So after seeing the TIPPLE pics and rave reviews of the JW Marriott in downtown Houston I booked 2 rooms for 2 nights, starting tonight. I used the app to check in and said I'd be arriving around 9pm. We showed up at the appointed time only to learn that there was some sort of water/plumbing problem and the property was not taking guests. So they offered a driver to take us to another nearby hotel, and they had a list of options none of which were anywhere as nice as the JW. For example, SHS and CY. The best looking option was the Four Seasons, so I selected that. Got to the Four Seasons to learn it's under construction and in the middle of a remodel. Plus, no CL or free breakfast or upgrade or MR elite nights or MR points. And this is not one of the nicer Four Seasons (thus the need for the remodel I guess) so the whole thing is pretty disappointing.
MR guarantees me some sort of payment of cash or MR points since the hotel couldn't honor the reservation, right? How do I collect? Do I get this for both rooms for both nights?
Also, I had a mysterious missed call on my cell phone at 8am this morning but the caller did not leave a message, and the caller ID didn't register a name. I didn't think much of it until now, so I googled the number and sure enough, it was the JW Houston calling this morning at 8am. So why didn't they leave a message? I could have switched my reservation to the other JW or another Marriott property or at least known in advance what the options were. Seems very odd that they'd bother to call but not leave a message.
Any advice on collecting any comp/points due would be appreciated please!
clebert, it sounds like it is time to invoke The Ultimate Reservation Guarantee. The JW owes you 90,000 points, $200, and picking up your tab for the 4 Seasons. Call the hotel and let them know as a platinum member you are claiming the ultimate reservation guarantee. If they balk, let them know you will be getting assistance from the Insiders moderators, and, of course, will be sharing their response with the entire Insiders community. I would hate to see a hotel that treated us so well take lumps for not honoring one of the most basic trusts. Please let us know how you make out.
Eek sorry to hear that clebert
Thought the story had a happy ending when I read they put you up at the four seasons and then it just got worse. Lol.
In the future, just make the JW drive you to taco a go go. Spend the night there. Haha
My jaw dropped when I read the title...The hotel and staff were amazing so I am surprised they offered CY and SHS. Ugh what a let down! I am so sorry to hear of this! The Icon is right there too! It's nice.
nationwide pretty much summed it up.
Keep us updated!
Sure don't like reading this sad story about the JW, and unless the ICON was full which it very well could have been if they'd been placing guests there. nationwide is on to something alright and my guess is you'll get all that if you ring them up.
Jsucool76 is also on to something.....Taco's for sure as my morning food was outstanding although much later in the morning than some others we know!!
Let us know how it rolls out clebert, please.
Thanks everyone. I will see about getting the guarantee. I did return home to find that the JW had sent an email to my registered email account, but I was traveling all day on Monday and didn't have access to that account so the email didn't help. But at least they tried. Still weird that they'd call but not leave a message.
There was an event at the Toyota Center on Monday night so I suspect some of the other nicer properties such as the ICON were full? Hard to say...
I will let all y'all (as they say in Texas) know how it turns out.
HHhhmmmmmm, a guarantee shouldn't require advocacy to obtain. It's guaranteed you see. And it's offered by Marriott, not the hotel so It seems to me that Marriott should make this guarantee good and resolve the hotels reluctance without further inconveniencing the customer.
Of course, if they want an exemption beyond the standard "act of god" (and a plumbing leak is definitely no act of god) then it needs to be inserted into the wording, something like...
*excluding occurances which render over 20% of rooms at the hotel uninhabitable
... should do the trick!
Many of the "guarantees" require requesting at certain times-for example before check out if you didn't get the plat arrival gift etc. In addition, exercising them is like pulling teeth sometimes. The finger pointing game starts. Ultimately, they just hope you just give up. Flyer talk is full of threads like that. Not good, but true.
BTW, there have been times I wanted to get walked to invoke these benefits. Hasn't happened yet! Other times, it would be very inconvenient.
As others have said, the guarantee is the guarantee. While you should have taken care of it while there to make things easier on yourself, and even better, they should have OFFERED it to you as you are platinum, that still does not remove their responsibility. It is always easier to shuffle you off when you are not in the property. Not saying that is right, but it certainly is true in many things in life, this included. I'm not sure if there is any kind of clause in the guarantee that says you have to take care of it while you are there. I vaguely remember something about it, but I have ever been walked and tried to invoke it later. This might be their only legitimate loophole, if true.
What has mentioned that I can see is if they were having a problem, and given how late it was in the day (meaning, it would not have been a scheduled outage at that time of the night), they should have had someone working the phones to call people they knew were en route. You might have been on the plane or wherever, but at least it would show some sort of effort on their part to let you know.
This is one reason why I do not use the app when coming in late as my sole source of contact. I don;t need to, but I always do, call the property when en route which gives another bit of advance time if I need to be looking things up on the way there.
Sorry this happened, especially at a property everyone seemed to enjoy greatly for the TIPPLE.
Please let us know how it works out. You should not have to wrangle. They should honour the obligation gracefully.
I think it would depend on the type of water/plumbing issue we are talking about. Houston has had a persistent problem with water main breaks and if a water main break forced the hotel to close for a period of time due to no running water or a boil water mandate, than I can see the hotel's position that it was not their fault and the OP was not technically walked. However, I do think the OP is entitled to some type compensation for the hotel's failure to notify in advance. There is no excuse for not leaving a voicemail so alternative arrangements can be made.
If the water issue was a busted pipe that impacted a section of the hotel and resulted in some rooms not being available, then I think the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee applies and the compensation that goes along with it.
They said the entire hotel was closed, and I understand it wasn't their fault. But it is super weird that they would call my cell phone at 8am that morning and not leave a message. Had they left a message I would have made alternative arrangements. I am not sure what type of protocols they follow in these situations, but it sure would make sense for them to have had better communication.
PS - I didn't know it was the hotel that called because the caller ID said "Unknown" - if I would have Googled it I could have figured out it was the hotel (I did that after the fact which is the only way I eventually did figure out that they'd called and not left a message). But why bother to call and not leave a message? So strange.
UPDATE: Here is what the JW Houston sent me today. It is certainly better than nothing, but I think they need to re-write their form letter to sound a little less defensive. I still think it's weird that they would call and not leave a message. I would really have appreciated that. And I didn't have access to email while traveling, so while I appreciate their attempt to communicate the problems in advance, I'm not sure most travelers would necessarily be checking email on the day of the travel unless they have it on their phones (I don't). What say you?
I apologize that our recent water system issue inconvenienced you in anyway. Please know that this was completely out of our staff’s control as it was a system issue. Our front office staff attempted to contact your view e-mail and phone, so I apologize we were not able to reach you prior to arrival. We do value your loyalty as a platinum member, so I have awarded you 35,000 points, which is equal to a complimentary stay at a JW Marriott.
If we are able to earn your business in the future, please reach out and I would be happy to ensure that you receive an upgraded room.
Chris N - Director of Rooms
JW Marriott Houston Downtown
806 Main St., Houston, TX. 77002
I'd say... ok! I'll take the 35k in points... yes better than nothing. I do think they some what skirted around the Guarantee... 35k would cover a night at that JW, but not just "a JW"....not just any...
This one was kind of tricky, at least I think, as it was not the "traditional" kind of walk where they gave your room away, or over sold the hotel.
Hey at least you got some points .
clebert, ok, so this is some progress. However, it isn't all that you are entitled to receive. As you aptly point out, they certainly could have left you a message and did not. The question is, are you satisfied? Or, would you like to see them make good on their promise (guarantee) completely? If the attempted email and phone efforts are worth something, then you can let it go without any reservation.
You are right - the email they sent with their 35k offer came up a little short in the customer-centricity department. I know "awarded you" is language Marriott uses, but let's be honest, they are compensating you for inconvenience they caused... and per the guarantee they should award you 90k points, $200, and the cost of the evening's stay. Their guarantee is only as good as their willingness to deliver... which appears to be non-existent.
nationwide you are right that the language isn't all that customer-centric. It seems more like a letter you'd see in a lawsuit or something! I'd have sent something a bit more conciliatory, but what do I know?
Without expressly declaring under what conditions the guarantee applies, I'd say they are still on the hook to make good on their promise.
However, I can certainly understand why they would try to push back. Let's say for argument sake they had 25 Platinum guests staying there that night, it would be quite an expense to honor the guarantee for all 25 Plats plus Golds.
Regardless of the number of Platinum and Gold guests, they need to honor the guarantee with out further delay. If the property is not able to honor the reservations for whatever the reason then pay up, period that's the cost of doing business. You're right, they are "still on the hook".
Also, why is Chris N replying rather than the GM of the JW? I talked with Chris before and during the TIPPLE, nice guy but not the Head Honcho of the joint.
IAHFLYR, I am going a bit off topic here, but I flew into IAH for my ill-fated Houston trip and flew out of HOU to get home. Both flights were on AA, and I chose them strictly because I had very specific times I needed to fly, not because I had any real need to fly into or out of one airport or the other. AA took the reservation with no problem, but they had an absolutely massive amount of confusion about it when I showed up at HOU to check my bag to go home. They tried to charge me a $150 bag fee for checking 3 bags at IAH, and they claimed that I had left these 3 bags over at IAH even though I was flying out of HOU. This caused total chaos. I had left no bags at IAH, had only checked 1 on my inbound flight to IAH which I retrieved from baggage claim and took with me. I had not been back to IAH since landing there and was only trying to check 1 puny little roller bag on at HOU. It took about 40 min. to straighten out (thankfully I was about 2 hours early), then when I got on the plane, my phone rang with a Houston number so I answered it. The called said "This is Angel at American. Are you on the plane?" I said yes, the Angel promptly hung up without saying another word.
I got home ok and was quite surprised to see that my bag made it after all this commotion.
Plus, no airport lounges at HOU. Guess I better stick to IAH in the future
clebert, told you!! That mess sounds like an AA issue completely....and if you were booked into IAH and out of HOU clearly there should be no problem.
We've booked numerous flights into or out of EWR/LGA, SFO/SJC, LAX/SNA, PDX/SEA with both CO and UA, not once having any issue. Now we don't check luggage, but checked luggage surely wasn't the reason especially since the boned that up as well. Thinks that make ya go, HMMMMM.
See now had you asked I'd have let you know, HOU is short for NO CLUBS!! Stick to IAH even though many love HOU.
The terms do state when the conditions apply and there are two main factors at play, of which it sounds like clebert is clear on both:
The Ultimate Reservation Guarantee: To be eligible, Member's Rewards Program Membership Number and a valid credit card number must be included with the reservation.
A hotel must be open and operational for the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee benefit/ compensation to apply.
So 1. I'm guessing a rewards number and credit card number were on file for this platinum member and 2. it does not sound like the hotel was completely closed down (which would be grounds for nullifying the guarantee). Now if all guests were relocated and the hotel not having anyone stay, I could see their claim, but this doesn't sound like the case.
I would be hard after that 90K points and $200.
They were very vague about whether the entire hotel as closed. They said things like
Good Morning! Due to unforeseen plumbing issues that occurred at the hotel we will need to make a reservation for you at a nearby hotel. We have secured 3 hotels within a 10 block radius for you to choose from. Each hotel will honor the rate you booked at the JW or their best available rate.
Please contact the JW as soon as your able so we can make the new reservation for you at one of the three hotels.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, however we feel your comfort is our top priority.
Please call us at 713-237-1111 and ask for the manager on duty.
Sara S - Catering Service Manager
JW Marriott Houston Downtown
806 Main St., Houston, TX. 77002
Or course I didn't read that email til after the fact because I was traveling all day. And I am still completely at a loss as to why they didn't leave a message when they called me. since neither of the emails mentioned the property being closed, I've got to assume that they were trying to carefully word their communication to avoid the guarantee even though technically it may have applied.
jcwilson, I thought the exact same thing when I first read the note. After rereading it, I suspect their "Manager on Duty" responsibility rotates, much like the officer-of-the-day rotates in the military. You always have someone semi-senior on duty in case a crisis arises (as it did in this case). It's fascinating that the catering manager makes this rotation, however, it could have been all hands on deck trying to communicate with inbound guests. It's a decent sized hotel so I suspect they do a fair amount of catering. Good eye in your part! Things that make us go....hmmmm. Interesting stuff!
droma, the 35,000 points showed up in my account, and the guy at the hotel emailed me again to make sure I was happy with his solution. I didn't reply because I am still feeling kind of disgruntled. I'm trying to convince myself that it's not a big deal and I should be happy at the way it was resolved, but I'm not doing a very good job of it
I would expect them to make good on their guarantee if they oversold and walked you. However, this is some sort of misfortune that befell the hotel. One that undoubtedly they did not cause and cost then a lot of money and trouble. They are probably debating whether or not to make a claim under business interruption insurance.
They should indeed have left a voicemail, that one is on them, however, we as guests should remember that when we are doing business with travel providers, we should cut them a little slack just like we expect them to do to us.
In the future, when "walked" to another hotel, it is best to insist that it be another Marriott property where possible so that you do not lose status nights.
It is not a good situation for anyone, and I am not a big defender of the hotels, but I am a firm supporter of fairness. Why not tell them that you are very sorry to hear of their misfortune, thank them for making alternate accommodations, and tell them it would have been better had they left a voicemail.
techie, I did tell them I would have appreciated a voice mail so I could have moved to the JW at the Galleria. There really wasn't any reason I had to be downtown. By the time we got there that evening, it was too late to go down to the Galleria. I think they were probably doing their best under the circumstances but maybe lacking a little common sense.
Marriott is not perfect, and sometimes I do get frustrated but on the whole, they treat me pretty well. It would have been in a situation similar to you where I could have gone to the other JW. I haven't stayed at either JW in Houston although I've been to many other Marriotts in that city.n It would be helpful if they would acknowledge the issue with not leaving a voicemail. Have a good day.