As a Federal Government Contractor, I travel extensively across the US. My work is supporting the Federal Government. Early in 2008, Marriott implemented a policy to exclude "Contractors" from using the Federal Government rate. This has caused me far more expense than expected as I am expected to adhere to the government per diem, but cannot find rates anywhere near the approved government rate.
My concern is that Marriott seems to have little interest to provided a national "Government Contractor" rate.
Is anyone else impacted by this change? I'd like to hear your stories and develop an online petition.
Having traveled extensively over the past 15 months, I have had no problems with the GOV rate. I am a contractor. There has never been an issue booking a room under the GOV rate via web site or upon check in. Suggest contacting supervisor if problems occur when checking in. Best of luck.
I've been a Marriott platinum member for years due to extensive travel made during my active duty military days. When I retired from military last year, I joined a company working for DoD. A team of Government Contractors went down to Robins AFB, GA for two weeks and our company travel section made reservation for us at Marriott due to Gov rates offered. During check-in the Marriott attendent wanted to see our IDs and since we were all Contractors we were denied Gov rates. We contacted the GM and she showed us the Marriott policy and she held firm. The hotel across the street (Candlewood Suites who we found out later that it is managed by the same GM) gave us Gov rates without any problems for 12 people. I guess Candlewood Suites don't have any policy against Contractors. We made sure our travel section took Marriott off the list from now on.
I know this thread is very old however; if the policy is still in place then Marriott is making a huge mistake. Many contractors are traveling with a good number of folks who fill their beds, in less than high seasons of the year those beds will go empty in some locations without the contractors and government employees occupying the rooms.
As a retired government employee I'd often travel and have FAA & DOD contractors along with me. When this policy change happened it really got some of the contractors up in arms swearing to never use Marriott again. Well since we used the same hotels numerous times a year like quite a few folks do in this type of work and usually took 10-15 rooms for a two week period. We, the government employees went and spoke with the GM's of each property and let them know we'd been putting our butts in their beds for well over 75-85 nights a year times all the contractors for many years and then stopped talking. All the GM's knew we traveled in a pack so each one told us they'd allow the FAA & DOD contractors to continue to get the government rates for our stays.
Since retirement I don't know if they've still honored that arrangement, but it might be worth a try to use the clout. The letter mentioned in another post above is also a good idea to possibly tag along should the GM's balk.
This policy has been in place since at least since 1988. I was two years out of school working for a government contractor. We got a letter from our contracting officer at USDA saying we were eligible for government per diem rates. When I showed up at the Richmond, VA Marriott and tried to check-in using that letter, I was denied a room at the government rate and the policy was cited. We wound up staying at the Omni Richmond on that trip, met roadies from Van Halen and got tickets and backstage passes to their concert the following night so I was actually thankful for getting booted from the Marriott.
I have worked for several large government contractors since then. If I know my team will be traveling to a location and staying for a few weeks, I will call the GM and try to negotiate a rate as close to government per diem as possible for the team. I have gotten the Eden Roc, in Miami, the Marquis in SF, the JW in Buckhead, the Residence Inn in Baton Rouge, the SD Marina Marriott, and several CYs across the US, to provide a negotiated rate at or below the government per diem. There were no sales contracts involved or guaranteed nights. The hotels usually set up a rate code so the team could book online. Negotiating may not work for all government contractors, especially those traveling solo, but it can't hurt.