59 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2014 2:56 AM by drewtipton Branched from an earlier discussion. RSS

New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued

iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Thanks Michelle so much, we only hope those you pass it on to are as keen to the issues as you.

 

I want my cheese/crackers and wine when I arrive.  I'll be at a CY soon one which I frequent often so it will be interesting to see what they have to offer at check-in and beyond.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
    Marriott Associate Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    You know by now that we're a bit portly and aren't known to move quickly - but move we do.  So if you're checking in within the next few [days-weeks-months] don't expect the planet to wiggle.  Momma always says, slow and steady wins the race! 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
      nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I have never felt the planet wiggle, but it sounds like fun!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        A planet wiggle is never good.  Well, except maybe then it will make a believer out of those who think that climate change is just a myth.    Oh, wait.  Vouchers.  Eh, wouldn't know.  I've never been platinum.  But if I were... I'd just want to be treated special, welcomed, and recognized for my loyalty.  Wait a minute.  I would like to enjoy that now.  Expressing that with a genuine smile and conveyed sincerety would be my preference over being handed an envelope (with a xerox letter thanking me for my loyalty) and asked which welcome gift I prefer.  A bag of chips and a bottle of .42 cent water or 500 MR points is some sort of recognition, I guess.  Some places do nicer, like the bottle of wine.  I guess I'd rather have that over a voucher.  I often forget to use vouchers... or have no need for them... I'm thinking Marriott maybe knows that...

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
          Marriott Associate Member
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Pluto!  We do know that the vast majority of members select points as their arrival gift.  Relative to the cheap eats or the voucher - we don't know what the 'take rate' will be until its been in-market long enough.  And yes, we'll be watching, and listening, and measuring, and analyzing, and (yawn, - I'm envisioning endless columns and rows)...

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
            painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            I live for columns and rows.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
            pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Hi Michelle,

            When we travel with my mom, she always takes the points.  What's cool is sometimes when in Europe, they give you points AND a bottle of wine.  Very welcoming!  And then everyone is appreciated!  It's just one big appreciation party!  You love us and we love you.  A Sally Fields moment.  And, um, I'm not really suggesting anything.  Just sharing some happy Marriott experiences.  You know me and sharing...

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              We had that to happen at Hilton Head, too.  It was really nice.  The mgr. who gave it to us was a British bloke, though.  Points, free self parking, wine, and ice cream. 

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
            superchief1 Platinum
            Currently Being Moderated

            I think Marriott has fallen into the trap that other companies have done. They rely on transactional analyses of 'big data' rather than talking to their most valued customers. I have worked in marketing research for too many years and see a major shift to the 'what people do' and away from the 'why'. Based on the comments I have read from many others, I don't think I'm alone in the belief that the platinum food/beverage was a recognition that Marriott valued my business, and an opportunity for the individual hotel to truly stand out. As a lifetime platinum with timeshares and over 500k of devaluing MR points, the points amenity means little to me. The F&B $10 credit is worthless, especially with all the caveats. I think Marriott's marketing research department could have prevented this fiasco if they would have surveyed those of us who frequently utilize the F&B credit, and realized how strongly we feel about it. As a result of this downgrade, you have lost one of your most loyal customers who had convinced many coworkers to convert to Marriott over the years.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
            nycuws10025 Platinum
            Currently Being Moderated

            Michelle,

             

            Thanks for your feedback.  I welcome the analysis and am sorry if the thought of columns and rows is a snoozer for you.

             

            Quite honestly though, shouldn't the analysis have been done BEFORE the change was made?   I know Marriott uses focus groups because I've participated in two that I can recall.  It would seem to me that the idea that the vast majority of your customers prefer the points simply indicates that is what the majority prefers.  A better question to have asked might have been: "For those of you who customarily take the Platinum Welcome Gift, if Marriott were to eliminate that benefit, would it be such a deal-breaker that we would risk losing you to a competing chain?"

             

            As I read through this thread (and many others, quite frankly) the uniting theme that is pissing so many of us off is the constant dilution of the perks of being a Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite member.  For those PE or LPE dinosaurs like me, we can remember when being a Marriott Platinum Elite was really something quite special.  I still have an old Marriott Marquis Club hanging dopp kit which was one of the annual Christmas/Holiday gifts Marriott mailed to Elite members way back when.  In fact, I go so far back that I remember when each separate Marriott brand had its own separate loyalty program.  Deep in the cobwebs of my memory, I'm recalling something like Courtyard Club(?) as being one of them before all of the separate programs were rolled into Marriott Rewards.

             

            Since the "vast majority" of your Elites take the points (as I do, unless I'm traveling with family in which case, I'll go for one of the gifts just for the fun of watching the excitement when room service knocks on the door) my guess would be that most of us don't really give two hoots about losing the snacks.  What we care about is the dilution of the benefits Marriott has trained us to expect:

            • We remember when the Concierge Lounges, previously open seven days a week at many, if not most properties, were closed on weekends.
            • We remember when Marriott Corporate Marketing specifically told hotels not to exceed the specified standards for breakfast and evening snacks offered in the CLs
            • Okay, to be fair, we also remember when Marriott added free Wi-fi for Gold and Platinum Elites at Marriott and Renaissance property (for which I know many of us are grateful, but most of us had already dealt with that by downgrading ourselves to the lower-priced Marriott brands, so Marriott's action on this - which was not measured in wiggles and wobble, bur rather was measured in glacial speeds - was clearly self-preservation; particularly since Hilton and Starwood had been offering it for quite a while before Marriott woke up and smelled the coffee!)
            • Hotels which were previously Category 4 hotels are now miraculously Category 5 or 6 hotels - with no renovations having been done or product enhancements having been introduced!
            • Per night point redemption "prices" for stays continually increase either through inflation of the points required to redeem for a nights stay or for inflation of hotels to higher category levels.
            • Yes, Marriott has now added breakfast for us on weekend, for which, again, I thank you.  But I would hate to have Marriott think that many of us believe you did it because you wanted to enhance the program - you did it because you were losing your best customers to Hilton which has offered this benefit for a while.
            • And, as part of the package, of adding breakfast, you've downgraded the Platinum Welcome Gift by giving us a "credit" which requires that we spend in order to gain the benefit of that so-called gift.)
            • Marriott steadfastly refuses to include suites as part of the upgrade offered to Elites at check-in.  Unless the hotel decides to do it on their own (and I wonder to what degree Marriott has told them NOT to do it - based on the CL directive) it doesn't happen.  Meanwhile, I have been given suites at Starwood properties 50% of the time - and I'm only silver with them!  How many threads on this topic already exist at Insiders?  Is Marriott truly listening or simply hearing?

             

            Gordon Bethune made some comments about Continental Airlines shortly after he joined the company in the early 1990's.  He reviewed what his predecessors had done but cutting, cutting and more cutting to try to cut expenses to return the airline to profitability.  His observation to his employees was to the effect that you can keep taking stuff off your pizza to the point where nobody will buy one from you any more.

             

            There may be some who remember that I was once a very frequent poster here at insiders.  Life got complicated; my employer is in the midst of a messy merger with a former competitor and I just didn't have the luxury of wasting time here - particularly because I didn't feel Marriott was going to do anything with the input I provided anyway.  In short, I don't know what it was that prompted me to check for something this past weekend which brought me to this thread.  But one thing I've noticed is two people who also used to be very active here on Insiders - was it called  the Ambassador level(?)  have indicated in THIS VERY THREAD, that one has now earned Hilton's top Elite status and another has indicated no longer being a platinum elite and staying at boutique hotels.   And if you check my MR account, you'll see four stays so far this year.  I don't want to have you think I'm not traveling - that business is going to your competitors.  True, as an LPE, I don't have to chase after the 75 nights any more, but my main reason is that I don't feel that my business is appreciated when I see a constant erosion of the benefits I grew to like over the years.  And when I check-in at one of your competitor's properties with a loyalty status lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut and am treated like I remember being treated at Marriott, I can only say: No wonder so many of us are bailing out!  I sincerely feel you've taken too much cheese off the pizza.


            Back in my days in Grad School at the fine School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University (yeah, see?  I really do know what I'm talking about here - even though I'm no longer in the hospitality industry) Marriott was held out as being a "leader", an "innovator", being "on the cutting edge". Today, I can only say "What the hell happened to Marriott?"    Get suggestions from your best customers via insiders and Marriott "wiggles and wobbles", but watch what Hilton or Starwood does and that you're losing customers to them, THEN Marriott takes action.  Marriott is no longer a leader; it's a follower.

             

            The basic rule of Marketing I remember from my days at Cornell, is: "Don't give your customers a reason to sample your competition's product."  Maybe Marriott's leadership skipped class that day?

             

            Okay, here endeth the sermon.  Do I hear an Amen?

             

            (My fellow insiders, I beg your forgiveness for my having subjected you to this lengthy diatribe!  Skiadock, I also specifically apologize to you as I have veered far from the topic you introduced in this thread which I acknowledge was about the downgrade of the Platinum Welcome Gift.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              This should be read aloud at Marriott HQ in Bethesda on a daily basis. Great post--award winning in fact!

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                insetech Platinum
                Currently Being Moderated

                Agree with anadyr.  First time here.  LPE as well as Premier status.  130-150 nights year, almost 6 million points accrued. Just don't understand this move by Marriott.  Travel with other LPE members who feel the same way that this is a DOWNGRADE in benefits to their most loyal customers.  Who needs 500 points when I'm getting 3500+ per night??  Wine & Cheese, please!!!!

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Then there are those of us PE who have been with marriott for 30+ years, and do remember when being platinum was something special.

               

              So all these changes are a constant reminder that we not only not special and just another number, but also not preferred as its easier to have new members with no expectations.

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              RLW Platinum 5 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              "NY" Thanks for laying that out for us - saved me from having to do the same. I have been a totally loyal Marriott (prefer CY) customer for about 25 years and the devaluation of the perks is real and obvious. I will say that I regularly receive the points as my welcome gift (although I honestly don't know if it's 1 point or a 1000), I have been able to park at CY and use their shuttle to and from the aiport at no charge and, Platinum status has saved me long lines at resort check-ins. Room upgrades typically only happen when I request them (The Henry in Dearborn, MI is the glowing exception as they always upgrade my room).  For now, I'm staying loyal to Marriott but, I once was 100% loyal to Delta until they downgraded the value of points and status level to the point that I feel no loyalty to them at all. I now simply book based on convenience and price. I suspect, based on current trends with Marriott, I may be value shopping instead of defaulting to Marriott at some point in the future.

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              texasvoyager Platinum 30 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Amen, NY!

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              One of the best posts I've seen on MI.  AMEN and Gordon was correct about the pizza, that still holds true today with Marriott.  They can check my nights this year after 8-9 years of being over 75 nights a year, I have a measly 12 which most were roll over nights.  Think anyone at Marriott really cares about us old loyal folk?

               

              I too wish skiadcock a most speedy and full recovery.

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              Marriott Associate Member
              Currently Being Moderated

              AMEN!  Got it - and thank you for taking your valuable time to lay your feelings out so clearly.

               

              Yes, yes, yes - things aren't the same as they once were, and I echo your sentiment as a fellow traveler, consumer and human.

              Yes - of course we did our research befre making changes - we asked the questions you posed and then some.  We acted based on the guidance that our audiences provided.  And, pardon me for sending the signal that I do not like, value, enjoy or appreciate analysis: I do, and at Marriott we live on it [see prior threads where we're accused of analysis paralysis].  You will agree that it is statistically impossible to please all of the people all of the time - and for those of you who enjoyed the wine and cheese, this change is meaningful to the point where we will lose your business.

              Yes - suite upgrades are a total thorn. As a system, we stink at getting our hotels to comply, and keep trying to figure out how to make upgrades happen seamlessly.  Believe me please, it's not because we don't WANT you to have them - for goodness sakes, we want you to have everything...and more!

              Yes - our competition eats our lunch in some areas, and yes, Marriott no longer enjoys solo placement on the top rung.  Some of our properties need a facelift and some are so totally awesome we don't want to leave.  The same can be said for Sheaton's, Hilton's, etc.  The real issue - and the topic that is chatted up in the halls of Cornell these days - is that all of the chains are swimming in the 'sea of sameness' and the pressure for differentiation is increasingly difficult and costly.  This is what I take away from our conversations in the community - we're all (brand loyalists / consumers) expecting personalized recognition and a consistent demonstration that we mean something beyond the credit card swipe.  We're all disappointed when we don't get it.

               

              I love how pluto summed it up too:  ... I'd just want to be treated special, welcomed, and recognized for my loyalty.  Expressing that with a genuine smile and conveyed sincerety would be my preference over being handed an envelope (with a xerox letter thanking me for my loyalty) and asked which welcome gift I prefer.

               

              Yeah - we get it and we hear you and we ache to fix everything.  We'd love nothing more than to be super generous, and always successful in demonstrating how we really feel about you, where ever you are in the world, how ever you contact us, in which ever way we touch your lives.  We have every intention of continuing to advocate on behalf of our Elite members, and fight the good fight every ding-dong day.  Sometimes we're the windshield, sometimes we're the bug.

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                erc Platinum
                Currently Being Moderated

                That per usual, is a thoughtful, credible response. I have no difficulty with your sincerity. What aggravates me, and no doubt, silently frustrates you, is the ongoing apparent disconnect between your customer service oriented responses, intuitively effective solutions, and Marriott's actions. Granted, it is only anecdotal (but for all we know could and has been quantifiably measured - therein lies another issue, our inability, given prior behavior by officers, to wholeheartedly believe what Marriott Corporate states) but it certainly seems that the ABC option (points, F&B credit, or welcome amenity) would be a win-win all around, especially when one measures the decline in room revenue vs. cost of welcome amenity. This leads me to believe that the true purpose of eliminating the welcome amenity (disproportionately valued by many of us, to Marriott's goodwill when given, at their expense when removed) is only as skiadcock suggests, an attempt to drive F & B revenues higher (a view strengthened when one observes the backdoor way in which the removal was introduced, as a slip in item on the trumpeting of weekend breakfasts).

                I have and continue to appreciate your demonstrated efforts in advocating for not only elites, but lodgers in general. Thank you for your support in what appears to be a quixotic mission.

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                  Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Michelle, you've expressed the same angst we all feel. Angst is however, not action.  Can Marriott somehow balance the new and the old?  Can we have some feeling that being loyal means something other than accumulation of nights and points?  Can Marriott be a leader in guest satisfaction again?  Sure hope so but the trends say no.

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                "You will agree that it is statistically impossible to please all of the people all of the time"

                 

                And some people will never be satisfied.

                 

                Thank you, mmichellel for your response. 

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                  Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Some people will never be satisfied is a real understatement, Husker.

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                    erc Platinum
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    But similar to an inept Congress not passing legislative bills because they won't solve all of the problems; not seeking customer service effectiveness because it won't please everyone, is a poor rational for inaction.

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                    • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      Alas, the Congress, we knew them well.  And yet we keep re-electing them.  But I digress ERC, the real issue that I find is that Marriott (and others) are looking for the Golden Mean, that mythical place on the scale where everyone gets something, but no one gets anything as it used to be.  We are seeing the mean in golden mean.

                      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                      • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                        erc Platinum
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        I agree and current momentum seems to make it inevitable and it's something I'm prepared to adapt to - I just don't want anyone blowing smoke up my dress as it occurs*. It's interesting to me to observe several of the newer posters express the exact frustrations that we have been jousting over for several months - this accrues to Marriott's advantage; an escalator expression of customer irritation. Older posters being worn out and falling by the wayside, so an overall snapshot of customer feedback is perhaps never captured as it would be in a 'moving picture' running total type collection, coupled with the reality that 'nothing pleases everyone', perhaps leads to the impact of our voices being diminished (although I share your view, that it wouldn't seem to matter anyway, the economic trends are not in our favor).

                         

                        *and that's why I tried to make it clear that I didn't feel mmichellel (and additional m added to her name - is that a promotion?) or andy were doing that, rather the 'press release' corp line coming from Intergalactic.

                        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    And there's always people who think they know more about your job than you do, or can do it better...just ask them.  I suppose it all makes for interesting reading if nothing else.

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                    • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                      erc Platinum
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      Hey, we will never know whether members of this forum know better than some of the decision makers at Marriott how to optimize results, because posters can only argue the theoretical counter factual (what might have happened) in the face of what will be excellent results given the momentum and yes, effectiveness of Marriott executives. Whereas I don't criticize Marriott's financial performance (many of my cost increases in travel have been financed by stock appreciation), I'm not necessarily ready to grant them Genius status, because who knows what the performance might be if additional input was considered.  That's why I always argue about the communication, not the decision itself, and why no one has ever read about me threatening to 'take my business' elsewhere. I just adapt according to my needs and the situation. For example, whereas not fortunate enough to stay at your preferred Kiawah, I am staying at a friends Isle of Palms timeshare without any beating of my chest or fanfare interaction with Marriott. A) That's not my nature in negotiating and B) it doesn't matter or have any impact anyway.

                       

                      I do agree it makes for interesting reading, I benefit greatly from the comments of other professionals and would greatly enjoy having those ideas tested against decision makers and not the unfortunate social media associates who are somewhat limited in their range of responses.

                      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                      • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                        eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        You're right.  I've even come to realize that there might be justification in getting rid of the buffets in CY.  They sometimes seem to have a problem in keeping up with who actually has the coupons for the buffet and who doesn't.  Seeing a full dining area this past weekend and not noticing any cash register entries, I realized how easy is was to take advantage of that system.  And then there's the waste that comes with a buffet. 

                         

                        As for the coffee, it is expensive and getting more so all the time, but Starbucks is incredibly expensive and not something I use anyway.

                         

                        Have a good trip, erc.  Hope it's not raining too much. 

                        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                priscillaberry Platinum 1 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                I am a Platinum Elite at Marriott and have been for many years.  I am also a platinum at Starwood and a Diamond at Hilton.  I stay in hotels most work nights through the year.  Why do I not stay at just Marriott - because they no longer give me a reason to.

                 

                Starwood gives me the best service and incentives - unfortunately there are not enough locations for them around the globe.  However, they are growing.  Hilton gives me the worst service and incentives.

                 

                I think most of us PE's want to feel special when we check into a hotel.  We also want to feel some certainty that we will get:

                - A warm recognition greeting.

                - Automatic Room upgrades including suites

                - Top Quality Beds

                - Free internet

                - Free Parking - at any location!

                - Free breakfast - also available with in-room service in hotels with room service and no concierge lounge

                - Free water

                - a Free drink and apps if desired.

                 

                I can understand hotels needing to eliminate a concierge lounge, but if they do, they should automatically provide the alternative free breakfast, and evening drinks and snacks.  We should not have to choose between bonus points and these options. Nickel and Dime-ing Platinum customers is bad business.

                 

                Platinum's are still the backbone of Marriott's business.  Without us, you don't have a business.

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                  superchief1 Platinum
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Priscillaberry,

                  You make some excellent points and provide insightful information about what to expect from competitors. I have remained so loyal to Marriott over the years that I haven't had as much experience at Starwood and Hilton. I have to admit I like HGI much better than Courtyards, but Hilton Honors have devalued their program more than Marriott.

                   

                  I think one reason Marriott has eliminated their platinm arrival gift is that it involves room service. Recent trends show many hotels are trying to eliminate room service, so I understand Marriott's dilemma. I doubt that they will restore the former amenity, but I offer a suggestion for an alternative that may be a compromise. I suggest they offer a voucher that can be redeemed in the CL, bar, or restaurant for two drinks/glasses of wine (current wine split) or an appetizer. This would eliminate their room service expenses, but would still be a valued benefit. The $10 credit won't even cover one drink at most properties and drink prices in the CL are as exhorbitant as those in the bars. My company policy doesn't cover alcohol, and I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner every night at home, so I expect it on the road.

                   

                  Some competitor chains provide vouchers for free drinks even at the silver level. When I stayed in a Doubletree recently, I receive a voucher for a glass of wine (up to $15) in the adjacent restaurant. Why can't Marriott do this, or at least provide reasonable prices in the CL?

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                    priscillaberry Platinum 1 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    Last night I stayed at a Hilton Doubletree.  They gave me a voucher for a free drink that I was able to use t the bar or with room-service.  I chose the later because I ordered it with room-service for my dinner.  They also gave me a voucher for a full breakfast and comped my parking.

                     

                    Most of the credits only cover well-drinks.  I generally don't want to drink the rot-gut stuff.  I want to get better quality.  The best think they could do is not note on the hotel bill that the item purchased was alcohol.  Most of us are with companies with similar policies.

                     

                    I can understand the desire not to expend money on room-service.  However, with booking done 24 hours in advance, the maids that service the room can setup anything special.  I am happy to just get things at the front desk when I check in.

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                  Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Another excellent post!

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                  drewtipton Gold
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  I can agree here.  I don't travel as much as I used to (down from 100+ nights a year to about 55-60 nights a year), but am Marriott Platinum (I think I will be for this year, but not sure.. may get downgraded to my Lifetime Gold).  Several years ago, I was staying in a Hilton Garden Inn near my former employer.  The General Manager was working the desk (and I'd spoken with him several times over the past couple of years), and mentioned that I hadn't been in as much.  I told him that I was traveling outside the Bay Area more, but that I wasn't able to stay in Hilton properties as much anymore, because they weren't as convenient, and (being honest with him) that I didn't get the benefits that I got with Marriott -- like free Wifi, the Concierge Lounge, etc.  He apparently exchanged emails with someone higher up the food chain at Hilton, because I got an email from Hilton corporate a few hours later giving me "Preferential Gold" status, good until 2016.  I'm not sure how that happened, but every time I've stayed in a Hilton since then, I'm treated like royalty -- room upgrades, free appetizers with meals, etc. 

                   

                  I used to say that one of the best things about Marriott properties was consistency -- if I stayed in Heidelberg, Prague, Long Beach, Atlanta, or Grand Rapids, MI -- I always got the same experience.  I could count on a consistent room, consistent levels of service, etc.  I can no longer say that is the case.  I have had exceptional service at Marriott properties in the past (the JWMarriott in Grand Rapids, MI is one.  The Marriott Orlando Lake Mary is another), but I also have had amazingly bad experiences at Marriott properties (Courtyard, Regensberg, Germany, Marriott Tysons Corner, VA).  Consistency no longer seems to be important.  Customer service no longer seems to be of primary importance -- Mr. Marriott is probably rolling over in his grave at some of the things that are happening in 'his' hotel chain!

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    I just signed up for Hilton Honors yesterday after learning a Marriott property we used to stay when we would go into downtown for the evening changed to a DoubleTree.  So I signed up and today will contact Honors Customer Service hoping they'll match my MR status.  It's nice to read they took care of so I'll make sure to mention your name!

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                    eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    drewtipton

                    If your actual stays and the rollover nights in your account are more than 75 nights, as it sounds like they will be, you'll be plat. again this year.  The amount of nights needed to make plat. should be taken from the rollover for a year and then the excess will drop off to be added to your total nights earned for a lifetime.

                     

                    Even lifetime Gold isn't bad, but hopefully, CS can tell you if you made lifetime Plat. with 800 lifetime nights and the 2,000,000 points.

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                    • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
                      drewtipton Gold
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      eb5147

                      I know all too well how it works.. have been a member for... who knows how long... I actually have a "Marriott Honored Guest Program" card somewhere...

                       

                      I'm at 50 nights for the year last year...  I had 39 the year before, and they 'gave' me platinum... I know I'm at lifetime gold, but I haven't gotten the membership card yet (probably because I'm still Platinum).  If you look online, you can tell now how close you are to the number of nights lifetime, but not the number of points.  I know I'm close to the 2M points, but I'm only around 590 lifetime nights... (I thought it was now 500 nights for lifetime gold and 750 for lifetime platinum... or did that change again? )..

                      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              priscillaberry Platinum 1 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Amen!

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
              skiadcock Platinum 4 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              AMEN! AMEN!

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
            skiadcock Platinum 4 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Well I'm still in an upper thigh to ankle cast, but have access to a computer.  I'll ask the question that no one else seems to have done so far.

             

            If indeed the "vast" majority of the elites took the points, then why the change from the Plat arrival amenity gift to the $10FB coupon at all?  I truly have a hard time believing that the "vast" majority of elites said hey let's make a change & dump the amenity gift for a $10FB credit with restrictions on its use to go towards items that cost more than $10 & that if we can't use it we lose out on the points as well..  To paraphrase Michelle, "my momma didn't raise no fool".  And if Marriott wanted input in advance, it could have emailed all Plat members & said we're thinking of this, what are your thoughts?  Given I get Marriott's e-breaks emails, I'm sure I would have received that one.  But they didn't.

             

            Marriott had an opportunity to truly hit it out of the park by offering a) 500 points; b) food/beverage amenity; c) $10FB coupon.  THAT combo would have been a 'win-win' for BOTH Marriott & for Platinum elites.  Plats would have had their choice of what mattered to them most & felt truly valued.  Marriott would have cemented loyalty, been ahead of the competition, and would have had a better analysis of what elites truly value/what % went which way.  Instead Marriott struck out & didn't get to home base (trying to use a "42" analogy here).

             

            My thought is that Marriott is either a) trying to drive almost everyone to take the 500 points or b) they're indeed using the $10FB coupon to drive some FB revenue, both of which sounds more like win-win for Marriott than win-win for elites.  BTW, one flaw in the analysis that I see w/ Marriott & all its columns & rows post-change is that it's hard to analyze how many would have taken the amenity over the $10FB (which is really the more accurate analysis) since the amenity gift isn't part of the option.

             

            For those who are unhappy about the change, please continue to let the GMs of properties you stay at know of your unhappiness & don't forget to quote both Michelle & Ed French when they said that Marriott properties can do more than the $10FB, that it's just the minimum they have to offer. Feel free to email Ed as well

             

            For those who have said they are leaving Marriott or staying at Marriott less because of this final paper cut, please write Marriott & let them know that (feel free to include folios from the other chains ).

             

            It's interesting that we have a report by erc on a dif thread that the Marriott front line staff (bartenders, etc) think the new $10FB credit 'is a pain in the a*s - and we can quote them on that'.

             

            Cheers.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      LOL, yes I've heard that slow and steady, but it was from a graduate of Maryland and he is truly a Terrapin!  I check in on the 24th so I won't expect the wiggle to happen.......now when we got to PDX and the Marriott City Center in August we can talk then!!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
      skiadcock Platinum 4 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I felt the planet wiggle - oh wait, that was me when I stepped into a rabbit hole when gardening on the 4th & broke my fibula bone (fibula runs on outside of leg from ankle to knee) next to the knee & refractured my ankle, so I'm definitely slow & steady now.  Maybe by the time I (hopefully) travel in September, Marriott's planet will have wiggled & the Plat arrival bennie will be back to normal, aka, slow & steady.  Hey, can you use the $10 credit for the bellman? (kidding).  Don't think I'll be schlepping my luggage anytime soon.

       

      Cheers.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
    superchief1 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    In my experience, the companies who give their customers a reason to be loyal to their products are the most successful in the long run. The Mrriott family recognized this and became the leader by doing it better than their competition. I have worked for a few companies who were leaders in their categories but chose the path of increasing short term profits at the expense of maintaining superior products or customer loyalty. They enjoyed a few highly profitable years, but suffered greatly when the economy changed or their competitors bypassed them.

     

    It is obvious that Marriott no longer cares about the loyalty from its long-term customers. New customers don't miss something they never had. However, why should these new customers become loyal to Marriott when they offer the same things as everyone else. When we were younger, Marriott attracted our loyalty because of superior products and recognition of our loyalty. The MR program was a key component. We definitely provided significant revenue to Marriott by our loyalty, and often were willing to pay a premium price. Why should the younger generation pay any more to stay at a Marriott property than any of their competitors? When categories become commodities, profits decline over time because decisions are primarily driven by price.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
      eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      You're so right.  And someone else moves in at just the right time if they're smart.

       

      Haven't more than a few companies had to move their CS back to the states since the language barrier or understanding was too great with foreign CS?  I think Dell was one of them. 

       

      A lot of restaurants try diminishing quality of food for short term profits and have to change or go out of business later.

       

      Marriott isn't going out of business any time soon, but as you say, might not gain the loyalty they once had.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
        Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Fascinating thread EB and SuperChief, well said.

         

        There's a center of gravity here, we (mostly) seem to be saying that things and times are changing, and not always to the advantage of the guest, especially those of us who stayed in Marriotts for decades, choosing the brand becuase of what it stood for, and at times, choosing Marriott over other hotels because of that reputation and the quality of welcome and stay.

         

        Many old standbys, the ones we've chosen, are gone or almost gone.  Marriott is obviously here to stay, becoming something new and for a segment of the guests who stay there, even if that means forgetting or worse, alienating the rest of us.  So be it.  Marriott can become a new company, reach new heights of profitability, continue with their successful business model.  Unfortunately, this is not an era when another lodging firm can fill the void that Marriott has created.

         

        We are in a new world, a new Marriott, and a new experience. The old way was good while it lasted...

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
          eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          I really think others are moving in.  A good number of ex-plats have found other alternative.

           

          Possibly, one of the newest threats to any of the brands is the new form of internet searches for low rate rooms like Velosity and others.  They're getting to be pretty common and now the new search engines will look at several pricing firms at once for comparisons.  Marriott won't even include these in their "guaranteed low rates", which was always a joke publicity scam anyway.

           

          Then there are the time share vacations that are also starting to rent out their rooms by the night, usually 2 nights min., but a good alternative for those who don't mind cooking themselves to save money on eating out, which is starting to be taxed everywhere beyond belief as a luxury expense.   

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
    mikiegfla Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I believe that if enough Elites complain then perhaps something may come of our complaints. But as I've said here before, all of these posts come from the same people. There are about a dozen or so of us out of hundreds of thousands of Elite members. Where are they? Since I joined Insiders back in 2008, I keep seeing the same names.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: New Platinum Arrival Gift Policy is a Downgrade, Continued
    marriottmemberfromla Platinum 51 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I just noted in another thread that The Cosmopolitan has downgraded their Platinum arrival gift.  It used to be breakfast for 2 at Wicked Spoon (buffet)--about a $45-$50 value.  Now, it is just the standard 500 points or the $10 food and beverage credit.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)