, Happy Anniversary, one and all...
It was one year ago this week that the last EEO/BOGO certificate expired, IMSMC. (If memory serves me correctly) I assume the replacement was disappointment and false promise, which we have been given in droves over the past year when it comes to this fondly remembered benefit. Hopefully EEO/BOGO is enjoing it's afterlife with black and white televisions, manual typewriters, dial phones and all the other forgotten but previously enjoyed products.
I have been using the BOBO promo. Haven't you? Its unlimited--and not just on weekends--AND worldwide. BOBO: Buy One Buy One....Pay for the first night and then you pay for the second. It replaced the BOGO's. Sure ti costs twice as much. However, I don't have to worry about processing of the printed vouchers etc. Its AWESOME!!!!
I have chosen the BNGN option myself for this last year. Buy None Get Nada! Let's not forget the loss of the PP 20% food discount and the BOGO diner promo when we are counting our blessings of the past.
Those other brands just don't get it, they are adding benefits. The fools!
Just in case someone would interpret this differently, I am laughing at Marriott Rewards and their lack of productivity over the past year. Failed web site enhancements. Failed Cash and Points awards because they just don't get it. Failed awesome enhancements that we were told months ago would be coming soon and would be great. Failed replacement BOGOs after months of saying otherwise. What has the Marriott Rewards staff done in the past year? I want a job there. I sure as heck can't do any worse.
aaupgrade, et al
I would tend to agree with much of what you said, but I would ammend a few items:
1. No reason to attack the MR staff. What's the saying, "Don't shoot the messenger"?
2. I'm not thrilled with the site enhancements, but, what the heck, Marriott is providing us this community/forum at no cost to us. hard to complain too loudly about a freebie....
3. The BOGO thing is a disappointment, what else can I say???
I continue to be fascinated by how companies respond to feedback, both from web forums and from official focus groups and how they interpret their customers comments.
I once participated in a focus group of 25 fans from an NHL team. One of the complaints was the apparent loss of fan access to the players. They used to be out in the community on promo events, etc. and available in the arena before the game for autograph signing, etc.
The response from the front office was to offer a one time, be the first of 100 fans to buy a lower bowl seat to a specific game and get to meet a player. Keep in mind the fans that were part of the focus group were all season ticket holders and the offer was emailed to season ticket holders. How many do you think spent an extra $100 on an unnecessary ticket to meet the player?
Just saying sometimes we all think we are clearly communicating what is wrong but the other side is hearing something totally different....
Good point and welcome to the forum. As I have read the insightful experiences of veteran travelers and heard their reasonable concerns about the shift of Marriott's attitudes toward elite benefits, I feel it's a third scenario; a clearly communicated message, clearly heard, and strategically ignored. The Marriott service at the delivery/execution point for the most part, remains consistently high (for which I'm grateful) and in the unusual circumstance of a foul up, an effective response by Marriott has run near 100%, at least in my experience.
What I have observed over the past couple of years and read about in this forum this year, is a corporate cultural change, one which borders on taking the most loyal customer base for granted, while pursuing other more rewarding (in their opinion) market niches. That's why us forum regulars are so quick to remind each other not to shoot the messengers, who often have the difficult task of interacting with upset, long time customers, with legitimate complaints being ineffectively addressed. So the summary of my post is to state my opinion of us not letting the policy makers off the hook; they're not trying and just got it wrong - they're not trying.
Ha, ha. I guess this highlights some of the 'communication' barriers in resolving issues. Not wanting to be placed in the hockey club category or the Marriott corp execs I hammered, I'll take the energy to clarify. Your post was very clear and understandable, mine was the fuzzy one.
I should have said "we forum regulars often are quick to remind...", I was referring to general practices and even earlier posts, not yours. Yours was great for kicking off discussions.
The irony is that if a year ago, Marriott clearly communicated that the EEO/BOGO was going away and explained why, while many of us would have been disappointed, we would have accepted this and moved on. Some would have moved to another chain. Others would have stayed at Marriott. Instead, Marriott created this PR fiasco. They took a bad situation and figured out how to maximize the negative feelings. They mislead customers. They made promises that weren't kept. They introduced a nothing (cash and points) and a website that were complete failures, which served to shovel salt in the open wound they created.
It's hard to believe that what was once a great, customer service oriented company has been destroyed and replaced with a company that needlessly creates ill-will among its customers.
Perhaps a secret Hilton relative has gone undercover at Marriott and is intentionally trying to destroy the company from within.
+1 from this side of the pond.
While I (due to the non-existance of participating properties in Europe) was not able to use the BOGO-offer that often, I did get my cut out of it. Well, since the return has not materialized so far I have substantially cut my stays with Marriott since May and started staying at Starwood hotels - and liked it. Something that definetly wouldn't have happend if Marriott had not shown such a disregard to the loyality of their Elites in the past 12 month...Marriott so far lost the revenue of 26 nights and will continue to loose nights to their competion until they rectify the treatment of Elites.
Greetings - Dirk