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Old Dec 31, 11, 2:39 am   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: DCA
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Non-refundable award reservation?

I just found a points room available at a cat 4 CY for a special event that is charging $470/night, fully prepaid. Understandably, I got excited, and I went to book it, but when I did, I found that the points reservation had similar terms to the cash reservation:

"Marriott Rewards Redemption, prepay in full, non-refundable if cancelled more than 1 day after booking, eCertificate required prior to check in, You may cancel your reservation for no charge until January 1, 2012. Please note that we will assess a fee if you must cancel after this deadline. If you have made a prepayment, we will retain all or part of your prepayment. If not, we will charge your credit card. This fee equals your room charge plus tax for all the nights of your reservation."

I have the necessary points for the cert tied up in another award reservation that I'm planning to cancel, but I'm wondering what this means. I'm assuming that, if I were to attach a certificate to the reservation, I wouldn't be able to cancel and refund the certificate. But what if I forget to cancel and never order my cert? Will I be charged the full $2,500 regular rate for my reservation? Will my MR account go into the red for the points? Will anything happen at all? I would normally call MR, but this seems like a glitch, and I don't want to call until the reservation is secure.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 5:40 am   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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It is not a glitch. They are allowed to impose restrictions on award reservations as long as they are the same as those for paid reservations.

Vail Marriott, where I've stayed over 250 nights, does this all the time and this practice has been discussed preciously here on FT if you care to do a search.

In Vail's case they have a 45 day cancellation policy for paid and award reservations. I have never had to cancel a reservation so don't know what they would do; I have always assumed they would charge me the going paid rate at the time of default. Note that in the case of the Vail Marriott their cancellation policy does not restrict changes, so I have reduced the number of nights (not in the case of what's discussed in the next paragraph) and also changed the room rate to a lower rate within the 45 day period. Since my reservation was prepaid in full at 45 days out the reduced rate resulted in a credit on my bill which I applied to meals and Spa during my stay.

Vail also used to have a 7 day minimum for holidays, and still may, but I don't go there over holidays. The 7 day minimum applied to both paid and award reservations.

I don't know if any of that helps, but that has been my experience with non-refundable and restricted cancellation policies for both paid and award stays.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 9:53 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaupgrade View Post

Vail Marriott, where I've stayed over 250 nights, does this all the time and this practice has been discussed preciously here on FT if you care to do a search.
From the bottom of my heart I will tell you - that discussion was very precious to me too.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 10:08 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by DillMan View Post
From the bottom of my heart I will tell you - that discussion was very precious to me too.
It's nice when fat finger typos work out, and can be quite embarrassing when they don't.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 2:43 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I've also encountered this with award bookings for the Kentucky Derby.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 4:43 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I'm dealing with exactly this situation during the Olympics this summer.

I'm not really upset about the conditions, but I am annoyed by the confusion.

We visit family in the UK every August, during which time we also spend a few days in London. We'll fly home on August 16 (I am a teacher, so we can't return much later). With the Olympics in London through August 12, our ability to book for points during our stay is seriously compromised. I did, however, find availability at the County Hall starting on the 12th (most other London hotels are blacked out through the entire month, or at least the 13th).

Here's where the weirdness creeps in. The night of the 12th (though not the nights after it) is an advance purchase, non-refundable rewards stay. The language on the website is confusing, to say the least. The reward rules read:
Quote:
Marriott Rewards Redemption, pre-pay in full, non-refundable if canceled more than one day after booking, eCertificate required prior to check in.
and:
Quote:
We will need a credit card pre-payment to reserve your room.
and:
Quote:
Canceling Your Reservation
You may cancel your reservation with no charge until January 2, 2012. Please note that we will assess a fee if you must cancel after this deadline. If you have made a pre-payment, we will retain all or part of your pre-payment. If not, we will charge your credit card. This fee equals your room charge plus tax for all of the nights of your reservation.

Modifying Your Reservation
Please note that a change in the length or dates of your reservation may result in a rate change.
When you start to book your room it reads:
Quote:
Credit Card Information
Use Marriott Rewards points
Points will be deducted for your stay.
Using cash instead of points the rate for the room is 625 GBP.

When I booked the room, my email confirmation read:
Quote:
Modifying Your Reservation
Please note that a change in the length or dates of your reservation may result in a rate change.
To ensure that you receive this special rate, we will charge your credit card a prepayment of 217.74 GBP.
No one from Reservations or Customer Service is able to tell me:

1)Whether the cancellation fee would be 625 GBP + VAT or the 217.74 GBP pre-payment.

2)How and when, assuming I keep the reservation and actually show up, the 217.74 GBP pre-payment will be refunded. Given the difficulty in getting proper MR points from non-US Marriott hotels, I don't have a ton of confidence that I will not be stuck chasing this down.

3)If I am able to get an earlier booking (toward the beginning of August) at the same hotel, whether that would be a MODIFICATION or a CANCELLATION. This is an issue for me because it works out much better for my in-laws if we stay with them at the end of our trip.

A couple of other things that irk me:

1)While the website did say that a credit card was required for pre-payment, it did not say how much would be charged until AFTER I made the reservation. Given that the reservation said that the price was 40k MR points, it was not clear to me that anything would be charged to my card.

2)Given that this event is eight months away, loaning Marriott nearly $350 for that length of time seems like a real added cost to me.

Customer Service says they'll call and clarify tomorrow morning. I hope so, because they also say that I must cancel by January 2 in the UK. That's eight hours less that I have to figure this out and make a decision.

I am not too worried about getting stuck with a 625 GBP + VAT charge if I cancel. I'll simply add a friend's name to the reservation and have her check in for me. She can use the room or not, and I'll happily eat the 40k MR points. I am a lot more concerned about whether I'll ever get the 217.74 GBP pre-payment back.
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Last edited by lexdevil; Jan 1, 12 at 4:49 pm.
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Old Jan 1, 12, 9:35 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaupgrade View Post
It is not a glitch. They are allowed to impose restrictions on award reservations as long as they are the same as those for paid reservations.

In Vail's case they have a 45 day cancellation policy for paid and award reservations. I have never had to cancel a reservation so don't know what they would do; I have always assumed they would charge me the going paid rate at the time of default.

I don't know if any of that helps, but that has been my experience with non-refundable and restricted cancellation policies for both paid and award stays.
I appreciate it. Good to know that this sort of thing is standard, and while we have no intention of canceling, I really would like to know what the consequences are...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lexdevil View Post
No one from Reservations or Customer Service is able to tell me:
1)Whether the cancellation fee would be 625 GBP + VAT or the 217.74 GBP pre-payment.
2)How and when, assuming I keep the reservation and actually show up, the 217.74 GBP pre-payment will be refunded. Given the difficulty in getting proper MR points from non-US Marriott hotels, I don't have a ton of confidence that I will not be stuck chasing this down.
3)If I am able to get an earlier booking (toward the beginning of August) at the same hotel, whether that would be a MODIFICATION or a CANCELLATION. This is an issue for me because it works out much better for my in-laws if we stay with them at the end of our trip.
These are pretty much the same questions I have, except we have neither a cash deposit nor an e-certificate currently attached to the reservation, so I really don't know what the consequences would be...
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Old Jan 2, 12, 9:25 am   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hold it down for The Bay, reppin' Oakland
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Posts: 953
A (good) and surprising clarification from Marriott

Just received this email this morning:
Quote:
Dear lexdevil:

Thank you for contacting Marriott Customer Care. We have forwarded your concerns to the London Marriott Hotel County Hall. I have spoken to Front Office Supervisor XXXXXX this morning and clarified that your Marriott Rewards stay confirmation #XXXXXXXX, scheduled for arrival August 12, 2012 is not an advance purchase. There is not a deposit required and you will not be charged in advance for your stay. I also asked if you could cancel by the standard hotel policy of 1600 hotel time, and was advised yes, this was not an advance purchase. Sorry for the mix-up.

If we can be of further assistance, we invite you to reply to this message.

Thank you for choosing Marriott.

Regards,

XXXXXX

Marriott Guest Experience Supervisor
Very happy with this outcome!
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