Once again the Loyalty Marketers have it wrong. "Let's make everyone Platinum Elite". I stay roughly 150-200 nights in a hotel per year. I enjoy being singled out and given preferential treatment. I want extra points, I want upgraded rooms, I want a nice free breakfast where I can leave a generous tip and move on to work, I want free water, I want a room with a balcony, I want a King size bed. so on and so on..... to sum it up I want to be welcomed, appreciated and have the conveniences of home.
Giving rollover nights only brings those up who really don't deserve to take those amenities from an "extreme frequent traveler". It just diminishes the reason that I'm loyal to Marriott. I received 145 rollover nights for this year... what does that do for me? I'm going to stay another 200 nights this year! So I'll have 270 nights rollover for next year. Big deal. In the mean time someone comes in with 30 rollover nights from last year and makes platinum this year because of it. All I can see, they're getting the last room on the consierge floor if they check in before me.
I have been approached by hotels in the area to get my business through visiting colleagues at their hotel bars. I'm getting some nice offers such as coming in at the highest level, bonus points, free drink coupons daily, etc.
I feel that Marriott is taking people like me for granted. Trying to get new business is great, but hurting the people who sustain their business can backfire. What is Marriott doing to KEEP MY business? I'm sure my little blurb will not change anything, but at least I got my point across and if they see that my annual nights decrease, whoever reads this will know why.
You are an uber stayer! Congratulations! You should be top of the heap when you call or checkin, first in line, etc. Parenthetically I have an acquaintance who has been staying in a Marriott nonstop since the late 1990s. He's certainly the most frequent stayer in the program and gets a few extras here and there.
Nonetheless there are other loyalists out there who work hard but can't match the achievements you've earned without Marriott help. Marriott needs to consider the needs of the many without forgetting the need of one, in my humble opinion.
A balance between the top top tier and the rest of us benefits them and benefits us.
Whereas i sympathize with your plight, Marriott are a profit seeking company and are obviously appealing to the majority versus the minority (unfortunaltey you in this case) There are far more travellers who spend 20-40 nights per year than who do in the hundreds.
I promise to behave in the concierge lounge and not eat all the eggs.
"Can we say Hilton???????????"
mi - First of all - welcome to Insiders and thanks for posting. Mentioning other hospitality brands is fine. Feel free to be candid.
When changes to the Marriott Rewards schedule were announced in the fall of 2008, there was fallout. A number of migrants to other brands claimed they had already obtained or were on the fast-track to receiving the highest status at Hilton.
Since Hilton does not have a forum comparable to Insiders, HHonors members may not have a venue where they can discuss the actual or perceived 'depletion' of the value of Diamond status.
Now, that the new 2010 HHonors schedule is being implemented, Marriott Rewards Rollover Nights program offers a great opportunity for those HHonors and other migrants who may wish to regain the Marriott Rewards Elite status.
For more details, see the very lengthy discussion here: Welcome Back
-- Edited by TJCNewYork at 02/01/2010 1:33 PM EST: http://www.marriottrewardsinsiders.marriott.com/thread/null&start=600&#msg14000009060
"I promise to behave in the concierge lounge and not eat all the eggs."
What about the bagels, english muffins, bacon and sausage? (just kidding) But, thank you. Expressing the sentiment that there's more than yourself entitled to whatever complimentary offerings are available is noted and appreciated.
Most recently at Marriott's Custom House, a Category 7 property in Boston, I just made the lounge before cutoff time only to find that all the tea bags were gone. The attendant was very puzzeled because she had just refilled the basket with an assortment of foil-wrapped specialty teas.
Above: Buffet server with a la carte breakfast items including pastries, bagels and breads.
Reaching into a nearby cabinet, she asked if two would be ok. Startled, I said one would be fine. At that moment, one other latecomer entered the lounge - who also wanted tea.
By the way, the Lounge at Marriott's Custom House is open to all Marriott Vacation Club owners and registered guests. Elite status is not required. The Custom House has 84 luxury 1 bedroom suites. You could have 365 roll over nights or none and be entitled to Marriott's wonderful hospitality and service.
cosmiccatnip said: "I promise to behave in the concierge lounge and not eat all the eggs."
It's my understanding that as a silver member you are not authorized concierge lounge access...unless that is the most recent benefit to fall victim to drinking from the fire hydrant.
"I'm getting some nice offers such as coming in at the highest level, bonus points, free drink coupons daily, etc."
All of the competing brands have been aggressively promising to match Marriott. There's been a fair amount of brand-hopping during the past 16 months or so. The top tiers must be very crowded. The question is, are these brands rewarding for loyalty or for brand-hopping? How do HHonors members who have paid their dues over 25+ years feel towards outsiders being given priveleges that took a lifetime to earn?
"Maybe I'll see you guys at a Hilton someday."
Regrets you feel that way. Given recent changes at HHonors, the bonus points are likely a wash. With 200+ nights solidly in your favor, why not feel more confident about your status? Is the perceived impact of Rollover Nights that threatening? IMHO, there are other program changes which supercede the impact of Rollover Nights on the value of Platinum Elite status:
These changes came about mid-2009. Since then, complimentary upgrades based upon availability at some Marriott brands have been entirely eliminated. Forget about somebody making Platinum because of Rollover Nights getting an upgrade that you or I may be very well entitled to. Other policy and program changes have slipped by almost unnoticed that have a bigger impact than meets the eye.
Brand-hopping to get a few free drinks and coupons may be a break-fix, but for how long?
"Go to the Hilton and Starwood family; see how you feel after a couple of years... I did all of that and came back to Marriott. At the end of the business day, Marriott gives you better service. period!"
Following up on my earlier message, welcome back to Marriott. Comparing your guest experience across Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton:
Feel free to answer all, any or none of the above.
Travelguy - I agree with you.
We all know that MR is trying to build business and appeal to everyone, even the "marginal" members who can "squeak by" making a higher status with the rollover points - it's good business from Marriott's perspective.
I believe the real crux of the issue is someone who has as many paid nights a year as Travelguy or myself (200+). It does not take too many times to be "overbooked" on the concierge floor, or a "long time" between getting an upgrade, or to have ridiculously long lines at free breakfast, etc., or those perks that the "dedicated road warriors" feel they should receive for their business. I'm not implying this happens every time or even a few times a year - how often doesn't really matter, but the perception DOES matter.
As a Platinum Premier, I know I should only have to compete with the top 3% of all MR members in securing the perks I perceive I should get. So if the concierge level has 20 non-cash rooms available for upgrades and I don't get one, it is my hope that the 20 rooms went to other PP members - then the playing field is level. But the ISSUE is the reservations system and the person at the front desk - the system does not automatically assign rooms/upgrades/etc. based on status (unlike airline reservation systems in general); a room at any Marriott is dependent on the human factor as they must go through all the reservations and manually determine the upgrade.
Case in point - I've been at the same Fairfield for 7 months now; while I have yet to NOT get a suite, I ALWAYS have to ask. Despite my frequent stays, I have never been "automatically" assigned an upgrade (perhaps front desk turnover and training are the heart of the problem).
Until the front desks at all the Marriott hotels accross the world are consistent in applying status to available upgrades, persons like Travelguy, myself, and the many others who have voiced disdain with the rollover nights will PERCEIVE the issue as unfair.
pingreeman, well said. As another PP member and 10+ yr Platinum, I get the service from the concierge and lounge as expected, but reservations and the front desk NEVER upgrades without asking and rarely recognizes status and I have been staying at the same Renaissance for over a year. I stayed over 180 actual nights last year, but split the difference with Hilton just enough to make Diamond.
"perhaps front desk turnover and training are the heart of the problem"
Turnover has a huge impact. At a Fairfield Inn & Suites recently, I was quite startled by a 'Welcome Back' from the GM at the Front Desk. Sadly, mostly repeat guests made up the 30-40% occupancy. High turnover and training are constant hurdles. In that market, the challenge is compounded by other brands luring associates after they are trained!
It's difficult if not impossible for a new employee to absorb let alone comprehend what an Elite guest expects and is entitled to receive. As your 7 month experience at FI illustrates, training combined with staff retention may be an imperative to guest loyalty.
Dear Travelguy: I hear you. The issue is always consistency in anything--those companies that consistently make you feel better than you thought you would earn your business everyday. Here in our little hamlet on the Monterey Peninsula the motto of the major hospitality player (the Pebble Beach Resorts) is "exceed every guests' expectations." At the cost of staying at one of them, that's a tall order.
My needs are not all that complicated: I only want the front desk to recognize the time and effort that I have put into staying with Marriott, and then at least, congratulate me on the feat. I would certainly like to have some perk offered but know that's not always possible. I get those perks sometime, but I have to agree that many times the fact that I am (or anyone else is) a top-tier stayer seems lost on the person at the desk.
To solve this we need to see a combination of recurring training of associates and a computer system that assigns weights to our status as we make the reservation, allowing for some leeway in granting requests.
I hope this can be done, but am enough of a realist to know that not every Marriott experience (or Pebble Beach for that matter) can be totally satisfying.
I soo agree with your point.
Likewise my job makes me travel a lot and spend about 200+ nights at Hotels every year and I just recently started staying at Marriot properties! I generally stay at the Hiltons and I am Diamond member with them too and I must say their rewards programs is better than marriott.
One thing that I hate about the Marriott program is that they do not recognize or acknowledge the "extreme frequent traveler" at all. My stays are typically from 30 to 40 consequetive nights! and they are running a promotion right now where if you complete 4 stays tru April 30 you get 2 nights free (+ all the points that you are eligible for) now compare a person like us who has ton of nights under his belt in less number of stays and spends a lot of $$$ and is treated no different than vs. a guest who just stayed for 4 days (at different times) and spent only 4 nights and still gets the 2 free nights! This is like discrimination!! and just between feb and March I have completed 6 stays and no benefit fo these stays and the nights as I already got the 2 free nights!
One more instance that happened to me... I am a Platinum elite and as per the links on the Marriott site. If they do not offer and acknowledge you as a Platinum Guest while checking in they will compensate you for thier error with a gift card or cash. I checked in 3 times at a Houston Property on 3 different stays between Feb and March and was never acknowledged, even though my profile and rewards number is posted in thier system. When I ask the associates they said we are sorry and we will credit the points and did not follow this policy!! Why do they publish something that they cant adhere to!!
To add to that the Residence Inn property here in Houstion is seriously Horrible!!! Terrible service standards!! never experienced such unprofessional staff at a hotel! they eat at thier desks while the guest is checking in!!
The Hotel staff lines up for food before guests can when they serve the evening snack!! Come on!! who does that!
They are always running out of things... for breakfast and evening snack!! Never stocked up!!
The carpets in some of the rooms I stayed was TORN and the wooden floor broken,... !! Seriously The floor was broken!!! I am not kidding!
I asked for a Luggage Rack, its been almost a week and they have not provided me one!! In my last stays they gave it to me and this time they say that they dont have any!! how is that possible????? How did they give it to me when I was here last 2 stays the same month!!! Did you throw all of them away!!!
Come on!! We are paying over $130 a night and expect better service standards!!
The other day I gave a few shirts for Drycleaning, one of the Shirt came back stained !! They are fixing that now! Hope that happns!
The Guest Washer in one of the Laundry rooms has been broken since last week and not fixed yet, they are running out of fabric softners in the vending machines and have not refilled them since last week!!!
I am staying in one of the Suites and they are running out of DISHWASHER SOAP and its been over 5 days they are out of it, I asked housekeeping and they said we are OUT and it has not been stocked up again!! Can you believe that!!! how horrible the service standards can get!
I just made a reservation for 35 nights yesterday at a Chicago marriot property, (I have stayed there before) and they are good on service... but I am seriously thinking of cancelling that and moving back to Hilton... The rewards program of Marriot is really not encouraging enough for Guests like us. The Hilton service standards are much better and they recognize me as a special guest!! unlike these folks at Marriott! To add to that Hiltons current promotion gives me over 50 points per dollar spent! A true value Rewards Program.
I totally agree with your observations. Forgive me for saying this: we are all brainwashed and conditioned here to think we will be treated "special" because we have managed to stay more nights than the rest of the crowd. Hey, the town crier still waves c'mmon to the rest, promising rewards they will get once they reach the top of the mountain. You expect the red carpet to roll open for you once you reach the top. Your room might be slightly bigger,fruit and cheese maybe complimentary, water maybe free and breakfast maybe there for you but there is no red carpet. Gold and platinum is not worth it, as most of you wrote. So why make the conscious effort to spend dollars at a Marriott, just to reach a status? Mental conditioning is a form of slavery and I for one refused to be in chains. I stay where I feel like staying - -it does not have to be Marriott. This way my expectations are minimal, i.e.good basic customer service. If I want the staff to jump high, I give them generous tips. They surely remember me when I come back.