Walked from Hotel mid-stay

Old Mar 30, 19, 10:59 am
  #1  
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Walked from Hotel mid-stay

Hello,

I wanted to post here to gain some insight into a situation I experienced recently with Marriott. For the last three years, I had to stay exclusively with Hilton due to business reasons after being Marriott Platinum for 7 years. Recently business has changed and I can return to Marriott (I only have lifetime gold at this point). I had booked an 11 day stay at a Fairfield Inn using points. It wasn't a particularly good hotel and had many warts, but the family wasn't with me so I could deal with things like some mold in the bathrooms, worn carpets, etc... It was a category 1 so the points stretched a bit further.

A little after midway through the stay (perhaps day 6 or 7), I got a note under the door notifying me they were switching to a Holiday Inn the following day. I talked with the front desk which assured me that since I had already paid with points, I was fine and it would not impact me. Upon getting back to the hotel the next day after work, I was told by the new front desk staff that I either had to pay for the rest of the nights or leave the hotel. I wasn't paying twice for the same room so I had to haul my belongings out to my truck and proceeded to call the Marriott number to seek assistance.

After about 45 minutes on hold, I got through to a CSR explained the situation and was put on hold for about another 15 minutes for a manager. When I talked to the manager, he said that shouldn't have happened and he would refund me the unused nights. I explained that I am in a parking lot with no place to stay and was informed he had refunded the unused points and that was all he could do. After about 30 minutes of arguing with him, I had finally convinced him that he needed to get me a room somewhere. He finally got me a room about 15-20 minutes away and made the points balance out (the new hotel was category 2).

I got to the new hotel and had several issues before I got into a room that was functional (the hotel staff there handled it great so no complaints). Once settled in, I wrote to Marriott to describe my displeasure with how the situation was handled. The following day I received a response stating it had been passed to their customer service team and I should get a response in 3-5 business days. It has now been 3 weeks and no response.

Is this what Marriott has become? When I spoke with the unhelpful manager, I had requested the Marriott Ultimate Reservation Guaranty for essentially being walked, he said because it had converted to Holiday Inn, that no longer applies. I started staying at Hilton again, although I would prefer Marriott (at least I used to). Am I wrong for thinking this was handled terribly on multiple fronts by Marriott?

Thanks for any opinions.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:04 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by fadippides View Post
Hello,

I wanted to post here to gain some insight into a situation I experienced recently with Marriott. For the last three years, I had to stay exclusively with Hilton due to business reasons after being Marriott Platinum for 7 years. Recently business has changed and I can return to Marriott (I only have lifetime gold at this point). I had booked an 11 day stay at a Fairfield Inn using points. It wasn't a particularly good hotel and had many warts, but the family wasn't with me so I could deal with things like some mold in the bathrooms, worn carpets, etc... It was a category 1 so the points stretched a bit further.

A little after midway through the stay (perhaps day 6 or 7), I got a note under the door notifying me they were switching to a Holiday Inn the following day. I talked with the front desk which assured me that since I had already paid with points, I was fine and it would not impact me. Upon getting back to the hotel the next day after work, I was told by the new front desk staff that I either had to pay for the rest of the nights or leave the hotel. I wasn't paying twice for the same room so I had to haul my belongings out to my truck and proceeded to call the Marriott number to seek assistance.

After about 45 minutes on hold, I got through to a CSR explained the situation and was put on hold for about another 15 minutes for a manager. When I talked to the manager, he said that shouldn't have happened and he would refund me the unused nights. I explained that I am in a parking lot with no place to stay and was informed he had refunded the unused points and that was all he could do. After about 30 minutes of arguing with him, I had finally convinced him that he needed to get me a room somewhere. He finally got me a room about 15-20 minutes away and made the points balance out (the new hotel was category 2).

I got to the new hotel and had several issues before I got into a room that was functional (the hotel staff there handled it great so no complaints). Once settled in, I wrote to Marriott to describe my displeasure with how the situation was handled. The following day I received a response stating it had been passed to their customer service team and I should get a response in 3-5 business days. It has now been 3 weeks and no response.

Is this what Marriott has become? When I spoke with the unhelpful manager, I had requested the Marriott Ultimate Reservation Guaranty for essentially being walked, he said because it had converted to Holiday Inn, that no longer applies. I started staying at Hilton again, although I would prefer Marriott (at least I used to). Am I wrong for thinking this was handled terribly on multiple fronts by Marriott?

Thanks for any opinions.
That is quite an amazing story, and I can say I’ve never heard that one before. The property certainly let you down, but Marriott seems to have dropped the ball, too. Perhaps one of the Marriott Lurkers here can help out. I’d say the rest of your stay at the other property should have been comped, at a minimum.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:36 am
  #3  
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What hotel are we talking about here?

What was the reason they gave for trying to change in the reservation in the middle of your stay? I also have never heard of something like this happening before. If heard of hotels trying to cancel or change award reservations before, but those were before check-in, not midway through a stay. Did the hotel get reflagged right in the middle of your stay (i.e. new front desk staff)? But even then, if they let you check-in with the award certs for your stay, I have trouble understanding why they would up and change their minds in the middle of the reservation.

This doesn't sound like Marriott is to blame, it sounds like an issue with that hotel (which is one of the reasons I would like to know which hotel we are talking about.) As mentioned above, I'd also PM the Marriott Lurkers about this for their help.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:41 am
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Its just a Fairfield Inn. I agree the initial cause of the issue is the local hotel. They sold it, converted to a Holiday Inn and brought an entirely new staff in. Marriott didnt make the matters any better with initially saying thats too bad have a nice day.

I think the issue was probably that the old staff (under the Marriott banner) took the money for the points and then did not transfer it to the new staff, but honestly I will probably never know.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 12:20 pm
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My impression is that when a hotel reflags, award reservations generally aren't honored while bookings to be paid with money often are, although usually elite benefits aren't offered. Usually those with reservations are contacted as soon as the reflagging is announced, and future guests are permitted to cancel or to negotiate something, including being rebooked into a property in the old chain/family. Unfortunately reflaggings tend to be announced without much advance warning.

However, I've never heard of a case of a guest being kicked out suddenly in the middle of a stay (single reservation) due to the reflagging (or other ownership change) unless the hotel is being closed for renovations.

Bonvoy's hands are tied here and they did the best they could, namely finding the OP a room at a nearly approximately equivalent Starriott and not charging anything additional. In terms of compensation, I'm tempted to say no as it's not the fault of Bonvoy/Starriott, although I think the original hotel should have made the arrangements for the OP's award stay to be moved to a different hotel.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 4:59 pm
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They only learned of the reflagging after OP checked in??? At a bare minimum, they should have let him know at checkin, but letting him stay through without paying anything more would have been the "right" thing to do.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 6:27 pm
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OP - What is the specific property? There are people on this board who may have a great deal of insight, but without knowing the property, taking advantage of that wisdom is a little hard.

What I find hard to understand is why the property accepted the reservation at all or, if it was booked a good while in advance, why it did not notify OP. It can't be that the property switched brands on zero notice. Those things take months of negotiation.

Hopefully with a property name, there will be some detail to be had.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 8:45 pm
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You should not have had to argue about being relocated. Bonvoy should have offered that IMMEDIATELY.

In case you haven't been reading this boards, OP, since the merge Marriott's customer service has been a consistent C.F. So this is really par for the Marriott course these days.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by fadippides View Post
Is this what Marriott has become?
Yes
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Old Mar 30, 19, 10:37 pm
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Wow.

I've had a hotel reflagged and they honoured a rewards booking even though it was a few months after the change.

Dear XXXXXX,

As a valued Starwood Preferred Guest member, we are writing you to inform you of a change in the status of Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. As of December 2, 2014, the property will no longer be part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide or Sheraton and will no longer participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. The new name of the hotel will be The B Ocean Resort.



We see you are currently holding a reservation, confirmation number XXXXXXXXXX arriving on Saturday 28 February 2015 and departing on Monday 2 March 2015. We are pleased to inform you that the hotel will honor your reservation for a Preferred (free) Night Award, including Cash and Points, as your stay was originally confirmed. However, since the hotel will no longer be affiliated with the Starwood system, you will not earn Starpoints for any eligible charges incurred, nor will you receive any of your Starwood Preferred Guest membership amenities or benefits. We realize this may be disappointing but hope we can count on your understanding.
Honestly in your case OP, it sounds like Marriott did what they could, and the issue was 100% caused by the hotel. Marriott already made up the points for you and found you new diggs, since they didn't cause the problem I don't think they owe you any more than that.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:29 pm
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The StR aspen, Al maha fiasco, and now this. And we're not even in the middle of 2019 yet. Just how low can Marriott get? They really do want guests to say "bon voy-age" to them don't they?
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Old Mar 30, 19, 11:50 pm
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Give the holiday inn a 1 star review for kicking you out they will learn
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Old Mar 31, 19, 12:31 am
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Yes, a detailed poor review on Tripadvisor will be effective. I'd be infuriated by the treatment you received. We shouldn't have to plead for reasonable treatment as any customer, let alone a Lifetime Gold. Makes me wonder what happens to the thousands of un-posted issues that happen every day worldwide.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 1:15 am
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About 6 years ago a hotel manager tried to walk me at checkin at a Springhill. I called Marriott from the front desk, right in front of the manager, blocking other guests from checking in and letting them overhear the conversation. I got my room. I don't like being a jerk like that but walking a guest is unacceptable. Doing so in the middle of a stay is criminal. (And it may indeed be illegal in some states because once you check in your room may be considered your residence. You are not entitled to eviction protections but you do have rights that may not be understood by the manager or even the corporation.) In your case I most definitely would have called the police to report an illegal removal. Even if you ultimately lost, The manager would have a lot of issues to deal with.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 3:17 am
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I was familiar with the SPG policy on getting walked which is what I consider this to be, I'm not familiar with the MB policy. I did find this for elites:



If for some reason we’re unable to honor your reservation, we’ll pay for your accommodations that night at a nearby hotel and compensate you for the inconvenience. To be eligible, you must provide your member number when making a reservation. Compensation varies by hotel brand.
BRAND

GUEST COMPENSATION*
EDITION®, The Luxury Collection®, W® Hotels, JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels®, Sheraton®, Delta Hotels®, Le Méridien®, Westin®, Autograph Collection®, Renaissance® Hotels, Tribute Portfolio®, Gaylord Hotels®

- $200 USD
- 90,000 points
Courtyard®, Four Points®, SpringHill Suites®, Protea Hotels®, Fairfield by Marriott®, AC Hotels®, Aloft®, Moxy® Hotels, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, Element®

- $100 USD
(Platinum and Titanium Elite members also receive 90,000 points)
**The Ritz-Carlton®, **St. Regis®

Platinum and Platinum Elite members receive:
- $200 USD
- 140,000 points

*Outside of the U.S., compensation will be paid in local currency.

**Available only to Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members.

I guess we will see how it all plays out, but this is quite shocking indeed. I have never heard of this previously as well and sorry for your inconvenience. Not only was the individual property negligent in their customer service, but it didn't sound like MB helped much at all either.

Keep us posted.
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