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I have a non-refundable room booked at a Holiday Inn in the US, and they have charged me one night's stay already. I asked at IHG and they said they couldn't do anything as it was with the hotel. The hotel said they won't do anything as it's non-refundable, although they would change the dates for free (appreciated but not useful at this time).

Are there any ways around this? I want to switch to a different hotel in a better location but obviously the original hotel would lose out, so they're not interested in helping. I am IHG Platinum but I think every man and his dog is also Platinum so that doesn't help.

I fully understand that there is a binding contract that clearly states no refunds which I agreed to so if there is no way then that's life! But sometimes - just sometimes - there are ways to keep everybody happy.

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    Can't you sell it? If they allow you to change the name on it then you might get a shot at selling it. – JordanBelf Nov 2 '15 at 16:39
  • Platinum is only the middle tier with IHG these days, since they launched Spire, so you're not even all that far up the pecking order... – Gagravarr Nov 2 '15 at 18:52
  • Middle tier, yeah hence "every man and his dog"! – GeoffM Nov 3 '15 at 1:17
  • Fairly often, one local hotel company will own a number of different properties in the area, potentially from multiple different chains. If you want to upgrade to a nicer hotel, paying more, it might be that (if you did happen to pick a hotel owned+operated by a smallish company) that they'd let you transfer the reservation to another of their hotels. Note - their hotels, not the chain's hotels - most chains own few or no hotels! – Gagravarr Nov 3 '15 at 11:47
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Holiday Inn is actually a franchise so if you move your booking to a different hotel, the local business owner personally loses out.

However, as you realize, what you can do is change the date of the reservation. You can do this repeatedly. Personally I think this is very generous. Simply push your reservation out one year in advance and wait until you are back in the area again.

If the rate offered has increased on your new date, you will be asked to pay the difference.

  • Yes, I understand that. There is, however, such a thing as customer service. If I was vindictive then I could spread bad press about a bad stay (I certainly won't) - but equally gracefully allowing a change beyond just the date makes me think "this is a good hotel" and would recommend the hotel to others. Extreme examples, but that's how some customer minds work. Anyway, given that this is probably a place we'd go to again, changing the dates to (nearly) a year ahead would probably be a good solution. – GeoffM Nov 3 '15 at 1:21
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    I don't think you can get your money back. I've tried myself as an IHG Spire (or whatever it's called) on an intercontinental stay that was well over 1000 USD and I got nowhere beyond rebooking. Personally I don't think customer service extends to refunds on non-refundable stays when the option to buy a refundable stay is clearly presented. – Calchas Nov 3 '15 at 9:58
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So it seems the answer is to email the hotel directly and ask nicely, and ye shall get. Well, the reservation was changed into a refundable one instead of non-refundable, at higher cost of course. Not saying this would work all the time though!

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This has happened to me a few times. If you explain the situation to management, they will usually help (at least in my case). There have been a few cases where they refuse to help, but most are pretty understanding and want you to have a good experience so you'll return. It's worth a shot.

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