REMEMBER "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION"?
Forgive the historical reference. This is the 21st Century and we (Marriott Elite Members) spend millions in hotel costs at Marriott properties. We enjoy and, (at times ) suffer.. When we experience the latter, we have no one "going to bat for us".
We can be a powerful group if we organize. (NO I'M NOT SUGGESTING A UNION)........
I HAVE A PROPOSAL TO BE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED, COMMENTED UPON AND ACTION TAKEN:
Elite members need an "ombudsman" that will be recognized by Marriott to communicate confirmed mistreatment and mismanagement at properties resulting in a stay that is UNACCEPTABLE.
Furthermore, if clear evidence of an elite member is "wronged" Marriott will provide equitable redress.
Speaking for myself - when travelling and spending one or two nights in a Marriott I hope to have an un-hassled stay. A guarantee of a pleasant experience is far more important (on a short stay) that an upgrade or even a free breakfast (which is unavailable when you flight leaves at 7AM).
I don't have to describe the power, AS A GROUP, we have (economically) to Marriott.
THE TIME HAS COME TO BE RECOGNIZED AS BEING IMPORTANT IN THE WAY WE ARE TREATED. THERE ARE OTHER BRANDS AND OUR LOYALTY GOES ONLY SO FAR.
YOU COMMENTS WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
It appears that the community managers are not the answer. I can't remember a situation where, after the advice of a problem, the manager was ever able to get a satisfactory resolution.
Furthermore, this site has taken away our ability to review hotels for the elite members information.
The system I propose is a person and/or committee made of Elite members who would receive a form (online) with the information about a major problem experienced at a property. The person/committee would review the info and would then contact a Marriott representative appointed as the liaison with the Elite Committee to see if there can be a resolution or redress. Also it would be the Marriott reps responsibility to see that the Elite membership's message about mistreatment is clearly sent to the property in question.
Thank you for the post. We understand where you are coming from and encourage Insiders to come forward with ideas like this for improving measures to be taken at the community moderator level and Insiders member level. We are in full support of Insiders having the freedom to voice their opinions and concerns in this forum. The moderation team, in conjunction with @communitymanager, work daily to address questions and complaints directly with the Customer Care team. Do you have any suggestions as to what we can do better as moderators when an elite member is “wronged”? We do our best when we are given answers that sometimes have no other alternative, so we would like to hear any proposed changes or improvements from you and others that can possibly be considered for future implementation. Look forward to hearing back from you and any others on this. Thanks again.
With all due respect I believe my proposal/suggestion was quite clear. We need someone to go to bat for us!, that simple.
I'm aware that the community managers do their best to represent our views and complaints. Unfortunately, during the time I have been active on this site nothing has come of our requests and complaints.
I imagine what I'm proposing sounds like "treason (LOL)" or "revolution" etc etc . Please though put this in perspective.
On one side of the table you have what amounts to a large group that is quite important to Marriott economically On the other side of the table are the community managers.
In a perfect world we would convey to the managers an inequity caused by the simple stupidity or bad training at a Marriott branded property and you (the manager) would (after reviewing the evidence) make the property aware of the allegation against them and hopefully work out a redress of some sort.
Unfortunately that isn't what happens in this "real world" of Marriott.
We (the Elite members) must insist that Marriott give you (again the manager) the authority to contact the property and proceed. This would be done once the manager has reviewed the evidence and determines that, "yes - this was a screw up that could have been avoided"...
Most insiders know that in some cases you will be presenting these complaints to properties that are managed by Marriott (your employer). Other cases will be alerting franchisees that they "messed up" and their performance could have been avoided with proper supervision and training of their staff.
You and the other managers unfortunately are not empowered to act on our legitimate complaints and suggestions.
I ask you to take this idea and discuss it with your colleagues and then together go to management and advise them that if they want to preserve loyalty (and revenue) it would be in Marriott's best interest and one the best public relation moves a service company could implement if this proposal is implemented,.
I am hopeful that this communication isn't tossed in the trash and I thank you in advance for any effort on your part to move this idea forward.
Thanks again, misterchk, for sharing your thoughts around this. I appreciate you providing clarity, and will certainly take this feedback and share it with my team for review. Please know you can contact us on the moderation team at any time with additional questions or concerns you have.
the forum is flyertalk, your state attorney general and using the power of the purse to avoid properties, check out early or just jawbone the property manager until they address your issue(s). Marriott is not going to give the PE, LPE or PPE any special ear to listed to us, they have had years to do this and haven't done anything. For one, I now stay at Hyatt's in certain cities and avoid the Marriott property like the plague. I never ever ever ever stay at a courtyard property, ever, never ever, ever.. I send written topics when I have issues to the person who is the manager. When they learn that I can sway others stays and will deny them many revenue nights, they seem to sing a very different tune. It would be nice to have a dedicated representative, but the community managers can only forward the issues. Maybe if we all band together, buy Marriott stock, we can accumulate enough stock to make Arne take notice and we apply the pressure that way.. If anyone on this board (which, to point out the obvious is provided by and run by Marriott) thinks Marriott would ever really listed to us, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, a really good deal, fake title and all.
Not so sure I agree about FlyerTalk. Problem there is that about 1/4 of the people posting are helpful or give valid criticisms when necessary. About 1/4 are clueless and you have to wonder if they have ever actually travelled before. But the big problem is the rest who are solely there to air real or imagined grievances in the most vicious way they can dream up. Usually interlaced with comments about incompetence and how the airlines and hotels are malicious and have it in for you and generally juvenile comments. If I'm a hotel exec and I go to FT to see if I can get some hints of how to improve my business and see all the "Jeff Smisek is the Anti-Christ" and "Marriott deliberately poisons dogs" which absolutely dominate most of the threads, I'm just going to ignore all the postings. Including the valid postings.
I've never had a problem at Marriott serious enough to want to push it up the chain. But I have with airlines. They have a customer service line for elites that is separate from regular customers. (like the 1k phone for United) Maybe this is the solution.
But I agree that there needs to be a more efficient way for people to pursue problem resolution.
Sorry, misterchk, but I'm not with you on this one. (And, yeah, I know no one cares whether I'm with you or not... But, hey, it's a forum, so let's discuss this...)
I hear you - and you may, indeed, be correct that Marriott should install something like an ombudsman system. (I'm a true believer in customer service!) But I don't think that's the purpose - or, more specifically, one of the primary (or most important) purposes - of the Insiders platform.
I value the Insiders community because it's a free tool, populated by a wonderful, self-selected group of information providers and like-minded Marriott customers. I love having access - directly and through archival searching - to other Insiders' experiences, learning about their experiences without having passed through the official Marriott filters. And I've benefited (or, I should say, my family and I have benefited) from some great advice in choosing (or avoiding) hotels. I think it's great that Marriott pays for, manages, and supports a forum where we can speak our minds - praise and criticize - with an extremely light touch from "management."
Also, frankly, I think it's wonderful that Marriott sometimes throws points at us for enlivening (or contributing to) the forum, whether through participation or contests or special promotions or.....
So, yes, this platform, at times, provides an opportunity for members to vent. And that's fine. But more often than not, it's a forum where folks can share information (positive and negative). I'd hate to see the nature of it change.
One last thing: my (admittedly) limited years of activity on this site have (empirically) convinced me that the active Marriott Insiders community accounts for a statistically insignificant percentage of Marriott's revenue and/or customer base. There's just not than many of us! I wouldn't be surprised, for example, to learn that there are many more Platinum Premier members each year in the Marriott system than there are active contributors to this site. I wouldn't be surprised if there ten (or more) Lifetime Platinums in the system for every Insider with more than a dozen posts. So let's not delude ourselves into thinking that we - as a group - are going to influence Marriott policy with anything other than good ideas about making sound investments in the Marriott business enterprise.
Sorry (also) for rambling. But, again, it's a forum.... So, let's discuss ... travel..., and destinations, and Marriott properties, and maximizing points for even more travel ... and... and... well, you get the idea.
Shame on you ssindc! Not for disagreeing with me, but for apologizing for disagreeing.
I enjoy (when not being a jerk and sarcastic) frank discussions on topics I perceive to be of importance to this community.
Consequently, not only do I appreciate your opinion but thrilled that it came from a member that seems to care as much as I do.
This is a subject that should be discussed further by members. I truly believe there is middle road and hoping we can get together with Marriott to set up a line of communication when there is truly a serious grievance.
Funny 702rugbyref I was just thinking the same thing. Who would want that position at the receiving end of all the complaints, both frivolous and legitimate, I think you would have to have some high end compensation to make it palatable..LOL!!!
But I do appreciate what the Community Managers do in their limited capacity. I know when I was hit with spurious telemarking calls from so called Marriott reps, they were fast in response and quick to debunk these calls as "not Marriott" and not legitimate.
Anyway any volunteers...????
In the original post, I didn't see any mention specifically of MR Insiders. The ombudsman idea was for ALL rewards members, not just those of us on this site. As others have mentioned, it might be a difficult thing to pull off, but having one person (or office) that could handle issues of MR members does make sense. I'm not sure I'd want the job, but such a role would take some of the pressure of the folks in customer service. Anything they have difficulty resolving could be elevated. I will add, I think they do a pretty good job with most issues.
As to ssindc's point, the MR Insiders forum is not the place for this role. As many of us have said before, this a group of folks untied by their love of travel and loyalty to Marriott (Re: The Purpose of Marriott Rewards Insiders) It's a place for us to share stories, ask for suggestions of where to stay, complain every once in a while, and nominate employees for great service when that happens. I, for one, would like to keep it that way.
I don't believe this site was ever designed to allow us to complain to Marriott and get some resolution. The fact that is works sometimes is a testament to the moderation team. Kudos to all of them.
As to whether Marriott needs an ombudsman, misterchk might be right. But so is ssindc. Insiders is not the place for it. As both point out, the discussion is worth having here. To add my 2 cents, discussing it here isn't likely to get Marriott to consider the idea. That would likely take a more concerted effort directly to people with the power to make decisions.
there are some complains that are based on hotels not adhering to Marriott policies and practice's, some complaints based on people not liking Marriott's policies and practices and some that just complain . It appears hat the current moderators( at least from my view) seem to do a good job with the first, forward to Marriott the second at least if many have the same complain and likely ignore the third. I have always gotten good service whenever I have had any of the first complains by going to Platinum line. the second I don't get too worked up about and the third by nature I don't worry about things I cant control. So guess this is a long answer to I think things in general work thru the service line and this forum
Many have applauded the community managers for their efforts. Myself among them.
Efforts yes, but resolutions (which are not their fault) are few. In fact I am trying to uncover a serious problem that has been resolved after the problem has been acknowledged by a manager.
The standard response seems to be "I will discuss with our team>>>>>>" etc etc.
I can give specific problems with properties the last few years where subsequent guests advised that the problems still existed (months after turning over the problem to staff assigned to this site).
My suggestion for a communication system (with or without an ombudsman) is motivated by these negative experiences due to properties not following proper procedures.
I appreciate everyone's opinion, I just don't understand why there is an absence among members wanting to put a system in place that would benefit both Marriott and Elite members.
Early in August I started a discussion titled: WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS SITE.
A consensus was never attained.
It the purpose of this site is truly social, so be it. If, on the other hand it is also to inform and hopefully correct problems, then this topic should be discussed (which I am happy many of you are open to discussing).
In the last twelve month the site has taken away our ability to post reviews - reviews that I always consulted prior to reserving in an area or property that I was unfamiliar with. Reviews of fellow "road warriors" that identify problems and uncomfortable situations that an occasional traveler wouldn't.
Most members were as upset as I was that this feature was no longer available. It is possible that Marriott is saying to Elites "we will do our best to give you upgrades, we will give you breakfast etc etc.....but our minds are made up as how we run our organization and please don't confuse us with facts".
If that is the case I won't waste my time advising of bad experiences or sneaking in reviews when they have asked we use different forums.
Time to "wake up this subject" -
Reading some of the comments on recent discussions more and more are complaints - complaints as far fetched as ventilation in bathrooms to more common (and important) ones dealing with non-receipt of benefits and mistreatment by hotel staff.
Our community managers, who do their best to represent us, pass along concerns and they are never dealt with.
This forum has not, to my knowledge, been successful in effecting change to the betterment of members.
Am I wrong in asking if Marriott is really interested in letting this site be an agency for "change for the better" - change that will attract customers from other chains?
Shouldn't Marriott work on keeping current customers rather than hoping that their deal with United Airlines will attract new guests?
THIS SUBJECT HAS, THIS MORNING, BECOME EVEN MORE IMPORTANT DUE TO POSSIBLE CONSOLIDATION WITHIN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY.
It was announced this morning that there is a tentative merger between Hyatt and Starwood. This will limit choices that are so important to insure competition.