Like many of you, I have moved my business travel to Marriott and have been loyal for over 22 years. MR continues to treat its most loyal guests like beggars.
Voicing here doesn't mean much to their Marketing executives. We should vote and register our pledge here: move our business to others. The more of us speak up, the more they recognize their potential impact.
So, can you pledge to send and alert at least four other MR members and tell each of them to also alert another four. With this domino effect, our efforts will mean something.
Also, even if you don't know four MR members, tell at least four travelers DON'T BE A MR MEMBER. Tell them to tell others as well.
Tell them sign up anything such as hilton, SPG, Fairmont, BW, etc.
MR need to know this will affect their current loyal guests as well as future guests.
I am trying to do my part - I just cancelled eight months of reservations at a Marriott Courtyard - took me about 10 minutes to do so, but I enjoyed every click of the mouse. [I am on business in Calgary through Oct 1] I sent an e-mail to the property's GM, Customer Care, and VP of Courtyards explaining my departure and reasons. I now have the balance of 2013 booked at the Hilton Garden Inn where I can see the Courtyard's facade from my new room. In my first two weeks, I now have a free breakfast every morning, a cheese/cracker welcome gift upon arrival, a bottle of Merlot from the sales manager with whom I negotiated a rate lower than the CY, a note card on my desk from the front desk welcoming my stay, and for Valentine's day a card and some chocolate candies. Within the first two days, EVERY person at the desk knows me by last name and greats me both coming and going.
I love Hilton Diamond status. :-)
PS - Hilton will practically match your Marriott status - screen copy your Marriott activity and put it into an e-mail to email@example.com. You will likely get the following reply:
Thank you for your request regarding an upgrade to the Diamond Level. In order to effectively manage program costs specifically associated with current Diamond benefits, the Diamond level must be earned by meeting the published criteria of 28 stays / 60 nights or 100,000 base points in a calendar 12 month period. Based on the documentation you have provided, we are happy to extend a special one-time offer to fast track to the Diamond level. If within the next 90 days, from today's date, you record 21 eligible nights at any participating HHonors hotels, your account will be automatically upgraded to the Diamond tier status [PGM comment - which will then be valid through March of the next year].
I'm not going to become an anti-Marriott evangelist, but most of the ~250 nights I personally spent at Marriotts last year will be going to Priority Club this year.
The devaluation is a slap in the face to those of us who give them the most business. They moved the goal posts in the middle of the game. Their target was likely the much larger number of casual travelers who will not even notice, but the impact on Platinum Premiers is massive.
Priority, Hilton, and Marriott have all devalued their programs in the first 2 months of this year. However, I belong to all three programs and I can assure you that the one program that doesn't abuse us as badly as the other two is the Marriott. You should read this posting on LoyaltyLobby.com: Priority Club / InterContinental Hotels Group Master Property List with 2012 & 2013 Point Requirements | LoyaltyLobby. You can download from there the master property list for 2013 that shows the points changes within the Priority Club for redemptions in 2013. If you use your hotel points to go to cities like Paris, London, San Fransisco, etc., etc., etc., you'll soon realize that it now takes as much as 60% more points for one night's stay this year than it did last year for a Priority Club hotel. Oh. Did I mention that they also had an even more abusive devaluation of their program this year than they did last? Taking the two years together, you're looking at losing more than 1/2 of your purchasing power in the desireable vacations spots, which is the other way of saying that it now costs more than 100% this year than it did 2 years ago. Do NOT switch to Priority Club. And, do NOT switch to Hilton. Stick with Marriott.
I agree -- Marriott status seems less and less attractive as the categories go up, the prices go up (esp if you travel in Europe) and you consistently get less and less in terms of perks.
WIthout breakfast or CL on weekends it's useless to me, because I often have to travel for research on long weekends during the academic year.
I now only stay at Marriotts where I have been treated wonderfully (Athens, Brussels, Ghent, sometimes London). Otherwise, I go for the best deal closest to where I need to be -- and it almost always gives me more and charges me less.
Actions will speak louder that words. I will not have the effect that pingreeman has, since I only do about 6 - 12 paid nights/year, but I have enrolled in Hilton HHonors. I get most of my night credits by spending on my Chase Visa card. I am now checking to see which is the best credit card to get for building HHonors points. I was hoping that Starwood would be a good alternative to Marriott, but they just do not have the enough hotels.
Have a look at that document.. the first page is hotels that are going to be cheaper to stay at, the next 28 pages are hotels that are going to cost more points to stay at.
If you earned 250k points last year they may only be worth 200k points when you want to redeem them.
We tend to be and are powerless to make Marriott change I fear. Decisions made about what we get or do not get appear to be made using a forumla that none of us comprehend. In reading Michelle's commentary elsewhere on this site it appears that she sees some of this as well in other programs.
It is too bad that Marriott cannot have an ombudsman on staff, one who is charged with reviewing and commenting on the impact of changes in loyalty programs on members of that program. This person would be beholden only to the CEO, and have the ability to comment on the pulse of the membership. A cautionary note: many large corporations have tried this, but when the person who is making these comments seems to be the bearer of continuall bad news, the corporation jettisons the idea and the person in the job. A good friend, whos served with me as White House fellow, was such a man. His comments to the CEO were at first welcomed, then ignoired and finally dismissed. That's how he came to work with me.
so true . the one think I liked about marroitt and reason many years ago choose to build up loyalty with them was I thought that the customer came first . I saw with America West the same thing as first CEO left the next guy cut everything that affected the customer. I don't have options as my travel will stay down and i have lifetime but to those that have options they will move
Jerryl, we can hope that someone at Marriott HQ will raise the issue of diminished returns in loyalty.
It will be an uphill battle since the trend is to take away or reduce rather than to move upward or even remain the same. I do recall the America West situation as well as that of PSA, another regional carrier from the 1980's and 1990's. Recently I read a book about the PSA and Southwest growth and then eventual decline, makes for fascinating reading.
Marriott management has made a business decision, that they obviously think will improve their bottom line. I believe the only thing that will make them change their decision is if they do not see the desired results. What we say here was probably anticipated. I have joined Hilton HHonors and I will see if I can find anything better over there. The travel blogs seem to indicate better customer appreciation. Maybe I will just decide that Marriott is not so bad after all. It will take time and I look forward to hearing from all of you about what you find. I give Marriott credit for hosting this site (As frustrating as it can be.) since I do not see any of the other hotel chains doing it.
I am an ex Hyatt Diamond and Ex SPG top tier. Every chain has its + and - and they seem to go thru cycles. At some point Marriott will see how their actions affect the bottom line (not usually positive in the long run) and they change, while we the consumer/public see the affect on us and make changes. THere are reasons I am ex to Hyatt and SPG, which I wont go into, but suffice to say that I will keep Marrriott for at least a year and if they continue to do things like the point deval, I will start using my points (in the millions) and go seek out the other programs to see if they are, indeed, better.
'At some point I guess we have to see if loyalty is indeed a two way street.'
Very good point. In looking at the past year I have continued my loyalty to Marriott (93 nights last year and I'm retired so it's all leisure) while they have devalued multiple areas of their loyalty to me. I have always said on this forum that I will remain loyal to Marriott as long as they want me to.
I look at the past year and I have to question whether they want me to continue that loyalty. On review, I think not. Now, I'm not just going to throw out the years of time with them in haste, but I am going to now look at other possibilities for a stay with other chain hotels or individual properties when I travel to an area in the future. My better half has been after me for years to stay at some boutiques and other places (Fairmont and Four Seasons being among them) when we travel but I have always remained loyal to the Marriott brand.
Their continued and consistently bad changes are becoming too much. What do I get now...a free breakfast from Monday to Friday...and everything else is gone or a struggle (real upgrades, etc). I can get breakfast at so many places now I wonder what value it really brings to the table.
So, I'll see what this year brings. I already have 40+ nights with the rollovers and have stays booked to 80+ in my reservation folder. I'll keep my Plat, but I'll look at every place I have a reservation coming and evaluate other options. I owe it to myself to see if I get a better 'bang' elsewhere and at places I (we) might have wanted to stay during travels in the past.
Who knows what it will bring....but I'll be finding out.
But, that's the point here......I never would have considered those options before this past year of disappointments and devaluations to our status.
Like others I"m not "abandoning" Marriott entirely, but I am transferring a fair portion of my business to Hilton this year. I'll complete the Diamond challenge easily, as well as maintain Marriott Platinum (if not PP) without breaking a sweat. As a multi-year PP and LPE, I really wonder what's in it for me any longer to keep the regular stays at a Marriott property since the listed "benefits" are with me for life, regardless of how much or little I spend.
I wonder if anyone upstairs understands the costs in retaining customers versus regaining them. I'm beginning to think not. I'm sure we'd all be thrown under the bus for a one-cent increase in share price.
What is incredible to me is that all this discontent from many loyal Marriott elites, we do not hear anything from Marriott about interest in keeping us as loyal customers..It is clear to me that they don't really care about our loyalty or our suggestions. That is the new Marriott under the new management. It's funny, because today I watched the CNBC special on the Marriott Hotel and all I heard form Mr. Marriott was the importance of treating their most loyal customers right as well as other customers to keep them coming back. No longer important to the new and I hate to say it but arrogant new Management!!!