I would appreciate the community's advice on where to start addressing my problem.
In December, I stayed at the Winterhaven, an Autograph Collection hotel on Miami Beach. At checkout, I attempted to use Marriott Gift Cards to pay for the stay. The front desk told me that the hotel was unable to accept gift cards because their system was not ready but that Marriott Corporate was coming the following week to prepare their system and train the employees. I was asked to leave the gift cards and they would use them to settle the bill after the training was complete.
The front desk clerk agreed to sign a letter detailing this arrangement, acknowledging the receipt of the gift cards. The letter detailed the gift card numbers/balances. I still have the original signed letter.
I thought this was a closed issue but yesterday, 2 months later, the hotel charged my credit card for the stay. I checked the Marriott gift card site and the gift cards still show active and the balances are intact. I want the hotel to utilize the gift cards to settle the bill for this stay.
To whom should I address this issue? The hotel manager (who has not returned previous requests for a phone call)? Marriott Gift Card customer service? Marriott Rewards customer service? Marriott's general customer service? Should I file a dispute with Amex (where my stay was charged)? Or should I try all of the above and see what works first? I guess I'm really asking the community if they beleive one area of customer service is more successfull than others at resolving problems.
I am LP and have never been more angry with a Marriott property and the way a situation was handled. I need to calm down before talking to anyone at Marriott so thanks for letting me vent....and thanks for any advice on the most effective place to start the complaint process.
I would definately start with customer support to find out how the problem should officially be handled, though I suspect you will eventually need to talk to the property for the adjustments which is what I have had to do everytime I have had billing problems at properties.
I'd stop with the phone calls and start a paper trail to follow your original letter of agreement with the desk clerk. Try explaining the situation to email@example.com. That'll get the ball rolling and somebody will do something. Good luck.
If you really want to get a fast response from someone at Marriott, dispute the charge on the credit card. You have all the documentation you need to show that you were not supposed to be charged. They will probably respond much faster to the credit card company than to you.
Of course, this is probably step 2 if someone within Marriott doesn't help you in a timely manner.
About eight weeks ago, I stayed at a Marriott property and used Gift cheques to pay part of the bill. A few weeks later my credit card was charged. I DID have a folio receipt that I had given them gift cheques. This sounds like a similar situation to yours except you don't have a folio receipt but a hand written correspondence.
The first thing I did was call the ACCOUNTING department at the hotel. I explained the situation. They were able to look up the stay and I was told that 'the clerks didn't know how to apply the gift cheques and made a mistake and I will credit you back'.
A week later I had not received the credit. I called again and was told that the GM had not approved the credit. I asked what the delay was and told them that I would wait ONE more day for the credit to be issued. It wasn't.
I then (the next day) disputed the charge with the credit card company and they asked for the documentation I had. I sent it to them (by e-mail) and they issued a credit to my account the next day in full resolution of the matter.
I also had complained at the same time I began the process to firstname.lastname@example.org and they responded that they forwarded the info to the hotel and that the hotel would be contacting me.
A week after the credit card company issued the credit the hotel responded in apology to me and credited me with 10,000 points for the fiasco.
Hope this info helps give some direction.