IHG accused of discrimination from its Chinese members
May 30 2010 AFP
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is facing charges from a number of its Chinese members who accuse the company of “discrimination”. The allegation claims that IHG closes the accounts with Chinese names who try to make reward stay redemptions using their points through the past few months. IHG spokesman Josh Ellerman said the company holds the right to cancel any Priority Club membership and revoke any and all unredeemed points collected by any member for violation of IHG membership terms, including having multiple accounts and gaining excessive points that should not be rewarded. However, many Chinese members claim that this large scale of account closure mainly involve accounts with Chinese names. Mr Ellerman declined such allegations saying IHG’s IT system uses a sophisticated algorism to detect fraudulent activities, and the account closure is not limited to a particular area. He clarified saying that the monitoring mechanism is not aimed in the direction of any one country or group of ethics. The issue was down to a few dishonest people and he said these people were certainly not limited to China. Mr Ellerman said there were potentially some organized people who made a large rewards redemption presumably with the aim of then profiting from selling IHG hotel stays using the points that are “questionable”. The spokesman finally emphasized the importance of the Chinese market, saying the recovery of the Chinese economy is continuing to drive a tentative recovery in room rates at InterContinental Hotels Group, and he believed that IHG will expect a huge increase of the memberships in China in the next there years.
IHG shares were down 2p to 104p today.