I'm noticing that Courtyard and Residence Inn reservations increasing require a two-night cancellation notice, rather than 6 p.m. on the night of the reservation. The late cancellation fee is the room fee. Is this a property-specific policy now or is it through all Marriott properties?
Whereas it's not yet a corporate wide implementation of all properties, I too have seen more and more movement that way (including the 4:00 pm same day instead of 6 pm). I share your concern that more and more properties are moving to the 1 and 2 day cancellation policy (NYC almost always). I noticed on the Marriott.com pricing grid that Marriott recently changed Rate Rules (which is next to Room Details) format to a more uniformed description (in gray) for some bookings, that's also when I started seeing more of the longer cancellation terms.
A reminder - when it says 1 day before, they mean 6 pm the day before (not midnight). Yes, you can have the charged removed most times by calling the elite line, but to avoid the risk and the headache, cancel before 6 pm.
Also, if you're not booking on Marriott, be sure to check the real-time (esp outside the US) deadline for cancellation. I absolutely loathe these cancellation fees that are not 6PM day of arrival, especially if you are flying from the States. Because our airlines do not always do that great a job of getting us to a transatlantic destination by the next day, it can mean a huge loss of money. Marriott is better than most, though the Grand Flora has a 3-day out policy. Fortunately, once when my father was taken to the hospital and I had to cancel, they were very kind (I had been a frequent guest) and did not impose the fee.
But this is a real pet peeve of mine since we cannot control the airlines.
One of the reasons I stayed with Marriott so long even when it became inconvenient because of lack of or distance of properties in Europe and the Middle East (there are none in Greece anymore), was because of the flexibility of its check-in time before cancellation. It is increasingly likely whether through weather (ha, my pun) or airlines' own problems (which may or may not actually be caused by weather) that we will not make our destination when planned. I try to go for the property I want to stay at (usually not Marriott since I'm out of the US -- the Marriott Venice Courtyard being the exception with its rules) first then check the cancellation/penalty fees.
Burn me once, shame on you; burn me twice shame on me.
Try booking at the government rate at the Washington Marriott Georgetown. They have a 60, yes, 60 day cancellation policy. If you fail to cancel within 60 days, you pay for first night. I cancelled a mere 29 days in advance!
Granted, at the bottom of the page it does say 60 days -- but how many of us actually read that, when it is ALWAYS same day or day before?
I have nearly 1500 Marriott nights. The longest I had ever seen was at resorts, where it is sometimes 3 or 4 days in advance.
But 60 days??? Let me tell you, the Washington Marriott Georgetown ain't that special!
I called the Platinum Premier phone number, and they called the hotel, which said, sorry -- pay up. So I talked to Marriott customer care -- who promised to raise the issue with the hotel again, and let me know within five business days.
This is outrageous! And it is a deal breaker for me! If they don't make this right -- I'm done.
So -- if you are booking the Washington Marriott Georgetown -- be VERY, VERY CAREFUL!
Just checked -- the 60 days applies to all room rates at the Washington Marriott Georgetown -- not just the government rate. And they want the first night's deposit in advance for all rooms. I've stayed at some fleabag hotels where they require advance payment -- but never at a Marriott property.
Government rates when I was traveling for business were always able to be cancelled at Marriott properties until 6 PM on the day of arrival without any penalty. We would many times get wind of a trip 30 days out for a two week stay and then a few days before the trip often it would change so we'd cancel the rooms with no issue. Same for airline tickets as we were required to purchase fully refundable high price tickets so they could be changed or cancelled without penalty.
FYI-------Just checked the Georgetown hotel in question for June 16, 2014, all three government rates show you are able to cancel up until 6 PM on June 16th with no penalty or cancellation fee as long as you cancel by that time, otherwise yes there is a fee.
I've got a Labor Day room there, just checked due to your warning, and thank goodness it's a 6 pm day of, cancellation.
Marriott is giving these rooms away (figuratively speaking) with all types of promotions (Tax Day being one of them).
It sounds to me that you got hosed somehow. I'm a big advocate of "protect yourself at all times" in dealing with Marriott, but this situation seems extremely misleading, if not outright deceptive.
Try some polite persistence in appealing to their hopeful logic and good business sense. Best of luck, thanks for the heads up.
I didn't realise this might be happening. As I no longer travel for business, I have been fortunate in that the reservations I make are for leisure, and I haven't had to cancel for a long time. But it is very much worth bearing in mind that the cancellation period may not be what I have been used to.
I do know of a couple of Marriotts in the UK that sometimes require a non refundable hefty deposit of up to 50% of the whole booking in advance, but it doesn't happen very often and is always because of a large event in the area. I can understand that. Also in the UK, there is usually also the option of paying on booking for the whole reservation in advance at a cheaper rate, but we can still book on the normal terms and cancel on the day. I don't know if this happens in the US or is a "UK thing".
I have 3 reservations here in the UK for different months this year, and have just checked them. Fortunately they are all saying I can cancel up to 4pm on the arrival day. But thanks a lot for raising what you have experienced, as I will doubly check in future.
I do wish a brand - any brand, not just Marriott - had a consistent policy across all its properties.
Its something I've noticed more as well. Also I see more and more the "lowest price" is only for a single night when searching then the rest of the week changes to other rates, sometimes nightly. I also see more prepaid rates popping up on trips. I guess folks really need to be more aware of what they are doing when booking online. It would be nice if Marriott could somehow highlight these variations as part of the booking process. Perhaps bold red type for cancellation, variable rates or prepay status.
The times they are a changin as they say, hopefully slowly enough we can adapt and adjust to them.
Update on the 60-day cancellation policy at Washington Marriott Georgetown. After contacting the Platinum Premier number about getting charged when I was canceling 29 days in advance, I just got a message stating I would NOT be charged a cancellation fee of one night's rate.