Interesting review of Marriott Rewards program from "View from the Wing"
Nothing new to most of us on the Insiders site. Interesting though as many of frequent travel bloggers rarely speak of Marriott preferring to focus on Hilton, SPG and Hyatt.
It does serve to highlight what so many of us are realizing here -- Marriott is falling more and more behind the competition. "View from the Wing" is a pretty respected blog and that factual no-hype piece will be searchable forever. I just don't understand Marriott management lately -- it's really difficult to regain loyalty once lost!
Yes..as I have stated frequently on this site..it is hard to understand why the Marriott is falling way behind their competitors in regards to treatment of their most loyal customers. Is this a coincidence that Bill Marriott is no longer the one running the day to day business and the new management sees opportunity to reduce Marriott costs through depletion of benefits to their most loyal customers. As bigmrm states, it is difficult to regain loyalty once lost. And this seems to be happening more and more to the Marriott - losing customers like the example that allyson has provided above. Marriott needs to wake up and smell the roses and improve their rewards program or become a second tier hotel chain allowing Hyatt, SPG, Hilton and others to scoop up Marriotts loyal customers.
Great post. As disappointing as the possible erosion of platinum benefits is to me, of equal or greater concern is the apparent lack of operating crispness, which seems often to reach into other aspects of service delivery that Marriott, deservedly so, was famous for.
Case in point, the current BOGO debacle (room & meal). Certainly Marriott the master of algorithmic revenue yield optimization already knew (or should have) the financial impact of BOGO deals as part of their ongoing operating strategy. Whatever the outcome, Marriott unnecessarily exasperated a core group, multiplying the negative impact of rejection and minimizing the positive of approval.
We see this lack of execution crispness elsewhere (as often highlighted here). Go to the Big Easy New Orleans promo which runs thru 8/12 - Rooms for $114 (which was last available late fall '11) to get a sense of a creeping 'slickness' that Marriott was always above in the past. Heck, I guess since a room once was available at that rate, the offer could run until the end of time.
I'm, as most in this forum, am all for arms length business relationships and know the difference between privileges and rights, but as a multi-decade loyalist (somewhat sheepishly now, no Priceline for me), I certainly don't want to feel foolish about that loyalty.
As Austin Powers might say, "C'mon Marriott, throw me a bone".
Well written, erc. Damage control is a big deal. I also found it odd that Marriott would have ran that BOGO program and not collected data. It's hard to imagine any large corp today not knowing the profitability of any existing program.
I never used the BOGO. I only heard about it while reading the wonderful posts on here. Obviously, there were quite a few members that found that program to be extremely valuable. If they bring it back, I'll give it a try.
I love it when people leave Marriott for what they consider a better deal. Better odds for me to get an upgrade. Since I've really never had the kind of troubles expressed by the wing writer (who, in my opinion had an agenda from the beginning) or others on Insiders, I'm still hanging around and for the most part enjoying my experiences with Marriott.
I always have and will continue to respect your opinion of things. Most, I whole-heartily agree with, some, I don't necessarily agree with or disagree with, and on rare occasions, I disagree. In ALL cases, I respect your opinions because I respect you. In the case of those that will profess to leave Marriott for whatever reason, I also respect each of their opinions and Marriott would do well to do the same. There is a definite movement in our society toward less loyalty. We see it in all aspects of our lives, marriages, employment, pensions, to name a few. Today, distrust is the rule rather than the exception, and companies need to earn their customers trust every day. No longer can they rest on their laurels. If the customers expectations are unfair, well, that's too bad for the company. For, as we all know, perception is reality. While I both agree with some points mentioned in these posts, and disagree with others, one thing is for sure. Marriott is beginning to have some issues with perception and they will need to deal with those perceptions sooner than later.
Thank you, Shoeman, for agreeing with me some of the time at least. I have always been a proponent of free expression of one's opinion. And the right of each person to choose their hotel chain, and to go elsewhere when expectations aren't met. And everytime somebody leaves, I figure my odds of an upgrade get better. No hard feelings, unless of course I suspect there's an agenda. I may be the book definition of loyalty, so I probably don't relate to change well. Since I got my draft notice in 1970, I've worked for only two organizations. I've bought every appliance at Sears, had my car insurance thru Allstate since I bought my first car, been married to my first wife for 34 years ...well you get the point. I see the lack of loyalty today as just more of I want, I want, and I want it now mentality. Just like the polls on Insiders, always want something more. I just wonder if some people will ever be satisfied. I just expect that whatever Mr Marriott tells me what I can expect and what he's going to do, it'll get done. If not, then I too may go elsewhere.
agreed Husker. So Marriott can count on the two of us. However, all companies need to address the changing demographics of their customer base and change on-the-go. Times have changed and Marriott cannot depend on us for the revenue they need to thrive in todays world. We may see disgruntled posters as 'whiners', but Marriott must see them as potentially lost revenue.
NU Husker, I agree with you on one level (as I always do) and applaud your right to comment as freely as the rest of us, but feel that we as a group have to realize that we stay with Marriott for a number of reasons and like any association we take the bad with the good. I often ask myself when checking in, would I wanted to be treated this way, even as a General Member of MR, and not just as a Platinum Premier? Often the answer is "no." I see the associate following orders and the pressure they are undder to minimize and economize where they can. Unless you are staying at a hotel where you've lived for a long time, the registration process is getting more and more dismal, in my opinion. It's as I said before, approaching the fast food mantra, "You want fries with that?" in many instances. As an aside while I was in the Army (ours) for three years, I often met folks who were "lifers" a derogatory term applied to some folks who'd been in enough and not messed up to see the golden handshake after 20 years. We in a sense are "lifers" with Marriott in that we have accumulated points and status with Marriott Rewards and we find that moving to another brand is a hassle. Points are not transferable to Hyatt to Hilton so we accept changes, removal of benefits, reductions in service, etc., as part of the price we pay for being lifers. Alas there you have it--we are handcuffed to one brand, but we have the key and can change with the knowledge that we're leaving something comfortable for something seemingly better.
steppingstones, I was one of those career NCOs some referred to as a lifer. And I've got the scars to show for it. But that was my choice. And by the way, I got a whole lot more than a golden handshake after 24 years. And the same for the career I have now. I'll retire from this job too. And that's my intention with Marriott, as long as like I told shoeman, Mr Marriott lives up to his end of the bargain. No cuffs on me...in fact I'm in the business of putting them on others.
I am in this for the long haul (but 67 years of age who can say how much longer I have?) with Marriott. Have been since 1970, and ain't gonna switch now. If I tallied up the positive experiences that I've had with them against the not so, it would be a 99% favorable for me. As far a liferdom goes, had I been married to another person I might be a lifer too! She convinced me that my chances of being married increased a lot if I left the Army after my three year active duty tour was over. Little did she know that my civilian career would take me to places that might have been more problematic than my military one, or that I'd work around the clock at times. But she must have been right (in case she is reading this).
Amen.Loyalty is a two way street. In an article in Exectutive Travel Magazine a number of hotels are listed with new ideas to replace the traditional magnetic coded key cards especiallly for loyal customers.They are Hyatt,Hilton,Doubletree,Four Seasons but no mention of Marriott.Marriott once was state of the art but it has IMO become lately bloated with no new ideas except for the silly environtmental ones.