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The inside scoop on Marriott's epic woes?

The inside scoop on Marriott's epic woes?

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Old Mar 15, 19, 11:18 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
This is a false analogy. Most of the complaints don't deal with the inability of a Marriott property to provide a clean room or whatever. They deal with the consistent delivery of loyalty program benefits, the correct posting of stays by properties and the computer system and corporate customer service.
Imagine if the minimum wage McDonald's teller had to deal with a loyalty program. Teller: "Oh right, sir, you have titanium status and because of that you get the double Big Mac hamburger instead of the junior hamburger." Yeah, no.
Or imagine if you had to call corporate McDonald's to get the franchised restaurant to correctly place your order. Yeah, no.
If anything, you've proved what I'm about to say:

Most of the problems we are experiencing is due to CORPORATE failing to get the basics right. The franchisees ARE getting the basics right. Yes, there's issues with corporate-issued policies such as breakfast, welcome amenities, and upgrades, but the basics of providing a clean, proper room and usually good staff are getting done. I can think of quite a few restaurants which operate with corporate taking the orders and handing them off (correctly, no less...Marriott, are you listening?) to the local restaurants. Pizza, sandwich chains, etc., all do this. Jimmy John's comes to mind, and it's very efficient. W/r/t staffing, I do believe the hotels are paying more than minimum wage for the front desk, and yes, I'd expect someone who's paid minimum wage to be able to understand basic loyalty benefits. Just because they're low man on the totem pole doesn't mean they're dumb and untrainable. Even cruise ship employees understand VIPs and they're paid an order of magnitude lower than minimum wage.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by PointWeasel;30889004
I will have zero stays with Marriott Bonvoy this month, which has not happened for years. [b
Voting with my wallet.
I've done that myself. Moved another 9 nights to Hilton!
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Old Mar 15, 19, 11:37 am
  #33  
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For all of you moving to other chains (and I appreciate you walking your talk), moving to the other chains w/o letting MAR know that you're moving means they still won't know what they need to fix if they want to keep loyal customers. Instead of the p.r. angle of the Bonvoyed site, I'd love to see a campaign where people send Arne copies of their reservations at other chains & say this is revenue that MAR would have gotten if you hadn't screwed up things so much. If he gets enough, maybe he'll start paying attention.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 11:38 am
  #34  
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
I

Most of the problems we are experiencing is due to CORPORATE failing to get the basics right. The franchisees ARE getting the basics right. Yes, there's issues with corporate-issued policies such as breakfast, welcome amenities, and upgrades, but the basics of providing a clean, proper room and usually good staff are getting done
Agree.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 12:49 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
Most of the problems we are experiencing is due to CORPORATE failing to get the basics right. The franchisees ARE getting the basics right. Yes, there's issues with corporate-issued policies such as breakfast, welcome amenities, and upgrades, but the basics of providing a clean, proper room and usually good staff are getting done. I can think of quite a few restaurants which operate with corporate taking the orders and handing them off (correctly, no less...Marriott, are you listening?) to the local restaurants. Pizza, sandwich chains, etc., all do this. Jimmy John's comes to mind, and it's very efficient. W/r/t staffing, I do believe the hotels are paying more than minimum wage for the front desk, and yes, I'd expect someone who's paid minimum wage to be able to understand basic loyalty benefits. Just because they're low man on the totem pole doesn't mean they're dumb and untrainable. Even cruise ship employees understand VIPs and they're paid an order of magnitude lower than minimum wage.
And to take this a step further: Corporate is failing to get the basics right for both its loyalty customers (us) and its franchise customers (the hotels).

I do not doubt for a minute that many of the issues with loyalty delivery and the like are due to franchisee employees who are dealing with systems that don't work or don't present correct information.

For example: a Westin I stayed at pre-merger never had a problem sending emailed folios under the SPG system. They still offer me an emailed folio; I just don't get it. Clearly the problem isn't that they woke up on August 18th with the inability to understand email.

Another example I see cited frequently is hotels treating someone who is LTP and Titanium as if they were Plat. That's a systems issue. There's no reason for the agent to be shown ambiguous information; show the current, highest status (no matter where it comes from) and maybe a "LT" badge for anyone with LT status of any sort.

I do think there is a minority of hotels that is taking advantage of the confusion and lack of oversight to deliver subpar benefits, but that is not the primary issue.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 2:37 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by allset2travel View Post
I've done that myself. Moved another 9 nights to Hilton!
This. For 2019, I'm sitting on 16 business nights and 4 personal nights (revenue) with Hilton and 2 business nights and 2 personal nights with Marriott. Last year at this time, it was more like 75% Marriott 25% Hilton. (Maybe a Hyatt or two mixed in out of necessity.)

Hilton is not nirvana: they have a habit of devaluing their program and then jacking up the total earnings rate, creating an inflationary chase-your-tail scenario. (I now have a million points and just redeemed 480,000 for a 5-night award.) But they've leapfrogged Marriott on the customer service front and have a really good app with an OLCI and Digital Key process that works great. Their elite benefits don't promise the world, but also have almost no opt-outs, gotchas, or exceptions. Hilton seems to have focused on just making basic stuff work, and it is indeed working.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 2:41 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
I do think there is a minority of hotels that is taking advantage of the confusion and lack of oversight to deliver subpar benefits, but that is not the primary issue.
I disagree. Many of the complaints have been about hotels cheating by claiming a muffin and coffee is breakfast, despite the obvious intent of the terms and conditions and Marriott's public statements when the new benefits were launched last August under the now-former unified Marriott Rewards–SPG–Ritz-Carlton Rewards loyalty program. And then there are the properties that refuse to upgrade.

Yes, there are issues related to IT and customer service at the corporate end of the spectrum, but there have been profound incidents related to the actual delivery of amenities and benefits.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 4:01 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I wonder what fraction of the cases are resubmissions of previous cases that were never addressed, received an irrelevant cut and paste response, or were otherwise handled incompetently.
This. I currently have just one problem I've asked them to address. I tried email, got a canned response and nothing else. Then I tried Twitter, and when that still didn't resolve it, contacted the Lurker. So that's one problem, but given MR IT, they probably count it as three.

110 million is an interesting number because that's exactly the number of members that they said they had post-merger. So it would be an average of one case per member. That'd be dreadful in and of itself, imagine any business where every single customer has an open issue. Of course, it's not an even distribution, likely 50-75% of members with no issues at all (many haven't stayed in the last 12 months, for example), with a nice curve up the percentiles.

Given how far behind they are, there may well be fewer than 110 million problems, as I think some have probably been resolved by batch cleanup jobs, but the tickets not yet closed.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 4:09 pm
  #39  
 
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I called the Elite line to ask that a Free Night Certificate be applied to an upcoming 2 night reservation. I was on hold over six minutes. Shortly after we hung up I received a text about a new reservation. He had created a new reservation for one night instead of applying it to the one I had.

i actually called the property to straighten it out
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Old Mar 15, 19, 4:20 pm
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The telephone agents are struggling to understand the new systems that is apparent.

There are also other problems clearly about a change in attitude. It is a shame, we always enjoy staying at Sheratons, and were quite exclusive to SPG for many years, but not anymore...
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Old Mar 15, 19, 4:45 pm
  #41  
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The 110 million tickets seems implausible. Whether it was misunderstanding by the original author of the blog or he/she was using hyperbole to make a point, it seems rather silly.

If there are 110 million members in the system, I bet 75% of them are basically inactive for reasons unrelated to the merger: they simply aren't traveling or were only an infrequent Marriott guest to begin with. Of the 30-40 million "regulars", 90+% of them have had no issues because they haven't really tried to do anything with the program.

That still leaves the possibility that there are millions, plural, of people with problems, and there's no question that this merger is a raging tire fire that is showing no signs of putting itself out anytime soon.

So it's still really, really bad and I still believe this is Marriott's "New Coke" moment, but I can't fathom how it can be 110 million open tickets. If it's a million, that's freaking horrible and people need to be fired. 110 million just doesn't make sense.
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Old Mar 15, 19, 6:05 pm
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I think it is possible for 110 million. I messaged in 30+ times in September and October alone (after a handful of messages in previous decade) until I got so fed up I boycotted paid starts until earlier this month.

Tech and service getting better but Marriot has lost the crazed loyalist that would plan vacations around where Starwood properties were as I did.

New Zealand no properties? Sorry honey. Let's go to Italy instead... We will wait for a SPG property in Auckland.




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Old Mar 17, 19, 3:23 am
  #43  
 
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Lost my Ambassador status 1st of March! So now a lowly Titanium. Had to call Bonvoy for 2 issues. I couldn't find a Titanium line...does any of you have a specific number. The lady I spoke was just not qualified...she didn't even know what an SNA is! That's how low it is going for my experience....
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Old Mar 17, 19, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
The 110 million tickets seems implausible. Whether it was misunderstanding by the original author of the blog or he/she was using hyperbole to make a point, it seems rather silly.

If there are 110 million members in the system, I bet 75% of them are basically inactive for reasons unrelated to the merger: they simply aren't traveling or were only an infrequent Marriott guest to begin with. Of the 30-40 million "regulars", 90+% of them have had no issues because they haven't really tried to do anything with the program.

That still leaves the possibility that there are millions, plural, of people with problems, and there's no question that this merger is a raging tire fire that is showing no signs of putting itself out anytime soon.

So it's still really, really bad and I still believe this is Marriott's "New Coke" moment, but I can't fathom how it can be 110 million open tickets. If it's a million, that's freaking horrible and people need to be fired. 110 million just doesn't make sense.
Maybe... but before August, excluding a few missing stays that had to applied, I never had an open case with Marriott in 24 years. Since August 17th when I tried to upgrade two 7 night travel certs to cat 9 before the merge and had an incompetent CSR who couldn't/wouldn't complete the task I've had multiple. If you count the # of times I emailed my Ambassador and the general ambassador line, called my ambassador and the general ambassador line and called the regular CS line in the US and Ireland this one issue could account for at least 20 touches. I've had two other issues that had to be escalated as well. I'm fortunate that all of my issues got sorted out and I've made my peace but I moved 40 nights from September - February (until my issues were resolved) and it will probably cost me Ambassador next year. I'm going to check tomorrow but I believe my company counts each touch even if it is the same issue. If that's the case for Marriott 110 million could be accurate. On some of my early email submissions from August (post merger) I didn't receive any contact until November... I also remember the many people claiming being on hold for hours in August, September and October...

Also, and maybe more accurately it is probably that 110 million tickets have been opened since August vs there are currently 110 million tickets open. Or maybe more accurately I suspect there have been 110 million customer contacts that are not reservation based but complaint based...
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Old Mar 17, 19, 1:46 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by maisondubonheur View Post
Lost my Ambassador status 1st of March! So now a lowly Titanium. Had to call Bonvoy for 2 issues. I couldn't find a Titanium line...does any of you have a specific number. The lady I spoke was just not qualified...she didn't even know what an SNA is! That's how low it is going for my experience....
Go to the app where you see your status, scroll down, you will see the Titanium elite support line, just tap on it, your phone will connect you.
For what's worth, it says: XXXXXX.

You need to make sure you update your mobile number to your account, so the line recognizes you as an elite member.
If not, you most probably will get routed to the general line even if you called the elite number..

Last edited by hhoope01; Mar 18, 19 at 6:02 am Reason: Removed reference to private Elite line #
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