I've seen several comments in various threads lately lamenting the fact that Marriott is not listening to the concerns posted on Marriott Rewards Insiders and folks are therefore choosing to leave the site, never to post again. I can think of many reasons to stop participating, but this shouldn't be on the list (in my opinion).
While it is nice that we do have folks on the inside watching the content of MRI, my understanding of this site is that it is a place for Marriott Rewards members to talk amongst themselves, ask questions, share concerns, and get travel advice as it relates to staying at Marriott properties around the world. I don't believe it was ever meant to be an avenue to complain about (or praise) the company. Those comments have a place here, but to expect action because of them seems a bit of stretch (at least it does to me).
Please keep posting the good and the bad. Keep asking for travel suggestions or about which hotel is best to visit in a particular city. Keep expressing concerns, but please don't threaten to leave because corporate didn’t address your issue. Chances are they never even heard about it. We may have a line of communication to the company through the communitymanager, but she doesn’t make company policy. Most of our suggestions (or complaints) will go nowhere through no fault on her part.
We have a great resource in Marriott Rewards Insiders. Folks on this site are likely some of the most loyal Marriott customers. They have a wealth of knowledge to be tapped. Read the blogs or search past discussion threads as proof.
Leave the site if it no longer engages you. Leave if you no longer have time to participate. But please don't leave because Marriott is not listening. I don't believe that was ever the intended purpose of Marriott Rewards Insiders.
Very well said, bejacob. I am in total agreement with your post. When the Marriott Associates monitoring our site refer us to various parts of the Company to address our problem or they serve it up to some group, I treat that as a bonus. Thanks for post.
And, what other hotel chain is offer something like this? I have learned a lot about places to visit from this site. Also, maybe if I mention how great Marriott Cheques were enough times, they will do something similar again. (Sorry, the Gift Cards just don't cut it. Way to many points/$ to even think about using.)
As usual, a thoughtful, lucid post, bejacob. Threats to leave because of a corporate non-response always smack of "DYKWIA?" which, by the way, is never a part of the bottom-feeder mindset. Life is good.
And as to "Chances are they never even heard about it. We may have a line of communication to the company through the communitymanager, but she doesn’t make company policy. Most of our suggestions (or complaints) will go nowhere through no fault on her part," no one ever said it better than erc:
"hey chief, here's another great Insider idea"
"put it over there next to the BOGOs"
Amen, bejacob! You are such a gem. This is Merb by the way (issue with my old account, so this is my temporary new account).
I love this part: "My understanding of this site is that it is a place for Marriott Rewards members to talk amongst themselves, ask questions, share concerns, and get travel advice as it relates to staying at Marriott properties around the world. I don't believe it was ever meant to be an avenue to complain about (or praise) the company. Those comments have a place here, but to expect action because of them seems a bit of stretch (at least it does to me)."
Ultimately, Insiders is what YOU all make of it. I love when Insiders have the opportunity to engage with each other about an upcoming trip or share advise or stories. That, in my opinion, is what makes Insiders so special. As one of the "moderators" of the page who has been a part of this community for a few years now, I can tell you that ALL of your posts are read and your suggestions, questions, and concerns are shared with the greater Marriott community. joshm, lindseyh, NathalieF and KatieC all make sure of that. Does that mean every issues is going to be met with the resolution that the Insider wishes? Not always. And as many Insiders have noted, many times things take time to change. Marriott is quite a big ship, of course.
But, we hear you and we love hearing you, so please stick around and keep making this the special place that it is. :-) You are truly appreciated!
Thanks, merb (and to all who have commented). The majority of Insiders do understand and appreciate the value this site offers. Every once in a while the tone turns a bit too negative (luckily this is fairly rare). When that happens, it is nice to remind ourselves what a great community we have.
As our favorite rabble rouser often says, "Keep on keepin' on, Insiders."
Firstly I would like to say that what I am about to write is in no way meant as criticism of bejacob. I wish to make it clear that I have always had the utmost respect for him, and have enjoyed his helpful and informative input to the forum.
I am one of the Insiders he is referring to when he says “I've seen several comments in various threads lately lamenting the fact that Marriott is not listening to the concerns posted on Marriott Rewards Insiders and folks are therefore choosing to leave the site, never to post again. I can think of many reasons to stop participating, but this shouldn't be on the list (in my opinion).”
In my opinion, the fact that Marriott is not listening to concerns is a very good reason to leave. I have found more and more that questions go unanswered; concerns are ignored; and input is summarily deleted.
Last year, after a distressing medical diagnosis, I posted a question to the community at large about whether any Insider had experienced having to have certain bulky medical supplies delivered to a Marriott in advance of a stay. JoshM stepped in and promised to find out for me. After hearing nothing from him, I asked him if he had found out. He replied that he would definitely be back in touch. That was last June. The only replies I have had were non-committal and did not answer my question satisfactorily at all.
I have always posted hotel reviews on the site, under my Insiders sign in so that other Insiders know they are genuine reviews, posted by a trusted name. I have always found other named Insiders reviews very helpful, as they tend to be specific about particular aspects of the hotels, and not just a rant, or general praise with no examples. These reviews have been deleted with no thought as to the time and effort that Insiders spent composing them.
As foxglove points out on another thread, we were told “ As a result of Ratings and Reviews moving to Marriott.com, the current Ratings and Reviews section on Insiders will be removed by the end of the year. We’ll be incorporating the reviews into one consistent channel – that channel being Marriott.com. We believe that integrating Ratings and Reviews with Marriott.com will ensure your feedback is quickly routed to the right people including our General Managers, ultimately leading to a better stay experience for you and all our guests.” This simply did not happen, and no-one has explained why.
There are clearly many Insiders who are disappointed/annoyed/angry that they can now only leave a review if they get a request to submit one. This is two way traffic. In general we want to leave them to assist our fellow Insiders; we also want to read reviews from our fellow Insiders. OK, so we could start a discussion, but that is not the same as leaving a proper review on Marriott, whether it be on an individual hotel’s website or Insiders. If you look at Re: Now That We Know "What Happened to the Hotel Reviews", Is Their Removal From MR Insiders a Good Thing? you will see that a number of people, myself included, state that they have never received a request to review a hotel, even though they have stayed many, many nights in Marriott hotels.
So I asked a specific – and I consider very pertinent question – which was “what percentage of guests are asked to complete a review?” This question has been completely ignored again and again, despite community manager promising to respond.
To me the whole issue of Insiders is one of expectation. If someone has title Community Manager shouldn’t their role encompass answering questions and interacting with the community? If you care to read some very good, well considered, posts on this very subject, look at walksoftly posts Re: Now That We Know "What Happened to the Hotel Reviews", Is Their Removal From MR Insiders a Good Thing?
I know I said I was leaving Insiders, and I meant it. But I just felt I had to put another perspective on what is going on. As bejacob rightly says, there are several people giving up on Insiders, so I am far from alone in my views.
I have been lurking, and will continue to do so. However, I will not post again until I see a sign that Insiders is changing for the better.
It appears we differ greatly in our expectations of the site.
I expect to get advice and insight from other Marriott Rewards members not from Marriott. I believe the communitymanager is a facilitator of the forum rather than a conduit to management. Again, I state that this is my belief. If I had an issue with Marriott I wished to resolve, I'd look for a more direct avenue.
On MRI, I look to others, like me, who travel (frequently or not) and stay at Marriott properties for advice and suggestions. I love to hear and see people's travels through the blogs and photo albums. It's just as good to hear about bad experience as good. Each provide value.
What I don't expect is for Marriott to do anything based on postings on the site. In many cases, joshm, merb, lindseyh, and others will ask for a direct message with contact information so they can put people in touch with someone who can take action on behalf of Marriott. As bpelican nicely commented, having someone from Marriott refer us to various part of the company is a bonus.
Keep in mind, the role of the communitymanager is not to address problems (except as they relate directly to the functioning of this site). Nor is it her role to take sides or defend her action or lack thereof. She is here to keep the site running smoothly and to occasionally pass along information from Marriott (not the other way around).
Anyway, that's how I view Marriott Rewards Insiders. It may not be perfect, but I like it.
In which case none of the Marriott employees should state unequivocally that they will find out and answer a question if they have no intention or means of doing so. You state what the role of the Community Manager is and is not. Have you seen her job description? I very much doubt it, so how can you state categorically what the role is? What we do know is what it says on the website. Which is "Represents Marriott Rewards and maintains an online presence to preserve the integrity of Insiders, field member questions, offer advice, announce program changes and more." Note "field members questions".
bejacob I really do not need another Insider to tell me what I should keep in mind. That is extremely patronising. I now realise you are very protective of your original post on this thread, and do not like any opinion that differs from yours. You may love Insiders as it is, but please allow others to have a very differing opinion. I rest my case!
the beauty of this site is that, if you don't like it, leave! if you do like it, enjoy! all along, it has been clear that this is OUR site to make of it what we choose. Marriott does monitor it, as it is their proprietary site, not ours, but only to keep things civil, clean, and relevant. @ John_thai Yes, the badges are dumb. So don't participate, its no big deal....
shoeman1000 The approach that you and bejacob suggest, "that this is OUR site to make of it what we choose", is certainly a legitimate approach, but it appears to me to be inconsistent with the removal of the Hotel Reviews from Insiders -- reviews that are (or, more precisely, were) written and used by the participants in this site. That decision, to which there has been considerable response (including concrete suggestions for changes that would make the reviews more identifiable), has been ignored by the same NathalieF who evidently intervened and decided on the policy to remove the reviews, or at least implemented a policy that was dictated to her -- without leaving a realistic alternative to write the reviews anywhere else. I do not remember a poll of the users of "OUR" site that asked them if this is what they want. (The removal of Hotel Reviews from Insiders has led a number of identifiable uses of Insiders to question whether they should now rely on Trip Advisor to post their reviews and read reviews -- and that doesn't seem to be a way of strengthening the conception of Insiders as OUR site to make of it what we choose.).
I think that this goes beyond moderation to keep things "civil, clean and relevant".
Shoeman and bejacob, I have no problem with your conception of the goal of the site, even if it somewhat differs from mine, as long as that conception is applied in a consistent and reasonable manner. I would feel much more comfortable with what you state if you both also responded to the removal of the Hotel Reviews (from our site) and the lack of willingness by the community manager to openly engage in a discussion of this policy -- she has not responded in over a week and a half to specific suggestions and criticisms that were raised about the new hotel reviews policy.
I do agree, Tommo781, it is implicit in this site, and explicit in the description you point out, that a part of the role of the official Marriott presence is to "field questions", I suspect a carefully chosen phrase. Not to answer them. If that was the commitment Marriott could end up with proprietary information questions and anger when they weren't answered.
I am not as involved here now as I was, my travel has changed leaving me less time in hotel rooms to do this, but like bejacob I see this site as a forum for members to discuss travel matters and share information, tips and tricks, with a strong slant towards the facilitating company, Marriott, and it's loyalty program, MR. Its definitely not all about Marriott though, and it's not all about the rewards program, indeed by far the most popular thread here concerns aviation geeks!
The official Marriott presence is only one aspect of this site and I speak as someone who has repeatedly asked a question about the Fairfield Inn, Oakville (ON) flouting the 48-hour rule without recieving an official answer. If I cared enough about the matter I'd approach CS, but I dont. Mind you, I did get the reply, my proposed stay is just before the Canadian Open Golf Tournament, so I would assume the hotel has a special exemption. That reply came from another member, thus proving the value of this site, WE make it what IT is. Marriotts presence is a part, but just that, a part. In any event the outcome of FFI Oakville failure to abide by the 48-hour rule is that I've booked the stay at IHG, whilst simultaneously congratulating myself on the wise decision to run a secondary hotel group for just these circumstances. But I've not left Marriott because of the issue, just chosen to stay elsewhere for those 4 nights.
I wouldn't eschew Marriott over 1 change to their hotels unless I felt that change was utterly fundamental to my use of the brand. So if Marriott decided to team up with Costa instead of Starbucks it wouldn't cause me to leave, but if it exchanged its dreamy beds for broken glass I would. My view is that Marriotts involvement here is as important as the type of coffee hotels serve, a part of the experience, but not vital to it.
"I've seen several comments in various threads lately lamenting the fact that Marriott is not listening to the concerns posted on Marriott Rewards Insiders and folks are therefore choosing to leave the site, never to post again."
Does this mean if I threaten to leave the site unless they get rid of those stupid badges it's not going to work??????
bejacob I absolutely agree with your post. Very well said! The fact is, since I found and starting using this site, I have received valuable information that only frequent Marriott rewards members would know. This is a great location to come if you have a question, too receive suggestions and to gain additional knowledge. I have posted a couple of different questions in the past that were immediatly answered by insiders and went beyond what I expected. I follow various posts and received some great advice on ways to get the most out of my stays and reward points. The Ritz card offer of 140,000 points for example, I would have never known about if I didn't see a post about it here. This also lead to learning about the Southwest companion pass. I find myself checking this site everyday for new activity and if there is a topic that interests me, I follow it. It is ultimately the members, the Marriott frequent customers, that make this site so valuable. I have also received responses from the Community Manager and think they are extremely helpful.
Will posting a compliant or suggestion on this site result in Marriott changing a global policy? I doubt it, but I do have the feeling that the Community Managers pass along complaints or suggestions that seem to be shared by a large population on this site. I never joined this site with the expectation that we would change the Marriott world by posting complaints here. I think anyone that thinks that has an unrealistic and unachievable expectation.
I love this site because of the community members (the Marriott customers) and the information sharing. This is something I could not get from any other site including Tripadvisor and Flyertalk.
Besides, there are some very witty people on here and many of the comments are well written. It provides some entertainment to me when I need a break from working and traveling. Great site with great people!
Marriott doesn't care about their customers and are rude to them.
I booked a room for 2 days and was told 5000 points for total. I reconfirmed and reconfirmed just to make sure she wasn't making mistake but she was adamant that its 5000 and she even booked with a confirmation number while she told me I had enough to cover 5000 points. she confirmed with 50,000 points 25k for each day. when i complained later the supervisor Tommy hampton says I heard wrong! I felt like kicking him in his rear. He gave me some random number and was trying to be a wise a**.
It felt like i am dealing with a cheap motel owner. shame on marriott
Which brand and what city?
I obviously wasn't in on the conversation but there's no way you're getting a room for 2,500 points per night. The lowest Category 1 (also known as "a barn") is triple that. 25,000 points is about the middle of the road (Cat 5 or 6). So it does sound like a miscommunication.