Well, all I can say is that since this issue has come up SO many times before that I cannot for the life of me figure out why Marriott associates have no idea what these things are or how to apply them.....or why they can't be trained to know what they are. I stayed in two separate hotels last weekend and each hotel was unaware of how to apply them or even what they were! I couldn't use them at the first hotel (because I thought the associate would have heart failure if I told them I wanted them applied) and the person at the second hotel told me they'd take them and send me the folio later after figuring out how to use them. When I politely requested a recept for the cheques I had given them I was told they would just apply them as cash and give me the receipt.
Now, I bought $1000 worth of Gift Cheques last December. I STILL haven't been able to use them all because of the confusion they create. Let's get some training done on this issue!
I've had that problem at a couple. At one CY, I was told that I should have told them when I checked in that I wanted to use them and he refused to accept them. I called CS who told me that whatever the acting mgr. onsite said would go, which meant that I wouldn't be able to use them. By their saying that I had to tell them beforehand meant that he was saying they were like coupons, which was untrue. They're like cash and you don't have to say beforehand that you're going to switch to cash when checking out. The mgr. was also talking to his mgr. and all of a sudden, he re-entered the transaction, gave us the new receipt, and told us his mgr. would be calling us later. She called about an hour later and was so hoarse, she could hardly speak from some previous straining of her voice, but she apologized profusely and gave us 15,000 points bonus, enough for another night's stay using points and said she'd have to train her staff better. I thought that was really sweet of her, and generous, but not undeserved on our part. :-)
I won't be holding that against the place since we might go through that city again on our way to southern FL.
Another CY took a long time in looking up the way to use them with their instruction book. There were so many pages of coupons / checks to look through to find that one, but she knew how to do it the next time, and I knew how to point out to the next clerk as to where to find the info.
But call CS the next time it happens. You paid for those checks with points and you have a time limit in which to use them.
You are right, though. More training is obviously needed.
Terrible, terrible, terrible..is my take. Marriott's take should be embarrassed, embarrassed, embarrassed. There is NOTHING worse than inviting a client to come to your establishment and smacking them in the head with ignorance. Essentially, Marriott advertises these Gift Cheques as a way to "visit" them and enjoy your stay. By dropping the ball and assuming the folks at front desk level will be able to process them, without training, is unforgivable. Since this issue has resurfaced time and again, it has to be concluded that the accounting method is onerous and regular folks can't figure it out OR it keeps getting put to the bottom of the priority list to address. Either way, it's sad.
It has to be put at the bottom of priorities. It's not that hard, but it is harder than a usual credit card or cash.
There's a code for each type of certificate listed in a book. They have to put the code and the certificate number in for each certificate and write Void on each certificate after it's having been keyed. I've even helped by writing Void on each certificate. The instructions are in a notebook with a xerox picture of each type of certificate listed. These certificates seem to be in the back.
But the onsite mgr. at the CY in FL that was refusing to accept them at first didn't even have to refer to the book to get them entered. The mgr. he was speaking to may have been telling him off the top of her head, however. I couldn't even hear what he was saying.
Not only is it deplorable and embarrassing, but it might even qualify as false advertising if we are unable to use them under the regulations. The gift checks fall under MD courts where the purchase is regarded as having been made.
On looking at the back, you don't even have to be a registered guest in order to be able to use them, proving that they aren't room coupons, as my son pointed out when he looked it over for the site mgr. to get concerned over his correctness, I think.
Barring the use of the binder, there is a Gift certificate help desk for the clerks to use by calling an 801 # and using option 1. All notes at the very bottom are for the hotel personnel.
I had the same experience with these gift cheques; however, I insisted that they were accepted. They swiped my credit card (of course) and took the check (I'm a trusting person). It took two days (luckily I was staying for a week) to have the manager figure it out. She told me that she needed to call their headquarters and wait for a response since the first person that she spoke with didn't know anything either. Apparently, the manager and the person she called headquarters couldn't find the notebook that eb5147 mentioned. So, the problem is more significant then just training. Maybe there are too many "things" that Marriott is offers. Keep it simple.
You might want to point out the notes at the bottom to them, including the phone number they can call. Also, even though they say they can't be used for discount rooms, I've never had a problem with that. I am prepared to pay for them just in case, though. I have even switched to points when checking out, but not because the gift cheques weren't being honored.
I'm a big fan of using the Marriott Cheques, and have done so at several locations. I do always mentiont at check-in that I will be paying with them, and they usually have a training sheet printed for the person next morning. And at check-out, be patient. Each check number has to be inserted separately, it takes a while to complete checking you out. If there is only one person on duty, I allow them to take care of other customers while working thru mine. I also found out recently when using points for the room, I could use the Cheques to cover the cost of my parking and meals/bar tab. 3 nights at the Renaissance in Nashville for next to nothing! What a deal!
I have used the cheques alot and have found some of the newer properties - Autograph Collections properties- take a little longer to process. Since I usually am not certain how much i will spend traditionally present at check out. You can use these for restaurant charges even if you are not staying at the property. Also good for any spa services on property, parking, resort fees, etc. Can not use for discount rooms however. Only can use for published room rates. I mostly use these instead of points for stays when on vacation. Book room at regualr rate and use MRcheques. Run the numbers and see what is the better deal.
If I am in a multiple night stay and intend to use the cheques, I will bring them to the front desk during my stay and before the morning I check out. That way, if there are issues with processing them, I am able to (hopefully) get them resolved before I am crunched at checkout. If I do give them the cheques in advance and they don't know how to process them (more often the case than not), I always ask for a receipt for the value given. They usually then process it as a cash payment and give me an updated statement.