I would like to understand Marriott's policy of discriminating against third party bookings.
Marriott refused to credit me for a 3 day stay because the booking was made and paid through an on-line travel agency.
Isn't Marriott getting paid for my stay regardless of where I made and paid for the booking?
Thanks in advance for a reasonable explanation ,
I just compared two bookings, one made directly through the Marriott web site, the second one through Expedia. The price on the Marriott web site was lower than Expedia's price for exactly the same booking. In view of this discrepancy, isn't Marriott's discrimination against third party bookings irrational and capricious?
I had something like this and it was explained that the 3rd party books and pays for the room and then you buy it from the 3rd party. Thus if anyone would get the credit from Marriott, it would be the 3rd party and I am sure that when they buy rooms at a discount they don't get it.
I now understand the policy. It is a very poorly thought out policy.
Rewards programs are used by businesses as a customer loyalty tool. They are not meant to be used to make customer's life more difficult. Marriott's Rewards program makes customer's life more difficult and for this reason it fails as a customer loyalty tool.
If Marriott does not wish to sell its product through the third party distribution channel, it is their decision to do so. Conversely, if they made the decision to use the third party distribution channel, let them accept the responsibility for this decision and not let it roll on the backs of their customers.
Poor policy driven by poor decision.
One would expect more from Marriott.
I think the arrangement with third party is complex, sometimes they buy the rooms, but more often than not they just block a certain portion of the rooms for resale. The Hotel has them blocked for a certain time then they become open again in the respective hotels room inventory. Third party is good for the hotel because they have a large captive market from an outside provider to sell off rooms, good for third party because it commision revenue for them. The commitement from third party to actually purchase the rooms may or may not be required.
The Marriott price gurantee is very restrictive and lots of hoops to jump through.
I did cal MR CS on this awhile ago becasue in my particular circumstance Travelocity was way cheaper than booking directly. CS told me but with Travelocity you don't get points, stays, perks for membership, rewards etc...I'm thinking right!!! but I'm paying less too. Didn't feel like debating the issue.
Appreciate your reply. It seems to confirm that the Marriott Rewards program is designed to reward Marriott, rather than the customer. Customer loyalty is an area in which I am professionally involved. If the Marriott's Rewards program is meant to be a customer loyalty program, it fails on most metrics.
I never book third party for any travel. I don't see any incentive in doing so. Usually the company's (hotel, airline, or car rental) website offers the lowest price and allows you to earn points/miles. If something goes wrong I want to work directly with the company, not a third party. Just last week Frontier Airlines announced that it would charge additional fees to customer's who did not book directly on their website.
You do realize, of course, that Frontier went bankrupt once before, and therefore its decisions, as related to its customer loyalty, are suspect.
In some corporate travel arrangements you are not allowed to book directly through the hotel web site. You must book through a travel agency if you wish to be reimbursed for the expense. There are just too many holes in the Marriott's Rewards program. It is supposed to be a customer loyalty program, but in its current form it is a customer "go away" program.
It's a shame that some companies require their employees to book through specific travel sites in which they are not able to receive the reward points benefit. I wouldn't say that Marriott should be chastised though because they do not give reward points to reservations made through a third party in which they likely make less profit on.
Marriott doesn't want anyone between it and their customer. They want you to accumulate points so you have an affinity for the brand. In the long run, the lowest cost way for them to book customers is directly through their own website so they need an incentive to drive folks there and differentiate from third party bookings. Over time they hope you get in the habit of booking directly with Marriott and don't even bother to check if the third party booking is substantially different. I don't think it is a lot more complicated than that.
I agree that, as a customer it is annoying and it bothers me. However, as a business strategy I can't say I fault them for it. The benefit probably outweighs the cost.
The Reward program is supposed to build customer loyalty. It is not supposed to be annoying and it is not supposed to be bothersome. Yet, you said it yourself "I agree that, as a customer it is annoying and it bothers me." Isn't something wrong with this picture? Is this something a loyal customer would say? Not very likely!