On Dec 11, I discovered that the 500 Platinum bonus points were not posted to my account for my stay at Marriott Chicago at Medical District/UIC from Nov 3-5. I sent an email to Marriott Customer Service who forwarded my email to the hotel management. I got an replay from the hotel apologizing to this mishap and promised to issue me 1000 points, plus the $100 Platinum guarantee pursuant to the Elite Membership rule.
Today, the hotel sent me an email saying that Marriott told them that they did offer me the 500 bonus points when I checked in, but the bonus has not being posted to my account. Now the bonus has been posted to my account now, and they will still go ahead to give me the 1000 additional points. However, they will not issue me the $100 guarantee payment anymore.
So my questions here is if I did not contact the Marriott customer service, the 500 bonus would never show up on my account. They did not get posted to my account until today (probably due to retroactively posting), which is more than one month after I have checked out from the hotel and only after I have contacted the hotel, shouldn't the hotel or Marriott be still obligated to pay me the $100 guarantee?
See para 2 of the elite benefits guarantee T&Cs:
"2. If an Elite Member believes that compensation is due with respect to any aspect of the Elite Benefits Guarantee, he/she must request payment of the compensation while still a guest at the hotel, prior to checking out. Failure to request such payment prior to check out will result in a complete waiver of any right to receive such compensation."
The guarantee is effectively one that the arrival gift will be offered, not necessarily fulfilled, and the duty to offer falls on the hotel at the time of checkin, not corporate after the event.
Then what's the purpose of the $100 guarantee for not providing the Platinum welcome bonus? I did request the 500 bonus when I checked in. They said I wouuld be given the 500. But for more than a month, the 500 welcome bonus was not posted to account, while the points for the hotel stay (plus the 1/2 Platinum bonus) was posted. They just reposted the entire stay to include the 500 bonus yesterday, after I brought up this issue to them. It is impossible to know if the hotel or Marriott has fulfilled their promise of giving you the welcome bonus points while you are a hotel guess. You will know only if check your Marriott account, and you have to wait for a few days (usually 2-3 days after check out) to see whether or not the points have all been posted. So do you think I am still eligible for the bonus? Isn't the hotel or Marriott playing game on this?
Read the section over to the right in the More Like This column and you will see that not only does this come up frequently, but also that you are in the same boat as many others. BrightlyBob is our team lawyer, so I would certainly defer to his legal interpretation of the issue, but even more importantly, I'll come from the risk/yield ratio angle of things. You risk spending a lot of time going after something you most likely won't get (or if you do, it could come at a significant expense of time and emotion). The guarantee itself about "offering" gets into a He said/He said debate, with, short of a video/audio confirmation, is a bear to win, and even if so, a pita.
I personally have had several properties not post, nor offer the bonus points (it's easy to see the lack of such posting on our Activity profile) and I call and get them reinstated (meaning, I'd be tickled if I had the 1k bonus you got on top of it). In the cases where they don't offer, I just tell them at check in, that I'm taking points (other Insiders have had guarantee payment success in a similar situation, so it's an individual call, whether you want to 'dance with the front desk personnel'). But in your case, goofy as it sounds to us non-legal eagles, you were offered, so IMO, it's not worth chasing further.
If you slid over to FlyerTalk - Marriott Rewards, you would probably get a more vociferous supportive reaction, but I think given the ambiguity of the issue, pita involved, and the fact that you did get a 1K irritation bonus, you're better off investing the time spent pursuing further and just snag a great deal in future travels. Living well is the best revenge (and this no doubt will not be the last time you run into a "gotcha"). Thanks for sharing, have a great year.
ERC No offense to you, but you and brightlybob sounds like a typical defense lawyer or a lobbyist. I am not chasing further, but Marriott upper management and customer services are still working on this. It is not that lengthy or time-consuming as you describe. Marriott is quite responsive and I have always been happy with their customer service. I believe Marriott will come up with a final and correct resolution on this.
No offense taken, we're all big boys and girls here (I wished I was pulling down lobbyist dollars, I could stay in bigger rooms ). Your response to bob gives a bit of an indication of what may lay ahead, but you're right, Marriott customer service is almost always quite responsive and there's no one in the biz that manages the 'recovery paradox' better than Marriott.
Let us know how it turns out (as Yogi said, "it ain't over til it's over").
HAHA davidni I take it you don't like lawyers! No worries, no offence taken, we're never popular with anyone other than our clients and sometimes not them either
Make no mistake I see your issue here, the elite benefit is that you'll receive either the amenity or the points. You chose the points and a month later they weren't there, so the guarantee applies, right?
Well, according to plain English I'd agree, but according to Marriotts own terms, as I've coped verbatim above, not so. According to Marriott your rights to the $100 "checked out" when you did!.
Like erc says, push further if you wish, heck I did so myself for 1,000 points in a debacle over linking Marriott and United accounts. It is certainly the case that Marriott is very good at customer service and may improve the goodwill points offer, but the terms are against you, and I think you'll be fortunate indeed to see the $100
I'm with you brightlybob. Those of us in the UK are often more concerned with the principle than the actual gain (if any). It is a culture thing I think.
I like lawyers, especially good government lawyers and prosecutors. In my original posting, I said the hotel initially agreed to send me the $100 Platinum guarantee payment, but reneged later, citing that the 500 bonus (or "pita" in ERC's parlance) was not posted by Marriott (no reasons given for the delay or glitch) and they reposted/added the bonus ("pita") retrospectively yesterday.
Marriott Customer Service did not side with me, nor did the subject hotel management. I even sent faxes and emails to Mr. Marriott, CEO Arne and Marriott's top consumer laws compliance office, but all to no avail. I finally disputed the $100 through credit card dispute process and they ruled in my favor.
If you have solid evidence of what you wrote regarding the Manager then you need to report that to Marriott Corporate and have that person dealt with severely. Or ask one of the Mods here to guide you in the right direction as that is completely inappropriate and unacceptable for someone to take that upon themselves.
You can also look back and look at "Last Activity" in your account to see if all your stays are still posted correctly and probably have Marriott Guest Services give you your point totals from the last month prior to your stay in AMA to verify that your account is in fact correct.