Effective April 1 Marriott started a new program to exclude anyone using their Friends & Family program from any points, elite status or stay credits. I was given F&F certificates by a Marriott exec in the hopes of luring me away from the Starwood chain to which I am Gold. Earlier this year, I was upgraded to Gold status with Marriott with the caveat that I stay six stays between April 1 and June 30. What I was not told was that I would no longer receive credit for stays using the F&F certificates given to me by Marriott. Hence, I have stayed four times since April 1 and had three more reservations over next four weeks; I have canceled all of my upcoming reservations as there is just on point; I'll shop other brands as well.
Marriott doesn't seem to realize that frequent travelers stay with them to keep their Elite status; once you take that away, there is no reason to stay there. Actually it drives you even more away to go to the properties that do give you that status. F&F is a limited program that only allows you to stay at properties that have plenty of space; believe me, the selection is very limited. So, I guess me filling an empty room and paying good money for it means nothing, at least that's what I'm being told.
Since I've already achieved my silver status here and have no chance of maintaining my gold; I'm back to Starwood. Try again Marriott when you finally come to the realization that frequent customers are your best customers.
What was most annoying about the Autograph hotel I stayed in was that when I went to order a movie, it could not be charged to my room. When I called the front desk, they said it could, but never got it to work. Finally I had to get my credit card out and enter the number into the TV to get the movie. I suspect they are doing this so they don't have to give you points for the money you are spending. They did give me points for the room stay though. That plus my non upgrade [they upgraded me allegedly but it was a crappy room] made me ask if they were really a Marriott to which they said no. Also, there was no breakfast. usually if there is no concierge, or if its closed I get a coupon for dinner in the restaurant, but not here. And breakfast prices in NYC are astronomical. So I went around the corner to a diner and vowed never to stay at an Autograph Property.
I don't think a stay on the F&F rate has ever allowed credit for points or elite night credit. My wife works for a company that has, as part of their business holdings, the franchise for 2 Marriott properties and we could use that rate at any time. However, as I found (because I asked after I saw the rate being so low) I would not receive points or night credits towards my status. Because of that, I have never used the F&F rate.
I believe the policy change was to include Friends and Family with Associate rate. The form had boxes, that were checked by the Marriott employee or their supervisor. One box was for the associate or their immediate ( husband, wife, kids). This was a super super low rate..something like the amount it would cost to clean the room..let's say $49 vs $169 rack, for argument sake. This rate, as I was told by a GM one evening, was never eligible for points or stay credit. She did say that the other box checked, this one for non immediate family ( cousins?) or friends was a discount, but not as dear..let's say $129 vs $169 rack..was eligible for points and stay credit. So, I'm guessing the folks who were lucky enough to enjoy the F & F discount were affected by the April 1 ruling change.
I also had a bad experience with Taste of Gold. Like you, I needed 6 stays by June 30.
I completed my required 6th stay from June 28-June 30, and checked out June 30.
Surprise! Because my June 28-30 stay was not posted to my Rewards account until July 2, I was too late! The promotion had ended and I was only credited for 5 stays. The 6th stay, June 28-30, did not count.
To make matters worse, I was demoted to Silver effective July 1 and only got the Silver bonus (20%) for the stay, not the Gold bonus (25%), even though I was Gold all through my June 28-30 stay.
I was cheated, plain and simple. I have tried several times to get help from Customer Care, but nobody is responding.