might not be reality – but it is THEIR reality.

    Second, it sounds like the front desk agent, and the manager, need to be retrained on the loyalty program. Obviously it is a high turnover department, as it is hard hours, important work, and you are developed quickly and put into other roles.

    Third, check-out is literally one of the most important times to make a positive impression on the guest, or to take a negative experience and recover from it before it hits TripAdvisor. People that have bad stays are not afraid to post about it, and if you can correct it on the spot you can avoid that, or actually get a positive one (much harder to get, just in general).

    And what were the resort fees, $15-25 a night? I would literally comp that every time to avoid a bad review.

    • Great comment Bradley – I agree on all accounts. Any insight on why the system isn’t set up already to remove the charges on award stays? Do you think it is on purpose or is it just not possible the way the system is set up?

      • Mark,
        It could be either one, but my guess is that it is an oversight on revenue managements side. One of my hotels assesses resort fees (yuck) while the other does not – this is a hotel OWNERSHIP decision, not up to the hotel management company or brand, but some brands have their own standards relating to them.
        Our guests that stay with us on a corporate or conference rate, or a ‘group’ booking for weddings and the such, the system (Opera PMS) automatically removes the ‘amenity fee’ from the nightly posting. I have also created a house account for my front desk staff to transfer these charges to in the event that a guest either shouldn’t have paid them, or to comp them for service recovery.

        Unfortunately, this fee will be more and more prevalent, as the hotel that had it made nearly $1M revenue in the first year of having it (2018), and it’s literally pure profit, as there is almost no ‘expense’ related to it other than my teams fighting it on disputes (which I tell them to waive if they feel like it, because it’s such bullshit)

        • Yeah Shawn has covered in the past that these are here to stay because they keep money out of the OTA’s hands and they are pure profit. I think you handle it the right way. Remove it when it makes sense or if there were issues etc. Thanks for the great comments!

    • Seems so strange. They can remove properties from the program so they have the power to enforce rules. But they probably don’t care much as long as they get their fees.

  6. Great DP’s.
    I stayed at that Disney resort… ONCE. Not going back.
    Wyndham just seems to dislike their customers and are happy to fight all the time.
    I guess they don’t know the definition of HOSPITALITY industry.

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