Elites screwed again.
marriott now has a "NEW" policy of NOT offering BF to Elites on weekends - up to each individual property
How the hell is anyone to know about this and what properties participate.
I refuse to enrich the marriott family coffers by paying the atrocious prices for BF
This issue came up at a full service Marriott (located in the Hartford/Rocky Hill, CT area) on Valentines Day. The Front Desk Supervisor advised my wife and I that Marriott stopped the practice (of providing breakfast vouchers to Elite members when Concierge is closed).
What is extremely frustrating is that a month earlier during a one-night stay kicking-off the Martin Luther King weekend at this ~same~ Marriott, we received breakfast vouchers at check-in. Since I have signed up for e-Breaks and Marriott Rewards alerts, I receive e-mail from Marriott often. Yet, in the month that elapsed, there was no notification from Marriott about the change.
You are very correct about the lack of change management. Giving each individual property the freedom to implement or not implement changes such as breakfast vouchers is not a win-win for Marriott or their loyal guests. The decision undermines the integrity of the Marriott brand promise to deliver service and hospitality and damages the perception of value that is the foundation of customer loyalty around which the Rewards program is built.
I am a charter member of Marriott's Rewards Program when it was launched as the Marriott Marquis Program in 1983. Marriott has done a remarkable job to create new value. In so doing they not only retained me as a loyal guest and grew their customer base into the millions worldwide.
Marriott is my preferred hospitality provider for business and leisure. I have several upcoming reservations. Earlier today, I called each hotel asking about the presence of concierge and the hours of operation and their policy regarding breakfast vouchers for Elite members. After checking with 8 full service hotels including Categories 4, 5 and 6, the policy is different at each one! It's outrageous. This is not only confusing, it's more work that needs to be done, more calls and more time! Calling in advance avoids a potential confrontation with the Front Desk. The lack of upfront communications invites disappointment and dissatisfaction at check-in. What's the business value of starting off the guest experience in that way?
This simple exercise makes evident that the value I expect and the service that Marriott promises is eroding, prompting an adjustment in preferred hospitality vendor.
To be constructive, I suggest that Marriott update the profiles and Fact Sheet for every property listed on Marriott.com to include information for Elite members. The information should clearly state whether or not the property has a Concierge level and/or lounge and the hours of operation along with the property's policy regarding breakfast vouchers. Including this as a feature of the Trip Planner also makes sense.
Providing breakfast is a value-added service to retain Marriott's most loyal customers. Take that value away, I am incented to schedule a breakfast meeting with 5 or 6 people elsewhere. For that matter - there are a number of lodging providers and dining establishments to choose from.
From a marketing perspective, whoever made the business decision regarding the new breakfast policy for Elite members - not only screwed Elites again, as the original author of this post alleges - but screwed the value of the loyalty program. After 26 years being in the program, that ~is~ very disappointing.
I totally agree. Marriott is definitely hurting Elite members by not giving breakfast vouchers on weekend stays at full service Marriott's.
How are you suppose to know which are and aren't following the sad policy they been told to do now, which is "NOT to overachieve"? We base our whole stay at Marriotts because of the perks such as the vouchers and concierge lounges. Why would Marriott ask their hotels to "Not overachieve"...and to let their customers know this as well?
Plus, I've never understood how the lower level Marriott's offer some form of a free breakfast(at least something) to all members, yet the full service Marriott- where one is presumably spending more money- offer nothing to the Elite members on the weekends.
This is not right- particularly for the most loyal members- the Elite members...those, whom spend the most money to Marriott. And for breakfast vouchers would be a drop in the bucket for Marriott in terms of cost compared to how much Elite members spend a year at their hotels.
Something so simple as that would not cost them much and yet would help keep their most loyal customers.
I will definitely start staying at at other hotel brands now since Marriott doesn't seem to value my over 125 nights a year business.
I emailed Marriott to complain, but just got back a generic form letter reply- basically saying they could care less. Very frustrating- and my loyalty to Marriott is vanishing.
I hope more people complain about this issue and on Marriott cutting back on Concierge Lounge food and hours as well.
You are definitely preaching to the choir. All of us here at the Insider are put off by all of these radical changes at Marriott. We are at a time in the business cycle when they should be embracing us and doing everything they can to keep us close to their vest but there seems to be a new corporate culture that's putting the customer second, probably for the first time in Marriott corporate history.
We all know the bottom line is what counts, but just like you, I plan getaway weekends and vacations around Marriott just so I can take advantage of the perks that Platinum affords me. Without these features, I know for a fact that I will look elsewhere, probably based on cost alone.
Ed French hasn't helped the cause either. He pledged to stay in close touch with us by regularly visiting this site. Ed has been MIA since late last year.
I may be the only one here, but I'm still holding out hope that Marriott will come to their senses and reverse course on a lot of the most recent changes.
This is disconcerting to me and a lot of other Elite members (are we then to be called "Elitists?") We have come to expect certain things at Marriott and find that these "things" are slowly disappearing.
My recommendation would be--and this has worked for me at several properties--to elevate these issues to the highest level of management on duty at the time, which might be the GM, or the Manager on Duty, or at least the Front Desk Manager for resolution. Front desk personnel are relatively new, have little wiggle room and have been given a set of guidelines to follow. Why? Well, an unhappy guests is the last thing that a hotel wants, and a loyal unhappy guest is a disaster waiting to happen. The Guest Satisfaction Surveys (GSS) are used by Marriott to establish rating for properties, and a guest who has been treated this way and gives a low GSS rating will affect the hotel's bottom line rating. One problem is that hotels are Franchised. Thus the owners only implement these standards. That means another layer to contend with, but the associates with whom we deal are in fact reps of Marriott.
Just as good service deserves recnogition, bad service or lack of service deserves to have a light shown on it! We have the ability to question what appear to be changes made on a case by case basis that devalue the Rewards program, and we should.
And, check out the section in the program rules about Rewards Guarantees. Breakfast Monday through Friday is in there, if there is no lounge or it is closed.Keep up the pressure, fill out the survey, do a comment card. Can't hurt.
While I applaud your patience, I believe it will take the genious's at marriott at least most of this year to react to the negative impact their rewards revisions are having. I predict a correction will most likely occur with a 2010 re-launch.
The current inabiliuty to redeem points at resorts (category 6+) during prime season renders marriott worthless to me.
So during this time, I have hedged my bet by switching to Hilton so that I do not waste accumulating worthless points at Marriott during 2009.
The individual properties seem to have all the control. It would certainly be interesting to see the contract between Marriott and these individual properties. I assume the property writes it and someone rubber stamps it with a Marriott signature, as Marriott seems to give the individual properties full control. Some would question, given all these differences among properties, if Marriott cares about the Marriott name anymore. One might expect a certain set of standards to apply to all properties. Other examples of differences are the advance notice required for cancellations, the charge for a pet, TV cable offerings (in this day and age, it's hard to believe many do not offer CNBC so I have to all and check).
Speaking of CNBC, i saw Mr. Marriott on one of their programs recently and he was expressing concern about the government and others criticizing companies traveling to nice resorts for meetings. His concerns are legitimate in that those decisions affect employment at the hotels as well as revenues. I would just add the caveat, however, that no doubt many platinum elite members and other members as well have earned points by placing meetings at Marriotts. So, again, the loyalty and influence of these members should not be underestimated; meetings could certainly be placed elsewhere.
I'm still dumbfounded by the changes made to the program and definitely do not believe the outcome will be a positive one for business.