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Charged $437 For Purchasing 35K Points When Trying to Use a 35K Cert On the Website

Charged $437 For Purchasing 35K Points When Trying to Use a 35K Cert On the Website

Old May 15, 2022, 5:41 am
  #16  
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Exactly, Marriott requires a credit card even for Point/Cert reservations.

Originally Posted by Moh20
If I remember correctly, they ask for a credit card number when making a points booking so this won't solve the OP problem.
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Old May 15, 2022, 7:51 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by charlesonmission
I can now confirm that you can freeze a credit card and book a points reservation. This is what we will do going forward as well as screen record the reservations.
As this has actually worked for you, it might become a Marriott Bonvy "certificate plus points top-off" reservation best practice (presuming you don't use the card for much else). Indeed, maybe for all certificate or points reservations that have no initial cost associated with making the reservation itself (as opposed to checkout, with any incidental charges).

Help Marriott Bonvy information technology (IT) help themselves!
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Last edited by SPN Lifer; May 15, 2022 at 8:03 am
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Old May 15, 2022, 8:36 am
  #18  
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Yes, it worked for my wife yesterday. Note that to add the card to the profile, it seemed to have to be unlocked, but then she locked the card and was able to book 3 separate points reservations.

Originally Posted by SPN Lifer
As this has actually worked for you, it might become a Marriott Bonvy "certificate plus points top-off" reservation best practice (presuming you don't use the card for much else). Indeed, maybe for all certificate or points reservations that have no initial cost associated with making the reservation itself (as opposed to checkout, with any incidental charges).

Help Marriott Bonvy information technology (IT) help themselves!
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Old May 17, 2022, 10:04 pm
  #19  
 
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Exactly the same thing happened to me today. Long story:

I had one night booked using 35k cert and needed to change the date. Changing the reservation did not work resulting in error message, so I just cancelled the reservation, and (surprisingly) got the 35k cert back instantly (this does not usually happen). I only had 2k Bonvoy points in the account.

Then I tried rebooking using 35k cert, but got an error message. Then tried again, error message again. Then I tried booking it as a points advance - success. Then I went into the points advance reservation and tried attaching 35k cert, but I couldn't - error message and screen with HTML code.

Then I cancelled the points advance reservation, and tried booking again using 35k cert - success finally.

Then I noticed I have 35k points in my account, so 2k than I had, plus 33k purchased. And $412.50 charge on my Amex.

Nothing ever on screen about purchasing points. No email about purchasing points either.

I called, explained the situation and requested a refund, and the agent wrote up to "escalation", and gave me a case number.
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Old May 17, 2022, 11:27 pm
  #20  
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For those of you encounter this nutty issue, did you make sure the point charge summary is ZERO before you click the Book Now button?

First of all I only use desktop to do bookings whether it is new, change or cancel. Ever since the glitch if when cancellation made thru App did not result in true cancellation I stopped using app for anything related to reservation.

On desktop the site would default to cert if you have a cert, with the cert option bubble grayed out. However sometimes the point charge summary still shows x amount of points will be taken. In that situation I always click the bubble of points, that would magically “freed” the cert option bubble, as from grayed out to now white, empty bubble. I then click the cert option bubble, now the point charge summary will change to Zero…. Only then you can now safely click the Book Now button.

Also if you forgot to add some note such as early or late arrival, and you return to that area to add it, the site will change back to using points versus as cert! So you need to do that stupid work around again to MAKE SURE the point charge summary shows ZERO.

I suspect not everyone pays attention to that point charge summary number on the booking screen and then becomes victim of a poorly designed site.

I made 3 Certs bookings in an account has only 8K pts on Monday before seeing this glitch. I did not have this issue though the 3rd booking took a long time to process. I felt it would error out so I clicked the BonVoy logo - then the confirmation message came up. When I read this thread I went to check the AMEX account, thankfully nothing happened.
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Old May 18, 2022, 8:47 am
  #21  
 
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I have NEVER booked a certificate or a reservation using points online. I will search for availability and points pricing online, but then always call-in to book the reservation.Never had a problem, thankfully.

My most recent booking was the day top-off went live. I confirmed the points cost online, then called in. The agent canceled an existing reservation to free up the certificate, then booked a new reservation at a different hotel using the certificate and top-off points. I did not have enough points to book the reservation without the certificate and top-off (which appears to be a scenario that might trigger a points purchase), but had no issues.

It seems there must be something wonky about how these "point purchases" are being transmitted to the CC companies since so many are failing b/c they are being flagged as fraud. And it also seems like a common experience based on the shared stories that the first red flag most users are experiencing is a failed points purchase when no such purchase was attempted or authorized.
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Old May 19, 2022, 6:58 am
  #22  
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I work in tech (on the Salesforce platform which Marriott also uses). I don't think they use Salesforce for online purchases, but the following principal holds. I don't think we will ever know for certain what the IT team did to cause the error. Based on some of the comments above, there were some strange HTML responses, but I didn't notice this. I do think that since this started right after the cert topup became live, when they rolled out the cert topup, this new bug was introduced. It appears it hasn't been fixed yet which leads me to believe that they can't easily fix it without undoing the cert topup option.

So, for the time being, Marriott is just accepting that they will get cases for the issue and process refunds. Some people may never notice the charge and just keep the points and pay for them (a large % of people don't review credit card statements, etc.)

Originally Posted by JohnneeO
I have NEVER booked a certificate or a reservation using points online. I will search for availability and points pricing online, but then always call-in to book the reservation.Never had a problem, thankfully.

My most recent booking was the day top-off went live. I confirmed the points cost online, then called in. The agent canceled an existing reservation to free up the certificate, then booked a new reservation at a different hotel using the certificate and top-off points. I did not have enough points to book the reservation without the certificate and top-off (which appears to be a scenario that might trigger a points purchase), but had no issues.

It seems there must be something wonky about how these "point purchases" are being transmitted to the CC companies since so many are failing b/c they are being flagged as fraud. And it also seems like a common experience based on the shared stories that the first red flag most users are experiencing is a failed points purchase when no such purchase was attempted or authorized.
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Old May 19, 2022, 7:02 am
  #23  
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We have a screen shot. The Redeem these awards has a sold Black Circle. The checkmark with a grey background was next to the name of the cert /expiration date). Purchase and Points Advance do not have any sold Black Circles.

Total for Stay Said 0 Points.

What are you describing sounds like a new issue. If I'm following it correctly.

Originally Posted by Happy
For those of you encounter this nutty issue, did you make sure the point charge summary is ZERO before you click the Book Now button?

First of all I only use desktop to do bookings whether it is new, change or cancel. Ever since the glitch if when cancellation made thru App did not result in true cancellation I stopped using app for anything related to reservation.
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Old May 19, 2022, 8:43 am
  #24  
 
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Regardless of the bug, shouldn't Marriott make buying points a separate action? I guess there's some value in buying at time of booking, but I have to wonder how often it's ever used.
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Old May 19, 2022, 8:49 am
  #25  
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https://loyaltylobby.com/2022/03/07/...eward-booking/
This is a new feature that Marriott rolled out around March 2022. I think it's a way for Marriott to sell more points. It's a feature that US airlines have offered for a while.

Originally Posted by rrgg
Regardless of the bug, shouldn't Marriott make buying points a separate action? I guess there's some value in buying at time of booking, but I have to wonder how often it's ever used.
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Old May 19, 2022, 9:55 am
  #26  
 
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Now I get it. The feature we want was delayed by months, but the one no one wants was on time and causes headaches.
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Old May 19, 2022, 12:55 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by charlesonmission
We have a screen shot. The Redeem these awards has a sold Black Circle. The checkmark with a grey background was next to the name of the cert /expiration date). Purchase and Points Advance do not have any sold Black Circles.

Total for Stay Said 0 Points.

What are you describing sounds like a new issue. If I'm following it correctly.
I saw what you described a month or more ago, before the top up was available, BUT when you proceed, the 35K were deducted from my account instead of taking the cert. I canceled the point booking, and rebooked it with the cert - Only this time, I made sure to be able to GET RID OF THE GRAYED OUT dot, but actually CHECKED IT when it was no longer grayed out but a white bubble that could be checked off. Then the booking went thru as it should have been, cert attached.

For every cert booking from that point on, I went thru the same exercise to make sure. So far all my cert bookings (done 3 times on 3 certs due to plan changes), have not ever resulted any issues, knocked on wood.
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Old May 19, 2022, 12:57 pm
  #28  
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So, are you saying that grayed out, but checked, didn't work. If I'm viewing this right, greyed out, but checked should mean it is selected. It was the only item checked. Sounds like something isn't working as expected!

Originally Posted by Happy
I saw what you described a month or more ago, before the top up was available, BUT when you proceed, the 35K were deducted from my account instead of taking the cert. I canceled the point booking, and rebooked it with the cert - Only this time, I made sure to be able to GET RID OF THE GRAYED OUT dot, but actually CHECKED IT when it was no longer grayed out but a white bubble that could be checked off. Then the booking went thru as it should have been, cert attached.

For every cert booking from that point on, I went thru the same exercise to make sure. So far all my cert bookings (done 3 times on 3 certs due to plan changes), have not ever resulted any issues, knocked on wood.
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Old May 19, 2022, 6:10 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by charlesonmission
So, are you saying that grayed out, but checked, didn't work. If I'm viewing this right, greyed out, but checked should mean it is selected. It was the only item checked. Sounds like something isn't working as expected!
Exactly.

I was thinking the same way you did when the button was grayed out (without anyway to change it), then discovered points were taken. So when I redid the booking, I checked the points, which changed the point charge summary to points. After that, the cert bubble is "freed" up to checkable white, versus grayed out. I then checked the cert option, and the cert is attached, the point charge summary changed to zero. If you OPEN the point charge summary, you will see 35000 pts with a cross on it, and then a 0 pt as a second line, and the final total.

So I am using the workaround to get my bookings done. I much prefer this that I can control, versus calling in to book, because the phone CSRs are not any better these days.

You need to make the cert bubble become White, then Check it. Not until then, your cert reservation will screw up. I guess I found that out without being charged to buy points is because my account has enough points to cover the booking.

This is not to say we are expected to do this, but it is a workaround I have found that would PREVENT the website doing something totally unexpected, and plain wrong. Yes, Marriott should never have such glitches, and now it has, it should fix them ASAP... But who knows where the IT is sourced out? If it is like when it merged with SPG, it was sourced out to China... Good luck with that when China is under locked down even in big cities.
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Old May 20, 2022, 7:35 am
  #30  
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Take a look at this screen shot. This is what happens when I try to use a cert (defaults to this). When I click on Point Advance and then go back to the Cert, it just remains the same as greyed out. Note that points summary does say 0 points. Can you post a screenshot of what you are seeing on your end?


Picture when using a cert


Originally Posted by Happy
Exactly.

I was thinking the same way you did when the button was grayed out (without anyway to change it), then discovered points were taken. So when I redid the booking, I checked the points, which changed the point charge summary to points. After that, the cert bubble is "freed" up to checkable white, versus grayed out. I then checked the cert option, and the cert is attached, the point charge summary changed to zero. If you OPEN the point charge summary, you will see 35000 pts with a cross on it, and then a 0 pt as a second line, and the final total.

So I am using the workaround to get my bookings done. I much prefer this that I can control, versus calling in to book, because the phone CSRs are not any better these days.

You need to make the cert bubble become White, then Check it. Not until then, your cert reservation will screw up. I guess I found that out without being charged to buy points is because my account has enough points to cover the booking.

This is not to say we are expected to do this, but it is a workaround I have found that would PREVENT the website doing something totally unexpected, and plain wrong. Yes, Marriott should never have such glitches, and now it has, it should fix them ASAP... But who knows where the IT is sourced out? If it is like when it merged with SPG, it was sourced out to China... Good luck with that when China is under locked down even in big cities.
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