"This is disturbing, as NewHilton and others have pointed out. Marriott doesn't give us points when we don't book through them, yet this suggests they are they complicit in third party e-bay sales?"
Excellent comments, Professor Chiara. Online auctions makes hotel rooms like any other commodity. Hotels that book a high % of rooms that way inevitably reduce the # of rooms for upgrades and points. Price supercedes brand expectations.
Selling vouchers to 3rd parties for online auction fills the hotel pipeline and guarantees occupancy at relatively low cost. The paradigm might work for hotels, but contrary to several comments, it is not a win-win for Elites.
Klaus, I think you're wrong about insiders rejecting what you're saying, but would applaud if it came from TJC. Point is for me, I don't like that Marriott appears to approve of the third party ebay sales, but yet doesn't allow benefits to be earned from priceline, etc. I'm glad you brought this to our attention, so I can remind my friends who shop on ebay to "buyer beware."
"Point is for me, I don't like that Marriott appears to approve of the third party ebay sales, but yet doesn't allow benefits to be earned from priceline, etc. I'm glad you brought this to our attention, so I can remind my friends who shop on ebay to "buyer beware."
Extremely well said. I applaud you!
Klaus makes a valid point. Individual Marriott properties in Europe are able to use e-Bay as a retail channel and may have online auction rates fully eligible for earning points and EQN.
Unlike 3rd party online retailers outlined in Marriott T&Cs, e-Bay is not an e-tailer. e-Bay is a marketplace. In Europe, some Marriott hotels can offer auction rates and accept payment through Cultuzz. e-Bay is not the retailier, the local Marriott is.
In the U.S., Marriott must comply with all statutes. AAA, Government and Senior rates are available here, but NOT in Marriott UK/Ireland for example. U.S. laws protect the consumer, and present a barrier-to-market for online auction hotel rates.
The biggest hurdle is tax liability. Internet hotel sales are the subject of disputes most notably Priceline.com and the City of Philadelphia. This may not be a barrier in France or Germany.
While I was quick to dismiss this subject, thanks to NUHusker for calling attention to the fact there is subject matter that the Insiders community should be aware of.
The unresolved aspect of this subject is the impact that online auction rates potentially have on diluting Elite benefits. In the context of the Travel Promotions Act and Marriott's recent announcement to double hotels in Europe, new business models will emerge that potentially impact Elite benefits.
Andrew - it might be beneficial to reach out to corporate for an Insiders perspective. In the US, Marriott stands out as the preferred choice for business travel and the loyalty program is evident of that.* As Marriott expands outside of the US, 'loyalty' must adapt and so must guest expectations. Anyone else agree?
* HWN Poll April 27, 2010. VOTE!
This article from the Center on Budget and Priorities provides a comprehensive state-by-state look at the barriers-to-market faced by hotel room auctions and rate wholesaling in the United States.
Cities, states and the federal government in the U.S. levy taxes in order to build infrastructure like roads and bridges, schools, hospitals, parks and more that serve the very communities where Marriott operates hotels.
The online auction industry's refusal to be liable for collecting and remitting taxes requires rethinking. But, Marriott's compliance with all statutes in the US is noteworthy. I applaud Marriott's culture of social responsibility and Spirit to Serve ethic.
Above: Home page, Marriott France
Below: Home page Marriott Germany
If you are reading this from Europe or anywhere outside of the US, Welcome | Bienvenue | Welkumme | Bienvenidos to Marriott Rewards Insiders.
Even though some have overlooked the need to be relevant and respectful of the Insider community, this discussion may apply if you currently purchase Marriott vouchers via e-bay and expect to earn points or miles.
Apparently, several hotels in Paris have been doing this, but recent updates suggest the practice has stopped. The T&C / Conditions générales de Marriott Rewards for Marriott France do not specifically name e-bay vouchers as excluded from point earning:
"Les chambres prépayées au tarif de gros et réservées à l’avance via des détaillants tiers en ligne ne sont pas admissibles pour des points, miles ou crédits nuit Elite, y compris mais sans s’y limiter, les chambres réservées via Priceline.com, Hotwire.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, etc. Les forfaits de groupe et les visites ne sont pas admissibles pour des points."
Similarly, the T&C / Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen von Marriott Rewards for Marriott Germany does not name e-bay specificially either:
"Vorausbezahlte Großabnehmerpreise, die über Online-Händler gebucht wurden, berechtigen nicht zur Punkte-, Meilen- oder Elite-Nächtegutschrift. Hierunter fallen unter anderm Priceline.com, Hotwire.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com, Hotels.com etc. Großabnehmer-Packages und Serientouren berechtigen nicht zur Punktegutschrift."
Like the United States, statutes in France, Germany and elsewhere may require collection of taxes at point-of-sale and remittance to the statutory authority under penalty of law.
Whatever the basis, treating e-bay vouchers like online retail / wholesale purchases reduces the impact that such activity might have on diluting Elite benefits. That's a good move for Marriott Rewards and a positive for members worldwide.
If you have any questions regarding earning Marriott Rewards, refer to the Terms & Conditions available at the respective Marriott International web site: