I have been an Event Planner using the Marriott for my clients and events for almost 10 years. I did an event this past Memorial Weekend and had a horrific experience with the Marriott Hollywood Beach in Hollywood Florida.
In November 2015 we began looking for location to host our Memorial Day 2016 event. Steven and Anabelle made promises of services they could provide and even said they spoke with city officials to ensure there would be no issues regarding the sale of alcohol in the parking structure. I had supplied all emails between myself and the hotel for reference. The week of the event, without even the courtesy of a phone call, I was sent an email that they would not serve the contracted alcohol or food for our event because the city would not let them. Even though I was told they had already checked to make sure this was possible. When I asked why and what happened, I was told by Laura that she didn't know and was “just the messenger". I had to call the city with the hotel on conference because the hotel refused to try and figure out a solution. When the city was brought on conference, I was told that it was not true about the hotel not being able to serve in the parking structure. The city said it was indeed possible but the hotel had to follow the steps to obtain the proper licensing and pay the proper fees. Seems that the hotel just did not want to go through the hassle of getting needed licensing or paying fees so would rather just breach the contract we had with them 4 days before our major event. I had to call daily all the way up to the day before the event to ensure they did the necessary steps to obtain the license. Then less than 24hrs before the event, I was told by Laura that they would not even be serving the full bar OR food because they were “too short staffed during the holiday”! They would only serve beer and wine not the contracted full bar! Our guests were left having to leave our event and walk to the other side of the hotel just to get mixed drinks and food! To make it worse they are still trying to hold us to the full guarantee of food and beverage sales even though they did not provide the full services as contracted.
Secondly, after having a standing contract with the hotel for over 5 months, we started receiving calls two weeks before the event asking for permits and different things never told to us that would be necessary to have our even there. They even tried to make us get porta johns for our guests and not allow them to use the hotels indoor restroom facilities!
After speaking with the city we found that the hotel waited until the last minute to get their necessary permits and licenses. We had to make the hotel do what was needed to hold our event without issue from the city. When we asked the GM Bob why no one ever went to the city before two weeks prior to the event, he simply answered “someone dropped the ball". This is not acceptable service and not what we expect from doing business with the Marriott brand hotel!
As per conversation and emails with Anabelle , our rental fee was to be inclusive of sales tax and fees. The day before the event we were charge the remainder of the rental fee which was $2000.00 but also a sales and service fee that was an additional $800. When I brought this up to Lauren , she told be that they would discuss everything with us after the holiday and fix any issue with charges because once again, she is just “ kinda in the middle of things” and not involved in the contract details. All the staff that we had worked with including Laura, the event manager, left before the event ended. The following Tuesday we received an email saying we owed the full guarantee even though they did not provide the full services as contracted and promised. They even charged us additional service fees and tax even though our contract specifically said all pricing was inclusive of those fees. I asked to set up a meeting with Laura , Bob and Steven and without even a courtesy of a call, I was told via email that they would not meet with us and to basically " just pay us the money" . Every time I ask for a call , instead of a call, I receive another message to " pay us our money". This hotel is completely unprofessional.
We contacted Corporate Customer Care and though polite, they want us to just try talking to the hotel again. The hotel will not budge and refuses to compromise. We need a higher level of support ! Who can we call before we have to take further legal action ?
Hmm, mepevents, are you sure you posted on the correct site?
Why don't you send a direct message to the site moderators/community managers? Their photos and user names can be found on the right side of the home screen.
Having said that, if you want to complain publicly, knock yourself out.
p.s. kind of amazing to me that an event planner who booked events at Marriott properties over a decade wouldn't have more status... platinum? at least gold?... Curiosity killed the cat.
Welcome to the Insiders Community, mepevents,
I can tell you're going to be a valuable contributor to the site, I'm confident that your experiences and insights will enhance our travels in the future, and I'm sure we all look forward to experiencing more of your cheery shared goodwill.
I have nothing to add, but I am replying simply because your response to ssindc was beyond rude and not necessary. Get over yourself and lighten up.
Should I find anything to add I won't reply for fear of being told off.
Wow, what a nightmare. I'd certainly not be paying any outstanding money and depending upon the sums involved, drafting court summonses. Nonetheless, I can't see this being the forum for you as its concerning the Marriott Rewards scheme, in other words the earning and burning of points, free upgrades and membership benefits
I'll shout out the moderators, NathalieF carat AndrewT but think this is not their bag at all, having no element of the Marriott Rewards program. In any event it's very complex for some generic internet complaints system as it mixes allegations, bylaws and contracts many of which will require careful investigation by those knowledgeable in the local regs.
Its worth remembering that you'll find your contract is with the Marriott property rather than Marriott inc and bearing in mind the local bylaws aspect Marriott corporate services have also clearly drawn a blank too, hence the advice to talk again to the hotel. It is, I suspect, between you and the property and if nobody bends a local court visit may be the endgame to what sounds a sorry saga.
By the way, ssindc observation is valid. Marriott Rewards does allow status and lots of points to be earned by fixing meetings, no need to stay, then you earn points to spend on your vacation. It's a good scheme, and though I appreciate your thoughts concerning Marriott may be pretty unprintable right now it is worth remembering all the big chain hotels run their business in the same way with franchisees and separate companies running the actual hotels, hence this kind of problem could equally occur with Starwood, Hilton, IHG or Hyatt and your comeback at corporate level would be equally limited. I think everyone on this site would agree they've had some great free vacations as a result of participation in this scheme. Just a thought!
Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck!
Hi mepevents. Sounds like you've had a frustrating experience! I've reached out via direct message as I'd like to provide additional support.