I received the solicitation above today. The code is REG. As far as I can tell, there is no promotion and REG stands for Regular rate. The terms and conditions include:
Terms and Conditions
Valid seven days a week through 12/31/14. Limited number of rooms are available for this promotion. Tax is additional. Offer does not apply to groups of 10 or more rooms. Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions. Blackout dates may apply. Advance reservations required. Other restrictions apply. Rates are per room, per night and based on availability at the time of reservations.
But......the joke must be on me. Why call it a promo and have terms and conditions if it's the same 'ole rate?
I've only been at this loyalty game for only just a few years (late bloomer for sure), so I don't know how it used to be in "the good old days," or if the grass is greener on the other side (and I don't like to admit that since I know Marriott is reading), and then maybe we're just beginning to - shhhh - [whisper] get old.
I don't get it either, except that I think it's probably all a game designed to cause us to be heavily invested behaviorally as well as wear down our time and patience, so we'll throw in the towel (with Marriott, the devil we know, thus forgetting about - at least in my case - the devil we don't know.) And then too, they throw in just enough golden eggs ($99/night Mayflower deal or half price rewards points stay in Manhattan or Boston or London, etc.) here and there to keep us hunting for more.
Can you imagine how something like this would ever get to market? Doesn't anyone screen things before they go out?
It couldn't be that marketing folks are sitting around and discussing ways to pretend to offer special deals by having a header that implies a promo but the actual rates are the same as normal. It's not even as clever as a bait and switch scheme...
Sad to report ladies and gentlemen, but as you probably already know, nothing really new here. We've been writing about deals that weren't deals for about two years now. The last true deals were around the time of the BOGO certificates, but as the market strengthened so did the prices as Marriott kept pushing us to our limits, where they have become just too clever by half in a myriad of ways, several borderline insulting. There is still the occasional Vacation Club deals during their off seasons (although even those require significant flexibility and diligent search through the deal time period).
This is what you are up against, a lack of credibility when Marriott touts a deal. Hopefully your well intentioned (and greatly appreciated) attempt to provide us an early look at deals actually offers deals and not more marketing mumbo jumbo that pushes the limits of our loyalty.