To ProfChiara and other Insiders:
Looking back over the many inputs since ProfChiara's "Paris Rive Gauche" post, I was left wondering what conclusions might be drawn from the event.
In the short-term, there is the immediate hurt and distress caused to one much respected and long-term client of that hotel, and of Marriott Intl. Whether there will be a ameliorative response from either of those bodies remains to be seen - but it will be a private matter, unless the parties involved decide otherwise.
From the point of view of Insiders, are there any longer-term implications, or trends, to be identified? As one contributor pointed out, without a statistical analysis of appropriate data it is difficult to determine whether the actions of this particular hotel amounted to more than (very unfortunate) chance. Even the similar events reported by other Insiders probably would not be sufficient to identify a meaningful level of significance.
Nevertheless ,there are perhaps some prima facie reasons why Insiders would be well-advised to treat this event as a warning signal:
1. In the current global economic climate, loyalty "rewards" are ever-harder to justify as a cost on both the P/L account and the balance sheet.
2. Growing competitiveness within the hotel etc sector further aggravates this problem.
3. It is not clear to what extent Marriott Rewards or Marriott Intl can or will require individual hotels (which in the majority of cases, MI does not own) to maintain a reliable level of consistency, particularly in the treatment afforded to Elite customers redeeming earned points.
Lastly, it might be worth asking whether there is anything "different" about the Paris Rive Gauche hotel which, if identified elsewhere, might lead a potential guest to think again. I suggest there are two such factors:
a) It is a "conference" hotel - to which, periodically (notably in April/May and September), large numbers of corporate delegates descend en masse, often at the same time, all expecting immediate treatment.
b) It is a hotel which has "residence" contracts with at least two large airlines. Again, the result is exceptionally large clusters of people arriving and leaving at the same time - often in a tired, agitated state.
Neither of these factors in themselves can excuse the types of treatment about which we have read. But I suggest that they do increase the likelihood of something along these lines happening again - in other words, of "one-off bad luck" eliding into an unacceptable trend - partly for logistical and partly for staff motivational reasons. This is a scenario that, wherever possible, Insiders should consider avoiding.
Does this make any sense?
Great post! Who will get to play Lydenfam, me and the hotel personnel in the movie? In other words, great title for the post.
I think you make several very important points. First of all, I do not expect nor have I asked for any kind of remedial action or reimbursement. I was only in the hotel for 16 hours altogether before I had to leave for the airport. However, I had chosen to stay at the RG rather than (in my experience) the very nice CDG Marriott because of my prior wonderful experiences at RG which I've written about in the past ad nauseam.
The only issue about which I have a question are the last two points. I've been staying at the RG for about five years and many stays and it was always a convention center and a place where airline staff had contracts. So I think Lydenfam has hit on it that something about management at this particular hotel has changed in the past year (since I stayed there less than a year ago).
So I think your post raises serious issues about changing business practices regarding loyalty programs. I think most of the major airlines have realized that their loyalty programs are far more beneficial than they are costly (especially considering how many miles are never used), as Randy Petersen has pointed out many times in InsideFlyer. It may well be different in the hotel industry. Sadly.
It seems to me that it up to Marriott to ensure that the basic levels of civility and politeness are guaranteed to every customer at every hotel (I know, impossible, but at the major hotels in big cities I think that notice should go out) and that elite members should always receive some recognition of their loyalty, whether it be a letter only that says we value your business or something more, like one finds in places like Ghent or the Grand Flora, where they go the extra mile.
Thanks for yours.
I think all your observations and qualifications are well made. It would be encouraging to imagine that someone in Marriott might take note of them.
I cannot think of a more hazardous exercise that suggesting a possible casting for the principals in "The Paris Rive Gauche Affair". I value friendship too highly to consider trying.