Frequent traveler and major fan of Marriott properties. I made three or four reservations for 2 night stays at the same Courtyard in Denver for early next year. First reservation is for Jan 2017; and then again for the next 4 months. The early bird gets the best rates, right?
But I was a little concerned to find my wife was just called at home by a person who wanted to know why I was coming, for whom did I work, and so on. The phone number listed the call as coming from the Park Meadows Courtyard Marriott, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything anymore with the way phones can be hacked these days.
Am I being paranoid or is this a valid business model to increase sales? All it did was spook my wife. When I asked if she knew who she talked to, she was embarrassed to say, "no". I called the Courtyard/Residence Inn desk (they share, evidently) and no one could explain who or why we had been called. Needless to say, I'm a little bit put off. I updated my profile so that my office number gets the call instead of my home phone but where do you suppose this is headed?
chukker - am I reading this correctly? You correctly answered your own question? I'm not sure that left the rest of us an opportunity to really give you a reply.
In 14+ years with Marriott, I have not experienced this level of prompt follow-up sales activity. That said, when you string a few individual reservations together, it could be percieved as a value-add if they are offering to help you get a better deal on multiple reservations. I would take this as a compliment that they recognized it as a better opportunity to serve you.
That may well be true, but asking those questions of the non-traveler or non-booking agent is inappropriate.
If I made multiple reservations and someone called and started asking a litany of questions about *my travel* to someone *other than me*, including my employer name, and so on, we would be having a conversation about it later.
Whether or not in this case it really was Marriott is inconsequential. They should have asked to leave a message for the appropriate individual. They should not have been asking questions to a third party, who may, or may not, have been who they said they were.
What if these reservations included a surprise party for his wife? What if these reservations included a trip with someone not the spouse? No one is entitled to ask this stuff of anyone in my household, or elsewhere, but me.
I'm guessing information security and protected or classified information is not the vertical for most people on the board. But that is exactly how human intelligence is harvested. It's a poor MO--when they are asking it of someone who is not the traveler, and who can further identify the caller, and decide what they wish to share.
OP: Good move changing your number. Perhaps you might wish to change it to a cell number if you have one, so if you have issues on travel they are not calling VM. Most people do not work their way through all of your numbers and stop at the first message they leave, considering it a fait accompli and that you have been notified, even if it doesn't pass the logic test: "I just left a message at his office in Alabama, and we're in New York, and he's due here in four hours. Maybe I should try another number so he actually *gets* the message."
insertcoffee - despite enjoying your posts almost daily, I find this particular post to be an overreaction. You come across as an aloof alarmist here, while making semi-snarky remarks about the verticals of others. In the worlds of sales and customers, this is not a surprising set of circumstances. Should they have spoken to his wife, probably not, but you took this too far with your projections of sinister misdeeds.
I really appreciate your kinder, gentler response to my post. My wife and I are "seniors" now. What this episode has shown us is that sharing our Marriott Rewards account for booking business/personal travel has a downside. She didn't know I'd booked my business travel so far in advance. I never expected she'd be contacted "out of the blue" to respond to questions from someone she'd never met about my reasons for travel, the type of work I was in, etc.
The person at the Courtyard/Residence Inn made a poorly executed attempt to drum up business. Had she reached me first instead of my spouse this would have been a non-issue.
I "answered" my own question to give the rest of the readers more of the story. I don't believe one could consider the attempted contact as a compliment. It was just opportunistic and like many "cold calls" it was unsuccessful.
chukker I appreciate you sharing the additional insights, and I certainly would agree that perception is king. If they made you feel bad, or upset your wife in any way, that's all that mattered.
That said, I wouldn't call it a "cold call," you booked 4 reservations with them. Getting a call shouldn't be a surprise there, and as you suggest would have been a non-issue if they were talking to you.
As to answering your own questions, I hope you took that in the humorous spirit in which it was intended. You can always "reply" to your own post to add info/ bump it back up in line.
At the end of the day, your perspective is the only one that matters.
My wife didn't know I'd made the reservations. So to her, it was a cold call.
The good news is that I picked this hotel so she could join me (now that she's retired) and go shopping at the mall next to the hotel and it wasn't some secret rendezvous with that cute actuarial on the sixth floor...
I'd never make a good liar! I get caught so easily!
I can understand that in some rare occasions they want to follow up.
If the property calls, maybe they want to make sure that you really wanted 4 stays on different days, in stead of having wanted to stay one stretch and mistakenly booked completely different dates.
Also, in this age, we can never rule out that accounts can get hacked and some trolls just charges random reservations to your credit card. If it were me, I'd appreciate the courtesy call!
If ever receiving such a call, I'd always note down name, employee number (often the case in call centers) and callback number and end the call by stating you'll double-check with your partner for the correct information.
That has never happened to me, and I have made multiple reservations at the same hotel before. I actually think it's more then a little weird, since no one at the hotel knows who called. I have been contacted by email from Marriott a week or 2 before check in when I book one of their hotels in Europe and the Middle East about hotel info. and welcoming me to their hotel . I also receive e-mails when I have a resev, at one of their vacation club properties for unit prefrences and anything I may need for my stay . NEVER by telephone. To me it does sound very odd.