I posted this somewhere else but not sure it was the right format so reposting in a discussion format.
It appears Marriott will now offer free wifi to ALL Marriott rewards members regardless of their status starting January 1, 2015. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that Marriott is improving their brand and offering more free services to all customers but still can't help think that this is a further regarding of my Platinum benefits.
So let me get this straight, you did away with my free welcome gift and replaced it with a meaningless 500 reward point or $10, you did away with the gift certificates, you upgraded the categories of hotels making my points less valuable and now, one of the few benefits left of being a Platinum member, is no longer exclusive to Platinum members.
Just saying .....
Whewww. thank you for taking the time to correct me because that enhanced speed Internet makes all the difference in the world, so worth my 75 nights a year staying in hotels to make Platinum (*sarcasm*). I think it was more a global issue I was trying to convey and this new policy is just one more example. But thanks again..you can carry on now and ignore this post.
It was a business decision by Marriott to offer something that its competitors don't do yet, and to increase revenue by touting it as something even a basic member can get. That will undoubtedly throw some bizness Marriott's way, even if it means upsetting (and perhaps losing) some elites. Marriotts in Asia have had free i-net for all MR members for over 2 years; Marriott is now expanding it to worldwide.
I understand your global reference & if you're unhappy you can always switch to another chain, where elites are also complaining about higher categories & bennies being taken away. That's not unique to Marriott. The ultimate loyalty should be to yourself & what works best for you, re: of chain.
I'm a bit golden handcuffed to Marriott given my travel is down & I've got Lifetime Platinum, so I'm sticking with Marriott because I still get exec lounge access, upgrades, free i-net, Plat override & PAG (as you know, the int'l PAG is much better than domestic) & 50% bonus points. Having said that, if you've read many of my posts on Insiders I often hold Marriott's feet to the fire & call them out on things that are elite unfriendly.
Agree and I completely understand the business decision. In fact, it's a good decision for Marriott. Believe me, I love Marriott and will continue to stay loyal to their brand. I too appreciate the other benefits although one could argue that some of these (i.e. upgrades) are also disappearing in many hotels. If my posts sounded like many other posts that aim just to complain about Marriott, that was not my intention. Again, I love Marriott and do appreciate the Platinum benefits and I do think offering free Internet to all members is a smart move by Marriott. I do not put much emphasis on the difference between the enhanced and standard Internet and I agree with the subsequent posts that if I have any concern, it is that the Internet service will be diminished as a result of this new policy.
Hate to sound stupid but what is "PAG" ?
Got it. Of course the PAG is one area that was reduced substantially domestically. I really miss being able to order that wine and cheese to my room. The $10 or 500 points doesn't mean much to me. Anyway ....... here is to free intrenet. More importantly, two more days and I will be on my way to Aruba for a much needed vacation. Hopefully it will be warm and sunny and those damn Caribbean weather forecasts that show rain everyday are just wrong ( I know ignore those forecasts been to Aruba before). PAG or not ..should have that drink in my hand on the beach very soon!
I agree with your position but in all honesty, the fact that RI, FFI, SHS,and CY offered free wifi already, and those are the "lower" Marriott brands it only makes sense to simply make free wifi available in all their hotel brands. It is flat out dumb to have a $89 FFI with free wifi and have a $199 FS Marriott not have it and charge $15 for it. Again, I see where you are coming from but Marriott simply is in the business to make money and if they don't have to offer incentives and still get great revenue, then they will stop offering it. My only fear is that the new free wifi will be awful/slow/drop because the infrastructure is terrible and simply can't handle the number of new users on the network.
I think your fear is the concern others have. According to some posts on Flyertalk, it's not really been an issue in Asia. And I don't know if it's been an issue in RI/FFI/SHS/CYs which already offer free wifi to everyone (re: if they're a member of Marriott Rewards).
I know some hotels had been beefing up their server capacity before this because biz travelers w/ VPNs or travelers streaming porn, er, Netflix have been hogging bandwidth. But it's up in the air on whether every property will add the infrastructure.
I agree that the free wifi dilutes platinum and gold status. So I'd suggest (and have suggested to Marriott already) free or reduced parking as a benefit to platinums and maybe golds. I don't always have a car, but when I do, I sure get sick of paying extra $$ per night for parking!!!