Marriott now offers points or a $10 voucher to the lounge... really? A guest may have just flown on a long flight and was looking forward to the wine and cheese plate at midnight... but, now he has a voucher that he can't use because the bar is closed or he's checking out too early the next day...
Come on, Marriott! This is a complete bean-counter solution that I am sure did not go through elite vetting before it was implemented. Heck! It seems like that every time I check in the front desk personnel just snicker (carefully) that the voucher is a joke... LOL... they just bob their in agreement with the obvious "points" response.
I think it's time to go back to the drawing board sans bean counters.
What's your opinion?
I stayed at the Renaissance last weekend. As I was checking in, the front desk person said." you want the points instead of the $10.00 voucher",and then she smiled. I took the points and then they forgot to put them on my account. The points are now on my account after a phone call to the hotel.
have also had points not posted until a call, which then begs the question, as a plat, if there is a guaranteed arrival gift of $10 or 500 points and one gets neither, (and I have argued this point with CS - a/k/a Dr no way) CS posts the points and says we have lived up to guarantee, NOW THAT IS A JOKE. Hotel doesnt do its job, and CS says since they give me points after the fact that they met the guarantee, what a laugh. Marriott is turing into a joke for the false promises and withdrawal of many bennies that were once there and now gone
Greetings! thank you for reminding me how disappointing the new arrival gift is and how mad I am that Marriott actually sold this new program with a straight face. Honestly, I almost never chose an amenity other than the 'points', but I read on this site that many, many folks opted for the wine, beers, etc. No doubt about it, this was clearly a money-saving proposition.
So, what amenity(s) would we like re-instated as options?
I may be 100% wrong, but possibly one reason is that the arrival gift was replaced was how few took the gift. I can only comment on myself and the colleagues that I work with. Without exception, the eight "Marriott guys" that I travel with (not all together) always took the points - never the arrival gift. Just about the only time I took the arrival gift was when traveling with my wife. Now, that said, I will miss the arrival gift when traveling with my wife. She was ALWAYS impressed with it. So...Marriott...anyone listening...when you impress my wife or make her happy (or me look good) you are going a really good thing!!!
Ed French said the same about BOGOs ("few elites even knew about them" http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/61724#61724 ), Marriott said the same about the Gift Cheques, and CY had a similar attitude about the free coffee. That may well all be true, but three points stand out to me:
1) if so few used them, why concern yourself over the cost of keeping them (especially given the reactions previous similar moves had created)
2) few is a relative number, as has been mentioned before there are over 40 million rewards members, using a very conservative % we could probably safely calculate that at least 1% are platinums (400,000) doing however many stays a year provides a lot of chances to choose a wine/cheese plate (or whatever food/beverage item) even at only the occasional time
3) As you described with your wife - when the welcome amenity was desired (as has been written about in Insiders)
it often had a disproportionate favorable impact, thus removing it had a disproportionate negative impact
I'm in agreement that there should be a gift of some sort as an option, but I really think that it should NOT be an option for Plat members in that if we have put our butts in the bed for the points, why not give us some sort of wine and cheese or similar greeting. I always opt for the points because getting bar credit or a market item is not that big of a deal for me. However, additinal points to help me make the vacation with my lovely bride a bit better is much more appealing.
But then again, 400 points... hmmmm... If I check in 50 times a year that nets me 20,000 points for the year. OK... How big a deal is that vs. 50 bottles of water?
One of my "gigs" I stayed in a small chain on the west coast. After a few weeks, I starting arriving to find a small basket of snacks in my room when I checked in and a nice note welcoming me and thanking me for my stay... (hand written I might add...) Since I usually arrived there on Sunday night around 11pm, that was a very welcome gift. Didn't cost them an arm and a leg... Maybe a couple of bucks, but made me more likely to come back again.
This is pure and simple some bean counter sitting in front of his spreadsheet making decisions based on figures, but not facts. As a six-sigma black belt, I would love to see (and then tear apart) the statistical evidence submitted with this proposal. As the old statistician saying goes, "Tortured statistics will confess anything." I've deflated a few egos in meetings in my day because the statistics presented did not represent the true measure and were skewed to favor the proposal. In a room full of "yes men" I turned to the company president and made a comment that probably saved the company from certain bankruptcy (a competitor went with the plan and was out of business in a year.)
Anyway, enough of my chest pounding....
I say it should be based on the number of nights for the past 12 months rolling and if you have enough, you get BOTH the bonus points AND the wine and cheese (or similar.)
OH... and as lakersfan said... HELP ME IMPRESS MY WIFE!!!
Give us an option rather than just simply taking the arrival gift away. My wife was actually stunned when we checked into a Renaissance last Friday when nothing showed up in the room after a few hours, she like many wives was curious where the wine and cheese were. Guess this was her first stay at a FS Marriott or Renaissance since the new policy started. And they wonder why I only have 19 nights this year total!