I know this topic has been beaten to death however, I still want to share my experience.
Last week I checked into a AC Marriott property in Madrid and to my surprise, I was not even acknowledged for being a platinum member let alone the arrival gift.
Anyways I called up Marriott rewards customer service the very next day and again, the day after and they promised me they will follow up within 24 hours which never happened. This is before check out.
The hotel front desk refused to offer me any sort of compensation for not meeting the Guaranteed arrival gift. In fact, they made me wait 20 mins for me to meet a manager who never showed up. I left since I was getting late for dinner. Making a customer wait for over 20 mins is ridiculous.
Now that I am back stateside, I called up customer service again and they tell me the actual policy has verbiage where the hotel has a chance to correct? So if a hotel does not give you a guaranteed arrival gift at check-in, they have an opportunity to do so before we check out and they wont be responsible for the penalty. See below verbiage sent by the customer service member via email.
Elite Benefit Guarantee Compensation
This contradicts everything I know about the GAF program. This also puts members in a catch 20-20 situation. You cannot claim a benefit after you check out, which gives an opportunity for the hotel to add the points before check out without being responsible for the penalty. Doesn't make sense to me.
Has the policy changed?
You are correct in that this topic has been beaten to death, the reason being is that it has always been a squishy issue that often lead to headaches for the lodger, who frequently was put in a position of having to prove one thing or another (while staying at the property).
If you look to the right column - More Like This you'll see this has been a point of contention without any clear resolution for years. Here's one that I participated in a few years back Platinum Arrival Gift: Fine Print
Having not wanting to get into a headache, I often just told them to be sure to add my points (back in the day of the welcome amenity platter, it was a no brainer black or white issue) and even then I still to this day have to call Rewards every now and then to have them add the points to my account. Making you wait for 20 minutes is both rude and ridiculous, I agree and indicates to what extent headaches are created by the properties.
It was explained to me by some of my pals at Marriott HQ (although I'm starting to get on their nerves , so I hope we're still buds) that the purpose of the guarantee was to make certain the properties recognized our elite status often earned through many, many nights (and years) of loyalty. It seemed to work in the beginning, but as you and others note, has deteriorated over time. Now with your sharing of the Elite Benefit Guarantee Compensation policy above - about the ability to correct the failure, it appears Marriott HQ has just tossed their hands up and given up and somewhat tweaked the policy.
More and more I'm experiencing the lack of consistency out at the property level (sometimes to our advantage) and I play it case by case, when to go along to get along (still receiving what's due, but quietly using the extra effort to obtain it) and when to hammer (receiving what I'm due, but giving them the ol' stink eye in the process).
That's why these type of forums are invaluable, because if we are ignorant of benefits or policies, we can no longer look toward every property looking out for us. This is what I'm facing trying to learn the Ins and Outs of the SPG program, hopefully they'll be more conscientious.
I wasn't offered an arrival gift at Norfolk Waterside last year. I realized once I was in my room, so I called the front desk, and the lady I spoke to was very confused and had no idea what a platinum arrival gift was. So I called Marriott Rewards and they basically told me to take it up with the front desk. So I went downstairs, talked to the front desk and the guy there said, "Oh yes, I offered you food and beverage or the points. I already added the points to your stay." I know he was misinformed or lying because he wasn't the one who checked me in - the lady on the phone was. No big deal, I got my points.
Fast forward to August of this year, and the same thing happened. Got to my room, realized i wasn't offered the food/drink amenity, and so i went downstairs to claim it - not even to complain. A woman at the front desk looked at me, buggy eyed, said, "Uh oh... let me check on that..." and she said, "Oh... we didn't offer it to you..... we owe you $100 in cash." And her shift manager was like, "Uh.... what?" and they said they would sort it out and call me. Low-and-behold, about 3 hours later I got a call to come down and collect my $100 cash. I stood at the front desk for honestly 25 minutes while they sorted together $100 in ones and fives (not a joke). It was sorta humiliating - i felt like i was begging for money, but I didn't even ask for the $100 - i just wanted my points and they offered the $100!
Hey @ne_traveling_man! Yes, Platinum members should receive 1,000 bonus points when staying at a Ritz-Carlton property. If you were a Platinum member during your stay and did not receive the bonus points, shoot me a private message with your Rewards number and reservation info and we can take a look into this for you!
I'm having a Plat Arrival gift issue with Portsmouth VA Ren. I stay there often and usually don't make a big deal about this. My whole experience at the place dictates if I just go back and ask or want the $100.00. Anyway, on a stay last week a trainee checked me in. Didn't offer the arrival gift. I forgot myself. Went back later and asked for the points. Then my key didn't work for the concierge lounge/level. Room was missing some things. AND I never got the points. I emailed MR requesting the points and the $100.00. They responded quickly saying the property would be in touch in 3-5 days. Still waiting, but it hasn't been the 5 days yet.
tker: I stay at the Portsmouth Ren several times a year and run into similar situations. I've been billed a different rate than what I booked under, they are inconsistent with the parking charge, etc.
I've taken to trying to pay special attention at check-in and check-out to make sure I'm reviewing and explicitly mentioning what I expect.
The staff is almost always friendly and willing to correct anything, but I do wish I didn't have to feel like I need to be so aggressive in making sure I get benefits.
Agreed. The thing is, I really like that place. I stay there often as well. Fits my company's budget for the area-whereas the Marriott Norfolk across the water is $100+/night more. The hotel itself has some great views. Nice restaurants nearby and unique features. I'll back in two weeks.
Ha! I'll be back in two weeks as well - but I couldn't get into the Ren or the Marriott across the water this time - staying at the TownPointe Suites in Suffolk, first time there, but that was all I could get (Gov't rate).
Staying close to High Street is about the only thing about coming to that area that I like, so I'm pretty bummed about this.
I will share with you this - I have had the same thing happen to me on 3 different occasions and all were stateside at Full Serve Marriott Properties. I called and went through all the shenanigans that the Customer Service reps are trained to do regarding the Platinum arrival gift. They all eagerly offered to "make it right" by simply giving me the points. I told them I wanted the money (as indicated on their website). No way... No how... and (according to all the threads out there that talk about this) there is no budging on this. I read on one thread (here I believe) that a fellow was threatening to contest the charge with his credit card. That got me thinking... I have the Chase Marriott Credit Card. I called and plugged in a dispute (however, only for the $100 of the charge that they guaranteed) and each time they honored it and refunded $100 back to my account. To be clear, they had a rep call each time to follow up, and each time I directed them to the Marriott website where it calls it out in black and white the policy. I stopped calling the Customer Service line after the 1st incident and would tell anyone to not waste your time with them. Don't know if that helps anyone else here? The process took all of 5 minutes and was well worth my time for the $100 each time.
Interesting solution, there motiv8foru, I find that the PAG is universally offered and have never had reason to try to claim the compensation, but if I did need to and was stonewalled I would call the Plat-line while at the front desk and have them sort it out.
Hi there Brightlybob - I attempted that as my initial resolve - I have been a lifetime Platinum for years and a Platinum Premiere for the last 3 years and the answer I got was very clearly "no" on getting the Guarantee paid out. I was going to escalate this and such but after reading similar situations on this site and others (where it made no difference to Marriott despite your spend, level, loyalty, etc) no one was getting this compensation - Thats when I moved on to the credit card company. Funny enough, I dont think any of us would care if the Guarantee wasnt plastered all over their website.
It never occured to me to do that motiv8foru, very interesting indeed.
Just to give everyone an update, customer service escalated this to the hotel and the hotel has refused to provide me any compensation stating that -
"In this particular case, we have marked to be awarded the points in your account.
Sorry I can not help you on this occasion, but as I have indicated, we have followed the procedures set during check in."
This a blatant lie and thats the part that bothers me more than the penalty. If there is a provision (that we are not aware of) to award PAG at any time during the stay, I dont see how customers will ever be able to claim the said compensation?
Call platinum customer service and you will see how quickly they respond to your email and how the apologies will start pouring in. Also Atlanta has a terrible customer service. Try to stay at the Marriott Marquis if not the Renaissance Airport. Good luck and yes , 200 nights is worth saying something to somebody specially when you have stayed at hotels more than in your own house. Good luck.