I am currently in New York, staying at the Marriott Marquis for 2 nights and 1 night at the Residence Inn. I had previously booked 3 nights at the Marriott Marquis from the 1 - 4 May but got an email from Marriott offering me "Spring weekend savings at the Courtyard and Residence Inn", when you stay a weekend night using code RPN. Both Times Square properties. Both offers read as this:
COURTYARD TIMES SQUARE - Save an extra $50 on your next stay, Get your coupon for up to $50 off your next weekend stay at the Courtyard Times Square south.
Terms and conditions: $50 coupon redeemable when you stay three or four weekend nights at the Courtyard Times Square.
(IN THE HEADING, AND IN THE CONDITIONS, THIS MAKES IT CLEAR THAT IS ONLY REDEEMABLE AT THE COURTYARD TIMES SQUARE).
RESIDENCE INN - Earn $50 in Marriott Bonus Bucks. Book a weekend stay at the Residence Inn and earn $50 in Marriott Bonus Bucks.
(IN THE HEADING THERE IS NO MENTION OF WHERE IS IS TO BE REDEEMED. IN THE CONDITIONS IT IS AMBIGUOS AS IT SAYS CAN BE REDEEMED AT PARTICIPATING MARRIOTT PROPERTIES WORLDWIDE. It is not until much later in the t&c's that it says "OFFER AVAILABLE AT PARTICIPATING RESIDENCE INN LOCATIONS" but doesnt reeally say if its to get the voucher or redeem it.
Terms and conditions: Receive a $50 Bonus Bucks coupon when you stay a friday or saturday night. One $50 coupon issued per room ,per stay which can be used on a future two night weekend stay at participating Marriott brand properties worldwide. Offer available at participating Residence Inn locations only.
ON the actual "suiteweekend" offer from the Residence Inn, it once again says "Receive a $50 Bonus Bucks coupon to use on your next 2 night weekend stay at any participating Marriott hotel or resort worldwide. See reverse side of coupon for complete terms and conditions.
Now, where is this all leading? On checkout at the Residence Inn, the front of the voucher I was given says
$50 weekend bonus bucks coupon good toward a future 2 weekend night at any Residence Inn location worldwide. See reverse side for information and full terms and conditions. So, on the back of the coupon the conditions are:
THIS COUPON IS ONLY VALID AT MARRIOTT HOTELS & RESORTS, JW MARRIOTT HOTELS & RESORTS, COURTYARD, RESIDENCE INN, SPRINGHILL SUITES, TOWNPLACE SUITE, FAIRFIELD INN.
THIS COUPON IS NOT VALID AT MARRIOTT VACATION CLUB, MARRIOTT EXECUSTAY OR MARRIOTT EXECUTIVE APARTMENTS.
There is NO mention whatsoever in the terms and conditions on the back of the voucher that it can only be used at Residence Inns, and therefore, the ONLY VALID at Marriott, JW Marriotts etc... contradicts itself and is once again ambiguos to say the least.
Because of the email I received, I cancelled my first night at the Marriott Marquis in advance of my trip and booked myself in to the Residence Inn with the full intention of using the Bonus Bucks coupon for the following 2 weekend nights at the Marriott Marquis. I have benefited from many Bonus Bucks promotions in the past and they have always been generic and usable in all Marriott properties. I had no idea that this was to be any different and when i tried to use it yesterday at checkin at the Marriott Marquis i was told that it wasnt acceptable because the front of the voucher says to be used at any Residence Inn. When i pointed out the terms and condtions on the back, I was then told they were (conveniently) not participating in this offer.
Last night I spoke with the front desk manager (Antonio) who was very helpful indeed and could see that one side differed from the other and said he would phone the Residence Inn as maybe they had given me the wrong kind of Bonus Bucks voucher. When I got back to my room later today there was a message from the Marriott Marquis front desk manager to say that the Residence Inn would not give in to what it said on the front despite there being conflicting infomation on the reverse.
My thinking when there is a problem is to "sort it at source at the time" rather that wait weeks and then write to the manager, only to be told "if you had seen us at the time we could have sorted this out there and then", and therefore, i went back to the Residence Inn and spoke to the duty manager, Monique, who was very pleasant but very very firm and there was no way she was going to do anything about this.
My first choice of hotel in Manhattan is the Marriott Marquis and sometimes it can be expensive and have stayed at both the Courtyard and the Residence Inn before, that is why I got the tempting offer.
I told the duty Manager at the Residence Inn that the voucher would be no use to me as my plans did not include a 2 night stay at that brand in the near future and asked that under the circumstances i could be credited with $50 to my credit card, but this was refused. However, my plans do inlcude another trip to NYC in 3 weeks time and 2 nights will be at the Marriott Marquis (on the way to Florida) and then on the way home, staying at the Residence Inn for 1 night with the intention of getting another $50 voucher. But as this voucher would just be a repeat of what i had already got, then there was no point in staying there, and I would, therefore, cancel my stay at the Residence Inn. I said that for the sake of $50, they were not willing to pasify a Platinum member or to maintain my business. Monique said she understood but could do nothing and I obviously had a choice where I stayed and if it was not the be at her hotel, then it was not to be. I could not believe this. I said that in the current economic climate I thought that every hotel chain (or brand) needed to nurture new clients and most certainly to take extra care of very loyal guests to Marriott like me who as Platinum members spend are a core part of their business.
Just to explain, I am not a business traveller, and unlike alot that are who have their hotel bills settled by their company, as a leisure traveller I pay all my own bills and first of all staying 75 nights a year mininum is not easy, and secondly, every $ counts.
Of course I do have a choice where i stay, but my first choice is always Marriott, but in cities where there is no Marriott i will stay at Hilton or Starwood hotels. This negative approach to my complaint has actually made me want to stop staying at Marriott hotels altogether and give my business to Hilton or Starwood.
I am also slightly surprised that the Marriott Marquis and the Residence Inn both dont work this out between them, perhaps splitting the cost of $25 each, after all, how many hotels must knock off thousands of dollars to pasify guests when they query mini bar/movies or other complaints. This is a minute amount of cash for them to lose and for me, it is the principal of the thing. I feel I have been misled with this offer, the information is not clear enough and it is ambiguos and has conflicting information within the same document/voucher.
I have now cancelled my night at the Residence Inn on the 6th June and rebooked the Marriott Marquis, but to be honest, I am serioulsy thinking of cancelling the whole of my NY stay at the Marriott Marquis who stand to lose over $1000 from my booking and for Hilton to benefitv from it.
I did tell the duty manager at the Residence Inn that I would be posting my feelings on here but I also now feel like contacting Business Traveller magazine about the negativity of Marriott and also posting this information on Trip advisor.com
I'm a native NewYorker and regret to hear what you are experiencing in my hometown. Since the rollout of the 2009 Awards, the 'rules of engagement' have changed and Marriott's ability to deliver legendary customer service has taken a hit. You did the right thing coming here. As a thought, I highly recommend a 2-step process: REPORT & ESCALATE
Do post back the outcome. Best wishes for a speedy resolution and good luck.
I have found that the fine print on all these deals tends to have differing interpetations, depending on the interpreter (or ee?) doing the reading. It seems that Marriott could eliminate a lot of confusion if they put the "does not apply" alongside the deal that they are offering:
"Get a $50 dollar certificate good only at (fill in the blank) and not for (fill in the dates)"
It would make all our traveling lives that much simpler. Here's hoping they do it soon
I also find most of the Marriott Special promotions confusing. At first they seem good, but there is always something in the small print that excludes me.....wrong country, wrong teir level, wrong Brand....
And dont get me started on those little books of offers we get with our cards every year! Never been able to use a single one.
They always say on the front valid at all Marriott properties, but on the back excludes Ren, JW, resorts etc.......
I agree that it is time that Marriott started delivering their promises. Sounds like that Manager at the Residence Inn was waffling. For the sake of $50 she should have been more grateful for your business. If I were you I would be booking in at the Hilton who are sure to have a good deal at the moment in NYC! And you don't have to cope with those lifts in the Marquis!
Dear TJC. Just an update on this complaint. I contacted the hotel manager at the Marriott Maquis on my last day and he immediately took the $50 off my bill depsite not even seeing the bonus bucks voucher, simply asking that i return it to him when I check in in June. Had this have happened on day one at the Marquis, or have been sorted out by the Residence Inn (where the voucher originated from), then i would have been happy with my $50, BUT it took me Sat, Sun and Mon to get a positive result, with me having to spend considerable time dealing with the desk at the marriott (and the front desk manager), then spending valuable time going back to the Residence Inn to try to get them to sort out (which they refused to do), and then to have to write to the GM at the Marquis, this ended up ruining my short weekend in NY.
So now, I will take your advice and contact customer care at Marriott. I have already written an email to the GM of the Residence Inn Times Square and had a very nice reply back asking for more information (which I have suppplied again depsite giving this all to theduty manager while in NY). I am now back home in London UK and feel completely let down by Marriott and not as a valued Platinum customer. With hotels crying out for business and offering all sorts of discounts and promotions, I think the Residence Inn could have stopped this escalating to where it is now.