My husband and I have been planning to vacation this week in St. Thomas since February, but instead I'm faced with having to unpack my bags. I booked our reservation online, planning to use points. I chose the Morningstar Beachfront room, and had almost enough points to cover. When I printed my confirmation it gave all the pertinent info, and how many points would be deducted from my account when I ordered my e-certificate, and how many points I would have to purchase and the cost of those points. That part was very clear. Except it never mention a word about the $180 (daily) room upgrade fee for the room I had chosen. I ordered the e-certificate over the phone and the charge for additional points was put on my credit card. The women was lovely, told me to have a great time at the Morningstar. I said " so I'm all set, that's all I have to do, and she said yes, have fun". The confirmation was emailed to me and when I printed it, I noticed the little small print stating the upgrade fee. I honestly thought that was if I wanted to upgrade to an even better room, and that my points where covering the room I reserved. Yes, I know looking at it now that was not my brightest moment. My gut told me, hmmm maybe I should call. To my dismay I discovered I would have been charged an additional $1200 at check out, which I would have not been prepared for. Ouch! I realize this was my mistake for not being sharper when booking, but would someone please explain to me why the website is so unclear. We are frequent travelers and Marriott Vaction Club Owners, but this is the first time I had booked using points. After the shock wore off, I called to cancel the reservation and was told that the additional points I had purchaed would be put into my rewards account, they couldn't take the charge off my credit card. I spoke calmly and politely to three different customer service reps until finally I found one that went to a supervisor and the best he could do, was try to request Visa to credit the account, but that was not a promise. I'm not complaining about him, at least he was willing to put an effort into helping ease the pain of this lost vacation.(Airfare included in the loss) Lesson learned, read the fine print, I wish they'd just eliminate the fine print, and up front show x amount of points for room you reserved. If they can't just charge more points, put the upgrade fee boldly and clearly, you will owe X amount at check out. They where willing to try to get me in a standard room at the Reef, but they were booked solid. I can't help but wonder how many people have made this same mistake. I've lost my air tickets and I'm looking at my sad suitcase full of new fun in sun, beachwear! I would love to be able to express my disappointment with someone at Marriott with authority, but I can't seem to figure out how to go about that. It certainly doesn't happen by phone. Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe the answer is right in front of me, but I'm not thinking clearly. Any advice??
Write immediately to Customer.Care@marriott.com In the Subject: Disappointing and Deceptive Reservations Experience Confirmation 123456
In the body of the e-mail, describe your experience, give dates and names of people you interacted with. The more details the better. As Silver Elite you are entitled to the Reservation Guarantee - COMPENSATION. Not only for the loss but the horrible inconvenience you experienced. I would demand it.
Customer.Care will e-mail you back with a tracking number and get back to you in 3-5 days. Do post back what you encounter, we'll try and coach you through.
What an ordeal! What you went through is OUTRAGEOUS. Take a look at Superchief's post, Beware of New "Cash Upgrade' Award
It took several hours to look 'under the hood' and understand what the two of you were referring to. Finally, I came to the startling conclusion that you and Superchief are referring to a new type of combination award. Sophiegrace is very right, folks - BEWARE - this new turf is treacherous.
Does Marriott think that just because we own timeshare we're stupid? Pay for a resort room twice by redeeming points and on top of that paying an upgrade fee plus tax per NIGHT? This is not a case of sticker shock, this is blatantly misleading and deceptive.
I agree with you that the solution is to be UPFRONT. But, that is only a part of the solution. There's the element of a BROKEN PROMISE. Marriott GUARANTEES the best rate possible - that's the language used in the voice greeting when calling Elite Reservations. There's also the element of BETRAYAL to customer loyalty. In good faith you gave Marriott your confidence and loyalty when you bought timeshare and when you book a vacation using points, they turned around and betrayed your loyalty along with cheated you with hidden fees.
The situation is so infuriating, the solution lacks clarity - yet. But I definitely want to help you. This is a community here and we'll help coach you so you can get back your vacation along with any extra airfare needed to make this right.
In response to James 30, several customer service reps told me that purchased points where non-refundable and there was nothing they could do. They refused to connect me to a supervisor. Finally, I got one that agreed my situation was discerning and had my Visa credited. Unbelievable!