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Thread: Bait and switch: Diamond members with fewer than 25k tier credits in 2017 will LOSE access to Diamond Lounge in 2018

  1. #1
    This is pretty damn obnoxious.

    It has been long known and accepted that you keep your Total Rewards benefits for TWO CALENDAR YEARS. So if you earn Diamond any time in 2017, you have the status and benefits through January 31, 2019, regardless of what you do in 2018.

    Caesars is pulling a nasty trick by degrading Diamond benefits for 2018 for anyone who didn't earn 25,000 tiers in 2017.

    Recall that Diamond is earned at 15,000.

    People who earned 15,000 tiers in 2017 believed they would have the full list of basic Diamond benefits through January 2019.

    But not anymore!

    Caesars properties "may charge a fee" for Diamond Lounge access in 2018, if you're Diamond and didn't earn at least 25,000 tiers in either 2017 or 2018. Presumably this will vary property-to-property.

    This is a terrible bait-and-switch, as many people spent the time and money earning Diamond specifically for the lounges, especially on the east coast.

    Here is what they wrote in a recent e-mail:

    In 2018, Diamond Lounge access will be complimentary for members who earn at least 25,000 Tier Credits in 2017.

    A fee may be charged for entry to Diamond Lounges. However, Diamond members that have earned at least 25,000 Tier Credits in the previous or current year will receive complimentary access. Additional fees for guests brought to the Diamond Lounge with Diamond member may apply.

    This is legal, but very unethical.

    There should have been a warning about this prior to people earning Diamond. That is, this change should have been delayed until 2019, and all Total Rewards members should be informed about the new policy for 2018 prior to January 1.

    Instead, they just pulled the rug out from the lower Diamond members.

    Even worse, this is near the end of the year, so many people probably won't have an opportunity to return to the casino and earn those 10k remaining tier credits by the end of 2017.
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  2. #2
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    It's not bait and switch, but it is a change in the rules and they can change the rules.

    I am sorry for those who will lose this benefit but I can't blame Caesars. The Diamond lounges are just too crowded and the service has been downgraded because of the large number of people.

    Dan, you've seen the looooong lines of Diamond players waiting to get into the Caesars Diamond Lounge while there is NO line for the Seven Stars.

    There comes a point where "tier inflation" has to be scaled back. All those "bonus tier points" have created too many Diamonds (and too many Seven Stars) and the system can't handle it.

    As I enter retirement there will come a point I will no longer be Seven Stars and I accept that. And then I might not even be Diamond and I accept that too. Life's a bitch.
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    It's not bait and switch, but it is a change in the rules and they can change the rules.
    This has been the policy in AC for a few years, 15000 tiers gets you into the DL for 1000 RCs pp.

    25000 tiers and that fee is waved for you and a guest...a second guest is 2500 RCs.

    They may be instituting this policy for all Total Rewards properties, but if they do that in other markets, then expect them to raise the fee in AC.

    It even sounds like they may be eliminating complimentary access for a guest of a 25000 TC Diamond player...that's worse.

  4. #4
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    Nothing CET says is contractual and to be trusted. This is an old story, but when Harrah's took over Caesars Palace, I had a couple hundred dollars in comps stashed at the CP sports book. Other people, obviously, had thousands. I asked every level what would happen -- I asked Caesars sports book personnel, I asked Caesars administration, I asked Harrah's sports book personnel, I asked Harrah's management. The answer was the same each time, and it was a lie. They said to keep the comps stashed as values would actually increase, and we'd get more for our money.

    Now understand -- this wasn't about comp rates. This was about comps already earned and in the accounts.

    Well, I didn't trust them, so I used all but about $100 in comps. And sure enough, when the changeover came, magically our stashed comps were reduced by 60%. People with thousands in comps already earned were very, very upset.

    Bottom line: never trust anything Harrah's/CET has to say regarding much of anything.

  5. #5
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    When Harrah's took over Caesars my host told me to clean out my Caesars comps. I went to the gift shops and bought whatever I could: clothing, travel bags, gifts, glasses, mugs, colognes, small electronics.
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  6. #6
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    Yes, this is a bait and switch. Just because they can change the rules doesn't mean it's not a bait and switch. Unfortunately, this is all too common in the casino industry. =/

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    It's not bait and switch, but it is a change in the rules and they can change the rules.

    I am sorry for those who will lose this benefit but I can't blame Caesars. The Diamond lounges are just too crowded and the service has been downgraded because of the large number of people.

    Dan, you've seen the looooong lines of Diamond players waiting to get into the Caesars Diamond Lounge while there is NO line for the Seven Stars.

    There comes a point where "tier inflation" has to be scaled back. All those "bonus tier points" have created too many Diamonds (and too many Seven Stars) and the system can't handle it.

    As I enter retirement there will come a point I will no longer be Seven Stars and I accept that. And then I might not even be Diamond and I accept that too. Life's a bitch.
    Come on, Alan, let's think about this logically.

    What about a guy who just earned Diamond in a Day last week, anticipating that he would have access to the Diamond Lounge for all of 2018? Now, instead, he only gets it for a little more than 2 months. That's a huge difference.

    Since Total Rewards is basically a 2-year program, it's really crappy for them to change major benefit of the program with zero notice, and right at the end of the year when most people will have already earned the status.

    I realize that they CAN do it (legally), but that doesn't make it right, and it's still a bait-and-switch.

    Yesterday, people earned 15,000 tiers believing it would entitle them to the Diamond Lounge until 1/31/19. Now today they learn that they'll only have it until 12/31/17. That's pretty bad.

    Small benefit degradations aren't a big deal, and shouldn't require advance notice, but given that the Diamond Lounge is arguably the best benefit of having a Diamond card, this is a huge change.

    BTW, part of the reason Diamond Lounges have such big lines is because of their very short hours. If Caesars left them open longer (and opened earlier), then there would be a lot less traffic in them.

    Either way, "lounge traffic" isn't an excuse to screw people's benefits.
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  8. #8
    Originally Posted by coach belly View Post
    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    It's not bait and switch, but it is a change in the rules and they can change the rules.
    This has been the policy in AC for a few years, 15000 tiers gets you into the DL for 1000 RCs pp.

    25000 tiers and that fee is waved for you and a guest...a second guest is 2500 RCs.

    They may be instituting this policy for all Total Rewards properties, but if they do that in other markets, then expect them to raise the fee in AC.

    It even sounds like they may be eliminating complimentary access for a guest of a 25000 TC Diamond player...that's worse.
    I didn't know this. Interesting how I never heard about it. I always assumed all Diamond members could enter the Atlantic City Diamond Lounges with one guest, free of charge.

    Admittedly, the AC Diamond Lounges were far better than their western counterparts, but I had no idea this was the situation.

    I don't mind this policy if it's stated BEFORE people earn Diamond. However, changing it in the middle of someone's 2-year Diamond term is really scummy.
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  9. #9
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    So when do they make the change? Someone is going to get caught during a two year cycle.

    Unfortunately they can change the rules.

    They can also change the minimum bets on table games, and they can change the paytables on video poker.
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  10. #10
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    Dan you seem to think the casino has to give you everything for free. Business doesn't work that way. You work that way, but business doesn't.
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  11. #11
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    For comparison, the Atlantic City CET market changed their Diamond Lounge requirement from 15K to 25K TCs on June 13, 2011, two months after the April 1st Total Rewards program reset.

    coach belly- you may be right, the Atlantic City lounges are the best, by far. An entry requirement of 40K TCs (Aspirations Level 1) wouldn't be suprising, with those Diamond members under 40K TCs paying an 1,000 Reward Credit entry fee.
    Last edited by nerakil; 10-20-2017 at 07:10 PM.

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    So when do they make the change? Someone is going to get caught during a two year cycle.

    Unfortunately they can change the rules.

    They can also change the minimum bets on table games, and they can change the paytables on video poker.
    You are stuck on your repeated that they CAN change the rules, which I have stated several times is true.

    That doesn't mean they SHOULD, or that it's ethical to do so.

    Changing the minimum bets or paytables is different, because people have the opportunity to decide to walk away before playing at these different levels or paytables.

    Here, people cannot walk away without playing, because they will have already played to have earned Diamond.


    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    Dan you seem to think the casino has to give you everything for free. Business doesn't work that way. You work that way, but business doesn't.
    I'm not asking for free things. In fact, this doesn't affect me personally, as I am Seven Stars.

    I feel the casino should keep their word when it comes to promotions.

    If people earn Diamond with the (correct) belief that it will entitle them to Diamond Lounges, and then Caesars takes it away shortly after they earn Diamond, then the casino has just pulled a bait and switch.


    When can they change it without affecting people?

    Easy:

    Announce on or before January 1, 2018 that, starting January 1, 2019, free Diamond Lounge access will require 25k tiers or more.

    Then everyone can make an informed decision if it's still worth earning Diamond that year, and those who have already earned it will still get their full and expected benefits.
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  13. #13
    Originally Posted by nerakil View Post
    For comparison, the Atlantic City CET market changed their Diamond Lounge requirement from 15K to 25K TCs on June 13, 2011, two months after the April 1st Total Rewards program reset.

    coach belly- you may be right, the Atlantic City lounges are the best, by far. An entry requirement of 40K TCs (Aspirations Level 1) wouldn't be suprising, with those Diamond members under 40K TCs paying an 1,000 Reward Credit entry fee.

    Funny how I never heard about this.

    Anyway, this wasn't quite as bad, but still fairly bad, as June 13 is 5.5 months into the year.

    This one was especially obnoxious because it was announced almost 10 months into the year, so most people intending to earn Diamond probably have done so already.

    Also, both are obnoxious because Total Rewards is a 2-year program, as already stated earlier. But announcing it in late October is especially scummy.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    I feel the casino should keep their word when it comes to promotions.
    Umm...shouldn't the casinos keep their word when it comes to everything?

    Each and every one of my mailers with offers comes with small print that says the casino has the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time without notice. So I could get my mailer in the mail the end of the month offering $300 in free play and show the next day to discover they have "modified or canceled my offer".

    What about the time I showed up with printed reservation in hand, comped room....$0.00 due and was denied?

    I mean really...did you use the word "ethical" in the same sentence as casino earlier?

  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post

    I feel the casino should keep their word when it comes to promotions.
    Umm...shouldn't the casinos keep their word when it comes to everything?

    Each and every one of my mailers with offers comes with small print that says the casino has the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time without notice. So I could get my mailer in the mail the end of the month offering $300 in free play and show the next day to discover they have "modified or canceled my offer".

    What about the time I showed up with printed reservation in hand, comped room....$0.00 due and was denied?

    I mean really...did you use the word "ethical" in the same sentence as casino earlier?

  16. #16
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    Very typical of CET, not surprising. They made it so ridiculously easy to make "diamond" with the bonus tier credits. Practically any player got Diamond, so they have to inflate the requirements to get into the lounges.

  17. #17
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    Soon they will make it 25-40,000 TCs to make diamond, which is sensible, the point inflation has the diamond lounges completely dumbed down and overrun. Frankly it is quite easy to make Seven Stars if that is your goal on VP.

  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    It's not bait and switch, but it is a change in the rules and they can change the rules.
    I have to agree with Dan, I believe it is a bait and switch, 100%
    I don't think that it has anything to do with how crowded Diamond lounges are.

    Concerned players should know during the ENTIRE earning period, the benefits that the tier credits provide and for the indicated time period... These people are spending money to earn tier credits.
    They should have announced the changes for the NEXT earning period, to take effect the following year.

    I have almost 80k tier credits so it will not affect me or my guest.
    But, my mom has 10k tier credits and we were thinking about giving them some more action this year to push her up to 15k.... I'm going to tell her that we're going somewhere else.
    With that, they will likely lose her as a customer to the M casino, and Pechanga in California. And she only plays slots!

    It's harder for me to recommend this players club to my friends....

  19. #19
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    One of the facts of life is that casinos don't give away the store. Every month I get a mailer for $900 of free play from Caesars. Unfortunately the offer is valid maybe five days a month. I don't moan and groan over it.
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  20. #20
    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    One of the facts of life is that casinos don't give away the store. Every month I get a mailer for $900 of free play from Caesars. Unfortunately the offer is valid maybe five days a month. I don't moan and groan over it.
    Totally not the same thing.

    When you get a bad offer, you can decline it and not bother going to the casino.

    Here, they are changing terms of what people already earned.
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