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Hoteliers sue Choice and Wyndham over hotel loyalty programs
The suits, filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando last month, allege that Wyndham Worldwide Inc. and Choice Hotels International Inc. have "inflated the ranks of their loyalty programs and are collecting fees from hotels when those guests stay at franchise properties," according to a story in the Orlando Sentinel. The story goes on to say lawyers for the hoteliers have asked for more than $260 million in damages from Wyndham, and more than $225 million from Choice.
Here's the issue:
"The real purpose of a rewards program is that you build customer loyalty," David Wood, an attorney for the franchisees, told the Sentinel. "In that event, the hotel franchisee would benefit. But under proactive matching, that doesn't happen."
Wood also goes on to say that charging the extra fee for the loyalty programs is against the franchise contracts of both companies and is a violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Readers: What do you think? If it costs you nothing, do you care if the hotel auto-enrolls you into their loyalty program?