Corporate rates: WHEN (or when not) and HOW to use them

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by ariyo15, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

    • Original Member

    ariyo15 Active Member

    I had read somewhere and have heard from a friend about people who use corporate rates - both apropriately and innapropriately.

    For example: You are a consultant working for XYZ Consulting Firm. IBM hires XYZ to do work for them. You go to Denver and stay at the Sheraton, using the IBM corporate code you were given. Obviously, not a problem. You are doing work for them and have been given the corporate code. But, what happens when you check in and don't have an IBM business card or any form of employment. Sure, you may have some paperwork, but it's likely confidential. What do you do?

    In example two: You are that same person from the previous example. Now, you take a two week vacation to the W in the Maldives. They have an IBM rate in their system and you ask the rep on the phone to book with that fare. Well, if you are not working on that trip, are you still entitled?

    Now for the last example: Say you are best friends with the guy from examples one and two. He tells you that whenever he travels (whether he's consulting for IBM or a different company - or even not consulting at all, just on vacation) he gets DEEP discounts at SPG hotels. "Wow," you think to yourself. "That's so easy. I'll just take this SET code he gave me and tell them I do work with IBM." Sure, there are places where this will work. But what happens when you get to the front desk and they ask for ID? Theoretically, you could pull it off like example one. But, the real question is: Does company "X" (or in this example, IBM) have any way of monitoring who uses their corporat rate? And if so, can any repurcussion be taken out?

    I know that's a lot of info, but surely you experts out there can shed some light.....
    KENNECTED, yosithezet and SC Flier like this.
    • Original Member

    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

    It sounds to me like you know in your heart what the right answers are to these questions, and are hoping:
    1) to stimulate discussion
    2) maybe to get someone to give you a less ambiguous scheme
    3) to find out whether you might get caught if found doing these things
    If you plan to do something that is both against what the T & C and your conscience tell you is right, then you, IMO, should be willing to live with getting "caught" or not. If you rely on someone else's experience with a "similar" situation, and then are caught and made to suffer some sort of consequence, it seems as though you might blame the poster for not having been caught. If what you wonder is whether it is against the T & C, I'll bet you already know that.
    • Original Member

    ariyo15 Active Member

    Yes and no. I am trying to stimulate discussion. But, I read about stuff like this in a blog not long ago and have a friend who does have a corporate code. I myself have never "faked" being corporate. Rather, I'm just curious to see if others have or just to get other opinions on the topic...
    • Original Member

    Westsox Gold Member

    Many of the methods we use and discuss here are blatantly against someone's T&C. Just read the thread titles which provide a way to trick, game or beat the system. We often draw the line at illegal but will jump all over opportunities we know are way past the gray area. I am guilty as charged.
    • Original Member

    JonathanIT Active Member

    I recently heard of a story whereby a guest at an SPG property had repeatedly used a corporate SET code rate but was unable to verify his employment each time. After many stays (enough that appeared to be abuse) apparently the hotel had enough of the shenanigans and presented him with a bill for the difference between the discount he was not entitled to and the rack rate for ALL his past stays!

    I don't know the identity of the person is involved, which property it happened at, or the outcome (or if the story is even accurate and/or true), but just hearing the story is enough to make me think twice about abusing corporate rates!
    • Original Member

    LoyaltyLobby Active Member

    It is up to the hotel to police whether the guest have the required credentials or not. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. When they do and the guest don't have them... better be prepared to pay the prevailing rate for the night or leave.
    • Original Member

    al613 Silver Member

    Did they collect on this bill? :)
    • Original Member

    tigerwong Silver Member


    Sounds like an urban legend leaked by SPG to scare FTers :)
    bbbb and kenbo like this.
    • Original Member

    From NYC Gold Member

    I think you meant to write "MP'ers", no?[​IMG]

    I've also heard, but don't know anyone personally who's been dealt this hand, of folks who've been hit up for the rack rate when they couldn't prove their code-worthiness.
    kenbo likes this.
    • Original Member

    tigerwong Silver Member

    Oops. Need to relearn muscle memory. Kinda like writing in the wrong year after NYE.
    kenbo likes this.
    • Original Member

    Punki Silver Member

    Interesting question. There are lots of times that we, or our employees, are traveling to trade shows for a client and check into a hotel on a corporate rate without any ID proving we are working for that client.

    So far it has never been a problem. Occasionally one of our credit cards has been charged for a stay that was also paid for by the client, but that is usually pretty easy to sort out.
    joesmoe likes this.
    • Original Member

    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

    in 20+ years of travelling, I've never been asked to show an employee ID card....in fact, I don't even have one.
    joesmoe likes this.
    • Original Member

    ariyo15 Active Member

    Hmm... So I'm not so crazy after all! Just out of curiosity - what does it take for a company to get there own SET code?
  1. OdinTheConfused Active Member

    I have been recently asked to show my corporate id card in the Sheraton CDG Airport and the Westin in Dublin (both of which have a negotiated very low corporate rate rather than the "worldwide chain discount" that is usualy coming up with my companies SET rate).
    joesmoe likes this.

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