Maybe it's my nature but I find myself telling service providers when they do something or say something that makes no sense or is obviously wrong. When I am checking in for example and am told that no breakfasts are given to Platinum members, I look the associate in the eye and tell them that the terms and conditions are clear that a continental breakfast will be offered except in resorts. Reactions vary from "what?" to "Oh well, give this old guy a break just this one time." In any case I feel it is my right to inquire nicely about a guarantee when it seems to be off the table.
Anyone else see this as the thing to do?
Any examples you'd care to share?
I do the exactly the same thing. Infact, I go beyond that. When I don't get the appropriate treatment, I elevate it to a higher level. For example, in NYC at the Marriott Marquies, I felt the check-in agent was very rude, when I requested a room upgrade. He told me there were none available. Yet when I got a Supervisor involved all of a sudden, I got a corner room upgrade.
I agree with Jaspers approach, going immediately to a level above. I don't feel it is my job to educate Marriott's personell, that's their job. By the way, has ANYONE seen ANY improvememt in in-person customer service at any Marriott property since we were told a few months ago about this big training program being rolled out? Quite honestly, if anything, I have seen no change at all. Maybe even a little downturn in recognition of elite staus... what about everyone esle???
Showman, my most recent and current experience is Long Beach Marriott. Checked in last night and without asking was assigned a larger corner room on top floor (lounge is one floor down). Also in the key packet were instructions for setting up wireless in room which I could not have done without instructions, and a card good for breakfast buffet for two on Sunday morning. Very polite, professional acting and looking associate. Very pleased so far.
I'm up in Williamsport, PA...home of the LL World Series. The FFI and Suites is always ready. The staff has been pleasant. The young lady on duty yesterday afternoon thanked me for being Platinum. She had me in a suite on the first floor but could switch to a higher floor if I preferred. I carry a lot of junk, so I like the first floor.
Even the girl at the platinum reservation line didnt know what the premier threshold is. Franchisees get it, I think the thresholds above are indeed for lifetime. then of course the coveted Platinum 5 star which is reserved for board members and those hand picked by Mr Marriott himself. (flyer talk thread)
Just checked in for the 4th time at the same property (Jacksonville South JTB Courtyard). Each week I arrive at the same 1230-1am. Each week I have to remind the girl at the desk, who is rather surly I might add, that I'm a Platinum Premier member. Each week its something different that she cant see or do or whatever. My profile has high floor and fridge, tonight she blocks me into a 2nd floor room and says "well its late you should get here earlier if you want something specific". Needless to say I asked to have the hotel manager call me in the morning, not the front desk manager but the general manager. I think I'm checking out of this property and going to one of the other Marriott properties on the same block (there are 3 others). Its really sad that I have a front desk clerk arguing with me about profile entries when I check in, with 100-150nights a year I'm pretty sure I know what I have in my profile. I guess my thoughts are that with standing reservations and the same girl checking me in at the same time every week .... I dunno maybe perhaps they could take notes?
At the end of the conversation, I did get a closet on the top floor right across from the elevator. I'd be happy with a normal room but this one is closet. The bed and sofa are 18" apart
And here's one from the Bill Engvall show. I walk into the lobby of a hotel at 1am with my bags in tow. The clerk says "checking in?" ... I respond "nope I just enjoy checking out the lobby" ... Here's your sign...
Yeah I would black list the property but I honestly think its this one girl. She's the only one that's here on Sunday nights, perhaps its time for some quality training. Tonight the doors were open but then she had me wait for a few mins before surfacing from the back. Other weeks I'm waiting 3-5mins for her to open the doors after ringing the bell. I'm going to be honest I don't really have a clue about what the night clerks do but I'm pretty sure taking care of the customer is the first thing on the list and I am not sure what she would be doing at this hour that requires anyone to wait.
If the GM doesn't call or if the conversation doesn't end with a satisfactory outcome I'd happily add this place to the black list.
well I'm happy to report that I had a great conversation with the hotel's GM this afternoon. I don't suspect the night clerk will have a great day back at work but the GM was great. We sat down in the lounge and had a nice chat, he had a notebook and took notes. I told him how nice the property was, how great the day staff is (greeting by name, though had never checked in/out with them) and the overall nice side of the hotel. I asked if he had received my request for a call from last night, he was surprised to hear I had requested a call, he did not get the message apparently. I expressed some concerns about the late night check-ins and of course the events last night. He apologized and even though I said I didn't feel like changing rooms, moved me to a suite...a nice surprise for sure. I told him I expected to be in the area for work and am looking forward to the next week here. I'm actually back next week so we'll see how the check-in process goes this time
It actually was a little odd the next week checking in, very cold almost clinical feeling but the 3 weeks following that were as close to a perfect experience as one could ask for. I will say that the manager changed some of the processes, for the better as a result of the chat. The most obvious change was that all the night audit work was now done at the main check-in desk and the person working the night shift was always in the lobby through the night with the lobby entrance unlocked at all times. All in all, I can honestly put the Courtyard Jacksonville South (JTB) back on the approved and will stay again list.
as ridiculous as it sounds, I've taken to printing out the "benefits of platinum" from the website and showing it to them at the front desk as they tell me all the things they can't do, or will check to see if they can do "this one time, just as a favor." To be honest, I feel like a bit of a pain, but over the past year, life with Marriott has gotten to be a bit of a struggle.
Way after the fact, just amusing myself with interesting reading. I think it's important to speak up politely and on the spot. It helps! I usually get what I was promised and/or what I paid for when I speak up politely. Most often it's not a Marriott problem or even a specific location problem, but a specific employee problem as Zukracer suspected. And it sounds like there was valuable payoff for speaking up. Once when I voice a complaint/dissatisfaction with a particular rule or policy, the reasoning behind it was politely explained to me and even though I still didn't like the policy, it made more sense. I have only ever stayed at two Marriott properties that I would never return to; a Courtyard in San Luis Obispo, CA and The Fairfield Inn in Branson, MO. Both properties were dumpy, and the Branson staff wasn't very well trained in professional courtesy. In SLO, better to stay at a non-Marriott and miss out on the loyalty credits. In Branson, MVC is worth the extra bucks, hands down. I've thought, if I had nothing better to do, I would LOVE to take charge of those places and turn them around. 99.99% of the time, my Marriott stays have been wonderful in everyway, thankfully. Nice properties, lovely, professional staffing.