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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 11, 2022, 11:37 am
  #1  
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Charged $437 For Purchasing 35K Points When Trying to Use a 35K Cert On the Website

I know that many people have had issues with Marriott IT, including the recent cert topups (I had to call in for all of them), but this one is a total new issue for me and potentially quite bad. Has anyone else seen/heard anything like this?
  1. My Wife was trying to use a 35K cert on a point advance booking. The reservation failed to confirm and we ended up on a screen that said points purchased failed.
  2. She also tried to book a straight reservation with the 35K cert and ended up on the same screen that a points purchase reservation failed.
After this happened, we saw that she had fraud alerts from Amex, email, text and later a call.
  1. We called in the Marriott asking what is going on. The agent wasn't concerned about the Amex fraud warnings, but she did sort out getting the cert on the reservation after some time (by creating a new reservation and cancelling the point advance booking). I asked the agent that the Marriott team should create a case for the tech team as this is a big deal. We than called Amex and they cancelled the card after Amex asked us if we had done this purchase, which we didn't.

  2. Next day, the 35,000 points posted to my wife's account. I was floored and we called Marriott to ask what was going on. This agent said that there were 3 point purchase rejections and 1 went through (so 4 attempts in total, which surprised me, maybe it tried twice each time?). I guess Marriott let 1 go through. The agent said point purchases were non-refundable. After some back and forth where I explained that she didn't purchase the points and it is a rather large Marriott IT error, she agreed to upon some sort of special case. Note that the point purchase was never actually associated with a reservation and she never got any email about. it.
  3. Following day, the $437.50 Marriott post clears on the Amex Business Bonvoy card, we call Amex and ask what is going on. Amex says it is already under review. Then, the next following day, there is a credit back dated for $437.50 on her Amex account (this credit is a fraud return credit from Amex, not Marriott).
  4. As of today, the points are still in the account. All of this started March 5th.
I'm just a bit floored as I've never seen or heard anything like this. Marriott isn't really known for great IT, but this seems to be a huge IT failure. Going forward, we are going to screen record all reservations. We are also going to lock any card for reservations and then unlock the card the next day.

Is there anything else we should do? Any advice? Anyone ever heard of anything like this? Does Marriott monitor this thread? This seems like such a huge issue, I was thinking of reaching out to some Marriott tech people on LinkedIn since I live in the DC area and work on the Salesforce platform which I know Marriott uses, but wasn't really sure if that was a huge breach in protocol or not.
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Old May 11, 2022, 11:11 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by charlesonmission
I know that many people have had issues with Marriott IT, including the recent cert topups (I had to call in for all of them), but this one is a total new issue for me and potentially quite bad. Has anyone else seen/heard anything like this?
  1. My Wife was trying to use a 35K cert on a point advance booking. The reservation failed to confirm and we ended up on a screen that said points purchased failed.
  2. She also tried to book a straight reservation with the 35K cert and ended up on the same screen that a points purchase reservation failed.
After this happened, we saw that she had fraud alerts from Amex, email, text and later a call.
  1. We called in the Marriott asking what is going on. The agent wasn't concerned about the Amex fraud warnings, but she did sort out getting the cert on the reservation after some time (by creating a new reservation and cancelling the point advance booking). I asked the agent that the Marriott team should create a case for the tech team as this is a big deal. We than called Amex and they cancelled the card after Amex asked us if we had done this purchase, which we didn't.
  2. Next day, the 35,000 points posted to my wife's account. I was floored and we called Marriott to ask what was going on. This agent said that there were 3 point purchase rejections and 1 went through (so 4 attempts in total, which surprised me, maybe it tried twice each time?). I guess Marriott let 1 go through. The agent said point purchases were non-refundable. After some back and forth where I explained that she didn't purchase the points and it is a rather large Marriott IT error, she agreed to upon some sort of special case. Note that the point purchase was never actually associated with a reservation and she never got any email about. it.
  3. Following day, the $437.50 Marriott post clears on the Amex Business Bonvoy card, we call Amex and ask what is going on. Amex says it is already under review. Then, the next following day, there is a credit back dated for $437.50 on her Amex account (this credit is a fraud return credit from Amex, not Marriott).
  4. As of today, the points are still in the account. All of this started March 5th.
I'm just a bit floored as I've never seen or heard anything like this. Marriott isn't really known for great IT, but this seems to be a huge IT failure. Going forward, we are going to screen record all reservations. We are also going to lock any card for reservations and then unlock the card the next day.

Is there anything else we should do? Any advice? Anyone ever heard of anything like this? Does Marriott monitor this thread? This seems like such a huge issue, I was thinking of reaching out to some Marriott tech people on LinkedIn since I live in the DC area and work on the Salesforce platform which I know Marriott uses, but wasn't really sure if that was a huge breach in protocol or not.
We noticed you have contacted Customer Service regarding this case.

Your wife may send PM to us with her account number, confirmation number details if she would like us to check for her.

Please let us know if you need further assistance.

Best Regards,

Abbey L
Specialist, Social Media
Marriott International

[email protected]
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Old May 12, 2022, 7:53 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Wow! A very similar thing happened to us on my wife's account. We made a reservation for a 35K free night last week. I saw on my credit card statement that I was changed $362.5 for 29,000 points. The call center was helpful, and my refund will take 2 to 3 days to confirm.

Marriott really needs to up their IT game. It's not acceptable to have to be chasing unauthorized charges.
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Old May 13, 2022, 5:07 am
  #4  
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But if you are a patient person, with a sense of adventure and humor, and have a reserve of spare time, this can all make for some memorable and zany experiences. (!)

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Old May 13, 2022, 7:11 am
  #5  
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That's great to hear. I'm wondering if Marriott is now aware of the issue. Maybe we were the first. The 2 agents we talked to were both very nice and seemed to be familiar with how Marriott works (she's a Titanium member, so maybe they route her to agents that are more experienced?), but they were really not prepared to handle a brand new IT issue like this. Because Amex viewed the transaction as fraudulent, they cancelled my wife's card which ironically was the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card and sent a new one. We didn't realize it at the time since neither Marriott nor Amex told us a transaction went through, but Amex then gave her a fraud credit for the transaction. I hope Marriott has reached out to Amex to let them know that the transaction was due to an IT issue and they are correct to leave the credit as is, otherwise, I fear that Marriott will have Amex reverse the credit and then we will have to follow up with the Social Media team in this thread to get Marriott to issue the credit. My wife reached out to them and have been helpful. I'm sure this will get sorted, but we have about 2 hours in on this issue now across the 4 calls (2 to Marriott and 2 to Amex).

Originally Posted by Wboy411a
Wow! A very similar thing happened to us on my wife's account. We made a reservation for a 35K free night last week. I saw on my credit card statement that I was changed $362.5 for 29,000 points. The call center was helpful, and my refund will take 2 to 3 days to confirm.

Marriott really needs to up their IT game. It's not acceptable to have to be chasing unauthorized charges.
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Old May 13, 2022, 7:49 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by charlesonmission
That's great to hear. I'm wondering if Marriott is now aware of the issue. Maybe we were the first. The 2 agents we talked to were both very nice and seemed to be familiar with how Marriott works (she's a Titanium member, so maybe they route her to agents that are more experienced?), but they were really not prepared to handle a brand new IT issue like this. Because Amex viewed the transaction as fraudulent, they cancelled my wife's card which ironically was the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card and sent a new one. We didn't realize it at the time since neither Marriott nor Amex told us a transaction went through, but Amex then gave her a fraud credit for the transaction. I hope Marriott has reached out to Amex to let them know that the transaction was due to an IT issue and they are correct to leave the credit as is, otherwise, I fear that Marriott will have Amex reverse the credit and then we will have to follow up with the Social Media team in this thread to get Marriott to issue the credit. My wife reached out to them and have been helpful. I'm sure this will get sorted, but we have about 2 hours in on this issue now across the 4 calls (2 to Marriott and 2 to Amex).
Not trying to scare you but I heard so many stories about account closure due to credit card chargebacks. I would try sorting this out with Marriott before they reach out to Amex.
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Old May 13, 2022, 8:21 am
  #7  
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I share your concern. We told the 2nd Marriott agent this pretty much that Amex has already credited back the transaction as a fraud credit so that they are aware. I'll have my wife email the social media team tonight as a reminder.

When we first talked to Amex, the way the agent described it was that the charge was blocked already. Once 35,000 points posted the next day, this led to the second call to marriott and the 2nd call to Amex which explained that the charge wasn't blocked, but was flagged for a fraud credit (though 3 other charges were blocked per Marriott).

I'm not sure what else we can do as consumers (other than having my wife email the social media team again tonight as a reminder about the fraud credit that posted). She does have about 15 nights or so already booked through the end of 2022.

Originally Posted by Moh20
Not trying to scare you but I heard so many stories about account closure due to credit card chargebacks. I would try sorting this out with Marriott before they reach out to Amex.
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Old May 13, 2022, 12:31 pm
  #8  
 
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Was redirected here from Reddit, and created an account as I too encountered the same issue.

Since everyone seems to be aware of the issue and to make things short. I tried to modify a 3 night booking at a St. Regis that I used a top off certificate on 50k FNA +10k points. The points lowered in value so I was hoping to get a refund of 10k on my booking (Point cost dropped from 60k to 40k). Checked to make sure that's what I wanted to do at check out confirming that 3 FNAs will still be used and that 10k will be refunded to my account. I click confirm on the reservation, but the website errored out leaving to a page with HTML code. I get an instant notification on my AmEx Bonvoy Business card for $1250 from Marriott Rewards. Upon further investigation the modification, the IT/System had trouble refunding me my FNA and reusing it due to a refund in points, so it instead tried to buy 100k points which it succeed, but it still failed to book because the whole reservation cost 120k points.

I already tried talking to the Platinum Elite line, the first person was able to modify my booking by cancelling and just rebooking so I got the 10k refunded, but now I have an extra 100k points in my account that I didn't even want to buy! He said he emailed the team but I got a generic email back that points can't be refunded under terms, etc etc. So I called again and another agent sent it to another team for investigation. I have a case number.

I hope this can be resolved and I get my money back, because I don't want to have to chargeback and possibly get my account closed with Marriott Bonvoy, as I have a lot of reservations coming up and don't want to have any issues. I just wanted my 10k points refunded for the lower cost change of the upcoming booking but now I have a headache of trying to get this sorted out.

So I guess the lesson here is to cancel and just straight up rebook your FNA top up reservation as trying to modify it will just glitches and issues. That's what I usually do, but with award nights being scarce and point changes and happen any time. I wanted to do it this way to keep it safer. Apparently is it not. Hopefully the MB Lurker can help with my issue as well. Thanks!
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Old May 13, 2022, 12:47 pm
  #9  
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My wife's issue happened without using a topup both trying to use a cert on a points advance reservation and then again trying to book a new reservation. I think the new IT issue came about when they rolled out the cert topup code, but it is impacting all certs, sometimes, not just topups.

The Marriott Social Media people are helpful here, their email is above, if you want to ask for an update. I don't think you will need to do a charge back and on my wife's account, they have now removed the points per the social media team (which my wife confirmed). My wife's chargeback was done because Amex was sending out fraud alerts as they viewed the transaction as fraudulent. At the time, we didn't understand that an actual transaction had gone through that Amex would need give us a fraud credit since that is not how the Amex agent explained it and the Marriott agent that we first talked to wasn't concerned about the fraud alerts.

No one has fully confirmed this, but I think the safest way to do reservations now is to screen record everything and lock your credit card on file that is used for the reservation if it is a cert or points booking. Once the reservation goes through, unlock the card the next day.


Originally Posted by EccentricINTJ
Was redirected here from Reddit, and created an account as I too encountered the same issue.

Since everyone seems to be aware of the issue and to make things short. I tried to modify a 3 night booking at a St. Regis that I used a top off certificate on 50k FNA +10k points. The points lowered in value so I was hoping to get a refund of 10k on my booking (Point cost dropped from 60k to 40k). Checked to make sure that's what I wanted to do at check out confirming that 3 FNAs will still be used and that 10k will be refunded to my account. I click confirm on the reservation, but the website errored out leaving to a page with HTML code. I get an instant notification on my AmEx Bonvoy Business card for $1250 from Marriott Rewards. Upon further investigation the modification, the IT/System had trouble refunding me my FNA and reusing it due to a refund in points, so it instead tried to buy 100k points which it succeed, but it still failed to book because the whole reservation cost 120k points.

I already tried talking to the Platinum Elite line, the first person was able to modify my booking by cancelling and just rebooking so I got the 10k refunded, but now I have an extra 100k points in my account that I didn't even want to buy! He said he emailed the team but I got a generic email back that points can't be refunded under terms, etc etc. So I called again and another agent sent it to another team for investigation. I have a case number.

I hope this can be resolved and I get my money back, because I don't want to have to chargeback and possibly get my account closed with Marriott Bonvoy, as I have a lot of reservations coming up and don't want to have any issues. I just wanted my 10k points refunded for the lower cost change of the upcoming booking but now I have a headache of trying to get this sorted out.

So I guess the lesson here is to cancel and just straight up rebook your FNA top up reservation as trying to modify it will just glitches and issues. That's what I usually do, but with award nights being scarce and point changes and happen any time. I wanted to do it this way to keep it safer. Apparently is it not. Hopefully the MB Lurker can help with my issue as well. Thanks!
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Old May 13, 2022, 11:22 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Same thing happened with my dad. Website kept glitching out and then the cert wouldn't apply properly. I was right next to him as it was glitching and 100% he did not select to purchase points. Had to call in to get his cert applied, and even then, the points that he "purchased" to be used towards the hotel, wasn't even applied to the reservation.

More datapoints on reddit as well with people having the same issues.

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/co...ay_13/i8flbqy/
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Old May 14, 2022, 1:02 pm
  #11  
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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.
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Old May 14, 2022, 2:27 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Moh20
I heard so many stories about account closure due to credit card chargebacks.
If the chargeback is legitimate, that would be illegal. A merchant cannot retaliate for a legitimate chargeback.
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Old May 15, 2022, 12:35 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman
If the chargeback is legitimate, that would be illegal. A merchant cannot retaliate for a legitimate chargeback.
I am pretty sure that they can do whatever they want. "The Company may cancel a Member’s accumulated Points, suspend Loyalty Program benefits, suspend Elite Membership Status, suspend Lifetime Elite Membership Status (which will subsequently also remove protection against the forfeiture of Points should the member become inactive as described in Section 1.5.d. or cancel a Member’s Account at any time with immediate effect and without written notice, for any reason and in the Company's sole discretion".

Marriott won't explain why they shut down an account in most cases.
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Old May 15, 2022, 1:29 am
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The only way they could have charged your card without you knowing is if you have the cc number stored in your account. Instead of "freezing" the card why not remove it as a stored card - then if they want to charge you for something you would get a page asking for you to enter a cc #? I NEVER leave my cc stored in any merchant account - just to avoid this type of thing. Yes, it is a bit of extra effort to enter it each time - but for me it's a worthwhile trade off.
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Old May 15, 2022, 1:43 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by estnet
The only way they could have charged your card without you knowing is if you have the cc number stored in your account. Instead of "freezing" the card why not remove it as a stored card - then if they want to charge you for something you would get a page asking for you to enter a cc #? I NEVER leave my cc stored in any merchant account - just to avoid this type of thing. Yes, it is a bit of extra effort to enter it each time - but for me it's a worthwhile trade off.
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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