Starwood are you listening?

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by brodyf, Aug 28, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    I currently have spent 483 nights of my life in a Starwood hotel of some sort. I am just 17 nights short of achieving Lifetime Platinum status with Starwood. But I am strongly considering changing alliances over an item so small and so simple as a piece of paper.

    For years, (for about 470 of those 483 nights) I've woken up in the morning and noticed there is a small piece of paper slid under the door. I've grown very used to having the receipt for my stay right there on paper in front of the door so I can grab it on the way out. No need to stop at the desk, no way I can forget it, it's just there like magic.

    Now Starwood has decided to stop printing receipts for guest stays and sliding them under the door. They will email it to you instead. Now I have to stop by the front desk and stand in line and 'check out' to get a printed receipt. I've complained/inquired about this at a few different properties, and I'm told this is part of a "Green Initiative", and that this will help save the planet. Every little bit helps and all that...

    But you see Starwood, that really isn't how this works. In the end, I have to print the receipt myself anyway to turn in my expenses. So you're not saving the planet, you're just kicking the can over to me, your customer. I don't want to get an email receipt. I have my little expense system that works really well if I get a piece of paper. (I tend to forget emailed receipts when I finally get around to doing my dreaded expense reports.) I don't want to stand in line in the morning to check out. I want to grab my receipt off the floor, grab a quick bite of breakfast at the club lounge, and hit the door running. Just like I did 470 times before.

    Can we please go back to the way it used to be? Or at least have that option?
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I feel different; I tell the FD Agent to email me folio vs printed copy. Paper can get lost; email = a simple search & its there. I guess though you travel a lot more than me thus, you would potentially get a lot more emails and finding the right folio could be difficult. But for me ... this works.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Why not mention to the FD clerk - either at check-in or the night prior to departure - that you'd like a folio printed for review? My guess is they'd be happy to do it and you still get what you want and without all the histrionics.
     
  4. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    seemingly isn't how it works for you. Personally I think it is a terrific idea. Do you have a corp credit card? Many expense systems now link with corp cards so for expenses like hotel, rental car, airplane, no actual receipt is needed.

    I'm assuming you are very familiar with email & setting up a folder. No need to wait in the morning for your receipt, take the email SPG sends you & put it in an expense email folder. Then print as needed. No this isn't your current way of doing things but as you know change happens.
     
  5. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    Our corp expense system is still 100% paper. Yeah, I guess I can alter my system, and quit being such a troglodyte, but in all these years of traveling I've never lost a hotel receipt. I have deleted a few emails by accident though...
     
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  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Thanks for my WOD :) Have never seen that word before but now I must use in my vocab.

    Most the time ... a deleted email isnt really gone until you empty the trash .... or 30+ days? With paper ... if its gone, its gone. Then you have to call up hotel etc etc.
     
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  7. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    I have tried that. When you check in now, they actually ask if you'd like an email receipt. I reply that, no, I'd like it slid under my door old school. They then quote the Green Initiative line and try to make me feel like I'm asking them to deforest the rest of Brazil or something. They have not been happy to do it at all - they've just suggested I stop by and stand in line with all the tourists in the morning.
     
  8. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    How you feel isn't their problem.

    Simply ask them to print it and slide it under the door like they've always done. If you get pushback, escalate to the manager.

    You are writing negative reviews containing this information on each hotel's Starwood page and in TripAdvisor, right? Those negative reviews mean more than anything to a GM. Most of them aren't members here...
     
  9. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    This is my first public outcry. I'll take your advice and hit the 'up' button at the next check in. That'll be next week in Boston. I'll let you know how they reply.
     
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    How quaint. Your expense system won't handle electronic receipts or PDF attachments? So 20th century! :cool:

    Well, actually, they are. The fact you're using an outdated system doesn't reflect on them... they've saved paper. You haven't. :rolleyes:

    Again, how quaint... an email program that doesn't include the ability to create rules and folders so that all your Starwood receipts automatically get filed in a particular place, impossible to miss... how 1980's! :cool:

    If you're in the club lounge, log into your email and print it while you're having breakfast. ;)

    You do. Every property I've checked in at recently asked my preference. That implies a choice. :)
     
  11. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    You're right Mike. I am a trog. I'm a spoiled rotten 20th century trog who's standing in the corner stomping his feet and holding his breath turning blue. I'm also quaintly considering switching my loyalty over this, because in the end, that's how it really works. I get to choose where I stay and where I spend my money.
     
  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I'm consistently amazed how people's inability to keep up with progress becomes someone else's problem.

    Were I speaking for SPG I'd welcome you to step over to a brand that meets your needs, especially if you're wanting to stay with another chain because of the deficiencies in your tools and processes... and come back to SPG when and if you catch up with the rest of the world.
     
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  13. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    I'm guessing brodyf has already told management to switch from a paper expense reimbursement system to electronic?

    You would be amazed how many simple suggestions that seem so easy, and often more cost efficient are ignored by top level management at many Fortune 500 Companies.
     
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  14. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    No, I just enjoy seeing those companies replaced by the ones that get it.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  15. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    perhaps time for a suggestion to accounting, as I imagine they'd love nothing more than to do away with some, if not all, of the receipts. Perhaps a win-win can be achieved.
     
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  16. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I manage both the US paper expense system and the UK electronic and frankly thought i heard every type of travel complaint (but apparently not) over twenty years -
    Most of our staff get emails sent to them or if its too much to sort through given their other emails they have the bills sent direct to their admin to print for them.
    Curious as to which hotel chain still puts the bill under the door that you would switch to and then for how much longer will they do that? it's expensive for staff to print and hand deliver - easier to nix this as "green" cost savings instead of a club lounge offering IMO
     
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  17. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    why an earth would a company stay with paper expense reporting? (I'm assuming it isn't a priority to switch is prob major reason but am curious if some other reason).
     
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  18. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    i ask mine all the time. & even w/my corp card I still have to show them receipts.
     
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  19. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

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    Ditto. Some windmills aren't worth charging.
     
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  20. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Last corp I was with, all we had to do for expenses was go online & click on the charges to the corp card that were part of the trip or particular week of expenses, then write a brief explanation if needed (who was at lunch, etc), the hit submit, all electronically, so sweet ! Any paper receipts were scanned & submitted electronically as well.​
    Haven't heard that term, normally my brother in law uses "that's not the hill I want to die on" but that is usually surrounding a disagreement with his wife...:)
     
  21. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    Small office in US -eight travelers (10% of spend) and no corp card (we use personal cc and keep points) believe me I would love to be online/paperless but also have issues w/acctg system integration
     
  22. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I'm sorry maybe it's just me, but considering picking up your ball and going home just 17 nights shy of Lifetime Platinum over a paper receipt seems like grandstanding at best.

    If it was me and it actually bothered me that much I would certainly grin and bear it for 17 more nights, rather than what I would imagine would be starting over with another chain.

    But that's just me.
     
  23. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    It's not really Starwood's problem that you can't keep track of your e-mails, nor is it their problem that you don't want to wait in line for a while.
     
  24. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    Several years ago, I was the Controller for a small company with 100 employes. We had about 20 that traveled regularly. Part of the reason that we never went to an electronic reporting system was the coast of the system. It was not going to save time as we still had to audit every expense report before being paid. I also only had one A/P person, so cutting staff to pay for it was not an option.

    The electronic reporting system has to be able to integrate with Accounts Payable, which then integrates into the General Ledger. These systems are an add-on to the accounting system. For large companies, you have the accounting system integrated with the company wide systems. For smaller companies, accounting is a standalone system.
     
  25. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Lots of negativity in this thread. So I'm going to amend my response.

    I think lots of folks, myself included, prefer the e-mails. Even if I were on a paper expense system, I do a lot of multi-city trips and it would be easier to just print the receipts back at the office after a trip than to try to keep track of them until I get there.

    But if you have a different preference and another brand serves your needs better, then by all means switch. That's what it's all about. Truth is, all of the major brands offer pretty good incentives to the high-volume business traveler. So it's perfectly reasonable to move on to a brand that fits your needs exactly.
     

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