I never feel really qualified to vote in this one because I mostly use United and Marriott so obviously I have a much better experience with them since I have status versus my trips/stays with Southwest, Alaska, Delta, SPG, and Hilton. Regardless of the loss of that benefit, I definitely prefer Marriott over United (not even close).
I made my vote for Marriott in multiple categories. On the site, it actually shows you what the promotion is by hotel brand and I think Marriott has the best one because the reward is good and you know you are going to have mega bonus promotions in spring, summer and fall.
I did vote for Alaska airlines for best airline customer service because I think it is better than the airline I use most (united).
Although I will participate in the airline frequent flyer program voting, I have decided to not vote in the hotel rewards category this year.
For me to vote for the Marriott Rewards program while it continues to erode benefits and award value, eliminate programs and benefits which I both used and enjoyed, and ignore feedback on this site from its most frequent customers would just result in Marriott delivering "more of the same". Why wouldn't they? Their ill-advised program changes still didn't stop them from winning a Freddy.
Perhaps if they DON'T win, they'll open their eyes and ears to customer feedback and return Marriott Rewards to the customer-focused program it once was.
It is often said that "Silence give consent". Those who have followed my posts here at Insiders know I have definitely NOT been silent about my disappointments with what Marriott Rewards has become.
For those who are as frustrated as I am by the elimination of the Platinum Arrival Gift; elimination of the E95 award;
lack of choice about Megabonus offers - to name just a very few of the unfortunate changes Marriott Rewards has jammed down our throats - I encourage you to think carefully before casting a vote for Marriott Rewards - a program which, in my opinion is a far cry from what an award-winning hotel loyalty program should be.
I will not vote for Marriott Rewards in the 2014 Freddy Awards vote, because, quite simply, I don't feel they have earned my vote.
I agree with you, and will not be voting for the hotel chain I've given years and years worth of business both my own and many groups and individuals. My frustration really stems from the silence on Marriott's part with regard to the E95 award. I got a "copy and paste" answer about the cheques going away....but they simply never answer the rest of the question which is what are you replacing it with. The answer is obviously nothing.
I am using up my points this year, and moving over to Hilton with a match in status, and will for the first time in almost 20 years look to spend my money and my recommendations for hotels somewhere else. It is sad really that there is simply no real response on this forum to this issue.
Also, I am not sure why they bury the links to insiders so far into the website that you have to really search to find it. I guess if you can't find it, you can't post either good or bad. I work in customer service and have for years, and if I simply ignored my most valued customers, I'd be out of a job.
Thanks for your post, and maybe someday someone will take over at Marriott who listens to the long timers.
Thanks Hopetix - glad to read I'm not the only one.
Yeah, you make a good point about finding the link on my Marriott Rewards account page to get to the Insiders. It used to be available at the bottom of the Marriott.com landing page, and links in various places on My Account. Putting that link on the little "Account Overview" screens of those of us who have signed up for Insiders would be really very convenient. I'm hopeful that the Marriott Marketing folks who monitor Insiders might pass that information to someone who would actually do something with the information.
I'm saving the energy used toward voting for the Freddies (voted several times in the past for Marriott) in hopes that someone else might win and some type of message of customer loyalty value awareness is absorbed by Marriott . Although, I still feel Marriott, for my purposes, is the best program among the "NFC East" of hotel loyalty programs, I'm hoping by someone knocking them off the perch that they so justly deserved for a decade, they'll readjust their (highly successful in financial terms) laser focus on new property growth, millennial niche marketing, and margin improvement and toss the loyalty program members a bone of acknowledgement.
To be clear, I'm no longer using intellectual energy arguing whether or not Marriott 'should' return their program to the heyday of benefits, (that battle was lost and decided long ago), but rather, I'm withholding my vote of support in 'hopes' a loss might redirect them ever so slightly, with a concern of a possible momentum shift (that the significant amount of defection written about in this forum and beyond has not influenced).
My current concern is the ongoing deterioration of the quantity (not the quality) of Insider participation, which to me is a significant benefit of the Rewards program. This very topic as recently as last year, had several threads exceeding 150 views and numerous replies, including
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/77952#77952 which approached 600 views.
The remaining Insiders who participate are terrific at providing insightful, effective tips on how to make the most of our travels - if they have experience in the topic. By depleting the numbers thru contests, reviews, tech snafus, and yes, hiding the Insiders link, we are experiencing more and more unanswered questions, like the recent post about scuba diving. This is not a demographic shift (meaning the aging of Insiders), I have several friends older than I who dive, several expertly. This is the result of fewer eyeballs (a recent post about a Marriott press release, generated 80 views on Insiders and over 1,000 on Flyertalk). Whereas both forums have significant contributions to be made, Insiders actually has the interaction with Marriott, a tremendous value if properly leveraged. Let's hope that the constant interruption of participant growth (not list growth, which perhaps has come at the expense of involvement) stops and we generate the flow of ideas as seen as recently as a year ago.
I commend you for the manner, tone and content of your posting.
You described my opinion as well in a way that I am incapable of.
Off topic, but want to post this.
P.S.: I was able to paste the url okay, but not the subject line of the e-mail message I got listing it that mentioned Jet Blue flights for as little as $55 until tomorrow. (Is that 2 / 26?)
I have never voted in the Freddie awards despite being a road warrior. One of the reasons is that I had been a loyal Marriott member for 20 years through 2013 but have always had "issues" with the program or perks (no guaranteed upgrades on points) and could not genuinely rank Marriott a 9 or even 10 with this thorn in the side.
More importantly, I do not vote Marriott as they are a sponsor of the Freddies and the only hotel chain represented (I see that as being skewed in favor - and lacks the independence I would expect). Granted, it costs a ton of money to put on the Freddies but I will bet winners pay licensing fees to "promote their standings" and that, to me, should be what drives revenue, not being a sponsor. See FREDDIES in case I am missing something.
I haven't voted in the Freddie Awards for the past two years. IMO, voting in the Freddies is becoming like voting in our elections. Who is the less evil candidate? The only difference is that my vote in Freddie's has little impact on my future, while political elections can result in more of my hard-earned money being wasted by the government.
Rather than trying to delight their customers to attract loyalty, Marriott and their competitors only care about how much they can get away with in eliminating benefits. We are now hostages to all of them.