Club Carlson’s Big Night Giveaway 50,000 bonus points still available

I’ve been catching up with all the news and promotions I missed out on having just returned from Ireland and being offline for awhile, and was happy to see the Club Carlson Big Night Giveaway return. I’ll get to the controversy surrounding it in a moment, but in case you missed it, too, here are the promo details.

The first 100,000 people to register for it are eligible to receive 50,000 bonus Gold Points after completing a qualifying stay at any Radisson or Radisson Blu property worldwide between May 15 and July 15, 2012. The registration process is simple, although it requires you to watch a very short video. After successful registration, just complete a one-night stay before July 15th and the points should post within 6-8 weeks. The points can then be used for a free night at any Radisson or Radisson Blu worldwide.

The good news as of moments ago is that they have yet to reach 100,000 people. I just successfully registered and received my confirmation email:

For anyone reading this after they’ve reached the 100,000, you’ll still be eligible to get a bonus 15,000 points if you register and complete a qualifying stay – one night at any Radisson or Radisson Blu property before July 15. The full terms and conditions are shown at the bottom of the registration page.

Now to the controversy, which Loyalty Traveler completely spells out. The short of it is that Club Carlson representatives revealed days ahead of the official May 15th release that existing bookings would qualify for the promotion so long as stays fell between the May 15 to July 15 window and registration was completed before check-out. When the promotion was announced, however, it spelled out preexisting reservations would NOT qualify – a huge smack in the face (and wallet) to those who specifically booked non-refundable reservations with that knowledge.

There has yet to be resolution of this PR mess and if Club Carlson wants to continue on a path to compete with the “majors,” I suggest they remove this condition and release a statement to that effect sooner rather than later. The more time that goes by, the more ill will generated and additional bad press, such as the second half of my post, will continue to appear.

[Edited 5/19/12 2:45pm PDT to add: Club Carlson contacted Loyalty Traveler directly and will be announcing that stays booked prior to 5/15/12 will qualify.]

While PR failures and loyalty promotions aren’t my usual focus on my Road Warrior CNBC.com blog, it might be a good way to get further word out.

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Comments

  1. I am about 99% positive the T&C, which someone dug up and posted on the Facebook page stated that the booking had to be made on or after the 15th. Long story short, read the T&C before buying something.

    • @Kris: Personally I wouldn’t book something either until the actual T&Cs were published. The ones you link to in Mommy Points’ post were “potential” (her words) T&Cs and didn’t mention booking had to be made on/after the 15th.
      What is incredulous though is the fact a VP of Carlson spoke with (or emailed) Loyalty Traveler – the best hotel blogger out there with the most insight – ahead of time and told him existing bookings would qualify for the promo. They need to come out and answer the criticism and either honor it or not, but at least speak up.

  2. @Darren – I want to correct your comment.

    A Club Carlson PR representative contacted me last week five days before the promotion launch to ask me if I would write about the Club Carlson offers. I was also asked if I wanted to arrange a meeting with the Club Carlson VP to discuss the promotions.

    I asked for clarification on two points: Will exisitng reservations count for the promotion bonuses and will Points + Cash stays count?

    A few hours later I received an email from the PR representative stating existing reservations and Points + Cash reservations would count for the Club Carlson promotions.

    I do not know where the Club Carlson PR Representative obtained those answers, but I certainly did not question the accuracy of the information when I received the confirmation that existing reservations would count for the promotion bonuses.

    I never was in direct contact with the Carlson VP.

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