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Old Mar 28, 11, 4:29 am   #16
 
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Wait, I didnt understand, when I have points or Cash+points stay, will that save my account from violent closing or not?
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Old Mar 28, 11, 5:06 am   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richey66 View Post
Wait, I didnt understand, when I have points or Cash+points stay, will that save my account from violent closing or not?
Nope. Award stays do not count for the purpose of keeping your account active. It's pretty clearly discussed in the FAQ.

US$10 of spending on F&B (during an award stay or anytime) will count as activity to keep an account open, though.

As for whether the closing would be violent, I can't say. I am almost certain that the SPG IT gurus are all pacifists. There is a 6 month grace period to reactivate an inactive account and recover the "forfeited" Starpoints, IIUC.
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Old Mar 30, 11, 6:39 pm   #18
 
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker II View Post
A member would not be able to log into his online account if his SPG account has expired.

In my opinion, this member might have stayed at one of our properties recently and the property might have re-activated his account by trying to post the relevant stays in that account.

I am making wild guesses over here. Only if the member is willing to share his account details over PM would I be able to provide any further advice.

apguest.forum@starwoodhotels.com

Thyetus Lee | Social Media Specialist
Starwood Customer Contact Centre (AP) Pte Ltd
This is correct -- that's what happened. And I've now been able to read the other thread that was linked in a post above, and I've read, thanks to that thread, the Starwood rules about all this.

I am even more convinced than before that Starwood is being sneaky and unfair about this. As revealed in the other thread, the language in the rules and Starwood's e-mails are inconsistent, and I almost laughed out loud when a Starwood Lurker rep posting here said he didn't see any inconsistency between "calendar year" and "12 months". The rep also was totally unsympathetic to people who posted questions like "if I tranfer American Express Rewards points to my Starwood account just before the account expires, will I lose those transferred points?".

Further, I just think it is terrible customer relations to do this without giving people warnings/notices that the account or points will expire or be forfeited. As others have pointed out, such a notice -- besides being fair and consistent with the way other programs handle this issue -- could get people to make reservations at a Starwood property that they otherwise might not make, as well as generating goodwill.

Simpoly put, it seems to me that Starwood wants your points to expire. I don't get that vibe from the other programs I'm in.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 5:19 am   #19
 
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Actually, Starwood wants you to stay at their properties again and again, which is why they give you these points.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 5:42 am   #20
 
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Originally Posted by Out of my Element View Post
Actually, Starwood wants you to stay at their properties again and again, which is why they give you these points.
Yes, but wouldn't they usually benefit best if you pay for your stay with cash rather than points? Isn't there a financial gain (or reduction of liabilities) if points were to expire? (It's actually pretty difficult to answer this question because it's way more complicated than this.)

I really don't understand why SPG would want to close an "inactive" account so quickly. It's unusual in the hotel business. I have accounts with other hotel brands that I haven't stayed at in years, but I still get their marketing offers to keep them on my mind and my few points still stick around for whenever I build them up to a suitable level. And since I'm on the verge of finally getting enough points for an award, I'm tempted to complete that one or two additional stays that I need to get to such a goal.

I think that many infrequent guest are turned off by SPG because they've lost previously their Starpoints due to inactivity. Why bother participating in SPG if they know that they are unlikely to stay at a Starwood property frequently enough to keep their account open?

This mindset about account status abandons less frequent leisure travelers, frequent leisure travelers who have greater loyalty to another hotel chain, frequent business travelers who currently have greater loyalty to another hotel chain, and frequent business travelers who are temporarily assigned to a project without an SPG option. Especially for those last two categories, why would SPG choose to abandon those customers so easily?

What is SPG's reason for closing accounts so quickly? Is it an antiquated reason made 12+ years ago based on old technology limitations of their databases? Is it an attempt to save on postage? Something else?
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Old Mar 31, 11, 7:29 am   #21
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc flier View Post
Yes, but wouldn't they usually benefit best if you pay for your stay with cash rather than points? Isn't there a financial gain (or reduction of liabilities) if points were to expire? (It's actually pretty difficult to answer this question because it's way more complicated than this.)

I really don't understand why SPG would want to close an "inactive" account so quickly. It's unusual in the hotel business. I have accounts with other hotel brands that I haven't stayed at in years, but I still get their marketing offers to keep them on my mind and my few points still stick around for whenever I build them up to a suitable level. And since I'm on the verge of finally getting enough points for an award, I'm tempted to complete that one or two additional stays that I need to get to such a goal.

I think that many infrequent guest are turned off by SPG because they've lost previously their Starpoints due to inactivity. Why bother participating in SPG if they know that they are unlikely to stay at a Starwood property frequently enough to keep their account open?

This mindset about account status abandons less frequent leisure travelers, frequent leisure travelers who have greater loyalty to another hotel chain, frequent business travelers who currently have greater loyalty to another hotel chain, and frequent business travelers who are temporarily assigned to a project without an SPG option. Especially for those last two categories, why would SPG choose to abandon those customers so easily?

What is SPG's reason for closing accounts so quickly? Is it an antiquated reason made 12+ years ago based on old technology limitations of their databases? Is it an attempt to save on postage? Something else?
Actually this is NOT unique to SPG. Have you checked out the long whiny thread on Hilton's forum about expiration of points? HHonors policy is ONE YEAR, granted awards do count. But they also do not notify.

It's hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn't read the T&C and then complains about it. I'm a leisure traveler and I know the terms. I've also had points from other hotel programs expire, all without notice.
In the end, it is YOUR responsibility to keep track of your accounts, not the program's. If you have trouble, you can always use one of the consolidator sites, like awardwallet.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 7:59 am   #22
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelinfoo View Post
Actually this is NOT unique to SPG. Have you checked out the long whiny thread on Hilton's forum about expiration of points? HHonors policy is ONE YEAR, granted awards do count. But they also do not notify.
Nope. I haven't checked out the long whiny thread in Hilton's forum. I would guess that it's similar to this one since the HHonors T&Cs are unfortunately pretty similar to SPG's. (Who stole from who, I wonder?) I have a Hilton HHonors Amex to keep that account moving even if I don't stay with them constantly. Just because Hilton does the same, doesn't make it right.

Quote:
It's hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn't read the T&C and then complains about it.
I don't feel sorry for someone for failing to read the T&Cs. I do feel sorry for someone who searches the T&Cs for what seems to be reasonable terms ("expire" or "expiration") only to later find that the program instead used the terms "forfeit" and "close." I do feel sorry for someone who is misled by the marketing department to think that no expiration date means that their points will not be taken from them. The folks at SPG have known for years that this is a problem but still fail to fix it properly.

Quote:
I'm a leisure traveler and I know the terms. I've also had points from other hotel programs expire, all without notice.
If you knew better, I guess it wasn't worth preventing.

Quote:
In the end, it is YOUR responsibility to keep track of your accounts, not the program's.
I didn't say otherwise. I just believe that the hotel companies should be more responsible to make the terms easier to fully understand.

"there is no Starpoints expiration date for active members."
--Starwood Press Release

SPG has an FAQ for their program. Why is this topic not on it?
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Old Mar 31, 11, 8:06 am   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelinfoo View Post
Actually this is NOT unique to SPG. Have you checked out the long whiny thread on Hilton's forum about expiration of points? HHonors policy is ONE YEAR, granted awards do count. But they also do not notify.

It's hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn't read the T&C and then complains about it. I'm a leisure traveler and I know the terms. I've also had points from other hotel programs expire, all without notice.
In the end, it is YOUR responsibility to keep track of your accounts, not the program's. If you have trouble, you can always use one of the consolidator sites, like awardwallet.
Yeah thanks to that guy he now is more informed since he quite obviously didnt know the HH points expiration is after one years inactivity perhaps a message of appreciation to the OP is in order.

As per my observationit a high percentage of program members here seem to take this elite stuff to mean that there is really no need the read the program T & C.
"Elite.. we now most important customer" translation.. the hotel program becomes your personal kindergarden teacher, need to be informed by the hotel about local time changes, need to be told it might be hard to get a taxi on NYD etc etc etc

Like any or every agreement I have with any entity I make it a point to read
most of the rules governing the relationship. Too lazy or self-important?
You get what you deserve.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 8:13 am   #24
 
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Whether it's clearly stated or not, is it in the brand's best interest to enforce a 12-month expiration policy? Is it in the brand's best interest to not make it easy to quickly find and understand the policy?
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Old Mar 31, 11, 9:33 am   #25
 
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Sneaky it is

I think that the Starwood policy is indeed "sneaky" because:
1) Most importantly, there is no expiration date shown on the user's screen.
2) The T & C definition of "active" is at odds with the English meaning of the word. Any activity involving earning or using points should count.
3) Searches of the T & C for "expire" or "expiration" do not lead to the actual expiration policy.
4) Starwood is more problematic than Hilton because Starwood has nothing like the ubiquitous Hampton Inns and Embassy Suites that Hilton has.

As a matter of good policy, I would think that Starwood would want to keep all those customers who were interested enough to (1) use the web site and (2) perform some activity. As far as (3) no one has the time to read all the fine print on every T & C for everything they do. The lawyers intentionally make things difficult to read. Good management would rein in the lawyers on hiding things in the fine print - customers are not opponents in a zero sum game. I hope the Starwood lurker passes this back to management.

Meanwhile, the work around for those lucky enough to qualify is to use the associate credit cards, you can PM (include real name & e-mail) for a referral to either the Starwood SPG or the Hilton card.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 4:45 pm   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelinfoo View Post
Actually this is NOT unique to SPG. Have you checked out the long whiny thread on Hilton's forum about expiration of points? HHonors policy is ONE YEAR, granted awards do count. But they also do not notify.
Some HHonors members do get notified by Hilton about upcoming expiration of points.
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Old Apr 3, 11, 11:42 pm   #27
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olddallas View Post
I
4) Starwood is more problematic than Hilton because Starwood has nothing like the ubiquitous Hampton Inns and Embassy Suites that Hilton has.

and also because every single activity with Hilton counts ( Amex, e-rewards, e-miles transfers). I can not do this with my Starwood account.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 2:58 am   #28
 
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Jeez people, all it takes is one (1) measly stay a year. If average activity is below that, surely the value of existing points expiring can't be too dramatic either ?
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Old Apr 4, 11, 4:14 am   #29
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Originally Posted by KittyCat View Post
Jeez people, all it takes is one (1) measly stay a year. If average activity is below that, surely the value of existing points expiring can't be too dramatic either ?
It doesn't even take that much.

Still, I've seen various accounts with more than 300,000 SPG points almost get hit by expiration -- if it weren't for (sometimes rather creative) intervention, they'd go up in smoke. Losing that many points or even less than 10% of that amount can be a rather dramatic surprise for some.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 6:12 am   #30
 
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Originally Posted by KittyCat View Post
Jeez people, all it takes is one (1) measly stay a year. If average activity is below that, surely the value of existing points expiring can't be too dramatic either ?
Would you be happy if your airline asks you for one (1) measly flight a year?

The majority of FF and hotel programs allow you keep your account, even with some points or miles expiring after a certain period. There are reasonable ways to extend or prevent expiration, such as using some of their partners offer, buying points, etc.

The only exceptions I know are : A-Club (Accor) and SPG. At least A-Club clearly states it in their T&C and they consistently remove the points after 1 year of inactivity.
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