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What is happening with Tesco and Hotels.com Clubcard redemptions?

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(UPDATE 15/7:  since this article was published, Hotels.com and Tesco Clubcard have made some changes to the way the offer is described online and to the instructions you are given when you are asked to redeem.  Whilst the list of Clubcard voucher exclusions is still showing on the Hotels.com website, as of today it seems that you CAN book ANY prepaid hotel on Hotels.com, charged in £, using Clubcard vouchers.)

The saga over the new Hotels.com Clubcard redemption option continues to rumble on.

As I wrote on Monday, Tesco launched this offer last week by stating that all pre-paid hotels on Hotels.com could be booked using Clubcard vouchers.  As you could swap your Clubcard vouchers for a Hotels.com voucher worth 3 x face value, this was a decent deal.

Within 48 hours, highly critical comments were appearing on the Clubcard / Hotels.com page saying that the deal came with huge exclusions.  Not only could you not pay taxes and fees with vouchers, but pretty much EVERY branded hotel on the planet was excluded.

This is the list of hotel chain exclusions which Clubcard was circulating – it is vast.

Hotels com rewards 2

Over the last 48 hours we have seen a couple of changes:

Tesco has changed its website to admit that taxes and charges must still be paid in cash

Tesco stated that NO hotels are excluded. It has posted this comment in response to questions:

“I can confirm there are no exclusions so I do hope you have a great stay when using your Hotel.com [sic] tokens.

So, what is the answer?

I decided to order a Hotels.com voucher and test out the deal. This is the email you receive from Clubcard containing your voucher code, which arrived impressively quickly:

Redemption Instructions 

1) Click the link here and search for your desired hotel, continue with the booking and on the booking form click “apply deal or discount”. You must use this link or the voucher will not work

2) Copy and paste the voucher code above. The voucher amount will be deducted from the cost of the first room booking (excluding taxes & fees), enter your details and pay the balance.

3) You will receive a confirmation email from Hotels.com including the booking details.

No mention of any exclusions there.  And:

Terms & Conditions 

You can’t use this voucher on taxes, fees, or charges including extra guests, phone calls, cancellation fees, parking, or other charges. You must pay these charges when you make your booking, or directly at the hotel.

Please check availability before you exchange as once you’ve received the voucher, we can’t refund it.You can use this voucher only once and in full. You won’t be able to use it again, even if you cancel your booking. Vouchers cannot be added at a later date.

Vouchers cannot be used for bookings paid for in a foreign currency.

The usual Hotels.com terms and conditions apply and all bookings are subject to availability.

No mention of any exclusions there either.  Sounds good.

But what happens in reality?

Having a clear couple of days in late July, I decided to book myself into the ibis Rotherham East for some much needed R&R.  The website said that it is only 35 minutes walk from Maltby Leisure Centre and 4.5 miles from Rotherham General Hospital, so it sounded good.  I also happen to know there is a Wacky Warehouse across the road.  The ‘pay in advance’ price was £41.41, split into £34.51 of room and £6.90 of tax.

ibis is listed on the ‘excluded chains’ list circulated by Hotels.com.

I tried to input my voucher code and this is the message I got:

rsz_hotels_com_test_2

Hmmm ….. strange, I can’t redeem my voucher ……

Let’s click on that ‘Terms & Conditions’ link in the image above.

This is where you are taken – a brand new page headed “This coupon is only valid for Tesco Clubcard members.”

And in the small print:  “Go to http://uk.hotels.com/page/hotel-exclusions-emea/?pos=HCOM_UK&locale=en_GB for a list of non-participating hotels. Participating hotels are subject to change at any time.”

On that list – which is the same list I circulated on Monday – it says you can’t use them at ibis or a few hundred other chains.

So ….. what is going on?  Tesco is adamant that there are no restrictions, whilst the combined experiences of myself and those people who have posted on the Clubcard website suggest otherwise.   Let’s see if this is some sort of temporary IT issue or not.

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

 

Comments (97)

  • Kenneth says:

    Thanks for following this up.

    Could the underlying issue perhaps be that the vouchers only work when using Tesco’s affiliate ID to get to the website? On the Clubcard boost page, the instructions say to use a particular link:

    https://uk.hotels.com/?rffrid=mdp.hcom.GB.550.000.00

    If you just go directly to hotels.com or through another affiliate perhaps the exclusions apply. Just a guess – I’m keen to make a booking soon so would welcome some clarity!

    • NadineR says:

      The link you quoted worked great for me Kenneth, booked a hotel on the exclusion list for other offers. Looking at the link posted by Rob he was booking through rffrid=aff.hcom.uk.011.000.165728, think you have to be very careful to stay on the site they linked to and ignore some of the other URLs around.

      FYI wouldn’t recommend linking to the voucher conditions URL as it discloses your actual voucher number.

  • Peter Taysum says:

    OT

    I’ve booked a BA holiday in Mexico with a Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) hotel.

    Any chance I’ll get the “subject to availability member upgrade” as booked through third party?

    Cheers,

  • vlcnc says:

    OT: Anyone recieved the 1000 Avios for signing up to Marriot Rewards???

    • New Card says:

      nope… they were due on July 1.

      • vlcnc says:

        Yeah seems like theres no trace of the offer, i have a feeling there will be denial about it ever having been offered.

        • Anna says:

          They can’t deny it, it’s on the confirmation email you get when you sign up!

      • Mzungu says:

        Sounds like a collective approach to Marriott needed…

    • Pangolin says:

      No sign of any points yet.

      On the FT boards the same complaint about missing points is being raised by people in other schemes (eg Miles & More)

      • vlcnc says:

        Hmmm… Rob, maybe a follow up on this? Not sure if you know any better than us though?

        • Rob says:

          This was a global promo with a large number of airlines – it wasn’t an Avios offer per se where I may have been able to push things along.

  • Nick says:

    No there really isn’t from someone who worked there for the past 14 years…

  • The Original Nick says:

    Sorry, O:T, if I credit my BA flight (flying in 2 hours from LGW-FAO) to my IB account will I still get my cabin bonus of 50% Avios from my Silver status with BAEC?

  • the_real_a says:

    What i have noticed of Tesco time and time again is that the “campaign” owner/manager doesn’t follow through the whole process. If i was the guy that brought on a new partner i`d be making sure everything was working well (and tracking the value) but it seems once they complete they “drop it” and move on to something else…

  • JamesB says:

    Pants!

  • Tony says:

    Sounds like a rerun of the the never to be forgotten Hoover free flights promotion / fiasco from many moons ago 🙂

    • Steve says:

      That’s a blast from the past, you don’t forget easily

      • JamesB says:

        Soon after that debacle there was another promotion for free flights at one of the wine stores. I popped into a branch in Tenterden of all places, bought a case of wine for around £50 which provided a free flight on AA which I used to Miami with a free stopover in NYC. I cannot recall the details but I joined AAdvantage and the miles I got for that trip and various ptomotions then saw me off to Rio in business via ORD and MIA. That in turn gave rise to a flight to YUL and a return from YYR via NYC. That was my introduction to miles anc points thanks to a case of wine, I’ve been hooked ever since. Despite that experience I remained too naive to benefit from the golden era of clubcard.

    • tony says:

      I recall as the dust was settling on that, a smart travel agent started offering a free hoover if you bought two flights to the US. Genius!