I must be staying at our favorite hotel chain too often. My nights at Marriott brands for 2013 have gone up 20% over the previous 3 years. My need to chase down bonus points from hotels has increased 200%. I'm also seeing a delay in the posting of stays after checkout. Let me vent some details......
I made a decision last year (2012) to maximize points for my Marriott stays. Well, Marriott Rewards and the hotels held out the carrot. Quite often, I can find a fair rate that will include 1000-5000 bonus points offered by a hotel in my desired staying area. These rates are found right on the marriott.com website. No funny business, easy to find and easy to book. The problem is these bonus points are not part of an automated system, I'm told. The hotel staff has to manually enter these bonus points at the conclusion of the stay. Just like anything else, if the points don't show up in 72 hours, they never show up. So, I give it a full week then I have to call. If you call the hotel, some try to explain that they don't offer such a rate and never have OR it has expired OR the points offered are much less than I'm expecting. Too bad for them, I keep an electronic copy of the reservation. I read to them the exact verbiage found on their advertised booking tool. That seems to cool some of the "gotcha" sucker attitude. Most often the points show up right quick. The exercise of calling and requesting what they advertised is growing old. If you don't want to deliver the points, DON'T OFFER THEM!! I decided to enlist the help of our customer care representatives at Marriott. If I call them, they normally call the hotel while I'm on hold and cut thru the nonsense. They get the points applied immediately. Normally that is........Today I had to make the all to regular call to chase down 1500 points. This time I received the word that a note will be sent to the GM of the property and I should hear something within the next 3-5 days. Really?????? These points are from a stay that occurred from mid July. They are already way over due. So we have to start the dance all over again? I offered to email a copy of the reservation. The agent and her supervisor both reiterated that the hotel has to issue the points and sadly, there is nothing more that can be done. Hogwash!
The second concern is the system delays with posting stays. It was like clockwork that I could sign into my account the second morning after checkout and see the stay. Now it's rare to see this. Stay confirmations have been showing up later and later on that 2nd day. My last two stays took 3 days. I'm currently at the end of business on day 3 for my latest stay...no credit in the old account as of 6:26PM. These little things are becoming big headaches for yours truly.
Has anyone else seen these type of issues or am I just the lucky one? Thanks for listening
That's exactly why I now only play the game on price - period. I experienced that once and it just wasn't worth the headache (and quite frankly, 9 out of 10 times the points are at a higher hotel rate/ yes a decent value, like $10 for 2500 or 5,000 points but as your experience, and my one time spanking, show, you earn those points). Enjoy your upcoming trip and watch out for those pythons.
I have never had any problem with points showing up. I don't make a huge number of stays a year (usually just below the cut off for gold it seems), but my stays are always credited within a couple days. I've had bonus points show up perhaps as long as a week or ten days late, but they do end up in my account. Because my travels often take me to places were hotel choices are limited, I just look for a Marriott property near where I want to go. Most of the time, I can find one. If I'm on a leisure trip, I often tweak my travel route to end up at a FFI, CY, or SHS. Business trips never seem to take me far from multiple Marriott locations.
I pick the place, not the points and just take what I get. So far, they've always shown up (eventually).
Geez - I gotta tell you, painedplatinum, I feel better - I thought it was just me... Just as you said - it used to be clockwork, and then... Well, for example, I checked out of the JW Marriott in San Francisco a week ago Monday, and (with Tuesday, the following week, now minutes away), still no points.... Granted, I'm confident they're coming, but the process has definitely slowed down recently....
I've got a friend who's new to Marriott (normally a Hyatt person) via the Marriott/UA promo who recently stayed in Barcelona on 2 separate stays. Neither stay posted (we're talking from July) & now I have to listen to the this doesn't happen to me at Hyatt, which is probably valid. And he contacted Marriott re: both stays 11 days ago & STILL hasn't heard from Marriott nor had the points/nights credited to his account. Bit embarrassing for me since I was touting Marriott. I told him today to just call Marriott & get a supervisor on the phone to get it sorted.
I stayed two nights at a hotel over the summer that told me about a bonus points offer during check-in. (This hotel has said this to me before, and one previous time didn't post them at all, so I didn't think much of it.) I had the bonus points before I had even checked out.
That's a rather long-winded way of saying I'm sure it varies by hotel, and it does indeed seem manual based on my experience. I certainly would frown upon a hotel that didn't live up to what they offered. I haven't had too many instances to see whether it's normally problematic to get the points.
Perhaps Marriott corporate could offer a more automated way of doing this, linked in to the reservation system? Given they have a way of advertising the offer on the site already, they could link the bonus points to an offer code and let it happen with the regular crediting of the stay, or be listed under the Marriott Rewards offers as a selection that happens automatically?
PainedP - Don't mean to sound like a jerk but are you really getting worked up over a 3 day delay to post your points? I get the other issues when missed by 10+ days and you have to chase them down but come on. It sometimes takes 3-5 days for charges to my AMEX to show up.
BTW, a call to the Platinum line has always cleared up points issues for me, quickly and efficiently.
I'll let pained answer for himself, he's a big boy (although it may be awhile, I think he's in Brazil swimming in the Amazon fishing for piranha with his toes), but what caught my eye about his post was the fact that if things hadn't posted in the 72 hour window it was a good indication of an upcoming headache. I know that if I haven't received the e-folio in the promised 72 hours, at least one out of three cases requires me to call the property and spur them on (to yes, a successful conclusion, but it does become a 'pain').
When you call the Platinum line and they 'clear up your points issue' does that mean they post them to your account? Because if that is the case, like skiadcock says above, that removes a lot of the irritating legwork required to monitor the accurate posting and would be a good thing for all platinums to know. It also would eliminate the silly policy of "if you didn't have your points posted, contact (the inefficient property - my words) and have that same inefficient property (again, my words) help you solve the problem by faxing (???) your statement to Rewards etc etc.
Just to clarify what I said. If the points/stay/nights don't post I have to fax in the folio to get them posted manually by MRCS. Sometimes it takes 2 faxes to get it done, which is even more irritating. Usually on the 2nd call someone will say send it to my attention & then it gets done within about 48 hours. But again, it's taking up my valuable time to have to chase the points 1-2 times. There are also times when the points/stay/nights post, but the points are so far off. 100 points for a $1,000 stay, really? Come on. The one thing that does get posted right away with a simple phone call to MRCS (assuming the stay itself posted) is if I took the 500 points & the 500 points didn't post. I think they're so used to that, plus they can pull up the folio & see the rest of the points & no 500 points listed.
I had that problem once. I called CS about non-posting at a RI Airport in Jacksonville, FL. Then I called the RI. They were already on it since CS had already called them. The points were posted right away. I think they were done that day. No faxing. No problems to speak of other than the calls with the 2nd one being unneeded. (Oh, an a 3rd to the mgr. at RI for the rudeness of the clerk when I called who did nothing but argue with me and tell me she thought it usually took more than a week for them to post.) I wouldn't stay there again or recommend it.
I have had only 1 incident. At one property I ordered onion soup but received bean soup instead. When I called At Your Service, they appologized and offered points as compensation for the mistake, but the points never showed up on my account. Several stays later I asked at the front desk when checking in and was told, not only is it manual, but limited to only certain site personnel to enter, and that it was only done monthly at the site, but they would look into it. It did show up right after that stay.