I have to admit that I have an aversion if a business who claims Do Whatever it Takes to Take Care of the Customer sell something that does not really exist:
If the last standard room is open for redemption, I see no area for “Inventory Control Dates”.
If you offer a 48-Hour Guaranteed Availability for paid stays, I see no room that this perk may not be available on certain limited dates.
If there is a policy to upgrade Elite members to best-available guest room at no additional charge than do it and don’t hold back rooms e.g. these with a preferable view.
In short: I am disappointed, if the fine print does not meet headlines’ expectations.
But this is a complete different story if a Marriott branded hotel breaches my contract and customer care is not able to solve it:
I stayed at Marriott Fullerton, CA at “Look No Further Rate” and according to this information (http://tinyurl.com/232htsq), this rate is combinable with Elite Exclusive Offer Certificate (= 2nd night free). Neither FD agent nor “Assistant General Manager” had a clue (the latter raised my rate for the second night to $ 169 – weekend leisure rate was $ 94) and denied to accept my EEO.
I mailed to LNF desk (“We will research your inquiry and respond in a timely manner”) and followed this up with a phone call (associate was busy with other things). I mailed to Elite.Member@marriott.com (“We have contacted the manager on duty, and requested that you are contacted as soon as possible to ensure that your concerns are addressed. You should be contacted as a high priority.“) As there was no Manager on Duty present, I was contacted by FD agent: She did not accept EEO and did not see rate change for second night. I followed this up with another mail to Elite.Member@marriott.com, which was answered from a “Guest Experience Supervisor” (“We will work diligently to try and resolve this prior to your check out.”). Finally I got another e-mail from a FD manager (“We are very sorry we can not accept the EEO certificate that you presented at check in with the "Look no further" rate. Your rate […] it's going to stay. The $169.00 rate for the second night won't be applied.”)
As I don’t see any sense to write again, I will involve both Attorney Generals of the States of California and Maryland about this breach of my contract and report the incident to Federal Trade Commission.
Next week I will call Ed French’s office to learn, if he sees possibilities to improve customer services.
Stay tune for those reports!
Thank you for your kind word! I also hope that Marriott finds a way to avoid such unpleasant situation in the futher.
From Marriott's Code of Ethics (http://tinyurl.com/2egq8ru):
Deal Honestly and Fairly with Clients, Customers, Suppliers and Financial Partners
The long term success of the Company depends upon establishing mutually beneficial
relationships. While the law requires that we obey the letter of all written contracts and
agreements, we will also strive to uphold the spirit of all business arrangements.
I recieved an email from a Guest Experience Supervisor reimbursing my CC for 2nd night.
What puzzles me is this: As he apologies for "confusion surrounding the LNF and EEO certificate rate", I am under the impression that he thinks we talked about pathological issues.
If someone works in hospitality industry s/he should be able to act accordingly:
You can still use the EEO's with LNF rates.
As this sentence is written in basic English, it's hard to believe that a miscommunication was an issue as we had difficulties in "overcoming the language barrier".
IMHO Marriott's Customer Care Unit should be able to solve such a simple case on the spot. I am very disappointed about their handling and - even more - their explanations. But maybe I am too demanding.
It's good to hear that the situation was resolved and the 2nd night reimbursed. One positive takeaway is learning about the other channels/e-mail addresses available for resolving issues. Personally, I always relied upon firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to your posts, Insiders are aware of other ways to contact Marriott that may be more applicable to particular situations.