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Old Jul 30, 08, 2:56 pm   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahmanbar View Post
First of all, I'm in complete agreement as to a consistent SOP (perhaps the room charge with a multiplier (% of rate?) X the number of days in the reservation.)

But in addition, any SOP should also contain a caveat as to the property's responsibility to have all unexpended/held funds released within a specified time following checkout.

Of course, all of the above should be revealed in the Rate Rules governing reservations made online as well as email confirmations..

Question (as this issue is not going to be addressed overnight and this just occured to me):

For obvious reasons my black MR Visa card is now my cc of choice noted in my profile.

I'm wondering -- if, when I check in and the FD requestsz a CC to swipe, if I handthem my AMEX would that cover the "hold" but still leave the Visa as the card charged on my folio?

Up until recently I've been using AMEX so this never was an issue.
SOPs work for me. Maybe MarriottConcierge can pass along the feedback to the powers that be at HQ.

Also, the room+multiplier+nights or whatever formula they come up w/ is fine, as long as we know what it is & can plan accordingly. And it should be reasonable expectations of expenditures, not significantly higher. On properties that there are no additional incidentals such as FI, SHS, etc, the hold should simply be just room+tax for whatever the # of nights is. At those properties there is no reason to do an 'additional' hold.

Re: your question. I 'think' that it leaves the Visa as the card charged, but that's a guess. I don't normally change cards.

The reason I 'think' it is a couple of years ago is that at the AMS Marriott I had made the reservation w/ the card that was in my profile. The reservation had been made months in advance, but in the interim I cancelled that account & got a new one. When I checked in I gave them the new card to swipe/authorize the hold (which went through). When I went to check out, it kept saying denied which was driving me crazy at 5:00am. I had checked the balance the night before on the card. There was plenty of credit. The front desk kept trying/kept getting declined. I called back to the US to the cc company & got them on the line. They confirmed I had the available credit & even talked to the front desk staff confirming. Front desk kept saying it's declined. CC co is confused, as am I (and me getting nervous about making my flight). Finally I heard the front desk mention the account # & when I heard the last 4-digits I realized they were going off the card that was associated w/ the reservation when it was made, even though I gave them a dif card at check-in. Once we realized that they swiped the new card in & I was able to check out. I don't know if that's a 1-off particular to that property or that's the way the system works.

BTW - I always wondered what would have happened if we hadn't figured it out. Would the bellman tackle me & take me to the kitchen to wash dishes? Thank goodness we did & I was able to make my flight (although the cab driver stuck me w/ a 'waiting fee' cuz it took so long to sort out).

Cheers.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 7:03 pm   #17
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For full service properties (I've never worked with the FOSSE system at limited/select service properties so can't speak for them) the credit card you give at checkin will be the default credit card used when the agent checks you out of the system. HOWEVER both cards will still be on file so if the card you held the reservation on is the card you want to be charged at checkout, there is no need to give that card again, just let the front desk agent know that the original card is the one you want charged.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 7:39 pm   #18
 
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Add me to the list of those who'd like to see some sort of standardization to the credit card hold policy. One approach might be calculate a standard percentage to go on top of room/tax to be added at check in....then "topped up" if/when the level of room charges dictate during the course of the stay.

Also, it may be my imagination, but I get the impression that the FS hotels are lately helping themselves to bigger (and less "realistic") authorizations. (Heck of a business when you can just nick customers credit cards for whatever you want, and then let them find out about it later!)

And yes, I've seen the little signs at a few front desks explaining the policy.
(As for Amex.... The fact that its my least favorite card is basically what makes this an issue in the first place.)

Last edited by cyberdad; Jul 30, 08 at 7:44 pm..
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Old Jul 30, 08, 8:23 pm   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldoggolfer05 View Post
For full service properties (I've never worked with the FOSSE system at limited/select service properties so can't speak for them) the credit card you give at checkin will be the default credit card used when the agent checks you out of the system. HOWEVER both cards will still be on file so if the card you held the reservation on is the card you want to be charged at checkout, there is no need to give that card again, just let the front desk agent know that the original card is the one you want charged.

Well not always true. In my case of the AMS Marriott I gave them a dif credit card at check-in from the profile & THAT's what I expected to be charged. When the guy at check-out said, do you want us to charge it to the same card I said yes, EXPECTING it to be charged to that card - not to the one that I had used to reserve it/in my profile 9 months earlier! That's what created the angst, me worrying about washing dishes, missing my flight, & incurring overseas telephone charges back to the cc co, who actually talked to the front desk (for which I did not get reimbursed).

Maybe Marriott properties need to start being more specific at check-out - ie, do you want it charged to card xxxx which you used at check-in or card # xxx, which is on your profile?

Cheers.
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Old Jul 30, 08, 8:28 pm   #20
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Originally Posted by cyberdad View Post
Add me to the list of those who'd like to see some sort of standardization to the credit card hold policy. One approach might be calculate a standard percentage to go on top of room/tax to be added at check in....then "topped up" if/when the level of room charges dictate during the course of the stay.

Also, it may be my imagination, but I get the impression that the FS hotels are lately helping themselves to bigger (and less "realistic") authorizations. (Heck of a business when you can just nick customers credit cards for whatever you want, and then let them find out about it later!)

And yes, I've seen the little signs at a few front desks explaining the policy.
(As for Amex.... The fact that its my least favorite card is basically what makes this an issue in the first place.)

I agree w/ the above & before some FTers come on saying hey, there's a card at the front desk, let us remind them that it's RARE for that to occur. Almost as rare as BigFoot...

Speaking only for myself, I'm tired of big holds (especially overseas) & I'm definitely tired of 7-day drop-offs (I've timed them on overseas), but I'm also tired of the inconsistencies on US properties, although for the most part their holds aren't 'quite' as onorous as int'l and don't last as long.

I never used to check my cc's after check-in for holds/available amounts until getting nicked a few times. Now I do it cuz truthfully I never know what is going to be put on there, and I can no longer 'assume'.

Give us a consistent policy & give us resonable amounts of holds & reasonable times of holds.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 11:30 am   #21
 
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I think it might be now wise to carry an "empty" non-Marriott credit card to be swiped at check-in and then make a (formerly unnecessary) stop at the front desk at check-out and switch the folio over to my Marriott Rewards card. Makes more work for everyone involved but at least you won't have to worry about running out of limit on the card that counts, the MR point earning one.

Last summer right before vacation, an auto repair shop blew a decimal place and hit my MR card for $21,000 instead of $2,100. (This is was on a 10 year old mini van and not my Ferrari)

Even though I saw the charge hit within a few days and immediately called the shop to reverse it, it still took weeks to correct. Chase was useless, offered no sympathy and wanted me to fill out many forms. Had I needed to use it for a hotel, I would have been SOL.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 1:05 pm   #22
 
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I just utilized the FT email facility to request one of the Marriott Concierges to please review this thread and weigh in on this issue.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 1:37 pm   #23
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Originally Posted by rahmanbar View Post
I just utilized the FT email facility to request one of the Marriott Concierges to please review this thread and weigh in on this issue.

Thanks! I was thinking of doing the same. You beat me to it. I think at minimum they should forward to the appropriate managers our input.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 2:32 pm   #24
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Thank you rahmanbar for sending a personal message alerting me to this thread. I am sorry to say I had overlooked it. I hope this answers your questions.

The hold is determined by sum of three factors, the length of stay, room rate and tax, and something called the incidental factor. The first two are simple math, you take your room rate and tax and multiple it by the number of nights you will be staying. However the incidental factor is less constant. This amount is based on the typical spending habits of the property’s guests. This means you can expect to have a much larger hold at a resort location than you would typically have at an Airport location because guest tended to spend a lot more on incidentals. Likewise guests typically spend more at certain international locations than at many domestic locations.

Once the incidental factor is created, like Socrates said, there is no human determination of what the hold amount will be. The hold is determined and processed by the hotels system based on the factors mentioned above.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 3:14 pm   #25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marriott Concierge View Post
Thank you rahmanbar for sending a personal message alerting me to this thread. I am sorry to say I had overlooked it. I hope this answers your questions.

The hold is determined by sum of three factors, the length of stay, room rate and tax, and something called the incidental factor. The first two are simple math, you take your room rate and tax and multiple it by the number of nights you will be staying. However the incidental factor is less constant. This amount is based on the typical spending habits of the property’s guests. This means you can expect to have a much larger hold at a resort location than you would typically have at an Airport location because guest tended to spend a lot more on incidentals. Likewise guests typically spend more at certain international locations than at many domestic locations.

Once the incidental factor is created, like Socrates said, there is no human determination of what the hold amount will be. The hold is determined and processed by the hotels system based on the factors mentioned above.
Thanks for the prompt reply but what you've stated begs two questions from me (others may have additional ones).

Since the amount is determined (automatically) at the property level via an arithmetical formula and automatically "processed by the hotel's system" it would appear that the amount that would be "put on hold" could be calculated at the time an online reservation is made and included in the rate rules (or as new or in a different category).

Secondly, and this gets to the heart of the issue that's arisen in this thread -- "How long before that "hold" will be released and again become available on the guest's credit card?

After all, if it's reasonable and prudent to process a "hold" (and IMO it certainly is), once checkout is complete shouldn't the hold be released in a timely fashion (in other words before several days have elapsed)?

After all, the hotel would still have a record of the cc number of the card that was used when booking that could be charged in the event of "surprise" late charges..

I hope that Marriott realizes that unnecessarily long holds have severe impact on guests, particularly the ones that Marriott proclaims they regard so highly? (And I think they truly do.)

I think the "hold length" is something that Marriott should analyze so as to establish a uniform ome (including it on confirmations) for all Marriott-flagged properties.

Thank you.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 3:20 pm   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marriott Concierge View Post
Thank you rahmanbar for sending a personal message alerting me to this thread. I am sorry to say I had overlooked it. I hope this answers your questions.

The hold is determined by sum of three factors, the length of stay, room rate and tax, and something called the incidental factor. The first two are simple math, you take your room rate and tax and multiple it by the number of nights you will be staying. However the incidental factor is less constant. This amount is based on the typical spending habits of the property’s guests. This means you can expect to have a much larger hold at a resort location than you would typically have at an Airport location because guest tended to spend a lot more on incidentals. Likewise guests typically spend more at certain international locations than at many domestic locations.

Once the incidental factor is created, like Socrates said, there is no human determination of what the hold amount will be. The hold is determined and processed by the hotels system based on the factors mentioned above.
Marriott Concierge, a few things:

* I've stayed at the Ren LHR on single night stays (Sat night on the same rate) multiple times & the hold has been different each time, so I'm still not quite buying the there is no human intervention part.

Also, if someone is staying at limited service property that has no incidentals in which case factors #1&2 apply but not #3, why is there an additional hold on them, such as I experienced when I stayed at at the Springhill Suites to attend the Freddies in April?

Also, some other FTers give examples of human intervention as well.

* Your guests should NOT have to 'guess' on what holds are, especially since it varies by properties. To me it:

a) should be added to the reservation confirmation. The res conf already shows room+tax totals. A line should be added that says this property also puts a XX additional hold for incidentals, whether that be per night or overall.

People have a right to know what amount of their available credit is going to be put on hold so they can plan accordingly, and that includes the incidental hold.

b) have a sign at the properties where it mentions holds (ie, room rate+tax and XX) at the front desk, as VA1739 mentions the Fairfax Marriott does.

* I'm not sure if it's the hotel or the cc, but I think holds of 7 days is longer than what it should be, whether initial hold at check-in or after check-out.

Last year when I only brought 1 cc w/ me to the AMS Marriott, I had calculated room+tax+exchange rate & what I thought a reasonable hold would be, which also left me an available $1,000 for any meals at off-property restaurants. It wasn't until I checked my cc available credit in the cc that I discovered the $1,000 hold, which meant I had nothing available. Now my bad because I only brought one card. But I was not told on the reservation or at the front desk about the 75E/night hold. And I was sweating bullets because I needed the 'hold' to drop off before I checked out, because I did have the available credit for the stay, but not if the card was run through a second time (ie, a "double" hold). It dropped off on day 8 & luckily I was departing day 9. But I didn't know what I'd do if it hadn't or what the hotel would do.

* Also, I would appreciate it if you would pass the contents of this thread along to the appropirate management at HQ so they're aware of our concerns/issues, or provide a name so that we can write ourselves.

Thank you.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 3:34 pm   #27
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rahmanbar View Post
Thanks for the prompt reply but what you've stated begs two questions from me (others may have additional ones).

Since the amount is determined (automatically) at the property level via an arithmetical formula and automatically "processed by the hotel's system" it would appear that the amount that would be "put on hold" could be calculated at the time an online reservation is made and included in the rate rules (or as new or in a different category).

Secondly, and this gets to the heart of the issue that's arisen in this thread -- "How long before that "hold" will be released and again become available on the guest's credit card?

After all, if it's reasonable and prudent to process a "hold" (and IMO it certainly is), once checkout is complete shouldn't the hold be released in a timely fashion (in other words before several days have elapsed)?

After all, the hotel would still have a record of the cc number of the card that was used when booking that could be charged in the event of "surprise" late charges..

I hope that Marriott realizes that unnecessarily long holds have severe impact on guests, particularly the ones that Marriott proclaims they regard so highly? (And I think they truly do.)

I think the "hold length" is something that Marriott should analyze so as to establish a uniform ome (including it on confirmations) for all Marriott-flagged properties.

Thank you.
I would like to second what Rahmanbar just posted. I, too, "discovered" a $700 hold at a property last year. ($100 per night for 7 nights). Fortunately, it did not impact my trip, but that is simply not the issue here. I have several friends who would have been severely affected by such a hold, and since that time I have told everyone I know who travels, or who is going to travel, to beware "the hold". It's not just the "hold" itself, it's the fact that we are never, in advance, told the amount of the hold. It simply should be a part of the online reservation process. I resent my money held in such a way. Now I realize that my travel habits may not be the same as many on this board, but I can't remember the last time I billed anything to my room. I know the property wants to protect itself, but $100 a day for incidentals, give me a break. I have not always been popular for the following action I have taken at checkin, but this practice so annoys me here is what I do if I am feeling cranky over this matter. I will simply tell the front desk clerk that I am paying cash, and will pay with cash. Most of the time if I am at a property where I am known, that is the end of it. At other properties when I am asked for my credit card even after paying cash, I politely refuse to give it to the clerk. (for this purpose my credit card on file used to hold the reservation is always kept at an extraordinarily low limit unlike the other cards I have which I refuse to let the property "swipe".) I nicely explain that I never use the room phone for calls (why would I with my cell phone here in the US or with Skype overseas?) I also tell them that I am not the least bit interested in in-room movies for purchase. I then offer a token amount, say $100 cash as a deposit if they feel it is necessary, and at ckeckout I will retrieve my cash deposit. Most of the time my offer is declined and that is the end of it. Only once, the other day, did I have to call the Platinum Premier line when the front desk clerk was still hassling me about giving her my credit card. I told the PP Desk that I was being refused checkin, and the PP Desk instructed the clerk to check me in without further ado, and that was done. As I said, I do not object to some "reasonable" amount of deposit, and while I realize we can disagree on what is "reasonable", I would submit that $100/daily is not reasonable. I won't quarrel with anyone here who thinks that $100/daily is reasonable, but that's just my opinion. As I said, it's not so much a matter of the money with me, it just riles me up how companies think they can just tie up your funds like they do.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 4:20 pm   #28
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One property I stayed at recently (which one slips my mind at the moment) held $250/night in incidentals for a room rate of only $100/night...
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Old Jul 31, 08, 5:13 pm   #29
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Originally Posted by waltinsocal View Post
It's not just the "hold" itself, it's the fact that we are never, in advance, told the amount of the hold. It simply should be a part of the online reservation process.
* Totally agree. It's hard to plan when you don't know the amount & when it varies by property. The information should be made part of the reservation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldoggolfer05 View Post
One property I stayed at recently (which one slips my mind at the moment) held $250/night in incidentals for a room rate of only $100/night...
* And I had similar at the Ren LHR one time. Room rate was 55GBP ($110US) & they put an additional 250GBP ($500US) hold on it for a single night stay. I was expecting a reasonable hold along the lines of 25-30GBP max 50, but 250 for a single night on a 55GBP rate. Ridiculous.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 31, 08, 5:27 pm   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldoggolfer05 View Post
One property I stayed at recently (which one slips my mind at the moment) held $250/night in incidentals for a room rate of only $100/night...
Outrageous, and there is NO justification for this. Now I don't feel even slightly bad for my cash workaround described in my post several posts back. I have spent over 2000 nights at Marriotts around the world, and am closing on 3,000,000 points. I don't steal from Marriott properties as regards incidentals and simply won't have these properties jacking around with my money in the name of authorizing some of the holds that have been described here. If the front desk wants to fight with me a checkin, so be it.
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