Hmmm. Have you been reserving online as well as over the phone? Have you tried calling the manager of the places directly? In the past when staying at Residence Inns, I have called the managers on the phone and found that in some (not all) cases the rooms are available.
I agree that there should be a way to use points to get a larger room, or even connecting rooms.
Let us know what happens, and thanks.
Some Residence Inn properties will still upgrade platinum members to a 2 BR, if available. I was able to confirm a 2BR upgrade for an upcoming trip in June. Others, such as the RI in Treasure Island say they are 'not allowed' to upgrade ever. It really depends on the GM. I agree that confirmed upgrade options with points should be offered. Good luck.