Front desk agent lies about offering me welcome amenity...

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by jpripcord, Aug 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jpripcord

    jpripcord Silver Member

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    So I checked into a Marriott hotel in Chicago about a month ago and the guy at the front desk checked me in as he would a "standard" customer. There was no mention of my elite status (plat), no mention of where the concierge lounge was or hours of operation, no offer of a welcome amenity.

    This was actually only my second stay as a platinum member, so I didn't exactly know what to expect, but I thought the treatment was actually worse than previous visits when I was only a gold member. I didn't want to make a fuss, because what harm did they really cause, just a little hurt pride. Walked up to my room to find that I had what looked like a "mistake" room in the hotel. The space was so small that they couldn't even fit the vanity/dresser in the "main room", it was crammed into the small narrow hallway that connected the front door to the bed (about a 3 foot walkway). At this point, I had enough and decided it was worth going downstairs and voicing my disappointment.

    When I get downstairs, I ask to speak to the manager. I explain to him that when I was checked in, my status was not acknowledged (aside from the silver key they gave me), I was offered no welcome amenity, and my room was less than half the size of any of the rooms I had been given in prior stays (which were standard rooms, not suites).

    The manager called over the man who checked me in, and asked about the welcome amenity situation. The guy, points to the screen, and says "I gave him the 500 points which he asked for". The man just lied to me and his manager, right to my face. I was a little taken aback, so I waited for the man to walk away, and informed the manager that no matter what the man says, he most certainly did not offer me a thing. The manager then points to the screen, says "well I do see the 500 points on your account here". At this point, I'm just ready to move on, as there is not much I feel that I can really do if the front desk guy is lying. I also got the uncomfortable feeling like the manager felt that I was trying to swindle them out of the 100 dollar guarantee. He offers me an additional bonus of 500 points, and says that he will change my room.

    The new room he gave me was actually a beautiful room on the concierge floor (if I was a platinum member checking in, why wouldn't they have given me the best room available to start off anyway?) and the rest of the stay was fine.

    So fast forward to August, the 500 bonus points never posted to my account...I have a bad taste in my mouth from this whole situation...What would you do?

    Also, is it common practice to assume that you just want the 500 points, and they don't even ask you? Is that considered them offering the welcome amenity?

    I'm fairly new to being a platinum member, so much of my handling of this situation was related to me not being fully aware of my "rights.

    - JP
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I would send an email. Because you shouldn't have to beg for your Platinum benefits, because you should have been upgraded in the first place (and at a minmium as a Platinum you shouldn't be given about the worst room in the hotel), and because the pittance to go away wasn't even made good on.

    I would work from the assumption that Marriott Rewards wants to know when hotels aren't living up to the spirit of the program to treat their Platinums well.

    1. You weren't offered the amenity. The clerk entered it without asking your preference (which you didn't know until you had complained)
    2. You were given one of the worst rooms in the hotel, when better club level rooms were available (to which you were moved after you complained)
    3. You were offered points for your trouble, which never posted.
    4. All that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and you would rather express your frustrtion to Marriott than have yourself resent Marriott for how you're treated after giving them so many of your orom nights.

    All the reasonable IMHO.
     
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  3. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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  4. Lighthouse
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    Lighthouse Gold Member

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    This opens up a broader interesting issue as well .. though I am often hesitant to complain ... when I have had too I notice an inclination similar to what occurred with jpripcord where I am verbally offered points on the phone or in person by a manager as an apology but then the points never materialize.

    The amount of points offered are relatively small, I am appreciative of the gesture that they recognize there has been a problem, I do not expect the points to hit my account for a month---- and by that time I have either forgotten the incident and if not that definitely the name of the individual who made the commitment.

    My impression is that this is happening more systematically in the industry than one might think and was wondering what other MP members experiences have been.
     
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  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    In these circumstances, I always make a point of recording the person's name and title in their presence.

    I wish they would give you some sort of a little card on the spot noting what had been promised so that it doesn't turn into he said/she said after the fact.
     
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  6. Lighthouse
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    Lighthouse Gold Member

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    MSP even doing that are you finding this to be a recurrent problem?
    I agree with your card/receipt issue -- I find it hard when someone reaches out to make things rights to followup by then asking for their name and title.
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I guess I don't see anything wrong with keeping a record of whom I've dealt with. I always do this at the start of any customer service phone call even though I know that many reps don't use their real name. At times, when I've had to call back and I get skepticism about whether I had talked with someone previously, it helps to be able to say firmly that I've talked with this person at approximately this time. Doesn't everyone do this?
     
  8. jpripcord

    jpripcord Silver Member

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    In this instance, the manager introduced himself to me and shook my hand upon introduction. If I was thinking about the potential for his resolution to not materialize within a reasonable amount of time, I certainly could have entered his name into my phone or written it down, so it wouldn't have been the case where I would have even had to ask again.

    Also, I dont think it's rude to say, "thank you, I really appreciate your help in this situation, I'm sorry, but I forgot your name". If i were the manager, I would think that was directed a compliment, as the guest was impressed with my ability to resolve a situation. But who knows how anything is interpreted I guess
     
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  9. Lighthouse
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    Lighthouse Gold Member

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    MSP and jpripcord.... I agree with you.

    In part because I am busy and in part because I dislike appearing to aggressive I usually have not made the effort to record names and times. When I have I sometimes detect a certain hesitancy and defensiveness by some agents.

    Neverthless is it your and other members general impression (especially those in the industry) that there is this time of frequent gaming going on? I think politely requesting and detailing names, dates and calls is the only way to get around this.
     
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  10. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Increasingly I detect a lot of "say anything to get rid of the person" by phone agents and other customer service representatives. Sometimes (like the infamous FA announcement that gates have been called and connections will be held for a late-arriving flight) it can be away to keep people from getting upset, but they just get even more upset later when they find out that they've been lied to also.
     
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  11. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    Jfhscott: I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Getting elite status isn't easy & takes both time & money to achieve. You did the right thing & you should follow up with MGT/Guest Services. I have elite status with many hotel programs & none in others, however, my basic expectations remain the same no matter: I expect:
    - polite employee service across the board
    - clean room, as reserved & described on website
    - comfortable bed
    - all room appliances to work properly (heat, air, TV, clock, etc)
    - all hotel amenities to be in good working order (gym, pool, Biz Ctr, etc)
    - my requests to be honored if possible (high floor, quiet room, etc)
    I am paying for both a room & service & possibly more if a resort. I complain if any area falls short. I start with functional area 1st (i.e. housekeeping) & escalate up the mgt ladder as needed. This includes non-recognition of elite status benefits. If the problem is really bad, I go straight to the manager. If not resolved to my satisfaction, I call &/or write customer service & cc: hotel mgt. When a hotel really falls short & mgt does not care, I write a bad review & post it, as is my right. I'm not petty or looking for things to complain about just to get freebies but I'll be darned if I'll pay good money & take the worst room, bad service, etc without speaking up. All customers across the board should do the same. And remember, you can always take your business elsewhere. Lots of hotels to choose from!
     
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  12. Jim
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    Jim Silver Member

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    It is this very reason I left Marriott years ago and have not looked back. I got tired of groveling for the "guarantees" of a Platinum. It just ain't fun when you feel like you are begging for it.
     
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  13. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    I also have left Marriott and shaken the dust off my feet. I enjoy SPG and feel that 90% of the time my Plat status is recognized appropriately as to the terms of membership. I never really got the whole Marriott "thing".
     
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  14. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I have been Plat for many years at Marriott, last year I started also staying at Hilton and got gold quickly.

    I feel that Marriott has gone downhill (including a very bad visit to a Courtyard earlier this year) unfortunately and while I think their points are better than Hilton, as a guest I have felt I've gotten way better treatment as a gold at Hilton Properties and have moved (after 4 nights only this year at Marriott) all my business to Hilton. Once I clean my MR account points will only stay at Marriott properties when I have no other choice.
     
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  15. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    ..I don't see the big deal about telling me my status, I already know it. If they mention it great, if they don't then I just politely ask if I received a Platinum Upgrade or ask about the amenity choices (even if I know I want points).

    As for hotel problems, if management makes any post-stay promises I try to ask for their card and ask if they're who I should contact if the promised goods don't deliver. If they don't have their card (or if they ever said to contact someone else), I ask them to write down their name, email and phone. This makes it pretty clear that I plan to follow up and the card/paper serves as a to-do reminder for me to follow up and make sure said-good(s) are delivered. (although to be honest, knock-on-wood, not too many problems significant enough to talk to management about)
     
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  16. EX-LAX

    EX-LAX Silver Member

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    I've been a Plat for many years and the last 5 or so years dropped down to Gold. I'm tired of showing up at the front desk to have some kid with pimples making a big deal out of granting me permission and perceived honor to stay at their hotel. Marriott is notorious for "TURN OVER" at this position and for good reason. Firstly they put a fancy jacket on these entry level people and lead them to believe that they are really, really important, which they believe for a few months, until they figure out that they are working for peanuts, and can't pay their rent. Making up anything that comes into their heads is the norm and after 20 plus years of hearing every b.s. story and excuse, I've had it with this nonsense. I dropped their bait and switch Visa card and it's on a need be basis whether I stay with any of their brands from now on.

    Showing up at a hotel to be told that one or both concierge floors are fully booked when I made the reservation at least 6 months in advance is an insult to anyone that thinks that they are supposed to be important because Marriott sent them a cool looking card to carry in their wallet for a year.

    Asking any of these important front desk professionals for an up grade ended for me about 5 years ago. I take my key and go to my cell!
     
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  17. jpripcord

    jpripcord Silver Member

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    So in the end, I did call Marriott customer support and explained my situation to them. The woman who I spoke to was very friendly and understanding.

    She said that she would work with the hotel to get me some closure on the issues I had.

    A day later, I got a call from someone from the hotel in chicago who apologized for the situation. She said that she would credit me 1,000 points immidiately (which have already posted) and she offered me a choice between two options:

    1) Receive a $100 credit on my statement
    2) Receive a free night in the hotel

    I was in a bit of a rush (she called me while i was changing at the gym), so I chose the free night in the hotel (as rooms are usually $250 minimum a night).

    Soon after, I received an email from the woman I spoke to confirming that she had posted the points to my account, and that I was welcome to stay in their hotel on a Friday or Saturday night, based on availability.

    In the end, I did think they made good on their mistake, and I certainly felt that my concerns were handled in a timely and professional manner. Would I have chose the $100 if i had known about the restrictions on the free night, probably. Maybe I'll give her a call and ask for the $100 instead now that I know about the restrictions, maybe not.

    Thought it would be good to update everyone on the resolution. Thanks for the advice.

    - JP
     
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  18. EX-LAX

    EX-LAX Silver Member

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    "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

    But then you were in a hurry and didn't know about the fine print! Better get something in writing though, or you may show up and get the ol' B.S. story again, "FREE NIGHT? " What --- FREE NIGHT"? "Oh yes, I remember you, you're the guy that complained about our finest front desk clerk"! "Yes, we have a quaint little room for you Mr. Platinum, but nothing on the floor that you would prefer, as those rooms are already taken, and naturally sir, as you are aware, the lounge is closed until 6 p.m. on Sunday."

    You probably should have gone for the Franklin? But it may work out just fine for you!

    Good luck!!!
     
  19. SkiAdcock
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    SkiAdcock Silver Member

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    Thanks for the update. Not everyone reports back.

    I'm Platinum with Marriott & rarely encounter what you did with worst room in combo w/ no plat gift. But you did the right thing by notifying both the manager & then following up w/ Marriott.

    I probably would have challenged the FDC when he said I asked for the points, but that's just me. FDC probably forgot to ask what you wanted & then remembered after you left, and figured it was easier to to just give you the 500 points. And then when you got the manager involved didn't want to say he forgot to ask you, so lied.

    Re: whether you should have taken the $100 or the free night. If you might be in Chicago on a weekend, the free night would probably still come in handy as Chicago's expensive pretty much all the time, at least at the downtown properties. If by chance you're ever in a situation (with any chain for that matter) where a free night is offered, now you know to ask if there are any restrictions.

    Cheers.
     
  20. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    A free night to problem resolution is a pet peeve of mine. Why should I have to come back (and depending on the severity of the problem, would I even want to come back!) in order to "reward/thank me for a stay issue?

    Although I certainly have not always done it, I am getting better at saying, "No,as the problem occurred on this stay, I would prefer it be credited (or whatever is needed) immediately."

    And I really don't understand managers who say "Let me know when you are coming back and I"ll make sure you have a great stay". How about - " How do I turn this stay into a great one for you Mrs. Sophie..."

    I wouldn't take much as I am really not very hard to please....
     
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  21. joesmoe
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    joesmoe Gold Member

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    hmm never had a problem with this. In fact often times when i've made multiple reservations for the same stay i've had them ask what i wanted for my gift as I technically had two reservations.

    I find it to be no worse than hilton diamond, where i rarely got a room upgrade that was worth anything and the points are next to worthless.
     

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