The recent extensive discussion about the new cancellation policy has often included comments that suggest that Marriott does not care about its"elite" guests. Marriott employees have assured callers (including me) that the policy will not be enforced rigidly and that when unforeseen problems force changes in plans, we will not be penalized.
I expect, based upon the way I have been treated by Marriott, in the past, that these assurances can be believed.
I can recount numerous occasions when I complained about problems at a Marriott business and received treatment that far exceeded the correction that I had hoped for. I assume that this sort of treatment will continue, in the future. I can only think of two times (out of many hundreds) that I left a Marriott establishment and was unhappy with my treatment.
Do those of you who fear the new policy, have reason to believe that you won't be treated well?
Lets start a thread about how problems have been handled over the years, and if there have been unhappy results, how often did those occur?
I have to agree with phctourist. I don't believe the "Marriott doesn't care" line. Oh I'm quite sure that the top management has no idea who I am and probably really doesn't care if I'm personally happy or sad. But they do care that their customers are happy and satisfied with the product. Call it "enlightened self interest". Happy customers become regular customers and regular customers become profit centers.
I can only think of one instance where something I wanted wasn't resolved to my satisfaction and it was kind of a picky request. The MEA in Thailand has BBC, CNNI, etc. but no US news or sports stations (CNNUS or Fox) and I asked if they could arrange it. Hemmed and hawed and never did. I can watch all the soccer (sometimes 5 games on 5 different stations; but no Super Bowl for example) and badminton and sailing news I want, but no US news.
But that's the only one I can think of. I have had rooms held for very late arrival, late checkouts beyond the required (Courtyard SLC let me check out around10 PM one time without charging me for the day). I have no doubt I will continue to get good treatment.
As a businessman I can confirm I care about my customers, every business cares about its customers. We all know "a happy customer tells a friend, an unhappy customer tells 10" and "it costs 5 times more to get a new customer than retain an existing one"
The great success of private enterprise capitalism is that it provides consumers with what they want. Those companies that don't, fail. See Woolworths, Kodak et al.
However, huge businesses have marketing departments working 24/7 and customer service departments to handle complaints, trying retain the customer. But such departments hear nothing but complaints all the time and some staff can become weary.
Companies that run on the franchised basis have to battle with the franchisees who, as they're paying for marketing by corporate, whether they feel they need it or not, are more inclined to label a customer as awkward, one they're "willing to forgo", after all they're paying the franchise fee to corporate to find new customers for them 24/7. To them the cost of gaining new customers is baked into the business plan via the franchise fees and those fees don't change just because they provide excellent service to certain customers corporate mandates.
Bottom line, a committed customer who has fully bought into the brand is far cheaper to sell to, service and retain. They're less likely to look elsewhere and more likely to pay a premium to stick with their favoured brand when necessary. Giving something back to retain these customers makes great sense to corporate who sees repeat business all over the country again and again. This means less to the franchisees, who being only 1 of thousands may never see that particular customer again.
So, yes. Marriott cares. As does IHG, Hilton and SPG. Hence the loyalty programs. Franchisees may need more convincing.
It has been my experience that the associates at Marriott Properties do work hard to make your stay pleasurable and enjoyable. When a problem arises it is handled in a timely and professional manner. Just think of how many people stay at Marriott properties each day and what percentage have a problem?
That is my opinion based upon hundreds of experiences. I first stayed in a Marriott hotel in 1966, when there were only 3 Marriott hotels in the world. Back then Marriott was more of a restaurant business than a hotel one.
Later that year, as a young person who was intimidated by nicer restaurants, I complained to the Maitre D' in a Marriott restaurant called "Sirloin and Saddle." I wanted to leave and pay for salads and drinks after waiting more than an hour for our main courses, which we had sent back, once, for being improperly prepared. The Maitre D' taught me what service means. He complemented us with dinner that was served in a timely fashion and and exactly as ordered.
The following month I bought Marriott stock (it was then called Marriott Hot Shoppe) because I recognized that this kind of business operation would guaranty repeat customers. Marriott stock is, today, the biggest money maker in my portfolio.
I have come to trust Marriott to treat me fairly and have rarely been disappointed.
As an original MR (actually Marriott Marquis member), I became a loyal Marriott customer for many years because they really cared and appreciated loyal customers. In recent years, I have seen strong indications that Marriott corporate no longer really cares (unless you are a millenial). It was great while it lasted.
As a lifetime Platinum and ongoing Platinum Premier member, it's taken me years (literally) to accumulate to this status. Let's consider for a moment this status indicator meaning something other than the sentimental years-of-my-life-at-Marriott-properties and 6-to-7-digit cumulative revenue. It also means I'm an experienced customer that's gone through a few mess-ups and disagreements, as well as above and beyond. In a way, I feel a sense of familiarity (as in "family") with the Marriott brand. My tenure with Marriott often exceeds that of the associates I interact with. I don't perceive this as them being below me, but rather an opportunity to show that the Marriott company is worth investing your time into.
I've had a few falling outs with Marriott in my 9 years with them. There was one occasions when I had to switch over to Hilton because I had no other option in that particular town. And, the Hilton there was more than happy to take me in as a guest and treat me far better. It was a great property and I should have stayed there to begin with. Does this mean D-I-V-O-R-C-E with Marriott? It felt like it at the time. So, like in any relationship, I wrote to Mr's Sorenson and Marriott Sr to let them know what I felt about what had happened. The one word I focused on was "disappointment." I was disappointed how Marriott had let me down, to the point I had to go to a competitor. It felt wrong to me and they needed to know this. The President's office contacted me directly and I vented for 20 minutes. Then she asked: "What can we do to make things right?" This alone was enough to turn me around. I didn't want points, cash, or free stays. I just wanted to be recognized. And that's what they did. I now have a direct number to a single person in the President's office in case things get to that point again, whether franchisee or corporate.
Of course not. Like any long-term relationship, there will be more bumps and mishaps. But what's important is that both Marriott Int'l and I recognize this is an ongoing relationship, and that we must have respect for each other. We'll even sometimes have to remind each other of that. Policy changes are just the kind of changes we inevitably have over the course of our lives. I too as a customer have changed some of my expectations of Marriott of the years and they have not balked at this; in fact they expect it.
Even with Diamond status at Hilton, and no incentive to "try" anymore with Marriott's lifetime Platinum, I still tend to pick Marriott. I can't explain why. Yes, Marriott's restaurant menu can be boring. The interiors look the same no matter where you go. Sometimes the rates are better elsewhere. (Sound like a wife or husband?) But I still pick Marriott anyway. Probably because we know each other so well.
If Marriott makes a policy change (as will any program) and you feel it's untenable, then make up your mind and switch. But, if it's something you need to discuss, then do so. Get it out. Talk about it. And not to the front desk... determine the nature of your complaint and contact the appropriate person. Trust me, Marriott will listen. Don't expect them to change their public policy to everyone on something to accommodate your individual expectations. (That's like asking your spouse to change their personal view on politics just because you disagree.) Develop a dialogue with them. And if it's still not to your liking, then make a decision and switch. Otherwise, understand that things change, grieve as you must, and move on. Try it out, maybe it won't be as bad as you thought. But in any case, don't fume forever. You won't be an unhappy customer... you'll just be unhappy.
Best wishes everyone. Feel free to reply with your thoughts too! :-)
Mmmm.Jason, That wa a great reply to my question. My experience with Marriott goes back 50 years (almost 49 in hotels) and I've had a couple of bumps but they almost always made things right. I'm platinum and about 2 1/2 years from lifetime platinum so I, obviously, travel as lot less than you do. (I actually spend a bit more than 40 nights each year in hotels and most of them are with Marriott. I only reach platinum because of the MR Visa.)
I expect corporations to want to make money and I don't consider this to be in conflict with treating customers well. In my experience, one cannot do one without the other, unless there is a monopoly situation.
I believe that Marriott cares about customers and will continue to reward my loyalty.
Hey fhsbbmom, I'm happy to connect you with a member of our Customer Care Team. Just shoot me a DM with your rewards number and best way to contact you and I'll pass your information along to them.
Sorry to be so late getting back to the party!
I have to say that I am more than satisfied as to the resolution of my issues. The staff who looked at my situation were very helpful and actually gave me above and beyond what I expected.
I am the first to admit that I was not without blame in this incident and definitely learned a lesson about reading the T & C a little more carefully (which I am embarrassed by, as I am usually much more diligent in that area). However, my actions were based on what the Promotions page was telling me, and I think they took that into consideration, as well as the behavior that I encountered by a representative who was probably just having a bad day.
I know that I have always had great service from customer service in the past, and I want to stay with Marriott, so it was good to know that they will address these kinds of problems.
Thanks to CariJ and the staff for helping resolve my case!
When the 24 hour cancellation policy was announced, I had serious concerns. The way my travel schedule is laid out In any given city, I'm not always sure of what part of town I will be in. Typically, as a small business owner, I book early to get the best rate.
Looking at past history, cancellations, day of, were about 3 or 4 times per year. So it was a concern. Recently I had a last minute trip change and had to drive to a new city past the 24 hour cancellation. I called the Platinum desk, and after a brief, and pleasant dicussion, the reservation was cancelled with no penalty.
When I hung up, I smiled and thought, "pretty cool Marriott, nicely done". So I. Have complete comfort that Marriott Rewards has your back. Like any other program or company, if a perk is not abused, I sincerely believe it will be available.
Belive it or not: ALL complaints I had in the last year were resolved. Every time I had missing points ot nights it was sorted out. Sometimes after little discussion, but once I have send the original bill, it was only a matter of days. Sometimes I even got answers after hours. Perfect service. This does not mean I am happy with all hotels and the new lounge rules :-)
Over the years I've had a few problems with Marriott stays, but I've always found Marriott very willing to listen and act bringing forward acceptable outcomes.
The test of quality is not just when everything goes well, as it does 99% of the time, but when things do go wrong, how willing and able Marriott is to put it right. That test is a clear pass...
Agree. How they respond to an issue is very telling. in all my years traveling I have only had one or two instances where I was not satisfied or at least clearly understood why I would not be satisfied. Recently, I had a horrible experience with Platinum Customer Care...but credited it to the guy having a bad day. On the other hand, a big problem in Palm Springs was handled very professionally with my complete satisfaction. So, yes Marriott cares and most of their associates do too. ..they both must.