Having PP status for 8 years running, I just received the email below as I have not stayed at a Marriott property in almost two months after having 92 paid nights through August 11, my last stay.
There are several reasons why I have not stayed at Marriott in the last two months, but mostly because I have PP status AND LT-P status and there is so little difference (800# for PP) between the two statuses that there is little incentive to keep spending my travel dollars at Marriott. In the meantime, I have earned Diamond status in the HiltonHonors program and am thus far, very pleased with my hotel experience (free breakfast for Diamond, a 2 year old Garden Inn, internet speed approaching 8-Mips, etc.) I haven't looked back. Even though there is a brand new (4 weeks old) SpringHill Suites within walking distance of my client, I am willing to drive 2+ miles for the amenities and daily status recognition at the HGI.
There is a hyperlink button for taking a survey (I will take the survey this evening and post an update).
UPDATE: As promised, I took the survey and here is the survey in its entirety:
Once I submitted, the following page popped up:
We're sorry that your experience with us did not meet your expectations. We truly value your opinion and will use this information to improve our properties and help ensure that all future stays with us exceed your expectations.
UPDATE #2: Received this e-mail within 2-3 hours after completing the above survey:
Dear Mr. (Pingreeman),
Thank you for taking the time to respond to our online survey. Your feedback is very important and greatly appreciated.
I sincerely apologize that you do not feel your Platinum Premier status has been recognized properly. As a Platinum Premier member of Marriott you are guaranteed free breakfast in the concierge lounge; however, free room upgrades or upgrades to suites are not guaranteed. Free upgrades are offered to our Platinum Premier members based on availability at check in.
If there is a specific hotel that you did not offer you an upgrade based upon availability at check in, please reply to this email verifying the date and location of the incident. This information will be passed on to our Customer Care office for further review.
Thank you for your valued loyalty and continued patronage.
Elite Loyalty Special Services
NEXT STEPS: I plan to take up Alta's suggestion and write a reply, but not about a single hotel or single experience, but rather a overall CHANGE IN POLICY to allow PPs and other uber-stayers the RIGHT to have the best available room INCLUDING SUITES at least once a year (that one week where I am not travelling on business) when I wish to take my wife and kids somewhere special with special accommodations and special treatment (and if that means changing the policy form a parking lot/ocean view upgrade to a suite - then give me the $#!@^#& SUITE) to make up for 200+ nights a year I have to spend away from my family feeding dollars to Marriott via paid hotel rooms while my kids have a music concert, football game, school play, or school awards, etc. I have to miss or where my wife could use some "relief" with me cooking a meal or doing some housework, or driving the kids to/from school functions and friends.
Better suggestions, anyone?
UPDATE #3 - though rather long and wordy (I had a lot to say), here is the e-mail I sent:
Dear Elite Loyalty Special Services,
I decided to take you up on your offer to provide additional feedback which I hope is brought to the attention of senior management. If senior management is not made aware, then I feel my reply was a waste of time.
I think it is important to begin my reply with some perspective of the type of loyalist who has decided to abandon the Marriott program. Since you reference in the subject line my MR account number, I would appreciate you reviewing my activity over the past few years. You should notice that I have been consistently averaging over 175 PAID nights a year for at least the last seven years and that this year, I was on pace to break 175 again. These numbers do NOT include rollover nights but actual PAID nights. Please also notice that I have nearly 2,000,000 Marriott points banked and that I have achieved Platinum Premier status for eight years running. I believe at this point, you must be convinced that I am an uber-loyalist to Marriott and that I spend approximately half the year, every year in Marriott hotels. Perhaps now, my comments will have even more relevance to this email reply invitation.
If you still have my survey reply available, I would appreciate you also rereading my comments. The key phrase of my comment was “when using points on vacation . . . why does a one-time Marriott cash-paying customer get better upgrades that someone like me?” To rephrase, a non-Marriott loyalist who spends one week at a resort by paying cash for his room/suite gets a better opportunity for the finest room/suite than someone who lives half the year in Marriott properties trying to use points.
In your reply you state the obvious terms and conditions I have read and reread a hundred times, i.e., “free room upgrades are not guaranteed.” This is fine with me during half the year living in Marriott hotels when travelling on business; I do not expect to be guaranteed a room upgrade and never assumed a suite upgrade, as per the terms and conditions. However, these same terms and conditions apply to resorts and spas that ONE WEEK OUT OF THE YEAR WHEN I WISH TO TAKE MY FAMILY ON VACATION, I cannot get an upgrade to a suite!
You ask if there was a particular hotel that did not offer the upgrade on availability – 51 weeks out of the year, I don’t care and I wouldn’t even consider complaining. The other 1 week out of the year when vacationing with family, I DO CARE. In fact, I care so much about the terms and conditions cited above, that I am done with Marriott. As a diamond member of Hyatt (yes, I do stay in other hotels, so in actuality, I am in hotels 240 out of 365 nights a year), I am given four suite upgrades that I can use ANY time, even when cashing in points for vacationing with my family. Last year, I used 1 of the 4 suite upgrades – on vacation. The other 3 expired as I do not need suites during business travel and wished the hotels to have a cash customer pay for the higher priced accommodations.
So what is the bottom line?
Four times in the last seven years I have cashed in Marriott points for my family vacation, I have been “upgraded when available” to include moving up two floors (floor 5 was considered an upgrade over floors 1-3), given a poolside view (versus a parking lot view but would have preferred ocean view), put on the concierge floor (rather than given a suite), given a room closer to the main entrance (versus one near the garbage dumpsters out back). Also, with the exception of a handful of resorts, there is no opportunity to use MORE POINTS to guarantee a suite. I would gladly spend more points if the option were available throughout Marriott’s 3984 properties! But alas, your terms and conditions usurp any hopes of treating my family on the heels of Marriott Loyalty. [It should be noted that one year, I cashed in Hyatt points and one of their free suite upgrades; the other two years, I cashed in Hilton points: one year I was given a complimentary suite (no charge) the other year used extra points to guarantee the suite].
I believe Marriott Rewards better take a hard look at their competition such as Hyatt who offers guaranteed suite upgrades to their highest elites or Hilton that offers the ability to guarantee a suite on points. Consider amending those terms and conditions – perhaps instead of giving away a practically useless Category 1-4 free night certificate, consider issuing a one-week suite certificate to be used any way the recipient desires – including in combination with points that one time a year when on a family vacation.
Lastly, and for the record, just to show you that I continue to travel but simply do not stay at Marriott properties, here is a copy/paste of my recent Hilton activity. Note the start date – August 14, three days after checking out of my last Marriott property AND in the same city!
I have noticed that other chains recently value thier customers more lately than Marriott. I have had some great experiences with Hilton, SPG and Hyatt so now I find I am sharing my travel business with them along with the Marriott. In the past, I have been a Marriott warrior but lately I feel like they have let me down...What a shame!!!
I have gotten the same e-mail. It seems to be part of Marriott's CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and automatically generated using some algorithm unknown to me, but most likely based on deceleration of stays. The problem is that I am not sure what use is made of these data that are collected using this survey. Perhaps Marriott is attempting to see what rationale there is for staying or not stayin at a given frequency?
Let us know what happens when you do the survey, please.
Great post, and I hope someone, somewhere in Marriott management reads it.
Frankly, I'd like to think (OK, hope) that when a PP posts something like that in this forum, he/she should receive a follow up email or, even better, phone call.
If a valued customer - we're talking top three percent of the Platinum ranks, right? - says "I'm taking my business elsewhere because you're ignoring me and your competition isn't," that merits a swift and aggressive response. Arguably, one of the potential justifications for this enterprise is customer feedback, and your feedback should be perceived as devastating....
Managing a successful service business is tough. Acknowledging your concerns and creatively solving them seems easy (at least to me).
Thanks again for posting.
I hope Marriott will value the response they get, but, to me, it's a little passive that it's in the form of a survey and addressed to 'valued marriott rewards member' and not to Mr/Mrs ________ directly. Computers can spit out anything. I think a call or specific e-mail from a customer care individual assigned to find out what issues there are/are not would tell me a lot more about whether or not Marriott really cares about why you haven't been there.
Looking forward to the response from them.
How impersonal! Does Marriott think that their BEST customers, as Pingreemen falls into, are accepting of computer driven responses for his years and nights of stays?
Marriott: Pingreeman and others in his category of customer deserve better than this.........if, as the survey says, Marriott truly valued the opinion given, it wouldn't be a computer telling that tale.
I don't know about anyone else, but I find this method of response quite insulting.
I agree..what an impersonal response Marriott gave. Rather than saying they would present the issues to Management, they gave their pat comments quoting out of date type policies. The response makes one wonder what Marriott is thinking and I understand why one would seek out alternatives to the Marriott, like Pingreenman and I have resorted to..What a shame Marriott!!!
I also do not feel that Marriott treats me the same as I used to get treated a few years ago. I have been a PP elite for over 10 years running and have qualified as a Lifetime Platinum and I do not feel any different than just any occational traveler. Some marriott properties still get it but most I am finding just don't care. I am loyal, very loyal to Marriott and have not even thought about changing to another hotel chain, but... I hope that someone is listening...
I cannot wait to read the outcome and perhaps see some actual changes to the program. I've considered making a jump to Hilton or SPG as well but will have to see how the program plays out. We are saving points/miles for a trip to Australia/NZ when my daughter is a little older, after that trip I will definitely be re-evaluating my airline and hotel programs as I will essentially 0 out my built up points
Now more importantly, have you tried the Columbus fish house or some of the other yummy places to eat in the area
Great response Pingreeman. I really don't think the Marriott gets it. Like you, I have spread my business to other chains recently because the Marriott has failed me in customer service lately and the other chains seems to care more about their highest elite member. I too am a diamond member with Hyatt and they give me 4 suite upgrades per year like you. Why would I stay at a Marriott when traveling with family when an upgrade from the Marriott to a suite is becoming more and more difficult to depend on. It used to be the Marriott upgraded me to a Suite regularly. But again, Marriott does not get it and is losing a lot of business because of their arrogance. Their return communication to you just shows you how little they feel about their service to their most loyal customers. As I continue to state, they have made PP and Platinum and now Lifetime Platinum so much easier to achieve that the Marriott is more interested in getting their customers to want to stay with them to easily achieve these levels rather than to recognize their most loyal customers. What a shame!!!!
BRAVO, Pingreeman! While I do not stay anywhere close to as many nights as you do, when I do stay (in Europe or the Middle East) it is very expensive both because of actual prices and currency exchange. Not surprisingly, I did not receive such a survey. But increasingly, like so many others, I am having to stay at other hotel chains (SPG, Hilton, Priority Club, Hyatt, etc, or boutique hotels) because there are no Marriotts where I stay. Combined with the 'new and enhanced' website, I feel my loyalty dwindling, except when I stay at the best properties (in my view Ghent Marriott tops all, then Athens Ledra and Grand Flora).
Keep up the good work -- your posts have been really important. Maybe if things improve on the website I'll post more again. Right now, it's too much work.
Wow ... thanks for sharing this info. I've been building up my loyalty and nights with Marriott over the last several years. I've certainly seen some pretty poor facilities and service, and your info indicates I'm probably not on the right path. Will consider Hilton, SPG, etc. programs instead (which I'd dropped in preference for Marriott). If they don't care about some with your level of business with them, most of us don't stand a chance. Will begin looking at other options.
Well said Pingreenman...well said. A lot of time, effort and passion went into your post and I thank you for sharing however I'm really surprised that the community manager hasn't reponded yet (if he has and I somehow missed it then Andy please accept my apologies). If I worked for Marriott and I read your post about how disenchanted you've become with Marriott I would have dropped everything I was doing to address your concerns - at the very least I would have replied to the entire community to let everyone know that I read your concerns and I'm all over it.
Please don't get me wrong....all posts on MRI are important. This is a public forum and everyone has an equal voice, however some subjects are more sensitive than others. I personally feel the community manager has an obligation to address posts of this nature before addressing posts about how to follow other Insiders, or how to use status updates, or telling everyone how great the Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites and Sand Key is. All very good posts. But in my mind this is a "drop everything and address the situation ASAP" post.
I for one wouldn't want to lose Pingreenman as a loyal Marriott guest and I'm hoping Marriott feels the same way.
Just my opinion.
...and a good opinion it is. A lot of us in 'Marriott Land' are waiting to see what the outcome of this is. Pingreeman has been running with this torch for quite some time and actually changed his allegiance to go with a competitor after deaf ears met his queries. For Marriott to ignore the realities of the situation does not say a lot about where THEIR loyalty lies towards their best customers.....
Just my opinion.......
I am going to make sure the community manager is at least linked to this by mentioning him NathalieF in the reply, in the hopes it will put a little more attention to the sentiment, that we all hope this will improve!
Maybe we Brits are a bit more laid back than you guys but it seems pretty impressive that a VP from Marriott Rewards had a personal call with you 'pingreeman' within just over one week of your original note. At the end of 2009, I had a few problems with a number of Marriott stays and sent a letter through to the Rewards HO ... my reply took about 2 months to come through. It was a good response though, so I was happy.
A personal e-mail response from Andy? A live conversation with the Vice President of Marriott Rewards?
Now this ladies and gentlemen is what I consider exemplary customer service. This is what it’s all about. Going over and above to address the concerns of a loyal MR member.
Kudos to you Andy for personally getting involved in this matter and taking the appropriate steps to make good by pingreenman (and all MR members). It’s great to know our opinions, observations, suggestions and even more importantly our concerns voiced on MRI are taken to heart by Marriott. Nicely done.
Glad to hear that MR management was open to listening to your concerns. Particularly at your stay rate and activity level on MRI, it is good to hear that recognized you as a key influencer for possible changes to the program.
While suites are not a big concern for me, I understand that for those with traveling with kids for vacation it can be big perk. Hilton just announced premium award levels allowing you to use points to reserve suites, bungalows and private villas. They seem to be having some issues rolling it out (some locations appeared to no longer have standard rooms available, and there is a lot of discussion on point devaluation) but at least they are trying to make it an option.
I also received one of the surveys...guess they are targeting those with reduced stay rates to understand the general disatisfaction that we hear expressed on this MRI site. For me, it is primarily reduced business travel and less availability of Marriott in areas where I am traveling. Availablity is both in geography and much higher room rates. (over a $60 difference between the Marriott and Hilton that were a mile apart... for a weekend without C-lounge access, guaranteed breakfast at Hilton as a Gold member versus a possible breakfast voucher at Marriott)
I am a Platinum Premier Member with 103 Elite nights accumulated this year. I was told by the "platinum elite telephone line" that the "free night" and "free entree" coupons would not be coming out until March 2012. Upon hearing this news I cancelled all my Marriott reservations for the rest of the year. I am "heartbroken". And I'm making reservations for my husband's next vacation at another hotel chain. I have been devotedly using Marriott hotels exclusively for at least 6 years. So, this is significant and very very very very sad. I am hoping they will change their minds when they see how we have stopped using their hotels. Also, I miss getting breakfasts on the weekends. I have been telling everyone I meet to join the Marriott rewards system, but I have now ceased doing this.
Lots of great info and updates in this thread -- very glad to see MR taking pingreeman's post/issue and acting on it. Having recently started traveling for work on a regular basis, and Marriott being the preferred hotel properties by my company I have been staying exclusively at Marriott Properties. I haven't dealt with these issues yet due to being a newer road warrior, but I'm happy to see them being addressed before I have to deal with them. Thanks to Pingreeman for being persistent with these issues.
On a side note - I received a free upgrade to a King suite at the Fairfield in Southbend IN (excellent, new Fairfield property) this past week. I didn't request an upgrade and the person who checked me in didn't tell me the room was upgraded, but I did get the upgrade so maybe Pingreeman's post and Marriott's follow up on it is being communicated to the properties. It's either that or I experienced a random upgrade - I'll go with Pingreeman's issues are being handled by Marriott until I'm proven otherwise
Message was edited by: jmeyers I failed to mention that I am currently doing a MR Platinum challenge and have Platinum status because of it (on pace to for 100-130 nights annually), so the upgrade was tied to MR level I assume
UPDATE: I finally gave up not seeing guaranteed suites on points or some other type of program to allow that "once-a-year" suite upgrade for my family on vacation. Since late 2012, I have 250+ nights through HH and 40+ nights through SPG (both offer guaranteed suite upgrades at resorts on points-only), and 1 night at Marriott during this time period.
Hi pingreeman - I know this is an update on a three-year-old thread but wanted to check in to see if The specified item was not found. and I can help in any way. Feel free to send one of us a direct message if we can be of assistance.
KatieC & The specified item was not found. - While I appreciate the invitation to contact you, I doubt there is much either of you can do to persuade MR to instigate a GSOP (Guaranteed Suite on Points) for when I wish to take my family on vacation. Consider the fact that I had a personal phone call from the VP-MR (arranged via the Andy of past) and shared this post with him and was told, "the MR program is looking at ways to offer a GSOP, but the technical details are difficult to overcome." [OK, I am happy to wait, it's not like MR needs to create an Obamacare enrollment site - this can't be that hard.] So, here I am, 3+ years later, GSOP is only a dream, not a reality.
Consider a key point of this post:
Please also notice that I have nearly 2,000,000 Marriott points banked and that I have achieved Platinum Premier status for eight years running. I believe at this point, you must be convinced that I am an uber-loyalist to Marriott and that I spend approximately half the year, every year in Marriott hotels. Why can I NOT be able to use my points towards a GSOP given this uber-loyalty? So - - - -
I cashed in 1.5 mIllion points to get $50 cheques and use these as CASH for GSO$ to get around the restrictions. Despite the fact that this is not as good of a use of points as would be a GSOP, it was my only recourse. However, the cheques program was abolished and I do not even have this option any more.
Bottom line - if Marriott wants to be a leader in hotel loyalty, they should borrow some concepts from their competitors and "burn them" by offering or matching (better yet, supersede) SPH, Hyatt, HH, etc. by anteing up the same (or better) perks. But MR decides to keep status quo rather than seek to keep their most loyal members. Look at many of the posts herein - millennials seem to be getting more attention than the long-time loyalists.
I'm certain the old adage is still true - it costs a lot less money to retain a customer than to secure a new one. After 20+ years, 3000+ paid nights, and over 5 million points earned, I have left to seek programs that offer GSOP. I did wait nearly 2 years to jump ship in hopes the VP-MR words were genuine, but alas, I had to move on.
pingreeman The specified item was not found. et al.
Some of the statements above, which I would have strongly agreed with in 2012, I see differently now;
1) if Marriott wants to be a leader in hotel loyalty, they should borrow some concepts from their competitors
Whereas I do agree with the statement, I don't believe Marriott is driven by being the leader in hotel loyalty, they have shown they can be a leader in the hotel industry regardless of loyalty (as your next statement indicates, which I do agree with; But MR decides to keep status quo rather than seek to keep their most loyal members. Look at many of the posts herein - millennials seem to be getting more attention than the long-time loyalists.)
2) I'm certain the old adage is still true - it costs a lot less money to retain a customer than to secure a new one
As a marketing guy, this is something I hold dear (and teach), but I am persuaded by the short term results (and in the long term "we'll all be dead") that this does not, at least currently, hold true;
Marriott's stock price* August 2012 - $37.29 yesterday (in a down day) $64.91
*executive compensation heavily linked to
Year Revenue Earnings Earnings per Share
2011 12.3b 198m .55
2012 11.8b 571m 1.77
2013 12.8b 626m 2.00
Note that sales haven't greatly increased, but profit and eps due to stock buybacks from strong cash flow and attractive management agreements which focus on earnings not sales, have skyrocketed to the joy of shareholders and sometimes at the expense of loyal customers. You, being a finance professional (successful enough to travel as often and as long as you have), I'm confident know the reality of line operators; be they hedge fund managers, private equity players, or corporate executives; it is in their DNA to maximize profit (even sometimes at a long term or nationalistic expense) and asking them to do 'what's right' can be an exercise in futility, whether it's Obama and corporate hiring or inversions, sports teams owners like Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder with their seat licensing rights or now Ted Lerner with his Nats Plus plan etc etc etc.
3) (josh's) We believe that there is always something we can do to help
This is a nice thought and I believe it increases your effectiveness to maintain it, in spite of historical performance.
SUMMARY: I'm convinced the only ones who will miss pingreeman, dejamo, stelzer, jkernitzki and all other departing loyalists, will be the remaining Insiders who benefited from their numerous insights.
erc - As usual, excellent insight and thought provoking! EPS have indeed gone up over the three years you identified. But one issue is buried under all the financial statements and IMO is generally not discussed in the MRI site -->
MR points are a liability to Marriott and to improve the balance sheet, Marriott devalues the points year-after-year either by upping 35% of all categories, requiring more points-for-merchandise (Nikon digital SLR cost 175% more points in 2013 over 2012 as one example), removing the cheques program, making gift cards nearly double in points required, etc. Their goal is to do anything that essentially devalues the points in our accounts or burns them up faster by making things more expensive to redeem resulting in a lower liability to carry on the annual financial statements.
I suggest that in lieu of yearly "devaluing the points," offer a program to pay more points to guarantee a suite upgrade***. Speaking for myself, there is no doubt I would pay a 50% premium of points over a standard stay to guarantee that suite. To spend more points to guarantee a suite is the easiest way for Marriott to lessen their balance sheet liability rather than the "right in your face" devaluations seen every year that EVERYONE notices and rues openly with posts on this site.
*** When venues have unoccupied suites, it makes absolutely no sense that the upgrades to suites are not automatically granted to Premiers (rather than specifically excluding suites in the T&Cs). Despite the T&Cs, I am willing to burn more points to guarantee a suite but cannot. Considering the very small incremental costs of housekeeping (a few more minutes to clean a suite than a standard room and perhaps an extra set of toiletries, thus perhaps $5 total?), the goodwill provided cannot be measured by revenues, EPS, or any other financial measure. But what I can personally measure (and get some level of satisfaction) are my nights stayed at HH and SPG who both guarantee suites on points. I have said it before and will iterate it again - if MR would allow a program to guarantee suites on points, I would come back immediately (well, perhaps the return of free coffee in the lobby might also be a condition) as overall, I like the MR program with this one exception.
I am in 100% complete agreement with you over what would seem to be a no brainer. Allowing Rewards Members (or at least some designated level) to purchase with points, which I've always viewed as a currency, not a gift, upgrades or suites, just as you would pay for an upgrade with cash, would seem to be a solid move financially and customer service wise.
Certainly Marriott is cognizant of their looming liability of points on the balance sheet; that's the only reason I can figure why they don't allow points earned when a full room rate cancellation fee is charged for no shows or why you can spend $150 on a meal at a Ritz without earning points.
My conclusion is that either Marriott cannot work out an agreement with operators over what the compensation for point redemption would be or Marriott is fearful high margin upgrades would be gobbled up by point redeemers (to which I would say, then price it accordingly, like you do everything else). Which brings me to my frequent beef about ineffective communication (your thread is an offshoot from your original post which is over three years old), why doesn't anyone from Marriott at least provide an explanation of why this possible win-win has not been implemented.
So, for ol' times sake and to give The specified item was not found. an opportunity to follow up on his sincere statement, "We believe that there is always something we can do to help", I'm asking josh to help clarify the frustrating unknown, by contacting either the Greater Team, the Technical Support Group, or whatever Rewards Potentate heading up the committee that decides what voodoo they do, and see if we can at least get a corporate explanation for why Marriott does not offer the opportunity to purchase upgrades/suites with points throughout the system. Go get 'em josh. Thanks
ps - I will not be shocked (and therefore don't be disappointed josh) if through some artful corporate speak, the response is "because we don't want to"
additional ps - there's actually somewhat of a model already in place, the spinoff Marriott Vacation Club, where they (somewhat disingenuously) list as a Category 6 or 7, but when you go to book an award room at that rate, discover that only 5k or 10k upgrades are available.
agreed, pingreeman and erc but I had (obviously, incorrectly) thought that, as a community, we'd stopped banging our heads against the wall on this one... so, to the extent it's back, I'll (ever so lightly) pound the drum one more time.
Here's my recycled (but, nonetheless, to me, logical, efficient, and customer-service-oriented) two cents in support: Flexible rewards for Marriott's best customers?
You present a formidable case for this 'being dead'. Sadly, the link on your Flexible Rewards post provides the answer in the community manager's (remember him? Supreme Court justices have been vetted quicker than this position) reply https://www.marriott.com/rewards/usepoints/hotelrmup.mi
The specified item was not found. no need to follow up - that's our answer - it's a property by property decision
good night one and all, stay dry kharada46
joshm no need to follow up - that's our answer - it's a property by property decision (which falls under the category of available at all participating properties; savings up to 40% or rates from $xx (yeah, just try and find them though).
Currently running in our member exclusive offers;
Since I love Boston (any time of year) and United IAD-BOS is relatively cheap, the first week this was offered, I checked Marriott's Custom House for every Sunday through Thursday, Sunday through Wednesday, and Monday through Thursday from 9/7 to 11/20 (offer dates). nada, zip, zilch, zero discounts. Maybe there was some other permutation that had the discounted rate however short of time period, or maybe someone got the only discount.
Now I'm a big boy when it comes to deals, you snooze you lose, fine, but come on. At least with Flash Perks they put you out of your misery when the deal is dead .
Sorry pingreeman I can't help myself; think of it as your going away gift, another erc pricing quirk rant.
Scene from the Greater Team's Insiders Bete Noire Office Pool
"You lucky, dog, you. You had pingreeman and guaranteed suites upgrades on points? Nuts, I had erc and pricing quirks!"
It seems as loyalty "strategies" are moving into more of "what you have done recently" as opposed to "what you have done historically". Over 28 years of extensive travel and loyalty to Marriott (also PP, LTP), I am finding more "rewards" from other programs (HH Diamond) or at least more "attention" to my historical loyalty. I am new to this forum and from reading its content, I wish I would have joined sooner. From just the short time I have been here, I have enjoyed and appreciated your insights, opinions, and shared experience. As PPs move away, maybe it will raise a flag (or maybe just another letter/survey ).
Welcome to Insiders. Many long time Marriott loyalists, while still recognizing and appreciating the excellent customer service at the property level, quite possibly because of traveling during the 'glory days' of rewards travel, have sensed a gradual (death by a thousand cuts) pullback in a reciprocal recognition of long time loyalty.
As you write above, a significant amount of loyalty strategy efforts are geared toward current consumption (and future 'potential') and whereas lifetime platinums who were travel partners with Marriott for years might sigh (or more ) at the disappointment, we understand the economic realities behind the decision. However, observing the squeezing of benefits for historical loyalists who continue to crank out impressive stay numbers, highlights the new financial paradigm travelers face (including airlines as well).
One benefit of the Marriott Rewards program where we can actually influence the value of the benefit, is the Insiders forum. Marriott, to their credit, (granted, I recognize the two way flow of information serves both sides) currently tolerates a free flow of ideas. As we move deeper and deeper into a 'sellers' market, many of us have in rational consumer behavior, altered our travel strategies, broadening our options. Insiders provides the opportunity to share travel ideas enhancing our travel experience whether it's Marriott deals or property specific policy implementation, sights, meals, and activities, transportation options or even deals or special treatment at Brand X, whatever form that may take.
As a firm believer that the Insider forum's true value lies in optimizing current policy rather than changing it, I along with I'm confident many others, welcome you to Insiders. Your broad travel experience combined with exposure elsewhere will prove invaluable to all participants. Thanks for sharing.
Out of fairness and to maintain credibility for the rest of our concerns, I should point out that my statement (shown below as A.) in response to pingreeman's point (#1 below) turns out to be, if not inaccurate, then at least in need of additional information. The US News report below ranked the Marriott Loyalty program #1 (and let's not forget the Freddie Awards where Marriott once again took most major awards), so it reminded me that as many frustrating headaches as the Rewards administration can sometimes bring us, like in politics, it's all relative and Marriott leads the pack (so I shouldn't be so quick to presume that Marriott does not also value loyalty rankings). My apologies to the Greater Team. Now, about your pricing techniques......
1) if Marriott wants to be a leader in hotel loyalty, they should borrow some concepts from their competitors
A. Whereas I do agree with the statement, I don't believe Marriott is driven by being the leader in hotel loyalty, they have shown they can be a leader in the hotel industry regardless of loyalty
If McDonalds were to offer Big Macs or kids meals at "only at participating restaurants" - they would surely go out of business. That is the whole concept of franchising - to provide equal expectations at all franchisees. McDonalds corporate offices (just like Marriott) will visit all franchisees on at least an annual basis to make certain the quality, performance, and brand policies are in order and in place. When Marriott told all CYs (franchised and owned) to remove free coffee from the lobby, all followed suit - lest they lose their franchise status. Why can't a similar dictate for "you must allow points for suite upgrades" be similarly enacted?
ssindc - I nearly forgot about your post for Flexible Rewards - so I am glad you re-linked it within this post. As for banging my head against the wall, I have actually put a hole through the wall from repeated banging!