It seems we have a double standard here. According to the forum terms and conditions, personal attacks are forbidden and can result in termination of account; yet a General Manager, with malice, can accuse an 8-year Platinum Elite member of membership fraud, attack his wife's personal and professional integrity, and worse yet contact the wife's employer with a complaint in order to fend off/quell claims of Service Failures at the property in which the GM manages.
One could suggest any of the following:
Members and Moderators alike, please chime in, I've very interested in feedback of all.
BigBrainsOnBrad - Can you elaborate a little more? It seems you're implying that all of this took place on this forum, but I'd like to have a little more clarification before I respond. Thank you.
dansplan, the scenario is a tad touchy at the moment but the general nature is this. I called an Autograph Property GM out on a couple of Service Failures suggesting that the level of service, in my opinion, didn't not meet the Marriott Standard of Care. Upon receiving my email, and knowing who my wife's employer was, he immediately launch a complaint with her employer. When hearing about the complaint, I contacted the GM directly only to be accused of membership fraud (b/c I asked if the property could extend benefits to my wife - in which they willingly did), accusing my wife of demanding an upgrade, and then reaching out to her employer in an attempt to silence my concerns regarding "Service Failures".
Crazy but true
This is just over the top. I've never heard of a staff member, let alone a GM contacting a guest's spouse or anyone at their workplace. I can say that the Community Managers will probably not be able to help (hope I'm wrong) given that the GM of the property is the one at fault and involved here.I have a few ideas, but would rather wait and see what others say and you do first. This really takes the proverbial cake in my opinion and I've been travelling for longer than most if not all of the Community Managers have been alive (and they still kick butt when they put in 100%)
Sorry, BigBrainsOnBrad, but you didn't give us much to work with here....
BigBrainsOnBrad, nope, I don't work for Marriott...
But I (willingly) admit I spend (way too) much time on this site/forum.... Great community, chock full of useful information, warts and all.
okay, so here's the rub. an autograph collection property extended PE Benefits to my wife (stay #1) at my request. During a follow-on stay, the same property refused the same benefits. Upon my request for a rational explanation, I was met with resistance and insufficient response. Upon emailing the GM regarding the experience, he fired back at me stating I was comitting membership fraud, stated my wife demanded a room upgrade and worse yet, elected to contact my wife's employer to lodge in attempt to quell my complaints about Service Failures during my wife's stay. So, here we are in week 3-4 of the scenario, all I've asked from Marriott is that the jerk apologize for accusing me of membership fraud, accusing my wife of the demand and for contacting her employer. Seems simple enough, I wasn't demanding economic reparations or anything, just an apology. So to date, I've yet to receive an apology nor anyone within the Marriott Corp to take this bull by the horns and do what's necessary to correct.
Frankly I'm kind of on the property's side right up until they contacted your wife's employer. Unless something is missing, that's completely wrong.
I don't understand what they thought they would gain. Unless your wife was using her employer's name in such a way as to damage his reputation I don't see what they would do. What could they possibly say to her employer that would be relevant?
Do you know what they said to her employer?
What I know is that my wife received two(2) separate email from executive managers wondering what happened. I like you wonder what a GM could possibly gain from escalating anything short of property damage, failure to pay a bill, verbally/physically assaulting a hotel employee or damaging the brands in question. Oh which, btw, none of the above occurred.
OK - so three (3) big questions to BBOB aka BigBrainsOnBrad :
1. What do you want them to do?
2.What would be fair compensation (in your opinion)?
3.Would anything the do ever make you stay at that property again? I ask because a GM recently went over the top at an undisclosed property in the way of apology and compensation, and I indeed will be back. If they had attacked my family in this way, I don't know if I could say that.
I'm a man of modesty, all I asked for from the get go was a written apology addressed to my wife and I. Pretty simple.....but now that I've invested >24hours dealing with Marriott CC, The Ambassador Hotel Group and unfortunately the backlash my wife has experienced from her employer.....the matter has gone from 0 - 60 with no brakes.
Compensation.......mute point; this is a matter of principle not compensation
Would I ever stay at the property, I'm sorry to say that no apology nor compensation would lure me into the property in question. Absolutely nothing to do with the associates @ the property; everything to do with how the GM handled the scenario.
OK, BigBrainsOnBrad ... I'll be stunned if you don't hear from one of the Marriott site moderators today....
As you probably know - given your platinum status - the Autograph chain is relatively new to Marriott, tiny in comparison to some of the other chains, and, almost by definition, has the least consistency within the brand. I'm not saying this explains/excuses anything, but - while many of us love the Autograph properties - they simply aren't as consistent (for better or worse) as other chain members... One good example is the Vegas Cosmopolitan - it seems to polarize this site's members - we love it, but plenty of site members have had the opposite reaction... I'm also a huge fan of the Icon in Houston, but I've heard Marriott Insiders complain about service there. And the Brown Palace in Denver ... well, that's a nice property too... But I digress... Maybe I've just been lucky.
I'm sorry, but my status has absolutely nothing to do with a GM's response nor his allegations. I agree the Autograph collection is a new and refreshing addition to the Marriott Network of properties, but a duck is a duck regardless how you dress it up. Out of my 8 years as a Rewards Member, I've never had to contend with personal attacks from managers or associates at any Marriott Property. This goes to the very core of Culture, Values and treatment of Customers. A mere reference to "In my opinion, this doesn't meet the Marriott Standard of Care" doesn't quite justify a personal attack nor the accusations; much less the GM contacting my wife's employer.
This is wild.
"Membership fraud", how does that happen? Either you are a Marriott Rewards member with Elite status or you are not, how does one even think of that term as a GM?
Why on earth would a GM of any hotel contact an employer of a guest and further more unless that employer had a contract rate how would the GM know who employed them??? I know when I was working and stayed at Marriott's all over the place, they only knew I was a government employee just not what branch of the government let alone where I worked.
If it were me and I was as upset as what it appears from the thread title I would start at the office of Mr. Marriott.
@seatexan you're absolutely correct in your response. That's part of the challenge here. While the member can request until they're blue in the face; ultimately, the property has the final say. Herein lies the opportunity, Marriott Rewards(MR) doesn't interfere with local decisions unless they're in direct violation of company policy (chime in moderators). So should a property elect to open Pandora's Box by extending benefits to a spouse or family member, then the property should exercise a consistent application of practice; otherwise, it creates gray matter for the member (relative to that property). Herein lies another opportunity and this is why the GM didn't appreciate being called out on what I would deem a "Service Failure". Go figure
I'm not sure if I really want to wade into this topic, but I'll give it a shot.
Let me understand. Your wife stayed at the Wichita Ambassador without you. She does not have the same Platinum elite status as you. On the first stay the hotel agreed to grant her perks associated with your status. So far, so good. On a subsequent stay, the hotel was unwilling to grant those same perks. After that, things appear to have gotten ugly.
I'd say the manager was quite accommodating for the first stay as the T&C of MR do state the member must be present. I also think the manager was in the right deny the perks the second time. Just because they "bent the rules" for you one time, doesn't mean they should do it all the time.
As for what happened next, it's hard to get a clear picture. Were I in your shoes, I would have let the issue drop. That doesn't seem to be what happened. It sounds like that's when things spiraled out of control. If I've misanalysed the issue, please correct and clarify.
As to your initial question, the proper channel would be the GM of the hotel and then Marriott customer care. Airing grievances on this site is unlikely to yield results. We are a community of Marriot travelers. There are a few community moderators who can pass your issue on to folks at Marriott who might be able to help, but that's about all you can expect here.
Based on your description, I can't defend the actions of the manager. Nor can I say they were out of line. It's possible they were.
What I can say is that normally the "customer is always right." Except when he/she is not. It's hard to say, but if you were asking for Platinum perks for your wife that she would not normally be entitled to, this might be such an exception.
BTW, I stayed at this property last month and found the staff to be very accommodating. Certainly irrelevant to your situation, just adding a little context.
@bejacob thanks a million for the recital and yes, you are correct for the exception......When contacting the property on the 2nd stay, it wasn't a "no, we are unable to extend PE Benefits". It was a lecture by the FO Supervisor. That behavior and how we arrived at "No, we aren't going to extend the benefits" was why I emailed the GM in the first place. And when the GM proceeded to accuse me of membership fraud, accuse my wife of demanding an upgrade and contacting her employer.........Point is, the GM willfully launch personal attacks against both me and my wife, and I don't care who you are, that's totally unacceptable.
Got it. Things didn't need to escalate. The hotel may not have handled that well, but if I can read between the lines, you may not have either. I'm not trying to make a judgment here. I've just found we tend to gloss over our own missteps. Perhaps you are partly at fault, perhaps not. I do know that it's unusual (though not impossible) for Marriott associates to act in the manner you describe without some sort of provocation.
I agree personal attacks are never appropriate.
Perhaps carat will be able to get you some sort of resolution.
Really spot on, bejacob. I think most of us understand that when the rules are bent in our favor, it's a nice exception, and not to be construed as something that is now a permanent entitlement, simply because a kind and generous gesture was extended once. I do not see the denying of elite benefits the second time as any form of service failure at all. If BigBrainsOnBrad had seen it that way, then the entire episode could have been avoided.
Now sometimes unfortunately, one might encounter a 'No' (in response to a request) that is issued with little finesse (lack of empathy or courteousness, perhaps even rudely or given with reasons that make no sense), but a 'No' is still a 'No,' and in this case, 'No' appears to have been a perfectly acceptable response to the request.
Since the episode was not avoided however, (and again, not being privy to the fine details of exactly what transpired) I do find it disturbing that a GM would contact a guests employer to lodge a grievance. Totally baffling, but again, w/o having been there...
pluto77 - I agree with many of the things both you and bejacob said. I cannot though, regardless of the details, ever see a reason for a staff or management member to contact a guest nor his friends, family, etc, at their place of work. That part is inexcusable and deserves to be addressed with a proper apology and possibly compensation of some kind. This post and especially the last sentence is my opinion, and not a stated fact. Please don't attempt to read between the lines. There are none
My boss would be LOLing so much if someone outside the office called to complain about me (not that people in the office even do). That entire bit seems so odd! Unless I insulted someone we were in business with, or a good friend of his.
When I would sometimes use my mom's acct to book rooms before she made me get my own, I would go in knowing I might not get her perks. I was happy when I did, but understood the rules when I didn't. No fuss, I get it.
Hi BigBrainsOnBrad. After reviewing the additional details you've provided above, I'd like to make sure this is addressed appropriately. I've also replied to our direct message chain, feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
OK. So my venture here is that BBoB managed to swing Plat benefits for his wife once when he wasn't staying and thereafter did a DYKWIA (Do you know who I am). That lit the blue touch paper and set off a chain of events when the GM decided to "see and raise" by contacting wife's boss to tell them that wife was trying to claim benefits on stays paid by employer which, according to GM is "membership fraud"
Wow, DYKWIA meets MadGM...
Pass the popcorn
great venture Brightly, close to spot on, but what I believe you may have missed is the property in question extended PE Benefits on a previous stay which opened Pandora's Box in the first place. Had the response to any request had been "No", this entire string of "what ifs" would be mute.
It was only when I engaged the GM to inquire about the inconsistent practice did the barrage of personal attacks begin. Right, wrong. or indifferent.......there have been a number of disparate events with this particular property which have resulted in this cluster......while it's not my intent to spew venom, there's a business practice which is being exercised at Marriott which could be perceived as "Do as I say, not as I do"......and for a guest (PE or not) that equals gray matter.
Even more confusing, the service providers involved have not provided compelling evidence as to why local properties can violate the same terms and conditions to which Marriott expects it's Rewards Members to abide by while participating in The Program.
That's what it sounds like to me as well/good summary. Sounds like both sides took it too far. Popcorn indeed.
BTW - speaking only for myself, if a property granted a non-elite elite bennies as a courtesy I wouldn't complain the next time if it wasn't offered, but be thankful that it was offered at least once since they weren't required to do so. And as SeaTexan noted, it's why some properties won't extend the bennies to non-elites/spouses/etc.
Fantastic input, BTW.......it's not necessarily the message but how the message is delivered which counts, right? I thought you would agree. Nonetheless, launching personal attacks because one is unable to receive/accept constructive criticism isn't sufficient justification, right? Is the moral compass calibrated, moral fiber a tad shredded, or is this just something is wonky in Wonkyville?
Ya know, I have this quote that I try to live by......you may/may not remember the ole' man who said it......John Wooden once said "Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are."
Great line don't you think? Have a sparkling day and thanks for participating in this thread
Last year I wanted to book a room for my daughter - who is an authorized user on my credit card - but not a Reward Member. I called the customer service number and treaded lightly, knowing that they could deny my request. They agreed to let her check in under my account and I was thankful for that but also knew it was an exception and not the rule.
I'm curious and may have missed this answer above - how did the GM know where your wife worked?
Don't believe you missed the answer as I asked the same question and do not remember seeing that come across the thread, but then again I got lost along the way.
The GM knew of the employer b/c of the contract relationship between Marriott and the respective employer. Had the GM not known of my wife's employer, his only recourse would've been escalation within the Platinum Elite/Marriott Rewards Program. As a result, it's "likely" MR would have kindly told him not to extend PE Benefits to family members and case closed, but as you see........we're in the Hamster Wheel
BigBrainsOnBrad have you gotten some resolution on this situation? Heard back from the hotel? Received the apology? I've followed the thread, and am wondering if you've gotten closure.
I've been dragged down the proverbial "Rabbit Hole" cuz no one wants to answer why a GM would even utter the words "Membership Fraud" much less accuse my wife of demanding an upgrade. Not to mention, there seem to be a continued attempt to justify why he contacted her employer over a meager request for PE benefits.
It's simple. If your wife tried to get an upgrade using your membership by pretending you were staying there, that's fraud. Since you weren't there you don't know the conversation between the hotel and your wife. Clearly she attempted in some way to get the upgrade with your membership. If she had simply said "my husband is an elite and I'd like to get an upgrade based on his status" the hotel would have accepted or (more likely) declined, but that would have been it. The only way it proceeds beyond that is if your wife continued to conversation.
If your wife was using her employer's discount then it would have been clear that it was her stay, not yours. If she then used your membership number that would have been fraud.
Lots of possibilities. You've been quite secretive as to exactly what happened and why the hotel contacted her employer. Perhaps if you'd be more open you'd get better answers. But if your wife was a secretive and aggressive as you have been it's not surprising things went wrong.
welcome back John......thanks for the input and thanks for stirring the pot.......so, let's add yet another ingredient to this recipe. Should a General Manager at any property, much less a Marriott affiliated property, utter the words "Membership Fraud" to a guest, patron or Rewards (Program) member?
I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume you're gonna say........no, a GM shouldn't even breach the conversation with anyone other than the internal Business Unit responsible for managing and enforcing the Terms and Conditions of the "Program".
Now, let me ask you a question. Should Hillary Clinton come clean, admit she was wrong, lied about the emails, and more disturbing had a role in the deaths of US Citizens in Benghazi? Going out on another limb and I'm gonna guess your response is......"No" .....and why I ask.....the evidence is compelling, overwhelming and suggest there is a greater issue @ hand.......Reason she doesn't confess to lying to the public, exposing classified content on an unsecured server and playing a role in the Benghazi mess is because it would further expose her and the minions who work for her.
Go figure......Pandora's Box is very difficult to close, but what's worse is how Karma will pay you back for opening it.
I'm going to suggest that the mods of Insiders lock the thread. This is a s/he said situation that went way too far on both sides (both the OP's & the GM's) & now that we're getting politics into it, which have nothing to do w/ the topic, it's officially 'jumped the shark'.