Once again I need to recognize those fine folks who assist me on what seems to be a weekly basis with reservations and other issues related to my account. In speaking with many of them I learned that the Platinum folks are also trained (apparently as a smaller group) to help Platinum Premiers.
I know that other posters have asked what the difference is between Platinum and Platinum Premier, and for a lot of people it seems there is none. But, in my opinion the folks there who answer the phones get the best grades for customer service and are to be congratulated.
Good point, all customer touch points should be professional. My takeaway is that there are degrees colored by business knowledge and on-the-job experience. The outcome? Not only is the issue or problem called about - taken care of (resolved) - the conversation/interaction became an opportunity to engage the customer - so that it feels just as good to reach Silver or Gold as it does to reach Platinum or Platinum Premier.
Perhaps what I should have said was that these folks have been more involved with the intricacies and the problems that I frequently present them with. They are indeed as professional as any of the other folsk with whom I have interacted at Marriott and Marriott Rewards but seem more attuned to my needs.
Platinum Premier (PP) is an Elite level reached by the top 2 to 3 percent of all Marriott Rewards members. While the requirements must vary from year to year, in the past it has required a guest to make 125 or more nights per year for three consecutive years. Renewal varies as well, but last year it was staying 100 nights or more to achieve Platinum Premier again. As for benefits there is a PP membership card, a 20% discount at some Marriott restaurants (last year there was, but haven't gotten the new card this year), and a special reservation number.
This year I have noticed that the folks on the phone and in hotels make a special point of telling me how much they value my loyalty to Marriott, something that happened some of the time in the past.
Insider conversations over the years have mentioned the creation of a newer level, one that recognizes the most frequent of frequent stayers. It began as a suggestion that it be called the Titanium Level and there was a flurry of suggestions as to what it might give the guest who reaches the pinnacle, the Everest of Marriott Rewards. Thus far there remain only four levels of elite status in Marriott Rewards, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Premier.
PP members were given a special number to handle everything (think one stop shop) and that discountinued in Dec, 2010. Management is determing if it is going to be a permament fixture.
MRewards sent out last year a 20% discount for food at full service Marriott as well as Golf discounts, along with a wallet.
The service is VERY good with the dedicated PP line that I called them more than I booked online, that is a FIRST for me, as typically I book everything online (easy to do, like the control, etc)
I think the major concern here would be, why do you need to call with so many different issues? I understand help making a reservation, but for you to have to call on a almost weekly basis, is seems excessive. Could improvements to the web page correct some of your issues? Is the reservation process too hard to figure out or are you too finicky and need special handling?
Excellent question. While Stepping Stones can and undoubtedly will respond, speaking for myself, the powers-that-be at Marriott.com changed the online reservations process about a year ago and eliminated the handy 'Comments' section. This change did not go unnoticed and many Insiders remarked about the change here, on FlyerTalk and elsewhere. Subsequently, only Elite reps have access to the 'Comments' screen.
So, every time one makes a reservation online, you have to follow-up to have the PP Elite rep enter special requests such as comp upgrade, or early check-in or minifridge or whatever it might be beyond the default options available in one's account/profile.
Although unpublished, Platinum Premier 2010 benefits included a 20% food & beverage discount at 'participating' Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance Hotel restaurants. (2011 PP collateral is pending) So, calling to check in advance whether a hotel 'participates' or not facilitates planning and avoids embarassment.
To that point, it behooves Marriott to publish a list of so-called participating Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance Hotel restaurants that honor the Platinum Premier discount and make it available to the reps at the Platinum Premier line. On average, such calls to verify participation can take up to 10 to 15 minutes because the rep has to call the hotel directly.
This seems appropriate for Marriott to do this. As a travel becomes more experienced the questions asked can be more complicated. If you have a silver or gold than the individual you’re speaking to should have knowledge up to that level. Once you have achieved Platinum Premier then you probably will know most of what is asked at the silver and gold level.
I also think it is good for a company to recognize and reward its best customers. That can be a goal from both sides, get people to want to move up in the program by spending more nights and people trying to achieve a goal like “Platinum Premier”. If you treat your worst customer as your best, I my opinion you are wasting the companies resources.
Kept in mind this is a loyalty program, not a hotel quality management system. Procedures are in place to provide a consistent level of hospitality to all customers within the chain.
I have been incredibly disappointed with my experience using the Platinum Premier phone line. In fact, after receiving my platinum lifetime and platinum premier, I am starting to wonder why all the effort, why the loyalty. There are no distinguishable benefits to getting the "premier" status and the promises of "platinum overrides" and "late check outs" have never materialized for me when needed most. Tonight I approached the front desk to ask for a late check out tomorrow. The response I got was "I could let you stay until 1:00 without an extra charge". I indicated I was a platinum premier and she told me that was the reason she gave me until 1:00 instead of noon. WOW! I guess I should be impressed. The fact that they are asking me to check out and come back in two days (the hotel is apparently sold out and there was no possibility of an override), makes me wonder what value there is in any Marriott status. I called the PP line only to be told what the website indicates (as if I can't look that up myself) and then after asking that they call the property to see if there is any chance I could stay one more night, they indicated the property is not able to honor any platinum request for override. WORTHLESS!! What is the benefit of an override promise if they only come back to say that is used when the hotel has rooms. REALLY?! So very disappointed with Marriott. After 20 years of loyalty, it might be time to change brands. After all, with lifetime platinum, I have nothing to gain by staying. And I can get rejection and poor service from other brands just as well.
for whatever it's worth, this past weekend we were in st louis for my daughters wedding shower. we had 3 rooms at the Ritz. I called to ask for a late check out (since I didn't need to attend the shower), the response was "4:00 pm is the best we can do"......... I LOVE the Ritz!
Shoeman, interesting timing -- this past weekend my wife attended our daughter's wedding shower in Raleigh. She stayed at the downtown marriott and due to a late flight on sunday was able to get a late checkout also. Don't remember the time. But I stayed home...80 degrees on Sat and I was playing golf and watching the BB tournament.
My wife and I will be attending a friends daughter's wedding in Washington, DC on 12 May 2012. Seems like May 12 is a very popular wedding date as we were also invited to a friends daughter's wedding in Houston, Texas the same day. So we were forced to choose one over the other!!!