I travel a lot, probably 70 or 80 hotel room nights per year. When I lived in Asia, it was well over 100. Like most people, I've got a deck of frequent flyer and frequent guest cards that I whip out whenever I check in for a flight or hotel stay.
Imagine my surprise when I got an email pitch from Hilton Hotels for an American Express Platinum card that basically threatens to cancel my Hilton HHonors membership if I don't sign up for the offer. Of course, the letters says "you are very important to us." Nonsense.
This "offer" was so outrageous, I checked to see if it was a phishing attempt. No, it was a legit email from Hilton.
This is not a good way to treat your customers, guys. I've probably stayed 100 or more nights in Hiltons over the years.
If you had decent systems, you would know that the last time I stayed at a Hilton property I paid with an American Express Platinum card. So guess what? I don't need another!
If I am very important to you, why not send me an email and say "you didn’t stay in a Hilton property for the past nine months, so we're extending your qualification period because we want you to come back." Why threats? Think I'm going to stay at a Hilton now because I'm so eager to keep my status? Hell no. There's tons of other hotels out there.
Here's the letter:
Subject line: Don't let your HHonors membership lapse
Dear Mr David Scott, Hilton HHonors Account Number: XXXXXXXXX
As a member of Hilton HHonors, you are very important to us. That's why we want to give you an opportunity to reactivate your HHonors account before it is closed and the HHonors points you've already earned are forfeited. Plus, you can earn an additional 10,000 HHonors bonus points - enough for a free night*
Apply for the no annual fee Hilton HHonors Platinum Credit Card from American Express® and earn 10,000 HHonors bonus points on your first purchase after you're approved. By using the Card, you will reactivate your HHonors account and build upon your current point balance.
Earn points towards free nights faster with the Hilton HHonors Platinum Credit Card from American Express! You will earn 3 HHonors bonus points per eligible dollar spent on everyday purchases (less returns) and 5 HHonors bonus points for each eligible dollar charged at over 2,800 Hilton Family hotels. All this along with no annual fee, a competitive APR and the excellent service you've come to expect from American Express. Apply today by calling 1-866-HILTON6 or click here
You may also keep your HHonors account open beyond December 01, 2006, by taking advantage of one of the following options:
1. Stay just once before December 01, 2006, at any participating Hilton®, Conrad®, Coral by Hilton, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Homewood Suites by Hilton® or Scandic hotel in more than 80 countries worldwide and enjoy all the benefits of the Hilton HHonors program.
2. Earn HHonors points through any number of HHonors partners. For more information about earning points with HHonors partners, click here.
3. Purchase HHonors points at hiltonhhonors.com/purchasepoints. You can purchase up to 40,000 HHonors bonus points online per calendar year (in increments of 1,000 points) and use them toward hotel stays, exciting rewards, and more. If you do not take one of the actions above by December 01, 2006, your HHonors account will be closed and all accumulated points will be forfeited. Prior to your account closing, you may redeem your HHonors points for any eligible reward. After the points are redeemed, your account will be closed by the date above and all remaining points will be forfeited. For a complete listing of HHonors rewards, click here.
If you have stayed at a Hilton Family hotel in the last nine months, but did not receive credit for your stay, please submit a missing stay request online now. Simply sign in to your account at hiltonfamily.com, click on the "Member Services" tab, select "Missing Stay Request" and complete the form.
Mary E. Parks
Vice President, Marketing
Hilton HHonors Worldwide