I never had problems earning points booking through 3rd party sites previously, so recently I booked 9 nights at marriott in Amsterdam and Barcelona, during my check-in I provided my elite number to the hotels where they added them to my reservation and when asked, they guaranteed to me that i would receive points for my stays within 10 days after checking out.
So 2 weeks later my stay I did not receive the points, so I contacted Marriott through emails to claim those points only to be told that no points will be added to my account since the reservation was done through 3rd party.
- This is not the issue yet, please see below the way this issue was handled by Marriott reward customer service -:
1) I replied to Marriott explaining to them that I never had such issues before and I booked previously through the same website and that the hotels confirmed to me that the points will be added to my account within 10 days...... The reply came fast stating that they made a mistake previously by adding points to my account and that they will not do it again since 3rd party booking are ineligible rates.
2) I replied again explaining that the rates were exactly same as Marriott the only difference was that through that 3rd party website I had the option to cancel my booking where in Marriott website it was non refundable, and asked if anything can be done in this case since the "mistakes" Marriott made previously by counting similar short stays caused me to book this long stay without ant hesitating and without checking the terms and conditions. Mistakes have consequences and should be corrected in the right way..
3) my second email was completely ignored and they did not even bother with a reply for 5 days. I have also called Marriott and the lady who answered was very rude and just told me that instead of contacting us you should feel lucky we made a mistake in the past (I am not expecting to change the terms and conditions here, I am just expecting that if the person can't support or help in that matter to have a better attitude toward customers and at least be polite to them).
4) 5 days after my second email I sent another email telling them to at least respect their customers and reply to their emails and address their concerns, This time the reply came fast and short, again Marriott did not bother to address or even answer any of the concerns and questions I sent in my email and just said that we did not reply sooner since we are experiencing more than normal email volumes and there is nothing we can do in this case. Really?? first of all, if a chain like Marriott don't have the right number of employees or resourced to at least address their customers email, they should hire more people. Receiving many emails is never an excuse to ignore your customers emails. plus at least, I mean at least after the very late reply which came after a reminder, I expected to at least receive a decent email that addresses my points or explain the situation or even answer my questions.
I am not angry for not receiving the points even though I have the right to, since this whole misunderstanding happened because of Marriott previous mistakes of counting my stays. However, I am the main one to blame here since I did not read the terms and conditions well and I accept that. However, the way Marriott handled this case whether by email or phone was really bad and unprofessional and showed that they have no respect for their loyal customer nor value their business.
Again, This is not about the points, this is about the poor and unprofessional customer service. Have this situation been handled in a professional way I would have not even bothered with a post.
I am a member of other hotels programs and never experienced such a bad customer services.
mbh, this is not something we like to hear. Can you send me a private message with your Rewards number and the best way to contact you? I'd like to share this with our team to provide clarity and support.
mbh, I did not receive your message. I wonder if anyone else is having this issue when trying to send a private message. At any rate, I've sent you one in hopes that it will open a message between us. Let me know if you've received it.
Hi duffett. Welcome to the Insiders Community! Sometimes it can take a bit before newer members are able to send private messages. You should be all set to send them now. Feel free to reach out again if you have any additional questions.
That is correct. Points are not awarded for any third party bookings. In addition, some rates don't qualify for points either. I don't have a concrete list of which special rates don't qualify but I am sure there are others here on MRI who can shed some additional light on the subject.
I am sure there are some great bargains out there on third party sites, but sometimes Marriott.com is actually the best deal. For example, I go to an annual conference at the World Center in Orlando, and very often you can get a better rate on Marriott.com than you can booking through the conference line at the "special" conference rate. Of course, this depends on when you book, what discounts you're entitled to at Marriott.com, availability, etc.
First I would like to express my condolences to you for not receiving something that you honestly thought you were entitled to (regardless of actual entitlement). Stuff like this is indeed disappointing.
I'm sure that the remainder of my response won't be something that you will appreciate reading, but in my opinion, the issue should've been laid to rest at the end of your #1 above. It was explained to you that 3rd party bookings have never been eligible for point earnings and that a mistake was made. Two things about that... 1) They actually could've taken the previous points credit away from you as well, but didn't. 2) The mistake was probably not made by Marriott International, but was made by the individual hotels themselves, which most likely is/was not even owned by Marriott (but is a franchisee) and Marriott had no way of even knowing that a mistake was made by the hotel, a mistake made due to the ignorance or oversight on the part of the individual hotel property, in which the burden lies with the hotel, not Marriott. If a previous hotel made a mistake in your favor, why should the most recent hotel have to pay for it? Water under the bridge. While you received points you weren't entitled to, it unfortunately reinforced a future decision on your part that resulted in negative consequences. I agree with the agent in your #3 who opined your past good fortune in receiving points you weren't entitled to, though if her manner was rude, that is indeed unfortunate. 'No' is often a perfectly acceptable answer, though shouldn't be conveyed rudely, at least not without cause.
You claim that mistakes have consequences and should be corrected the "right" way, which begs the question, what exactly is the "right" way? Your right way? Marriott's right way? What if Marriott had decided that the "right" way would be to deduct the previous points that you earned even though your previous stays, because they were booked through a 3rd party, were actually ineligible, now that you made them aware of it? Again, the "right" way according to whom?
It also sounds like you were trying to beat Marriott at it's own game, by booking a room at a rate that on the Marriott website is an advanced purchase/non-refundable rate, but on the 3rd party website is the same price without the advance purchase/non-refundable risk factor. I don't blame you for trying to get the best deal for yourself or your efforts at beating them at their own game. Indeed, I applaud it. We all do it as best we can, in an effort to be savvy consumers. The thing is, this is Marriott's game and they are very, very good at playing it. We must know our adversary. It's like trying to beat the house. Sometimes we play and we lose. We've all done it.
I believe that we would all agree that there are unfortunately infrequent occasions when Marriott customer service is less than satisfactory. At the end of the day however, you chose not to accept Marriott's response, the situation escalated, and now you're mad at Marriott because they wouldn't coddle or indulge your point of view in a manner that you felt they should have. I think you should let this go. I also think that Marriott values your business (and mine) even though it got lost in translation in this case. Just my opinion. Life's lessons are best taught when self bought.
Thanks everyone for your input.
Let me just clarify again that this post was not because of the missing points, since even though I was disappointed that I did not gain stays credit for those nights but I do understand now that it is in the terms and conditions. The post was mainly about the bad customer service and the way this specific case was handled as mentioned in my original post:
"Again, This is not about the points, this is about the poor and unprofessional customer service. Have this situation been handled in a professional way I would have not even bothered with a post."
However, Carat and the team here have been very helpful by communicating with me in a professional way and explaining the situation, the rates that do not qualify for credit, and ways to avoid such issues in the future. Which is what we all expect from Marriott in terms of customer service.
As pluto77 said there are unfortunately infrequent occasions when Marriott customer service is less than satisfactory, and I hope by pointing out those cases, Marriott can eliminate them completely in the future.
For me I consider this as a lesson learned the hard way.
I do appreciate your original post. This forum is a great place to vent and discuss issues as well as triumphs, and also receive help and advice. I'm really glad that carat and team were able to interact with you in a professional and caring way, which can mitigate the restoration of faith in our business partnerships when there's been a breach.
There are so many details with the loyalty programs that we as consumers can easily overlook (though I understand that a chain of events took place in your case which understandably caused you to be misled). I was just reading about a member who did not get a night's credit towards elite status because they booked two rooms, one on points and one with cash, and they unfortunately put their son in the room paid with cash, resulting in not receiving the night's credit towards elite status (the hotel should have caught this). Another one of those ridiculous nuances of the program that we must be careful to avoid. It's a bummer to have to learn things the hard way (I've certainly done my fair share). This forum is a great place to proactively discuss these things. And one certainly hopes that Marriott is listening.