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Nearing the end of my relationship with Marriott - how to deal with the ST Regis

Nearing the end of my relationship with Marriott - how to deal with the ST Regis

Old Mar 13, 2019, 3:02 pm
  #1  
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Nearing the end of my relationship with Marriott - how to deal with the ST Regis

To say the change from Startwood to Marriott has been anything but a disaster would be an understatement. Ive been a platinum member for years at Starwood. Marriott is one problem after another with the biggest one being they simply are unable to email receipts most of the time. I've asked customer service repeatedly and they respond it can't be done yet. I also can't download them most the time (can on my phone but not online).

All that mess aside, I have over a million points so I booked two nights this week in Aspen at the St Regis for 170000 points. The confirmation says the reservation can't be canceled within 60 days or the full charge will apply.; It also says if the stay length is changed the rate can change. It says nothing else.

My stay was Monday to Wednesday. I was meeting a few friends in Aspen from Vail (90 minutes away). They had their own lesser hotel.

I had the flu Monday so about 5PM I called the St Regis to understand my option. I understood the no cancelation rules and expected the full 170000 points to be charged. I told them I was sick and would rather arrive early Tuesday morning than Monday night but I did not want the room or stay canceled or modified. They agreed. I assumed this was just like if a plane is delayed and I land at 3 or 4AM. I call and have never had a problem. Anyways still sick Tuesday, I added my friends to my room so they could check in and at least use the nicer property. They had a hotel and didnt need mine but since mine couldnt be cancel and I expected to pay the 170-000 its why not use it. When I called to add my two friends the St Regis told me all was all set and they could check into my reservation if they arrived before me. They checked in about 8AM.

They were asked for a credit card and told it was for incidentals. Their signature is on a form that says for incidentals.

My friend was then billed $1100 for the cancelation.

When I called to complain Tuesday night I was told no one at the ST Regis in Aspen could help till morning and this was policy. The person told me my original room was canceled (even though I was told it would not be) and a new reservation was made and billed to my friends card (There are now two reservations in my Marriott account though neither I nor the friend asked for a second reservation was told about one or signed anything about one.

Today a very rude St Regis manager called me and said he had no flexibility and this was Marriott's policy. He said the $1100 was a no show fee. He could not explain why a second room was booked under my name. He could not explain why my friend was billed a no show fee as an incidental when my card should have been billed. The worst part though is he admitted his employees probably did not know the policy and he would teach them for the future but this was my problem even though they gave me improper information and said my reservation would not change or be canceled if we checked in Tuesday morning.

I want the $1100 dollars refunded. If it is not I will take my 100 nights a year and my work teams 300 nights a year out of Marriott. I will also dispute it with my friends amex as I don't think they had a right to book an extra room to her card or charge a no show fee when I was specifically told by the hotel if I arrived in the AM it would be no problem. If they hotel had told me I must arrive Monday night or pay $1100 I would have driven the 90 miles.

I hate Marriott but how would you deal with this outside of disputing with Amex? Also what hotel chain acts more like Starwood and cares about frequent travelers? I used Starwood for 10 years and see Marriott and I are not a match. Thanks
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 3:11 pm
  #2  
 
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For the record I feel the hotel is definitely in the wrong and shall be dealt with accordingly (as an individual property)

But once you go into I take my business and my teams business elsewhere nonsense, you lost any sympathy for your situation. If you complain, keep it simple to the facts.
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 3:12 pm
  #3  
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A couple more issues:

They can not explain how they came up with $1100. Even though the hotel gave me all sorts of wrong information that aside the manager could not explain how I was Billed $1100 dollars when the currently available rate online was $700. I asked him why not just make it $50 Million if you can pick any number you want and he had no answer.

Also beyond the fact I followed all the information they provided we checked in at 8AM. You can't check into a hotel at 8AM. Their own policy says check in is at 4PM so we clearly had to use the two night reservation to check in then and thus didn't no show at all. I arrive at hotels all the time after midnight and have never been considered a no show before
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 3:16 pm
  #4  
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Why wouldn't I take my business elsewhere? Marriott has been horrible. I never used Marriott the past 10 years because of prior issues there. Im only trying now because they bought Starwood and that was my hotel, credit card, etc. The receipts is the bigger issue than the St Regis but I can't use a hotel that can't provide receipts online. If I travel 125+ nights per year I either now need to wait to check out every time which can take 15-30 minutes during busy conferences or I have to call the individual hotels and get receipts faxed. This is a far bigger issue than the $1100 at the ST Regis, though the treatment I got at the St Regis I wouldn't expect at the Red Roof Inn and especially not as a platinum member. IT truly seems to me Marriott could care less about frequent stayers. Maybe others have had a different experience but this has been my 4th or 5th problem since Starwood was acquired. Others have included a room given away by accident and then the inability to find a 6 night stay for points that took 3 months to resolve
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 3:24 pm
  #5  
 
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Two separate issues here. The first issue is that you called to keep the two nights but planned to check in extremely late on the first night. The hotel agreed to this and you shouldn't be counted as a no-show.

Your second issue is the price of the no-show. Go back and read your confirmation e-mail. I bet it reads that if you cancel after the cancellation period you will be charged $1100. That's where the number came from. If the hotel deems you a no-show there should be no surprise at the cost of the no-show. Your real argument is that you shouldn't have been deemed a no-show in the first place. Focus on that.
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 4:01 pm
  #6  
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There are a lot of issues.

1. I called and was told checking in in the morning was no problem.

2. What time counts as a no show? With check in on my confirmation at 4PM, I clearly could not check in around 8AM if I didn't have a room for the 2 nights. Is 1Am too late? 3AM? noon? IS this listed in the Marriott's hidden no show terms and services for point use? I can't find it. All I can find is that check in was 4PM so theoretically no check in should be able to happen in the morning without the two nights.

3. Why was a second reservation booked. No one - not myself. Not my friend was asked about booking a second reservation and neither of us authorized one.No one disclosed as rate on this second reservation but I can see it in my Marriott Account. Can Marriott or ST Regis just book random second one night reservations if it feels like it when it deems the first night of a reservation was canceled?

4. When I booked the room and the confirmation email do not indicate anything about a 1100$ no show rate. I was sick when I booked and knew I might cancel or only go the second day. This hotel is always sold out so I figured take my chances and worst I can lose is the points. The confirmation email is attached and says exactly "2 nights redemption, prepay in full, non refundable if canceled left than 60 days before arrival" - This would indicate to any normal; person that the points were non refundable. I read this like 5 times before booking because I knew I might cancel. Given how clearly that says its a non refundable redemption I never thought I had to go find other terms beyond this one and absolutely no where does the email mention anything about $1100. To be fair the email says lower down a cancelation policy applies. I assumed that cancelation policy was the loss of points since that's what the email says above. No where on the email does it say we have a cash penalty for no shows or cancelations and its really unfair to expect a member who didn't even sign up with Marriott to have to go find some vague terms buried hundreds of pages into a website (I still cant find them). I read every policy on the booking page and email and all it says is the points are prepaid and non refundable.

5. It says nothing on the confirmation email about when a guest must show up. It says the points are non refundable. It says the rate is not cancelable or the points are non refundable. No where on the email does it say when I must arrive. IT says the room is guaranteed from 4PM Monday to Noon Wednesday and we checked in during that time. When I booked the room I knew I might only go the second day and have never had a problem before checking in in the morning and there is nothing on this email to say I would this time either. IF Marriot and the St Regis plans to charge $1100 on a two day point stay if you arrive after a certain time the confirmation and booking page need to say this. All it says is you are booked 4PM Monday to noon Wed.
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 4:14 pm
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Serious question: Is this the same incident that [MENTION=791154]cletraveler[/MENTION] was referring to? Or is this another incident with a stunning echo of that one?
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson
Serious question: Is this the same incident that [MENTION=791154]cletraveler[/MENTION] was referring to? Or is this another incident with a stunning echo of that one?
Crazy that these two things happened at pretty well the same time! cletraveler had 2 rooms for 5 nights and was flying in. sean1397 had 1 room for 2 nights and was a 90 min drive away.
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 4:28 pm
  #9  
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Completely new one. I don't know who he is.

As an aside the St Regis employees in the past in Aspen have told friends of mine who have booked on points the Hotel hates point users. It makes sense. The deal is not as good now as in the Starwood days but back then a Christmas/New Years week room might have run $2500+ Maybe even $3000. The St Regis club there often runs $4000+ I don't think you can use points there. Anyways on Starwood you could often book the $2500 room for 20000 points. This hotel was one that stood out to Starwood frequent stayers as ridiculous value and its an awesome resort to begin with.

Im sure they get killed with point users and Marriotts vague no blackout dates. They clearly play games with different room types (several of the base types I can't figure out the difference). Its now almost impossible under Marriott to use points on weekends there so you know there are some things going on but you can still book a room most week nights for 85000 Marriott points which while not as good as the old Starwood deal is still pretty good value at this hotel.

I have a home in Vail so Ive never used the old Starwood deal but had been waiting for a time to try this resort out cause everyone raves about it. This week with Friends there I thought why not.

it seems to me every indication is this hotels employees are making an attempt to get rid of point use. Ive stayed at many world class hotels and many St Regis and always been treated amazingly. The fact no one at this resort can resolve point issues at night, I was told the manager would call me back early this morning. Didn't happen till noon. This manager was of no help at all and basically told me his employees didn't know the rules but its still my problem. He also told me twice the $1100 cash penalty is on the confirmation email. It is not and he had no interest in me sending him a copy of this email. I told him I would take it up with corporate and are and his reply was good luck you won't win. I dont use charge backs often but I never remember losing one with Amex. Seriously he was treating point guests as if this was a portaopotty in a construction yard. Never been treated like this at any hotel Ive ever stayed at. They almost always try to fix problems.

Id post the confirmation email but it won't let me till I have 5 posts and you cant make the 6th post till after a 24 hour wait. I will post it tomorrow. And I have no idea who the other guy complaining is. I saw his post after I made mine. Call the manager at the St Regis in Aspen. Im sure he will be happy to tell you this happened to two people recently and both complained. Also why were our fees different? Any ways it is my strong suspicion they are trying to reduce point use there and don't like the no blackout dates rule .Screw point users over and they wont come back
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 4:39 pm
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Thought I would chime in on this thread too. As mentioned, my incident is not the same but just eerily similar and occurred at the same shameless St. Regis Aspen.

To be fair, we were otherwise treated decently. My wife and I both agreed, however, that the hotel was underwhelming in many respects. Because we booked it with SPG points, we thought it was a good value for the points used. If I had spent cash (say $1000 or more per night plus tax), I would have felt that I way overpaid.
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 4:50 pm
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Id be even more livid in your case. You have no control over a flight cancelation. At least in my case I knew/thought Id forfeit the points. I had no idea they could just charge you whatever the hell they want if you don't show up. Now that Im searching the internet I see some people avoid this by linking their account to a low limit gift card. I can't do this. I stay in hotels nearly half the year and need to be able to pay for them. Im also not big on fraud and don't want to avoid Marriott's policy if its there policy but the policy needs to be clear. It needs to be shown on the booking page and the confirmation email. It needs to say you will be charged this amount ___ if you do not arrive at ___ this date and time for any reason. It cant just say your points are non refundable and then charge you whatever rate they want (which in my case was not the rate available on their own website)

Id be more pissed in your case after spending most the week there and Im sure spending good money at the resort.

I had no idea of this policy till today. Stunned by it,. Still cant find a clear policy on Marriotts site - best I can find it if you don't show up (no indication of by when) we will charge you one night at some rate we choose and some hotels have other policies that you may want to go look for - good luck..

This policy really calls into question the value of Marriott points. I was actually looking to the Ritz being added. I tend to use points for extravagant stays during busy times - events, holidays, etc at prime destinations. Rooms can be 2000-3000$. Id never book those with cash. At Starwood if you didn't make it on time you lost the points. I don't want to be charged a few grand if a flight is delayed. This is shameless on Marriotts part. Why should you lose anymore than the points?
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 4:56 pm
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Thanks for clarifying that. It was just striking to see two near-identical problems at the same hotel hit FT at the same time. Seeing as this clearly isn't a one-off, I think you two should probably get together in talking with Corporate if things don't resolve quickly in your favor. I know you might have different objectives, but given the issue at hand it seems like this is very much a case where someone from on high needs to bash the hotel with a very large club.

If anything, you (collectively) have a far more clear case than [MENTION=791154]cletraveler[/MENTION] for winning the chargeback fight (who I think also has a strong case insofar as contracts of adhesion are not supposed to be an exercise in Calvinball).

There was one time I had an issue with Hilton (non-cancellable reservation), and after I exhausted dealing with them (I had cancelled on the website but something glitched and it didn't go through...yay technology) and they wouldn't back off I had to deal with my CC. I ultimately won, but I think that was mostly because the hotel I didn't stay at tried to claim that I had checked in (I did no such thing, either in person or electronically) and when they got caught out in something that was falsifiable I think Chase decided to tell them to take a hike.
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 5:28 pm
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Two similar yet different cases. cletravler showed up one day late due to flight cancellation while sean1397 never showed up due to flu.
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by TerryK
Two similar yet different cases. cletravler showed up one day late due to flight cancellation while sean1397 never showed up due to flu.
Amazing.

Did Jeff Smisek get a new job managing the StR in Aspen?
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Old Mar 13, 2019, 5:38 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson
(who I think also has a strong case insofar as contracts of adhesion are not supposed to be an exercise in Calvinball).
Quote of the year.
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