Over many, many years, I have always had great experiences booking through Marriot online, staying at the hotel, and receiving my points (only once having to produce a bill for an absent credit). Recently, I had the misfortune of finding out earlier than usual that I would have to make a trip. I say, "misfortune" , because I unknowingly booked an advanced non-refundable room. I learned after I had cancelled with plenty of notice for Marriot to sell that room to someone else (more than 24 hours), my credit card was still charged.
I had no issue with this, because I certainly should have paid more attention when I booked my room online. Lesson learned for next time.
However, I did notice, though I was charged something like $275 for not staying at the Stamford Marriot Downtown, I also did not receive any Marriot rewards points for the privilege of donating to my favorite hotel chain.
When I called Marriot Rewards, the representative said I did not show "Loyalty" by not staying in the room.
That reasoning struck me odd...As a business owner, I would say any customer who pays me for doing absolutely nothing is pretty darn Loyal.
Just my take...but I think Marriot should reconsider it's definition of Loyalty and award points for non-refundable stays.
I was meant to go to NY for my Christmas shop this year but there was a family crisis - my family know the rules that once the wheels leave the runway I am no longer available on an emergency basis as it would take a long while to get back. However, said crisis occurred prior to even booking the flight (I am a bit last minute). However, I cancelled my JWM with no problem and no cost but, had I paid, I would be rather upset that they questioned my loyalty simply because I could not stay due to me prioritising a family issue.
Thanks paulaw, sorry to hear about your family crisis, but good to hear I am not alone in thinking that the cancelled non-refundable policy doesn't make sense. The Marriot representative made me feel as though what I was suggesting was absurd. I would think just as matter of good customer relations, it is probably not a great approach to ever insinuate a Platinum Member was acting anything but loyal. But I remain very loyal to Marriot even without any remedy to my grievance.
Well Bob, as we know, sometimes human error is responsible for giving a wrong impression. We know for a fact Marriott respect our loyalty and this type of feedback informs them of the detail that would have gone unnoticed before the internet so..we'll watch this space re. the rewards scheme. Like I said before, travel and leisure is always evolving.
p.s. Give Bob his points - or should I start a petition? xx
The episode got me to wondering, what if I had not cancelled and instead would have used my Marriot phone app to do a virtual check in? Would it have been the case that Marriot would be out a room for sale (though having been paid for it through my booking) and I would have been the benefactor of rewards activity, instead of the opposite occurring?
just my 2 cents which is worth about 1/1000000000000th of a cent if that, the rules regarding earning points for stays do specifically say the rewards member must stay in the room in order to receive the points. However, with that said, I have to go by my own personal experiences (and I say this in a whisper lest someone reading decides to change my fate of points earnings) and any time I have reserved a room, I have received points whether or not I am present. This may be good fortune on my part, but It has definitely been good fortune as sometimes I book two rooms in a hotel for family members travelling with me and always have received points for both reservations. I do believe in this case, no matter what has happened to anyone else that this CS representative took a bad road with his approach to your inquiry and should most definitely have handled it better. If you know the name of the person with whom you spoke (always get the name) then I would call the Plat line and report them as being rude with their comments. I don't think Marriott wants anyone who represents them to speak ill of customers.
sorry for your situation Bob and I hope there is a solution as to where it will not happen again in the future.
I can definitely relate to your experience. I made a similar mistake of booking a non-refundable room a few months ago. At that time, the website would show the cheapest available room, but there was no clear indication that it was a pre-paid non-refundable rate. The only way I learned this was when I received the confirmation email a day later. When I received the email, I immediately called the Platinum desk to explain the situation and request it be cancelled. Since I called 25 hr. after making the reservation (and it had to be cancelled within 24 hr.), the custome 'advocate' refused my request because the reservation could now only be cancelled by the specific property. Fortunately, the property allowed me to cancel the reservation.
I'm not sure whether changes have been made to the website since then, but I now always read the cancellation policy fine print prior to completing the reservation.
I also agree that you should at least get the points.
Thanks SuperChief. Actually, my motivation in posting was to illustrate what I think is common but flawed policy in rewards programs, not to try to get the points for myself. If I started the RFSmith hotel chain to compete with JWMarriot, I would have a rewards program that was a win-win when the customer stayed at my hotel. But when unforeseen circumstances come in to play and my hotel receives a windfall (a customer cancelling a prepaid room), I would not double punish the guest. Indeed, because this is all profit for me if I can resell the room, or it is unusually high profit margin for me if the room is paid for but not used (no cleaning needed), then I would look to offer a premium reward to my booked guest who had some unfortunate event occur. Perhaps I would offer double or triple the reward since my margins are best in this event.
The double of tripling of the reward may also encourage some odd behavior as frequent guests are looking to qualify for higher levels of my fictitious rewards program as the end of the year approaches. I could imagine a small number of persons booking with no intention of staying (which is just fine with me) just to get to the next level. Perhaps the rewards would be triple if you cancel 24 or more hours before the stay and only double day of.
Anyway, you see I think of this as an opportunity for differentiation rather than an individual case issue to be resolved. But I do appreciate your support in the matter.
Okay, now let me get this straight. I can buy Marriott Rewards points at $12.50 per 1000 points, for which obviously I have no stay of record, but if I spend $275 on a non-refundable reservation and have to cancel (knowing the money's down the drain), I receive zero points. Who's showing more loyalty--the online points purchaser or the person who made reservations, believing at the time the reservation was made he or she would be staying at the property?
You hit the nail on the head on this one foxglove. Definitely not a case of disloyalty on the MR member. Needs to be fixed.
Hope you get some resolution on this. IMO you showed no disloyalty to Marriott. I've been in business situations when I had an emergency in another city, kept my current room, stayed at a Marriott at a new location for two nights. Returned to my original hotel for a week and got points for all nights. Everybody wins like your situation should be.
I agree that the best result (really a win-win for customer and for Marriott) is for the points and, I would argue, a night stay, to be awarded to the customer. But I doubt it was just a bad decision by an individual Marriott agent. I suspect it is more or less of an industry standard that you have to actually stay the night, or take the flight, in order to be credited with the points or miles.
If it is the industry standard, I would argue in favor of changing it. Normally, (in the hotel context but not in the airfare context) you can just cancel your reservation and avoid the charge. But now that these non-refundable room rates are popping up, it is quite predictable that people will find themselves in this position with increasing frequency. The most cogent argument yet was from the person who said, since we can buy points for cash, why can't the forfeited room charge be considered as akin to buying the points in question?
Perhaps airlines should do the same: award miles for non-refundable tickets purchased whether they're used or not. Instead, no mileage credit, no segment credit either. Just, "Too bad, so sad, you agreed to the terms and conditions when you clicked 'purchase.' Pthhhh." And that really was the customer support agent's attitude.
Well, "Pthhhh to you too, Alaska Airlines." (And all airlines who practice this policy, which is indeed - all airlines.)
Amtrak gives refunds for cancellations and doesn't charge change fees ...
Sorry to make a comment that's slightly off track, but it is overall related...
And Madmax nailed it regarding the C/S rep taking a bad path. It really does add the proverbial insult to injury.
"Amtrak gives refunds for cancellations and doesn't charge change fees ..."
SWA has a similar policy. maybe a couple of other airlines also.
Thanks, Nuhusker. I think you've catalyzed an epiphany for me. I need to stop trying to play the loyalty game with the airlines and start going with the cheapest, most convenient flights regardless of airline. Flying once about every three weeks isn't going to get me anything with anybody.
I agree with everyone else. I think you should at least get your points, even if they won't credit you with a night's stay. I think the "did not show loyalty" comment was way out of line. I would try again with another CS rep, and if you come across someone who speaks to you like that again, I would ask for their employee number, and that you'd like the number for submitting complaints. We shouldn't have to deal with disrespect, on top of things happening to us that may be out of our control.
I agree wholeheartedly with you misterchk. It's the only logical solution!
I have visited this thread a couple of times in the last 24 hours hoping against hope, maybe that someone representing Marriott would chime in and assure ntier that this situation was poorly handled and does not reflect how Marriott wants to treat any Guest. Common courtesy was not extended here. It would be such a small gesture to give points here. It is insulting and unprofessional that they were not.
77paris. I agree completely. Marriott could learn a few lessons from Amtrak. An AGR representative is very active on flyer talk and has offered help several times in similar situations. I have an upcoming trip in April which involves travel on a train that has been experiencing frequent delays and have already been contacted regarding potential options to assure a good trip.
Thank you all for wishing that I receive points for this event. However, I am not looking for points. The rules are the rules and I can abide. My purpose in posing the issue to begin with was to have Marriot consider whether the policy makes sense, not to be rewarded outside of their existing policies.
Fair enough. Still, the rule does seem ridiculous. If you payed for a room, clearly the hotel could not rent it out, and what's fair is fair. It was your room for the night even though you didn't use it. Why on earth ( as my mom used to say) would you not receive points, as well as a stay???? Confounding. I think all of us would like to hear marriott's explanation as to why the policy is as it is…..
The debate has been pretty good and does highlight a particular issue to Arne et al, which is always welcomed I'm sure. The problem they have in my opinion is that as with any business decisions made by humans, they are going to differ regardless of any blanket rule so, the way I see it, putting my business head on I'd say earning money for neither a) a stay or b) points accrual is profitable but my long-term thumb-my-nose swipe at those that do not think customer service is something they need to supply would be to give the points to you Platinum people - I am not one, but have no problem with you being rewarded a little more than me as your loyalty is translated into profit more than mine. If that is by the luck of having more money than me I care not a jot - your loyalty is at the end of the day, earning Marriott more than I can.
Controversial.....but I like to throw in a curve ball now and then.
ntier - thanks for your message. I'm still awaiting some specifics to better speak to the situation but I conceptually I understand where you're coming from. While the program terms and/or processes are set as outlined, they are periodically reviewed and we'll make sure this point is raised for consideration. And let me clarify that your loyalty is clearly NOT in question as a Platinum Elite member!!
glad to see you received a response ntier and thanks for bringing up the subject so it can be reviewed. That is what we like to see on this board, anything that might make the program better as we enjoy the perks it already provides.
ntier - Glad you got some initial clarification of your situation. Please keep us apprised of any new developments.
Glad to hear they are listening after nearly four decades in business I found four major focus areas. Myself, my company , my customers and my employees. It was pretty simple to me if you take care of your employees and your customers in general you and your company will also do well.
Here's one for you. A looooong thread on Flyertalk about this experience-not mine.
A Marriott Plat member made an award reservation. 25k points/night. They canceled after the deadline. They were not able to use 25k points to pay the one night penalty-as was the currency he was going to use. He was charged $359.00. In all fairness, this was in the T's and C's, but shouldn't the penalty be in points if you are using points? The property only gains in all of these circumstances.
This past Sunday, we needed an EARLY check in in San Diego. So, we reserved Saturday Night. I called TWICE to make sure they new our arrival approx. 7-8am on Sunday. Property was fine. We show up. Reservation canceled. Charged no show penalty. Upgraded room that showed on our reservation now unavailable. Fortunately, I knew who we spoke with. They reinstated and cleaned a room quick. I was really aggravated. about that situation.