I have seldom written on this site before. However, I have read many of your comments and I find myself agreeing. It is very disappointing to see the direction that Marriott has taken. As a Lifetime Platinum Elite for many, many years (one of the first) and before that an Honored Guest, as I think we early loyalists were called, I appreciated the return courtesy Marriott extended to me. Last week I commented about an unfortunate experience at a Fairfield Inn. That would probably have been the end of it except for the comments made by the GM of that facility. In brief he said, we choose not to upgrade on Marriott points and we choose not to extend the courtesies other Marriotts do! My forwarding of this e-mail to Marriott Customer Service brought nothing more than ... we are looking into it.
As I think about these statements, I have to wonder exactly what the Marriott brand name means anymore. Do I not have the right to expect some uniformity? How would I know this facility was using the Marriott name but playing by their own rules? Can a facility pay to use the Marriott name, enticing travelers to patronize their facility because of that name, and not offer the courtesies a traveller is expecting because of that name?
I saw comments about the cancellation policy and honestly did not think about them. Too long have I operated on the day of arrival policy. However I saw another side of it last week. Had I walked out (which I was sorely tempted to do,) I would have been penalized, the FI would have received something, and could have resold my unoccupied room. How often does this occur across Marriott? I cannot believe there is sufficient income generated to risk angering anyone who is unfortunate enough to be delayed and forced to pay besides. But then I have seen many of the 'old' practices changed and not for the better.
Reading comments about roll-over nights and summaries of activities, I looked for the first time at my account. Huh? I made more Marriott stays in two years than what this has for my entire time. As a very frequent world-wide traveller the same age as Bill, I guess it is time to toss that fancy Marriott card and use some of the others brands (who have been trying to entice me for years). While hard to break the Marriott cord, the corporation has provided the knife.
Well written rab124, very well.
As you know many Marriott properties are franchised which appears to allow them to do as they please regarding benefits to Elite members, or so it seems. I for one do not agree what so ever with this policy as if our butts are in a Marriott bed we all should be treated the same from property to property without having to guess what we can expect when we check-in.
I check-in to a FS Marriott such as Hotels in Midtown Manhattan - Midtown East Hotels | New York Marriott East Side and am told the CL is closed on weekends, okay great so we get breakfast coupons right? Oh no, they don't do that however, they will credit your account 1,000 points which is great since I would rather eat breakfast at any number of Deli's near the hotel.
Yes I check-in to the Downtown Seattle Hotels | Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel and I get the breakfast coupon when the CL is closed on weekends. Can't we all just get along and find some consistency?
I have been using marriott for years back even when the casa marina and the santa barbara biltmore were marriott as were the daytona beach,and the beautiful hotel in bermuda.I even sayed in the historic and now defunct twin bridges hotel in virginia.What drew me was the attention given to the customer.This great customer attention was due to the fact that the corporation was run by a family and they did not want anything to reflect bad on thei name .We see thattoday n=in the way nordstorm handles customer service. Some years ago I took my mother for a vacation t=at the marco island marriott and were greeted with a box of chocolated on the beds at another time at aother marriott i received a bottle of wine and fruit.This was all prior to the elite status setup. We dined at the hotels seafood restaurant and received infiffferent if not surly service by our waitress.The waitress ,among other things,spilled coffee on the table and did not apologize.I complained about the 20% gratuity automatially added to our bill and lodged a complaint.The manager apologiged and tool off the tip.I then wrote on my evaluation card the details of the poor service at the restuarant.When I returned home I got in the mail a pro forma apology from the hotel.Later then I GOT A LETTER OF APOLOGY FROM J.W.MARRIOTT!!!! In this personal letter he not only personally apoplgized buy also told me that the employee in question had been fired.Thats customer service! Lastt year i spent 2 weeks at the delray beach marriott which is an outstanding hotel well mamaged.However at the end of my stay I requested a late check out and was denied.I asked for one hour! I remember reading in this section a few years ago a woman writing that she was denied the same request and was told that they simply dont do it whatever your status.I loged a complaint on this website and the manager replied but did not address the quststion 'how can one hotel exempt temselves from a marriott policy. I then senta a letter to mr.ssorenson by certified mail which required his signature explaining that I am 71 and have had a stroke and needed that extra time to get ready.He told the manager to answer me and he wrote a most gracious letter BUT HE DID NOT AMSNER THE MAIN QUESTION-HOW CAN ONE HOTEL SET ITSELF APART? Later that year I went to arizona and stayed at the wonderful JW marriott at camelback.What a difference. There was a big gap between checkout time and check in time at the phoenix airport marriott so i asked for an hour delay in checkout. They would not hear of it--an hour was not enough!bThey informed me i could take 4 hours! I felt like i was visting family and they did not want me to leave.At the delray marriott they wanted to get rid of me--at least it seemed tis way,Marriott has gown too big and no longer seems like family.A list shoud be drawn up of marriotts who deny perks to those who are due them and people should sign it saying these hotels are to be boycotted until they agree to behave as marriott hotels. I shouldsay that the jw marriott and the ritzcarlton still maintain excelecnt customer relations.
While not exactly on your topic, I too have been a very loyal customer and had an experience yesterday that has me considering whether or not I will continue to do business with Marriott. While I am not going to say I am blameless in this situation (it did end up involving a rules issue that I was previously unaware existed, so I should have more carefully read terms and conditions), I was polite and did not lose my temper, but did leave the encounter with such a sinking, sick feeling that I am not sure I can work with the company in future.
This actually did not involve a particular hotel, but rather the Gold customer service line, from which I have always had excellent service and courtesy in the past. I think that's why this experience was so upsetting, because I have unfailingly had great service from these representatives in the past.
My situation is a little convoluted. I called because this past fall, I had received a challenge email to keep my Gold status by getting in 14 nights by the end of the year. To be honest, I had given up on getting my Gold back this year because at this point in my career, I don't travel nearly as much as I used to, so between knowing I would likely not make it to the 50 nights and also the lack of any opportunity to earn certificates through the Mega Bonus, I had not planned on making enough trips to qualify in the final quarter of the year and had only stayed for one room night. Upon receiving this challenge however, I changed some plans for family and we stayed at Marriott hotels instead of vacation properties, made a couple of extra weekend trips, stayed the night before at airport hotels instead of driving, etc. At the end of the year, the Marriott Rewards site showed I had earned my 14 nights and the Gold status, plus I had one additional night prior to the challenge time period (but within the Mega Bonus period).
Because I now had 15 nights within the Mega Bonus timeframe (and this showed on the Marriott Rewards website), I called in prior to the end of the Mega Bonus to ask if I could be switched from the 'double points starting with second stay' to the '25000 points with 15 nights' as this would give me about 15000 additional points. At that time in early January, the person I spoke with told me it would be no problem, just call back if it was not applied within a few weeks after Mega Bonus ended, and she gave me a number to use if needed (I assume a customer service ticket).
As of yesterday, I had heard nothing, so I gave them a call. The first person I spoke with told me that I only had 14 nights, so I would not qualify for the bonus. I did not have the activity right in front of me, but I told her that the web site had showed 15, the first rep I talked to had agreed there were 15, so could she recheck it? She declined, so I hung up with her and then went out to check it myself. I came up with 15 again, so I called back. The first person I got this time, I somehow lost connection with, not sure what happened, but when I called a third time, with a third person on the line, she seemed to already know the situation and had something of an attitude, going through it as I followed along this time and came up with 13, missing a stay.
When I pointed out the problem, she instantly switched her whole attitude, pointing out that my family had more than one room on some of the nights (which is true) and so she said I could not get credit for all the nights paid for (I have since found there is some validity to what she said, though I was unaware of this until she pointed it out). While I agreed that some nights were multiple rooms with my family, they were counted on the website and led to me continuing to build toward the number needed, which I would not have done had I known that they were not eligible nights - I actually would probably not have stayed any of those nights had I known this clause, as there would have been no way for me to reach the goal without the family rooms which I paid for, and I would normally have gotten a vacation condo instead for most of them. At this point, the rep got pretty nasty and threatened to have my account audited and overall made me feel like I was a lowlife trying to defraud them out of Gold status and a few points!
Needless to say, I was appalled by this treatment and have never felt so badly used by Marriott! Just the thought of reserving anything or even going to the website gives me a sick feeling!
I plan to retire in the next year and was planning to do a great deal of travelling with my retired husband and do a lot of visiting with our three grown kids, so we were considering the Marriott Vacation Club now that we can finally use it. I am now unsure about wanting to do anything more with Marriott and may drop my Marriott Premier credit card as well. It is very sad, as I had a long history of making them my first choice and recommending them to everyone.
So customer service is a vital ingredient that Marriott has always succeeded at with me in the past, which is why I have been a customer for so long, but it only takes one very bad experience to ruin that relationship forever!