Well, look who’s come crawling back to us.
In the last two days the community has been abuzz with Wyndham’s announcement that they’re doing away with their award chart entirely and implementing a new “one size fits all” pricing of 15,000 points per night for all the hotel chains in their portfolio.
Great news, right?
Only if you’ve forgotten your Wyndham history.
The Conventional Wisdomers might believe this is a rare re-valuation from a travel company and therefore one that should be encouraged. But I, for one, have no plans to go back down that road.
I’ve been hurt by you once too many times, Wyndham. No way I’m taking another chance on this dysfunctional relationship. I can’t do it again. I just can’t.
You weren’t there. You never were.
It started as a whirlwind romance. You had reasonable redemptions at practically all of your properties and even offered a way to transfer Wyndham points to airline miles at a lucrative ratio. During promotion periods, people like Scott managed to turn 32,000 Wyndham points into nearly 13,000 United miles. There was definitely value in buying Wyndham points, especially with deals like Daily Getaways (back when Daily Getaways deals were worth chasing too).
Maybe we weren’t spending all day gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, but it was a solid relationship with each of us contributing. But then came 2013, and you changed. I don’t know if you were having troubles at work or making ends meet, but all of a sudden you were giving us the silent treatment. You were making decisions without even telling us… and they were bad decisions. Like raising the points price at your New York City hotels by 281% without any announcement whatsoever.
When we started questioning where your head was at, just to quiet us down you relented and rolled back a few of the highest increases. But when you introduced a new chart just a month or two later, you wouldn’t even tell us which hotels would be changing tiers! We gave our money to you and you gave us back a chart with meaningless numbers. Only after a lot of shouting and slamming of doors did you finally come clean and tell us who was staying and who was going.
Wyndham just took my points and gave them to Jessica Simp.
Of course, you said this was for our benefit, that it would work out better for all of us. But the trust between us was already so broken that when you changed hotel categories again a year later and gave us one day’s notice, how could we even be surprised by your behavior anymore? We weren’t. Only further disillusioned.
The last straw was when you pulled the rug out from under us by gutting your airline transfer ratio, cutting it completely in two with absolutely no heads up. Overnight, our relationship was half of what it had been before.
That was when we decided it was finally over. “You’ve changed. You’re not the loyalty program you were when we first met. It’s time for us to go our separate ways.” It was bittersweet, but for the best.
So so what?
Now here you are, points in hand, asking for another chance. “Remember when our most expensive rooms were only 16,000 points? We had some good times back then, didn’t we? Now it’ll be just 15,000 points for our most aspirational properties! Just like the old days!”
Really, Wyndham? You think you can throw a nice flat rate at me and all is forgiven?
OK, let me ask you… what about that little bit in your announcement where you use the phrase “participating hotels” about a billion times? Who exactly is going to be participating in this 15,000 point redemption rate? Will I be able to get that cute little Wyndham property in Kauai? Or the fancy TRYP in Times Square?
Oh, you’re not ready to tell me just yet? I see.
What about the fact that this flat rate works in reverse too? Your Tier 1 hotels that were just 5,500 points will now cost almost 3 times as much. Granted, it’s very unlikely I would have actually stayed in one of those Tier 1 hotels because you haven’t exactly been taking care of yourself in that regard, have you? In fact, when was the last time you renovated? Did you notice your paint is looking flaky and someone around here smells a bit ripe? Not that I’m bitter or anything.
And if I did decide to jump back into bed with you, who’s to say you won’t pull the rug out on me yet again? What’s stopping you from changing your mind 6 months from now and deciding that maybe 15,000 points a night isn’t quite enough? Who’s going to be left holding the worthless points then, Wyndham?
The Devil’s Advocate is still a rock star, I got my rock moves, and I don’t need you, Wyndham.
I’m in an exciting new relationship with Hyatt and we’re very happy together. Hyatt gives me reasonable redemptions. Hyatt has great properties. And when Hyatt decides they need to make changes, they tell me in advance. When I’m with Hyatt, they make me feel like a true Diamond Guest.
So Wyndham, I hope you meet some wonderful new friends and that you’re all very happy together. Maybe someday down the road we can have coffee or a Continental Breakfast or something. But I’m done spending my nights with you.
And now that we’re done, I’m gonna show you. I’m all right. I’m just fine. Check my flow. Awww.Devil’s Advocate is a weekly series that deliberately argues a contrarian view on travel and loyalty programs. Sometimes the Devil’s Advocate truly believes in the counterargument. Other times he takes the opposing position just to see if the original argument holds water. But his main objective is to engage in friendly debate with the miles and points community to determine if today’s conventional wisdom is valid. You can suggest future topics by following him @dvlsadvcate on Twitter or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Posts by the Devil’s Advocate:
- Yawn… Someone Wake Me If Daily Getaways Ever Gets Good
- Another Mistake Fare? Quick, Upend Your Life!
- When Are Hotel Loyalty Programs Worth the Extra Cost?
Find the entire collection of Devil’s Advocate posts here.