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Does Marriott Even Care if Youíre Elite? Thereís no real benefit lately

Does Marriott Even Care if Youíre Elite? Thereís no real benefit lately

Old Oct 30, 22, 11:53 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Programs: MR LT Titanium, SPG LT Plat & Plat 100, SWA A+ & CP
Posts: 1,092
Does Marriott Even Care if Youíre Elite? Thereís no real benefit lately

I don’t know if it’s me but does being a Titanium even matter anymore to Marriott? 1400 LT stays, closing in on 100 nights this year, go out of my way to stay with this program, and what do you really get? Suite upgrades are non existent, personal service non-existent at most hotels, and you have to beg and plead for what you deserve as an elite. Case in point, last 4 stays, put on the 1st or 2nd floor every time overlooking the dumpster. These guys have to get their crap together. We all know it a hell of a lot cheaper to keep an old customer than to get a new one. I don’t know why they don’t ensure that the most elite guests, who have invested in this chain, are truly felt valued. Instead, you’re relegated to floor 1, next to the laundry room with the Priceline people.

back in the SPG days, they knew elites were coming. Hotels had elite rooms blocked, you’re key was waiting for you, and when you showed up, you got a “Hi Mr X, we were expecting you”. Not anymore. They need to go back to basics and focus on simple customer service.

so, I’m at a hotel in Memphis, relegated to looking at the alley on the 2nd floor with zero customer service service, hell, the front desk lady was talking to her friend on her Apple Watch when I checked in. . I am checking out of this place tomorrow. I also called Hyatt and the gave me a custom status match program, that, with 20 nights, I’m top elite.

Im very disappointed with the customer service lately, I don’t complain much but the last 5-10 stays have been very sub par from a customer service perspective.
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Last edited by hhoope01; Oct 31, 22 at 5:39 pm Reason: Removed Masked Vulgarity in Title per FT Rule 16.
jb3t is offline  
Old Oct 31, 22, 12:25 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Silicon Valley
Programs: Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 1,235
Sorry man, It always sucks not feeling appreciated. I can say, I generally have the opposite experiences. For me, I find that my best experiences are at properties in which
  1. I'm a frequent guest
  2. The place is not overrun with frequent guests
  3. The property is not a lower tier property
  4. Be the squeaky wheel and ask for what you want
I would strongly encourage you to abandon the mindset that you are one of their most important guests (you aren't) and that this has anything to do with loyalty. These programs are designed to encourage you to spend your travel dollars with the chain. To do so, they provide perks as incentives. It's purely a transactional relationship. Airport hotels and convention hotels are notorious for skimping on perks because quite frankly they don't need to. If you are a frequent guest at a particular hotel, you are far more valuable to that hotel than a 10 year Ambassador member who has never set foot in that hotel and likely will never return. When I go to LA, I generally stay at the Westin Bonaventure. I have over 200 nights there. On my most recent stays, they pre-upgraded me to a 1000+ square foot suite with two full bathroom and a wet bar.
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Old Oct 31, 22, 12:26 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Programs: Virtuoso Luxury Travel Agent; Bonvoy Titanium Elite; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 627
Venture outside of the US to get proper status recognition
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brokenwindow is offline  
Old Oct 31, 22, 12:46 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Europe
Programs: ex-SPG Platinum, Marriott LG, *G United
Posts: 231
Recognition in Europe has been pretty ok, not like before with SPG, but those days are gone. In Asia recognition is still good. Too bad Hyatt has no footprint where I travel.
To compare, when I was Hilton Diamond for a few years, I was never once, not once, upgraded, ever, anywhere.

Last edited by vanabb; Oct 31, 22 at 12:49 am Reason: content
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Old Oct 31, 22, 12:57 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 23
Marriott knows you are beholden to them. Why not you try being less reliant on them? If you want to go Marriott, accept the mediocrity, or else there are always other options right?
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Old Oct 31, 22, 3:17 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates & Arizona, USA
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Posts: 4,482
Originally Posted by clarkef
Sorry man, It always sucks not feeling appreciated. I can say, I generally have the opposite experiences. For me, I find that my best experiences are at properties in which
  1. I'm a frequent guest
  2. The place is not overrun with frequent guests
  3. The property is not a lower tier property
  4. Be the squeaky wheel and ask for what you want
I think the OP's complaint, which is fair, is that a high-level elite should get good treatment even without these circumstances (with the possible exception of #3) .

That's the whole point. We all know that loyalty recognition is perhaps less useful where you're a frequent guest at the particular property. It should have the highest leverage when you are a first-time guest at a hotel, but a valued customer of the brand.
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mecabq is offline  
Old Oct 31, 22, 4:14 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: None - previously UA
Posts: 4,647
Originally Posted by mecabq
I think the OP's complaint, which is fair, is that a high-level elite should get good treatment even without these circumstances (with the possible exception of #3) .

That's the whole point. We all know that loyalty recognition is perhaps less useful where you're a frequent guest at the particular property. It should have the highest leverage when you are a first-time guest at a hotel, but a valued customer of the brand.
OP - It really is a marketing program as much as a loyalty program. Youíre just not as important to them individually as you think you are. Would take a mass departure of elites for Marriott to notice, even then they would probably attribute it to the pandemic.
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Old Oct 31, 22, 6:05 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Italy
Programs: Accor Plat, Marriott Plat, IHG Plat, Amex Plat, Alitalia CFA, Emirates/Oman air Silver
Posts: 1,472
Originally Posted by jb3t
I donít know if itís me but does being a Titanium even matter anymore to Marriott? 1400 LT stays, closing in on 100 nights this year, go out of my way to stay with this program, and what do you really get? Suite upgrades are non existent, personal service non-existent at most hotels, and you have to beg and plead for what you deserve as an elite. Case in point, last 4 stays, put on the 1st or 2nd floor every time overlooking the dumpster. These guys have to get their crap together. We all know it a hell of a lot cheaper to keep an old customer than to get a new one. I donít know why they donít ensure that the most elite guests, who have invested in this chain, are truly felt valued. Instead, youíre relegated to floor 1, next to the laundry room with the Priceline people.

back in the SPG days, they knew elites were coming. Hotels had elite rooms blocked, youíre key was waiting for you, and when you showed up, you got a ďHi Mr X, we were expecting youĒ. Not anymore. They need to go back to basics and focus on simple customer service.

so, Iím at a hotel in Memphis, relegated to looking at the alley on the 2nd floor with zero customer service service, hell, the front desk lady was talking to her friend on her Apple Watch when I checked in. . I am checking out of this place tomorrow. I also called Hyatt and the gave me a custom status match program, that, with 20 nights, Iím top elite.

Im very disappointed with the customer service lately, I donít complain much but the last 5-10 stays have been very sub par from a customer service perspective.
I believe most of your stays (if not all) are in the USA Ö

itís not due to Marriott. Itís due to a (often) non existing sense of hospitality.
Dav77 is offline  
Old Oct 31, 22, 6:08 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Programs: MR LT Titanium, IHG Plat.,UA Premier Silver, & PA/OH Turnpike Million Miler
Posts: 2,168
As others have stated, I agree a single person, no matter how high their elite status, is not significant to Marriott. I also agree that being a frequent guest at a property trumps loyalty. Even with those disclaimers, there are some simple things a property could and should do for elite guests:
  1. Look at and try to honor a guests room preference (e.g. high floor, away from elevator, etc.). With a little pre planning during the room allocation process, properties should be able to meet the preferences almost all of the time. This doesn't include suite upgrades, rather allocation of standard rooms. In the rare case when they can't, acknowledge it and apologize for it during check in. Knowing a property is aware of my preferences and at least is trying to meet them goes a long way.
  2. Whenever possible, have the rooms for elite guests ready for early check in. If there is a tradeoff between early check in and an upgrade, tell the guest and let them make the choice at check in.
  3. For properties where it applies (not convention hotels, etc.), proactively offer the 4PM checkout to the guest. To the guests, only use the late checkout if you need it. I rarely need it and decline when I don't. Even when I do, it is only until 1PM or 2PM typically. Working with the property this way makes it more likely they will be able to both grant early check-in and comply with late check out whenever requested. E.g work with each other to help improve the overall experience for everyone.
  4. Any of the brands in the Marriott portfolio low tier, mid tier, and high tier should be able to meet the above.
Finally, one of my favorite sayings (usually applied to jobs but applicable here as well). The grass isn't green anywhere. Rather you need to choose which shade of brown you prefer. I.e. none of the hotel loyalty programs are perfect. They all have flaws both in design and execution. Pick the one(s) that work best for you and expect all of them to periodically mess up. YMMV...

--Jon
Jon Maiman is offline  
Old Oct 31, 22, 6:33 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: USA
Programs: Marriott Ambassador, Hilton Diamond (Aspire), Hyatt Globalist (expiring), AA Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 3,711
Frankly, if a hotel has an agent that can't get off of their phone/Apple Watch/virtual reality visor/whatever, that's an issue with the service culture at that specific hotel - I have found this at hotels across brands (Hyatt and Marriott). It's definitely a US issue, but does not seem to follow a rhyme or reason other than bad hiring. Case in point, I was in New Orleans and had one of the best service interactions in a long time at a Marriott property. The next day, I headed a few blocks away to a Hyatt property where the agent couldn't get off their phone and chose to not even speak to me. These places are hiring from the same area - guess some just accept the bottom of the barrel in terms of attitude.
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Old Oct 31, 22, 6:47 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey
Programs: UA MM 1K, AA MM Gold, Marriott LT Platinum
Posts: 3,147
Regarding hotels where I really want an enhanced experience (excludes where I'm arriving at 10pm, departing 7am and just want a quiet room ready), I email the hotel in advance (or use the chat function if it's actually monitored), be personable, explain what my trip is for, and how much I would appreciate a (higher room/upgrade/etc.) if they could grant it. My own experience is that this can help improve the odds a bit. But I still always ask at the front desk as a last resort.
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Old Oct 31, 22, 6:54 am
  #12  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Programs: MR LT Titanium, SPG LT Plat & Plat 100, SWA A+ & CP
Posts: 1,092
Originally Posted by Jon Maiman
As others have stated, I agree a single person, no matter how high their elite status, is not significant to Marriott. I also agree that being a frequent guest at a property trumps loyalty. Even with those disclaimers, there are some simple things a property could and should do for elite guests:
  1. Look at and try to honor a guests room preference (e.g. high floor, away from elevator, etc.).
--Jon
OP HereÖ. This is exactly what I am thinking. Most of my stays are US-based and often at lower tier hotels, due to the location I am visiting. I think itís pretty simple to make an elite guest feel valued, whether they are or not. Simply put them on a higher floor away from noise, maybe pre assign a room, make the first interaction a little more friendly, and donít talk on the phone to your friends or have a mouth full of food when checking people in. Itís not that difficult and is really a training thing that should come from management.

When I was 75 to100+ nights at SPG, the service was outstanding 80% of the time, regardless of hotel level. Now it seems to be outstanding 20% of the time. One year, I had an 80% suite upgrade rate. This year, 5% Simple changes in training could increase the perception of being valued.

I feel loyalty is a two-way street. I am at the Memphis Downtown Courtyard right now. I am checking out a day early and going to the Sheraton to see if Iím placed in a room thatís no overlooking the dumpster. Ironically, the last time I was at the Memphis Westin, I was personally greeted by the manager, put in the presidential suite, and due to the room being occupied by an NBA player (that I walked in on because they thought the team checked out), they put me at the bar and said or there whatever I want!

more to come
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Old Oct 31, 22, 7:09 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 1,153
Originally Posted by jb3t
so, Iím at a hotel in Memphis...go out of my way to stay with this program
You're caught in a trap, you can't walk out...
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Old Oct 31, 22, 7:59 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NYC/Northern NJ
Programs: 1K - UAL, Platinum DL, Marriott, Hilton, SPG
Posts: 1,814
I agree/understand your comments, yet also recognize - with M&A + credit cards programs - loyalty programs (airlines & hotels) have an abundance of elite persons (some earned over a lifetime and others just perk of a credit card) with each person approaching a desk thinking they should be treated like the Crown Prince of a continent. I believe the front desk staff have become numb and unable to differentiate the difference between the earned vs. bought into it. Sadly, it hurts perception of the earned members because even requesting a late check-out feels like you are requesting a presidential pardon despite it is a perk of your status.
Until the programs reduce the load of elites - I don't see the unique/VIP of it changing anytime soon.
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Old Oct 31, 22, 8:09 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott LTPP, Hertz Five Star
Posts: 1,021
Some others have made great points. I used to stay at a hotel every two weeks and a week where the hotel was sold out, I asked the front desk and instead of saying "sure we'll sell you at rack rate", they freed up inventory and let me book at my deeply discounted corporate rate. Even then I wasn't upgraded way too often, but when I DID have a good reason (spending the weekend and time to enjoy the space, need a refrigerator because I hurt bruised my shin and needed to apply gel packs) they'd upgrade me upon polite request.

I will say that since the merger in 2018 recognition of status levels has gotten worse. Rather than "thank you for being a gold/platinum/titanium elite" etc. I just get thanked for being an elite member. Mobile check-in also has not worked for me since 2020, I always have to stop by the front desk, and I never get a "your room is ready" message for checking in on the app. When the front desk doesn't even acknowledge the status level, it makes me wonder if they're actually trying to prioritize space available upgrades or other elite treatment at all.
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