I have had an interesting few weeks with Marriott. In the last three weeks, I have been at a Marriott property all but 2 nights. Some of my stays were on points and some were for pay for both business and pleasure. Several included my family. Brands include Resort, full Service (2), a Springhill and a Courtyard. Many things happened vis a vis treatment and I spent several hours on the phone and on email trying to deal with these things, going from livid to resigned...finally decided to wait until I was home for a few days before addressing it in totality with Marriott, which I will do this week.
The net of it all is I've reached several conclusions:
1. Marriott is pretty good at trying to address problems tactically; by this I mean I complain, they find someone at the property I'm in at the time and expect them to address my expressed concern. The downside of this is when you have a continuing experience with the same kind of problem the hotel where the straw breaks the camel's back takes the total hit--which brings me to my second conclusion:
2. Marriott is not great at strategic problem solving. The most consistent problems I have had, particularly in the last 12 months, are inconsistencies in platinum treatment, lack of ANY loyalty recognition or advantages when staying on points and concierge lounge access/control. Every time I have written or called Customer Service in the last year has been about one of these three things. Any response has always fallen to the current property GM, rather than anyone at Marriott Rewards or Marriott Corp to even ASK about the continuing issue, much less do anything to address it strategically.
These problems are not unique to me; this forum is full of very loyal customers who have the same negative experiences in these three areas.
For those of you who are more knowledgeable about this than I, do you know if Marriott utilizes the experiences of its most loyal members to shape policy? Is there a customer board where critical mass can rise to the top on persistent and common issues?
Right now, Marriott is my seond home by choice but honestly I've had some pretty bad experiences lately, particularly when traveling with my family on and off points. On one particularly bad night, I was told by customer service that the upgrade I'd been promised (after our confirmed suite reservation at another property could not be accomodated) was available, only not to me, since I was on points. Great way to start a long stay.
I'm pretty disgusted with the whole thing right now; I have a few weeks at home before hitting the road again to do some hard thinking. I'm to the point with travel that I simply need to be able to count on a few things at my lodging of choice, rather than have to depend on the mood of the employees or whether the moon is in alignment with Saturn.
I'd be really interested in what the rest of you all know about how/if Marriott uses customer input (from its most loyal customers) to shape Rewards policy.
Well said Engineer girl! I agree that the once over the world changes are difficult to adjust for Marriott, and littler (tactical) items can often be handled at th property level.
Treatment of Platinum members is my personal pet peeve. Inconsistency is everywhere. Someone needs to have a sit down with the managers and the associates to make the entire Platinum experience uniform across brands.
I feel your pain. to answer your question, NO, I do not think there is any frequent-traveler board that Marriott listens to. I dont thinkl they listen to anything other than the ka-ching of the cash register. I don't believe this is different from any of their competitors, but anyone who portrays Marriott as anything different is likely blowing smoke or naiive. Regarding upgrades, I have stated multiple times that I nearrly NEVER get upgraded, despite the fact that sevceral posters have said they almost always do. Maybe my name has an astericks by it...... safe travels.
I find dealing with the hotels is very much like dealing with family and business, communication is key. The better the hotel communicates the better service you get there. Also always document the upgrade via email or something. Nothing works better then a document to ensure your success at what was promised.
I have been staying at a Marriott for approximately four months now. It is the location that my business (The US Gov't) places us. I am also a Platinum member. I have not been offered an upgrade when we go to other Marriott locations either. Then again, I have not asked for one. I just assumed that the company would know it's Platinum members. I am traveling soon and will try it out and see what happens.
I agree. Very well said.
We've been at the Residence Inn in Montgomery, AL for 18 mos. while my husband works on site here. He has the PPE lifetime status, but it does nothing here.
There has been a renovation of the rooms here and they are very nice, keeping with the new decor they are giving Residence Inns in other places. The thing is that GM really doesn't do a thing about what's going on.
When the renovation was done to our old room in Oct., they told us about it 2 weeks in advance, but gave us less than 24 hours to actually move. My husband is 70 and I'm closing in on 64, so only our son could do much in the way of moving, and of course, we have more to move than most of the other residents. GM did nothing but scold us for not having packed previously. We'd been told by housekeeping staff (not heads) that RI would help us move. GM suggested we hire a moving co., like 5 Men and a truck.
Part of the problem was that we need a 2 BR, downstairs unit and away from the interstate, but even so, I suspect that there are other 2 BR units meeting those requirements that opened up prior to that and at the very least, it was poor planning to have the salvage co. coming before everyone was actually moved. Larry's mother was being buried the next day in northern MO and there was no way we could go with the move.
The "friendly" staff here when we first moved in, changes to ignoring at best once you complain, and the benefits of staying here are quickly diminishing, as uf they have to pay for those renovations by cutting corners elsewhere.
This is a very "Sad story". Hope your situation improves. Can't understand why they will not take care of your needs.
Are they franchised? You may need to go to the next level of management. Am staying at a nice RI now and have another one set up for next week. It really "Hurts" to hear this from a PPE Lifetime members mate.
Maybe there will be others who can offer answers that right now I just can't fathom.
The best to you.
No, Jerry. They're corp.
The TownePlace we stayed in the first month we were here was franchised. Larry stayed there for about a year when he was here a few years ago for a 5 yr. assignment. But Brian and I just came to visit every other week then.
I also didn't communicate well. I was trying to say too much and still upset about it.
It was actually the Elite 866 # that scolded me again and suggested renting "2" Men and a Truck. Just about everything the GM here had told me (other than laughing and telling me we could always move to some other hotel) was retold to me by the corp. customer service line people.
We've stayed at the RI in Columbia, SC in the NE part of town and it's really nice.
This one was really nice and friendly when we first got here, so staying here and complaining about anything puts one one the ---- leprosy, unpopular list.
Some of the housekeeping staff are really nice, once it was decided (my guess) that I wasn't the ogre that GM was making me out to be by having 2 housekeepers have to come to our room at once to protect each other from me. And I didn't even complain to warrant the start up of that problem. I just shut the door on the housekeeper because she was able to go several weeks without changing our sheets by the way she would just come to the door and ask what we needed and doing nothing else.
The main desk clerk here is fabulous!!! Smart, sweet, apologetic for everything that goes wrong and a real PR asset for this place, and on top of things.
I can only hope that they are listening, but know that large organizations move slowly when confronted with a need to do so. The ambassador program was a start and a way for the folks at Marriott Rewards to hear from loyal users. For the two years I was one of them, I felt we had a good relationship--much like a family with all the goods and bads that families encounter, but a good one overall. Some things are "too hard to do" for Marriott in that they may fix one problem for a group of folks but they are economically infeasable. Other things are put in the "think about it" category and work their way through the hierarchy en route to a solution or the ignoring of that solution.
So, do we have a voice that is heard? rarely, but sometimes. I give Michelle, Heather and Andy credit for listening and montioring Insiders daily. But is is a big company and with inertia, hard to change.