5 Replies Latest reply: Sep 16, 2014 11:38 AM by valeriec RSS

Advice Wanted: How to Get a Feather Free Room? What I'm Doing Doesn't Work.

cjkatl Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

Any advice on how to get hotels to provide a feather free room? What this Platinum Premier is currently doing doesn't seem to always work. Here is my present MO:

  • My profile indicates feather free room requested.
  • There are notes on my file indicating I need a feather free room.
  • I've been told someone from Marriott reaches out to the hotels letting them know.
  • I call the hotel the day of the reservation and have the following conversation:
    • Me: (Insert desk clerk's name), can you please make sure the room is feather free.
    • Desk Clerk: It is noted.
    • Me: I understand that, but can YOU please double check, or ask a manager to double check."
    • DC: The housekeeping manager has noted it's done.
    • Me: I understand that, but I have the conversation several times a week with DC's who, like you, trust the HKM. IME, it often isn't done, as they are taking a HK's word, or just feeling the pillow and thinking incorrectly that it is foam. Please, please, please double check.
    • DC: OK, will do.
  • I ask again at check-in, often to the same desk clerk I spoke to on the phone.
    • DC: I did recheck your room. Enjoy your feather free room!
    • Me: Thank you!
    • Me on the phone from the room: The room isn't feather free.
    • DC: It should be. The HKM assured me. (Note, the claim this person checked personally is now forgotten.) Are you sure?
    • Me: According to the labels on the pillow and comforter, these are feather.
    • DC: We will take care of it immediately. (IMO, 45 minutes isn't immediate when all you want to do is get out of your suit and catch up on work, or when it's past midnight and you have to be up at six.)

Any suggestions on what more I can do? My allergy is severe, so it's not a question of making the best of the situation. I've gone to the ER over this before, once by ambulance, and travel with an Epi-Pen for this reason. I'd rather not have to use it!

 

Hotels invariably throw points or free nights at the situation, but that does nothing to solve the issue. Free stuff doesn't undo the lack of sleep or the extra time after a day in front of customers followed by two flights and a ride in a crowded van or dirty taxi.

 

This is a uniquely Marriott issue. It doesn't happen to me at Hilton, Starwood or Holiday Inn properties. They seem to be able to follow through on their feather free room promise. I don't have to even call those properties before showing up. Why is it such a problem with Marriott properties?

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA SpringHill Suites By Marriott SpringHill Suites Pinehurst Southern Pines
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA SpringHill Suites By Marriott SpringHill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront
  • Re: Advice Wanted: How to Get a Feather Free Room? What I'm Doing Doesn't Work.
    erc Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    cjkatl

     

    I have followed your quixotic quest to secure a safe sleeping environment for several years now. You have been seeking a reasonable outcome since at least April 2010 (that's four years folks of Platinum Premier revenue contributions being ignored!) when you posted in the first post listed in the More Like This column over to the right in orange in the lower case Feather Free Rooms to which three years later, I commented on your saintly customer service patience (and merb followed up with support).

     

    As you can see others, like tikoune faced the same issue (FEATHER FREE ROOM in caps) and The specified item was not found. dutifully looked into it, and as recently as this April, marriottbiztravelerfan (Feather Free Room Preferences Ignored) had the same issue, to which I suggested (apparently accurately) that this appears to be an issue beyond Marriott's capability.  I'll try not to bore everyone with the esoterics of service industry marketing research, but in general, companies that resolve problems effectively, actually increase their customer service rankings more than if they didn't even have the issue in the first place (known as The Recovery Paradox). This of course only holds if it's not a repetitive service issue and in cases (like cjkatl's) where they do not resolve the issue, it's a multiplying negative impact (Double Deviation). I have often written how IMO, Marriott is one of the best at resolving foul ups, so I am persuaded to think that this issue is a 'fail' due not to lack of awareness or even intent, but capability.

     

    Sadly, it seems to me the only advice I have is what you already know, it's time to go elsewhere, especially with it being such a material health issue (it's not like you're requesting a specific type of toiletries you prefer). Best wishes for a resolution worthy of your patience.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Advice Wanted: How to Get a Feather Free Room? What I'm Doing Doesn't Work.
      cjkatl Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for the reality check. Before posting on this issue again, I did notice the number of other people who had posted the same issue. The people who post must be a small percentage of those who actually have this failure.

       

      Unfortunately, Marriott works best for me in every other way, other than this. The biggest advantage is Marriott has more locations in more places I need to stay. It's gotta be cheaper for Marriott to get this right than to fork over points when this happens. I also post to TripAdvisor when this happens. I also post when good things happen at hotels. You would think the hotel wouldn't want the negative post and would take steps to prevent that from happening.

       

      Marriott did notify the hotels to make sure housekeepers know that "down" isn't just the opposite of "up" and that they shouldn't use the "feel test" to determine if the pillow is foam. Nonetheless, the staff has no impetus to make sure that the task is actually done correctly. Maybe offering a $10 bonus to the housekeeper if it's done correctly would work.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Advice Wanted: How to Get a Feather Free Room? What I'm Doing Doesn't Work.
    tommo781 Gold 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Funnily enough we have had the opposite problem.  Mrs Tommo cannot stand non feather pillows.  They don't mould properly apparently.  I do admit though, that this is a preference issue in our case, not due to an allergy which is a totally different and serious issue.

     

    But the point is, on our profile we have "extra feather pillows".  Last year in Edinburgh, we were told we had been upgraded.  (We were gold at the time.)  We had only returned to the hotel for one night on our way home, having stayed there for 3 nights 10 days before.  Having got ready for bed, we realised the pillows were rock hard polyester.  And I mean the hardest we have ever encountered.  So we rang down to get some feather ones, and were told we couldn't have them as we were in a feather free room!  We were also told in no uncertain terms that  we should be grateful as we had an upgraded room!  We spent a very uncomfortable night.

     

    The point is, why do any of us have these preferences on our profile if they are completely ignored?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Advice Wanted: How to Get a Feather Free Room? What I'm Doing Doesn't Work.
    peteruliano Silver 11 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I find this odd because my online rewards account I have noted as feather free and foam pillows and I always seem to get what I am asking for and I am not even a Silver Member. Maybe certain associates take in seriously and others just ignore. In fact for my upcoming reservation  they actually called me and said "I see you want smoke free but don't worry we are a smoke free building and as for feather free and foam pillows we will have them waiting for you.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Advice Wanted: How to Get a Feather Free Room? What I'm Doing Doesn't Work.
    valeriec Platinum 6 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've been traveling weekly for almost ten years and still, to this day, continue to experience the same issues with Marriott (and less so with SPG and Hilton, but it still happens). Have also tried calling ahead and asking at the front desk...can't find a proper solution and Marriott isn't offering anything more than points either.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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