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.