To Marriott Rewards:
You will have noticed two clear issues emerging over the past weeks (and perhaps for longer too):
1. Inconsistency as between hotels - for example, in the extent to which they do, or do not offer, such benefits as room upgrades; and beyond this, where upgrades are available, the terms on which these can be accessed.
2. Lack of transparency in hotel profiles about what is, and isn't, on offer; and again, on what terms.
The result of these two flaws are (a) misplaced expectations; (b) confusion and (c) disappointment, frustration and, in some cases, anger.
No-one, I think, expects Marriott Intl or yourselves to be able to regiment individual hotels into behaving with total regularity, but a much higher and more reliable level of transparency in respect of the range of advertised Elite benefits on offer would help guests make more informed decisions, and thus reduce the likelihood of disillusionment and worse.
This could be achieved through the use of published materials or website information. And, if these proved unavailable or inadequate for one reason or another, the provision of hotel e-mail addresses would greatly facilitate the process of asking and answering questions.
Very well said. It is unfortunate that we have to remind a large corporation of their requirement to be consistent among their many sites (hotels). I wonder if you'll get any response?
I have often thought that should be a position created within Marriott for an Ombudsman.
In many cases we Insiders are shouting in the wind when we comment here on this site. This Ombudsman could be our Demosthenes, yet beholden to neither the corporation or the persons using the Marriott service.
Excellent points. It may be worth having Marriott remind all hotels of its core principles and philosophy:
It's a long document but here are some highlights:
Although customer needs often vary, some preferences are common. Customers want a warm, attractive atmosphere
that gives them a feeling of quality and security. One of the best ways to make your operation appealing is by creating or
maintaining such an environment. Marriott's business is serving people with good food, nice places to sleep and
interesting places to meet, relax and have fun. The little, personal touches you add to the look or feel of your operation
makes meeting these basic needs of people more meaningful' for employees and customers alike.
...Whether it's providing clean linens, an attractive room, a tasty meal or hospitality and cheerfulness, every employee
plays a role in satisfying the customer. Managers are responsible for making sure employees treat those customers as
they would guests in their own homes. When you give a little of yourself to please a customer, your employees are more
likely to give that extra effort - beyond what most people expect - to satisfy the customer as well.
...Customers associate quality with Marriott. They expect it and will pay for it. Managers must see that customers receive
that quality in every area by not compromising on the company's high standards. ...Providing the best products possible also means giving customers what they want. By paying attention to trends and
preferences among diners and travelers, you can better serve your customers.
All strong suggestions.
It might help, I think, for Marriott Rewards to remind Insiders (some of whom, myself included, may have joined the site since earlier statements) of:
1. MR's objectives in moving this site from Beta to Alpha status;
2. The timetable it is currently working to;
3. The extent to which this upgrading might help to address some of the major issues raised by many Insiders over the past few weeks.
Very valid points.
Their core philosophy seems to be "take care of your people and they will take care of the guests". Unfortunately, they seem to be lacking in a mechanism to deal with when their people don't take care of the guests.
The grass might well be greener on the other side of the fence, something which should concern Marriott a great deal.
My own experiences - mainly in Europe and Asia - would tend to support this suggestion; but, as is often the case, there have been good and bad in both categories.
The problem, as many have observed, is that the current level of transparency - or lack of it - makes any assessment little more than guesswork.