Disappointed in Marriott

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Old Aug 26, 18, 1:36 pm
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Disappointed in Marriott

NOTE: Part of this is cross-posted in the miles buzz forum.

So as we all knew for a while the days would come when SPG evaporated and became part of yet another all-controlling psuedo-monopoly, the shock still hit me much in the same way one might feel when the occupying army really does march through your town.

Like many, I scrambled to make future reservations using any SPG points and went and earned a boat load when the 3:1 rate existed. I currently have well over 1.2 mil Marriott points and Platinum status good at least til Dec. I am likely to attain it for next year as well with all the nights we have booked already. I even made cash reservations assuming one could later convert them to points res if and where doable. And that's my biggest beef, which I already knew and which many knew, but many Marriott people did not know or care about or realize --until now:

Here's an example... It's like mid June. Wife says, hey, next April school vacation let's use some of them points you have and do a trip! (April school vacation for us happens pretty much from Thursday, Aoril 11 to monday, April 22 2019 (so we are very flexibale as to when we do stays in that time period).

Now we have done this many times before... this past year I used SPG points to book Maui for 6 nights. The year before we did Cayman Islands--and had been there a bunch of times prior (we stopped going when their awful resort fees went up to like $65 a night because that hotel is a franchised property which do those things more aggressively than others).

With SPG, if a room was available, you could pretty much get it with points. With Marriott that aint so true.
  • They have peak seasons (which will be relative to where you are going and activities in that region)
  • They have many black outs
  • They have capacity controls
  • And they are huge and rich so they don't have to release sh*t!
So back in mid June when I tried to book ANYTHING in ANY Greek Isle, which I had been to before using SPG points in other years, there was NOTHING available at all! Nothing!
SPG (and Marriott) let you book 1 year in advance minus 2 weeks. Ok so we were a couple months in, but come on. Nothing? Really?

We did book some cash reservations... oh yeah like I said you can totally do that! But nothing was available with points.

And I called and checked and called and checked... and did this up to and on August 18 when everything really did switch to Marriott for real, and even in the past week when their two systems ironed out more kinks, and even this morning. Nothing, zip, nada.
Only in cash. Not with points.

So yeah... Marriott blows!
These million points I have are crapola!

Did I expect this, know this, plan for this and be prepared for this? Yah, kinda. But like I said, what a load of BULL that we cannot just book rooms anymore using points!
I tried Bora Bora and Thailand too btw. Some have points reservations but they want about 3/4 of a mil for a few nights. That whole chart thing that blogs posted about where August to Dec will allow cat 7s to be bookable at 60k points per night (equiv to the old SPG 20k per night) is not applicable at ANY of the cat 7s world wide that I tried. And believe me, we called about em all!
  1. And we all know they now consider the SPG to Marriott valuation to be 2:1 for anything moved over from CC spend.
  2. And soon that will likely go away
  3. and their rates per night will go up
  4. and so further on, having Marriott points will be totally useless to you... as if it isn't already.
Forget MS. This post isnt even about that. Imagine if you stay at their properties for business and amass a ton of points. Now try using them for a vaca spot you actually want to take your family to! Aint happening.

And soooo... what to do? What's the best transfer rates to airlines and such? I have been reading up on it... and while I did book a mid week one night stay at a Sheraton using 50k points (equiv to the old rate of about 16k spg a night at 3:1 but now 25k spg a night at 2:1 which is wayyy too high for the room I got), the whole system they have is badddd..

And ya know what? We all let it happen, thinking that the combining of all these big airlines and hotel programs is a good thing and that they will "enhance" their systems to "make it all easier" for us!

Yah.
The word Enhance means: We made it better for us. You lose!

So that's my rant. Thanks for reading and likely many here will agree with me.

On another other front...

I have been to Munich Oktoberfest 6 times and to Munich and the overall region 9 times. I went to Oktoberfest the last five years in a row and have links and pics and info for all kinds of stuff people should do while there, much of which has been mentioned in this thread l. I do one day want to meet Oliver the FT MOD and buy him some beers but right now I am sad to say I cannot attend this year as much as I want to, but that may be a benefit to all of you and here is how!

I have currently on reserve 3 rooms at the Le Meridien Munich, where I had stayed with friends and family many times and it is a great hotel for all your needs. Located near the train station and a 10 min walk to the fest itself, this is a perfect spot for the scene. My nights on reserve are Sept 24-29 and I have Platinum status FWIW.

I will cancel my points reservations by deadline Sept 9 but.... If someone here wants em, PM me and let's make it happen! Heck, I will get the stay credits for your taking the res over!

I booked these as a SPG Platinum member using points a while ago. They will NOT be available again with points and especially not at the rates I got when SPG was SPG. Now it's Marriott and so the reservations carry over (and if I cancel on time I get my points back and that's that) but if you try to book this place going forward, they will have jacked up the rates, probably made it a peak season and you probably cant book with points anyway cuz well, Marriott stinks like that. So I have em now and if someone wants em, this is your chance! Let's chat in private! Marriott will allow one to book any room and add/make someone else the person who is on the reservation as the person checking in. All that takes is a simple phone call by me to them to make that happen.

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany 2018 will begin at 6:00 AM on Saturday, September 22 and ends on Sunday, October 7. Here is the official site and some other stuff, and they have a great APP too!

I told my wife I should go this year if only to get one last use out of the greatness that was SPG because we will never get to do it like that again. My Platinum status had allowed for one room with its occupants to get brekky there and they have a good one. It is not yet clear if the brekky benefit for Platinum members will carry over in the same way for us now. That you would have to find out when you got there, but if it does, you get that too!

So someone PM me and take it over so someone can enjoy this place because what am I gonna do with more Marriott points? lol
I am likely going back to earning Hilton and using Hyatt too.


AS FOR MARRIOTT AND ALL OF OUR POINTS NOW...

Again, many here have known of the less than easy style of Marriott with regards to actually using points, and the fact that if a room is say, 35,000 points, you can't really earn that using a credit card even if you buy loads of equipment for business, etc. But right now, we can blatantly see how bad it is to try to redeem points and many who converted over from SPG are not just shocked, we are dumbfounded!

So this is actually our opportunity to tell Marriott using any means possible... Social media/twitter, forums, links, media, etc... that they are kinda like a scam, who offers benefits and rewards but you REALLY can't actually USE THEM!

it is up to us, people... to try to change all that for the better.
It is probably going to not do any good but hey, one has to hope, right?
We need to try though or we are in part to blame.

MM
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Last edited by Marathon Man; Aug 26, 18 at 4:04 pm
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Old Aug 26, 18, 3:09 pm
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I hope you feel better now. Of course most of what you complain about is either not true or viewed very simplistically. If you don't like it ... take your business elsewhere. Otherwise there are plenty of threads that may help you understand the new benefits.
Also, please no cross-posting. That's against the rules, but I guess you know that.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
I hope you feel better now. Of course most of what you complain about is either not true or viewed very simplistically. If you don't like it ... take your business elsewhere. Otherwise there are plenty of threads that may help you understand the new benefits.
Also, please no cross-posting. That's against the rules, but I guess you know that.
amen
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Old Aug 26, 18, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
I hope you feel better now. Of course most of what you complain about is either not true or viewed very simplistically. If you don't like it ... take your business elsewhere. Otherwise there are plenty of threads that may help you understand the new benefits.
Also, please no cross-posting. That's against the rules, but I guess you know that.
I want to take my business elsewhere but SPG is gone now and sucked up by an entity that does not allow for the same sweet redemption as SPG used to. Are you saying I was missing something when I called literally 5 times as of late about over 25 hotels world wide and got the same answer every time from the newly minted merger agents? "Sorry. We have that in cash now but not in points."

I have been looking for "new benefits" and I see very little ADDED to what I was used to. Yah I knew it was coming and nothing was as good as SPG but seriously, what new benefits are you speaking of? That is, with regards to:
  1. Being able to easily use points especially on properties that everyone knows are really good vaca spots at popular times of the year
  2. the ability for unlimited amounts of points transfers (with spg you could do that between family members in increments of 1k)
  3. brekky for platinum members and the guest in their room, and sometimes that extended to others booked in other rooms at the same time depending on availability
  4. the ability to spend $ on your CC and actually get enough for a room night relatively easily (with or without MS)
  5. The fact that if a room was available, you could usually also book it with points--whereas with marriott, that is not always the case. more times than not, their mantra has always been that they only have some points rooms if any, and the rest can only be done with cash so you will never really get one.
  6. The ability to transfer SPG points to airlines for a good rate

Again, where are your benefits that are better than these?
Please tell me first before telling me to take my biz elsewhere and then I will gladly go there. But first I gotta get rid of these useless Marriott points!
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by frenchft View Post


amen
Now I suppose from the standpoint of a person who had Marriott before and never used SPG, you are elated. New sets of hotels and more spots to go, etc... and yah maybe the platinum breakfast thing if it works as it should... but like I said, mine is from the standpoint of the now defunct SPG program.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:16 pm
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You can't transfer points because the system is broken.

I'm reminded of the United TravelBank whose return to functionality is also many months overdue...
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by photaco View Post
You can't transfer points because the system is broken.

I'm reminded of the United TravelBank whose return to functionality is also many months overdue...
In the vast "new benefits" lists we are supposedly able to get a clear picture of by now (agents I talk to on the phone dunno even what is real yet) do we imagine that we will eventually be able to transfer anything to airlines (at a decent rate) or is it assumed this is a dead thing or something that may never get fully addressed?

I know systems may take a while to integrate and that may be ok, but this massive company should at least have the ability to put forth a clear picture of what people can expect... and in a reasonable time frame. Right? Or am I high for assuming that?
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:28 pm
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I don't understand this comment in the OP: And ya know what? We all let it happen, thinking that the combining of all these big airlines and hotel programs is a good thing and that they will "enhance" their systems to "make it all easier" for us!

Who exactly is "we?" If you mean "we" the consumers or "we" the FlyerTalkers, I think there is virtually nothing "we" could have done to stop the merger/acquisition. Unless of course "we" had enough gazillions of dollars to put up a bid ourselves, or unless "we" already owned, say, a controlling interest ourselves. Our opinions on the matter probably had little if any influence on the decision-makers in these (formerly) two companies.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
I don't understand this comment in the OP: And ya know what? We all let it happen, thinking that the combining of all these big airlines and hotel programs is a good thing and that they will "enhance" their systems to "make it all easier" for us!

Who exactly is "we?" If you mean "we" the consumers or "we" the FlyerTalkers, I think there is virtually nothing "we" could have done to stop the merger/acquisition. Unless of course "we" had enough gazillions of dollars to put up a bid ourselves, or unless "we" already owned, say, a controlling interest ourselves. Our opinions on the matter probably had little if any influence on the decision-makers in these (formerly) two companies.
I think I meant "we" as consumers. And yeah we probably had no ability to change anything of this... but I do think there is something to be said for the fact that lately, so many companies are merging up that there are now less choices and less competition and less reason for any of them to give deals or have gigs that made it like it used to be. I mean... you had like 6 major airlines and many hotel programs... back just 5-8 years ago for example, these companies were chompin at the bit to give out deals and promos and points and miles worked nicely too. Now they all merged up and those things are just harder to use all around. Who knows. Maybe I am talkin out my arse here but should whatever government entity or whatdog group have gotten involved somewhere along the line to maybe put a little halt to some of the monopoly-seeming styles of these now mega corporations? now WE live with the results... One big hotel program. It owns like everything. Why SHOULD it allow you to use your points? What incentive does it have for doing that?

Does that make any sense? I dunno. Like I said, on that point maybe I am high. I'll give ya that.
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
...
I will cancel my points reservations by deadline Sept 9 but.... If someone here wants em, PM me and let's make it happen! Heck, I will get the stay credits for your taking the res over!

... So I have em now and if someone wants em, this is your chance! Let's chat in private! Marriott will allow one to book any room and add/make someone else the person who is on the reservation as the person checking in. All that takes is a simple phone call by me to them to make that happen.
...
So someone PM me and take it over so someone can enjoy this place because what am I gonna do with more Marriott points? lol
...
Yes, I agree things are looking bleak right now, but I don't think it is a time to be making long-term decisions. Not that I have faith in Marriott turning things around anytime soon.

Also, you may not be able to change your rez without incurring a bump to current rates. This is a nasty MR habit, so adding someone to the rez may not happen scot free. Not that it would make a difference to you since you can cancel and forget about, but anyone considering this, beware!
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Old Aug 26, 18, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
Yes, I agree things are looking bleak right now, but I don't think it is a time to be making long-term decisions. Not that I have faith in Marriott turning things around anytime soon.

Also, you may not be able to change your rez without incurring a bump to current rates. This is a nasty MR habit, so adding someone to the rez may not happen scot free. Not that it would make a difference to you since you can cancel and forget about, but anyone considering this, beware!
good point and thanks for reminding folks about that “benefit”

last spg based agent I chatted to did mention that but said I should be able to add a name to my res in case someone else wants it or is checking in first etc but yah she said she didn’t want to “touch” the reservations for fear they could jack em up!

now why would that even be a thing that could be allowed to happen! Makes me think marriott is being scammy by doing that to existing reservations!
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Old Aug 26, 18, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post


good point and thanks for reminding folks about that “benefit”

last spg based agent I chatted to did mention that but said I should be able to add a name to my res in case someone else wants it or is checking in first etc but yah she said she didn’t want to “touch” the reservations for fear they could jack em up!

now why would that even be a thing that could be allowed to happen! Makes me think marriott is being scammy by doing that to existing reservations!
I add people to MR reservations a few times a year and have never had any issues. Lets not feed the paranoia
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Old Aug 26, 18, 5:20 pm
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I too am concerned about low and peak season award redemptions and availability in 2019, but I am not sure I understand the rant.

At all. Or the follow up rants...
​​​​​​
Could issues be due to technical issues we have been having or change in categories pre-Aug 18 not being set when OP tried to book?


I have had no problems booking with points at legacy Starwood and Marriott properties for Christmas and New Year's in Thailand for about a month period...their peak season. Rates running $800-$1200 USD for standard rooms which I picked up for 35,000 points or do.

My rates were less than last year when using SPG rates... Altogether I think I saved around 50-60 K Marriott points from last year.

I confess this is earliest I have ever booked a room in advance because I too am worried Marriott will reduce rewards redemptions availability and have too wide a scope of peak season (heck Dec. 23 last year I booked 4 days on points at Le Meridien Phuket including Christmas day).

So maybe my experiences different than op who books a year in advance. But while there might be changes, even uncomfortable ones, the sky isn't falling

Last edited by SHLTP; Aug 26, 18 at 5:46 pm
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Old Aug 26, 18, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
I add people to MR reservations a few times a year and have never had any issues. Lets not feed the paranoia
Right. I have too. To (former) SPG res, hyatt, ihg, and I think even to marriott in my past. But the question is... NOW.

The concern is: If you have a SPG res you booked when it was SPG points and now it is converted to a Marriott res, will the act of adding someone NOW to the res or doing any tweak to that res in any way suddenly trigger what at least one agent said could happen, or what another poster here warned about? I don't think its 'noya on my part to be VERY concerned about what lengths marriott might go to try and getcha for extra points payments on things done with an obviously better rated currency.

Last edited by Marathon Man; Aug 26, 18 at 5:49 pm
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Old Aug 26, 18, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by SHLTP View Post
I too am concerned about low and peak season award redemptions and availability in 2019, but I am not sure I understand the rant.

at all. Or the follow up rants .
​​​​​​
Could issues be due to technical issies we have been having or change in categories pre Aug 18 not being set when OP tried .To book?


I have had no problems booking with points at legacy Starwood and Marriott properties for Christmas and New Year's in Thiland for about and month period...their peak season.

My rates were less than last year when using SPG rates... Altogether I think I saved around 50-60 K Marriott points from last year.

I confess this is earliest I have ever booked a room in advance because I too was worroed Marriott reducing rewards redemptoons (heck Dec. 23 last year I booked 4 days on points at Le Meridient Phuket for Christmas.

So maybe my experiences different thank op who books a year in advance
I am glad to hear you have been able to book things in peak seasons with points. Have you done any of this SINCE the merger "completed" on Aug 18? We know things are still being ironed out, but what I had seen in my many attempts to book all over the world using the new marriott did not give any good results yet. That is why I ranted and that is why I posted with the title "Marriott blows IMO" It is my opinion.

LAST YEAR,,, and even up til say late July of this year, I could use SPG to book anything that had any availability and use points without issue. Within about a two week advance notice, I booked two rooms in Croatia using SPG points but we did not end up going and we cancelled them. That was earlier this summer. SPG was great for this. If there was a room you could do it on points. BACK THEN. I booked these three munich hotel rooms on points... Did those well in advance but they were always doable. Heck I have booked every stay at hotels on points. I only do trips like Oktoberfest and Asia and a ski trip etc if I can do it with points! That is why I rant! What else should I call it? A happy plea? The word RANT looks bad tho. The word makes someone look worse than just a guy with a complaint. It is my complaint. I should have every right to lay out a detailed complaint about a thing in here and state examples as to why I have that complaint and then say things like, "this is from my experience and it is my opinion" and if I am otherwise acting at least friendly and non abusive to other posters, there should be no problems with such posts from me or anyone else who has the same issues. What I would be surprised about would be if there were a ton of people here who had no concept of why what I some of am saying might be a problem because they just don't see it yet. Well it's here people. And it aint good.... In my (experienced) opinion.
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