From a thread in Flyertalk by a Marriott FTer: (not me, but I'm in total agreement with him):
"Has anyone noticed the new annoying popup that started on Marriott's site today - it wasn't like this yesterday. Yes, I know, small world problem, but as a frequent user to the Marriott site, don't enjoy having to click the blue box every single time a new page loads or I click a link / photo, etc. Too many clicks now to actually make a reservation, and studies show the more clicks the quicker they lose customers.
Every page you go to, a little message slides down in front of the room rates on a Marriott pillow and reservations and states:
"You're one click away from our best available rate"....Close Now & Continue in a small blue box that doesn't really make it easy to figure out how to close the pop-up.
Even with a pop-up blocker, it's not stopping it - it's kind of like one of those messages you see on other sites where it slides and says take a survey, or want to chat. This new message seems to replace the whole website survey thing Marriott had before that would always slide onto the site.
My biggest gripe with it is that I don't even understand the point of what they are trying to convey to me as the message. The top of the page already says best available rates, why add another message just to make your customers angry. It serves little to no value - at least normal pop ups generate ad revenue for businesses, but this does none of that."
So Marriott IT strikes again. Instead of keeping things that worked on the website & were the most user friendly, instead they add fluff, add clicks (this being the latest example) and just make the booking process & managing reservations worse.
MEGA annoying. What is Marriott doing? I first saw it was a few days ago and the worst part, it won't let me ignore it. I can't click on anything else unless I click on it or just wait till it times out and goes away.
Is Marriott trying to get rid of all of us? They want us to use the website and now most of us not only use it but prefer to do so. Marriott keeps making it a bigger pain all the time. I have found that at times if I want to check for several discounts at several hotels, I call reservations and let them check for me.
I agree that the more mouse clicks the more irritated I get and at times give up.
I don't particularly like the website and they seem to be making many tweaks, many of which are annoying.
However, the biggest thing I notice is the lack of functionality.
When you are booking more than one room, they assume there are the same number of people in each room. Just about every other hotel booking website lets you stipulate how many in EACH room.
The other thing is to do with rates. I have to do multiple searches, for the regular rate (with specials), the AAA rate, the corporate rate code, etc. Each time, the results are different. Why not tick off all the rates you qualify for and then have it search all in one?
I have a situation where I am putting the out laws up in a room at a Residence Inn, so I need a room for 3 and a room for two. Also, their plane (which I also am paying for) leaves late in the evening, so I need my room for one day more. I can't put names other than mine in the reservation, so if the hotel were for example to upgrade me, they wouldn't know which room to do it to. Not that I ever get upgrades in a RI.
One should be able to put it in their profile and have it search for you. The database is there, they could move forward with some more advanced functionality.
In the past I suggested that we start a thread with all of our suggestions for Marriott.com and have Marriott use us as a focus group. I think many would be willing to participate but was told NO. I suggested that we do the same thing with this site. Allow use to tell them what we like and what we don't and what would make it easier for us and again was told NO.
This website has some very interesting participants and the dialogue can be quite interesting. Fellow travelers do share valuable information and that's useful.
One would expect that Marriott hosts this forum so that they can keep an eye out for what's being discussed.
However, it certainly does not appear that management listens to what's being said most of the time. Even things that happen which infuriate a lot of people, there is nothing but a stony silence.
Let's face it, there isn't a whole lot of differentiation out there. All of the chains have good hotels, bad hotels, and indifferent hotels. If you travel with any sort of frequency, it does pay to show loyalty to somewhere.Elite benefits are nice, and it is often a fair trade off for directing your business somewhere.
The benefits are pretty valuable, depending upon where you go. However, the bean counters need to realize that these benefits are not a 100% revenue loss for the corporation. For example, if I get free internet and free breakfast in a property - this doesn't mean the hotel will get the revenue if they take it away. I am not going to pay £15 per night in the UK for internet. If Marriott gives that to me with the room, I am thankful. However, if that benefit goes away, I am going to either use my own internet (mobile hotspot), or go to a place that does include it. I'm not going to just put up with it and access net only in the lobby. The same thing goes for breakfast - if that benefit goes away I'm not going to pay £24 for each breakfast in the morning, I will go and get it somewhere else.
As far as the website goes, if they are going to make it more annoying, then it is one less reason for me to be showing loyalty to Marriott.
I have been very loyal to Marriott over the years, and for the most part, I have benefited from it. However, if they are not going to listen to their loyal customers about what keeps them coming back, then they are going to begin to do a lot more business with people will stay i whatever hotel offers them the lowest price.
Courtyard used to be one of my favorite hotel chains. I didn't mind paying for breakfast there because it was pretty good. I could count on there being self serve laundry. It was nice to have free coffee when they bothered to make it. Now, I can't count on there being self serve laundry facilities, I don't care for the breakfasts at all, and there's a better chance than not that the internet will not be good. Courtyard has turned from what used to be my first choice to the point where I will entertain going to another chain if the Courtyard is the only one available.
This business of "the envelope please" is just another nail in the coffin. Although I do participate in the so called custom of tipping, I think we have all lost touch with what tipping is supposed to be. When I was a kid, I was told tips were optional and were about 10%. It was expected that the person receiving the tip was already being paid for their job and that the tip was a bonus for doing a good job, or as a way of saying thank you. Now, we are being told to tip 15%, 20%, or even 25% and that it is expected to be a part of that person's wages. Not content with leaving this optional, we now have many hotels (Marriott included) actually adding the gratuity onto the bill, making it very awkward not to pay it.
I took my wife to NYC for the first time many years ago. We stayed at the Marriott Upper East Side, which is a nice hotel. However, we received horrible service in the lounge from this waiter who didn't deserve a tip. There was a 15% compulsory tip on the bill. We were a party of two. We ate elsewhere for the remainder of the trip and nowhere else did we see this. A couple of years later, I received a marketing email from the hotel, saying that their lounge had been renovated. I then revealed the question about the 15% tip added to the bills, and was told that it was due to the "union agreement". Well, something like that can't be in a union agreement unless the management agrees to it, and when it isn't around at the other restaurants in the vicinity, it puts the hotel at a disadvantage. We tipped all the other places 20% as was our custom at the time, but the point is, when I tip, I want it to be voluntary. When someone tells me I have to, I don't want to.
In the UK, they started putting 12.5% service charges (tips) on the bar slips "for my convenience". I can't imagine where tacking an extra 12.5% on a bill is convenient for the customer at all. If I want to tip, I can do the math.
What do we do if we don't like this "the envelope please" stuff? If I put the money in the envelope, the management will think what a wonderful idea it is to put those envelopes out, and if I don't do it, the housekeeper is shorted the money I generally do leave.
Not that they listen, but Marriott, if you really want to change the world, then talk to your buddies in the hotel industry and collectively come out wiht a policy of paying your service staff properly so that your customers don''t have to.
How screwed up is it that I am supposed to not only make a proper amount of money in my job, but I am supposed to earn extra money so I can leave it for staff whose employer doesn't properly pay them? Do you really think that people get to expense all of these "tips" that your people expect? The same type of bean counters that cut corners at hotel chains also are the ones that don't like to see an unending amount of gratuity expense submitted.
The day that a hotel chain starts to listen properly to their customers (and I mean taking proper and reasonable solutions taking the economics of it into account) is the day we will have a place that is "like home" to stay at.
I better stop writing, it is just a big frustration. And no, I don't like those envelopes in the rooms. I don't like "guilt trip" tipping, never did. Just like I don't like resort fees. Quote me a room rate, I'll pay that and we're done with it.
I think many of us agree with you skiadcock. I already posted in the other thread. That new pop-up pillow is extremely annoying and slows down the process of what I want to do on the Marriott web site. I wish I could smother that pillow and put it down for good. Good point...I am not sure what the point of it is anyway. You would think if they were going to try to improve the site they would really pay attention to what many others have been saying and allow for example the user to see multiple types of qualifying rates at one time. I guess they earn some extra revenue by not doing this since many people will simply book the AAA rate without realizing that another rate they qualify for is cheaper.
I would like to know if they track members comments on Trip Advisor but I highly doubt it. I wish they could since I think it benefit those who do post comments (myself included). Maybe if they thought the guest was a frequent poster of comments on Trip Advisor, the particular hotel the guest was staying at would make sure that person is treated right.