Almost walked, compensation advice

Old May 1, 19, 9:23 pm
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Almost walked, compensation advice

So I was on my way to the hotel tonight (Huntsville, AL area Marriott Towneplace) and I got a call from the sales lady about 10 minutes away from the hotel I was driving to. I had made my reservation on the Apple Bonvoy app earlier that day. She said there were issues with the new Bonvoy system and they did not have a room for me, she said she was calling so that I might avoid driving all the way to the hotel when they didn’t have my room. She said she would be working on getting me a room somewhere else and get back to me when she did. I arrived at the hotel (I have was already headed there and have nothing else to do when I’m away from home) about 7 – 8 minutes later and told the desk agent I had spoken with the “sales” lady who had walked me and was working on getting me alternate accommodations. Another agent hearing this wore a “what in the world?” expression and headed to the back room I guess to find out more. I moved away so the desk agent could attend to another guest. After another 8 – 10 minutes I went back to the agent and asked, “so are you having trouble finding another place for me?” And he said, “no actually we have already booked you a room at the Element”. He asked if I had ever stayed there and I said yes. So then I asked how the compensation guarantee works as far as the $100 goes. I asked if that was something they gave out as cash or how does that work? He also took on the “what in the world?” look and said something like, “I’m not sure about that, we usually give some points when this happens. We are, after all, booking you at an upscale hotel.” I said sure, but the the policy states that for Titanium guests there is a $100 compensation in addition to booking elsewhere. Then I got my phone out and read the policy, which also stated that in addition, “Platinum and Tintanium Elite members receive 90.000 points.” Just then, someone came out of the back room and said, “just go ahead and give him a room and we’ll have to walk someone else.” Oh darn! I was that close to getting I big payday. I wonder, should I have kept my mouth shut and tried to get compensation after the fact? Here’s the timeline:



Call from the “sales” lady came at 5:12 pm

Arrival at the hotel at 5:20 pm

Text message from Marriott confirming alternate reservation at the Element came at 5:26 pm

I was given a room at and checked in at 5:33 pm





Some questions:



1. Should I have kept my mouth shut and got compensation after the fact?

2. Is there intercom going on and that’s how management handles walking (we’ll walk those that don’t know any better—those that voice an expectation of compensation we’ll accommodate?)?

3. I still am put out by the whole affair, wondering if I have a room, waiting around and having to explain the policy to the desk agent. Should I seek any compensation?
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Old May 1, 19, 9:33 pm
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I'd rather not deal with getting walked in the first place, so I don't think I'd ever do anything to increase those odds.

I don't think compensation is due, but I agree this was not handled well. It's worth a message to Marriott and some public bashing on Yelp/TA/social media of your choice.
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Old May 1, 19, 9:39 pm
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I had this happen to me at the Westin Milwaukee. They tried to compensate me with like 10,000 points or a free night (if I was paying out of my own pocket vs my company). Once I showed them the Marriott compensation guide they quickly found a room. I spoke with their GM to pass along the feedback but nothing more came of it. I assume they will keep trying to do this until someone takes them up on their offer.
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Old May 1, 19, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by micahdaniel View Post
1. Should I have kept my mouth shut and got compensation after the fact?
It seems that you can't per the Program Rules.

Originally Posted by micahdaniel View Post
2. Is there intercom going on and that’s how management handles walking (we’ll walk those that don’t know any better—those that voice an expectation of compensation we’ll accommodate?)?
What I can say is the Hotel was doing in accordance to the Program Rules, despite being unethical.

Addressing this issue to the hotel is meaningless. You should take it up to Marriott Corporate.

Originally Posted by micahdaniel View Post
3. I still am put out by the whole affair, wondering if I have a room, waiting around and having to explain the policy to the desk agent. Should I seek any compensation?
I would say no, given the delay is limited.
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Old May 1, 19, 10:46 pm
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Isn't this how we want it to work? Regardless of the motivation for the hotel, non-status guests should be walked first, no? Isn't that the whole point of affinity programs, to identify your best customers and treat them a little better?
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Old May 2, 19, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Isn't this how we want it to work? Regardless of the motivation for the hotel, non-status guests should be walked first, no? Isn't that the whole point of affinity programs, to identify your best customers and treat them a little better?
On the other hand, they should also treat non status guests well in the hope that they enjoy their stay and are more likely to stay again, be it at the same hotel or another Marriott.
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Old May 2, 19, 1:32 am
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Poorly handled but you got what you paid for. No compensation due.
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Old May 2, 19, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Isn't this how we want it to work? Regardless of the motivation for the hotel, non-status guests should be walked first, no? Isn't that the whole point of affinity programs, to identify your best customers and treat them a little better?
I think rather than this being a case of non-status guests being walked, it’s just people who haven’t memorised the T&C’s. There are quite a few reports of people who request some form of ultimate guarantee compensation and suddenly get the original entitlement instead. It’s a culture of getting one over the guests which I don’t like.
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Old May 2, 19, 6:30 am
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Per the OP, I'd say you were lucky they didn't really understand all the rules for the Elite Guarantees. Per the T&Cs, to receive any of the elite guarantees the reservation has to have been booked at least one day prior to arrival. I read the OP as saying the reservation was made the day of arrival. If so, they didn't have to provide any extra elite compensation.

I would guess the purpose of this exclusion is to ensure the hotel has the time go through their reservations and deal with elites differently than than non-elites (assuming they want to of course.) By making a last minute reservation, the hotel has probably already gone through their normal daily room assignments which means that last minute reservation missed all that.
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Old May 2, 19, 7:05 am
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Many customer-facing businesses use the "squeaky wheel" theory of customer service.

At roughly 5:00 PM, it is unlikely that the property was actually oversold. Much more likely that it was simply overbooked. Thus, if one makes a fuss, one gets a room and the overbooking keeps getting pushed until there really are no rooms and the property is oversold.

I would not complain or expect compensation. The place may not be a 5* property, but they got OP his room. The rest is just noise.
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Old May 2, 19, 7:07 am
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Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
Per the OP, I'd say you were lucky they didn't really understand all the rules for the Elite Guarantees. Per the T&Cs, to receive any of the elite guarantees the reservation has to have been booked at least one day prior to arrival. I read the OP as saying the reservation was made the day of arrival. If so, they didn't have to provide any extra elite compensation.

I would guess the purpose of this exclusion is to ensure the hotel has the time go through their reservations and deal with elites differently than than non-elites (assuming they want to of course.) By making a last minute reservation, the hotel has probably already gone through their normal daily room assignments which means that last minute reservation missed all that.
That is critical. I didn't see that on the website originally. I went back and scrolled down and you are correct. Too bad. This will almost never apply to me. So then really, there is no obligation for the hotel to do anything for me if I'm inside the 48 hour window then? If that's true, this hotel really went above and beyond. I should be filling out a complement card or something?
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Old May 2, 19, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by micahdaniel View Post
That is critical. I didn't see that on the website originally. I went back and scrolled down and you are correct. Too bad. This will almost never apply to me. So then really, there is no obligation for the hotel to do anything for me if I'm inside the 48 hour window then? If that's true, this hotel really went above and beyond. I should be filling out a complement card or something?
How about slipping a $100 to the front desk manager for providing a room rather than walking you
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Old May 2, 19, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by micahdaniel View Post
That is critical. I didn't see that on the website originally. I went back and scrolled down and you are correct. Too bad. This will almost never apply to me. So then really, there is no obligation for the hotel to do anything for me if I'm inside the 48 hour window then? If that's true, this hotel really went above and beyond. I should be filling out a complement card or something?
​​​​​​
I don't know how much earlier you booked the room, but there also seems to be some kind of delay in synching the main reservation system with the hotels. Many times when I've been on the last cancelled flight of the night, I've booked a hotel at the airport. A couple of those times, when I arrived, they stated the room I booked isn't available (literally 20-30 mins later). Last time it happened was about midnight in Manhattan. They walked me literally less than 2 blocks away to a more expensive hotel. The other was at a RI in San Diego. But my point is that both times this has happened, they mentioned that there's a delay or the reservation system doesn't look at the hotel in real time.

Not sure if it's true or just that they occupy the last room during my transit, but it does mean if you're booking same day, it probably doesn't hurt to call the hotel directly to confirm after you reserve.
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Old May 2, 19, 7:50 am
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One point of clarification, while the Elite Guarantee benefits might not apply to a "day of" reservation, I would still guess the normal walk rules (that applies to everyone) would still apply. Thus even though you might not get the extra $$$ or the bonus points, they should still have to deal with finding you another place to stay and paying for that 1st night at the other hotel.
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Old May 2, 19, 7:55 am
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I've had the same thing happen. Room magically appeared after showing them what I was owed.
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