Are they? The story is still being written, but the moral is clear. Place your eggs in more than one basket. (No seasonal pun intended) Spread out the risk, and the potential for loss across the competing brands. Negotiate deals, it's a buyers market. Reduce share of wallet with Marriott. Reduce the impact of inflation and sticker shock, spend rewards points as they are earned.
Marriott has the capability to run reports on 30 million MR members against the MR members that post concerns and complaints on Insiders. How difficult is it to anticipate the impact that changes will have on the most loyal customers with Elite status - before implementing them? Factoring the 80/20 rule, 80% of Marriott's revenue comes from 20% of 30 million members. A 50% bonus is fine going forward for Plats, but it's not enough to offset a loss of 30% as in the examples of those who are "done."
Insiders was very vibrant in 2008. The discussion that was removed was viewed by 27,000+ members. Only a fraction of that community remains. Put the content back. Give members the content they posted back.
Since "grandfathering" is not an option, Marriott needs another solution - fast.