i am posting this with two intentions:
1. Discovering how to deal with properties who seem indifferent to platinum members.
2. Reporting to the community at large how this property deals with patrons during the holiday season.
Recently, I decided to help a struggling friend of mine. Txxxx is a struggling mother of two who lives in Springfield, Mo. During one our conversations she mentioned they had little money and no vacation at all in the past years. Being the bright soul I am, I used 15K points and reserved a room at the Marriott Courtyard in Springfield, Mo. I informed her that she would need to provide a debit/credit card for incidentals, but as she lives 3 miles away there would not be any.
Upon check-in, the hotel called me to verify that she was allowed to check in. I gladly verified and thought all was good. I received a call later that day from Txxxx informing me that the hotel ha reserved 500.00 for a single night stay. I assured her that this had to be an error, and I would call and resolve the issue.
The staff member who answered the line, informed me that this was te new policy\ of the hotel. I went into a detailed explanation that:
1. This is a single mother of two children.
2. They had held her house payment - leaving 12.00 available in her account.
3. Use my Amex card if need be, but return her funds.
4. I did explain in detail that while Txxx understood the fact they were going to charge her account, she had 2 small children so excited to have access to a pool and vacation time they were ecstatic.
5. i asked multiple times for the hotel to release 400.00 back to her card - this was "impossiable". (Funny, I had the Marriott in Doral, FL do exactly this by providing the bank the transaction # when they chraged my card in excess of 1200.00 instead of 120.00)
I had no sway with this young lady (who I personally deemed to be an arrogant xxxxx). I then logged a complaint the next day with Marriott customer service and received the following response. I did have the good fortune to receive a survey for this property - (my second one in 100 stays) and expressed my sincere disgust of this practice during Thanksgiving week.
Good evening Mr. Dyer,
Thank you for contacting Marriott Customer Care in reference to your reservation that you had gifted for Ms. Gilmore. I do want to apologize that there was an issue with her stay in reference to the security deposit, I understand the frustration with something like that and someone’s funds being held. We had to implement a policy here at our hotel due to issues that we had been experiencing with Guest staying that were from the local area and them damaging the guest room and we were unable to secure funds from the guest to cover those damages, so we had to make a standard policy for all Guests who’s address on their ID was within a 30 mile radius of the hotel that they had to provide a $500 security deposit to cover any incidentals that may be accrued while staying at the hotel. I know Ms. Gilmore was made aware at the time of check in that since her address was within that 30 mile radius that we would be authorizing the $500 for the security deposit and she agreed to that authorization and at that time we informed her that the funds would be released on the hotels part upon checking out and would depend on how her bank processed the authorization release that it could take a few extra days.
Again, I do apologize for the inconvenience that this had caused, if there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know.
Guest Service Manager