I've noticed something lately at Marriott. I am a platinum member and a top contributor for Trip Advisors. For a middle class midwest girl, I travel for both pleasure and business a lot (at least once a month). I think I was treated more like a member of the family before I reached top status. Here's what I mean. When I was silver, I was greeted by my name and thanked for being a elite member. When I hit my gold status I was congratulated and upgraded to the best suite in the house. Now I am platinum. I get nothing!! Well, not nothing. I did get a room with a view after asking for it. But I no longer seem to have a personal greeting. I have not once been acknowledged for my newest status much less thanked. What happened to being special? I believed that my Marriott status was proof of my loyalty. Thus the name "loyalty program." I can just as easily spend my money across the street at Hilton and build my Hilton brand loyalty up again since I let it slide to stay with Marriott. I am not a member of a loyalty club because I am the pushy one; the person who calls for the manager and insists on perks. I'm the one who calls ahead for reservations and shows up! My credit card (Marriott Rewards) shows their name over mine. I spend my money at Marriott. But if I don't start getting simple "Thank You Ms Hardin for being a Platinum member. Your continued patronage is the reason we stay in business." If I wanted to treated just like everyone else, I could (God forbid you tell anyone I said this) go to Holiday Inn. I've worked hard staying loyal to Marriott so that I could achieve Platinum. Now that I'm there, they are taking away my incentive! Thank you for letting me vent. I feel better. Where is Mr. Rogers when I need him? Hilton?
Dear JHardin: you are feeling and experiencing what has been discussed on this board by many of the long time loyal marriott members. In the last 3 years, there has been a sea change at Marriott and the focus is not seemingly on the loyal Platinum, life Platinum or anyone who spends lots of nights in Marriott properties. Marriott seems to think they can ignore the loyalists and we will be lemmings and jump off the cliff to stay with them. I have been diverting my hotel stays to starwood, since Marriott ignores every entreaty made. I dont get thanked for my patronage at Marriott properties, and I havent been for about 3 years. Upgrades - seldom to never. Marriott seems to be focused on the Millenials and is directing the properties to focus on that demographic as well and their transient loyalty and fickle stay habits. I am not a Millenial, but many work for me, so I have been re directing my own substantial spend and since they (the millenials) work for me, I direct the spend they make, so Marriotts strategy is a double loss for them (ten of thousands of $$$$). All I can say is aside from Marriotts footprint, the redeeming feature they once offered is not there for me anymore, so I stay at a Marriott when its convenient, and not to build nights or points. You can make your own decison, but you are seeing and experiencing what many of us have, and it saddens me to see a once great company and its loyalty program become so compromised by a shift in attention and marketing strategy that it lost its way.
I really have to agree with you and stelzer001 once gain has a spot on post.
My nights have diminished from over 75 a year for over a decade down to a combined total with roll over nights and credit card night to a grand total of 21 this year, yet only 13 in their hotels. Not one message from Marriott as to why so few nights this year and I don't expect one either.
I've been treated very good by Marriott in the long term however; the benefits of being loyal and the good treatment has certainly been lacking in a number of areas not just room upgrades. Customer Service at some places is a thing of the past, a warm greeting and a thanks for being loyal to Marriott is non-existent. In fact our last stay in Chicago, the front desk associated didn't even say thanks for being Platinum, but the bartender made a nice comment later that evening when we stopped in for a glass of wine before heading to the room. That was a first, maybe the GM should take some of the bartenders attitude to the other associates in the hotel?
Being a Lifetime Platinum I have no real need to be loyal to this chain, but since I have many points to use I will continue to stay at their hotels when it fits our travel plans only paying for a night here and there if that much.