After I last posted, it occurred to me to wonder why Marriotts couldn't use bar codes -- much like airlines do -- for our initial reservations that we can print out, and then scan them into their computers, automatically registering points on checkout to the Marriott system.
Since besides airlines, supermarkets and small stores use bar codes, couldn't this be a way to get around the problem at least some of us have in getting our points posted in a timely manner?
At present, whenever I check-in, my MR number, status and number of nights stayed to date is visible to the Front Desk. The information already resides in the reservation and property management systems. I'm not sure posting points at check-in makes sense from a process perspective. The number of points to be posted does not depend upon the reservation, it is calculated after the stay depending upon eligible revenue spent. Perhaps posting rewards points at check-out might make more sense?
One aspect of checking into a Marriott hotel that I enjoy is the welcome and level of interaction that takes place. It's 'high-touch' and personal. To their credit, Marriott has managed to preserve that aspect of the guest experience and improve upon it. What the airlines has done is completely the opposite. They have depersonalized travel. While bar coding has introduced very high efficiencies and helped to accelerate security, boarding, and significantly automated luggage tagging and routing, I am very glad that Marriott has not implemented a similar process.
Bar code scanning also has a 'retail' feel, not a hospitality feel.' In order to scan a bar code like Point of Sale systems do, the Front Desk agents would need bar code scanners, which they currently do not have. To add this as a cost to operations in order to thave real-time Rewards posting might be prohibitive and the cost gets added to the room rate. Let's NOT encourage that, the technology used already can support MR posting in real-time.
This is a great idea. Also why is the Marriott Rewards card not a smart card? It would be so much easier if we could use a proximity reader when checking in rather than merely hand them a credit card, and then have them acknowledge the MR card.
RFID technology and chip embedding are greatly improving point of sales across the world, Why not at Marriott?
Hi Stepping Stones and TJCNewYork,
After I posted my comments about bar codes, I realized there would be some problems with the idea, but I am so, so frustrated that over the past year I have had constantly to call and fax -- not only Marriott's platinum elite number but also my VISA card if it is not posted as Marriott.
There must be some more consistent way -- even if it has to come from the top -- to make sure that Marriotts all over the world post points within a week at the most. And perhaps some penalty if they don't. It's not rocket science. It seems to me when I used to stay primarily at Hiltons they didn't have this problem. Any Hilton experiences of points problems from insiders?
In one of my recent experiences, I was told on checking out that my rewards number was on the portfolio, but the desk agent said he would write it down to make sure. He wrote it in pen on the back of his copy of the bill. And they were not posted until I called after twelve days, after I called and faxed the copy of the hotel receipt.
Prof C -- Just to clarify my post in another forum about the difficulty and frustration of getting points posted, let me say that in years past that seemed to be a common occurence. Within the past couple of years, seems to be much less of a problem. Even still, when it does happen, it's aggravating. As for the bar code, etc., I'm like TJC in that I prefer the personal touch when I stay at a Marriott property. Presently, my check-in usually takes under a minute, and I don't recall the last time my points weren't up and posted in just a few days following my stay. As for the barcode card, maybe that's an option that could be offered to patrons who would prefer check-in by kiosk. As for me, I prefer the face-to-face. Although, I occasionally stay at a Hilton or Holiday Inn, it's not often enough to even notice the timeliness of my points being posted. In fact, I usually lose my Hilton points when there is more than a year in between stays. I go out of my way to stay at Marriott. I've stayed 96 nights since Jan, not counting the double nights bonus, and all points were posted soon after my stay was completed.
Technology has a very distinct business purpose in hospitality: communications, information access and data transfer. My expectation is that Marriott deliver flawless WiFi/Broadband access across all brands in all rooms on a complimentary basis to all Marriott Rewards members.
I would be absolutely delighted to see Marriott move on a RFID solution to Marriott Rewards in the future, but deliver upon guest expectations for complimentary WiFi/broadband - now.
Here's the challenge: Accelerate the updating of Marriott Rewards in real-time so we can access our accounts from our own notebooks or mobile devices.
I don't want to give the false impression that all I care about is getting my points. Obviously, I stay at Marriotts because I love the overall experience -- the unusually hospitable staffs (I would place the Grand Flora, Athens Ledra and Ghent Marriott at the top of my list); the fantastic beds; the upgrades; the free gifts; most of all the feeling that I am truly a special guest.
Like TJCNewYork and others, I do think it's ridiculous that there is not free wifi or broadband -- and the charges in Europe are outlandish. Here again, though, it's not consistent. The Grand Flora has never charged me. At every other hotel I've stayed at the range (in euros, but similar in pounds) for a week is about 80-90 euros, which is outlandish.
So, no, the timely posting of points is definitely not my priority. But it is a problem in the system that Marriott should address.