17 Replies Latest reply: Jul 4, 2011 9:49 PM by alanrl RSS

Maybe it is time to change

20yrplat Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

For the Past 25 years I have been a Platinum member.  I have seen things change again and again.  Remember the little jars of Jelly Beans, or the nice luggage tags with the dark leather and gold metal address plate?  They are gone too! The changes have always been take aways....never increases in perks! 

When I book a multi-night hotel room at a property and the first night is available for " let's say" $198.00 per night and my stay extends through the weekend into the following week, I am quoted the $198.00 rate for the entire stay...They never offer to give me the $103.00 " weekend rate" during the weekend days.  With this said, I am really disappointed with Marriott's latest edict to the properties, that on the weekend, when the conceierge lounge is closed, there are NO breakfast vouchers for a continental breakfast in the restaurant to be offered anymore.  Marriott corporate has told ALL properties to NOT give vouchers anymore. 

My contention is that my $198.00 is the same no matter whether it is a Wednesday or a Saturday.  My LIFETIME PLATINUM status DOES NOT CHANGE or go away over the weekend! 

My business to Marriott over the past 25 years is measured not in number of nights, but in the number of night years!  If they keep on the road of eliminating the perks, then I will make price, convenience, and ammenties as what guides my choice of a hotel property.  It will NO LONGER be because of Loyalty, as the Loyalty is no longer reciprocal.

 

Rick P

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    emlpop Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    Not sure how universal Marriott's edict about no breakfast vouchers if lounge is closed on the weekends is.  We just returned from a Florida stay over the weekend using points and had vouchers for Sat. and Sun buffet, which was FAR better than the buffett in the opened lounge Monday morning. Just an FYI.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Rick P (see Postscript 4/8 below)

     

    You are in very good company voicing disappointment with the rate structure and Marriott's failure to deliver services up to expectations.  This is a placeholder for a more in-depth response. Stay tuned and thank you for being forthcoming and candid.

     

    Postscript: April 6:  Since the implementation of the 2009 changes in January, I've experienced incidents similar to what you describe.  In the past, the Front Desk Manager always cooperated and responded by issuing a credit for the difference in rates and offering some other perk.  Now, the rules of engagement have changed.  Consider writing to Customer.Care@Marriott.com and place, "Disappointing Stay at [name of hotel] Confirmation #: 123456" in the Subject line.  In your narrative, describe the reservations process and your expectations.  I would request a full refund of the amount charged for the weekend night(s) in question.   

     

    Post back what happens, good luck.

    TJ C

     

    Postscript 4/8:   The following announcement* was posted by a member of the Marriott Concierge Team on Flyertalk yesterday evening:

     

    Just over two weeks ago I announced that Marriott would be reevaluating its Concierge Lounge offerings. All the concerns raised in this thread were discussed; however, the focus of the current change is on food offerings. Based on multiple feedback sources, we learned that hotels needed additional flexibility in the types of popular, healthy, and comfort food selections they offer. Going forward, our General Managers and hospitality teams on property will have options that will help them to customize lounge offerings that meet their guests preferences.

    I recognize that many of you would have liked more details regarding this new policy, or perhaps to have seen additional changes. I am optimistic that as you visit our lounges over the next weeks and months you will be pleased with the changes you observe. I assure you that we continue to look for ways to improve and we value your comments, concerns, and questions.

    Regards,

    Ira

    Marriott Concierge Team

    marriott.concierge@marriott.com

     

    * Concierge Lounge

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Alas, I have discovered, as you say, that the lesser rates are seldom quoted, and always need to be asked for.  I just jettisoned my Club Marquis luggage tags in a fit of cleaning out stuff.  I also have other memorabilia, including free robes with the logo, and my wife has a nice Tiffany Bracelet I got for having made boucoup stays at one hotel that had a unique program.  I think of what used to be and I sigh heavily.

     

    Now for the reality check:  No one is giving the things they used to: airlines have become iconic "less-costs-more" exemplars; rental cars have the nerve to charge a premium for more gas stingy cars than regular size ones; and hotels across the board (I have not stayed in a Four Seasons in a year or so, so I really can't vouch for them)  have clipped the perks, in the name of RevPAR and it's kissing cousin, RevPOR

     

    As usual, the number-crunchers win and we don't.  I only can hope that someone somehow in Bethesda at HQ will realize the spreading discomfort among us and start to make amends. I miss the jars of candy, the personal notes, the recognition and the ability to be known and rewarded without asking!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated
    I've been reading for a couple of months now about the elimination of breakfast on weekends for when the club lounge is closed, but my experiences are just the opposite.  Most recently, last weekend, the Nashville Airport Marriott, offered the full buffet for me and my wife.  Same with the Des Moines, Omaha, Fairview Park, and KC Airport Marriotts, just to mention a few. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    NUCORNHUSKER,

    We had the same experience at the Nashville Airport.  We were so glad we did not stay at the Opryland Hotel for the convention, it was a zoo!

    The food and service at the Marriott was top-notch. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    james30 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I can appreciate Marriott's making some changes with amenities which seems to be what concerns most of us.  I really think all that pales in comparison to the audacity to upgrade property categories and compounding that by increasing point requirements.  From January 2009, no problem, as they are in charge and can do what they want.  But to not grandfather what we already had garnered in points is really unfortunate.  Some will go ahead and pay the points, no doubt, as the property is what's most important to them.  Some may decide to stretch those points now in every way they can, including staying in properties of lower categories.  By doing that, one can easily double the number of free nights.  In that scenario, what did Marriott gain by raising point requirements and not grandfathering.  

     Some have pointed out that we need to look at it from Marriott's perspective and I can appreciate that, which is why I don't have a problem with reducing some amenities.  But for people who have given them nights for 25-30 years, not to grandfather is a real slap in the face and certainly, I guess, the new corporate way of saying thanks to customers.  For every negative change made, I would not be expecting a reversal when the economy picks up and it will.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    NUHUSKER (see Postscript 4/8 below)

     

    That's very encouraging and bears witness to the fact that some Marriott hotels continue to deliver services that their loyal customers expect.  In order for a person to be healthy, you have to have a regular heartbeat.  The same goes for business. A healthy business relies upon regular customers to come back and sing the praises to others which will attract new business.  Consider writing Customer.Care@Marriott.com to convey your positive experience and your future intentions to return when in the area. 

     

    Postscript 4/8:   The following announcement* was posted by a member of the Marriott Concierge Team on Flyertalk yesterday evening:

     

    Just over two weeks ago I announced that Marriott would be reevaluating its Concierge Lounge offerings. All the concerns raised in this thread were discussed; however, the focus of the current change is on food offerings. Based on multiple feedback sources, we learned that hotels needed additional flexibility in the types of popular, healthy, and comfort food selections they offer. Going forward, our General Managers and hospitality teams on property will have options that will help them to customize lounge offerings that meet their guests preferences.

    I recognize that many of you would have liked more details regarding this new policy, or perhaps to have seen additional changes. I am optimistic that as you visit our lounges over the next weeks and months you will be pleased with the changes you observe. I assure you that we continue to look for ways to improve and we value your comments, concerns, and questions.

    Regards,

    Ira

    Marriott Concierge Team

    marriott.concierge@marriott.com

     

    * Concierge Lounge

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Emlpop,

    Could not agree with you more!

    Very good point. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    James

     

    As posted earlier * Marriott has already learned a lesson about the perils of "grandfathering".  Here's an excerpt from an article found online.  For better and unfortunately for worse as many have observed, "sticker shock" is here to stay.  Marriott's option is to offer promotions that give the illusion of grandfathering.  The 3 for 2 Resort Redemption offer ** is a recent example along with Pointsavers.

     

    Postscript 4/7:  I wrote the above too hastily.  This is to clarify.  As prior litigation by Mileage Plus members suggests, 'grandfathering' or a roll-back strategy is risky and would not be effective for MR members or Marriott.  The value of the benefits of the program gets chiseled away (by litigation fees) and the delivery of services is placed on hold (because resources are diverted).  By offering promotions such as the 3 for 2 Resort Redemption offer and Pointsavers, the value of the program is preserved, service delivery is maintained at a level that can be justified by the revenue generated and Marriott gets sharper at innovating ways to deliver more value and services.  

     

    EXCERPT *

    MYTH: Frequent travelers do not have rights.

    TRUTH: This is America. Of course you have rights. But as is the case with all your other God-given rights, you’d better be prepared to go to court and pay the price of suing to protect them.

     

    "In a class-action lawsuit filed in March 1987, members of United’s Mileage Plus took on the nation’s largest carrier. United had increased some award levels in January of that year, but then, after a public outcry, rescinded the increases six months later. Mileage Plus members who had claimed their awards at the higher award levels demanded the return of the excess miles they had to use. When United refused, the award winners sued. More than a year later, United relented and returned the excess miles to the Mileage Plus members in an out-of-court settlement.

     

    However, before spending thousands of dollars pursuing lawsuits, remember that the lady with the scales is blindfolded: the courts might rule for the airlines. That’s essentially what happened to the consumer protection guidelines issued by NAAG. The organization’s code would have required frequent travel programs to meet certain stringent conditions – such as honoring a reward request within fifteen days before or after you originally wanted to travel – or be subject to prosecution under consumer protection laws.

     

    NAAG did have some early successes – it won a ruling against the OnePass program and laid the groundwork for successful action in Pennsylvania against Marriott’s Most Honored Guest program – before the organization was stymied by a federal court injunction. Currently it is prohibited from enforcing any consumer protection guidelines relating to the advertising and marketing practices of the travel industry. That ban includes frequent travel programs."

     

    The Truth About Frequent Travel Programs

    ** Hooray for Marriott Rewards?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    mikiegfla Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    The Randy Peterson column from 1990 is a real hoot. All of the players are mentioned, including Pan Am and Eastern. Here is one of the best quotes on the subject of limiting the number of seats on American Airlines to its AAdvantage members.

    “Interestingly enough,” says Michael Gunn, American’s senior vice president of marketing, there is not a massive outcry about capacity controls.”

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    james30 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC New Yorik.  Thanks for the post; very interesting.  3 for 2 and 5 for 4 is nice.  But, as an example, at the Camelback it was 200,000 for 4 which would mean then 200,000 for 5 in this scenario.  And 7 nights would be nothing less than 280,000 points.  Prior to the change 7 nights would have been 150,000 points so we are talking about nearly a 100% increase in point requirements.   I think, and it's just one person's opinion, if grandfathering is too challenging then they might have left the point system alone and not punished people by basically taking what they had already earned, and make some changes with amenities, etc.  At least those changes would be forward looking, therefore, not penalizing us for what we had already earned.  Thanks again.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    alanrl Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Like the economy, marriott service, amenitities are slipping

    while the prices keep going up.

     

    Doubt I will want to acquire the ELITE status again 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    James30

     

    I fully agree.  Raising the number of points feels like a penalty for being loyal.  I do understand that the price of everything goes up, but that doesn't take away the 'sting' that 'sticker shock' delivers.   In the prior point structure,  I liked the reduction in points for multi-night stays.  For example, one night at a Cat5 cost 20K but 2 nights cost 38K and 3 nights, 46K.  Now, every night is 25K.  The breakdown in service delivery only compounds the torture.  

     

    Since 'grandfathering' is legally risky, a new solution is needed.  I'm both confident and optimistic that Marriott will come through. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    sgarber Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated
    This is a very great point and I would like to second those words Marriott Please Take NOTE that we are unhappy with your breakfast program on the weekends and your Courtyards!!!!!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    terrielee0403 Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    Rick,

    You have many other's sentiment to a tea.  I have enjoyed the rewards program and the little extras, for me it is I like ot feel comfortable and know what I'm going to get once I get there.

    That being said, most of the "home feel special perks are gone"  To actually have to book to reservations to get the weekend rate is absurd and far more extensive for Marriott in paperwork etc.  If you don't value your clientele you lose them.  That goes for all of us in business... If we don't take care of our clients; we lose them.  Unfortunately that is where the Marriott seems to be headed and there is no reason for loyalty and possibly there are other Hotels that have ammenities that would make business travel easier, and enjoyable. Obviously, you're fighting for market share in a tight environment... Set Yourself Apart!!! Take the high road and solidify your market share.

     

    I've completed many surveys to never never have a response once it is completed.

    I would like to stay loyal; please give me a reason to do so.

     

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Rick,

     

    As I sit in a RI in Springfield, Mo this morning and think about the people who I have talked to this week who share your concerns, you are really on to something.

     

     

     Most of can walk to get our own newspapers, bring our own lotion, etc., but when one see's the premium prices it sometimes makes it tough to defend your travel choices to non-traveling corporate accts!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Maybe it is time to change
    alanrl Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    yes, the $$ bottom line comes first for Marriott Corp.  I remember the outstanding service and quality of the RItz Carlton brand and have sadly seen the demise of the services in those high line properties as well.  Marriott bought the chain and figured ways to CUT costs and amenities for their hotel guests inorder to improve their $$  bottom line.

     

    I do not believe Marriott cares about its guests like they care about incentivizing their properties to be more frugal.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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