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17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 24, 2011 2:17 PM by klaus29 RSS

Updates

NathalieF Community Manager Marriott Associate
Currently Being Moderated

Good Afternoon, Insiders.

 

It's been a while since I have provided you with an update for the site and I apologize for that.  The truth is I haven't known exactly what to say as I'm afraid the news is not as good as I would have liked. As you know we’ve had issues keeping the site stable since we rolled out the latest changes in April. Our partner vendor is working diligently on performing a Quality Assurance review of their core product to ensure this never happens again; but in order for them to focus their efforts and resources on addressing these larger platform improvements, our progress in addressing the current issues you are having has been put on hold.

 

It will be a few months before we can fix the major problems I still hear you voicing problems with, especially the way in which the community's search works and the sorting of posts/replies. There's just no way to move the timetable up without jeopardizing the site's stability again. We don't want to fix one thing only to break three things in the process.

 

I know this message is frustrating to many of you. Believe me, it's frustrating to us here in Marriott Rewards as well. It concerns us deeply that we can not more promptly address the issues raised by our most valuable customers. Rest assured that we have learned TONS from this experience and future enhancements will be handled differently.

 

Short of bringing the site down there's not much we can do at this point in time, until our partner is ready to move forward. However, we don't want you to be suffering in silence so as a way to keep you all informed of our progress over the next few months we are planning on launching some sort of private messaging board in which we'll share our plans to fix what's not working for you. In turn you can give us your direct & candid feedback. We're hopeful that this kind of message board will help us develop solutions that are more aligned with your expectations and desires.  This new board should be ready in the next few weeks - more to come.

 

In the meantime please continue to send us feedback directly via the feedback link at the top of the page. We do read each posting made there and make every effort to respond to you in a timely manner. Occasionally, we may require more information about a suggestion or issue you've noted, and would like to be able to reply to your feedback via user messaging. Please ensure you've turned the messaging system on via your profile settings if you would like to be able to receive a reply from the Insiders technical team.

 

As soon I have more details on the private messaging board I'll post again.

 

We appreciate your patience with us as we learn during the Insiders Beta stages and we thank you for your continued loyalty.

 

Regards,

 

Andrew

(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.)

Location Brand Hotel
London, United Kingdom
  • Re: Updates
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Andrew -- thank you for that long-awaited explanation to some of our concerns.  I agree, it is unfortunate that there are still no answers after how long now (?).  As someone who knows virtually nothing about what the problems or solutions are, I rely on the apparent expertise of other insiders who seem to think that solutions are long overdue.  Are you using the same people to try and fix these problems that were responsible for creating  them in the first place?

     

    "We don't want to fix one thing only to break three things in the process."

     

    Isn't that pretty much what your team did in the first place?

     

    What exactly is the point of creating another private messaging component to the insiders site?  It already exists, as evidenced by my many questions/comments to you and your responses.  And as you pointed out, there's a feedback link already on the site.  Why spend/waste time reinventing something that already exists?  Apply that effort to fixing what's really broke!

     

    Last thing -- Previously some insiders with obvious experience and knowledge with solving the type of problems you're having, offered to help with solutions testing, etc.  You declined.  Is it time to acknowledge the limitations of your existing team and reconsider the offer of those insiders?

     

    Thanks again for the update.

    (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: Updates
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Andrew,

    I echo NUHUSKER 100%.  I appreciate your keeping us up to date, but I respectfully ask you or someone on your staff to do so more often. In my Dear Andrew post, I used the analogy of JFK airport for a reason -- we have felt left hanging for some time.  And when you've gathered together a wonderful community of Insiders who 'know' each other and value shared opinions, the loss of that is enormous.

    I think, along with NUHUSKER, that we are all pretty much agreed the system is not working as it should.  The sites I used to check most often -- Paris, Rome, London -- are too much trouble to bother with anymore.  And clicking on all the four headings to scroll down to find something interesting is not worth the time.  As so many have said, I usually just don't bother anymore.

    I also agree with NUH (sorry for the abbreviation!) that another personal site is NOT the answer.  For the first time, I've started exchanging information directly with other Insiders via the email profile.  But since so many of us relied on the combined experience of insiders in their different vacation spots, hotels, cities, whatever, that one-on-one contact makes us ever more distant from each other. Yes, I get to give my tips to one person and another can share his or hers with me, but on the whole, I assume very large groups of Insiders miss out on all of that information.

    I am writing because I care.  I am not a Facebook person and never will be, but I found Insiders to be exactly the kind of website where I could share travel knowledge and experiences with people who had similar interests.  Now most of that is gone.

    I really do appreciate that you're trying to fix this (and will appreciate regular updates), but again, why did it have to happen in the first place?  You created a site that Insiders LOVED and that now is mostly gone.

    Best regards,
    ProfChiara

    (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: Updates
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "I am not a Facebook person and never will be, but I found Insiders to be exactly the kind of website where I could share travel knowledge and experiences with people who had similar interests.  Now most of that is gone."

     

    We must be in an echo chamber that you can state my exact thoughts, Professor.

    (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: Updates
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Ditto, Professor.

    (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: Updates
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Professor.  Count me in!  Unfortunately for Marriott, that may mean counting me out.......   I get no pleasure in saying that, but I do so because I get no pleasure from the community anymore.  Frown

    (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: Updates
    chazdawg Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    While I can't attest to the site months ago...I guess I just don't remember the differences.  Maybe I look at this site differently than other people...but I don't expect it to be the Alpha and Omega of all travel sites (Marriott topics, of course).  Mostly because of the limited number of people who seem to be members and the even more limited number of people that chime in not because of the limitations others identify about the site.  Clearly the same people post...and post...and post...and post.  Sometimes the posts are useful...a lot of times, however, it's mindless dribble or complaints.  I'm not really sure what it is people expect from this site.  I enjoy popping in from time to time to see what others are contributing...or to contribute myself.  I also check another site with the same regularity to see what's going on over there with that group.  Let's not forget that this site is free...I can't tell how much Marriott is trying or not...but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.  I may not love the layout as is...but clearly don't hate it as much as others do.

     

    That said...It absolutely blows my mind that people are honestly saying they're willing to bail on Marriott, that they're changing the way they choose hotels and they're truly picking alternative brands simply because of the way this FREE site has been handled?  It's one thing to say that you're not going to visit this site anymore...but to bail on the brand?  Seriously?  And what I find more interesting...instead of leaving the site that you seem to abhor...you linger and continue to rehash the same complaints.  Be patient...either they'll change the site in ways you'll be pleased with or leave and you won't need to be frustrated.  Also...don't forget you were INVITED to join...you continue to be INVITED to provide feedback...you aren't, however, ENTITLED simply because of that invitation, your Marriott status, or sheer number of posts you made to this site to continue to diminish the experience of everyone else.

     

    If there's one thing that keeps me from visiting on a daily basis it's a small group of individuals that I find that continue to post on here simply because they like to rant and/or "hear" themselves talk...or worse...simply want to see that post counter increase.  I know this isn't going to make me the most popular guy on this site...but...so be it.

     

    ChazDawg

    (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: Updates
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    wow.  to each his own.......

    (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: Updates
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "Let's not forget that this site is free...I can't tell how much Marriott is trying or not...but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now."

     

    Let's not forget that our experience of the Marriott brand and the maturity each Elite member brings/or not shapes the expectations of what an online travel community should be.   There are many free travel sites and various ways in which they derive revenue.  There are also a plethora of travel blogs.  FlyerTalk, TripAdvisor, HotelCheckIn, Timeshare Users Group among many.  Most of these are advertising supported.

     

    For me, Marriott Rewards Insiders is not a 'free' site.  It is not public domain like the others and searchable via Google, Yahoo or Bing.  MRI is a private, gated online community for Marriott Rewards Elite.  When the site was launched in 2008, Platinum Elite were invited to participate.  Not that it matters, your first post is early December 2009.  A lot happened in the year and a half preceding that first post.

     

    In fact, when the No Blackout Dates policy was announced in October 2008, and hotels were regrouped into 8 Hotel Categories and the points required to redeem free nights increased by 20%, there was discussion which had nearly 700 posts and 99% were complaints.  It was so out of control that Marriott Rewards hid the discussion in February 2009*.

     

    It took a bit of persuading, but ultimately Marriott understood that Content & Community go hand-in-hand. When Content is removed, those who contributed their thoughts and expectations have little reason to return.  To their credit, Marriott unhid the discussion in July of the same year**.  Slowly, Insiders began to thrive again.  When Andrew came on board last summer, he was able to champion instanteous posting of messages.  Before that, posts did not become visible until reviewed and 24 hours went by.  If you're travelling and in a pinch for a recommendation, it doesn't make sense to make you wait 24 hours for your question or issue to be posted and then 48 hours for a response, does it?  To Marriott's credit, they listened to the feedback and made it happen to the benefit of those participating as well as Marriott who benefits when a reservation is booked related in part to the activity here.

     

    Fast forwarding to April 1, 2010; a number of very popular features disappeared and replaced with what we have now.  To make it worst, all the content Insiders posted was inaccessible via our profile or via search.  For those of us who are very active contributors and answer a variety of questions to assist other Elite, it was impossible to reference earlier posts which contained the answer(s).  Not only was it frustrating it became a complete waste of time.

     

     

    That said...It absolutely blows my mind that people are honestly saying they're willing to bail on Marriott, that they're changing the way they choose hotels and they're truly picking alternative brands simply because of the way this FREE site has been handled? It's one thing to say that you're not going to visit this site anymore...but to bail on the brand?  Seriously? And what I find more interesting...instead of leaving the site that you seem to abhor...you linger and continue to rehash the same complaints.

     

    We have high expectations and engagement.  Marriott Rewards Insiders is an extension of the hotel guest experience.  One feature I rely upon is 'My Subscriptions'.  There are several Insiders whose travels I enjoy reading about and share common ground with on brand integration issues.    Using MySubscriptions I receive an e-mail alert showing whose posted and the topic.  That will usually trigger a visit.

     

    Also...don't forget you were INVITED to join...you continue to be INVITED to provide feedback...you aren't, however, ENTITLED simply because of that invitation, your Marriott status, or sheer number of posts you made to this site to continue to diminish the experience of everyone else.

     

    Marriott created an Elite culture that is all about 'entitlement'.  We expect Marriott to deliver upon their promises because we are Elite and loyal to the brand.

     

     

    "While I can't attest to the site months ago...I guess I just don't remember the differences.  Maybe I look at this site differently than other people..."

     

    Maybe this might help you remember the Home page which was not only welcoming and intuitive, it was very user-friendly and easy to navigate:

     

    http://i866.photobucket.com/albums/ab222/TJCNEWYORKINSIDERS/Home01Page.jpg

     

     

    * Older Posts Vanished!!

    ** Welcome to our 2009 Program Changes

    (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: Updates
    chazdawg Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Let's start with this...

     

    For me, Marriott Rewards Insiders is not a 'free' site.  It is not public domain like the others and searchable via Google, Yahoo or Bing.  MRI is a private, gated online community for Marriott Rewards Elite.  When the site was launched in 2008, Platinum Elite were invited to participate.  Not that it matters, your first post is early December 2009.  A lot happened in the year and a half preceding that first post.

     

    Number 1...your argument that it's not public domain does not negate the definition of free.  You don't pay for the site and are a guest on it.  To be fair, if Marriott wants to hide any conversations or posts...it's their right and you can choose based on the rules whether or not you want to continue to participate.  While I'm sure they expected people to post complaints and want open discussion...I'd like to think that the site was designed more so that Marriott Rewards members could benefit from the knowledge we all have gained over the years of traveling and utilizing Marriott brand.

     

    Number 2...my first post wasn't until December 2009 because I was in Iraq late 2007 thru mid 2009 and didn't actively join the community until 2009...But as you said...Not that it matters, right?

     

    And to this...


    We have high expectations and engagement.  Marriott Rewards Insiders is an extension of the hotel guest experience.


    While I won't argue that point...I'll still never accept that the proper response to the limitations or missing features to this site would be changing your loyalty from the hotel brand.  It's utterly ridiculous to me.

     

    Finally...

     

    Marriott created an Elite culture that is all about 'entitlement'.  We expect Marriott to deliver upon their promises because we are Elite and loyal to the brand.

     

    Seriously?  I'm baffled by that statement.  We're now going to defend our behavior based on the fact Marriott created a Rewards program?  Marriott has generously decided to create this site...right or wrong in deciding which features they allow to flourish...it's their site and our job to participate within the boundaries we're given.  Providing feedback and requesting features be available is certainly one thing...but to constantly harp is the issue I'm having.  Why can't we just appreciate what we're given.  Don't we think at this point that Marriot knows the features the most contributing folks want at this point?

     

    Oh yeah...

     

    Let's not forget that our experience of the Marriott brand and the maturity each Elite member brings/or not shapes the expectations of what an online travel community should be.

     

    Cute.

     

    ChazDawg

    (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: Updates
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thank you, TJC for responding to what many of us were thinking.  While I do not want to disparage anyone's comments on Insiders, I think those of us who regularly participate and have done so from the beginning understand best the nature and unfortunate aspects of the changes.

    If, ChazDawg, that offends you, I am sorry.  But I also was upset when you challenged another Insider's language skills.  English may be becoming the universal language, but many of us who travel abroad regularly recognize how important it is to be able to communicate in the language of the people in that country.  As a proud American, I like to be a sort of ambassador for my country.  Thanks to lots of work,many student loans, I speak French, German and Italian.  But even when I travel to countries where I don't know the language, I do my best to master at least the basic phrases for the sake of simple courtesy.

    And if you also think we're trying to accumulate more posts, that is absurd.  I've posted at least twice as many as my account says. I've seen no one who has more than 150 posts, though my own account says many more -- and I'm sure there are a whole lot of others before me who have posted practically from the beginning.

    One of our regulars (Shoeman1 or Pingreeman?) commented that a squeaky wheel gets greased.  That's what we are looking for. The Marriott Insiders Site about six months ago was perfect. We are complaining because it was changed.

    Since you did not regularly visit the site when it was its best, I doubt you know what it was -- a great and regular interchange by all members about all sites with questions and answers that were easily accessible to all. Insiders provided me with insights about places I'd never been but was preparing to visit, and I responded in kind.

    If you think we're just out to hear our voices, so be it -- as you said. But I can assure you we are not.  We want a viable and active site back.  I had never found a site more accessible and useable than Marriott Insiders as it was about four months ago.  As TJC and others have said, TripAdvisors is useful, but it is not the same. If you know of a better site, please let us know.

    ProfChiara

    (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: Updates
    chazdawg Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm going to address your comment about my challenging another user's language skills. This was the post in question, if you recall...

     

     

    I hope this post isn't taken to be rude...but...what's the point of the original post here?

    I realize English isn't his primary language...but I truly don't understand what the purpose of the post is...is he selling rooms?  Telling people to buy rooms on Ebay?  Is it a solicitation?

    He's got 100+ postings...so clearly an active Insider...but I'm admittedly confused.

     

    As you can see, I clearly am confused and trying to find an explanation from other regulars.  My initial concern was that someone was trying to solicit on the site and I was attempting to determine if the post was something that should be reported.  I think your underhanded attempt to disparage me and accuse me of something I clearly never intended to do is about as transparent as the previous posters attempt to question my maturity.  Again...Cute.

     

    What's the point of telling everyone that you've got much more than 150 posts than to hammer home my point?  And that part about you being multi-lingual...a nice touch. I'm finding it interesting that you included yourself in the "we" category when referring to my comments about people wanting to increase their number of posts...I never called you out specifcally.

     

    I'm sorry I don't subscribe to the squeeky wheel analogy.  At what point are we simply the crazy guy on the street corner screaming about the coming apocolypse?  Clearly Andrew is in the know and seems to be working as dilligently as he can.

     

    My point...overall...is that I'd rather see this site be positive, not negative.  Think of a complaint more like an objection in court...you say it once to get it on the record...anything above and beyond that, makes it seem like you're just, well, a complainer.  I'd also like to see it populated and participated by more users so that I can utlize it for the things I rely on Flyertalk for because, right now, I simply can't.

     

    ChazDawg

     



    (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: Updates
      klaus29 Silver
      Currently Being Moderated

      this  is  not a solitication,  but  a information.  yes  after  more at  150 post.

       

      i can only replay today

      (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: Updates
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "Thank you, TJC for responding to what many of us were thinking"

     

    Professor

     

    As the talk show host and comedienne, Ellen DeGeneris says when engaging the audience at the onset of the show, "Right back at you!"

     

    And 'you' is inclusive - especially Andrew who boldly stepped out to engage us by starting this thread.

     

    Andrew deserves a round of congratulations and very best wishes, Insiders.  He celebrates his 1st year anniversary with Marriott.

     

    Congratulations Andrew!

    (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: Updates
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Likewise!  Congratulations, Andrew, on your anniversary with Marriott.  Even as we gripe, we appreciate your efforts!

    ProfChiara

    (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: Updates
    shoeman1000 Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Andrew.   Me too!  Not sure if congrats or condolences are in order, but either way, you are appreciated. 

    ChazDog  -   one thing is for sure.  there is not a regular contributor that wouldn't prefer to speak of positive Marriott experiences as well as soak in great stories from others.  I think I can speak for most, if not all, in saying we long to return to those "salad days".  By the way, I wasn't sure from your post if you were in the service of our government while in Iraq, but if so, THANK YOU for serving our country.  Now, may I suggest that you refrain from engaging in the very thing you opposed (negative posts) and let's all move 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: Updates
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    "there is not a regulatr contributor that wouldn't prefer to speak of positive Marriott experiences as well as soak in great stories from others. "

     

    Well said.  I might add, 'convey high praise for attentive service that exceeds expectations'.

    (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: Updates
    chazdawg Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Showmen0001...

     

    I can't argue that some of the comments I've made are negative...and for that I am sorry...but some were simply defensive, and unfortunately for me to make my points I had to be blunt on others.

     

    I agree that this thread should probably end.  My hopes that not all of my words...or anyone else that made solid contributions to it...don't completely fall on deaf ears.  And, perhaps, maybe I've said one or two things that others in this community have thought but can't bring themselves to say.

     

    Lastly, I do want to clarify one thing.  I clearly don't think that all the postings of people like TJCNewYork, ProfChiara and you yourself ShoeMan1000 (of course I know how to spell your name) aren't appreciated, respected and regarded as making positive contributions to the group.  On the contrary, it is avid users to a forum that typically generate the conversation and provide the most useful feedback.  I have benefited from postings of each of these users...and others.  I only wanted to attempt to bring focus to this forum, even while it is in "disarray."

     

    It is, after all, still a "Beta" as the title atop the screen says.

     

    ;-)

     

    ChazDawg

    (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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