I just read the post written by December31, and, as a long time Marriott Rewards member, I found it very disturbing to think that someone who uses 90,000 points is told, "This is what you get when you use points," when that person had registered a complaint about their room. It seems to me that Marriot should be delighted that someone has stayed a sufficient number of times to accrue 90,000 points, and such a guest should receive extra special treatment, not be discriminated against because of their use of Marriott points. I have used points for week long stays on three different occasions, and I have not encountered this problem personally, but if you read the posts, it seems a number of people have. What is the point of loyalty to a Frequent Guest program if your loyalty is not rewarded?
Thank you for the comments. 11/10 appears to be a very busy day for posts and by the time I logged in, December31's post, The Shelbourne scrolled off the forum list. Browsing your post today, called my attention to it.
I agree that being treated as a 2nd class guest -real- or -perceived- for using MR points is very disturbing. In my experience, the Shelbourne illustrates an exception. That is because I have made it a habit to contact the hotel prior to arrival about special requests. Due to lessons learned, my radar is acute. If I detect any level of condescension because I booked using points, I cancel and book elsewhere, immediately.
A year ago, I did not call in advance and had an experience similar to December31. I did not know that there was significant turnover at the hotel and felt confident about booking a reservation online. Surprise, surprise. Check-in was a total disaster to the point that my wife and I feared retailiation! Barely rested, we checked out the following morning - quietly.
I contacted firstname.lastname@example.org to report what happened. The hotel GM refunded the points plus the tab billed to my CC for spa services we did not receive. The GM also sent a note of apology suggesting I contact him should we desire to come back.
Last week, I reached out only to learn that he was no longer with the property. The new GM had a complete file on what happened and gave instructions to his staff to honor my requests. Happily, all conversations with the new staff support my expectation that booking using Marriott Rewards points is as valued as paid. In the past we stayed at this property 2x a year since it opened.
Staff turnover, inadequate training, poor customer service skills and over zealous revenue-hungry front desk associates are contributing factors to 2nd class guest treatment. Thankfully, it is the exception with Marriott and Marriott has a customer care organization to make things right.
I am glad to read what you've said. When you hear about someone who is using their points not being treated the same as if s/he were a "paying" guest, it seems to go against the whole spirit of the Marriott Rewards Program. Of course, the other thing that contributes to this are we members ourselves: some people seem to feel that using their points makes them less worthy of the staff's attention to their issue/request. Reading these posts, I have been struck by the number of comments like, "We were upgraded and treated so well...and we were using points." Well, being upgraded and treated will are my expectations, whether I'm paying or using points; and I believe all Marriott Rewards members are entitled to entertain these same expectations...and, moreover, to have them realized.
"Well, being upgraded and treated well are my expectations, whether I'm paying or using points; and I believe all Marriott Rewards members are entitled to entertain these same expectations...and, moreover, to have them realized."
Nicely stated, diogenes72. The spirit of Marriott Rewards is lost if you're treated differently when booking a reward. Just this past weekend, I booked at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa using points. At 25,000 per night, my expectations are extremely high. If multiple posts about the hotel's refurbishment, the delightful Octagon Restaurant and Red Door Spa are not self-evident, my wife and I felt treated like royalty.
Thankfully, the bellmen, dining and spa crews survived the recession cuts. It makes an incredible difference to encounter a familiar face, have she/he greet you by name and welcome you back with a hug. Adding to the tagline, Marriott delivered a weekend where we felt, Relaxed, Revived, Re-energized and Realized!