I found out that Marriott uses a disclaimer in very small print to refuse to honor a guaranteed room for a Platinum Elite member. I wasn't worried when the Marriot Tampa Waterfront Hotel was sold out through my convention. I understood that Platinum Elite members were guaranteed a room, even when the hotel is totally booked. BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE, THEY SAY, WHEN THE HOTEL CONTRACTS OUT THE ENTIRE HOTEL. Who knew? Sure enough, it was in the small print on the 3rd page! So, I'm out of luck. A letter to Bill Marriott did no good, nor talking to the Hotel manager. So, beware. The Marriott guarantee is not always a guarantee.
"A letter to Bill Marriott did no good, nor talking to the Hotel manager."
Did you mean the Tampa "Waterside" or Tampa "Westshore"?
Getting 'walked' is inconvenient, embarassing and generally a regrettable experience. But organizations contracting out the entire hotel for a convention or special event is commonplace. That's why efforts to escalate as you describe were ineffective. Does the disclaimer relieve the hotel from the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee* as published under Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite benefits?
Had you called 48 hours in advance, Platinum Elite may have been able to evoke a Platinum Override in your favor and another Elite member of lesser status or guest w/o Elite status would have been 'walked'. Generally, it's in the hotel's financial interests to walk a Silver or Gold member than a Platinum. As a courtesy, did the Hotel Manager offer to compensate you for the inconvenience?
Btw, the best way to get a positive outcome I've found is to e-mail email@example.com In this case, I define a positive outcome as compensation for a night's room stay plus bonus points. Generally, a Hotel Manager will offer to buy bonus points as a goodwill gesture especially for Elite members. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
If your reservation cannot be honored, we’ll pay for your stay that night at a nearby hotel, plus send you a check to compensate you for the inconvenience. To be eligible, your Marriott Rewards membership number must be part of your reservation. Compensation may be up to $200 USD, and varies by hotel brand. See Elite Benefits Guarantee Terms and Conditions for details.
About a month ago I showed up for my reservation at the SHS in West Des Moines only to be greeted (nicely) by the FD Mgr and told that due to extended stays by some guests who were in town for a special event (assume they were paying a special event rate), he had to relocate me to the FFI across the street. I thought about getting po'ed but figured I could go to the FFI in a good mood or a bad one. The FD Mgr reminded me that my room at FFI was comp'ed, and that the SHS GM would be in touch with me about some additional compensation. That happened two days later in the form of a $100 check which I redeemed at my local bank for cash, two certificates, each for a free one night stay at any SHS in the US, and a very nice apology for the inconvenience. Upon checking my MR acct on line, I also found 2,000 bonus points, compliments of that GM. At the FFI, I was greeted like I was paying for the nicest, most expensive suite in the hotel. Well, although I wasn't paying, I did get the nicest, most expensive suite in that hotel. Honestly, I didn't know FFI's had rooms that nice. It was a big two-room suite, with a totally separate room with a huge hot tub, and a fireplace. BAM! And I was there for one night by myself! But, for what started out as a $50 state-rate room, I made out pretty good and was more than satisfied.
Great customer service story! Consider e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org complimenting how the SHS FD manager handled the situation and turned a potentially negative situation into a positive that exceeded expectations - assuming of course that your expectations were exceeded.
TJC --- Actually, I emailed the SHS GM a thank you and complimented the FD Mgr in the process. I'd say my expectations were definitely exceeded, thus the last sentence in my previous post. I should add that while at the FFI, I cracked open the $3.00 bottle of water in the room, and when I went to pay for it the next morning at check out, the FFI GM comp'ed that as well. This whole experience ranks right up there with my best experiences at Marriott.
The thank you note is appreciated, I'm sure. It will go a long way to make sure you are recognized every time you stay at that SHS.
Contacting email@example.com assures that the FD Manager is recognized by corporate with a note in the HR file. As insignificant as an e-mail sounds, the action communicates to the employee the importance of engaging Elite guests in exactly the way you were treated. Believe it or not, it also reinforces the 'Spirit to Serve' culture that every associate needs to be the standbearer for. All too often, we hear the reverse and that can be due to turnover combined with inadequate training. The e-mail does not have to be elaborate and can be short and to the point - expectations were exceeded.
I don't believe from reading the post that he actually had a reservation at the hotel and was walked. I think he is saying that he wanted to use the Platinum Guarantee to "make" a reservation.
I have been told that while there is such a guarantee, they only set aside so many rooms for it and when those are gone, it no longer applies. Makes sense to me, as we all know there truly are only so many rooms in a hotel. Why should another person be inconvenienced and walked just because I want a room at the last minute?
If the hotel oversells on purpose, then shame on them and yes, get me my room! But it seems to me, this policy might be in place to minimize walking people.
Terry - Platinum Premier
"I don't believe from reading the post that he actually had a reservation at the hotel and was walked. I think he is saying that he wanted to use the Platinum Guarantee to "make" a reservation."
You have either misread my post, misunderstood my post, or I did a lousy job explaining the situation. We'll just go with the latter. I did in fact have a confirmed reservation for a king bed suite at the SHS West Des Moines, which I reserved probably 2 months in advance. We can speculate on any specifics I haven't provided, but suffice it to say that I found it only a very small inconvenience to be relocated across the street. The compensation and the way I was treated contributed to keeping that inconvenience to a minimum. Under the same circumstances, I'd do it again in a flash!
TJC - you're right about the impact of sending the email to customer care. It's on the way! Thanks for that advice.
My reservation was apparently made in advance of the group attending the Annual Farm Show. I say this because I got the state government rate some two months in advance of my stay. All I can go on is what the FD Mgr said...some guests who were expected to check out, decided to extend their stay. I took it all in stride and was very satisfied with the overall experience. I suspect that even if I'd insisted on them honoring my reservation, they wouldn't evict another settled guest at 7pm. I certainly understand how this type of experience would be a major issue/inconvenience for some, and possibly with a different set of circumstances it might have been for me as well.
As for the 48 hour guarantee...about 10 years ago, I wanted to stay a Saturday night at the Omaha Marriott. No rooms available as they were hosting the annual Berkshire Hathaway gathering. I asked about the 48 hour guarantee and was offered a room at the special event rate of $299/night. I passed and made other arrangements.
Follow up: On Nov 5th, I used one of the SHS free-stay certificates at the same SHS that walked me (see my previous posts in this thread). As of Nov 18th, my platinum welcome points had not been posted so I called the SHS and spoke to the FD Mgr. He advised that he would leave a note for the GM so the problem could be taken care of. As of yesterday, points still not posted so I called the SHS and left a vm for the GM explaining the problem. She called me back today and told me that there had been a problem because I wasn't supposed to get platinum arrival gift points because I used a certificate to get the free room. She claimed that she had verified this with Marriott Rewards but that she was giving me 500 points just for my trouble. So, I've got a couple of questions for Insiders. First, at what point is one entitled to the monetary compensation for not receiving the platinum arrival gift? Second, has anyone ever heard that platinum arrival gift points are not awarded when using a free room certificate? I've looked at the T&C, and don't really see a clear answer to either question, although someone else might read them differently. THanks.