Unbelievable to me... I am stunned... so much so that I just hung up and figured I'd post here. I'm a platinum member admitedly, a lot of my nights come from spending now, not as much from travel, but still a platinum member and I have never been so rudely treated in my life as I was just now and on my previous call with Marriott's Platinum Service desk.
I was on a business trip for a client 1/24-1/27 staying at the Palm Springs Renaissance (that was fabulous - great service and attention to detail). This trip happened to be master billed - some of mine are and some are not - but I charged all my incidentals to the room. I have, in the past (at other hotels) received room credit for nights when things are master billed. In fact, it's been the check in desk that has said, "you don't get the points, but you get the nights" and I did-more than once.
When I returned from this trip I waited for my e-folio so I could submit my expenses to my client and close the job. Usually it arrives in a day or two. And I waited to see the nights show up on my account, but I know that can take up to 10 days. Neither happened.
I called the help desk yesterday and started off funny and friendly and said I need help with two things - my efolio did not arrive and I did not see my nights. The woman who had taken my call did not appreciate a "funny friendly" approach - her question was "did you check your email?" I explained that I am on email all day and I was calling because I had not received anything via email. She proceed to tell me if it was a meeting I wasn't getting the nights - I said that was different because I had in the past- but whatever, I needed my efolio. She put me on hold for 4 minutes, came back after telling me she had called the hotel and there were only incidentals on my bill and the rest was master billed so I wasn't getting any night. I repeated that I needed still needed my efolio bill and I had always received them for a stay whether the stay was master billed or not because the incidentals are charged to my (Marriott Signature) Credit Card - and at this point she said in a flippant tone "well sometimes you do and sometimes you don't." I was stunned. So I asked for her supervisor.
She put me on hold for another 4 minutes and I got the supervisor - I explained to her that I had started friendly and I reviewed the conversation. She repeated that I cannot get the nights, etc. I said that was fine, but I need the bill for my expenses (I was working and busy and did not worry about getting my final bill as I have always received one via email). I told her I felt the young lady was rude and a more appropriate response would have been, "let me call them back and have them fax it over" or let me give you their number so you can have them fax it to you" not "sometimes you do and sometimes you don't."
The supervisor agreed it was not handled well and said she would follow up with the hotel. She was going to put me on hold and at this point, I had been on the call almost over 20 minutes and I had to be on a conference call soon so I said that I only had 10 more minutes. She offered to call the hotel and call me back. That was Wed. morning 9:47am EST. I thanked her. I did not hear back from anyone on Wed.
Today at 9:04 EST I get a call from the supervisor and she starts off telling me she contacted the hotel and determined that my stay was master billed and the only thing on my account were incidental charges. I was incredulous!! I said "You're kidding me - I told you that - what I NEED is my E-FOLIO! (I did not yell, but I was frustrated and my voice showed it- wouldn't you be?). She scolded me like a child and said "don' you raise your voice to me" I told her I was clearly not yelling but she had not answered my question -again I was scolded " you didn't let me finish you can call the hotel and get them to fax you a copy of that. "I was stunned. I had to ask to be sure it was the supervisor - she said it was. I told her I had never had such poor service and she told me she didn't like my tone and was writing it in my file (I got news for her - I am not the employee - I am the customer!!) and then - she said "goodbye" and hung up - so I couldn't have asked for her supervisor if I wanted to!
Yeah - I know this is a long post - but I am fuming. Look - I taught Human Relations Skills for 20 years - that doesn't mean I'm perfect - I can have a bad day and when I do I'll apologize - but in general I am pretty easy to deal with on the phone or in person. I always begin in a friendly way... the way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it... I not only taught this stuff, I live it. For the record, I have complained to marriot in the past at hotels when my room wasn't feather free as repeatedly requested and I almost ended up in a hospital because of my asthma. (I always call ahead and explain its a health issue not a preference)
Bottom line -the tone and attitude on these calls was horrific -and the content wasn't much better. The easiest thing first girl had to say was "I'm sorry you did not get your efolio, while I can't get it for you, here is the number you can call.." or since this is Platinum, I'd think she would take care of it as a service - but whatever. As for the night credit - a response that just explained that it may have been a fluke -or the rules changed or whatever it was - but with a pleasant tone rather than a scolding or statement of fact one.
I don't really expect any response from anyone - but I feel a teensy bit better writing it all out. Thanks for letting me. Hmmm I wonder what else is in my file... maybe it's like your permanent record from elementary school. :-)
"Hmmm I wonder what else is in my file... maybe it's like your permanent record from elementary school."
I wonder the same thing and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you. Today's theme is 'Walk in Our Shoes' so maybe toe-to-toe is better?
Your post illustrates what can happen and how much can go wrong when an e-folio doesn't arrive as expected. Why not call back and ask that your file be annotated with, 'Requires e-Folio after every stay?"
If the rep asks why, it's a perfect opportunity to find out. In the meantime, I hope all gets sorted out. I had 2 missing stays in 12/2009 for which e-Folios never arrived. It took months to get sorted out. I found the name and number of the person that helped me, but the direct number no longer works.
Thanks for posting, I hope your next stay isn't soured by what should be a routine matter like an e-Folio.
I hope the rest of your week goes much better than the customer service you received. Thank you for the post and I think we have all lived it when dealing with underpaid service-industry workers (not a hit on them, but they really should have to take some of your classes). I am sure that it goes the other way more times than not. It is a shame that these phone conversations are not recorded and these people are not held responsible for their lack concern for the customer. Hopefully, the Marriot owners see your post and apologize for their employee's behavior. Hang in there!
It is truly unfortunate to have an experience that causes such heartache. We travel quite a bit and have noticed a steady decline in customer service in all brands of hotels. In past such occasions were very limited but now nearly common place. Hope yours is resolved to your satisfaction.
Thanks to all for the kind words. I felt better just writing. Sorry for the typos and mild incoherance in the original post - I was fuming.
I really am not a chronic complainer -when I said I was honest about the feather issue, I was just saying that I have replied to those surveys after a stay when my health has been at stake. But I've also written some personal thank you notes to managers who have gone out of their way for me, in addition to giving positives on the surveys.
I agree with you - customer service is an incredibly hard job. Effectively diffusing a situation or managing an angry customer is a skill and an art form. But the funny thing was - I wasn't angry when I called or recieved the call- just looking for the missing efolio (and initially the nights) and being my goofy self. The response did turn me into a frustrated customer.
Anyway - thanks for responding and listening.
I also had a problem with customer service a couple months ago. While I think it was an isolated case and was resolved by a supervisor it never should have happened in the first place.
I was staying at a Courtyard on business and had booked a 3 night stay. We ended up finishing early so I was able to check out about 7 pm and get home that night. I had not planned to leave early and knew I would pay for the 3rd night but figured it wouldn't make a difference and would actually help the hotel as they would have access to the room first thing in the morning if they needed it.
I checked out and was charged for 3 nights as I expected. When I looked at my account a couple weeks later I see I was only given credit for 2 nights. I called and was treated very rudely by the representative. He said since I didn't physically stay in the room I would not get credit for it. I said 'But I paid for the room, whether I stayed there or not shouldn't make a difference'. He said I actually had to stay that night. I couldn't understand the logic. I told him I thought I was helping the hotel out. I could have just walked out of the hotel and called them the next day to say I was checking out and no one would have been the wiser. He said I couldn't do that - I told him that I get a receipt under my door in the morning and all I had to do was tell them I checked out and the key was in the room. He got snippy and said - 'What are you concerned about, you are getting the points'. He was being a jerk and I asked for a supervisor who settled the problem and apologized for the service. One thing that I thought was strange was that when I complained about the prior representative she said she couldn't find out who it was to counsel him. I would think that would be easy to do. You always hear about calls being recorded for evaluation purposes.
So I guess the bottom line is if you plan to leave early and want credit for all the paid nights make sure you don't checkout until the next day.
Wow! Talk about a literal interpretation of
"Only nights personally stayed and individually billed at participating Marriott brand or Ritz-Carlton hotels are credited toward Elite Membership achievement and renewal"
I think the point of that sentence is that when you have a three rooms for yourself and other family members you cannot get elite night credits for all of them, only for the one you are staying in - not to say that you need to be in bed by 10pm or else!
You can almost ( I stress almost) see how someone get's an idea like you have to physically be in the room - because they are probably trained that you only get credit for the room you are actually booked to stay in. But what isn't understandable is the attitude or rudeness.
I worked with a company once where we created Customer Servive Cool Off rooms - a small room with a recliner and headphones with relaxing music and calming scents - if the CS reps had a really stressful call they were encouraged to take 3 minutes and relax rather than carry that baggage to the next call with them. (note - this matched the company culture, it would not be appropriate for all companies) It was interesting because of course every call could be considered stressful - but no one took advantage and it seemed to help.
IMHO training in communications, stress management, and attitude control are just as important for a customer service rep as training in their product.
Wow it sounds like you had a very stressful experience. Hopefully one bad egg did not sour your view of what is normally a great customer service team. Reading your bad experience lead to a thought. You know how sometimes the CS representative will give you their extension? Well when we encounter the super polite, absolute wonders of the representatives perhaps we should save their extensions and try to get in contact with them.
Another thing I am going to start doing is saying YES to the physical copy of the bill. It can turn into a real pain in the tush if the points/nights do not post and I need the bill. I primarily stay with international properties so the rep has to fax a request and getting the hotel to respond can be a nightmare.