I have been on somewhat of a personal mission to guage the front desk or even manager knowledge of the "ghost" status of Platinum Premier. I have been inquiring at Marriotts, Marriott Resorts, and Renaissance hotels that I have been recently staying at. All of these stays have been paid stays (no points). To date, at 5 differing properties I am 0 for 5 on any upgrades. Front desk personnel are 3 for 18 on knowing what Platinum Premier is. The 15 that didn;t know stated it is just another name for Platinum. If Marriott intended to have this "status" reflective of their top tier, they are missing the mark if their own employees don't know. What would be the purpose of the status ?
I'm curious what other Platinum Premiers are experiencing from a knowledge standpoint of the status. Are you also experiencing this "ghost" of a status from Marriott staff ?
To answer your question on Marriott staffers "knowledge" that the status of PP exists, it has been my personal experience that only those staffers who are truly guest/customer focus know and/or care that we exist; yet our status is listed on any reservations we make or contact we have with those working under the Marriott banner.
My take is that the economy is shifting upwards and that those persons who have enough commonsense "intelligence" to understand that those who have spent quite a bit of time and money with your business may have earned a little bit of your "best" have been promoted upwards out of these hotels. We then get to interact with the left behinds who just do not care.
To even make this more entertaining, I contacted the Platinum Premier line to ask how can Marriott employees find out about the PP status (where is there documentation that tells them). Interestingly, this also "baffled" the support line. They didn't know of any documentation or link they could point them to. They basically stated, we will pass this on to a supervisor and they will get back to you. No reply yet.
But our status pops up once they have our Marriott Rewards numbers.
Those who do not know the member tiers must not have paid attention during training or they intentionally are NOT concerned. In my experience those on the PP line have been totally fantastic! I even owe a Brian and a Blake a deeply felt compliment; but the hotel staffers have, just of late, been hit or miss. I think that "some" of these out in the field managers have the attitude that they already have our business and that attitude flows down to these desk staffers and such.
Marriott corporate leadership needs to pay attention and create course correction measures where needed.
Yes. And I've been told by reservations that we're supposed to be upgraded without even having to ask if they have the rooms available so they don't have to take that info down. I haven't seen that to be true, because sometimes when checking in, they say something like, "Well, reservations didn't ask for an upgrade.".
"Ghost" status is an excellent way to describe Platinum Premier, jmconleyjr. I always present my PP Card along with my Credit Card, but, invariably, I get an "we have your status on file here" as they push the card back to me. Not much recognition here! I find that too many of the front desk staff, even at full service Marriotts are rookies. Thus, it appears to be an entry level position for many Marriott franchises. If I don't receive an upgrade, I will ask for one and, depending on my mood, if I am not satisfied with the "upgrade," I will ask for a Manager who will still, at times, stone me with a "sorry, there are no upgrades available." Fortunately, many of my stays are with properties where I have stayed regularly for many many years and where I always get recognition as a Premier Member and the best upgrade possible.
You would "assume" that when the appointments of the rooms are selected and they see your status, you would be granted the available upgrade at that time, without you having to be requesting it. I have to say, I am a bit of a humble person and don't really like to put it out there that I Deserve or Demand the upgrades.
You are absolutely correct, debbiebrown. That's the way it should be. I don't particularly like to have to ask for an upgrade, but I either go into "role-play" mode or ask my wife to do it (ha ha). You really cannot assume anything. The worse thing you can do is walk away from the front desk and find out you have a sub-standard room and wish you had said something about an upgrade. Actually, it's not too late! Call the desk and tell them that your room is unacceptable and see what happens. Good luck and happy traveling.
I've done a similar experiment and found similar things. I've also been greeted with "thank you for being a platinum member" and now I say "no, look closer that says platinum premier and that takes an entirely different effort to achieve" Some acknowledge it and some don't. I also always ask now for upgrades, reminding them that is part of the perk of the status. I've had some success but also have had a few conversations with hotel management when I've been put into the smallest, loudest rooms. It's sorta like a never ending struggle to make things the way they should be for top tier folks. I suspect some of this has to do with the fact that almost NONE of the hotels we stay at are actually owned by Marriott. The very few that are, well those ones you almost always get a little more from the staff and rooms. I've also noticed that I get infinitely better perks traveling abroad with my plat prem status than I do in the US. In fact I can say that I've always got some type of upgrade, even if its just the concierge floor room from the standard (which abroad can be a vast improvement) but most times I'm given a nice suite or executive room with a bit more space.
I think you're right on here, zukracer. When there's a franchise involved, which is the majority of the time, the service you receive depends on how closely the "Marriott customer service model" is being followed. The problem arises when entry level employees are installed behind the front desk without proper training. I wonder if Marriott Corporate have Regional/Quality Control Associates who check-up on the Franchisees operations periodically. Also, it's interesting that you've found international properties seem to do a better job job recognizes plat perm status. Perhaps they have less of a turnover behind the front desk than the domestic franchises do.
I do agree that one shouldn't have to ask, especially if upgraded rooms are available. However, if one does ask, then (this is a generic comment) honey works better than vinegar.
I was chatting w/ some very customer service-oriented staff at a property I stay at annually. They try to accommodate elite upgrades as much as they can, although they will hold back some rooms or suites in case they can sell them. At minimum they try to make sure elites get on the exec level.
They mentioned two things to me:
a) the number of elites that check in on a daily basis can be quite high, so not everyone is going to get the super duper upgrade, especially if one checks in later in the day/evening. You (again the generic you) could be losing out to other elites that have higher status (if one is Gold, one might lose out to a Plat) or just lose out to the number of elites that checked in before you, or they can't accommodate that suite upgrade everyone wants because the stay is a multi-day stay & they don't want to potentially lose that revenue for multiple days.
b) The other is if you (again the generic you) do the DYKWIA thing or pull out your laptop or mobile phone & turn it to them and say, well you're still selling (ocean view, suite, city view, etc) & are snotty about it, they're less likely to do a great upgrade at that point.
I've read that before from several people on Insiders. Abroad, they give more upgrades and service better than in the states. I've found that when the places that hire foreign born people who came here recently, I also get better service.
There is a German born young woman who works at the RI NE in Columbia, SC who is really good at her job and knows what to do. Then there was the German born woman at the RI in Montgomery, AL who was really good when we first got there in 2010 but who left for a job with better money. An English man at HHI Marriott bent over backwards to give us perks. He was really nice the night we got there.
Exceptions have been with the Indian born men I've encountered here like at a CY in Columbia, SC off Bush River Rd. That was possibly because I was a woman, but it was also incompetency on his part. I've written about it before on this site, possibly as a CY review. That was a couple of years ago.
One instance of incompetency in the last year was when the Marriott hotel affiliate (RI or FFI) we were checking into using an E-certificate asked for my drivers license and copied it along with the E-cert. They were going to retain those on file, so I really protested. There was no reason for them to copy my DL for their records. The woman called the manager and he eventually tore it up. Other people checking in looked at me strangely, but I doubt that they would have wanted their DLs copied and on file anywhere.
Sorry, jmconleyjr, but you've unearthed what some might refer to as long-standing issue of significant frustration (for some)... Just to give you a taste:
You might also be interested in these thread:
I just made PP this year and I have to say, I have not felt any difference in the way I've been treated. I agree that one has to specifically ask for an upgrade. And that usually does the trick. However, I could be Gold and ask for an upgrade and probably get it as well. Obviously being recognized and getting an upgrade is a very inexact science.
I haven't noticed any difference in the upgrades from gold to platinum. In fact, I get upgraded at Loews or Hyatt more than I do at Marriott. I do have status at Hyatt, but no status at all at Loews although I am a member of the rewards program. But my client who sets up the bookings at Loews does have status. My client who books me at Hyatt also has status and I get CL access even though I'm only platinum at Hyatt and not diamond, so I guess it's because my client has VIP status. So Hyatt flags me as a VIP which, apparently, is a real thing in the hospitality industry. I do find that the later I show up and the shorter the stay the more likely the upgrade. Philosophy seems to be that by 10 - 11 pm if nobody's booked a suite, why not give it to the person checking in and staying only one night? I've gotten a couple of modest upgrades at RC, too. Once I got a nice ocean view with a balcony when I'd booked a garden view with no balcony, but that's because my family was hosting a wedding at the RC so my family hosting the event asked for us to get an upgrade (Amelia Island).
When You go to your profile page does it show you as "Platinum Premier"? Mine says "Platinum Elite" and I recently became Lifetime Platinum Elite. I wonder if my profile page will update to reflect "Lifetime Platinum Elite"
I have read on the forum that Platinum Premier is for the top 3% of Platinum Elite. How does Marriott Rewards measure that? Number of stays? Number of Points?
It is hit or miss on even if a property recognizes you as a platinum member of any variation. It just seems that if they are that inattentive at the front desk you often find lapses in other services (like housekeeping, property maintenance or dining). As if the franchise owner just wants to do the bare minimum to keep the Marriott.. whatever sign out front and to make no other investments in the brand.