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Back in May, I wrote (as did many others) about the new Hyatt Diamond challenge offer that was giving participants Diamond status through February of 2016 (if they completed the challenge). This was an incredibly generous move on Hyatt’s part since most loyalty programs use the July timeframe as their switch to the next program year. In fairness, however, with the timeframe allowed for the challenge (60 days), it did put those who would complete the challenge into July with the trial, so that may have been what Hyatt was doing.
But wait! Was the status only good through February of 2015?
The e-mail I (and many others) received about the trial offer post-April 30th was that status earned through the Diamond Challenge would be good through February 2016. However, after I finished the challenge, I noticed that my account was only showing status through February 28, 2015. I thought that could either be because it was for this program year or that there had been a problem with the offer and I did not get the right offer.
I immediately e-mailed (in reply to the status challenge offer) for a request and confirmation of the offer and asking when the account would reflect the actual expiration date of 2016. To my surprise, I received a response that said that it was a miscommunication and sorry, but that was all they could do.
I understand if it was one piece of communication that I received from them amongst many and that one piece said the wrong date, but every piece of communication I had with Hyatt regarding the challenge confirmed that the earned status would be through 2016. To be told after I spent points and money at Hyatts that could have been used at other hotels that it was not going to be honored was a big disappointment. One of the biggest disappointments is that I had already used/allocated most of my suite upgrade certificates (4 in a year) and was counting on the ones I receive for 2015 for stays next year.
Finding a fix
Since I have received nothing but complete professional behavior through the Hyatt Diamond phone line, I thought I would call them and see if they could help me in anyway. I had a very sympethetic rep who agreed with what I was saying and said she would keep me on hold while she escalated it to a supervisor. The supervisor came on after a moment and asked how they could help. I again outlined the situation and was told that their terms have just been updated and there is no way that anyone could have told me before that the challenge would be good through 2016 since that language has just been given out to agents about challenges now.
I mentioned that I totally understood where they were coming from but had I been told 2015 in the confirmation e-mail, I may have held off on the challenge until a future date or just stayed in other hotels. But, since I was told 2016, I based all of my stays on that confirmation. The supervisor asked if I actually had an e-mail stating it was good through 2016. I said I did and read the whole e-mail. At that point, they point me on hold again.
When the supervisor came back, he said that it was because it was sent out through the global center and they must have told people a date that was actually not the case (since people were still being enrolled in promo offer DMD14, which was to have expired April 30th). However, the executive manager on duty said they could go ahead and change my expiration date to February of 2016! In fact, it was changed on my account within 10 minutes of the phone call! That is service!
Did this happen to you?
Given the amount of posts that had been written about the updated terms in May and the amount of e-mails I received from readers who were enrolling in the challenge as well, I am sure that many people are in a similar situation. To rectify it, here is what I advise:
Check your account
First thing, check your Diamond account to see what the expiration is (if you have completed the challenge). If it says 2015, then you have experienced the same problem I did and you will need to contact Hyatt’s Gold Passport department.
Find your e-mail
The saving fact for me was the e-mail that said the status would be good through 2016. If I did not have that, it would not have mattered what some agent on the phone had told me – I had to have the e-mail that confirmed the challenge stating it was good through 2016. If you have that e-mail, you should be ok.
Don’t write – call
The e-mails go back through their Global Call Centre which created the problem in the first place. I thought it was better to handle it through e-mail since I could send them the original e-mail but that was not the case. If you call in, you will be able to speak with people that are based in the US and more familiar with the US aspect of the promo. Make sure you call the Hyatt Diamond line since they will be better equipped to handle the problem (if you do not have the phone number, e-mail me as I do not want to put the number on a public site).
This applies to all conditions – do not be mad or irrational. Be courteous with the rep since you want them to be on your side when they speak to the supervisor (and it is good to be polite!). Explain your situation and mention the e-mail that you received and that you understand you may have been told something incorrectly but that you based your staying decisions on that date. If they start getting a lot of calls, it will become something they are more versed in and they should be able to handle it better.
Takeaways from this
I have to say – I love my experiences with Hyatt! My (short) time as a Hyatt Diamond member have been great (a post coming tomorrow comparing Diamond to Platinum) and one of the great parts has been the Hyatt Diamond line. Everyone I have spoken with has been perfect, the hotels have been good, the benefits have been great – it has been an overall positive experience. The only serious negative I had was the e-mail response from the Hyatt global rep. But, since that has been fixed, even that is not a negative anymore.
Do I still like and recommend Hyatt? YES! Was I impressed with how the Hyatt Diamond line handled this situation? YES!
Have you experienced this problem?