Open Letter to Marriott Leadership

Old Aug 25, 2018, 4:42 pm
  #1  
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Open Letter to Marriott Leadership

Letís face it - major system changes donít always go the way they should go. Yes more testing, risk analysis, beta groups, etc should always be done. But sometimes it still just doesnít go right. And employees or worse customers are impacted. The problem here is that youíre not being transparent as to the problem, what our current experience is, and what youíre doing about it. . Will I permanently lose loads of points that are currently missing? Missing stays or status? When I called customer service they had no idea. The status.marriott.com was incorrect.

A ďyes we messed up, and youíre impacted this way, weíre working around the clock on this, and weíll give you updates at least once a day ď would go a long way. Without this weíre left to guess, complain, and assume no one has their act together. Please be transparent with us.. we all know things donít always go right...and set the foundation for a great merger.

I took a southwest flight recently where the multi hour delay was clearly southwests fault. Before I got home I had an apology note in my email and a small credit for a future flight. Nicely done by sw.

Last edited by azoomee; Jul 27, 2019 at 4:38 pm
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 5:05 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by azoomee
And employees or worse customers are impacted.
But what about better customers?

When writing an "open letter", you will never be taken seriously with grammatical errors like this. (I count at least eight, but this is the worst one.)
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 5:16 pm
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While I understand that some people are really upset because of major issues with their account, I am not one of them. My lifetime status is messed up, but my points and yearly status are fine. I have shifted my stays to Hilton since July, and will come back to Marriott when things settle down. I haven't tried to merge my accounts, either.

Forgiveness is good for the soul. There are bigger things in my life to worry about than this.
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 5:23 pm
  #4  
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Maybe use twitter to get some attention?

Yes, transparency is the biggest issue. Under SPG, we had a really great Lurker Team. Marriott really distanced itself with FT after the EEO Weekend Coupon move many years ago.

Even on https://insiders.marriottrewards.com...-conversations , there does not seem to be a lot of updates...and there is a survey that is interesting: https://insiders.marriottrewards.com/polls/1884
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by jeanie
While I understand that some people are really upset because of major issues with their account, I am not one of them. My lifetime status is messed up, but my points and yearly status are fine. I have shifted my stays to Hilton since July, and will come back to Marriott when things settle down. I haven't tried to merge my accounts, either.

Forgiveness is good for the soul. There are bigger things in my life to worry about than this.
I think for those who do not have the luxury you have or need points transferred to book an airline award, it is a big problem.
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 6:16 pm
  #6  
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Clearly tone-deaf, do you think Marriott leadership even knows they have egg on their face with this poorly executed transition?

(Talking about sudden loss of perks, poor disclosure on things like travel packages while giving us the crappy Marriott mobile app in addition to the IT woes).
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by jeanie
While I understand that some people are really upset because of major issues with their account, I am not one of them. My lifetime status is messed up, but my points and yearly status are fine. I have shifted my stays to Hilton since July, and will come back to Marriott when things settle down. I haven't tried to merge my accounts, either.

Forgiveness is good for the soul. There are bigger things in my life to worry about than this.
As a Marriott stockholder, I don't WANT you shifting your stays to Hilton. That is why honest, open communications is so important...and why I am disappointment in Marriott. I've been following this saga as both a guest (where I didn't get the proper status treatment on a stay) and as someone with over 1 million points (which I don't want to have messed up), but most importantly as a long term investor in Marriott. A couple of days ago, I wrote: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/star...l#post30122036

Alexandra/other Lurkers. Respectfully, you need to get management to understand the importance of much more communication of overall status and acknowledgement of issues being mentioned here and on other platforms. Status.Marriott.com gives a cheery picture, yet there are hundreds upon hundreds of posts here of people who have missing points, incorrect status, reservations that have disappeared, and so on. By not having ONGOING communications, people are left in the dark as to whether their problem is known and will be fixed, or whether they will ever have a fix.

I say this as someone who has been a stockholder of Marriott since 1990, and even today I have over $50K in Marriott stock. (This doesn't count all of the spinoff's over the years.) So I, like you, want the merger to succeed and Marriott to succeed. But I am getting quite worried not only about my accounts combining correctly, but also my investment in Marriott. I know the integration work on the merge of the I/T is massive (that is my background), but the communications to your most loyal customers MUST be better.
That is the real problem here. Yes, things are never perfect on a major I/T migration project like this. But the communications from Marriott have been woeful. I can understand that both support staff and management are likely overwhelmed with the amount of call volume. I believe a decent portion of that could be eliminated if only there were more forthright acknowledgement of issues that people are encountering.

As an aside, while I am "retired" now (not really, as I teach college level computer science full time), I spent a good number of years as a "fixer", i.e. someone who was called into I/T projects that were failing. I've seen things like this before, and careers ruined because I/T management were not prepared and more importantly did not have a good plan to fix issues and communicate to their users. The good news here is that I have a great case study for my students to investigate for a Systems Analysis & Design class.
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 7:39 pm
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An "open letter" will not get any traction. MR abandoned FT years ago. Yes, there have been random posting by MarriottConcierge but no responses to any posts, so just a drive-by post, maybe even done by the SPG Lurkers on their behalf. You can try posting on Marriott Insiders, but they control that site and your post is likely to disappear if considered anti-Marriott. Maybe if you can get one of the bloggers to pick it up, but as reported elsewhere, even they seem to have gone silent on all things Marriott (funny what funding can do). Unfortunately, FT is a very small percentage of MR/SPG population,so even if we all walked away, I doubt MR would notice, except for the quieter customer base.
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 10:04 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by RogerD408
You can try posting on Marriott Insiders, but they control that site and your post is likely to disappear if considered anti-Marriott.
Nope. The Marriott presence has gone silent there, too.

All very shameful.
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 11:22 pm
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People are much too impatient, expecting a magic wand to be waved and all changes are made..good lord, it’s only been a week or two!
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by boss315
People are much too impatient, expecting a magic wand to be waved and all changes are made..good lord, itís only been a week or two!
I think you are being too patient The problems are:

1 - they had a long time to plan this so it is not just a magic wand
2 - they are not communicating effectively with the customers on all the issues - not here, not on their own sites

Some people have points to transfer to book airline trips, some people have statuses to achieve with the merged accounts, etc.

What I am curious to see is how this will impact Q3 numbers.
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Old Aug 25, 2018, 11:37 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by username
ISome people have points to transfer to book airline trips, some people have statuses to achieve with the merged accounts, etc.
Yes, some people are having their plans substantially impacted in various ways.

While at the end of the day it is just a hotel loyalty program, we obviously take this stuff pretty seriously around here

Originally Posted by username
What I am curious to see is how this will impact Q3 numbers.
Unfortunately, I suspect the impact will be minimal. Whether there's lasting damage to the brand is a different question, but I suspect that will be minimal as well. People have limited choices and short memories.
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Old Aug 26, 2018, 12:27 am
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Originally Posted by username
2 - they are not communicating effectively with the customers on all the issues - not here, not on their own sites
They are not communicating at all. If the kitchen screwed up your order and the waiter tells you upfront it got screwed up and wonít be coming out for a bit itís usually ok, but if they know they screwed it up and donít say anything to you and finally bring the wrong order out 30 min later than you are usually pissed xxF.

Marriott leadership is way past the point of P.O. a large number of folks. They should have fallen on the sword days ago and said there will be a nightly update email or a nightly update webpage you can go to to see whatís been fixed and whatís still be worked on. Knowing your missing points, or stays, or point refund issues are being actively worked on, versus no idea whatsoever what is being worked on are dramatically different customer panic levels.

No one is collecting this data to give to Marriott like the Starwood Lurkers did for us during the pre-changeover
process. My guess is this is 99.9% us venting and itís going nowhere up the chain at Marriott.

The biggest joke is the Marriott loyalty person doing that interview a couple days ago saying everything went great with the two programs merging onto one.

Heck us SPG ers got our message thru to Marriott about Platinum Lifetime status, thanks in great part to the Starwood Lurkers here on FT and some well connected FT members, there must be a way to get this message thru to someone in a power position at Marriott.

The suggestion of bad press/media and people ready to revolt is usually enough to get something fixed, repaired, changed, updated, talked about.

Maybe someone can post JW jrs and Arneís email addresses so we can all let them know directly how the program merger isnít working and how the head in sand attitude instead of open communication to the membership is getting folks really upset.
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Old Aug 26, 2018, 8:14 am
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They are not communicating , not answering questions , and forcing folks to call in and suffer ridiculous phone hold times . Has anyone emailed any of the execs ? If so , have you gotten a reply ?
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Old Aug 26, 2018, 8:37 am
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The merger has impacted my travel. I have not been able to make or modify reservations as needed. I also had issues where I was not sure of the location of a property. The web site was not working and phone lines were not answered. I ended up calling all the Aloft locations in a city to determine which location my reservation was at.

The lack of customer service and training has been evident, if and when I have gotten through. I have been very disappointed on how Marriott has supported their customers through this merger. I have been staying primarily at Hilton locations for the past few weeks and hope Marriott fixes their issues quickly.
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