Today may have seen the oddest story of the year. It was on and off even faster than I had a chance to write about it.
Wyndham And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Wyndham was riding high. Money Magazine had recently named them the best hotel loyalty program and their unique rewards program, which gets you a free night at any property for 15,000 points, regardless of level of the property. 3,000 points and a co-pay also get you a room.
And then Icarus flew too close to the sun. In order to generate some free publicity and pick up some customers from the Starwood/Marriott merger, Wyndham put out a crazy promotion this morning: Donate all of your Starwood points to charity between noon and midnight tonight and they would give you four times the number in Wyndham points. You just had to send proof of your balance and your donation.
They didn’t even make it until the start of the promotion before cancelling it. That’s right, hours after telling everyone to give away their SPG points for a handful of Wyndham beans, they put out a public, “Oops, my bad.” Which is fine, except for all the people who gave away their points in anticipation of taking advantage of Wyndham’s offer. Now, you can go to the promotion site and see this:
Okay, let’s get something straight here: Wyndham was not doing this out of the goodness of their heart. And while I’m guessing that many people will end up with a token bonus, there are going to be a lot of disappointed travelers out there.
Loyalty programs, remember this: Points matching promotions never end well.
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