On October 29th, Six Continents Hotels discovered a problem which originated with the credit card processor, First Horizon Merchant Services (First Horizon). Six Continents Hotels submitted the transactions for the correct amount to First Horizon. During the processing, an error occurred which resulted in a dropped decimal point for each charge. This then appeared as an erroneous overcharge on each transaction. It is important to note that Six Continents Hotels neither submitted nor received any of the erroneously charged amounts.
First Horizon has advised that approximately 26,000 cardholders may have been affected. Specifically, these were guests of Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels in the United States during the time period between October 24 and October 27, 2002. It is also important to note that the majority of guests during that time period were not affected.
As of October 31, 2002, First Horizon has advised that the vast majority of the problems have been corrected. However, we are recommending that any customer who thinks that he or she may be affected by this call their credit card company to determine that their account is accurate.
While First Horizon has acknowledged that this billing error is not the fault of Six Continents Hotels, we understand that this may be a major inconvenience for some of our guests. In order to take care of our guests, Six Continents Hotels has done the following:
- Six Continents Hotels has secured First Horizon’s commitment to resolve this situation as soon as possible with Visa, MasterCard and the issuing banks.
- Six Continents Hotels has established a 24-hour hotline, 1-800-621-0555, for any guests affected by this matter. Customers calling the hotline should ask for “Operator 28.”
- Adversely affected guests will receive two complimentary nights at any Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express hotel.
Six Continents Hotels continues to work with First Horizon to determine the cause of this incident, and we are taking steps to determine the appropriate actions to prevent a reoccurrence.