I have been so frustrated with this e-certificate program where you stay four times you get 2 nights at a Cat 4 hotel.
I used to be able to use these e-certificates for 2 bedroom suites at Residence INN by paying $40 extra per night, now that has been completely eliminated. Also, I find when you call the 1-800 line they are very rude, even when I ask them if the program of paying a difference has been changed they just answer it never existed, but I have done this as recently as a month ago and they still answer impossible. It seems that the rules for points and e-certificates change daily and/or depending who answers the phone. No consistency. Very very disappointed and frustrating.
Mr. Bill Marriott, I would love it if one day you would pretend to be an Elite client and try to use the Marriott points or free nights to book a room. I am sure you would find many gaps in the way agents are trained.
I find the agents are becoming extremely rude over the phone. I am at the point where I might use the points in my account and move my business to Hilton.
I think the 'pay extra' is starting to apply to more and more Marriott things -- as I complained about last year when I refused to pay (after using Reward Points) for an upgrade to a better room at the Rive Gauche. The experience at the front desk, as some of you may recall since I so graphically described it, made me feel not only not like a Platinum Premier, but not even a cared-about Marriott customer. Then I found I was put in the tiniest room I'd ever been in at that hotel, with a view facing the southern (not pretty) parts of Paris. My experience is that the tack-ons of money for supposedly guaranteed upgrades is most prevalent in France and England. I never had any problems in Belgium or Greece, where I was upgraded to phenomenal rooms (always) with no extra charges.
I know this is different from e-certs, but I think it speaks to a broader problem.