Has anyone ever received the compensation for not receiving an arrival gift (points/amenity)? I assume the $100 compensation is meant to give managers of a hotel an incentive to ensure that their front desk staff treat Marriott's frequent travelers in a consistently high regard. But the terms of this "guarantee" only guarantee it does not need to be paid, and the managers quote the rules to escape it. Here is what the Marriott Rewards site says:
Guaranteed Platinum Arrival Gift
Get more when you check in. As a Platinum member, you’ll receive a special gift upon arrival at all participating hotels, offering you a choice of an amenity gift or bonus points. (Amenity gift not available at The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION and Marriott Vacation Club locations.) If guarantee is not met, guest compensation applies.
However, the specific terms and conditions page phrases it differently and has two conflicting statements that amount to this: A guest must ask for compensation regarding the arrival gift before they leave, but will not know if they were credited for the arrival gift points until after they leave.
With those terms, I don't see how any guest can ever receive cash compensation for a missed arrival gift. This situation has now happened to me twice this year; both times the manager of the hotel has claimed 1) the front desk recognized my Rewards status and simply "forgot" to credit the points or 2) the points had to be manually entered because it was an MVC property. But the guarantee is that I will get the gift points (or amenity if applicable) upon arrival--that did not happen. But they quoted rule 2 to say I wasn't eligible.
So has anyone ever gotten the "guarantee" compensation, or is it simply there to puff up the program?
I never asked for compensation, but sometimes arrival points were not credited and the only explanation that I got form the hotel manager is : you will not receive Arrival Gift Point because a small bottle of water was placed in your room as an Arrival gift. So, now I always ask for those points when I check in. Usually hotels are pretty good dealing with Arrival points.
Wow, no way is that bottle of water small or otherwise an arrival gift. That's ridiculous. I always ask for points and only one time did I not get the points. Called the GM at the hotel and was awarded double points for their neglect. Some properties even award points and a bag of gifts to elite patrons.
Marriott games this so you never get the $100, so its not a guarantee, its a falsehood, and that is why I started to stay at other chains, as honesty, a clean room, a welcome smile and good service seem to be optional at Marriotts and related franchise properties they "manage"
I have received the compensation 1 time, this past Fall. It was not easy, and had to be escalated to Customer Care by Merb several times.
The scenario at the hotel was: I checked in via the new Marriott App and when I arrived at the hotel my keys were ready, and I was handed them and away to the room I went. About 30 minutes later I realized I hadn't been given a choice of Arrival Gift. When I went down to check out the restaurant menu I stopped by the front desk to ask about it. They very quickly stated that I had been given points. I politely pointed out that I have a choice of a gift and I was wanting to use by F&B gift in the restaurant to offset my meal cost. They again said, but everyone chooses points now and we gave you points. I didn't feel like arguing after a long day so I just said thanks and walked away. Well, the next morning when I went to check out I asked to speak to a manager regarding the lack of F&B amenity/choice and I was told a manager wouldn't be available for about 30 minutes (and could I wait). It was almosty 8:00AM and I had to get to an appointment. They handed me a biz card for the front desk manager and was asked to write in regarding the issue.
I emailed that very night, from another Marriott property, and explained the situation. At first the manager was very apologetic and I was told that accounting would contact me regarding the PAG compensation. About 2 weeks go by and I hadn't heard anything, so I politely wrote back a couple of times requesting a status update. I finally get a response back from the original manager stating that since I didn't tell them about it at the hotel that I wasn't eligible for compensation (as per your fine print discussion above). At this point I was absolutely seeing RED and had to calmly write a response. I re-explained that I had no opportunity to speak to someone since there was no manager on duty and I was asked to respond via email by the front desk associate. I also asked for the General Managers information so I could contact him/her directly since I was obviously not getting anywhere with her. It took another week before the GM finally contacted me. (No doubt Merb's assistance and Customer Care prodding helped this). The GM was mortified of how I was treated and could not apologize more. So not only did I finally get the compensation check, I also receive a substantial amount of points directly from the hotel for all of the trouble I had to go through.
All-in-all it took almost a month to finally get the phone call from the GM. This is totally unacceptable. Once he was finally involved, things went very smoothly. Marriott should happily honor their own policy and not train their management in how to side-step good customer service. I think another key here is, don't take no for an answer the first time. Ask to escalate it to the highest level at the hotel, or go to customer care for assistance.
I have not included the hotel's name or location since the GM really did go above and beyond trying to fix the issue once he was finally involved.
First of all, I totally agree that the fine print allows Marriott to avoid the $100 guarantee in virtually every single situation. So, for them to promote this 'guarantee' is an affront on our intelligence and they should simply drop the guarantee. period. That said, I have earned, and received, the $100 guarantee 4 times this year. Twice at the Stamford Marriott, Once at the Renaissance Times Square, and once at the Renaissance Hotel 57 in nyc. There was varying degrees of difficulty in getting the property to honor the guarantee, but each of them made it clear I would not be able to get the award again. Simply put, the small print says you must make the claim to the award during your stay, but the property can simply say it is in process, or even say oops, we fixed it and move on. Basicallly, it's a joke.
Would you please expand a bit regarding the 'guarantee' ? Were you 4 for 4, or did other properties outright turn you down, (and if so, how)? Did the $100 hinge on the fact that they didn't ask (a yes/no scenario) or that they didn't post (like you state - very easy for them to weasel out of by just stating that they did, and then posting the points)?
When during the stay did you inform the property they didn't follow the procedure and therefore owed you the $100 guarantee (did you feel it impacted your stay or room selection)?
And perhaps most importantly, how did you initiate the request for the $100?
I have had several check ins where no one asked anything, some where I just eventually said, "please post my check in points" but in 3 out of 5 (where I was distracted and therefore didn't bring it up) they did post the points ( learned upon my return - so it was too late for guarantee, which was fine since I got the points, but I did have to call and get my points posted on the other two, which was an irritant). Your insights will be helpful in me deciding whether I should invest the additional effort in the future. Thanks
I only approached the gm of each property AFTER my stay was completed and I was away from the property. In each case, i was informed that future requests would fall all deaf ears, but each of the properties honored the guarantee. simply put, how can the guarantee have any teeth if you must inform the property while still there that the execution of the guarantee was not achieved and the guaranteed gift should be given. It is too simple for the property to fix their error and go on. It's my opinion that the gm's are told to do all they can to squelch any requests, but give in if the party continues relentlessly pushing for the $100.
I have received it one time and it was at a hotel near the Orlando airport. When I checked in their was a young woman who was a trainee checking me in. She did not ask me if I wanted points or at that time the amenity. When I got to my room, I realized she hadn't done that so I looked at the policy and noted that it said I must resolve it before I checked out. When I went down to check out the next morning, I told the person at the desk what happened, and the manager came over and had me fill out a form and handed me a $100 bill. I promptly gave it back to the manager and said, please give this to the young woman who checked me in. (I work with college students all day long, and wanted to help this young woman remember in a positive way to ask folks their preference. I also wonder if they in someway get docked for not asking) The manager was stunned. (It was a great feeling). I don't know if the young woman ever got the money, but it was fun to see the look on the faces of the manager and the staff person working, and I bet neither one of them will ever forget to ask again.
However, this past weekend, I stayed at the JW in Grand Rapids, and when I checked in I was not given the option or asked which I preferred. So again (because I know some of these policies have changed) I checked them again before talking with someone at the front desk when I checked out. When I told them I had not been asked, the young woman at the desk told me I had been given the points, but did I want the voucher. I told her no, I am leaving the hotel what good is the voucher going to do me? It seems to me I should have received the $100, but all they have to do is say your points have been credited and they are off the hook. What they don't know is I would have done the exact same thing I had done earlier, and they would have had a teachable moment there as well.
I do think they make it almost impossible to actually get this guarantee as was noted because all they have to do is tell you the points were added.....
"I promptly gave it back"
not only a very likable action because it is so nice
(and yes, maybe the employee gets "docked")
but I like the idea of shocking/unsettling their day-by-day-routine
(although I would have tried to verify if the young women ever really got the $100)
I received a check for $100 once a few years ago. Every other time I just check my account and if I haven't been credited the points, I just send an email and they add them.
I think today, getting the money would be almost impossible because as it's been noted, they can just add the points and they are off the hook.
Again, you cannot go by whether points were credit, but instead by whether they were OFFERED. If the hotel did not offer points or the amenity, you can invoke the guarantee for the $100 credit as long as you do so PRIOR to checking out. If the hotel DOES offer the points, but the points are never credited, the guarantee is fulfilled.