Hoe disappointed to find out my stay at a Marriott did not qualify for points because it was booked through a third-party. Bottom line is Marriott made money regardless of how the room was booked. In this case Marriott isn't concerned an Elite status member chose a Marriott property, it was all about how much money Marriott made. Disappointed.
Sorry to see you are disappointed. Third-party bookings are not eligible to earn points. To avoid future frustration, be sure to check out our Look No Further Guarantee for great rates on stays that earn your points.
I'll give up a few hotel points in exchange for saving a good chunk on a Marriott room.
I've tried the LNF road, and it's not yet worked for me.
The Pirette and I recently decided to schedule a long weekend in the Keys over Veterans Day. As always, my first "go-to" is Marriott.com. First night we have a room at the Town Place Suites in Miami Lakes. We have a late arriving inbound and this hotel is in the right direction and not too far from FLL.
Unfortunately, Marriott's not giving any (direct) deals anyplace else along our route. However, the Pirette was able to find a one-night rate (out the door) of $200.68 for a room at the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort. Humm...That's interesting, best I could do was $299 +Taxes (about $360).
So I call the Platinum Desk and explain the situation. the rep tries to get me over to the LNF desk, but they won't talk to me. They tell her I have to either report it via email, or via webpage. The Platinum rep reserves me a same type room (which, she says she was only able to do due to my Platinum status because the hotel is already sold out for that night) and helps me to the LNF page and then through the process.
I've not previously attempted to post an LNF claim, but I've been far enough around the block to see where this may go (and, it did!); so I take pictures of the pricing and booking screens. I take pictures of the screens that got us to the booking site. I make sure the computers date and time are in the pictures. Then (Mistake #1) I tell the Pirette not to book the room, "cuz Marriott will come through." This is 10:30pm
About 12 hours later I get an email from LNF telling me that my claim was denied because they could not find the same pricing at the same place as I'd found - Of course they couldn't. Because a few minutes after I turned it down, somebody else grabbed it.
So I call the platinum desk and this time they are able to get me to the LNF desk. I explain the situation and am told to send in my documentation and my claim would be revisited.
In the meantime, I checked to see for myself if there were any 3rd party deals for the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort. As I expected, there were none.
So I put my package together and ship it off to LNF. About 10:00 that night, lo and behold another great deal for the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort shows up. This time the out the door price is $215; but its the same 3rd party website. I'm still under my 24Hr window, (initial res was 23-1/2 hrs ago). So I take pictures of this deal and ship them off to LNF as well. Once again I don't book the room (Mistake #2).
The following morning, I get another "sorry but we can't validate and your pictures aren't sufficient" email. I've now decided enough. I've found alternative lodging.
Screw Marriott. The next time Hilton comes calling I will ask 'em what they can do for me.
Lifetime Platinum & multiyear Platinum Premier
Marriott (or the franchisee) may have "made money", but arguably they made less money, because they now have to compensate the third party. Did you save a lot of money booking this way? Then you 'made money' too, and traded that savings for points, in effect.
As Andrew stated above, try using the LNF guarantee.
Also, remember that use of third parties for bookings can lead to other issues/complications besides lack of points award.
Use of third parties and non-award of points is not a new policy.
Perhaps you should consider use of the Marriott Visa card, which offers a lot of points for use and significant point award for use at Marriott properties, as well as initial sign up.
Sorry to hear about your disappointment, I learned this lesson too many moons ago. When I called the MR rewards line they actually gave me points as a goodwill gesture, I think it's how you come across with people as to the success one gets. Corporate greed, NO, every hotel, airline, travel rewards program had a T&C sheet and it pays to give it a gander to avoid disappointment. I've learned that too with Marriott...
The rules are clear and there for everybody.
The first time this happened to me, I was a bit disappointed too. However, great price on PriceLine that was impossible to beat. And it was at a Sheraton anyway, where I hardly stay.
I just learned my lesson, checked which hotel chains have this rule in their T&Cs and moved on.
Pretty standard stuff this. All the big 4 have the same rule, OLTAs don't count for points. OLTA commissions are huge so I'm afraid the hotel doesn't get all "the money", hence Marriott and all the big chains use their loyalty programs to try and drive trade to their own portals instead of the high-cost online website companiies...
Totally agree brightlybob. I make relatively few bookings nowadays, but am savvy enough to realise that if I book other than with Marriott direct, I will not get Rewards Points. As you say, standard stuff.
I use to own an 18 room boutique hotel and am very familiar with the challenges of using (or not using) third party sites. Any business, big or small, must balance the overall profitability of their property with customer satisfaction. The fees charged by these third party sites can be huge. So, while I do not like (as a consumer) not receiving points when I book elsewhere, I can also understand the "price" of the points that I am sure Marriott charges each "flagged" property. I see this as the same thing that we all face with airline frequent flyer programs. Some fare classes are "richer" in reward than others.
Appreciate the post. Thanks.
I agree with everyone on this; but at the same time what is the guarantee from Marriott really? Basically you are "guaranteed" lowest price on their website... I use the website but I enter for AAA rate which is almost 100% of the time cheaper than the "member" rate.
I'm OK with that as "it is what it is"; and I know to "research" pricing and then I check as I get closer to my check-in date because many times the rate goes down...
If you are not an experienced traveler you could pay more than could have paid.... Again no complaints as I still prefer Marriott over any other brand that I deal with. It is very much the exception that I am ever disappointed....
One caution if you happen to go to a search engine like Google and type in Marriott you more than likely will not get directly to the web site but to a legitimate company that may be selling Marroitt rooms . So with that you may not get points . I had a recent experience of putting in usps to change my address . The first hyper link was change my address which I went to and all the normal pages that the post office would have were there . I went thru the process it said $1 and concluded. A couple of days later I saw a billing for $59.95 for change my address. I never saw anything that reference this . I did call them and they dropped the price a lot and had included a couple of features the post office didn't so it was a legitimate business . My only point if Google sells access to firms and I bet rarely do you ever at the top get the web site you wanted .
jerryl: saying that Google sells access to firms that lie about their identity would be the same as blaming a hotel selling sweet pop to a diabetic kid, while all that happened is that the kid used a vending machine.
Google is a huge machine and there are so many ways that the user can post a company, "buy" ad space (they give free vouchers worth of ~75$ from time to time) and much more without a single human moderator looking over it. Usually there is a verification by phone involved, but that's it.
Scammers are all over the internet. Another big thing is the ESTA visa that the USA now requires for people that don't need a visa (get the irony?) Via the DHS website it costs roughly 18$, but there are so many 'scamming' websites that charge a lot more. You'll get your ESTA, but only after you paid a lot more, since they play the middleman.
Bottom line is that the internet is a lot less innocent than the 1990s. It's like walking in a New York City where everybody talks to you in the street: don't trust any random person.