We spend all our time as points enthusiasts on Excel, AwardWallet, and our own personal calendars plotting trips and picking dates while making sure our points don’t expire and we don’t get hit with too many annual fees.
For the past few months, I’ve been trying to find availability at Hilton’s Bora Bora,, Tahiti resort AND pull off the greatest flight points heist since my round the world ticket. As I was moving out of Mongolia, the chances of going to Tahiti via N Asia was improbable. As such, I had to cancel my reservation for Tahiti.
However each time that I went to cancel I received an error from hilton.com that said technical difficulties and a message prompting me to call the Hilton HHonors 800 number. 800 numbers are very tricky to use when living abroad because half the time they do not work on Skype and the other half of the time the agent cannot hear you if you aren’t calling from perfect WI-FI using your free WI-FI calling.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble with Hilton’s website so I figured I’d give them a call when I got back to the US to cancel my reservation. Of course, when I finally get them on the line, they tell me “Oh you’ve missed your cancellation window of 14 days.”
The case has been escalated to a higher power as I wait to see if my points will be refunded.
It’s remarkable that the only way to effectively get a hold of an international brand like Hilton is to be back in the States. Try tweeting at them all you want, they’ll still advise you to call the 800 number.
The same can be said of making an Avios redemption on another international carrier. You won’t be able to make changes online so call the US-based 800 number that operates at US times. Good luck trying to change a reservation within the 24 hour cancellation window when you’re on the other side of the globe. Don’t get me started with Korean Air who still, two months later, hasn’t refunded my 24 hour cancellation because the US call center didn’t inform the Chinese call center of my request.
Technical difficulties do happen but will I really lose out on Tahiti as a result?