I just learned a valuable lesson that I want all of you be aware of...
MARRIOTT DOES NOT HONOR REWARDS PRIVALEDGES, NIGHTS, OR AMENITIES IF YOU BOOK THROUGH "3RD PARTY" PROVIDERS SUCH AS EXPEDIA.COM / TRAVELOCITY.COM ETC.
You have a million options to choose from when traveling for pleasure and to learn that a paid night as a platinum member is not going to be counted is extremely surprising and frustrating for me. Especially as I've personally booked 8 nights at a Marriott - supporting and being loyal to the brand.
GUARANTEED I WON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE AGAIN.
Just trying to save the rest of you who may not be aware of this fact....
If you are trying to take advantage of the low rates offered due to the economy - throw your allegiance to the brand out the window - as they are not going to recognize you as an elite member of their program... back to the bottom of the barrel I go....
This completely sucks. I didn't realize it and I have 8 nights in the last 3 weeks and another 6 already booked in January. My company uses expedia's corporate site and pre-pays all of our hotel stays. I've been loyal to Marriott for the last 5 years and now I'm leaving them for Starwood.
When I called the customer service line, the rep basically said "we don't make any money on those stays". Now you'll be making even less money on those stays because I'll be somewhere else.
In the past I have been extremely loyal to the Marriott brand, I had made a conscious effort to seek out the brand even on websites like Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. That will be the first change in my buying behavior. I had a similar experience with Starwood and was extremely turned off by that policy. I have now learned that Marriott is going to follow a similar policy. I read the terms in full for the first time yesterday after the Customer Service rep mentioned that I would not be getting any credit for my 3-night stay. Next time if my only option is using Expedia or similar online travel sites I going for the best 3 stars option rather than choosing the Marriott Brand. After reviewing some of the posts on this website regarding this topic, I feel a little better that I am not the only one who feels this way. I would highly encourage Marriott to look at this matter and offer a fair solution.