35 Replies Latest reply: Mar 22, 2010 9:22 AM by tjcnewyork RSS

Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!

pltnmprincess Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

Unfortunately, it's not at Marriott.  I just received and email from Starwood announcing free Internet in the room for Platinum members.  Please see below.

 

As a Platinum member, you have access to our highest level of benefits, which now includes complimentary in-room Internet access.1 Now when you travel with SPG® you'll enjoy in-room Internet access — on us — at any of our more than 940 participating properties worldwide.


Here's how it works:

  • Log on to the Internet when you get to your room.
  • If you receive a prompt asking you to accept the hotel's Internet access charges, please accept them.
  • Because you are a Platinum member, Internet access charges will be eliminated from your final hotel bill.2


A reminder of the other Platinum benefits you already enjoy.
You earn three Starpoints® for every eligible dollar spent — a 50% bonus over our base-level members. You're also privy to room upgrades at check-in, including Standard Suites;3 a Platinum welcome gift upon arrival with every stay; Club- and Executive-level privileges; and guaranteed room availability when your room is booked by 3 p.m., 72+ hours prior to arrival.4 And our signature Platinum ConciergeSM service5 is just one call away, ready to help with just about anything regarding your visit.

Ready for the perfect [escape]?
Book your next getaway.


Please note that in-hotel Platinum benefits, including complimentary Internet access, do not apply when the reservation is pre-paid or booked through a third party.

 

 

 

When will Marriott follow suit?  According to respondants of a recent princess poll, this feature was the most requested feature for Marriott rewards members.   

 

 

**NOTE - within a week of this posting Marriott announced FREE Internet for GOLD and PLATINUM. See link below:

 

http://www.marriottrewardsinsiders.marriott.com/thread/null

 

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "When will Marriott follow suit?"

     

    Quick question.  How compelling is comp internet to motivate a brand-hop to Starwood? 

     


    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC -- I agree with the premise of your question.  The free internet issue for me is irrelavant, but my take on this whole thing from monitoring many posts on this board gives the impression that there are many who value free internet over quality of service and accomodations.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    NuHusker

     

    You nailed it, thanks.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJ & NU,

    I must admit I am confused by your responses.  How does free internet equate with lower quality of service?  In my experiences at both chains, service has been similar.   Free internet may not be enough to get someone to switch to Starwood, but in the age of cost-cutting and reductions, I do see this as a potential factor for corporations making decisions on where to lodge their employees.

     

    If Marriott had made this announcement, I am guessing we would see a big HOORAY FOR MARRIOTT thread for being so innovative and responsive to customers. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I will say that I dont think free internet would get me to switch brands but I have put some time in with Starwoods and some of their properties are pretty great.  I could see getting a comp status match from them to test the waters again.  The service there as I recall was on par with most of the Marriott properties I've been in lately.

     

    I think the bigger question comes down to is Marriott going to follow suit or if they will wait to see if one of the other big box brands takes the same direction as Starwood, thus forcing their hand.  My guess is that internet is a money maker for the property owner, not Marriott so it boils down to a value proposition.  With the rollover promos, there are certainly more platinum MR members.  If this money goes to the property owner, what is their threshold of pain for giving free access and now to even more higher end members.  I would imagine the best way to accomplish this would be to create a promo rate code that is only valid for MR level X and would essentially include internet in the rate, just like breakfast.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "I would imagine the best way to accomplish this would be to create a promo rate code that is only valid for MR level X and would essentially include internet in the rate, just like breakfast."

     

    Zukracer,

     

    Like complimentary hot water, heating, air-conditioning, electricity and cable television, guest expectations include broadband internet access and 3G networks.  

     

    While extreme, bundling internet as a promo is like offering hot water service under a special rate.  My deepest concern about the concept is potential abuse.  As noted here and on FlyerTalk, there are properties that use promo rate tactics to evade the No Blackout Dates policy.  In so doing, rooms that would ordinarily be available for point redemption, get carved up by special promo rates.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC,

    I think you missed my point.  The suggestion of a rate code was simply to allow Marriott corp. to provide the various MR levels with some value add in relation to the internet access.  I think the issue is that the revenue is a local property owner's not Marriott corp.  Local owners have little incentive to give away one of their cash cows, so by arranging a code, even one that automatically attaches based on status (ie not viable from any web/travel forms), Marriott can control the cost to us, the end user while allowing the property owner to still collect the revenue.  A layman's view of how to "cook the books" so to speak.

     

    For example, I use National Rental all the time and have their top tier status.  When I login and reserve a car from them online, I get a 10% discount in most cities.  Its just automaticly deducted, the local franchise owner is none the wiser.  If Marriott provided a similar discount that automatically credited your nightly rate for the published price of the internet at the selected hotel, the hotel would have no control over it.  You still "pay" for service but in the end, your net output is the same.

     

    In the end, this all boils down to money.  We do not feel we should have to pay for the service, yet its a vital service for us.  At the same time, the property owners know its vital for us and that we'll pay, even if we beotch about it.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Platinum Princess:

     

    ROI is the name of the game. This is a cash cow for hotels, and many are afraid to eliminate the serrvice cost.  I too am top tier at National Rent a Car and know that I get a better rate plus at FBOs, when I ever use them, they will come and get me--an added perk for sure that costs them a lot. I accunmulate a few weeks a year in free rental days and use them as well.

     

    Let's think of the pyramid of members in Marriott Rewards--the highest benefits should be reserved for the top (Platinum) of that pyramid in my opinion.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    http://hbswk.hbs.edu/images/site/archivebanner.gif

     

    "If Marriott provided a similar discount that automatically credited your nightly rate for the published price of the internet at the selected hotel, the hotel would have no control over it. "

     

    Zukracer

     

    In 2003, the Harvard Business Review published a highly controversial article by Nicholas Carr, IT doesn't matter. Carr correctly envisioned the commodization of Information Technology to the point where it would be like plumbing and electricity - just another piece of infrastructure. The blueprint for hospitality changed forever around 2008 with the post-Google IPO era, the widespread adoption of wireless combined with the implementation of the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act law passed in 2005. All of these forces combine to tip Elite guest expectations in the USA towards valuing complimentary high-speed internet.

     

    Your parallel to National Rental and the automatic discount provides an excellent starting point.  Extended to Marriott, drive online reservations upwards by promoting complimentary internet for Elites seamless with the act of booking online - paid or points. 

     

    There's no escaping guest expectations. Carr's prophetic vision is realized and Marriott stands to benefit immensely if they can implement Free Internet for Platinum, now.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    NU and TJC  -  wow, what did you guys miss???  It has now become a issue that all travelers will weigh when they choose their lodging.  I totally agree with those who do not understand why  gratis internet service equates to reduced quality of service.  My bet is that Marriott will offer the same benefit by the end of the year.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    shoeman -- Don't think I've missed anything.  Not only do several Marriott family brands offer free internet if that's what's important to the traveller, but other brands do so as well. Heck, for that matter, I can sleep in my car and get free internet at the interstate highway rest areas.  For me, it's simple...if the place I'm scheduled to stay can't/won't meet my expectations, I walk.  No moaning, groaning, or complaining.  Just put my $ where I get what I'm looking for, versus what I'm hoping for.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    understood. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "My bet is that Marriott will offer the same benefit by the end of the year."

     

    And I'll be bold to disagree and wager a glass of cabernet Marriott doesn't. Hospitality is about creating experiences that engage the traveler to increase purchase frequency.  Marriott  already delivers brand experiences targeting the traveler where broadband internet is complimentary.

     

    Marriott has an incredibly vast data warehouse offering the capability to research, develop, market and manage the effectiveness of brand offerings and promotions based upon decisions that are customer-centric and data-driven. Marriott will offer complimentary broadband access to Platinum Elite when the numbers promise a positive return.  Having the data is only one part of the challenge.  The other part is formulating the right questions and packaging an offering for Platinum Elite that can be tested. 

     

    During my travels, I document how Marriott currently delivers broadband access across 70+ properties involving most, but not all of their brands from TownePlace Suites to Ritz-Carlton.   Candidly, not one of them delivers a broadband experience that truly engages.  In fact, more often than not, the way broadband is delivered detracts from the brand experience. 

     

    Despite the opportunity, Marriott has yet to engage their guests, let alone their Platinum Elite in dialogue about the type of broadband offering desired.  Have you or anyone reading this post ever been invited to participate in an online survey while you were logged on at a Marriott property?  Have you been asked to give feedback on what you like or dislike about your internet experience while at Marriott?

     

    As customer-centric and data-driven that Marriott is, the organization is most likely not in a position to offer complimentary broadband services in a way that truly engages their Elite - just quite yet.

     

     

     

    -- Edited by TJCNewYork at 03/05/2010 8:38 AM EST - Rethink and connect the dots to make certain I didn't 'miss anything.' :-)

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "If Marriott had made this announcement, I am guessing we would see a big HOORAY FOR MARRIOTT thread for being so innovative and responsive to customers. "

     

    Exactly!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC   -  ok, I get it.  you are using a lot of words to say that Starwood "gets it" and Marriott doesn't.  Well said!!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    " Here's how it works:

    • Log on to the Internet when you get to your room.
    • If you receive a prompt asking you to accept the hotel's Internet access charges, please accept them.
    • Because you are a Platinum member, Internet access charges will be eliminated from your final hotel bill.2"

     

    All:

     

    These instructions clearly indicate that SPG is faking knowledge about their guests.  By that I mean that SPG is not really able to connect elite status, hotel registration and room assignment in order to deliver targeted, personalized instructions.  The capability to do so is identical in scope to that which allows guests in full-service hotels to see a guest-folio displayed on TV.

     

    It's not a breakthrough capability but clearly a challenge to extend and apply across a vast network of providers that franchisees contract to provide broadband access.  The capability requires standardization and system interfaces that may require brand customization.  All of which is very costly.

     

    By default, Elite status is known at check-in.  The challenge is delivering a standardized and customized brand experience that Elite expect and deserve.  Maintaining a customer-centric and data-driven focus, a starting point might be to ask Elite for comments, feedback and suggestions.  But, that too appears to be challenging.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "Starwood "gets it" and Marriott doesn't.  Well said!!!"

     

    Well thanks (blushing).  The comment is partially true.  Starwood does get it, and knows how to 'fake' it.  

     

    Should Marriott 'fake' it?  No! No! NO!   Here's a few examples of the online brand experience that Marriott currently delivers.  It is quite evident that Marriott has no clue about their guests irrespective of brand:

     

    • Ritz-Carlton

          http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy336/MemorableWeekends/RitzLogon.jpg

     

    • Marriott Vacation Club

     

          http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy336/MemorableWeekends/01DSV-1.jpg

     

     

    • Marriott Hotels

     

           http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy336/MemorableWeekends/03MysticMarriott-1.jpg

     

    • Marriott Wentworth-by-the-Sea, Newcastle, NH

     

            http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy336/MemorableWeekends/04Wentworth.jpg

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Being solutions oriented, here's a starting point to shift this discussion in a positive direction. When I logon/authenticate online at a Marriott property, here's what I would like to experience:

     

    ***

    Dear [TJCNewYork],


    Welcome [back] to the [Renaissance St. Petersburg]. Thank you for chosing to stay with us.  As a Marriott Rewards [Platinum Premier] Elite member, it is our pleasure to provide you with the following [complimentary] services:

    • [Wired/Wireless] Internet for the duration of your stay
    • [Early/Late] Checkin/Checkout
    • [Concierge/Lounge] Access (Hours of Operation)
    • [Manager's Reception] Lobby (day/time)
    • Breakfast vouchers
    • [xx%] Food & Beverage Discount
    • Golf Club Rental
    • Fitness Center Locker Rental

    Please feel free to contact [Guest Relations] at extension [1234] should you require assistance.  We hope you enjoy your stay and look forward to your return, soon.


    Best Wishes,


    [General Manager] 

     

    ***

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    jake123 Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have stayed over 17000 nights at mariotts over the years and have acheieved Lifetime Platinum Status. Over these years I have notice a constant erosion in the quality of marriotts vesus their competitors. It seems marriott is just coasting and even actually regressing in the industry insofar as trying to maintain the elites. I can honestly say that for the top tier folks, Sheraton and Hilton are better bangs for the buck, especially in the US.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Jake,

    I agree with you it seems the other chains are making improvements while Marriott seems to be doing little to keep the lead.  If they dont start moving again to add value in places that elites are asking for, they could be swallowed up quickly and face loosing top tier folks at a quicker pace than thought.

     

    Also 17000 nights???  You mean 1700?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "I have stayed 17000 nights over the years"

     

    Jake123

     

    According to About Marriott | Culture, the company's history spans about 80 years.  The Pentagon's first blush at the internet was 1969, and Marriott introduced complimentary internet in 2003

     

    If '17000 nights' is correct, congratulations - you have my attention. That would mean you lived at Marriott 212 nights per year for the past 80 years.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC,

     

    That sure does get ones attention!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well, to keep tings "positive", I am POSITIVE that free internet service for Platinum Elite would be appreciated by this poor soul.  But that's just me.....

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • HOORAY-FREE INTERNET for Gold & Platinum!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • HOORAY-FREE INTERNET for Gold & Platinum!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    http://cache.marriott.com/propertyimages/n/nycws/phototour/nycws_phototour41.jpg

     

    "I am POSITIVE that free internet service for Platinum Elite would be appreciated by this poor soul. "

     

    Congratulations and Hooray for a positive outlook. Marriott rolls out free internet at full service properties in US starting May 7th. See What's New: Free Internet Access for Gold and Platinum Elite Members

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Looks like Shoeman was right!!!   Not only did Marriott match Starwood by the end of the year, they did it by the end of the Month.   HOORAY for Marriott for listening to their valued customers!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    It's a good day for the Elite nation! 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    nycuws10025 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well, before we all get entirely too giddy about this, let's make sure we are clear here:  Marriott has NOT matched Starwood.  Starwood is offering this benefit world-wide while Marriott is only offering it at properties in the USA and Canada.

    .

    Yes, I acknowledge that Marriott is extending this benefit to Gold and Platinum whlst Starwood is only extending it to Platinum.  I am also aware that with 940 properties, Starwood is a relatively small player compared to Marriott and Hilton.

    .

    In the USA, Marriott has made it very easy for me to not stay at their Marriott and Renaissance brands because I can get free internet at all the other brands and at Residence Inns and Fairfield Inns a free breakfast to boot!  So adding that I do a lot of my travelling on weekends and most Concierge Lounges are closed on weekends, I'm not sure this is going to be the perk which brings me back to the full-service brands.

    .

    I personally, wouldn't mind paying for internet access if the rate charged were reasonable.   But (to give one example) at the Melbourne and Sydney Australia Marriotts during my last visit, the cost of the internet access was AUD29.95 per day - a rate which exceeded 10% of the room rate I was paying.  I will be damned before I will pay that much!   So I signed up for a short-term 3G account with one of the local phone companies for the three-weeks I was in Australia, and had internet access for the entire time I was there at far less than I would have paid Marriott for even 5 days.

    .

    What exactly is a reasonable rate?  I really dont know, but I DO know that AUD29.95 per night doesn't come close.

    .

    Still, this is a step in the right direction and for that, I am grateful.  I do a lot of travelling in the USA and Canada so if I'm in a location where there isn't one of the lower-priced brands, this will be a nice addition to the product.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    90golfer Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree!  It never made any sense to me that you surfed free at the lower priced Marriotts and Vacation Club, but had to pay a large fee at the hotels.  This is great!  Marilyn Lawson

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "Marriott has NOT matched Starwood"

     

    I think that's an excellent point.  But, properties can use discretion, can't they?  Many of us including myself have experienced that.  Recently, one Insider mentioned cancelling a reservation and walking upon discovery that expectations for a concierge level room was not honored at check-in. Magically, a CL room became available. Was it market pressure, guest expectations or good business practice at work?  All 3 likely.

     

    While corporate has yet to formerly announce this great benefit outside of the US, it would seem good business practice to honor the benefit at Gold and Platinum Elite guest request especially if a Starwood property operates in that market. 

     

    The Australian example is an excellent case in point.  That property now has a huge problem.  They have to rethink costs and/or renegotiate with a new vendor.  Elite guests expect complimentary internet.  They will ask for the benefit. 

     

    With competitive market pressures plus heightened expectations, as good business practice, doesn't it make sense for a property to respond with a can-do attitude?  They didn't need corporate approval to do so in the past, do they need it now?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

     

    "My bet is that Marriott will offer the same benefit by the end of the year."

     

    And I'll be bold to disagree and wager a glass of cabernet Marriott doesn't. Hospitality is about creating experiences that engage the traveler to increase purchase frequency.  Marriott  already delivers brand experiences targeting the traveler where broadband internet is complimentary.

     

    Marriott has an incredibly vast data warehouse offering the capability to research, develop, market and manage the effectiveness of brand offerings and promotions based upon decisions that are customer-centric and data-driven. Marriott will offer complimentary broadband access to Platinum Elite when the numbers promise a positive return.  Having the data is only one part of the challenge.  The other part is formulating the right questions and packaging an offering for Platinum Elite that can be tested. 

     

    During my travels, I document how Marriott currently delivers broadband access across 70+ properties involving most, but not all of their brands from TownePlace Suites to Ritz-Carlton.   Candidly, not one of them delivers a broadband experience that truly engages.  In fact, more often than not, the way broadband is delivered detracts from the brand experience. 

     

    Despite the opportunity, Marriott has yet to engage their guests, let alone their Platinum Elite in dialogue about the type of broadband offering desired.  Have you or anyone reading this post ever been invited to participate in an online survey while you were logged on at a Marriott property?  Have you been asked to give feedback on what you like or dislike about your internet experience while at Marriott?

     

    As customer-centric and data-driven that Marriott is, the organization is most likely not in a position to offer complimentary broadband services in a way that truly engages their Elite - just quite yet.

     

     

     

    -- Edited by TJCNewYork at 03/05/2010 8:38 AM EST - Rethink and connect the dots to make certain I didn't 'miss anything.'

     

     

     

    Hey TJC.   All in good fun, as well as with all due respect, I look forward to the winning glass of cabernet.  Cool 

    Hide

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    NYC,

     

    I stayed in the Melbourne Marriott in 2/2008 and they had a weekly and monthly internet rate that was much more reasonable than the per day rate.  Due to other problems at that hotel, when I went back in 10/2008 I stayed in the Hyatt, which charged the AUD$30/day for internet with no discount for weekly/monthly.  I think the fee is based on the market there and whichever provider they use.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "I look forward to the winning glass of cabernet. "

     

    Bring it on!!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    pltnmprincess Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Here are the FAQs on Marriott's free internet.  It looks like it will operate similar to Starwood, that we are to accept the charges but they will be removed from the bill.

     

    Effective May 7, 2010, Marriott Rewards® Gold and Platinum Elite members will automatically receive free Internet access at the following full-service hotels – JW Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, and Renaissance® Hotels – in the U.S. and Canada.*

     

     

    Why has Marriott decided to offer free Internet access to Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members at this time?
    Convenience is key to our most frequent guests. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the travel experience. This new benefit comes on the heels of our most recent program enhancements – no blackout dates, Platinum Elite bonus of 50 percent, and Elite Rollover Nights.

    How does someone achieve Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite membership status?
    Marriott Rewards members reach Gold Elite status by staying 50 nights a year and Platinum Elite status by staying 75 nights a year. Marriott Rewards members can also earn Elite night credit by becoming a Marriott Rewards Visa card member. Elite members receive a number of benefits depending on their level, including bonus points, Elite-only offers, room upgrades, club lounge access, 48-hour availability and an exclusive guest services and reservation line.

    Why is this free Internet access benefit limited to Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members only?
    This benefit is being introduced to reward our most frequent guests’ loyalty and business they give to Marriott. This is one benefit of staying 50 nights or more. Our select service hotels offer free Internet access to all guests in the U.S. and Canada.

    Why is Marriott waiting until May 7 to launch this program?
    We want to ensure that the roll-out of this new benefit goes as smoothly as possible for our guests.

    Will Marriott consider broadening this program to offer free Internet access to all Marriott Rewards members in the future?
    There are no plans to broaden the program at this time.

    Will Marriott consider broadening this benefit beyond the U.S. and Canada in the future?
    We intend to remain competitive in this space, therefore we are continuing to explore the opportunity to expand outside the U.S. and Canada.*

    Does this mean I can get free Internet access for my group business, too?
    The benefit is for individual use and not meant for group audio/visual needs.

    Does this include wireless Internet access?
    Yes, in the lobby and public spaces where available, but not in the meeting and conference areas.

    As a Marriott Rewards Gold or Platinum Elite member, what do I need to do to access free Internet access when I arrive at the hotel? Is it only available in the guest room or will it be available throughout the hotel?
    To access this benefit, simply connect your laptop to the Internet in your room or other public space after checking in to the hotel. Log on as you normally would by clicking to accept charges for Internet access. No charges will be reflected on your bill. Free Internet access will be available in your guest room and in the lobby/public spaces where available.

    Who is eligible for free Internet access?
    This exclusive benefit is available to all Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members.

    Which brands will offer the free Internet access?
    Free Internet access for Gold and Platinum Elite members will be available at the following full-service brands – JW Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, and Renaissance® Hotels – in the U.S. and Canada.*

    Will free Internet access be available at resorts?
    This benefit will be offered at resort locations of the participating brands in the U.S. and Canada.*

    Where is free Internet access available?
    Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members will receive complimentary Internet access at nearly 450 full-service hotels in the U.S. and Canada.*

    When will members start to receive this benefit?
    Free Internet access will be available to Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members beginning May 7, 2010.

    What type of stay is required for the benefit to be offered?
    Free Internet access is available to Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members on either a paid or redemption stay.

    How often can a member receive the free Internet access benefit?
    Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members will be offered free Internet access at all stays with no limit on the number of stays.

    Is free Internet access available for the member’s entire stay?
    Yes, free Internet access is available for the entire stay, starting with your day of arrival through departure.

    Does the free Internet access benefit also include telephone calls?
    No. We will provide an alternative phone option alongside free Internet access for our Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members in the U.S. and Canada.*

    Will free Internet access be available anywhere in the hotel (e.g., meeting rooms, lobby, concierge/executive/club lounge)?
    The free Internet benefit will be available to Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Guests wherever internet access is currently available, except in the meeting rooms.

    Is this benefit available to members as part of a group or members staying on a negotiated rate?
    Yes, this benefit is available for individual use for Marriott Rewards members who have Gold or Platinum Elite status.

    How does the property know that a guest is eligible for free Internet access?
    The member’s Gold or Platinum account number must be on the reservation to receive free Internet access.

    What does a Marriott Rewards Gold or Platinum Elite member need to do to sign up for this benefit?
    No action is needed for a member to take advantage of this benefit.



    * This benefit is available in the 48 contiguous U.S. states, District of Columbia, Alaska and Canada.



    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Free Internet for Platinum has arrived!!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "Where is free Internet access available?
    Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members will receive complimentary Internet access at nearly 450 full-service hotels in the U.S. and Canada."

     

    This press release suggests that the free-to-guest business model will extend beyond the US and Canada to Europe and beyond, "studies have shown that guests will not return to hotels where they have an unsatisfactory internet experience."

     

    Free Internet for Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum is cause to celebrate.  Express your viewpoint on the brand that has the best loyalty program: VOTE! now.

     


    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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