During my many years of patronage at Marriott hotels, I have never had to involve myself in the correction of as many issues as has happened in recent months. I won't go into the 'way back machine', but here's the last two days....
A stay on a certificate in Delaware. First, the keys don't work in the room and the clerk leaves the front desk after my return and is determined to show me I don't know how to open a door. Finds out I am right and leaves me standing in the hallway until he returns with a bunch of 'keycards' in hopes, I guess, that one will work. No apology, just a 'here you go' when the door opens. I checkout the next day. Zero balance (on a certificate). Then, I notice that my credit card has been charged a few days later. I call the hotel. After a runaraound about how to find my folio, I get someone to tell me they made a mistake and they would credit it back. Hmmmmmm.
This weekend, I go to Johnson City, TN for a wedding. The bride's family are my next door neighbors. The groom stays at my house when he visits the family in FL. I asked them to use the Courtyard as the wedding hotel point for their guests. Not the closest (Holiday Inn is closer) but I suggested that Marriott would be better. They agreed and set it up. I had to call the hotel yesterday and cancel one of my nights because of issues surrounding my wife's father. I check the website to print off my reservation and find that my rate has been changed....to a rate that is $40 higher than the wedding rate! Now, I did not book under the wedding stay rate, but my stay rate was within $5 of the wedding rate because I booked so early. But, now I had to call the hotel and ask why they changed my rate? Why should I, or anyone, have to go to all this trouble to correct issues that have been solely the creation of Marriott employees??
Is there any common sense or training in this corporation anymore? I just don't get it.
Yes, I think the Marriott focus on details has deteriorated in recent months. I think it is partly due to lack of training but also a result of the downturning economy and in my humble opinion, cost cutting that has occurred because of this downturn. Not to mention the watering down of elite status that has become prevalent!!!
I've certainly had the key card problem before and it has been handled expeditiously and with apologies for the problem. In this case, not so. It makes a huge difference when a problem or issue is handled properly. I don't give it a second thought when it is corrected without hesitation or attitude.
"Why should I, or anyone, have to go to all this trouble to correct issues that have been solely the creation of Marriott employees??
Is there any common sense or training in this corporation anymore? I just don't get it."
tef -- great questions/statement. My answers:
There is no good reason why you or anyone of us should ever have to do Marriott's job for them.
If there is any common sense or training program within marriott, it is very little to non existent.
I don't get it either, but then I don't think marriott does either.
Regarding your stay in Johnson City, TN ....you indicate that you booked a multi night stay in advance of the wedding. Then you changed the reservation by canceling one night of the stay.
Check the T&C ... standard boiler plate says "Please note that a change in the length or dates of your reservation may result in a rate change"
This issue wasn't created solely by Marriott employees. It was created by a intentional action on your part. Maybe the desk clerk didn't clearly advise you of that the change would result in a rate change, and maybe you didn't ask. Maybe if you modified the reservation on line you would have more clearly seen/heard the rate change.
To say this was solely a fault of Marriott and their training program seems a stretch. Just a thought.....
You are correct and I agree that the T&C show that a rate may change on adjustment of stay. I was aware of that and it is the reason I contacted the hotel directly when I changed the reservation. I was informed by the person I interacted with that that my rate would stay the same for the adjustment in dates of stay. When I checked online to print my reservation for departure I noticed the rate change. At that point, I had to re-contact the hotel to ask them to correct their error. This error was solely created by the action taken by a Marriott employee. Hope this re-clarifies the issue.
The Marriott employee who I spoke directly with was, in actuality, the person at fault. I knew the rate would change if I did it online myself because a booked rate will always change to the rate that is available the day the change is made. That's exactly what my rate changed to. If the employee had told me that my new rate would be the 'rate of the day'...that would be a different matter. But, they told me they would honor the originally booked rate when I called. It's just an 'inattentiveness to detail' that took place. Unfortunately, they didn't follow through with the detail of the statement they made. It was easily fixed by my follow up call, but it is one I shouldn't have had to make.
In fairness, this hotel did do a superlative job during my stay there, as I have mentioned in another post. It truly was a 'faux-pas' that I am sure was not intentional. In addition, the person (unnamed) did say to me (at the hotel) that their action was a mistake because they were 'rushed' at the time I called and that they should have paid better attention to my change order.
My real issue was not this matter or the other one I referenced, but the bigger picture of training in a general sense because there have been about a dozen issues I have had to deal with on recent stays...... directly related to matters that weren't properly followed through on by employees. I've never experienced a barrage of issues (not created by requests or changes) like those I've seen in the past few months. Really strange...and it points to a lack of training. Another example: I am checking out...using a gift card....they take the value of the gift card (zero it out), have no idea how to apply it to my reservation and ask me to pay the full amount on my credit card and they'll refund me when they figure out how to apply the gift card credit. Huh???
tef -- I used a gift card a couple of times over the summer and both times the front desk clerk had to call a manager to help figure out how to make the credit to my account. I was told that there had been some change to the Marriott accounting system or computer system which created the problem for both the employees and customers. I recall reading on Insiders about problems someone else had with the gift card also.
A manager (at my request) had to come and correct the issue (I knew there was trouble when the clerk asked me how much was on the gift card before they used it). But, to resolve it, I had to wait about 20 - 25 minutes or so. The manager had to go into the back room and make some sort of 'tech' contact to figure out how to both recover my gift card $$ and then apply them to the reservation. More phone conversation was needed when the process was re-done at the check out desk. It did get worked out, but I would suggest getting a manager involved at the first sign of an issue when using a gift card. Hopefully it's an issue where the proper training has now been done. Maybe I just got stuck in that 'neutral' zone between activation of the new system and the training that one gets to enable them to implement it.
It could be that good luck cloud you carry around, Tef. There have been a few times I've been standing at the front desk when a problem develops. Right about then, the bus load walks in the door and puts the hairy eyeball pressure on the associate. I'll usually request we postpone our transaction until the crowd dies down. Not always possible, but helpful from time to time.
painedplatinum -- the only explanation I was given each time by the manager was there had been some change in the "system" which made it more difficult to process gift cards. On each occasion I left the front desk area and left my wife there to deal with it. She never told me anymore about what the problem was since she wasn't speaking to me for a while. Very likely no more gift cards for us.
This is quite worrying. You guys obviously stay a lot more nights than me now and I haven't yet experienced any really poor service from a hotel. Any room key problems were always sorted very promptly and efficiently ... the front-desk normally sent someone with me in case the second key-card didn't work. My only beef with Marriott over the years has been on the points allocation and the complimentary breakfast where a concierge lounge is not available on full spec Marriotts. I frequently found that the 500 point Platinum gift hadn't been allocated and that the stay-points were miscalculated. The stay-points miscalculation was generally when I paid in a currency other than USD.
I also find that points for stays paid in foreign currency are often significantly off both in the conversion and in the Platinum bonus points. And I have problems with the key cards frequently -- and invariably after a very long flight to Europe after I've hauled my computer and suitcase up to the floor. (And not just tiredness -- I usually try for about 10 minutes before hauling everything downstairs again unless I find a housekeeper sooner.)